Paige Anderson has tried to follow other careers throughout her life, but she finds herself being drawn back to Capitol Hill again and again.
In 2003, Anderson returned to her old job as legislative director for Issa and then took the same job for Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) before moving to Bono Mack’s office earlier this fall.
Anderson compared her current responsibilities to that of an air traffic controller. “You need to be aware of what’s going on in all of the issues,” she said.
Sometimes, Anderson gets to work on issues that hit close to home. While working in Issa’s office, Anderson was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Since then, she has worked on women’s health issues in terms of raising awareness and writing legislation. As part of Issa’s staff, Anderson worked on Johanna’s Law, which promotes increased awareness about ovarian cancer.
“No matter how partisan things get and how crazy things get,” she said, “bipartisan things can still happen.” She continues to work, with her husband and with women’s health groups, to increase awareness on the Hill.
Anderson said work like that reinforces her belief in the political system. “I believe in the institution,” she said.
For those looking to follow in her footsteps, Anderson suggests they “do it.”
“Just get yourself here,” she said, suggesting taking internships and going door to door to find opportunities. “Come here and really get a taste for what it’s all about.”
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.