A new coalition to build a Congress that looks like America

Laura Maristany, the associate director of Democracy Fund’s Governance Program, shares key lessons from her own experience striving to reach senior-level positions on Capitol Hill, as well as from their grantees who are striving to ensure that “policymaking and Congress reflect the diversity of our country.”

Read the full blog post here, featuring key takeaways and resources, data-driven analyses of staff diversity in Congress, and solutions for helping to make congressional careers more accessible.


“Today, [Democracy Fund] grantees have launched a new coalition, Representative Democracy, to create an ecosystem of diverse leadership talent in Congress, from interns to senior staff. This effort has been three years in the making and reflects the rich insight and learnings from member organizations. Some offer leadership programs while others generate data and execute issue-based campaigns that center diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)  and advocate for legislative change. In honor of today’s launch, I’d like to share some key learnings, shine a spotlight on the work some of these grantees have been doing over the last three years, and encourage you to learn more about how Representative Democracy can be a resource to you.

Four key lessons from the blog post:

Lesson 1: Offer paid internships as one of the most direct pathways for underrepresented students into Congress.

Lesson 2: Create more real-time transparency about the demographics of congressional staff.

Lesson 3: Invest in leadership development to help diverse staffers advance.

Lesson 4: Create models for systemic change, not just short-term solutions.

Read the full report here.

Filed Under:
Topics: Congressional Staffing Reform Efforts