Looking For The Recipe For Your Office’s Culture? Just Add Salt

By Bret Bernhardt

We talk a lot about influencing our culture in the macro, but what about closer to home? What’s the culture like in your office? Is it warm, friendly, selfless, welcoming, and open? Or is it coarse, backstabbing, self-serving, and overly ambitious?

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now, what is your role in that culture? Do you strive to bring it to a higher level or do your actions or inactions contribute to an unhealthy environment? We can look for the answer in the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

He said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13) What does this mean? Continue reading “Looking For The Recipe For Your Office’s Culture? Just Add Salt”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Women Staffers Turn To Wardrobe Rental Services

Many congressional staffers are in high-visibility, high-pressure positions that, unfortunately, also come with comparatively low pay, so there is a premium on making every dollar earned go as far as possible.

That’s a key to growing popularity among women working on the Hill of wardrobe rental services. Roll Call’s Mary Ellen McIntire has a great post this morning on services like Rent the Runway. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Women Staffers Turn To Wardrobe Rental Services”

Resources For Finding Community While Working On The Hill

By Bret Bernhardt

In my last post, we discussed the importance of community while working on Capitol Hill. The Fall is always a good time to take stock of your community, since it typically comes on the heels of time away from work during the summer and a break in your routine.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now it’s time to get back into that routine and discover the importance of your community.

Author Chris Crowley says that we are mammals in our physiological make-up. As such, we are designed to run in herds or packs. I believe this natural tendency to congregate was implanted into our being by our loving Creator. Continue reading “Resources For Finding Community While Working On The Hill”

HILL STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted

Recent Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Garrett Exner’s newest assignment is as military legislative assistant to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Exner is a 2019 MA graduate of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. This is Exner’s first Capitol Hill job.

Danny Jativa is Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s new communications director. Danny comes to Hartzler from a stint as a reporter at the Washington Examiner. Before that, he worked for Florida Republicans Daniel Webster and John Mica. He just finished an MA in governance at American University and earned his BS at Florida State University in international relations. Continue reading “HILL STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted”

HILL STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted!

Recent Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Justin Weiss motors into the communications director slot for Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.). Previously, Justin was a senior associate at the Rational 360 lobbying firm. He’s a 2014 Denison University graduate, earning a B.A. in french language and literature, and communications and sociology.


Sara Garcia has saddled up as scheduler for Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas). She is a 2019 graduate of the University of California at San Diego, with a B.A. in political science and international relations. This is Sara’s first job on the Hill. Continue reading “HILL STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted!”

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Your August Recess Resolution – Finding Community on the Hill

By Bret Bernhardt

You’ve just returned from a week or two out of the office. During that time you’ve been on a vacation, participating in a codel, or working in the state or district.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now you’re back in DC in your normal work routine with your familiar surroundings, including your staff colleagues and the people you hang with outside of your job.

For some, it may be a happy and fulfilling return. For others, it might be a reminder that the break from the routine was a needed respite from life in Washington. If it’s the latter, that merits evaluating whether or not you have a healthy community around you in which to live and thrive.

What Does Real Community Look Like? Continue reading “WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Your August Recess Resolution – Finding Community on the Hill”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted!

Recent Moves, As Reported by Legistorm:

Ana Alegria is the new Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee deputy press secretary. Ana is a 2017 Harvard graduate in history.

Cole Bockenfeld is Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-Ct.) new national security adviser. Cole earned his MA in 2017 from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and his BA in 2008 in political science from the University of Arkansas. Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted!”