As overall union membership stagnates nationwide due to the contraction

of traditionally unionized industries, labor organizations have made historic

inroads into new, highly volatile employment sectors, including digital media,

tech, political campaigns, and the gig economy. One such sector that

has seen new life is state and local legislative employees. Excluded from coverage

by the National Labor Relations Act, legislative employees have been

subject to disparate labor rights, job protections, and terms and conditions

of employment across and within states. While efforts to secure collective

bargaining rights for this sector have occurred over the past twenty-five

years, the simultaneous yet uncoordinated unionization efforts since August

2019 of staff in six seven states and Congress have brought new national

attention to the issue. As member-organizers seek to build a nationwide

movement of legislative employee bargaining, this essay considers the lessons

of existing and past legislative, judicial, and organizing efforts. Each

organizing attempt offers a unique response to a distinct set of laws, actors,

and geography; while some of those choices may be replicable elsewhere,

more likely any future campaigns will need to be bespoke. As we enter the

third year of a pandemic that continues to destabilize traditional workplaces,

additional efforts, drawing inspiration and lessons from existing units, will

continue to appear and contribute in yet another unique manner to this still

emergent area of public sector organizing.