ASAE this week joined a sign-on letter urging Senate leaders to make an institutional commitment to increasing congressional staff diversity by establishing a bipartisan Senate Diversity and Inclusion Office.
The letter, organized by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, cites research conducted last year by the Joint Center revealing that people of color account for 40 percent of the U.S. population but only 11 percent of top Senate personal office staff (chiefs of staff, legislative directors and communications directors).
The letter calls on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to follow the lead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who established the House Office of Diversity & Inclusion in the 116th Congress. That office is charged with submitting to Congress a diversity plan to direct and guide House offices to recruit, hire, train and retain a diverse workforce.
“Just as in the House, the Senate Diversity and Inclusion Office should be staffed by professionals with expertise in diversity who support both Democratic and Republican Members in identifying, recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting diverse talent,” the letter reads. “The Senate Office should also collect demographic data of staff, and analyze, disclose and disaggregate the data by position and other factors.”
The deadline to sign on to the Joint Center’s letter is Feb. 1.