Democratic firm aims to diversify consultant class

“Our goal here is to create a talent pipeline or some kind of farm system,” said the Indian-American Shah in an interview, “so that the next generation of political strategists with skills and experience can come into this industry.” When the time comes to stop those individual campaigns, there is a pool of diverse talents that come with this basic experience that we helped create. “

Left Hook is a relatively new company founded in early 2017 before working on major house races in 2018 when the party retook the Chamber. You have also worked with the Congressional Democratic Campaigning Committee, the Senatorial Democratic Campaigning Committee, and Senator Mark Kelly’s victorious campaign in Arizona last year. Her leadership states that they have made diversity a priority in their recruitment since it was founded: Six out of nine partners are women or colored, and 47 percent of employees are women and 47 percent are colored, according to the company.

The effort comes when the party and the wider political universe grapple with persistent diversity issues. The current congress is the most diverse of all time, but there is still a great lack of diversity among staff, POLITICO reported earlier this year. Some activists and lawmakers in the Democratic Party continue to push for solutions. A new consulting firm Led by three women who started earlier this year, and Meredith Kelly, a veteran Democratic agent, is also a partner at a new advertising company.

Raghu Devaguptapu, a partner at Left Hook and former political director of the Democratic Governors Association, said it was “pretty clear” that the counseling world has a diversity problem.

“I’ve spent most of my career as one of the few black people in the decision-making room,” said Devaguptapu. “The communication of convictions in politics has changed, and the democratic coalition, which has been shown to have won nationwide races, has changed. Having business and the cultural literacy to understand how to communicate with the new and evolving coalition is critical to the party’s success. “

Shah, who previously served on three major Democratic committees – the DSCC, the DCCC and the Democratic National Committee – said the party now recognizes the need to increase diversity. The goal of the new program at Left Hook is to create specific plans that have long term benefits. He said there was ongoing discussion of working with other progressive organizations to build similar programs.

“A few years ago we tried to convince even the people in our party that it is important to have different perspectives and backgrounds in the table when we make decisions about how we run our races, how we our party to lead. Said Shah. “That has increasingly changed for the better in recent years, and 2020 is a good example. I think our challenge now is to actually act and take the next step forward. “

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), One of the company’s customers, praised the new efforts in a statement.

“The work they are doing to diversify the ranks of our party’s activists can have lasting effects,” said Aguilar. “I hope others will follow suit.”

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