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Congressional staffers sound alert about lack of diversity on the Hill

By Joe Davidson
Post Editor

By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:
To highlight a lack of racial and ethnic diversity among congressional staffers, a coalition of Capitol Hill employee organizations is sponsoring the first "State of Diversity on the Hill Address" on Thursday in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.

The Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, the Congressional Black Associates, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association and the Congressional Muslim Staff Association are sponsors of the event.

At the meeting, the Hispanic association will release “Unrepresented: A Blueprint for Solving the Diversity Crisis on Capitol Hill.” The 17-page report says, "There is a crisis afflicting Capitol Hill. While policy decisions affecting all of America are debated in the halls of Congress, Latinos are almost completely absent in top–level staff positions. Thus, on issues like education, the economy, health care, and decisions of war and peace, Members of Congress are largely without the perspective of a community that encompasses about one in six Americans."

The Hispanic association urged congressional leaders to make stronger efforts to increase diversity by creating House and Senate Republican Offices for Diversity, including data on ethnicity in all future Senate and House employment surveys, and considering adoption of a congressional “Rooney Rule” for top-level vacancies (requiring that people of color be interviewed, as the National Football League has done).

Democrats already have a diversity office, according to the report, which praised Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) as "a leader who has recognized the diversity crisis and has taken decisive action." Including ethnicity data on employment surveys "would be useful in highlighting the progress made in increasing diversity," the report said.

By Joe Davidson  | February 25, 2010; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Say no to forced diversity.

Posted by: wpjunk | February 25, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Say yes to more token interns.

Posted by: member5 | February 25, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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