Yesterday, Corporate Voices and Working Mother Media publicly recognized the 30 winners of this year’s Best of Congress Award. The Award recognizes Congressional excellence in improving the lives of working families through advancing national legislation, advocacy, and supporting family-friendly work policies in their own offices.
14 Members of Congress attended the awards breakfast, held at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, D.C. As each Member accepted their award and made brief remarks, it quickly became apparent that each had powerful personal stories of how they, their families, and those close to them have struggled to meet work/life challenges—creating a clear driver behind their strong commitment to advance the work/life agenda in Congress.
Below is a snapshot of some of the personal stories behind the working men and women, the fathers and mothers, and the public officials that represent America’s working families. They are truly the Best of Congress.
Mike Crapo: Republican Senator from Idaho, Crapo is a husband and father of five, and very dedicated to expanding flexibility in the workplace and promoting a better work-life balance for Americans, including his own staff of 41–9 of whom are working moms. He helped create and chaired the Senate Working Group on Workplace Flexibility and sponsored a resolution to create National Work and Family Month.
Russ Carnahan: Democratic Representative from Missouri, Carnahan knows what it means to have a family-friendly workplace. Before he was in public office, Carnahan was a partner in a law practice with his wife, and they balanced work and family life by creating a nursery for their newborn in their law office. At the awards breakfast, Carnahan said,
“Having work policies that support a healthy work-life balance is not only a smart business practice—it’s really personal.”
His office policies support work and family for his staff of 18, including 3 working moms.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: Democratic Representative from Florida, Wasserman-Shultz is a wife and mother of two 11-year-old twins and a seven-year-old daughter. She was the youngest woman ever to be elected to the Florida legislature at the age of 26, and has been a champion for working families and children in Congress. Her supportive office policies enable her staff of 17, including 4 working moms, to succeed at both work and family life.
Linda Sanchez: Democratic Representative from California, Sanchez is the sixth of seven children, and made history in 2009 as the eighth Member of Congress to give birth while serving in office. She is a mother of four and currently juggles life as a Congressional leader and co-founder of the Labor and Working Families Caucus, and as a mother of a newborn infant. She believes that flexibility in the workplace is important to families, to communities, and also to the economy writ-large.
Dave Reichert: Republican Representative from the state of Washington, Reichert is a former police officer and grew up with six brothers and sisters. He is the founder and co-chair of the Children’s Health Care Caucus. He believes that policies that support healthy and strong families have an important impact on communities.
“Each and every day across our country, working parents make remarkable contributions to our economy and our communities – all while balancing responsibilities at work and at home. I’ll continue doing all I can to make sure that they have the resources and support necessary to achieve their personal and professional goals,” Reichert said.
John Yarmuth: Democratic Representative from Kentucky and father of one, Yarmuth is passionate defender of programs that empower people to increase their own economic independence and strengthen their financial security. He supports his staff of 18, 5 of whom are working moms, with office policies that promote flexibility, professional development, and work-life balance. Yarmuth donates his entire Congressional salary to a variety of charities in Louisville, KY.
Rosa DeLauro: Democratic Representative from Connecticut, DeLauro is a mother of three, a grandmother of four, and a champion for infants and children across the country. She co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Baby Caucus, and donates every pay raise she receives toward an educational scholarship fund she created in memory of her late father, Ted DeLauro. It has raised $478,000 to help nearly 500 students continue their education. DeLauro said,
“It is so great to see an organization that puts the resources, staff, and inspiration toward elevating the issue of working families… It’s time for public policy to catch up with the changing demographics of American families. Corporate Voices is helping to do that…through its advocacy and its leadership, Corporate Voices puts families front and center on the national agenda.”
Congratulations, Best of Congress winners!
- Read the feature article and profiles of 2010 Best of Congress winners in the August/September issue of Working Mother Magazine;
- View photos of Best of Congress winners taken at the awards breakfast;
- See ongoing media coverage of Corporate Voices’ Best of Congress Award.