Partnership for Public Service launches new initiative to strengthen Congress
July 21, 2021
The Alliance for Congress, a new, nonpartisan initiative, strives to build a Congress that earns the public trust by more effectively listening, leading and legislating effectively.
WASHINGTON — The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service today announced the launch of the Alliance for Congress, a new initiative dedicated to helping Congress become a more effective institution by investing in its own capacity to tackle big issues facing the nation and to better serve the public good.
With the launch of the Alliance, the Partnership for Public Service is building on its mission to make government work better for our diverse nation. This nonpartisan initiative will help Congress deliver results on critical issues, pass legislation with bipartisan support, foster collaboration between the legislative and executive branches and cultivate a professional, dedicated and diverse workforce. The Alliance for Congress will also drive forward-looking solutions and build on what Congress does well so that is better equipped to meet the challenges of today and in the future.
“To maintain a strong democracy that meets all of our needs, our government, both the Congress and the executive branch, must work better,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service.
The Alliance for Congress comes at a critical time. The political parties and the country are deeply divided, public trust in Congress and government as a whole are near all-time lows, and the nation continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic turbulence, racial inequality and the aftermath of the violent January 6 attack on the Capitol.
“Congress is at a tipping point,” said Stier. “The symptoms of polarization and the dysfunction in the House and Senate are ubiquitous, and it has resulted in a dynamic that makes it extremely difficult for members of Congress to be effective stewards of the institution in which they serve.”
Stier continued, “Every day, members of Congress and their staff are addressing our country’s urgent problems under difficult circumstances. However, these enormous long-standing and emerging challenges demand that we rebuild the capacity of Congress. The Alliance for Congress will help the legislative branch strive toward a future where our diverse nation feels well-served and represented by a governing body that effectively solves problems.”
Working collaboratively with individuals and organizations, the Alliance will offer insights into why a well-functioning Congress matters, recognize what it does well, elevate new and diverse voices, foster forward-looking conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion when it comes to people who serve in Congress and the policy decisions they make, and provide critical resources to lawmakers and staff to help them build a more effective institution.
The Alliance for Congress will focus on three key areas of work:
- Resources: Equip members of Congress and staff with tools, data and constructive recommendations so the institution can become more responsive to the needs of constituents.
- Connections: Amplify and support the efforts of allies working to strengthen Congress and serve as a collaborative partner in the broader effort to empower the House and Senate to deliver results for the public.
- Recognition: Advocate for the institution and tell the stories of the people who solve problems and promote a future-focused vision of Congress that better serves our diverse and changing nation.
“Strengthening Congress will require action on many fronts, and it is only possible by working with a diverse group of organizations and individuals who are committed to supporting a well-functioning Congress,” said Jeff McNichols, director of the Alliance for Congress. “By amplifying the efforts of our allies, the Alliance for Congress aims to help Congress honor its mission and work to improve its capacity to better serve the public good.”
In conjunction with the initiative’s launch, the Alliance for Congress today released its first research report, “Serving the People: Congressional Staff Perspectives.” The new study examines how congressional staff view the effectiveness of Congress. While staff are passionate about their jobs and committed to public service, the report found that they see the legislative body as poorly functioning, slow to adapt to change and missing opportunities to improve its diversity. The report, however, also found areas of success and opportunities for growth. Click here to read the full report.
Follow the Alliance on social @allforcongress and subscribe at allianceforcongress.org today to get the latest news, information on upcoming programs and events and more.
During the past 19 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit opswebdev.wpengine.com to learn more. Follow us on social @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.