Tri-Caucus Staff Associations Respond to
Senate Diversity Report by Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 21, 2020
Cody Sibulo (CAPASA): 819-397-8249, Cody.Sibulo@mail.house.gov
Maya Valentine (CBA): 202-907-6434, Maya.Valentine@mail.house.gov
Celia Olivas (CHSA): 209-981-9141, Celia_Olivas@duckworth.senate.gov
Patrice Smith (SBLSC): 203-940-3831, Patrice_Smith@scott.senate.gov
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association (CAPASA), the Congressional Black Associates (CBA), the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association (CHSA), and the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus (SBLSC) released the following statement responding to a new report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies on the diversity of senior staffers in Senate personal offices.
“The Tri-Caucus Staff Associations have long worked to advance staff diversity on the Hill. This latest report from the Joint Center shows us once again that we cannot rest on our laurels.”
Leaders of Congressional staff associations offered the following statements:
“While we're encouraged by the overall improvement of diversity in Senate personal offices, we're alarmed and disappointed by the dramatic decrease in the percentage of Asian American and Pacific Islander staffers. Both parties need to make a more concerted effort in hiring, retaining, and promoting Asian American and Pacific Islander professionals,” said Alice Lin and Liz Lee, Co-Presidents of CAPASA. “Congress talks a lot about how diversity is our country's greatest strength, but its staff should reflect that. CAPASA stands ready to assist offices and committees in finding the best qualified Asian American staffers to fit their needs and serve the American people."
“Though the report’s findings show an increase in the number of Black staff in senior-level roles, it equally shows that there is a long way to go,” said CBA’s President, Didier Barjon. “African Americans make up over 13 percent of the population, and at the very least, this should be represented in Congress. If there are more Black staffers in senior level roles, we would have a better opportunity to address the current pandemic, as well as long standing issues that disproportionately affect our communities. The Congressional Black Associates will continue its work with the Senate Diversity Initiative to ensure diverse hiring practices are in place, and reaffirm our efforts to make Capitol Hill reflect the diversity of this country.”
"While hard-fought progress has been made since the Joint Center’s last report in 2015, this updated analysis tells us the Senate workforce still severely lacks diversity at the top levels five years later," said Christine Godinez, President of CHSA. "Congressional staff must reflect the diversity of the American people to fully represent them. CHSA will continue to lead the charge to recruit, retain, and advance Hispanic and Latinx staff on Capitol Hill. There is still far too much to do, even in the midst of the most diverse Congress in history.”
"The glaring lack of diversity among senior staff in the Senate should serve as a wake-up call to everyone," said Jonathan Carter, President of SBLSC. "Senate offices must do a better job of hiring, promoting, and retaining people of color at every level. While this report shows an upward trend in the diversity of Senate senior staff, 11 percent is far from acceptable. Diversity has always propelled this great nation forward. It leads to innovative thinking and creativity and ensures that the interests of culturally diverse groups are accurately represented. I commend Senate offices that are making conscious steps to diversify their senior staff and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for continuing to champion diversity efforts through the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative. However, the Joint Center's report shows that we still have a long road ahead of us. SBLSC is prepared to continue working with Senate offices to provide qualified candidates and promote equity in hiring practices."
The report found the following data.