Democratic firm aims to diversify consultant class

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Elections

The effort is part of a long-term goal to increase the diversity in their own ranks in the hopes of pushing the party to further develop talent pipelines for women and people of color.

The current Congress is the most diverse ever, but there’s still a major lack of diversity among staff, POLITICO reported earlier this year. | John Locher/AP Photo

By JAMES ARKIN

04/05/2021 05:01 AM EDT

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A major Democratic consulting firm is building a new public affairs practice and launching a paid fellowship program intended to increase diversity in the party’s consultant class.

Left Hook, a firm that works with major congressional candidates and committees, is launching the fellowship program this fall and bringing on a new veteran campaign operative to run a public affairs division, according to details shared first with POLITICO. The effort is part of a long-term goal to increase the diversity in their own ranks in the hopes of pushing the party to further develop talent pipelines for women and people of color.

The firm has hired Shripal Shah, a veteran Democratic operative who was mostly recently a vice president at the super PAC American Bridge 21st Centruy, as a partner to lead the public affairs division. The new fellowship will pay college students $20 an hour in an effort to provide hands-on training to create a more diverse pool of talent for the party in the future. They will also partner with other organizations within the party to develop diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

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