The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released a new report entitled “Building a More Inclusive Agenda: A Survey of Congressional Priorities Across Race”. Looking at how diversity benefits society as a whole and the ways that race-conscious policies benefit historically underserved racial and ethnic groups underscores how important it is to promote equality.
This nationwide survey conducted by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies was created to investigate attitudes towards racially conscious policymaking in the aftermath of the affirmative action decision. The survey asked questions about equity priorities in Congress and included responses from 1,200 people of various racial identities.
The racial equity issues given to respondents to consider included “hiring staff representative of them, hiring staff that reflects the diversity in their community, making sure laws that Congress passes do not discriminate against groups by race, passing legislation that helps decrease racial inequity, and passing legislation to make sure that every American has the right to vote”. Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander respondents ranked passing anti-discrimination laws as the highest priority, while white respondents placed ensuring all Americans have the right to vote in that position. About 50% of respondents believed that hiring a staff who reflects the diversity in their community should be a high priority, over 60% said that passing legislation that helps to decrease racial inequality should be a high priority, 72% said that making sure the laws passed by Congress do not discriminate against groups by race should be a high priority, and 73% said that passing legislation to make sure that every American has the right to vote should be a high priority.
This survey makes it clear that across racial barriers, equity is an important issue to American voters, and that Congress should take this issue seriously.
By Rebekah Lawatsch, Policy Intern