Congressional Staffers Band Together To Boost Diversity On Capitol Hill

While the nation has made strides in electing a diverse group of public officials, it is clear that more work needs to be done. For example, no Black women currently work in the U.S. Senate and only two Black men have ever served as U.S. Supreme Court Justices. With that said, the push for diversity on Capitol Hill must also include diversifying representation of the staff that supports these public officials.

For decades, public officials in Washington, D.C. have hired predominantly white staffers. A 2018 study from the Joint Center found that less than 15% of high-ranking positions in House members’ offices were held by people of color. Just last year, the Joint Center found that only 11% of these high-ranking positions in Senate members' offices were held by color. Fighting for a change on Capitol Hill, a group of forward-thinking staffers has developed the Congressional Progressive Staff Association. The CPSA hopes to bring more qualified professionals from marginalized communities to Chocolate City.

“It is certainly no secret that to work in Congress right now in some ways either requires or nearly requires a level of privilege in our society that makes it prohibitive for congressional staff to be perfectly representative of the constituents who the members of Congress represent and that's absolutely something that we're trying to address," Jacob Wilson of the Congressional Progressive Staff Association told BuzzFeed.

“It's a very simple idea. People should be represented by people like them, who understand them, who have lived experiences similar to them, and also are championing ideas that really are for people of color, that are lifting up women, that are lifting up the struggle for LGBTQ rights.”

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