The U.S. Senate Wants You

Diversity program seeks new faces to fill out Democratic Senate staffs.

Posted: 03/24/2011 08:22 AM EDT

It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that a disproportionate number of the brown and Black faces in House and Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill belong to security and maintenance staff and licensed technicians, such as plumbers and electricians. While those are worthy jobs and really well paid, there’s also dearth of brown and Black faces helping to drive legislative policy that impacts communities around the nation.

Maria Meier, director of the Senate Diversity Hiring Initiative, which seeks to increase the number Blacks, Hispanics and Asians working on Capitol Hill, is hoping to change all of that.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) started the initiative almost four years ago to establish a database of résumés of qualified individuals for Senate offices trying to fill vacancies. Since then, Meier said, it has expanded to also serve as a resource for people looking for jobs on the Hill. Meier, who has been on the job for just a few weeks, estimates that more than 1,000 people at various stages in their careers have passed through the database in the past couple of years but there is no record of how many minorities are currently working for the Senate.

Her goal is to provide a one-stop resource for that helps prospective job candidates understand Capitol Hill and navigate their way through the process and that provides them with opportunities to connect with a large array of Democratic Senate offices. Meier also aims to ensure that there is a diverse pool of candidates for every open position.

“It’s important for our communities to be represented up here, so that their voices can be heard,” Meier.

Information about the program can be found at https://democrats.senate.gov/jobs/index.cfm

 

(Photo:  Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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