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The Road to Capitol Hill: Strategies for Success

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Today, we explore the world of Capitol Hill through Jonathan Miller, a Legislative Assistant and Correspondent for the Office of Representative Don Davis.

In this interview, Jonathan emphasizes the significance of teamwork and guidance from colleagues and mentors, particularly when dealing with the demanding work environment on Capitol Hill. He advocates for learning time management skills and suggests that practicing meditation can help keep yourself levelheaded on the toughest of days.

Can you tell me about your career path that you’ve taken that’s led you to where you are now?

I always knew I wanted to work in politics. With that said, I didn’t envision myself as a Hill staffer until I spoke with my then-fellow Pomona College students. Those conversations, along with my unforgettable pandemic internship with Rep. Andy Kim, convinced me that I could have the most impact in a government role. Following my internship, I worked in conjunction with a congressional campaign in Kansas, which allowed me to get valuable on-the-ground political exposure before coming to D.C. After seventy-eight unsuccessful applications for Hill jobs, I took a job with Former Rep. Schrader before my starting my current position earlier this year.

From experience I know how fast paced and stressful working on the hill can be, can you give an example of an obstacle you have faced or explain any difficulty while managing your job responsibilities.

My toughest day on the Hill consisted of four committee hearings, all of which overlapped, a controversial vote series, and pending deadlines for amendments to a high-profile bill. To avoid a chaotic sequence of events, I planned ahead and asked my colleagues for help.

Budgeting time and meditation are my essentials to maintain a level head to the greatest extent possible, especially since I blasphemously decline to drink coffee.  

What policy issues are you most interested/passionate about? 

Health Care, immigration, and democracy reform are my top issue areas of interest. I think good government legislation is fertile ground for bipartisan cooperation. The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress is a great case in point. I credit the R Street Institute and my college Professors for my passion for internal government reform. One of the most fascinating debates around constitutional reform involves proportional vs winner-take-all allocation of Electoral College votes. 

What is your favorite restaurant in D.C.?

Sonoma Wine Bar tops the list. I can attest that the dim lighting and serene décor make for the ideal romantic venue.

To be featured or learn more, reach out to Gabi Thomas, and spread the word to any colleagues who would be interested.

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Gabrielle Thomas

Gabi joined Leadership Connect as a Research Analyst and is now the Legislature Outreach Liaison.