Bustos Named Democracy Awards Winner for Exceptional Constituent Services

Bustos Ranked Top Democratic Office in Congress for Constituent Services

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) was named the winner for the Congressional Management Foundation’s (CMF) highly competitive and distinguished Democracy Awards in the constituent service category. The award recognizes Congresswoman Bustos for excellence in the way her office interacts with, assists and serves residents of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District. This distinction ranks Congresswoman Bustos’ office as the top Democratic office in Congress – which includes both the House and Senate.

“Every morning, my staff and I show up to work motivated by the belief that government should work for the people,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “It’s this mentality that drives every aspect of our operation, especially constituent services. As our country faces the impact of COVID-19, our team is focused on helping the people of Northwest and Central Illinois navigate the vital resources they need and rebuild our economy. I’m honored to have our team recognized in this critical service and proud of what our office is able to accomplish for Illinoisans every day.”

“As a Democracy Award winner, Rep. Bustos’ office is clearly one of the best in Congress,” said Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. “This designation demonstrates that Rep. Bustos has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for her constituents in Illinois. Rep. Bustos and her staff are to be congratulated for not only being a model for her colleagues in Congress, but for helping to restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work.” 

Congresswoman Bustos prides herself on having a responsive and attentive constituent services operation. Her office offers a wide range of constituent services to help residents of the region navigate federal agencies, process flag and tour requests, and more.

CMF included the following reasons for selecting Congresswoman Bustos for an award:

“For Rep. Cheri Bustos’ (D-IL) office, outstanding constituent service is more than a routine practice – it is a daily expectation. With an open-door policy, the office strives to make it easy for constituents to meet, speak, or correspond with their caseworkers. The constituent services staff have regularly scheduled team meetings to discuss issues and share best practices. The Director of Constituent Services has an open dialogue with all casework staff and regularly speaks with them one-on-one to identify emerging needs or trends in casework. Constituent services are highlighted and celebrated throughout the office, as the team is invited to share stories and lift up successful casework on their weekly all-staff call. This helps legislative staff identify and develop legislation in response to constituent concerns, and communications staff identify impactful stories to share with press and digital audiences.”

BACKGROUND

Founded in 1977, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to build trust and effectiveness in Congress. It advances its mission by enhancing the performance of the institution, legislators and their staffs through research-based education and training, and by strengthening the bridge and understanding between Congress and the People it serves.

Eight House and Senate offices were honored as winners in four categories: Constituent Service; Innovation and Modernization; Transparency and Accountability; and “Life in Congress”-Workplace Environment. Representative and Senate personal offices nominated themselves using an online questionnaire for the four office categories. CMF followed up with offices as necessary to gather documentation and assess the office’s adherence to the established criteria. The winners were selected by a selection committee primarily comprised of former Members of Congress and congressional staff. The winners will be honored at a ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C. in the fall.

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