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Pennsylvania Congressman’s Web Site Honored with Gold Mouse Award

Pennsylvania Congressman’s Web Site Honored with Gold Mouse Award
By Ronald Roach and newswire reports

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., is known in higher education circles as an innovative and effective advocate of access for disadvantaged and minority populations. Recent recognition of Fattah’s congressional Web site is now giving the Philadelphia-based lawmaker distinction as a devotee of information technology.

Last month, Fattah’s Web site was honored with a Gold Mouse Award by the Congress Online Project. The site was given an annual top award for excelling “at incorporating every one of the five building blocks — audience, content, interactivity, usability and innovations” — into the Web site, according to project officials.

“This is an honor for my staff because of their hard work,” Fattah says. “When we all set out to create our Web site, just like when we put together our legislative priorities, we wanted education front and center.”

In the report, “Congress Online 2003: Turning the Corner on the Information Age,” it was stated that, “Rep. Chaka Fattah’s Web site is a terrific example of a site that effectively advances the Member’s strategic goals without being self-promoting. This site is principally devoted to informing its audiences about Rep. Fattah’s top legislative priority — education. At the same time, it educates its audiences about how government works.” The Congress Online Project is a joint effort by the Congressional Management Foundation in Washington, D.C, and George Washington University.

Fattah, the original legislative sponsor of the college preparatory GEAR UP program, also has devoted a significant portion of his congressional Web site towards providing useful information on educational opportunities, with a special focus on his Student Bill of Rights legislative program and GEAR UP (see Black Issues, Aug. 29, 2002).

“Today, our Education Resource Center was recognized as a destination for students, parents and educators, to come and find out about everything from reading initiatives for elementary students to scholarships for college-bound students,” he explains.

Fattah’s Web site was one of just 16 Web sites out of a possible 610 congressional sites selected for the prestigious Gold Mouse Award. In addition to education, the Web site offers up-to-date information on all congressional legislation. The site features specific information on how government works, key issues in Congress, and the ability to e-mail pages to a friend. The site has recently incorporated a Job Resource Center for Philadelphians and others looking for employment.

The Fattah Web site can be viewed at and the Congress Online report is at .

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