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12.8: Members of Congress

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    After reading this section, you should be able to answer the following questions:

    1. What kinds of people are elected to Congress?
    2. How do members make news and generate publicity for themselves?
    3. What jobs are performed by congressional staff members?

    Members of Congress are local politicians serving in a national institution. They spend their days moving between two worlds—their home districts and Washington. While many come from the ranks of the social and economic elite, to be successful they must be true to their local roots.

    Figure 12.18


    Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot outside a grocery store where she was holding a “Congress on Your Corner” event to meet personally with constituents in her district in 2011. Six people were killed, including a nine-year-old girl, in the incident, which raised issues about the safety of members of Congress.

    Wikimedia Commons – CC BY-SA 3.0.

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