Prince William County, a Virginian DC-adjust suburban county, is the talk of scandal over an attempt to evade public exposure of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) related material, according to Just The News. The Coles District (of Prince William County) Supervisor, Yesli Vega (R) posted the survey that was sent to county employees after the Office of Equity and Inclusion removed the link that she shared with constituents. An email from the Equity and Inclusion Officer Maria Burgos to Vega disclosed that the government unpublished the $78,000 taxpayer-funded survey after Vega shared the survey with her constituents.
The survey, which proclaimed that “[d]iversity, equity and inclusion are core values at Prince William County” had an invasive mandatory question such as asking the employee to describe their gender identity and, as Just The News notes, did not have any answer for why some demographic questions are mandatory versus optional. Vega, a former Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 2022, wrote that “[t]ime after time, this Orwellian office has exceeded our worst expectations.”
The statement by the Republican Supervisor's office lambasted the survey by stating that “[t]he sexual lives of our employees is none of their business” and all this nonsense clearly displays “why this office must be terminated and the taxpayers of Prince William County refunded with the savings.”
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One employee wrote to Vega that “[i]t escapes me how this survey was ever approved by County leadership and how they thought this line of questioning was appropriate or acceptable.” The same employee referred to the survey as “extremely offensive” in its nature.
The creation of the Office of Equity and Inclusion in 2021 by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors has become a matter of political scandal. The office has proved to be a profitable politically correct sinecure. The aforementioned Officer Burgos was paid $162,740 last year. Maria Burgos was known for being a part of the innocuous-sounding Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee where she worked in county schools. A two-year-old video of her presentation about “Culturally Responsive Teaching” has her citing Critical Race Theory related texts, however, the video has since been unlisted (meaning the video cannot be found through online searches).
Supervisor Vega had proposed an alternative budget last year which would have eliminated the DEI office. Vega's stance toward the DEI office reflects the stance her party largely shares. Republicans in Virginia ran against the incorporation of Critical Race Theory, which DEI relates to, into the state's education system in 2021. This proved to be part of the winning message that brought the current governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general to power. DEI staff on university campuses were noted by a seminal study by Dr. Jay Greene and James Paul as often contributing “to hostile conditions for Jewish students”. Another study by the same authors also noted that the employment of a chief diversity officer in K-12 school districts “may increase gaps between white and minority students”. As noted by Just The News, neither Burgos's office nor Prince William County media relations have responded to their inquiries regarding Supervisor Vega's accusations and the posted material.