President-elect Donald Trump has turned the process of appointing administration officials into what the New York Times described as a “Trump-branded, made-for-television spectacle.” He has “paraded” potential appointees in front of news cameras for the world to see.
Amid the spectacle, about two-dozen minority organizations met on Nov. 16 with Republican leaders and Trump insiders to make the case for racial inclusiveness as the incoming administration takes shape, NBC News reports.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Black think tank, co-hosted the gathering with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund. INSIGHT America, a policy nonprofit formed by prominent Black conservatives, was a key partner.
After meeting with a team from President Obama’s administration, the groups gathered for discussions at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters with congressional aides, lobbyists and two key African-American members of the Trump team.
NBC said one of the main goals was to ensure that people of color are among those under consideration for federal appointments.
“We’ve been working on bringing together leaders from both sides of the aisle to discuss issues of importance to African-Americans and other communities of color,” Elroy Sailor, an INSIGHT America co-founder, told NBC. “We want to find common ground on new solutions aimed at solving old problems.”
Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center, told the network that some groundwork was done during the summer.
He added: “We’ve been in close contact with high-ranking RNC and Democratic National Committee officials. Based on our interactions with [Trump’s team], we have every reason to believe that they will have an inclusive administration that draws upon the talents and skills of Americans from all backgrounds and communities.”
There are about 6,000 open positions that Trump’s team must fill, but Blacks and Hispanics have historically been underrepresented in presidential administrations.
NBC notes that African-Americans and Latinos together represent about 30 percent of the population, but have only comprised about 8.7 percent of appointees since the Bush administration.