Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first edition of Roll Call. On behalf of everyone who has helped make Roll Call what it is today, we say, thank you. Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served their country by working on Capitol Hill. Thank you for your news tips, for your letters and comments both kind and critical, and for always making sure there would be no shortage of news to fill our pages, even as we moved from publishing twice monthly to four times a week. Thank you for the friendly wagers between offices that resulted in Members of Congress dressing up in chicken suits, and for bringing animals to press conferences, which allowed us to show that there is a lighter side to the serious business of governing. Thank you for letting us bear witness as you coped with tragedy. Most of all, thank you for reading and letting us fulfill our mission of being a “hometown” newspaper for Congress.
Throughout the last year, and in today’s special anniversary section in particular, our reporters, editors and contributors have sought to put focus on the changes that have molded the institution over the past five decades. We hope that by looking back, our readers will begin to think about what the future holds for Congress and how they can help to change it for the better in the next 50 years.
Many of the current and former Members of Congress who have been kind enough to write first-person accounts of their own tenure on the Hill in recent weeks have focused on the demise of comity, pining instead for “the good ol’ days” when Members were more willing to work and socialize across the aisle. We understand the pressures brought to bear by the demands of constituents, travel, fundraising and the constant media glare that accompanies serving in Congress. But we certainly share the desire to see more collegiality on Capitol Hill.
So as we move beyond this anniversary, we will continue to not only provide a publication that we hope is valuable to our audience but also to prod the men and women who serve and work here to make the U.S. Congress more than just a symbol to the world. Our editorials will continue to advocate for openness and transparency in fundraising, lobbying and other financial disclosures. We will urge the majority in both chambers to practice inclusiveness, and we will press for an electoral and campaign finance system worthy of our great nation.
Above all, we will continue to encourage leaders in both chambers to make Congress an institution that always attracts the best and the brightest, where Members and staff are fairly treated and fairly compensated and do not have to make excessive sacrifices in their family and personal lives in order to serve.
Again, thank you from everyone at Roll Call. We look forward to serving you for another 50 years.