U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna Honored with Democracy Award by Congressional Management Foundation for Best Constituent Services Office
The Congressional Management Foundation May 30 announced that U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., is a winner for the 2019 Democracy Awards.
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 the Indian American congressman in a statement. “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.”
The award is part of the foundation’s honors program recognizing non-legislative achievement in operations and constituent service by congressional offices and members of Congress, it said in a news release.
“As a Democracy Award winner, Rep. Khanna’s office is one of the best in Congress,” said Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. “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,” he said.
Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, which 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, the release notes.
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.
Finally, 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, the foundation added.
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 June 20.