Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Hill Climbers: A Day in the Life of a House Staffer

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

Austin sits down and the phone rings. It’s from Catalyst Miami, a group that needs help with donations. The second she hangs up, the phone rings again. “What do we need to discuss?” Austin asks. And the phone rings again during this call. “Tell Nicole I’m wrapping up with the district office. Tell her to hold.”

Minutes later she clicks over. “Nicole, hello. Hello?” At the same time, three reminders pop up on her computer screen.

Austin takes notes while on the phone with CARE, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to fighting global poverty. They are setting up a visit to Haiti. “I’ll be [Wilson’s] eyes and ears on that trip,” Austin says of her trip with the bipartisan staffers’ delegation. 

The phone rings again. 

3:09 p.m.
She’s off the phone. “Need to take a breather and figure out what’s going on.” The phone rings again. 

3:30 p.m.
Austin and Eric Parker, director of communications for the Congresswoman, meet to discuss a plan for a television production with BET on Thursday to shoot a brief biography about Wilson’s life. They talk about what details to include.

“Let’s go in her office and check out the wall,” Austin says. The wall serves as a partial record of major events in Wilson’s career and life. There are pictures of her children and grandchildren on the wall. 

5 p.m.
Austin checks the letter to Gov. Scott off her list.

She checks her calendar. “I could go to that [Congressional Black Caucus foundation reception] at 6:30 p.m. or the CBC Institute, to their boot camp [at 7]. Hmm.”

Instead, Austin can’t shake a headache and decides to go home. 

6 p.m.
She leaves the office.

9 p.m.
Her nap ends, and Austin’s off to a friend’s birthday party. 

Lights out.

Send news of hires and promotions on Capitol Hill to climbers@rollcall.com.

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