Derrick L. Plummer

Position: Communications director for Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)
Age: 27
Hometown: Mitchellville, Md.
Last job: Legislative correspondent
First job: On the Hill: press intern for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); first job after college: regional press secretary for the Iowa Democratic Party (Kerry/Edwards 2004); very first job: cutting grass in the summer at age 9.
Most unusual job: Selling magazines/candy/cheese to neighbors as a 7-year-old for a school fundraiser.
Education: Morehouse College, B.A. in political science, 2004
Religion: Christian
Most inspirational figure: “Does Barack Obama count? Others are Dr. Martin Luther King, Sen. Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays.”
Most embarrassing moment: “Anytime I think someone is waving to me in a crowd and I wave back and then I realize they were waving to the person behind me. Or, falling up the stairs in my high school in front of the girl of my dreams.”
Professional dream (not your current job): “To tour with Janet Jackson as her drummer and masseuse.”
Passion outside work: “Music. I have been playing drums since age 2.”
Marital status/children: Single with no children.

In November of last year, Derrick Plummer came out of the closet, but not in the way you might think. The closet was his office in Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-Texas) suite, where he was a legislative correspondent. Though there were empty seats open in the legislative back room, for some reason, Plummer says, Jackson Lee wanted him in the closet, where he remained for two days until he couldn’t take it anymore.

“I thank God for the experience. I thank God for delivering me from the experience. I’ve been blessed with great opportunities,” said Plummer, who’s been Rep. Gwen Moore’s (D-Wis.) communications director for a month.

The closet in Jackson Lee’s office had previously been a bathroom.

“I don’t know if she was trying to test me or if she thought it was a practical joke,” he said. “But I took it all in stride.”

Three years ago, after working on Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign, he came to Capitol Hill to intern for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Soon thereafter he went to work for Jackson Lee, where he lasted five months. Transitioning to Moore’s office wasn’t hard.

“Very quickly and in the middle of the night,” he joked when asked how he moved from one office to the other.

Plummer says working with Moore has been a breath of fresh air as his ideals match well with the lawmaker’s — everything from unemployment, job creation, civil rights and issues with developing countries. An added bonus: His mother grew up in Moore’s Milwaukee district.

Asked what is the most memorable thing he has seen since becoming Moore’s flack, he replied, “Meeting Ginger Spice.” Singer Geri Halliwell met with Moore to discuss maternal mortality in developing countries.

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