In the News

People, Get Ready - Changes Are Coming To Capitol Hill

Erika West in Essence

Stylized photo of front of the US capitol building

Erika West, a principal and policy expert with The Raben Group in Washington, D.C., suggests that the decidedly more diverse Congress offers opportunities to help shift policy in specific ways. “Women and people of color are setting the agenda, not fighting for space in it,” she observes. “Their impact will be felt beyond issues that we know women of color, in particular, care deeply about, such as family leave, pay equity and voting rights.” West notes that with the new Congress featuring multiple committees led by women and people of color—five CBC members will chair full committees, for example, while 28 will chair subcommittees—the members of the 116th Congress are more apt to put forward legislation that is racially, economically and geographically inclusive. “The needs of more communities will be considered,” West says, “as will their access to often ignored infrastructure issues such as transit, broadband and clean water. And that’s the important thing: It means we have new power to lobby for the kinds of policies we’ve long wanted.”