Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of Congressional Delegations of Six States

15
Nov

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of Congressional Delegations of Six States

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today released detailed reports on the troubling lack of racial diversity among the 167 top staff in the Washington, DC offices of six congressional delegations – Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Of the 12 U.S. Senators in the six states, none had a Black top staffer despite representing significant Black populations. The only top staffer of color for any of the Senators was a Latino top staffer for Senator Hyde-Smith (R-MS).

"These numbers are alarming but there is no better time than right now to change the trajectory of diversity among top staff and mid-level staff," said Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center. "In the coming months, hundreds of new staffers will be hired by new Members, new Chairs of U.S. House committees, and other Members."

Click on the following for:

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of the Delaware Congressional Delegation

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of the Maryland Congressional Delegation

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation

Racial Diversity Among Top Staff of the Virginia Congressional Delegation

Key Points:

  • In Tennessee, Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9) has no top staff of color but represents a district that is 75.7 percent people of color and in 2016, African Americans accounted for 82 percent of Democratic turnout in his district.
  • In Pennsylvania, less than 10 percent of the top staffers are people of color even though 23 percent of the state’s population are people of color.
  • In Maryland, African Americans accounted for 47 percent of the Democratic Party’s voters in Maryland in 2016, but they account for less than 15 percent of the top staffers who work for the Democratic Members of the Maryland delegation.
  • In Mississippi, only 18.7 percent of top staff are people of color despite making up 42.5 percent of the state’s population.
  • In Delaware, people of color account for over a third of Delaware’s population (36.4 percent), but just 20 percent of the top staffers.
  • In Virginia, less than 15 percent of the top staffers are people of color even though 36.7 percent of the state’s population are people of color.

The reports focus on full committee staff directors as well as personal office chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors employed on June 1, 2018.

The reports also have recommendations on how Members can diversify their top staff and mid-level staff.

The reports were written by Karra W. McCray, Donald Bell, and Spencer Overton.

For coverage of the report see The Washington Post, Tennessean, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Afro.

For press inquiries contact press@jointcenter.org

@JointCenter

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The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today released detailed reports on the troubling lack of racial diversity among the 167 top staff in the Washington, DC offices of six congressional delegations – Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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