Unlivable wages, unmanageable workloads and gaps in healthcare coverage are some of the complaints from a new poll of current and former staffers on Beacon Hill. In for Jim Braude, Adam Reilly spoke with Kyéra Sterling and Nicole Eigbrett, former State House legislative aides who are pushing for a change through the group Beacon BLOC (Building Leaders of Color).
“I came to the Hill really excited to make a difference for my family and communities of color, and I didn’t have a lot of the same resources that other folks I met on the Hill had,” Sterling said about the pressure. “So many of my colleagues of color feel like they can’t make mistakes because they can’t afford to make mistakes.”
Eigbrett, who worked as a legislative aide, called it a “catchall position” with unmanageable expectations: “For single aides, it’s a huge burden on them to be carrying an office, because not only are you the scheduler and secretary for your legislator, you’re doing all the policy work and the constituent services and meeting the needs of the district as well as meeting with advocates and lobbyists.”
“I very quickly realized that I needed at least a second job to make ends meet. It was quite frankly very exhausting,” she said.
WATCH: Beacon Hill staffers say low wage keeps talent out