Whatever the result of the midterms this November, practitioners on the left will have access to unprecedented levels of data on the staffers and consultants who worked to elect Democrats this cycle. That’s because groups including the AAPI Victory Fund, Latino Victory Fund, and The Collective PAC have joined forces, in part, to encourage the hiring of staffers and consultants of color, but also monitor the track records of the candidates they support.
“It’s starting to monitor what people actually do, not what they say they’re going to do,” Shekar Narasimhan, chairman of the AAPI Victory Fund, told C&E in a recent interview.
Expanding representation of people of color on campaigns and at firms has been a focus for many progressive practitioners in recent cycles as the diversity of the electorate has increased but the campaign and advocacy industry, in many ways, hasn’t reflected those changes: “We need to see our faces, our communities, our values represented,” Narasimhan said.
Narasimhan also noted the alliance of groups will want the campaigns its supporting this cycle to back up any talk of supporting diverse hiring in the industry with actual hires of staffers and consultants of color. If they need help recruiting, the coalition will be there with resumes.
“We will be compiling those lists and providing them to campaigns,” he said, adding that involvement by the groups will ideally continue after its candidates get elected. “We’re going to be there to support you before and after.”
While donations will still play a big role in how the groups support candidates, Narasimhan said they’ve evolved the thinking on using money alone to spark changes in hiring and representation. Having staffers of color will help campaigns make inroads with diverse communities and voters who may otherwise have stayed on the sidelines in a midterm.
“If we don’t motivate our communities to vote, all the money in the world is not going to win elections,” he said. “It’s very logical for us to think in both ways.”