This post came about today because early this morning as I was walking Twister, our exuberant Black Lab, I was somehow reminded by a magnificent oak of the fact I couldn’t see the trees for the forest on my first “bad” job on Capitol Hill.
Here’s the background: My first job on the Hill was as press secretary for a Maryland congressman. It was a great experience, as I learned so much from Don Baker, a superb Washington Post reporter, about journalism and the news process, and I absorbed volumes about the ways of the Hill.
But then I got over-confident, talked my way into a job working for an older Texas congressman as his chief of staff, and promptly realized I had screwed up royally.
When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released the results of her July survey of Congressional Compensation and Diversity on September 26, it prompted Casey Burgat, senior fellow for the R Street Institute’s Governance Project, to run a comparison with data on HIll staff he uses in his analyses.
Pelosi’s results were based on responses from more than 5,000 respondents to a survey that was sent to 10,000 Hill employees. Burgat uses data obtained from Legistorm, the widely used compiler of official congressional information about salaries, staff backgrounds, employment histories and much, much more, as of March 2019.
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?
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.
Drew Story is the new legislative assistant for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Story comes from a year-long stint working for Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). He has a Ph.D. in chemical and environmental engineering from the University of California at Riverside in 2018.
Arjun Mody is the Senate Republican Conference’s newly hired staff director, under Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.). It’s a return engagement for Mody, as he previously served in the same job under Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Arjun is a 2004 graduate of the American University Washington College of Law, as well as a 2003 graduate of the Arizona State University College of Law and a 2000 La Salle University graduate in political science. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Look Who’s Getting Promoted”
Jesus Espinoza is a Hill veteran, having previously worked for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as an intern and more recently as deputy press secretary for Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) and press secretary for Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.). Now he’s taking the reins as communications director for Rep. Susan Lee (D-Nev.). Espinoza is a 2016 graduate from Williams College in political science and Spanish.
Andrea Porwoll is another Hill veteran making a move up, this time to be communications director for Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.). Porwoll previously worked as a public affairs officer for the Department of Homeland Security and before that was press secretary for Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). She also worked as a communications coordinator at Heritage Action for America and as an intern for Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.). She is a 2016 graduate in public relations, political science and government from Florida State University.Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted!”
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.
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.