The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will reportedly start paying its interns after 13 of them working at the organization wrote a letter requesting pay and suggesting that unpaid internships only allow people from well-off backgrounds to have these opportunities, HuffPost reports.
“The DCCC is reviewing its intern program, but can’t comment further on personnel policies,” DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly told Roll Call in response to questions about the HuffPost report.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján, the DCCC chairman, told the class of current interns the news after meeting with them at a roundtable discussion last Thursday.
Lydia Murray, who is Chinese-American, wrote the letter and 12 other interns signed it.
“Most of our fellow interns, while undoubtedly bright, are white and wealthy and have no real understanding of the perspectives of everyday working Americans, nor do we have fellow interns with diverse backgrounds to discuss issues, ideas, or experiences with,” the letter said. “It is impossible for us to champion the working class when at the most basic levels, those who work in the party do not represent them on a socioeconomic or racial basis.”
Murray wrote the letter in coordination with Pay Our Interns, a group which has been pushing for offices and campaigns on Capitol Hill to work towards paying their interns.
The Senate just moved to include money for interns in its budget and the Democratic National Committee started offering stipends in December.
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