WASHINGTON – Governments at all levels need to improve outreach to minority communities to better represent the diversity of their people, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) said this week at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues.
Congressman Hastings, Co-Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), outlined several easy ways policy makers can more proactively involve minority citizens, including regular face-to-face meetings to bring them into the legislative process, advertising government job openings in minority communities, and expanding mentoring opportunities that give youth a positive experience with government. The full text of his remarks is available here.
United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues Gay McDougall convened the forum in Geneva, Switzerland Nov. 12-13. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, chaired the forum. Congressman Hastings spoke at a session about concrete steps to advance minority political participation. He also reported on April’s Black European Summit in Belgium, a joint venture of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, and the Socialist Group of the European Parliament.