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In addition to the ardent call for political scientists to broaden their theories about legislative representation and behavior to include a broader analysis of the everyday operations of Congress, the call for a more nuanced approach to the study of race and ethnic politics resonates just as deeply. With the emergence of black ethnic caucuses such as the Ethiopia and Ethiopian American Congressional Caucus (EEAC) and the subsequent election of President Barack Obama, African immigrants and their progeny have been made visible to the American polity in ways they have never been before. As an Ethiopian American whose personal and professional interest aims to highlight the significance of black ethnic political participation and representation in U.S. politics, I found working for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) as an APSA Congressional Fellow to be an extraordinary opportunity to explore how and why African American members of Congress in particular, and other nonblack legislators more broadly, represent their constituents beyond race.
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