Rep. Scanlon Named Democracy Award Winner by the Congressional Management Foundation
Washington, D.C., August 18, 2021
Washington, D.C. – This week, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) announced that U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) is a winner of a Democracy Award, CMF’s honor recognizing non-legislative achievement and performance in congressional offices. Rep. Scanlon was selected for outstanding achievement in the category of "Life in Congress" Workplace Environment. The “Life in Congress” Workplace Environment category highlights offices that have established both formal policies and informal cultures that enhance the work-life fit and professional development of their staff.
“As a Democracy Award winner, Rep. Scanlon’s 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. Scanlon has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for her constituents in Pennsylvania. Rep. Scanlon 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.”
“I am honored to receive this recognition from the Congressional Management Foundation because it is — more than anything else — a testament to the hard work and professionalism of my staff,” said Rep. Scanlon. “Their dedication to serving the people of Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District has allowed our office to institute modern, flexible policies that enable staff to meet personal and professional goals while going above and beyond to help constituents. One example I am extremely proud of is that, prior to the pandemic, our office had already procured equipment and developed policies and training that allowed the entire staff to move to remote work seamlessly when COVID-19 hit. Our goal has always been to have an office culture that promotes respect and personal growth, while producing hard work and stellar results for PA-05 constituents.”
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. House 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 composed primarily 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.
Details on the process and the history of the Democracy Awards are available on CMF’s website.
CMF included the following reasons for selecting Rep. Scanlon for an award:
The office of Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) treats staffers as “individuals to be trusted, not workers to be managed.” This includes offering generous paid time off (20 days) and “no excuse” sick days (10 days), as well as a telecommuting policy that emphasizes trust in staff with online tools in place that interface with each other to allow collaborative project tracking, impromptu video meetings, and an “open discussion” atmosphere. When the Congresswoman first took office, the team set aside dozens of hours to draft a comprehensive employee handbook that reflected the feedback of the entire staff. They are also dedicated to doing a comprehensive re-evaluation of the handbook every Congress, collecting employee input on policies they would like to change through anonymous forms to make sure staff feel empowered to be candid in their suggestions. Listening to employees and incorporating their feedback is a regular part of their office culture.
In addition to the eight offices selected for the 2021 awards, CMF this year is giving out a Special Democracy Award to the non-partisan floor staff of the U.S. House and Senate for their courage and service to Congress and the nation on January 6. “These men and women were the stewards of democracy when we needed them most,” Fitch said. “Most Americans never even notice their work. And yet, on January 6, 2021, they played crucial roles well beyond what was expected of them, displaying professionalism, resolution, and patriotism to help maintain our system of government.”
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.