Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), whose district includes the San Ramon Valley, has been selected as a finalist for an award seeking to track and recognize the successes of congressional offices throughout the country.
The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) announced DeSaulnier earlier this month as among the 10 finalists for their annual Democracy Awards aimed at recognizing extraordinary public service.
DeSaulnier was named in the Constituent Accountability and Accessibility category for his policy of never leaving a town hall meeting until after every constituent in attendance has had the opportunity to ask a question.
"Constituent service is at the heart of my work in Congress, and I am proud that our office has been recognized for our efforts to serve, connect with, and answer to the people of California's 10th Congressional District," DeSaulnier said in a May 17 announcement. "I thank the Congressional Management Foundation for their work to promote good government and congratulate my fellow finalists."
DeSaulnier and South Bay Rep. Ro Khanna were the only two California representatives named in this year's awards, with Khanna being recognized by the foundation for his "robust time-off policy" for his staff in the Life in Congress Workplace Environment category.
"As a Democracy Award finalist, Rep. DeSaulnier's office is clearly one of the best in Congress," said CMF President and CEO Bradford Fitch in a statement. "This designation demonstrates that Rep. DeSaulnier has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for his constituents in California. Rep. DeSaulnier and his staff are to be congratulated for not only being a model for his colleagues in Congress, but for helping to restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work."
In addition to DeSaulnier's town hall policy, CMF lauded his office for their virtual and mobile office hours, as well as social media presence and email updates including the "DeSaulnier Digest" newsletter and a maximum five-day response time to constituent emails and letters.
DeSaulnier was previously a finalist in the Constituent Service category in 2018, and won in the Transparency, Accountability and Innovation category in 2019. This year marks his first time being recognized for Constituent Accountability and Accessibility.
Winners for the annual awards are set to be selected in July by a committee of former congressional representatives and staffers, with one Democrat and one Republican being named for each of the three categories. The other Democrat in DeSaulnier's category is Illinois Rep. Sean Castin.