Scott Bland writes, "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will on Tuesday ask his caucus to adopt extensive new rules to promote staff diversity, including a version of the NFL’s 'Rooney Rule,' which will require Senate offices to interview at least one minority applicant for senior staff openings in the future.
The diversity measures are part of a wider package of caucus rules that Schumer will put forward on Tuesday. The Democratic leader has also vowed to publish official diversity statistics from Senate offices on the website of the Senate Diversity Initiative, which hosts a resume bank for potential Senate staffers of color and will be the subject of beefed-up efforts to work with every individual Democratic Senate office on diverse hiring practices.
The efforts follow intense criticismfrom interest groups and minority staffers regarding the paltry share of non-white Senate Democratic staff. Several studies, including a 2015 report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, have exposed a severe demographic disconnect between the party’s policymakers in Washington and its core constituencies in the states.
The report found that just 7 percent of top Senate staffers (counting chiefs of staff, legislative directors, communications directors, and committee staff directors) were people of color. It also noted that while African-Americans provided nearly one-quarter of the Democratic Party’s votes, only one top Senate Democratic staffer was black."