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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Two Black congressional staff associations published an open letter Friday calling for more diversity, better conditions and "a stronger college-to-Congress pipeline" for staffers at Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: While Congress swore in its most racially and ethnically diverse congressional class in history this year, congressional staffs remain "overwhelmingly white," the letter says.

  • “We believe that if the United States Congress wants to hold steadfast to its representative form of government, then congressional staffers hired to construct and inform legislation should be reflective of the United States’ population.”

The big picture: The U.S. population is roughly 13% Black, compared with only 3% of Senate staffers, per the letter.

  • Zoom in: Thirty-eight percent of the staff members for Senate Democrats identify as non-Caucasian — up from 35% in 2020, according to data from the caucus reported by Axios' Stef Kight in July. Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) have the least-white staff teams.

The letter, written by the Congressional Black Associates and the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus, outlined steps for change:

  • Strengthening college-to-Congress pipeline by fostering relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Black Student Unions (BSUs) and other diverse organizations on college campuses.
  • Offering better career opportunities to Black staffers so they can "develop and display their talents" and be promoted to higher positions.
  • Providing better pay to all staffers to offset the high cost of living.
  • Ensuring lawmakers hire diverse staffs that reflect their constituencies.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Subdued Tennessee Senate redistricting maps released

Image courtesy of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Redistricting

Tennessee Republicans yesterday revealed a new map of redrawn state Senate districts, to a measured response from at least one Nashville Democrat.

Updated 57 mins ago - Economy & Business

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.

Rents hit all-time high

Data: Zumper; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national median price of a one-bedroom rental apartment in January was up 12% year-over-year, to $1,374 — an all-time high, per Zumper, an online apartment rental site.

Why it matters: Inflation is taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks these days not only in food and gasoline, but also in housing costs.