Diversity of congressional staffers takes back seat in Congress

LatinaLista — It’s rather ironic that one of the last bills set to be voted on by Congress is the DREAM Act, a bill that would basically benefit a majority of Latino young people, just as Congress itself is under fire for not hiring diverse enough staffs.

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Politico reports that the Congressional Asian Pacific Staff Association, the Congressional Black Associates Staff Association, the Congressional Muslim Staff Association, and the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association sent a group letter yesterday to House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (D-Penn.) and House GOP Transition Team Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), reminding them that House leadership promised to create a diversity initiative to get the halls of Congress to more accurately reflect the population of the country.

The initiative included setting up a website and resume database for applicants to apply for open positions.

So far, it hasn’t happened. With the change in party leadership, one has to wonder if it ever will.

It’s estimated 1,800 Democratic congressional staffers have lost their jobs because of gains by the GOP, which leaves hundreds of new positions that will need to be filled — in GOP offices.

Given the facts that more (young) Latinos vote Democrat and Latinos are already severely underrepresented in congressional offices on the Hill, “especially in policy-oriented positions,” the chances of Latino inclusion being improved upon under GOP leadership is about as hopeful as GOP Senate leadership having a change of heart over the DREAM Act.

It seems I’m not alone in my pessimism.

Yet, there is hope. As these past elections also showed, there is a bright group of young Latinos who identify with the Republican Party and want to be a part of it by working on the Hill — they are only waiting to be hired.

The rest of us are waiting to see what will be done.

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