The National Association of Diverse Consultants will work to connect minority political consultants with campaigns. The goal: to make campaigns better reflect the diversity of the voting public.
Political parties represent diverse groups of people, but political consultants don’t always reflect that diversity. That’s something a new association plans to fix.
The National Association of Diverse Consultants (NADC), launched this week by a group of largely Democratic consultants, will work to connect candidates and advocacy groups with political consultants of color, with the goal of amplifying minority voices in the conversation. Chuck Rocha, founder of the political consultancy Solidarity Strategies, said the new association hopes to solve a problem that surfaces frequently in the political community.
“The longest standing question that we all hear every time we do a pitch with an organization … is … if I knew a person of color or firm, I would hire them, we just don’t know any. So our organization at the most basic level is going to be set up to answer that question,” Rocha told NBC News.
Also this week, a new report from Inclusv [PDF], an advocacy group for diversity in politics, highlighted the depth of the problem among state Democratic parties. The survey of 40 state parties (along with the Democratic Party of Washington, DC) found that 32 percent of party staffers were people of color, while nearly half of Democratic voters in the 2012 and 2016 elections were people of color.
Some demographic groups are particularly poorly represented in state Democratic parties, according to the report: 21 states had no Latino staffers, 25 states had none of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, 31 states had no Arab-American staffers, and just three state parties had a Native American on staff.
Inclusv made a series of recommendations, including that state party organizations implement the so-called Rooney Rule when recruiting to fill senior positions. The Rooney Rule is a well-known requirement in the NFL that teams interview minority candidates for job openings.
Rocha said NADC will aim to make it easier for political parties to find consultants who will help them connect with a more diverse electorate—by hiring Spanish-speaking advisors, for example.
“As the electorate has changed and evolved to be more brown, more progressive, multicultural, the consultants are the same old white guys who have run party politics forever,” Rocha said.