CMF published an interim report Communicating with Congress: Recommendations for Improving the Democratic Dialogue . I had one of those “someone got it right” moments reading the report. Following what seemed to be tireless work by Daniel Bennett and Rob Pierson (Rep. Mike Honda’s office) and CMF staff going back a long time, and a conference in October that I really enjoyed, they recommend adding metadata to constituent communication to reliably indicate who the sender is, what the issue is, and what advocacy organization helped the sender send the message.
The recommendation serves to help congressional staff manage incoming communication. It’s a method of triage on the one hand, and a tool to help tally communications by position on the other. Critical as this may be, I find tallying to be incredibly superficial — and it really reveals, I think, that the world of communicating with Congress has become extremely narrow. (But I’ve written on that before.)