Vice President Kamala Harris is losing another staff member as part of an exodus that some reports attribute to turmoil and bullying in her office.
Vincent Evans, Harris’ deputy director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs, has quit to become the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Evans is the latest Harris staffer to resign amid claims of dysfunction and tension in her office. According to an investigative report by the Washington Post, some Harris staffers no longer want to put up with the VP, who has been described as a “bully” who dishes out “soul-destroying criticism.”
Harris’ chief spokesperson and longtime aide, Symone Sanders, resigned in December, as did communications director Ashley Etienne. Her director of press operations, Peter Velz, also departed, The New York Post reported.
A CNBC source said that Evans is still on good terms with Harris and his resignation wasn’t linked to previous departures.
“I am deeply honored to be named the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus,” Evans said in a statement to the network. “I started my career in Washington working for a member of the CBC, so I know firsthand the tremendous leadership and impact this caucus has in Congress and across the country.”
The CBC is made up of most African-American members of the U.S. Congress. It describes its goals as achieving greater equity for people of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services. It also seeks to positively influence the course of events pertinent to African Americans and others with similar experiences and situations.
Priorities of the 56-member CBC include closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in education, assuring quality health care, and focusing on employment and economic security.
“Vincent will help the CBC reach greater heights and make substantive advances in 2022,” said CBC Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio). “In addition to his experience, he brings great passion for further strengthening the CBC’s top priorities moving forward.”
CBC membership includes Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the No. 3 Democrat in the House, and Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, the fifth-ranking Democrat.
Despite its ability to wield power in a time of heightened awareness of systemic racism, the CBC has been criticized for not doing enough to push for such issues as police reform, voting rights, and reparations.
“We have had, for years, individual members of the Black Caucus who have submitted legislation, and it was kind of just, ‘Yeah, yeah, we hear you.’ People sign on, but it doesn’t go anywhere,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) in a Politico report.
“Now, to actually see members of Congress look to us for leadership, look to us for direction, for advice, and counting on us to help get this right — there’s a tremendous amount of, I would say, pressure — I say that personally — that we make a difference and we get this right,” Lawrence added.
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Evans began his political career as an aide to a Tallahassee city commissioner and staffer in the Florida state Senate. He served on the senior staff of Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.), and during the 2020 presidential campaign, Evans was the Southern political director for the Joe Biden campaign and political director for the vice presidential nominee.
Photo: U.S Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech during the Paris Peace Forum, in Paris, Nov. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)