It’s only natural the newly installed leader of the publication he founded in 1955 would take some time reflecting on the vision he had for it.
But this particular line of thought is about more than understanding Yudain, who died at age 90 last fall, and his legacy. It’s about recognizing what this newspaper represents to Capitol Hill.
“Over the years I noticed that the national and local newspapers paid little attention to the people in Congress or the community. ... As time went on, I thought that maybe we could use a newspaper, just devote it to the Congress,” Yudain told us in 2011.
Roll Call is a neighborhood paper — for one very specific neighborhood. While its local news certainly interests the nation, especially in times of crisis or when the eyes of the world are on Washington, like Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, our basic intentions have long been to communicate with the influential Capitol Hill and greater Washington political community.
This is your newspaper.
Yes, you, Paul D. Ryan. And you, Harry Reid. And you, Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine. And you, Katie Beirne Fallon. And you, Justin Supon. And you, Ellen McLaren. And you, Lacie Larschan.
The names of lawmakers and staffers may change over time, and the face of Congress will continue to evolve, and you might be reading us on a screen or via Twitter instead of on newsprint, but the audience remains: You.
You live and work and play here, and Roll Call aims to capture that from every angle. And in new ways.
Tuesday night, for the first time, we’ll take you inside Statuary Hall as I talk with members on camera after President Barack Obama’s address. You can join our livestream Google Hangout at rollcall.com as we gauge not just reaction but the feel of the chamber, and as we analyze what the speech may signal for the critical midterm elections this fall.
Join us! And come by to chat. Our camera, run by FedNet and located between the Rosa Parks and Samuel Kirkwood statues, will broadcast from 10 to 11 p.m.
Our team will be all over the Capitol, talking with members and reporting. You know them, too, as their names grace these pages and rollcall.com: Abby, Dan, David, Emily, Emma, Hannah, Humberto, Jason, Kyle, Matt, Meredith, Nathan, Niels, Rebecca, Shira, Steve, Stu and Warren, not to mention the writers in the CQ universe and photographers Bill Clark and Tom Williams.
My byline may also look familiar. I am returning to the Roll Call family after two years as the political editor working with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff at the PBS NewsHour.
I learned a lot working in television, and particularly in public broadcasting. Talking with voters across the country, I was always reminded that people just want to know they have a voice, that they can be heard. We’re listening.
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.