Washington, D.C. – Today, Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media announced Rep. Kristi Noem as one of thirty recipients of the 2012 Best of Congress Award, celebrating lawmakers for their leadership in improving the quality of life for working families.
“I am honored to have been chosen as one of the recipients of this award,” said Rep. Kristi Noem. “As a working mom, I know what a challenge it is to have a full-time job while also being a full-time parent. Even with the demands of today’s world, I believe family should come first. That’s why it is important to give working parents the chance to be there for their children and succeed in their career.”
The 2012 Best of Congress Award spotlights Congressional excellence in supporting working families through legislation and advocacy, as well as recognizes those lawmakers who demonstrate their commitment on a personal level by actively promoting family-friendly policies for their own Congressional staff. Rep. Noem has advocated for policies to support working families, including legislation to help transition veterans into civilian employment so they can continue to support their families; legislation to expand employee stock ownership plans and to permanently repeal the estate tax. Rep. Noem also encourages flexible office hours for staff with children, allowing them to take time to be at sporting events, recitals and other activities.
“When we launched this prestigious recognition in 2008, we wanted to elevate the discussion and policy debate on working family issues, and we wanted to demonstrate that these are not partisan issues,” said Donna Klein, CEO and Executive Chair of Corporate Voices. “As the wide diversity of this year’s class shows, support for working parents can unite policymakers across ideological lines.”
Recipients of the Best of Congress Award are profiled in the August/September 2012 issue of Working Mother magazine and at workingmother.com. Their model workplace policies are detailed by Corporate Voices, and will be promoted as practices to emulate in materials provided to new members of the 113th session of Congress in January.
“Most people don't realize that our Congressional representatives each set their own policies for the staff they employ,” noted Carol Evans, CEO of Working Mother Media. “Those who allow their employees flexible work arrangements and paid family leave are leading by example. Working Mother wants all Senators and Representatives to provide exemplary support for their employees and their working mom and dad constituents,” she added. “We are very proud of the 2012 Best of Congress winners!”
This year’s applicants were judged on several criteria: Their voting record, sponsorship of legislation, constituent casework, and other activities that demonstrate their commitment to improving the lives of working families. They also were asked to submit employment policies and practices within their own offices that support working parents and flexible workplace options.
Applications were reviewed by a bipartisan steering committee co-chaired by Arianna Huffington, President and Editor?in?Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group and the Honorable Jane Swift, CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages and former Governor of Massachusetts. Other steering committee members are the Honorable Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman from Colorado and former president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers; Ted Childs, Founder and Principal of Ted Childs, LLC; and Patricia Kempthorne, President of the Twiga Foundation.
Recipients of the 2012 Best of Congress Award include: Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO); Sherrod Brown (D-OH); Robert Casey (D-PA); Mike Crapo (R-ID); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); Herbert Kohl (D-WI); and Patty Murray (D-WA). Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Russ Carnahan (D-MO); Susan Davis (D-CA); Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Jeff Denham (R-CA); Chaka Fattah (D-PA); Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); Kristi Noem (R-SD); Erik Paulsen (R-MN); Ed Perlmutter (D-CO); Dave Reichert (R-WA); Peter Roskam (R-IL); C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD); Linda Sanchez (D-CA); Allyson Schwartz (D-PA); Adam Smith (D-WA); Pete Stark (D-CA); Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Lynn Woolsey (D-CA); and John Yarmuth (D-KY).