Dear Colleague on Diversity and Inclusion in the 117th Congress

November 9, 2020
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleagues and Members-Elect of the 117th Congress,

Congratulations on your elections to the U.S. House of Representatives: the most dynamic and diverse in history! 

As Speaker, my top priority has always been promoting diversity at every level of Congress, so that the halls of the Capitol reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the American people whom we represent.  On Opening Day of the 116th Congress, the House voted to include a permanent Diversity Initiative in the Rules Package, to build on previous efforts and implement a diversity plan for our institution.  As part of that package, we created the new House Office of Diversity and Inclusion, led by Director Kemba Hendrix, which has worked tirelessly to develop further initiatives to encourage diversity and inclusion. 

This past summer, House Democrats built on this progress by passing a Caucus Diversity Rule, which encourages Members of the Caucus to prioritize diversity in their hiring practices.  This initiative, together with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is advancing progress to ensure that Congress will be more inclusive, open and representative of the full range of voices and values of our communities.

Our progress would not have been possible without our exceptional staff organizations, which represent thousands of staffers from nearly every background, race, gender and sexual orientation.  Their professional development initiatives and national network of public servants and policy experts make them a vital resource as you begin the hiring process. 

Much work remains to increase diversity among our staff, particularly in senior positions.  I encourage you to consult with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as well as staff organizations, as you strive to hire diverse staff whose advice, expertise and commitment to service will enrich our institution and our country.

As always, my office stands ready to assist you in any way in this important priority.