We write to express our profound sadness and outrage at the shocking events of January 6, and our commitment to supporting you in these difficult times.
As our colleague, Anne Meeker, recently wrote in an open letter to new congressional staffers,
The coverage on Wednesday had a frequent refrain: “…and staff.” While the photos were of your bosses scrambling out of Chambers in escape hoods, we know that you were there too, facing the same danger.
For those of you present on Capitol Hill, we can only imagine the terror that you experienced. We are grateful to know that you are now safe — though we understand that much will need to be done to help your workplace feel safe again. We also know that close quarters during shelter-in-place presented its own dangers during a pandemic. For those of you who were offsite, fielding frantic calls and scared for the safety of your colleagues, we know that January 6 was a very difficult day for you too. The sense of security that we have all felt on Capitol Hill was damaged, and we know that will take a long time to rebuild.
In these contentious times, congressional staff are on the front lines, absorbing the fears and frustrations of constituents, but what happened on January 6 was well beyond anything you should ever have to experience.
Please know that there are many of us in the “Congress adjacent” community — think tankers, former staffers, academics and advocates — who are thinking of you at this time. We want to be helpful to you — whether sharing information and resources, or raising important issues. If you would like to share thoughts on the events of Jan 6 (attributed or anonymous), please use this form.
Your health and safety matter. Your work is vital. You are appreciated.
Brian Baird, Member of Congress (retired), National Museum and Center for Service Kevin Esterling, Professor of Political Science, University of California Riverside Kevin R. Kosar, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute Lorelei Kelly, Director of Congressional Modernization, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown Kristin Nicholson, Director, Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University and Co-Founder, Congress Too Molly Reynolds, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution Travis Moore, Founder and Director, Tech Congress and Congress Too.