New reports from NBC News find that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has begun to focus extensive hiring efforts on Latino-owned community outreach consultants. The hiring decisions come as a direct result of the findings from the PowerPAC+ Fannie Lou Hamer Report. The report, researched and authored by Dr. Julie Martínez Ortega, found that 98% of the money spent by the Democratic Party committees went only to White-owned consultancies, despite the incredible diversity of the Democratic Party.
As Dr. Ortega states, “I called for the Democrats to hire consultants with cultural competence and to focus on voters of color.”
The electoral politics of the United States has changed, and candidates are more reliant than ever on the support of communities of color to get elected. Politicians must begin to seek out the expertise of culturally competent consultancies to be successful with the New American Majority. Organizations such as, the American Majority Project Research Institute (AMPRI), founded by Dr. Ortega, know this, and have been dedicated to making the most of this reality. AMPRI has focused on conducting all kinds of research and outreach into communities of color, and their work will be extremely influential toward mobilizing communities of color in 2016.
The hiring decisions by the Clinton campaign, demonstrate that the Democratic Party is starting to wake up to the fact that in order to reach out to constituents of color, you must hire consultants of color as well. Lip service from will not suffice any longer. Politicians must put their money where their mouth is before they can expect the support of communities of color. Despite the fact that these hiring decisions come as welcome news, a report last month by INCLUSV, a diversity hiring initiative & project of PowerPAC+, found that all of the Democratic candidates of 2016 need to expand their staff hiring of people of color, if they truly want to represent the Democratic vote share.
Candidates and the Democratic Party must become more responsible about their hiring decisions, this is why in October, PowerPAC+ is unveiling a Democratic State Party Audit Toolkit, which will allow individuals and organizations to conduct audits to hold their own state party accountable, much like the Fannie Lou Hamer Report has done. Although we can see that more work still needs to be done, the New American Majority is taking hold of 2016, and is forcing 2016’s candidates to listen to us if we are going to listen to them.