Today: NUL Capitol Hill Forum on Embarrassing Senate Senior Staff Diversity Numbers

Today: NUL Capitol Hill Forum on Embarrassing Senate Senior Staff Diversity Numbers


Jobs and Money. Money and Power.  During a panel discussion on Capitol Hill today from noon to 2 p.m. in room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building, there will be a discussion on diversity in hiring on Capitol Hill.


The National Urban League and the Joint Center have been focused on studying hiring of senior staff in the U.S. Senate and the results have been embarrassing — particularly for the Democratic Party.  Senior staffers are defined as: Chief of Staff, Legislative Director and Communications Director.

There are currently only three African American senior staffers occupying the 300 senior staff jobs in the U.S. Senate.  Not one Democrat in the Senate has a Black Chief of Staff or Communications Director. Over 22% of Democratic voters are Black.

There is only one Black Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate, Jennifer DeCasper, who works for South Carolina Republican Tim Scott, and she will take part in the panel discussion today.

Former Senate Chief of Staff Don Cravins, who is now the National Urban League’s Senior Vice President for Policy, will deliver opening remarks at the forum. He is all but certain to review the Senate’s diversity numbers as found in the Joint Center’s sobering report.  Many Senate Democrats who are in office because of Black voters have no Black senior staff members. Many of those Senators from southern states have never had a Black senior staffer.

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for and Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: Instagram: LVB325.