Lobbyists Give the Clothes off their Backs
By Dan Eggen
Lobbyists have suffered heavy criticism during the first months of the Obama administration, which has clamped down on K Street access to the White House. But today the profession is showing its charitable side, organizing a clothing drive aimed at helping job seekers get back into the employment market.
The sixth annual "Capitol PurSuit Drive" has collected more than 50,000 items of business attire worth more than $2 million, according to organizer Dave Wenhold, president of the American League of Lobbyists, which sponsors the event along with the Men's Wearhouse clothing chain. The items will be donated to local nonprofits, which will distribute the clothes to those who need proper attire for job interviews and the start of employment.
Wenhold said the yearly event provides a chance for lobbyists, lawmakers, Capitol Hill staffers and District-based businesses to "give back" to the broader community and help job-seekers during troubled times. Contributors can drop off clothing in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building today until 2 p.m. during the final day of the drive. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is also slated to take part in a noon press conference at the event.
"This is not giving a hand out, but a hand up," Wenhold said. "In this economy this event is critical to those in need."
Web Politics Editor
June 2, 2009; 11:27 AM ET
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