Usually when we hear “people of color,” we assume blacks are included in and are benefitting from the mix, but a new report shows that’s not the case.
A study titled “Senate Democrats Survey Show More People of Color Hired, But Less Black Staff.” The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank for black elected officials, published the report released on July 10.
“Compared to last year, there is approximately 1 percent more staff of color, but the number of black staffers fell over 1 percent. Overall, the staff of color makes up 34 percent of Senate Democratic staffers,” the report said.
The staff of color includes Asians, Hispanics, American/Pacific Islanders, and women but not blacks. Of the 45 Democratic Senate offices, 20 reported an increase in the staff who identify as non-white; 23 reported a decrease and three remained unchanged.
Of the 18 Senate committees, 7 increased the number of staffers of color by 5 percent. Four committees reported a decrease of more than 5 percent and five remained unchanged.
Six committees did not employ any black staffers, and two didn’t hire any black or Hispanic staffers.
Democratic Senators Kamala Harris (California,) Brian Schatz (Hawaii), and Cory Booker (New Jersey) have the highest percentage of diverse staff, compared with Senator Angus King (Maine), and Senator Jon Tester (Montana) who have the fewest, according to the report.
Senate Democrats share percentages, but not raw numbers concerning hiring. Joint Center officials calculate the drop in black staff. “Our stats on people of color includes all non-White groups including African Americans,” a spokeswoman tells BlackmansStreet.Today. Spencer Overton (pictured) head the Joint Center.
Staffers’ salaries range from $30,000 to over $100,000 with each office determining an employee’s salary.