congressional-staffers

NFL Player’s Drive for Social Justice Takes Him to the Hill
Thomas spearheading alliance between ‘athlete activists’ and politicians

Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas poses for photos on the House steps at the Capitol last week during his four-day externship arranged by the NFL Players Association. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On the Friday before the first Sunday of the 2016 NFL season, the entire Miami Dolphins team gathered on the field after practice in Seattle.

No coaches. No trainers. No front-office staff. It was a players-only meeting.

Hurd Staffer Joins NFL Stars to Bring Water to Eastern Africa
Director of constituent services Jon Arnold lost his leg in Iraq 10 years ago

Jon Arnold, a University of Texas alum, works for Rep. Will Hurd of Texas. (Courtesy of Rep. Will Hurd’s office)

Army veteran Jon Arnold has had a remarkable life of public service, and he’s not even close to stopping.

Arnold, director of constituent services for Texas Rep. Will Hurd, is taking time off for a 10-day trip to Tanzania with Waterboys, a charity started by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long. The initiative pairs disabled veterans and NFL players to raise awareness and funds for sustainable water wells in Eastern Africa.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Screenshot from C-SPAN)

Botched votes, eight-hour speeches, endless milling around — watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

How Orrin Hatch Found His Twitter Groove
‘He has this incredible sense of humor, he loves self-deprecating humor, he loves age jokes’

Matt Whitlock, left, says the voice of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Twitter account is the senator himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not easy to create one of the most popular Twitter handles in Congress when you’re speaking in your 83-year-old boss’s voice.

But Matt Whitlock, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s communication director, has done just that. The Utah Republican has about 65,000 followers.

Rep. Rodney Davis Recalls Lessons From His Staffer Days
Illinois Republican was longtime projects director for Rep. John Shimkus

Rep. Rodney Davis talks about a picture of himself, fellow Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and former Vice President Dan Quayle, taken when Davis worked in Shimkus’ office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Davis was a staffer in fellow Republican Rep. John Shimkus’ Illinois office before running for Congress.

Davis, now 48, worked for Shimkus for 16 years.

Digital Staffers Focus on Getting on Message
Democrats fighting to catch up to Republicans in numbers and training

GOP Labs brings in companies to train staffers in social media and digital platforms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Breaking through the noise is a typical goal in communications, but this year, staffers just want to speak with one voice. They’re making coordination a priority within their parties.

That coordination is most obvious when multiple congressional offices blast out the same message with the same graphics on the same day. Whether it’s criticizing the Republican tax plan or celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday, it’s all from the same script.

Flashback Friday: ‘A Series of Tubes’
Here’s a phrase from the past that you might not know the story behind

The late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens once described the internet as “a series of tubes.” (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a congressional throwback — a phrase or part of Capitol Hill culture that a younger generation of Hill staffers may not know or appreciate.

Why do people sometimes talk about the “tubes” of the internet? Well, it dates back to the late Sen. Ted Stevens, who once used the term to express his opposition to net neutrality.

Staffer Poll: Harassment on the Hill
Staffers reveal the most disturbing information to come out of sexual harassment stories

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., answers questions in November about his alleged sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Stories about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, particularly involving members of Congress, have piled up in the past several months.

Roll Call polled people who anonymously identified themselves as congressional staffers about how these revelations have affected work life in Congress. The poll was conducted online Feb. 5-9.

The Hill Through the Eyes of Staffers
Staffers Instagrams provide insight into life on Capitol Hill

Senate staffers and visitors pass by plexiglass-enclosed displays of various U.S. Capitol design models earlier this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call photographers capture scenes from the Capitol of staffers at work on a daily basis. But we wanted to see what staffers are capturing themselves.

Through congressional staffers with public Instagram accounts, we found images of Capitol Hill life through their eyes.

Opinion: Sexual Harassment Legislation Breaks With Glacial Pace on Capitol Hill
Success often comes down to seizing the moment

California Rep. Jackie Speier is flanked by her staffers Molly Fishman, left, and Miriam Goldstein. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Like most Hill staffers, we came here with a dream of making a difference and quickly realized that the wheels of change grind at a glacial pace in Congress. It’s certainly not a secret, but until you become part of the process, it’s hard to understand just how painful it can be.

You can imagine our elation at finally seeing our dream realized last week, when the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that will radically alter the way Congress prevents and responds to harassment and discrimination in the congressional workplace.