FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 5, 2023
Chandra Hayslett, email@example.com
Joint Center Commends Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries for Senior Team Staff Diversity
WASHINGTON — In response to Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) senior team announcement, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies issued the following statement:
“The Joint Center praises Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for assembling a senior team that resembles America. It’s imperative that members of Congress are counseled by top staff who represent the diversity of our nation,” said Spencer Overton, Joint Center president. “People of color remain underrepresented in many mid-to-top-level staff positions in Congress. Fortunately, in one of his very first acts, Rep. Jeffries has demonstrated stellar leadership and a model for other members of the House and Senate by hiring a team of talented and diverse senior staffers.”
According to a press release issued by the Democratic leader’s office, the communications, floor, member services, operations, outreach, and policy departments are led by women and six of the top leadership positions are held by people of color.
Although people of color make up 40 percent of the U.S. population, they only make up 18 percent of top staffers in the U.S. House of Representatives and only 11 percent of U.S. Senate top staff. This is a bi-partisan problem: People of color make up 50.9 percent of the constituents in districts represented by white Democratic House members, but make up less than 29.4 percent of their senior staff. People of color make up 28.3 percent of the constituents in districts represented by white Republican House members, but make up less than 6.4 percent of their senior staff. An increase in diversity among top staff would allow members to more effectively represent their constituents. The perspectives and leadership from racially diverse senior staff will be particularly essential to dismantling structural inequality in Congress.
For more information about the Joint Center’s campaign to encourage newly elected and returning members of the 118th Congress to prioritize racial diversity when hiring their top staff, click here.
For more information about the Joint Center’s initiative to increase congressional staff diversity overall, click here.
About the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. We are the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. We use evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.