Connecting to Congress

Creating authentic,
actionable connections between citizens
and their elected representatives.

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Leveraging digital technology and deliberative principles to create authentic, actionable engagement.

The suite of tools and practices we’ve identified allow us to create more meaningful, powerful interactions—
and our post analysis will let you know, in clear language and with stories, not only what constituents are thinking, but why.

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Common ground for action forums

Common Ground for Action is a simple, yet sophisticated, visually-engaging online platform that allows citizens (and Congressional staff) to discuss a tough issue together, weigh tradeoffs, and actually see where they have common ground… whether they’re in the district or DC.

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deliberative online town halls

In deliberative online town halls, neutral moderators facilitate deliberation between constituents and their elected officials in an online platform. Lawmakers who have used this method have not only avoided the pitfalls possible with regular town halls, but have increased their support and approval amongst participants.

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deliberative social media events

Connecting to Congress works with digital partners like Reddit and Facebook to integrate deliberative quality and non-partisan information into interactions on the platforms where people are already talking.

A gift to the Congress and to the citizens of the United States.
— Bradford Fitch, Congressional Management Foundation

Connecting to Congress is based on the groundbreaking research documented in Politics with the People. Using rigorous research methods, Politics with the People demonstrates conclusively that deliberative engagement connects constituents and lawmaker in authentic, productive, and mutually rewarding ways.

  • Deliberative events offer lawmakers a chance to reach beyond “the usual suspects”—in fact, they particularly attracted citizens who tend not to follow politics or who have become disenchanted with the system. Furthermore, after participating, these citizens became more likely to vote and take part in political discussions.

  • Participating in these deliberative sessions significantly increased citizens’ trust in government.

  • Participants surveyed four months after the deliberative event were 10% more likely to vote for the representative that engaged with them in this way.