The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will reportedly begin paying its future interns, thanks to the current class who sent a letter protesting that unpaid internships deter people of color and working class people from applying.
HuffPost’s Molly Redden was the first to report the news.
“Most of our fellow interns, while undoubtedly bright, are white and wealthy and have no real understanding of the perspectives of everyday working Americans,” 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.”
“This also shows that paying interns isn’t a financial burden, but a way for the Party to practice what it preaches,” the letter said.
On Thursday morning, DCCC Chairman and House Rep. Ben Ray Luján announced that the committee was “going forward” with plans to pay the intern classes in the future, though he was light on any further details, HuffPost reported.
The DCCC interns are definitely right about unpaid internships being exclusive. Yes, it’s somewhat true these programs can provide students with valuable experiences - but only if you’ve already got a large sum of family wealth to draw from (which usually means you’re white, straight and male).
I have reached out to the DCCC for comment and will update if I hear back.