Staff Group Gets New Leadership Team

Posted January 22, 2008 at 4:43pm

Correction Appended

The Congressional Black Associates, a Congressional staff organization, has named a new executive board for 2008. Joseph Bastian, who serves as Rep. Corrine Brown’s (D-Fla.) legislative correspondent, has been named the group’s president.

[IMGCAP(1)]“I am responsible for establishing the agenda for the organization,” the 25-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., native wrote in an e-mail. “I ensure that the goals and purposes of CBA are being met.”

Bastian earned his bachelor’s degree in public management from Florida A&M University in 2005.

He previously served as an intern for the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators in the office of state Rep. Joyce Cusack (D). He also was an intern at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He is a member of the Omicron Lambda Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and he belongs to Jacksonville Journey (a task force headed by Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton), the NAACP, the Capitol Hill Get Fresh softball team and the Florida A&M University Alumni Association.

Additionally, Bastian is a mentor at Maya Angelou Public Charter School here in Washington, D.C.

When he is not doing any of that, he is riding his bike, taking photographs and reading. His three future goals are to become the governor of Florida, become an entrepreneur and to retire in the Bahamas.

He also is proud of his mom.

“I am the product of a single parent household and my mom is my SHE-ro!” he wrote. “I love her dearly!!!” Bastian’s brother, James, is a soldier in the U.S. Army and has completed one tour of duty in Iraq.

Sydney Jones is beginning his second term as vice president of the CBA, and he will continue to enforce the CBA constitution, its bylaws and House rules within the organization. He also is the chief executer of the programs the CBA hosts.

Jones is the deputy director of member services for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He is from Fort Worth, Texas, and double majored in political science and sociology at the University of Georgia, graduating in 2002. He earned his master’s in public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington this past year.

The CBA vice president is 28 years old and brings much experience to his role in the organization. Jones previously served as adviser for member services and as a scheduling assistant in Pelosi’s office. He also was a staff assistant for the House Democratic Caucus in then-Rep. Bob Menendez’s (N.J.) office.

His future goals include obtaining a Ph.D. and pursuing a second career in higher education administration.

“I’d love to be president of a major college or university,” he said.

Jones is a member of the American Society for Public Administration, a co-chairman of the D.C. branch of the NAACP ACT-SO Committee, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and a volunteer with Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

He likes to cook and play piano, and he just started running in hopes of completing a half-marathon in Miami.

Jones is thrilled about his position on Capitol Hill.

“I’ve wanted to work on the Hill since I was in high school, so being here is one fulfillment of many of my aspirations,” he said. “The icing on the cake is definitely the honor and privilege of working for the first woman Speaker of the House.”

Jones and Bastian are joined by E. Brandon Garrett, who was named the treasurer and membership chair of the CBA. Garrett is a legislative assistant for Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.). In his role at the CBA, Garrett is charged with handling the group’s finances, budget and membership.

Garrett, 29, is from Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University in 2001 and his graduate degree from North Carolina State University in 2003. He previously worked in finance at Wells Fargo Financial and was a legal assistant at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

His future goals include working in finance at a major university. Garrett is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., the National Urban League, the Capitol Hill Running Club, the contemporaries group at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and Everybody Wins!, a literacy and mentoring organization.

Carmen White also has joined the CBA team, as the group’s new secretary. She is from St. Louis and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in African-American studies from the University of Missouri in 2006. She is 24.

White currently serves as a legislative correspondent for Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). She previously served as a legislative intern in the the Missouri House of Representatives, as an intern for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation under Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), as an intern for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and as a staff assistant for Marshall. Down the road, White hopes to be a Cabinet-level official.

White is an Everybody Wins! reading mentor as well, and she is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Alumni Association. In addition, she is part of the Mizzou Alumni Association. She enjoys photography, reading, volunteering, dancing and video games in her spare time.

White wanted Climbers to know that she is the “only child of two wonderful parents and the best family ever!”

Megan Moore, a native of Chicago, is the new director of community service and outreach for the CBA. She has a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a master’s in public administration from Baruch College in New York. Moore, 26, is a legislative assistant for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and previously served as a field organizer for the 21st Century Democrats, a community organizer for the Michigan House of Representatives and a special assistant to the vice president of public policy at the National Organization for Rare Disorders. She currently is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Get Fresh softball team.

Moore’s future goals include becoming a policy adviser to the president or a Member of Congress. In her spare time, Moore enjoys tennis, bike riding and traveling. She said she “daydreams about winning the lotto.”

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Correction: Jan. 23, 2008

The column misstated the gender of Sydney Jones. Jones is male.