35% of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s alleged campaign operation are people of color and just over half are women, according to figures released Saturday at public insistence, after months in which his campaign refused to do make that information public.
At least 60 percent of the staff is white, a number in line with the percentage of the United States population that identifies itself as such, according to 2019 data from the United States Census Bureau. Five percent of the staff chose not to specify a career.
When it comes to senior officials, which the campaign says includes “senior consultants who are not staff and spend most of their time in the campaign,” 36% are people of color and 58% are women.
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Mr. Biden’s campaign provided the data hours after pressure on his campaign diversity was lobbied during a virtual presidential city hall organized by the American vote of the Asian Pacific Islanders. The Washington Post and other media outlets had previously requested information on the diversity of the campaign, which they had declined to provide.
The numbers provoked lukewarm reactions from some Democrats.
“That’s not terrible,” said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, a group that promotes women of color in politics. But she added that it did not fully reflect the party’s base.
“I would love to see a staff that reflects the base,” Allison said. She added that Biden’s campaign will be “more successful by having a set of top advisers who relate to and can connect with the very communities they depend on to win.”
Also on Saturday, Biden said he had already drafted an immigration bill, and reiterated his earlier vote to send legislation through Congress on his first day as president that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Biden and his campaign have been criticized by some Hispanic leaders and activists for their record and level of outreach to Latino communities.
“There are things I had promised before I would do on Day 1 that are not going to go away,” Biden said in a virtual fundraiser. “We need to deal with immigration. I already have a written invoice. I will send to the United States Congress on Day 1 a path to citizenship for those who are actually undocumented. ”
The composition of Biden’s team has come under intense scrutiny as race issues have dominated the national political conversation, with protests against racism and police violence against erupting African Americans across the country. Some supporters have expressed concern about the diversity of their team, whose most visible leaders are white.
Biden recently added more people of color to his team, which, along with including consultants in his recently released numbers, seemed to have increased his percentage of non-white staff members. Consultants are not traditionally considered personal in campaigns.
The Trump campaign, when asked about its diversity data, said that 52 percent of all full-time staff are women. I wouldn’t say what percentage of the staff are people of color. Fifty-six percent of senior staff are women, the campaign said, and 25 percent are people of color.
Senior staff means “senior leaders who meet regularly to make decisions. People in authority,” the campaign said in a statement.
Republican and Democratic coalitions differ in their racial makeup. A majority (53 percent) of non-Hispanic white voters identify with the Republican or Lean Republican Party, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Four out of 10 registered Democratic voters are now not white, compared to just 17 percent of the Republican Party, according to the data.
When it comes to staffing, the Biden campaign is working with a group called Inclusv, which seeks to ensure that people of color can be found at all levels of politics. Alida García, founder of Inclusv, said she plans to promote job opportunities for its members. The figures released on Saturday represented a “great first step,” he said, but “indicate that there is plenty of room to grow.”
The names of Biden staff members were not included in the information released Saturday. Symone Sanders, a senior campaign advisor, is her most visible African-American assistant. Biden also has a large crew of color substitutes, but they are not campaign staff members. The figures released by the campaign did not distinguish race other than whether officials were white or colored.
Biden’s campaign said its top leaders on the Asian islands and Pacific islands include its chief financial officer, chief operating officer, national director of voter protection, chief of digital staff, director of digital associations and substitute director.
The campaign said its definition of senior staff “includes department heads, senior advisers, deputy campaign managers and senior consultants who spend most of their time on the campaign and others.” He added in a statement that “the hiring process is still ongoing and he hopes to continue adding key leaders throughout the campaign.”
Hours before launch, PBS correspondent Amna Nawaz pointed out to Mr. Biden at city hall that his campaign had not yet released specific information about the diversity of its staff.
“When will they publish the staff diversity data?” she asked.
Mr. Biden replied, “Today I will release the diversity data for the staff. When we get out of this call, we will call you.
He added: “You know, the fact is that we have a very diverse staff. And we have a diverse staff that encompasses all domains and senior and senior positions. So I’m going to make sure we get it out there, and it includes AAPI members as well as a significant number of African Americans, a significant number of women and Latinos. “
Ms. Nawaz continued to ask if Mr. Biden was talking about “the oldest members of his staff, not the general staff, the agency people who are at the decision-making table.” Is that correct?”
“That is correct,” replied Mr. Biden.
Ms. Nawaz said she would accept Biden in her offer.
“My team has to be watching this. When this is over, pick up the phone right away and call her, okay? Mr. Biden added.
Biden also said his administration “would look like the United States.” She previously promised to name a woman as vice president and a black woman as her first candidate for the Supreme Court. In recent weeks, she has also been under increasing pressure to name a black woman as her running mate.
“Look at my staff. I have the most diverse staff of all who run. I always have, ”Biden told NPR in December. “The administration should resemble the American public.”
The Washington Post