close btn

Today, New American Leaders released State of Pay, a report examining one of the primary barriers for full representation and inclusion in our democracy: the financial commitments it takes to run, win, and lead in elected office.

“We say our democracy is of, for, and by the people but the reality is that it was created for the white and wealthy. When New Americans and people of color run for office, we go up against hundreds of years worth of institutional barriers based in white supremacy. One of those barriers are the financial commitments needed to run for office,” said Ghida Dagher, president of New American Leaders.

Following an extensive data review, creation of multiple case studies, and interviews with New American state legislators from four states, State of Pay 2021 presents five key policy recommendations that would not only help close the representation gap for New Americans and other underrepresented groups, but also improve representation and policies for all communities.

“State legislatures have enormous power to decide the future of immigrant and BIPOC communities. However, as we have found in this report, low legislative salaries shut out many people who are most impacted by state legislative policies,” Dagher continued. “If we want to create a truly inclusive and representative democracy, then we must work to create an environment where state legislators have the staff support, time, and the salary needed to devote their full time to legislative duties and constituent support. To do anything less weakens our democracy and shuts out the next generation of state leaders.”

To read the full report and explore additional studies, please visit New American Leaders.