Trying to change Congress, starting with the lowest rung: interns

Most Capitol Hill internships are unpaid, making them out of reach for many aspiring public servants. The nonprofit College to Congress is trying to change that – and bring socioeconomic diversity to the halls of Congress.

Published July 5, 2019

WASHINGTON––Ana Aldazabal nearly missed the vote.

She’d rushed to the gallery in the House of Representatives just as members were preparing to vote on HR 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. She watched as the bill – which would provide a path to citizenship for young immigrants like her – passed, 237-187.

For Ms. Aldazabal, it was a powerful moment. Not only because she’d waited almost her entire life for a bill like this, but also because she watched it all happen from a seat on the inside, as an intern for California Rep. Gil Cisneros.

“I was like, ‘Wow. I’m really here, as an undocumented immigrant in the most powerful city in the world, walking through the hallways that presidents have walked through,’” she recalls from a coffee shop at Union Station about a week later.

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