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Action Tips and Tools: Congressional Staff

A helpful list of job titles and responsibilities for key staff positions

Administrative Assistant/Chief of Staff
The administrative assistant is the top staff person and has direct access to your senator or representative. The administrative assistant is usually in charge of running the member's office, assigning work to and supervising other key staff members while setting the member's political agenda regarding legislative proposals and constituent requests.

Legislative Director/Senior Legislative Assistant/Legislative Coordinator
The legislative director tracks legislation as it moves through the lawmaking process, and makes recommendations on the pros and cons of supporting it. Some members of Congress have several legislative directors, each with a particular area of expertise such as health, the environment, labor, defense, or taxes. If you're contacting your senator about drinking water legislation, for example, find out if he or she has a legislative director for environment or health issues.

Press Secretary/Communications Director
The press secretary's main job is to facilitate communication between the member, his or her constituents, and the public. Although the press secretary usually deals with the needs of the press, he or she is also a good source of general information about where the congressperson stands on a particular issue, and can probably provide you with press releases or other information that the member's office has made available to the press or general public.

Appointment Secretary/Personal Secretary/Scheduler
The appointment secretary is responsible for arranging the member's schedule. If you're interested in meeting with your senator or representative, either in Washington or during a visit to your state or congressional district, you'll probably arrange it through the appointment secretary.

If you contact your senator or representative's office for help with a particular problem, a caseworker will probably handle it. Each congressional office often has several caseworkers who handle constituent requests and respond to letters or phone calls.

Communications Tips | Congressional Staff | Legislative Process | Budget Process

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