Dear Virginia Delegates . . .
We are astounded and thrilled at the victories this month in Virginia! Each and every one of the Virginia candidates who endorsed the Diversity Declaration WON their elections, and many of them won against outrageous odds- they faced heavily gerrymandered districts, dog whistle attacks by their opponents, and dark money. But when we vote, we win. The Virginia legislature now has its first-ever Latina, Asian and transgender representatives and new African-American representatives as well.
But we're not finished. Rich and powerful forces will want to get them out again. We can't just leave them on their own- we need to build a bench behind them, so that when they tire, others are trained and ready to step in. In order to ensure a strong pipeline of future leaders, it is vital to reach down and ensure that staff don't just come from the same small talent pool. That's why we have teamed up with Inclusv, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and Virginia Leadership Institute to ask them to take a new pledge. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our listserv to find out how you can help us reach more and more elected officials to commit to the Diversity Pipeline Pledge.
Diversity Pipeline Pledge
The best public policy happens when there is a diversity of views and experience to inform it, and diversity happens when our elected officials are serious about recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse staff. We therefore commit to:
*Implement the Rooney Rule, which calls on offices to interview one or more candidates from underrepresented backgrounds for all office vacancies.
*Support efforts to benchmark and track progress within the legislature and in your own office. Collect and analyze staff demographic information, and support efforts to publicly collect and analyze staff demographic data.
*Utilize diverse talent pipelines, particularly through page and intern programs, in partnership with national organizations, institutions, internship and fellowship partners.