National Urban League: The U.S. Senate Has a Diversity Problem in Its Staff

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Source: National Urban League

As policy decisions affecting all Americans are debated in the halls of Congress, you will be hard pressed to find people of color in top‐level staff positions. A report released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the most influential Senate staffers are disproportionately white. Among senior-level Senate staff—chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and other folks, who ultimately shape the laws we all live by—a mere 7.1% are people of color, researchers found, although people of color make up 36% of the U.S. population.

When it comes to numbers for African Americans, the findings are even more alarming; there is only one African American Chief of Staff out of 100. There is only one African American legislative director out of 100. There is only one African American communications director out of 100. Most troubling is the fact that out of the three African American senior staffers just mentioned, only one works for a Democratic senator.