Announcements - February 18, 2009

 sponsored by the Congressional Federal Credit Union

Arts, fashion? Politics is ‘so much cooler’

Aketa Simmons recently began her new job as press secretary for freshman Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeDeVos grilled on civil rights for students Farm bill abandons endangered wildlife House rejects effort to condemn lawmaker for demanding 'Dreamer' arrests MORE (D-Ohio).

Previously, Simmons worked for the Tennessee House of Representatives’ Speaker pro tempore. “The great thing about that job was that we had unrestricted access to information and briefings,” Simmons said. “Also we played pop music all day on Fridays, which are no-vote days in Tennessee, to close out the week.”

Simmons’s favorite aspect of her job so far is that her colleagues are so smart and lighthearted. “Of course, there are always deadlines, tough decisions and serious meetings, but they handle it all with a smile,” she said. “My second-favorite thing is being so close to the cafeteria.”

The best advice Simmons has received about her new job is to keep a detailed list of press requests and take the time to think through her strategic press plan.

If she weren’t working on Capitol Hill, Simmons says, she could see herself in television or media development for an arts nonprofit or a fashion house. “Politics, though, is so much cooler,” she said.



Stephen Beck recently began his new job as a legislative assistant in domestic policy to freshman Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.). Beck works on small business, tax, education and healthcare issues.

“I’ve really enjoyed being so busy all the time, especially with a new member,” Beck said. “I feel really involved.”
Previously, Beck worked with Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) as a legislative assistant. If he weren’t working on Capitol Hill, Beck would be a high school U.S. history teacher.



 Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) — Feb. 19, 1948 — age 61
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) — Feb. 19, 1948 — age 61
Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs Senate Dems’ campaign chief ‘welcomes’ midterm support from Clintons MORE (R-Ky.) — Feb. 20, 1942 — age 67
Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyLobbying world Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response Americans worried about retirement should look to employee ownership MORE Jr. (R-La.)– Feb. 21, 1956 — age 53
Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) — Feb. 21, 1949 — age 60
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) — Feb. 21, 1940 — age 69
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) — Feb. 21, 1958 — age 51
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) — Feb. 21, 1947 — age 62
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) — Feb. 22, 1932 — age 77
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) — Feb. 23, 1951 — age 58
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) — Feb. 24, 1942 — age 67