Tri-Caucus Members Demand Interior Focus on Diversity
Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), with Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA), led 28 of their colleagues in a letter slamming Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for his comments that "diversity isn't important," "I don't care about diversity," and "I don't really think that's important anymore." In the letter, they urged Zinke to rethink his comments and focus his efforts on increasing diversity to keep up with the rapidly changing demographics of the nation. “Rather than moving away from encouraging diversity, you should be working to recruit and hire individuals from all background in compliance with DOI’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Additional efforts should be made to fully implement this plan at all of DOI’s various bureaus. ... We urge you to use such resources to champion diversity at DOI including by growing park visitation and expanding efforts to increase access to public lands for historically underrepresented communities.” Jayapal, McEachin, and Barragán are Co-Chairs of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, which works to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on communities of color and other marginalized groups. See the full letter here.