A group of 13 interns at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a signed letter to chairman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D., N.M.) on Thursday demanding that they be paid for their internships.
Lydia Murray, who is Chinese-American, penned the letter and got the signature of 12 of her colleagues, also calling out her fellow interns who did not want to sign the letter. She characterized those who refused to sign the letter as "white and wealthy," adding that they don't have a "real understanding of the perspectives of everyday working Americans," according to Roll Call.
"Most of our fellow interns, while undoubtedly bright, are white and wealthy and have no real understanding of the perspectives of everyday working Americans, nor do we have fellow interns with diverse backgrounds to discuss issues, ideas, or experiences with," her letter stated. "This disconnect is then reflected [in] policy positions, now and in the future."
The letter was written in coordination with Pay Our Interns, a bipartisan non-profit organization that advocates for government and non-profit organizations to increase the amount of money interns make.
"There is a certain insulation from the actual impacts of many policies that comes with this sort of privilege, which at times can lead the Party astray from the actual needs of the voters (and to electoral defeat)," she wrote. "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."