Indian-American Congressman recognized for service to constituents

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United States Representative Ro Khanna, D-California, won a prestigious Congressional award given out for extraordinary public service.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, serves the 17th District. (Official photo from Congressional Website of Congressman Khanna)

Khanna was one of just six lawmakers recognized May 30, by the Congressional Management Foundation, (CMF), an organization that works directly with Members of Congress and staff, as well as with citizen groups, to enhance their operations and interactions with each other. It gives due recognition to the non-legislative .achievement and performance in congressional offices and by Members of Congress.

Khanna received the 2019 Constituent Service Award on the House side, along with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, on the Senate side. The Indian-American Congressman who is serving his second term, represents California’s 17th Congressional District which is in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Rep. Khanna sits on the House Budget, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform committees and is first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He also serves as an Assistant Whip in the Democratic Caucus.

He supports a 12-year term limit for lawmakers and according to his biography on this website, is one of just six elected officials to refuse contrinutions from Political Action Committees and lobbyists.

Born and brought up in the U.S., Rep. Khanna, an Economics graduate from the University of Chicago with a law degree from Yale University, served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

This year, the Democracy Awards, also include honorary recognition with a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Democracy Award for late Congressmen John Dingell, D- Michigan, the longest-ever serving legislator in American history serving more than 59 years; and John McCain, R-Arizona, a prisoner of war in Vietnam who served from 1987 till his death last August.

“Americans usually only hear about Congress when something goes wrong. The Democracy Awards shines a light on Congress when it does something right,” Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of CMF is quoted saying in the press release. “These Members of Congress and their staff members deserve recognition for their work to improve transparency in government, foster innovation in operations, and serve their constituents,” Fitch added.

The finalists and winners of the Democracy Awards will be honored at a ceremony June 20, morning at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C.

The Foundation said it has created a detailed process to identify and recognize the best congressional offices in three categories: 1) Constituent Service; 2) Transparency, Accountability, and Innovation; and 3) “Life in Congress” Workplace Environment. House and Senate personal offices self-nominated in late 2018 using an online questionnaire. In early 2019, CMF followed up with offices to gather documentation and assess the office’s adherence to the established criteria to determine a list of finalists, which was announced on March 19, 2019.

Following that, the Selection Committees comprised primarily of former Members of Congress and former congressional staffers selected two winners (one Democrat and one Republican) for each category.

To create even greater objectivity in selecting winners, CMF said, all identifying information regarding the Member office was redacted, so the Selection Committee reviewed only the accomplishments of each finalist.

The 2019 Democracy Awards winners are:

Constituent Service

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)

“Life in Congress” Workplace Environment

  • Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA)

Transparency, Accountability, and Innovation

  • Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)

 

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