Fuzzy Math

Here's some really fuzzy math for you.  When does 32 equal 65?

They're the same when one examines elected office holders at all levels of government in the United States.  65% of these are white males.  But such dudes make up only 31% of our overall population.

The Reflective Democracy Campaign recently released the results of a study it just completed on this question.  The Campaign built a database of over 42,000 elected officials, only to discover that our leaders don’t look too much like us.  Men, and particularly white men, occupy the majority of elected offices. Women and people of color are, to quote Think Progress, massively underrepresented.

There’s more.  Men of color make up only 7% of elected officials.  Women of color are only 4% of elected officials. White women are slightly better off; they’re 25% of elected officials.

Drilling deeper into the Campaign’s database, women are a bit more prevalent in state and local governments.  Sadly, the reverse is true for people of color.  African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans are more represented at the federal level than anywhere else.

In less than two weeks, we can better balance this skewed equation.  Vote.  Vote not just for progressives, but for female progressives, and for progressives of color.  Let’s make our elected officials more closely resemble the marvelous mélange of ethnicities in which this writer grew up.


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Michele Petrovsky holds a Master's Degree in Computer Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent over two decades teaching in colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and currently publishes two blogs: Thoughts4Change and I Owe It All to J Thaddeus Toad. Petrovsky resides in Glen Mills, PA.