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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Beatty bill to diversify bank presidents gets boost in Senate

May 16, 2018
News Articles

Beatty bill to diversify bank presidents gets boost in Senate

Rep. Joyce Beatty’s bill to ensure that at least one minority and one female candidate are interviewed for each vacancy for the presidency of a Federal Reserve Bank received a boost this week when a group of Democratic senators — including three possible 2020 Democratic presidential contenders — introduced the measure in the Senate.

Beatty, a Jefferson Township Democrat, has been irked by the fact that of the more than 130 individuals who have served as presidents of the 12 reserve banks, only three have been people of color. In 2017, Raphael Bostic became the first African-American reserve bank president when he led the Atlanta Fed. And before that, only six women have served as reserve bank presidents.

Beatty’s bill would make sure people of color and women are at least interviewed for reserve bank president vacancies. There are 12 reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System: San Francisco, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Dallas.

Four Senate Democrats introduced the companion measure: Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Dianne Feinstein of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Harris, Booker and Gillibrand are thought to be potential Democratic presidential candidates.

The bill, which has yet to pass the House, is modeled after the National Football League’s “Rooney Rule,” which was established in 2003 to boost diversity among the league’s head coaching positions. Since the NFL adopted that policy, the number of NFL coaches of color has more than doubled.

This article was originally published by the Columbus Dispatch on May 16, 2018.