Statement: “Our diversity in the DA’s office reflects basically the diversity of our community,” District Attorney and mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis said at an April 3 forum.
Analysis: Dumanis grabbed headlines earlier this month with a bold promise to voters: If elected San Diego’s next mayor, she will to fix city schools within her first term.
However, another statement by Dumanis at the education forum that night caught our attention. Much of the discussion focused on eliminating a racial gap in student achievement, and at one point, Dumanis cited a statistic to illustrate that she values diversity. She said (emphasis added):
Having been the DA for nine years, one of the first things that we embodied was our diversity value. Our diversity in the DA’s office reflects basically the diversity of our community, because people have to see in government the reflection of their community.
The claim interested me because I recently examined the racial gap between San Diego County residents and Superior Court judges. The latest census shows about 48 percent of county residents are white while a recent court survey shows about 77 percent of judges are white.
Dumanis’ statement pushed me to figure out whether a similar disparity exists between residents and county prosecutors, so I asked county human resources officials for documentation on the demographics of current employees.
The numbers show Dumanis’ description is pretty close. About 48 percent of residents are white and about 52 percent of the office’s employees are white. The breakdown of other large racial groups is also within a few percentage points, with the slight exception of Latinos.
The graphic below illustrates the current comparison and provides a historical perspective of demographics in the office. Over Dumanis’ tenure, the percentage of white employees has fallen slightly while the percentage of Latino and Asian employees has grown slightly.
Overall, the comparison shows the demographics of the District Attorney’s Office nearly mirror the community it serves, so we’ve rated the claim True.
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