U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) has been awarded the inaugural Convergence Award for Extraordinary Leadership in Bridge-Building for his leadership in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to solve problems for the good of America. Convergence, the organization that granted the award to Kilmer, is a leading national public policy non-profit focused on bringing together those divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on issues of critical public concern. According to Convergence, the most important criteria for the recognition was identifying breakthrough leadership that is likely to “move the needle” toward normalizing bridge-building behavior across American institutions and society.
“It is an honor to recognize Representative Kilmer with this award; it would be difficult to imagine a more deserving inaugural recipient. Representative Kilmer has, in a short time, forged a unique record of building cross-partisanship and collaboration in Congress, especially through his work as Chair of the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, and also as Chair of the Bipartisan Working Group,” said David Eisner, CEO of Convergence. “Given that Congressman Kilmer accomplished this incredible work at a time when Congress has been deeply divided – and that he has nevertheless seen many of the Select Committee recommendations adopted by the House – we in the bridge-building field could not be more grateful…or more optimistic about his further contributions in the next Congress.”
“We all need to work together to solve problems. Too often, that’s missing in our government today,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Ultimately, I was elected to serve the folks in our region—regardless of where they may land on the political spectrum. That’s why I’ve focused on progress – not partisanship and playing political games. I’m honored to be recognized by Convergence as we work to bridge the partisan divide and make progress for the folks I represent. I’m grateful for their recognition and their partnership.”
In the 116th Congress, Rep. Kilmer has served as the Chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. This committee, which was nicknamed the “Fix Congress” Committee, was established to propose reforms to make Congress work better on behalf of the American people. Over the past two years under Kilmer’s leadership, the Committee passed 97 bipartisan recommendations to make Congress more effective, efficient and transparent; to streamline and reorganize House Human Resources, overhaul the onboarding process and provide continuing education for Members; to modernize and revitalize House technology; to encourage civility and bipartisanship in Congress; to streamline processes and save taxpayer dollars; to boost congressional capacity; to reclaim Congress’ Article One responsibilities, and; to reform the budget and appropriations process.
Recently, when the Select Committee released its recommendations, David Eisner of Convergence said, “Convergence is deeply encouraged by the dedication of the Select Committee over its two-year tenure to operate according to the highest standards of cross-partisan collaboration and deliberation. The Committee has set an example, brightly illuminating that this form of collaboration in Congress is not dead, and proving that meaningful cross-partisan practices in Congress can drive unusual effectiveness and productivity. Collaboration across partisan gulfs is not easy, but we believe that embracing cross-partisan practices in the next Congress, as envisioned by the Select Committee recommendations, is the best recipe for Congress to regain the public’s trust and to address the historic challenges our nation faces.”
Kilmer also serves as the Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Working Group, a coalition of a dozen Democrats and a dozen Republicans that works to set aside partisanship and solve problems.
Convergence Center for Policy Resolution is a national non-profit based in Washington, D.C. that convenes individuals and organizations with divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on issues of critical public concern. Reports and recommendations issued under our auspices reflect the views of the individuals and organizations who put the ideas forward. Convergence itself remains neutral and does not endorse or take positions on recommendations of its dialogue participants.