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
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke