Washington Report: Updates from Capitol Hill

Panel explores ways to increase access to capital; Small business jobs bills; climate change; diversity on the Hill

Taskforce Works to Increase Number of Minorities Working on Capitol Hill

House leadership has established a diversity taskforce that will focus on increasing workforce diversity at all House staff levels. It also will sponsor training courses, build a resume bank of potential employees, and publish regular progress reports. The initiative is in part a response to a February report, “Unrepresented: A Blueprint for Solving the Diversity Crisis on Capitol Hill,” which found that the Latinos account for only 5.6% of House staff members and that the Senate has just one Latino committee director and one Latino chief of staff.

“With this new diversity initiative, we not only live up to the basic American ideal of equal opportunity for all, but we strengthen the quality of our workforce,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Tuesday. “We invite all House Members and offices, from both sides of the aisle, to take advantage of this new vital resource that will enrich our institution.”

The effort will be coordinated by the Committee on House Administration, which will coordinate its efforts with members of the House Tri-Caucus, which is made up of the congressional Asian Pacific, black and Hispanic caucuses, and the House Chiefs of Staff Association. The Democratic Caucus and the Republican Conference also will be involved.

“The CBC remains committed to the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce in the federal government and applauds Speaker Pelosi for making this a priority for the House and legislative branch agencies and offices,” said CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-California).

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