The Local Take: American Sheriff Demographics With The Reflective Democracy Campaign

Aug 29, 2020

The Reflective Democracy Campaign report on the Democracy of Power - America's Sheriffs

Saturday morning at eight on WCLK's The Local Take I talk about sherriffs with Brenda Choresi Carter, the Executive Director of the Reflective Democracy Campaign.  Their recent research found that 90% of Sheriffs in the America are white men. 

She shares that the Reflective Democracy Campaign is working to learn about the "Demographics of Power" and how this effects community. They research race and gender demographics of elected officials. Even they were surprised to learn that the majority of sheriffs were white men who most often ran unopposed. 

I asked her to explain exactly what do sheriffs do? Her explanation included that most sheriff offices work with out any oversight or accountability. Sheriffs generally work in areas that don't have an official police force. They collaborate with ICE, run the jails and are in charge of evictions.  As communities begin to reimagine the police, we also need to include the office of sheriff.  Carter mentions that some states have done away with the office of sheriff all together. 

Most politicians start their career on school boards or county comissions.  I asked her why she thought that the office of sheriff wasn't considered a way into and up the political ladder.  She spoke to most holders of the office being entrenched with almost guaranteed re-election. 

This is another reason for citizens to vote in every election. Local elections will have the same if not more impact to your life. 

For more information on the Reflective Democracy Campaign

To read the Democracy of Power Report on Sheriffs