Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pelosi and Brady Launch Diversity Initiative on the Hill

In an effort to address the dramatically low level of minorities among congressional staffers, particularly at the senior level, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday joined House Administration Chairman Robert A. Brady to announce the formation of a new diversity initiative that will intensify minority recruitment and retention efforts.

The initiative, developed with House Republican Leader John Boehner and House Administration Committee Ranking Member Dan Lungren, will coordinate its efforts with an Advisory Council which includes members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American, Black and Hispanic Caucuses.

An internal assessment conducted last year revealed that only 13 percent of House chiefs of staff were minorities. Of the 199 offices that responded to the study conducted by the House’s chief administrative officer (CAO), 7.5 percent of chiefs of staff were black, 2.7 percent were Hispanic, 1.6 percent were Asian and 1.1 percent were American Indian. There were no Pacific Islanders.

Nationally, according to the Census Bureau, an estimated 35 percent of the US population is comprised of ethnic minorities, specifically: 12.5 percent Latino, 12.3 percent African-American, 5.5 percent some other race, 3.6 percent Asian and 1 percent American Indian.

Pelosi said in a statement, “ Diversity is one of America’s fundamental strengths and all of our nation’s communities are a rich source of exceptional talent. Drawing from this diverse pool of talent will ensure that the House of Representatives benefits from new and innovative solutions to our complex national challenges.”

In February of this year, the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association issued a report calling the low level of staff diveristy a crisis, the report states, “The shortage of representation is not simply a ‘Latino issue’, but is part of the larger issue of ensuring that insitutions that run and oversee government reflect America’s population.”

Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joined othes in applauding the announcement by saying, “we are strengthening our commitment to inclusiveness and providing equal opportunity for all. This initiative will help the People’s House better reflect and represent all the people of our great country.”

The Hill

Becerra

Diversity on the Hill Report

Speaker of the House