All seven senators running for president have Capitol Hill staffs more racially diverse than the states they represent, and only two of them employ a smaller share of white people than the Democratic electorate they're seeking to win over.
The demographics of their offices, and those of all 40 of their colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, were revealed last week in the most recent edition of a report the Senate leadership has been commissioning over the past dozen years in an effort to promote more gender, ethnic and sexual identity diversity on that side of the Capitol.
Getting more people from different backgrounds and experiences to work (and have internships) on Capitol Hill has become an increasingly emphatic goal of those seeking to improve not only the functionality but also the public's perception of the legislative branch.
And in the opening stages of the 2020 presidential campaign, when the Democratic Party will be counting on increased turnout among minority voters, party leaders have been talking up their commitment to diversity with renewed intensity.
In speeches and the first debates, the Democratic presidential candidates haven't put much emphasis on their plans for making democracy work better. On Facebook, it's a slightly different story: Collectively, they've been spending more to attack dark money than to promote any other policy position.
In the 14 weeks ending July 6, the aspirants spent a combined $879,000 on ads across the social media platform promising to change campaign finance rules so that nonprofit groups engaged in political advocacy are required to disclose the identities of the donors. That easily eclipsed the second biggest chunk of online issue spending: $721,000 on their economic policy platforms.
To be sure, spending to lambaste dark money was No. 1 because of just one candidate's investment: Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota spent more than $432,000 — almost more than all the others, combined — emphasizing her stump speech line promising to "get dark money out of politics" by pushing a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which declared that minimally regulated spending by corporations, nonprofits and unions is within their free speech rights.
From the Capitol to Facebook to the dining room table, the political divide in the United States continues to grow. Casual conversations turn into shouting matches. Others cease altogether, leaving everyone unable to share their perspectives and learn from someone with other experiences.
Tyler Storlie found inspiration in one of these episodes, when a conversation with his dad spiraled from agreement to heated political argument. He wondered why having slightly different world views caused such frustrating battles. That's when he decided to write a children's book, "Two Tribes," which tells the story of two groups fighting constantly over the best way to help their shared village.
The Fulcrum had a chance to sit down with Storlie to talk about his new book, and why it's important for Americans young and old.