Intersectional identity politics have officially sent the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee into “complete chaos,” according to minority congresswomen calling for some major “diversity” changes in the DCCC.
“The DCCC is now in complete chaos,” Texas Reps. Vicente Gonzalez and Filemon Vela told Politico in a statement published Monday. Their problem? DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) has not made enough strides in promoting “diversity” within the party, particularly by hiring minority candidates to replace some of the committee’s senior management.
“The single most immediate action that Cheri Bustos can take to restore confidence in the organization and to promote diversity is to appoint a qualified person of color, of which there are many, as executive director at once,” Gonzalez and Vela said.
To do so would mean that Bustos would have to fire the committee’s current executive director, Allison Jaslow.
Politico reports that in a emergency all-staff meeting on Friday, “Jaslow cried as she assumed blame for the lack of diversity in the DCCC, according to multiple people in the room.” The outlet notes that the committee’s handling of a staffer who posted tweets ten years ago that were considered derogatory toward LGBT people also came up during the “very emotional” staff meeting.
In their statement, Gonzalez and Vela expressed frustration not only with the DCCC, but also with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for failing to sufficiently back up their protests against the Democrats’ campaign arm. “We find the silence of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on this issue to be deafening,” the women said.
Politico reports that internal pressure has escalated enough to compel Bustos to make an “unplanned trip” to D.C. to address the growing “diversity” complaints coming from prominent black and Latino lawmakers who reportedly agree about the need for more represenation in significant positions.
The all-staff meeting came after Politico reported Thursday on the “long-simmering battle” between the DCCC and minority lawmakers “who believe the party committee and its chairwoman have shortchanged people of color.” Among the copmlaints are Bustos’ “tone-deaf comments on race” and perceived failure to live up to campaign promises when running for her position.
Former Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) is one of the minority politicians decrying Bustos and the committee. “There is not one person of color — black or brown, that I’m aware of — at any position of authority or decision-making in the DCCC. It is shocking, it is shocking, and something needs to be done about it,” said Fudge in a comment reported by Politico Thursday.
Bustos attempted to meet with Fudge, but she says she turned Bustos down. “Until they show me they are serious about diversity, there’s no reason for me to meet with them,” she said.
Politico notes that Bustos isn’t only dealing with complaints; she’s also been hit by some notable resignations from senior aides, including her African American chief of staff.
A DCCC spokesman told Politico that Bustos is traveling to D.C. to approve some changes in the “structure” of the organization and participate in diversity and inclusion training for the committee’s employees.
“Chairwoman Bustos is coming back because she understands how important it is for her to hear from staff directly and to reassure them that we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion at every level,” a committee spokesman told the outlet. “She plans to approve changes to the structure before she leaves town and wants to get staff input as we work to build a stronger DCCC and make sure our team, from senior leadership on down, reflects the full range of diversity that gives the Democratic Party its strength.”