The top Washington, D.C.–based
positions in almost every Senate
office—chief of staff, legislative
director and communications
director—are practically reserved for
white men and women. And the
Democrats, who historically have
considered themselves the champions
of people of color, are no better than
the Republicans. With a few excep-
tions, senators of both parties refused
to discuss their diversity problem.
Whether the subject is immigration, healthcare, Social Security or
education, almost everyone within
earshot of 100 of the most powerful
men and women in Washington,
D.C., is white.
“The fact that you have 100 U.S.
senators and no African Americans
who serve in the chief-of-staff position or very few legislative directors
who are African American is a problem,” says Paul Brathwaite, executive director of the Congressional
The numbers don’t get any better.
A senator, on average, employs
about 40 people, with each senator
having at least 10 senior-level aides.