Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to sexual misconduct charges & Ted Lieu leads.
Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to sexual misconduct charges & Ted Lieu leads.
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December 03, 2018
Cory Booker Intros New Law Enforcement Bill, Joaquín Castro to Lead Hispanic Caucus, and Carlos Curbelo Eyes Mayoral Run
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HE SAID WHAT HE SAIDCongressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) refused to retract his statement accusing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of betrayal last week. He expressed "alarm and opposition" to Schumer's comments about backing more money for Trump's border wall. THE BEEF? The president wants a $5 billion down payment for the wall -- the one that, on the campaign trail, he promised Mexico would pay for -- and has threatened a partial government shutdown if he doesn't get his way. A SEAT AT THE TABLELeader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is recommending Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) for a Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chair position to address the absence of a woman of color at the leadership table following Lee's defeat by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for Dem Caucus Chair. FARR OUTSenator Tim Scott (R-SC), the only Black Republican in the upper chamber, sank the judicial nomination of Thomas Farr, who Donald Trump had tapped to become a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of NC. PRESIDENTIAL PASSING… Former President George H.W. Bush passed away Friday night at the age of 94. He was remembered by Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes. DAY OF MOURNING… The federal government will be closed on Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Former First Lady Michelle Obama canceled her planned book tour appearances in Paris and Berlin to attend his funeral services this week. DRILL BABY, DRILL… The Trump administration, working with Republicans in Congress and an influential Alaska Native corporation, is quickly clearing the way for oil exploration in the federally protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake rattled Anchorage, the state's largest city, early Friday morning. TRADE TRUCETrump agreed to hold off on imposing additional tariffs on Chinese goods, and President Xi Jinping of China pledged to import more American products. BIG MEDIANexstar Media Group Inc. has agreed to buy Tribune Media Co., in a $4.1 billion deal that would create the nation’s largest owner of local television stations. BLUE BEETLEWarner Bros. and DC are developing a Latino-led Blue Beetle film based on Mexican American comic book character Jaime Reyes -- it will be the first Latino superhero to lead a standalone DC Extended Universe film. MY SHOTLin-Manuel Miranda, who was among Sunday night’s Kennedy Center Honors, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday. MADIBABeyoncé and JAY-Z headlined the Global Citizen Festival -- the Mandela 100 event in Johannesburg -- which commemorated what would have been former President Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday on July 18th and raised one billion dollars on Sunday. We’re kicking off the week with this...
  • Mike Espy readies for a 2020 rematch.
  • Newly elected members Sylvia García and Jesús "Chuy" García name Chiefs of Staff.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to sexual misconduct allegations.
  • Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) counters new tax law with a bill to keep jobs in the U.S.
  • Marc Lamont Hill addresses comments after CNN terminates contract.
  • Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) intros a bill to develop a partnership between public schools and communities.
  • Unbought and unbossed in Brooklyn: Shirley Chisholm gets a statue. Check it out in Blogs!
Actress Angela Bassett, former BET CEO Debra Lee, and Nina Cooper in NYC on Friday celebrating Alvin Ailey 60th Anniversary Gala.
National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Ai-jen Poo on Friday at the TEDWomen 2018 conference in Palm Springs, CA.
Ted Lieu Elected DPCC Co-Chair Making him the Only AAPI Member and Veteran in Dem Leadership
House Democrats elected Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) as the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Co-Chair. In this role, Lieu will help guide messaging strategy for the entire House Democratic Caucus. He will also be the only Asian American member, as well as the only veteran, serving in a House leadership position. “Democrats made history in 2018 by winning the largest popular vote margin in a midterm in U.S. history. We’re ushering in the most diverse, dynamic and enthusiastic caucus we’ve ever had. It’s an exhilarating time to be in the House and I’m honored to have a leadership role,” Lieu said. “Starting in January, the majority House Democratic Caucus will endeavor to stop any harmful policies of the Trump Administration and Republicans; work on a bipartisan basis to advance positive legislation to move our country forward; and execute our oversight responsibilities." Lieu joins David Cicilline (D-RI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) in the leadership of the DPCC. In the 116th Congress, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus will have its highest AAPI membership in history with the addition of three new Democratic Congressmen-elect: Andy Kim (NJ), TJ Cox (CA), and Michael San Nicolas (GU). More here.

Joaquín Castro Will Chair Hispanic Caucus
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on Friday elected Congressman Joaquín Castro (D-TX) its Chair for the 116th Congress. The 44-year-old San Antonio native, who has served in Congress since 2013, said that the CHC plans to work on creating opportunities for all Americans by removing barriers to education, raising minimum wages, increasing diversity across all sectors, lowering the cost of healthcare, and pushing back against climate change. “With 39 Members making the Caucus the largest it has been since our founding, we have a lot of work ahead of us in the 116th Congress and it will be important to deliver results and solutions to the American people,” said Castro. “We will also continue holding the Administration accountable for their failed handling of Hurricane Maria, and dishonest efforts to add a citizenship question to the census. From separating families at the border, tear gassing women and children seeking asylum, and proposing to gut the Flores Settlement Agreement to indefinitely detain immigrant families, it is critical we continue shedding light on Trump’s inhumane immigration policies. ” He will be replacing outgoing Congresswoman Michelle Luján Grisham (D-NM), who is leaving to become governor of New Mexico. Joining Castro on the leadership team will be Congressman Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) as First Vice Chair; Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) as Second Vice Chair; Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) as Whip; and Congresswoman-elect Verónica Escobar (D-TX) as Freshman Representative. More here.
Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, and Ilhan Omar to Help Lead Progressive Caucus
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
will co-chair the 90-member Congressional Progressive Caucus alongside Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) in the 116th Congress. “I am committed to ensuring our caucus is as bold and strategic as possible, and that our members have the resources and the ability to stand up for the chance for every American to have real opportunity, to take on the largest corporations and special interests who have corrupted our democracy and to bring real power to workers, women, immigrants and all of those most vulnerable and marginalized” said Jayapal. She replaces Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) at the helm after his decision to step down as Co-Chair to focus on his Chairmanship of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Additionally, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) was elected as the Caucus’ Vice Chair, and Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was elected as Caucus Whip. The Caucus also elevated several members of color to serve in leadership positions including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as Congressional Black Caucus liaison; Congresswoman-elect Verónica Escobar (D-TX) as Congressional Hispanic Caucus liaison; Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) as Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus liaison; Congressman Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) as Native American Caucus liaison; and Congressman-elect Joe Neguse (D-CO) as new member liaison. Other newly elected Democratic members of color of the Progressive Caucus include Gil Cisneros and Mike Levin (CA); Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL); Jesús "Chuy" García (IL); Ayanna Pressley (MA); Rashida Tlaib (MI); Andy Kim (NJ); Deb Haaland (NM); Steven Horsford (NV); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Antonio Delgado (NY); and Sylvia García (TX). More here.
CNN en Español’s María Alejandra Requena before her photoshoot for OK! Venezuela in Miami last week.
Former Obama WH staffer Kal Penn on Friday recording for a new Disney Junior cartoon.
Tammy Duckworth Intros Bill to Keep Jobs Imperiled by GOP Tax Law Based in U.S.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
introduced legislation last week to close a loophole created by the new tax law that encourages U.S. companies to move jobs and operations overseas in order to minimize their tax liability. The Removing Incentives for Outsourcing Act, which Duckworth introduced with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), would eliminate what they called an unfair incentive that allows U.S. companies to use excess foreign tax credits (FTCs) to shelter profits in tax havens. Under current law, a U.S. corporation may use FTCs to reduce U.S. tax liability on offshore profits by whatever amount the company paid in taxes in the country in which it earned the profits. While this makes sense on a per-country basis, the Senators said the new law’s use of a blended or “global rate” provides a perverse incentive for companies to shift jobs and operations overseas in order to preserve the strategic value of tax havens. Their bill would aim to fix this problem by instituting a “per-country” minimum tax instead of a blended or “global rate” under current law. The measure would also eliminate companies’ ability to deduct 10% of their tangible assets before the tax rate on foreign income applies. The bill would also require the Joint Committee on Taxation to conduct a study of various proposals for taxing overseas income and evaluate the options according to whether the proposal minimizes opportunities for the avoidance of U.S. taxes and minimizes incentives for outsourcing American jobs. “Despite Republicans’ claims that they would bring jobs back to America, it’s clear the GOP Tax Scam is helping mega-corporations offshore jobs and costing middle-class taxpayers not only millions of dollars, but their livelihoods as well,” Duckworth said. More here.

Cory Booker Intros Bill to Ban Sex Between Law Enforcement and Anyone in their Custody
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) 
and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Thursday introduced legislation to ban federal law enforcement officers from claiming consent as a defense when accused of sexually assaulting someone in their custody. The bill, dubbed the Closing Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act, was sparked by a BuzzFeed News report earlier this year about an 18-year-old woman who said she was raped by two NYPD detectives in 2017 while handcuffed in their custody. Federal law prohibits sexual contact between corrections employees and those in federal custody. However, there is no law that broadly prohibits federal law enforcement officers from claiming consent. The Closing Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act would make it illegal for federal law enforcement officers -- such as federal agents, probation officers, judges, and prosecutors -- to engage in a sexual act with anyone in his or her custody or while exercising their authority under color of law, regardless of consent. The bill would also create additional grant funding to states that adopt laws closing this loophole at the state level, and compel states to report complaints of sexual misconduct brought against officers to the Attorney General on an annual basis. “Federal agents and law enforcement officers hold positions of public trust and are expected to serve and protect,” Booker said. “Those who abuse their power and this mission by sexually assaulting those in their custody shouldn’t be shielded from accountability because of a loophole in federal law.” More here.

Judy Chu Intros Bill to Develop Partnership Between Public Schools and Communities
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus 
Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) on Friday introduced legislation that would develop partnerships between schools and communities she says would ensure that students have the support system they need to succeed. The Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act aims to provide federal grants to states to support community schools and develop a comprehensive child and youth strategy. States would award subgrants to schools that work with at least one community partner such as local governments or academic institutions, local nonprofits, child and youth organizations, or local businesses and foundations. The funds would then be used to increase support for early childhood education, early reading programs, child care, home visiting, parental education, and support mentoring, among other things. Chu, a former California educator, said her bill would help address these barriers that prevent success and promote community investment in students. “We trust our public schools to educate and prepare our future leaders, but they do not exist on an island, they are a part of our community, and therefore, both community and school stand to gain from working together,” Chu said.  “This bill not only encourages those partnerships, but provides the grant funding necessary to make them successful.” More here.


Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) on Saturday heading to the U.S-Mexico border where she helped asylum seekers enter the U.S.
Rev. Al Sharpton heading to Johannesburg on Friday for the Global Citizens Festival.
Marc Lamont Hill Addresses Comments After CNN Terminates Contract 
Commentator Marc Lamont Hill has apologized after CNN terminated his contract over comments he made about Israel and Palestine in a speech at the United Nations on Wednesday. During his speech, he said that: “We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action, and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” The “from the river to the sea” line is a phrase that has been used by Hamas and other anti-Israel terrorist groups. The National Council of Young Israel and Anti-Defamation League condemned the remark as anti-Semitic. However, Hill says that was absolutely not his intention. “I support Palestinian freedom,” Hill tweeted. “I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.” He went on to write in an op-ed for The Inquirer published on Saturday, “My use of ‘river to the sea’ was an invocation of a long history of political actors – liberal and radical, Palestinian and Israeli – who have called for their particular vision of justice in the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Hill continued, “I strongly believe that we must reject anti-Semitism in any form or fashion. This means not only preventing physical violence against Jews, but also ugly anti-Semitic images, stereotypes, conspiracy theories, and mythologies.” Read his full response here.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Astrophysicist and TV personality Neil deGrasse Tyson has been accused by two women of sexual misconduct. In light of the new allegations, the networks and producers behind the Emmy-winning Cosmos reboot vowed to investigate the matter. Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bucknell University, claims that Tyson groped her at a party in 2009, while Tyson’s former assistant Ashley Watson said she was forced to quit her job over his inappropriate sexual advances. The two women join musician Tchiya Amet, who a year ago accused Tyson of raping her while both were grad students. In a Facebook post, Tyson acknowledges that he and Amet (then living under a different name) had a “brief” sexual relationship, but denies that the incident in question ever happened. Of the two incidents of alleged sexual misconduct, meanwhile, Tyson broadly acknowledges the events in question but says his intent was misinterpreted, and that his “enthusiasm” and offers of friendship were seen as sexual interest instead. "In any claim, evidence matters. Evidence always matters. But what happens when it’s just one person’s word against another’s, and the stories don’t agree? That’s when people tend to pass judgment on who is more credible than whom. And that’s when an impartial investigation can best serve the truth – and would have my full cooperation to do so," Tyson stated. Cosmos producers said in a statement: "The credo at the heart of Cosmos is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. The producers of Cosmos can do no less in this situation. We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded." Read Tyson's full statement here.
Spectrum News 1 Hires Latinas for Launch
A new, 24-hour cable news network, Spectrum News 1 -- launched by Charter Communications in the Los Angeles market -- has hired several Latina journalists to lead their coverage. Giselle Fernández will anchor The Beat on 1, a weekday morning newscast airing from 5 to 9A PST. The 1983 California State University, Sacramento graduate will also host LA Stories, a weekly one-hour documentary-style show featuring in-depth interviews with local Southern California newsmakers. Daisy Espinoza will executive produce Inside The Issues, a one-hour political program that will run Monday to Thursday at 7P. The 2005 California State University, Sacramento is a former Producer at Telemundo 52 in LA, Mítu, and Univision. Spectrum News 1 has also added several multimedia journalists to report on LA’s diverse neighborhoods. Catalina Villegas Toso will cover the entertainment and housing beats across West LA. The 2011 UC Berkeley graduate was previously an Anchor and Producer at WFDC in DC. Lydia Pantazes García will cover the San Fernando Valley. The 1998 UC Santa Barbara graduate joins from KRON 4 in San Francisco, where she was a Reporter. Iliana Guevara will cover the civic issues and lifestyle beats in East and Downtown LA. The University of Southern California graduate was previously a freelance producer and director for short and feature documentaries. Kristen Lago will cover the entertainment and sports beats in East and Downtown LA. The 2017 University of Southern California was previously a Writer/Reporter for the Los Angeles Rams and a Digital Reporter/Anchor for Get Sports Focus. Sarina Sandoval will cover state politics. Before Spectrum, the 2015 California State University, Northridge graduate spent two years as a Reporter, Anchor, and Producer at KTVL News 10 in Medford, Oregon. Belkis Rivera also joined as the Bureau Chief for Spectrum News 1. The California State University, Northridge graduate was previously an Assignment Desk Editor at Telemundo 52, where she worked for almost 11 years. More about them here.
IL Congressman-elect Jesús Chuy García and TX Congresswoman-elect Sylvia García in DC on Thursday for new member orientation.
NBC New York’s Jummy Olabanji and The Today Show’s Hoda Kotb on Thursday on-set in NYC.
Kamala Harris to Make Decision on Presidential Run Over Holiday 
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
on Saturday told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski that she plans to spend the holiday break making a decision about her potential 2020 presidential bid.“It will ultimately be a family decision,” Harris said during Brzezinski’s “Know Your Value” event in San Francisco. The Senator said if she does decide to run that she is prepared for things to get “ugly.” She could be referencing the president's consistent attacks against Black women (in addition to almost anyone else who does not agree with him). “When you break things, it is painful,” she said. “And you get cut. And you bleed.” All signs point to an affirmative announcement in the new year. Harris sent $25,000 to the Democratic parties in four early nominating states: Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire. In October, she visited Iowa, South Carolina, and Wisconsin to campaign for Democratic candidates ahead of the midterm elections. And her book, The Truths We Hold, is due out in January. More here.

Carlos Curbelo Running for Mayor?
Outgoing Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who lost his seat to Democratic Congresswoman-elect Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, is reportedly considering a run for Mayor. The 38-year-old told the Miami Herald that his supporters are urging him to run in the open Miami-Dade Mayor’s race in 2020 -- incumbent Republican Mayor Carlos Giménez is term-limited. Curbelo isn’t ready to make a final decision yet but said he wants to stay involved in the issues he cares about such as immigration, the environment, and the national debt. “I have a passion for public service and I’m not discarding any possibility right now,” Curbelo said. “I have always thought about the idea of serving another two years here and then serving as county mayor.” There is a long list of area politicians eying the city’s top post, including outgoing Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera; former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas; County Commissioners including current Chairman Esteban “Steve” Bovo, Daniella Levine Cava, and Xavier Suárez; as well as former rapper Luther Campbell, who is now a prominent Liberty City leader. More here.

Mike Espy Readies for 2020 Rematch in Mississippi 
A committee for recently defeated Mississippi Senate candidate Mike Espy filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Friday (Espy’s 65th birthday) declaring his intention to run for Senate again in 2020. The Democrat was defeated by Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) in a heated runoff election by just eight points. Hyde-Smith made comments about attending a “public hanging,” attended a segregationist high school, sent her daughter to a segregationist high school, and talked about voter suppression. Filing with the FEC will give Espy a chance to get a head start on fundraising. The Espy campaign raised $7 million in eight months. Now, Espy will have two years to bring in donations. And given that 2020 is a presidential election year, voter turnout would be significantly higher. "We flipped four counties that voted for Trump in 2016 and outperformed Obama and Clinton," former Espy campaign Communications Director Danny Blanton told the Jackson Free Press Friday afternoon. "Nobody, no Democrat had done what we did in the state of Mississippi since 1982." More here.

Meet Congresswoman-elect Sylvia García's New Chief of Staff
Texas Democratic Congresswoman-elect Sylvia García has named John Chapa Gorczynski as her Chief of Staff. The St. John’s College graduate has worked for García for three years, most recently as the outgoing Texas state Senator’s Chief of Staff. He also served as her District Manager. Prior that, he worked as an independent political and nonprofit consultant; as an English as a second language instructor with Houston Community College; as new member liaison with the Houston Area Women's Center Young Leaders; Business Development Manager with Net Victories, LLC; and as a Research Assistant with the Houston Mayor's Office of Public Safety. The former schoolteacher is fluent in Spanish and English. More about him here.

Jesús "Chuy" García Names Chief of Staff
IL Congressman-elect Jesús "Chuy" García has named Bill Velázquez as his Chief of Staff. Velázquez most recently Director of Partnerships and Deputy National Political Director at For Our Future -- a progressive DC PAC conducting voter contact and issue advocacy in MI, OH, PA, FL, WI, VA, and NV. The Bernie Sanders alumnus, who led the Independent Senator’s Latino outreach during his 2016 presidential campaign, spent 16 years at the Chicago Housing Authority where he led government and community affairs. The Carleton College graduate, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, joins García’s office as many back home are clamoring to hear his endorsement for Mayor of Chicago. Stay tuned. More about Velázquez here.

Univisión’s Jorge Ramos visiting refugee camps in Tijuana, CA last week.
Chef Samin Nosrat on-set with NBC News’ Michelle Miller on Saturday to discuss her new Netflix docuseries, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
Alex Acosta Reportedly Out of the Running for AG
Following the Miami Herald’s reporting of a sweetheart deal then-federal prosecutor Alex Acosta afforded to wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls, the now-Labor Secretary is reportedly fully out of the running to be Donald Trump’s next Attorney General. Acosta had been low on the list of candidates and now White House sources say he’s no longer even being considered. The 49-year-old former lawyer had also reportedly expressed interest in a judgeship. But the Miami Herald reports that the odds of that happening “have fallen dramatically in part because he likely would not be confirmed in a Senate where Republicans hold a slim majority. ... ‘His stock, which already isn’t great, took a big hit.’” Meanwhile, McClatchy reports that Acosta’s job as Secretary of Labor, where he oversees labor laws related to sex-trafficking, is not in jeopardy. More here.

Tensions Between Raúl Grijalva and Ryan Zinke Explode
Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
is slated to take the gavel of the House Committee on Natural Resources, where he will have significant oversight of the Department of the Interior and embattled Secretary Ryan Zinke. And if Friday was any indication, things are likely to be heated. Grijalva penned an op-ed for USA Today in which he called for Zinke’s resignation for his multiple ethics issues; Zinke has faced 17 federal investigations into his behavior since becoming Secretary. “He has abused that trust and damaged the Interior Department in the process. The least he can do is step down and give his successor a chance to begin reversing that damage,” Grijalva wrote. In response, the Interior Secretary took a page out of Trump’s book and tweeted, “It’s hard for [Grijalva] to think straight from the bottom of the bottle. This is coming from a man who used nearly $50,000 in tax dollars as hush money to cover up his drunken and hostile behavior. He should resign and pay back the taxpayer for the hush money and the tens of thousands of dollars he forced my department to spend investigating unfounded allegations.” Zinke was referring to a 2015 agreement between Grijalva and a former employee who had accused him of overseeing a hostile work environment and frequently being drunk. The employee was paid $48,395 in severance. House Ethics looked into the payment and recommended that a complaint against Grijalva be dismissed. The Congressman responded that: “The American people know who I’m here to serve, and they know in whose interests I’m acting. They don’t know the same about Secretary Zinke.” Grijalva will have subpoena power, and he has already indicated that he will use it to hold Zinke accountable. Stay tuned. More here.

Raj Shah and Helen Aguirre Ferré Found in Violation of the Hatch Act
White House spokesman Raj Shah and former Special Assistant to the President and Director of Media Affairs Helen Aguirre Ferré were among the six Trump administration officials who violated a federal act by tweeting their support for Donald Trump or the Republican Party from their government accounts. The Office of Special Counsel contended that the White House officials cited in the report are not supposed to use their government Twitter pages to voice political support, yet all six of them shared partisan posts, including ones using the Trump slogan campaign “Make America Great Again” or the accompanying hashtag #MAGA. Shah tweeted, from his official account on June 4th, a link to the RNC’s website with the accompanying message, “Fantastic @RNCResearch release #Winning: 500 Days of American Greatness.” In doing so, he violated the Hatch Act because Shah’s message from his official account “highlighted research done by a political party and provided a link to the party’s website and its research.” Ferré tweeted an image with the “Make America Great Again” slogan and retweeted Shah’s tweet. Penalties for Hatch Act violations are handled by the Merit System Protection Board, which can determine after a hearing whether the violation warrants removal from office. However, violations do not always result in punishment. When President Barack Obama’s HUD Secretary Julián Castro violated the Act, the Obama administration decided not to penalize him for it. More here.

Congressmen Mark Takano (D-CA) and Beto O’ Rourke (D-TX) on Capitol Hill last month.
CNN commentator Symone D. Sanders on Wednesday co-hosting a book party with Bernstein Family Foundation’s Alison Shulman and DC socialite Andrea Thimm.
Nathan Cummings Foundation Names VP of Programs
The Nathan Cummings Foundation has named Leticia Peguero VP of Programs. She’ll be tasked with developing strategies grounded in principles of social justice philanthropy that are nimble, responsive, and reflective of the integrated and complex nature of social change. Peguero was most recently Executive Director of the Andrus Family Fund. Prior to that, she was the Regional VP of the Posse Foundation, where she managed the organization’s sites in Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, and Houston. The bilingual philanthropy exec, who is fluent in English and Spanish, has also held leadership positions at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, YWCA of NYC, and Planned Parenthood of NYC. The 1995 Fordham University graduate, who holds a Master’s from Baruch College, is also involved with the Latinx-run arts organization Areytos Performance Works, which supports the power of the arts as a tool for advancing social justice. "Now more than ever, leaders in philanthropy must embrace participatory practices that both speak to communities’ needs and build on the strengths of historically underrepresented communities,” said Peguero. “I am very excited to join the Nathan Cummings Foundation, their risk-taking and innovative team to ensure our social and racial justice programming is well-rooted in a deep understanding of the history and the untold stories of the communities we serve.” More here.

Leadership Conference Brings on Census Campaign Director
Beth Lynk
has joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund as Director of the Census Counts Campaign. In her new role, she’ll be tasked with leading their newly formed campaign to ensure that the upcoming 2020 census is fair and accurate. Lynk most recently served as the Associate Director of Federal Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The Northwestern University graduate was previously a Senior Associate at The Raben Group where she consulted on campaign, coalition, and legislative strategies for members of Congress, media, and national civil rights organizations. The proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has also served in the office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and worked on the 2012 Obama for America campaign. She starts her new role today. More about her here.

BLAH BLAH BLOGS
FOMO
Today, 6P: The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum host, “Women of Color in the Era of #MeToo,” a conversation on how women of color experience harassment in the workplace and what can be done to prevent it. 1500 K Street, N.W., Suite 900, DC. Click here for more information
Tuesday, December 4th, 5:30P: A conversation and book signing with AURN White House Correspondent April D. Ryan moderated by CNN's Don Lemon. 1 Time Warner Center, NYC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, December 6th - Sunday, December 9th: National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators host their 16th National Summit. Kona Kai Resort, 1551 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA. Click here for more information.
Monday, December 10th, 10A: The Aspen Institute hosts “Future of Sports Activism: Reimagining its Bottom Line,” a conversation about the implications in a number of areas, such as fan engagement, sponsorships, relationships within teams, athlete health and welfare, and society in general if more athletes spoke out. Featuring Etan Thomas, former NBA player and author of We Matter: Athletes and ActivismJoe Briggs, NFL Players Association Public Policy Counsel; and Ellis McKennie, University of Maryland football player, among others. The Aspen Institute, 2300 N St. N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, December 12th, 6PCBCPAC Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) hosts the CBCPAC’s Annual Holiday Reception. Click here for more information.
Saturday, February 16, 2019: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 93rd Annual Black History Luncheon. Washington Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth Street, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019: APAICS 25th Anniversary Awards Gala Dinner to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The evening honors Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders, both current and pioneers, and recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that continue to politically empower the AAPI community. 1000 H Street, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
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