staffers

New York Rep. José Serrano has Parkinson’s, won’t seek re-election
Serrano says the disease has not affected his work in Congress, and he will serve the remainder of his term

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., announced that he has Parkison's disease and will not seek re-election in 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Democratic Rep. José E. Serrano announced Monday that he has Parkinson’s disease and will not seek re-election in 2020.

The 75-year-old said he plans to finish his current term, which is his 15th full one in Congress, as the disease has not yet impacted his ability to work.

Little-known provision prevents Dreamers from working on Capitol Hill
DACA recipients cannot legally serve in congressional offices

Staffers watch as demonstrators rally in the Hart Senate Office Building in January 2018, calling on Congress to pass the Dream Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Arizona Rep. Greg Stanton was elected last November, he considered it a no-brainer that his campaign’s political director, 28-year-old Elizabeth Perez, would join his congressional staff.

Perez had spent months knocking on doors and speaking to voters across south Phoenix and Mesa. She had deep roots in the 9th District, where she’d lived since she was 4 years old.

For Nancy Pelosi, a woman is chief
Terri McCullough returns home to the Hill in pinnacle role as speaker’s chief of staff

Terri McCullough, incoming chief of staff for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is photographed in the Capitol on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Terri McCullough is coming home.

The 50-year-old San Francisco Bay Area native, who began her career as an intern for Rep. Nancy Pelosi and has spent more than half her life since working for the California Democrat, is returning to the Hill on Monday.

Congress is crawling with rich kids. I should know, I was one of them
Unpaid internships are breeding a crisis on the Hill

Paying interns would break the cycle of prep school privilege that dominates the Capitol, Freedman writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made headlines for one unprecedented move after another, from primarying a member of the Democratic leadership to introducing a Green New Deal. But perhaps her most shocking decision yet is also one that is painfully obvious: paying her staff and interns a living wage.

See, working for Congress should be an opportunity for Americans of every background to serve their country and elected leaders. Instead, the low — and in the case of interns, often nonexistent — pay for young people on the Hill makes working in Washington, D.C., prohibitively expensive for all but a wealthy and connected few. Or, as Ocasio-Cortez aide Dan Riffle put it when describing the Hill staffers he’s encountered, “These are careerists. These are people who grew up on [New York City’s affluent] Upper West Side and went to Ivy League schools.”

That congressional intern? He might play in the NFL
NFL player’s association continues off-season externship program for sixth year

NFL safety Michael Thomas, seen here during his Capitol Hill externship in 2018, returned in 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Internships can put you in some tight spaces, even if you’re a lineman.

Now in its sixth year, the NFL Players Association’s externship program gives football pros a chance to explore other careers during the off season — including in the basement recesses of Capitol Hill.

8 things I wish I’d known when I worked on Capitol Hill
‘My home life was a toxic mix of reheated pizza and C-SPAN,’ one former staffer admits

Your days on the Hill may be long, but the years will be short, former staffers warn. Above, staffers take the stairs in the Hart Senate Office Building in 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Working on Capitol Hill is the best of jobs and the worst of jobs, all rolled into one. The pay is low, the hours are long, and angry constituents aren’t wrong when they remind you that they pay your salary. But working on the Hill can also give staffers the chance, often at a young age, to build a résumé, make a positive difference in people’s lives, and literally change the world.

The intense experience can come and go in a flash, so I reached out to current and former Capitol Hill staffers to ask them what they’d tell their younger selves about the job that many remember as the hardest, most fun, and most rewarding of their professional lives.

So you want to be on ‘Jeopardy!’? The online test draws nigh
If you’re a political wonk, you can follow in the footsteps of four congressional staffers

Isaac Loeb, a legislative aide of Vermont Democrat Rep. Peter Welch, playing Jeopardy. (Courtesy Isaac Loeb)

Alex Trebek may have pancreatic cancer, but the game show must go on. The longtime host, who announced his diagnosis earlier this month, is still taping new episodes of “Jeopardy!” — and the show is still hunting for new contestants.

Mark your calendars, because the official “Jeopardy!” online test opens in less than a week. The exam is your ticket to an in-person audition, provided you can nail 50 questions, each from a different category. 

DC’s plastic straw ban stirs up feelings on Capitol Hill
Deadline for compliance with straw ban is July

The Longworth Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the eateries on Capitol Hill transitioning to non-plastic straws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If your warm-weather routine calls for a switch from hot coffee to iced, prepare yourself. Spring is officially here, and the plastic exodus is underway, according to Roll Call’s audit of straws on Capitol Hill.

Many staffers first felt the shift at the Longworth Dunkin’ Donuts, if all the queries we got in recent weeks are any indication. “What’s the deal with the paper straws at Dunkin’?” was a popular refrain.

Flashback Friday: When Congress put the brakes on nepotism
As Senate majority leader, LBJ had his brother and sister-in-law on staff

Sam Houston Johnson worked as an aide to his brother, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson (Yoichi Okam/Courtesy Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library)

They say, “Never mix business with family,” but lawmakers in the past had no problem with putting relatives on their staff.

A 1959 Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé in The Washington Daily News found around 90 members of Congress employing their wives, sons, daughters, bothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles, fathers or in-laws as staffers and campaign managers.

New Democratic firm aims to fill HR gap for campaigns
Bright Compass will educate and train campaigns on policies to combat harassment and discrimination

A new Democratic firm is looking to assist political campaigns with human resources policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Dallas Thompson signed on as Hillary Clinton’s director of operations in North Carolina in 2016, she quickly recognized that she had a lot to learn about human resources.

Thompson, who had previously worked as a fundraiser, discovered campaigns needed a more sustained human resources infrastructure, including training and services.