Main | Monday, December 15, 2008

Minorities Vie For Obama Appointments

Minority groups are "working overtime" to ensure their inclusion in Barack Obama's government. So far about half of Obama's selected candidates for Cabinet positions have been non-white.

Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Of the 22 Cabinet-level positions Obama is expected to have, 15 candidates have been named so far. Of those, seven are white men, four are women, three are African Americans, two are Asians, and one is Latino. The fact that the president-elect himself is African American is a historic addition to the new administration's diversity, but it doesn't relieve Obama of the pressure for representation from other constituencies.
The above-linked story notes the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute has been working for almost a year to get LGBT people considered for positions.
The Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute began work last January on its own nonpartisan "presidential appointments project," and has so far collected and vetted 1,400 resumes, said spokesman Denis Dison. "This is the first time we've been this organized, this early," he said. "The mission of the program is to let the administration know that there are thousands of people willing to serve, and many are extremely qualified."
Here are the historical firsts for diversity in Cabinet appointments:

Woman: Frances Perkins, secretary of labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt
African American: Robert Weaver, secretary of housing and urban development under Lyndon Johnson
Latino: Lauro Cavazos, secretary of education under Ronald Reagan
Asian American: Norman Mineta, secretary of commerce under Bill Clinton
Native American: Charles Curtis, vice president under Herbert Hoover.
Openly gay or lesbian: None yet

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