On May 30, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) announced that Rep. Ro Khanna is a winner for the 2019 Democracy Awards, CMF’s honors program recognizing non-legislative achievement in operations and constituent service by congressional offices and Members of Congress. Khanna is recognized for excellence in the Constituent Service category, which focuses on how an office interacts with and serves constituents, especially how it utilizes and leverages specific, methodical, and consistent processes for achieving measurable results in constituent service.
“I congratulate my team for this well-deserved recognition for their hard work,” said Khanna. “From securing veterans’ benefits to navigating the complex immigration process, congressional work is centered on improving the lives of our constituents. I am incredibly proud of the tremendous job we have done for Silicon Valley.”
“As a Democracy Award winner, Rep. Khanna’s office is one of the best in Congress,” said Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the CMF. “This designation demonstrates that Rep. Khanna has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for his constituents in California. Rep. Khanna and his staff are to be congratulated for not only being a model for colleagues in Congress, but for helping to restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work.”
California’s 17th congressional district represents the only majority Asian district in the continental United States, and as a result manages an unusually high number of cases that fall into the general category of immigration. These cases constitute over 80 percent of their constituent services work, thus personal interactions with constituents play a significant role in their district.
Due to the diverse origins of their constituents and the heavy immigration-related case load, the office places a premium on language ability in both their interns and permanent staffers. To address these unique constituent needs, they have hired staffers with fluency in in Tagalog, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Hindi and Russian, and this summer have paid interns fluent in Spanish, Cantonese, Hebrew and Hindi.
The office continually updates their “Wall of Fame,” where emails of thanks from constituents are posted. They have received so many notes from appreciative constituents that they have now spread to a second wall.
California’s 17th congressional district is one of two congressional offices across both chambers of Congress to receive this honor. A committee comprised primarily of former Members of Congress and former congressional staffers selected the two winners (one Democrat and one Republican) for each category.
A ceremony to honor finalists and winners will be held on June 20, 2019.