The Door Stop Awards

For Congressional Innovation and Transparency

In an era of government characterized by deadlock, disagreement, and partisan politics, the Door Stop Awards for Congressional Innovation and Transparency highlight those Members of Congress and staffers delivering sustained, bipartisan and meaningful change in the most challenging of environments. Their triumphs often happen quietly, outside of the public eye, but the effects are felt strongly throughout Congress and across the federal government. The first annual Door Stop Awards took place in April 2016 (photos) in partnership with the Consumer Technology Association.  The second annual awards were presented in partnership with Lincoln Network in May 2017 (photos).

Door Stop Award winners don’t just open government to the public once. They put in place “door stops” to ensure that Congress-and the entire federal government-never again closes to the American people.  Learn more below about these bipartisan champions of positive, sustained change within the United States Congress.

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2017 Door Stop Award Winners


Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA)

Congressman Moulton has represented Massachusetts’ 6th District since 2014. He serves on the New Democrat Coalition’s Future Work Task Force and introduced the Faster Care for Veterans Act with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. This legislation prompted the VA to pilot a self-scheduling app in order to decrease wait times for veterans seeking medical assistance and was signed into law by President Obama in 2016.

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Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX)

Congressman Hurd was elected in 2014 to serve the 23rd District of Texas. Since taking office Congressman Hurd has advocated passionately for a national cyber watchdog to protect our federal government’s computer system and introduced the Modernizing Government Technology Act to begin updating the government’s outdated IT systems.

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Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Congressman Quigley has served Illinois’ 5th District since being elected in a special election in April 2009. Congressman Quigley co-founded the House Transparency Caucus with Congressman Darrell Issa and has fought tirelessly to make all Congressional Research Service Reports public through Floor Amendments and proposed legislation.

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Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers was elected in 2004 to serve Washington’s 5th District. She is the chair of the House Republican Conference and has challenged fellow Republicans to implement new social media platforms in their offices through the Digital Challenge. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers also worked bipartisanly with Congressman Seth Moulton to introduce the Faster Care for Veterans Act, intended to significantly decrease wait times for veterans seeking health care through use of an online portal. This legislation was signed into law by President Obama in 2016.

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Ms. Kirsten Gullickson, U.S. House Clerk

Ms. Gullickson has served non-partisanly in the Office of the U.S. Clerk for over twenty years. Ms. Gullickson has overhauled and opened completely how the House gathers, stores, and releases information and how we as citizens access our laws and legislation.

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Mr. Matt Lira, Former Senior Advisor to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

Mr. Lira has worked on and around Congress for over ten years, most recently as Senior Advisor to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Mr. Lira helped open lines of communication between Members of Congress and their constituents by aiding the release of the Communicating with Congress report, organized the first two Congressional Hackathons, and helped launch former Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s citizen co-sponsor website.

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Mr. Stephen Dwyer, Senior Advisor to House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer

Mr. Dwyer has served as Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s Senior Advisor for the past fourteen years. During his time with Minority Whip Hoyer Mr. Dwyer help secure the CivicApp Casework Module as an approved program for offices. This module allows constituents to file casework from any device and cuts both response time and staff time down significantly on these types of inquiries.

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Mr. Reynold Schweickhardt, House Committee on House Administration

Mr. Schweickhardt has served as a Congressional staffer since 2003 and currently serves on the House Administration Committee. Throughout his career, Reynold has quietly built consensus for durable, positive change. Mr. Schweickhardt has seen through the Committee Modernization Project and completed an extremely successful upgrade of how the U.S. House publishes and archives committee hearing video.

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2016 Door Stop Award Winners


Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), Congressman

Mr. Polis has served in the U.S. House representing Colorado since 2009 and is one of the few successful tech entrepreneurs in Congress. He brought that spirit into the institution, protecting internet freedom and co-chairing both the Congressional Open Source Technology Caucus and the Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Former Speaker of the House

Mr. Boehner represented Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in 1991 and was speaker from 2011 to 2015. He expanded the use of live video on the House floor and in committee hearings, pushed for legislative data to be posted online in XML and bulk data formats and much more.

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Eric Cantor

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Former House Majority Leader

Mr. Cantor represented Virginia starting in 2001 and was the Majority Leader from 2011 to 2014. He worked diligently in leadership to involve more citizens in the legislative process and standardize the data coming out of Congress. He began the practice of publishing House Floor scheduling information in structured data formats, supported efforts to record and live stream House committee proceedings and pushed for new legislative data standards.

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House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Whip

Mr. Hoyer has represented Maryland since 1981 and served as the Democratic Whip since 2011. He has lead the charge to open congressional data through active participation in the House’s Bulk Data Task Force, hosting both Congressional Hackathons, producing apps such as the Whip Watch and much more.

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Jo Marie St. Martin is general counsel to Speaker John Boehner.

Jo-Marie St. Martin, General Counsel and Director of Legislative Operations, Speaker Boehner

Ms. St. Martin served as general counsel and director of legislative operations for Speaker Boehner. She was instrumental in improving transparency in the legislative process including a drive to post bill language online for three days before it would be considered on the floor and to open up Republican conference rules.

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Karina Newton, Former Senior Advisor & Director of New Media, Minority Leader Pelosi

Ms. Newton worked in Congress from 2000-2012 serving as senior advisor and director of new media for Nancy Pelosi. During her tenure, she shepherded increased online disclosure including posting lobbying disclosure forms, member expenses and bill text online and drove an update to the franking manual that enabled members to use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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