When it comes to diversity in politics the Democratic Party has been at the forefront. With issues ranging from LGBT initiatives, immigration to minority rights, most concerned voters feel that the Democratic National Committee is reaching out by using various consulting agencies. However the consulting agencies they are using lack diversity themselves.
“There is a racket. Everybody inside the Beltway is already connected, so it’s always been difficult to expand opportunities for women and minorities to have a seat at the table,” says Donna Brazile, a well-respected political consultant.
The diversification of the consultants and contractors used by the DNC has not kept pace with the sweeping changes that have occurred with the Obama presidency. The contractors are still overwhelmingly white-owned, while black-owned or even LGBT-owned agencies can’t seem to get a foot inside the doors of power that is equal to their white counterparts.
The Congressional Black Caucus has raised these concerns quietly behind the scenes. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has expressed frustration with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel’s efforts to be more inclusive.
“We’ve met and repeatedly requested the DCCC’s diversity goals in writing and have yet to receive them. It is clear to me they have no desire to address this issue,” says Rep. Fudge.
The issue has been very heated and the powerful organization known as the Democracy Alliance had a closed-door meeting regarding the subject. On its website the Democracy Alliance states “it was created to build progressive infrastructure that could help counter the well-funded and sophisticated conservative apparatus in the areas of civic engagement, leadership, media and ideas.”
One of the organization’s biggest donors, activist, philanthropist and lawyer Steve Phillips, stated that he will be launching an audit of top Democratic committees’ consulting contracts with minority firms. The audit will look at the spending of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association and the super PACs Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC.