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New Report Shows Stark Contrast Between Racial Diversity of Top Staff in U.S. House of Representatives and Nation

September 13, 2018

 

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today released a statement from Chief Executive Officer Arturo Vargas on the release of a new report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies on racial diversity among top staff in the U.S. House of Representatives:
 
“While we continue to make strides electing more Latinos to the U.S. House of Representatives each election cycle, this report makes clear that we still have a tremendous amount of work to do before the top staff of Congress’ lower chamber is fully reflective of the diversity of the nation.
 
“Despite accounting for more than 17 percent of the U.S. population, this new analysis shows that Latinos make up less than four percent of top staff in the U.S. House of Representatives.  As a nation, we can and must do a better job of putting the skills and talents of Latinos and other members of underrepresented communities to work for the good of policymakers and all Americans. 
 
“The Latino community is not alone in saying that our democracy is strongest when its institutions are staffed with qualified individuals who represent the diversity of the communities their government represents; the research shows it as well.  A 2018 study in the U.S. Senate found that diversity in staff perspectives resulted in numerous benefits for lawmakers and their constituents, including increasing the ‘likelihood of bill passage on the floor’ and contributing to a ‘better functioning legislature’.
 
“NALEO Educational Fund understands the importance of staff representation and is already hard at work tackling this issue on Capitol Hill.  Together with the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies, we are creating a talented pipeline of diverse congressional staff for senior House staff positions as part of our Staff Up Congress initiative.  Through the bipartisan, bicameral leadership academies that we kicked off last week, our organizations are helping provide staffers from underrepresented communities with the skills and tools needed to advance into top posts.”
 

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