On November 27, the Joint Center sent each of the 100 newly-elected Members of Congress all of our reports on congressional staff diversity. The e-mail correspondence from the Joint Center’s Senior Advisor, Lauren Williams, can be found below:
I hope this email finds you well. My name is Lauren Williams and I am working with the Joint Center on an initiative that will help make offices more diverse, reflective of your constituents, and ready to tackle the world’s most complex issues.
As you may know, the Joint Center has released eight reports on congressional staff diversity, including:
- Racial Diversity Among Top U.S. House Staff (2018): Finding that although people of color comprise 38 percent of the U.S. population, they account for only 13.7 percent of top House staff. Although White Democratic Members and White Republican Members represent relatively diverse districts (37 percent and 26 percent people of color on average, respectively), their top staffers are not diverse (8 percent and 3 percent respectively).
- Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff (2015): Finding that people of color accounted for only 7.1 percent of top Senate staff.
- Six Reports on Top U.S. House and U.S. Senate Staff Diversity in Six States (2018): reports take a deep dive into DC staff diversity among congressional delegations from Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. The six reports earned coverage in both national and local press, and are the first in a series of several future state reports.
As you transition into the 116th Congress and fill open top staff and mid-level staff positions, we urge you to review these reports. Right now you have the opportunity to build on the amazing talent already in Washington while reflecting the ever-changing makeup of the communities you represent.