The lack of diversity among Des Moines' top city leadership has recently generated conversation, including among readers on development forum UrbanDSM.
Why it matters: The inclusion of underrepresented perspectives in government leads to better outcomes and policies, according to Inclusive America, a nonprofit that tracks demographics of appointed political positions.
By the numbers: Roughly 88% of the Des Moines government's full-time staff members and 89% of Polk County's are white, according to data obtained by Axios through public record requests.
- Meanwhile, just over 79% of the county's adult population is white, according to 2020 census figures.
Between the lines: Polk County is in the process of creating a new diversity and inclusion specialist position to help improve its recruitment and retention among workers of color, Jon Cahill, a spokesperson for the supervisors, told Axios.
- Des Moines will unveil a workforce equity plan in coming months, Manisha Paudel, the city's chief equity officer, said.
Thought bubble: Some of this is up to voters.
- Of the 21 leaders represented in a city photo chart, seven of them are elected.
Of note: A photo of Paudel, who is originally from Nepal, hasn't been uploaded to the city chart.
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