GQ names new Fashion Editor and Bobby Scott aims to raise the minimum wage.
GQ names new Fashion Editor and Bobby Scott aims to raise the minimum wage.
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January 15, 2019
Kamala Harris Wants More Diverse Fed, the Barack Obama Namesakes, and Tulsi Gabbard Names Campaign Manager
SHUTDOWN DAY 25Donald Trump on Monday turned down a proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to reopen the government for about three weeks to jump-start talks with Democrats. IMPASSE… Meanwhile, the House will vote on a pair of short-term spending bills this week, neither of which contain border wall money. And Democrats launched a new website highlighting "Trump shutdown stories." RAISING THE BARR… The president’s nominee for Attorney General begins his confirmation hearings this morning. William Barr will face potential Democratic presidential nominees on the Senate Judiciary Committee: Kamala Harris (CA), Cory Booker (NJ), and Amy Klobuchar (MN). We’ll be watching Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) who, like many of her colleagues, says she is most concerned about the Mueller investigation. MORE TROOPS DEPLOYED... The Pentagon is sending more active-duty troops to the southern border. They will join about 2,350 active-duty troops already there, as well as 2,200 National Guardsmen who were deployed just before midterm elections as a caravan of migrant families made its way to the U.S. They will most likely remain there through September. 2020 LATE SHOWSenator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is expected to announce her plans to form a presidential exploratory committee today on CBS’ Late Show with Stephen Colbert. LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH… For the first time in history, a leading cause of deaths -- vehicle crashes -- has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdose. COMMANDER-IN-CHEAP? Trump personally sprang for dinner for the Clemson Tigers who visited the White House Monday to celebrate their National Championship win over Alabama earlier this month. It was an elegant spread of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and pizza... brought in and placed on silver platters. BOOKER’S BAE?? Page Six says Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson have been a thing for like … a month now. One of them must first post a romantic IG pic together. So we know it’s real. WEST SIDE STORYWe finally know who Steven Spielberg has cast as María -- 17-year-old Columbian American Rachel Zegler. But don’t worry. Rita Moreno is also expected to slay on the silver screen. ZAMUNDA → AMERICA… It’s happening. Eddie Murphy has confirmed Prince Akeem is Coming to America 2. LET YOUR SOUL GLO… It’s time to catch The Beat! We’re kicking off your Tuesday with this…
  • Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) aims to raise the minimum wage.
  • Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) wants $50 million to fight hate crimes.
  • Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Chair joins law firm.
  • Birmingham, AL Mayor weighs in on Angela Davis controversy. Read to the bottom!
  • CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe profiles Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL), the youngest Black woman ever elected to Congress. Check it out in Blogs.
  • Be sure to catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross today at 1:20P EST on SiriusXM ch. 126 for Keepin’ It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton.
CBS This Morning’s Michelle Miller on-set on Saturday in NYC.
Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan on Sunday in CA.
Kamala Harris and Joyce Beatty Intro Bill Pushing for a More Diverse Fed
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
last week reintroduced legislation to ensure that at least one person of color and one female candidate are interviewed for each vacancy for the presidency of a reserve bank at each of the 12 reserve banks in the Fed (San Francisco, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas). Of the more than 130 individuals who have served as Presidents of the twelve reserve banks, only three have been non-white. Just last week, as regular Beat readers will recall, former Fed economist Nellie Liang withdrew her nomination for a seat on the Fed’s Board of Governors. She would have been the first Asian American to serve on the Fed’s board, and just the 10th woman. In 2017, Raphael Bostic became the first African American Reserve Bank President when he became President of the Atlanta Fed. In addition to ensuring diverse candidates are interviewed for the position of president, the Diverse Leadership Act would also require that reserve banks submit a report to the Senate Banking Committee, the House Financial Services Committee, and the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve System within 60 days of filling a vacancy for a presidency detailing how many candidates were considered and providing demographic information on them. “Bringing greater diversity to the Federal Reserve will ensure that more perspectives are heard as major decisions are being made about our nation’s economic future and will produce better outcomes for the American people,” said Harris. “We must do more to ensure that this country’s leadership reflects the people they serve—not just at the Federal Reserve, but across all levels of government.” This bill is the Senate companion to the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act introduced by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) in the House in 2016, reintroduced in 2017, and now, reintroduced on Wednesday. “To build a stronger economy, we need the talents, skills and expertise that diversity offers—and the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act will do just that,” Beatty said. More here
Marco Rubio Wants to Extend Waivers to States for Foster Care, Child Welfare
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL)
last Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation to extend waivers for states receiving Title IV-E of the Social Security Act -- the entitlement that pays for foster care and adoption -- to allow for greater funding and flexibility for foster care and child welfare recipients beyond the current federal baseline. Set to expire in September 2019, the State Flexibility for Family First Transitions Act would extend the Title IV-E waiver by two years, which would allow states to receive an extension up until the full implementation of the Family First Act. It would also require that states verify to the Department of Health and Human Services how they intend to use the extension to transition to the programs supported by the Family First Act. In dozens of states, several counties or cities operate under IV-E waivers that permit them to spend money on other services meant to prevent abuse and neglect or prevent the use of foster care in some cases. “We must do all we can to support families and communities taking care of children in need,” Rubio said. “By extending this waiver by two years, this bill will ensure that foster families and families receiving child welfare have the support they need in the interim before the Family First Act takes effect.” He is joined in the bill’s introduction by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). More here.

Grace Meng Intros No Walls Bill
Donald Trump has backed away from declaring a national emergency to pay for his border wall along the southern border and reopen the government. But he’s also known to change his mind. Hence, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) last Friday introduced legislation to prevent Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund the wall. “It is unconscionable that President Trump is threatening to side-step Congress and declare a fake national emergency in order to build his wall, as funding for the government and more than 800,000 federal workers hangs in the balance,” Meng said. “We must send a clear message to the President that creating this type of manufactured emergency for the sole purpose of securing an unrealistic campaign promise is unacceptable.” The No Walls Act would prohibit the construction of barriers, including fences walls and steel slats, along the U.S.-Mexico border if national emergencies are declared during government shutdowns. More here.
Bobby Scott Aims to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15
Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) is slated to introduce legislation on Wednesday aimed at gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. As Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Scott wants the minimum wage indexed to match the changes to the median wage starting in 2025. The Raise the Minimum Wage Act would also gradually eliminate provisions allowing tipped workers to be paid less than the minimum wage. Fellow Committee members Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) joined Scott in a Dear Colleague letter arguing, “By gradually increasing pay for millions of workers, Congress can raise living standards and lift millions of Americans out of poverty.” Advocates say the measure would provide a sizable boost for women and people of color in the workforce, and ultimately increase economic growth. The lawmakers estimate that once a $15 an hour minimum wage is fully phased in, it would result in an annual pay increase of $3,500 for the average affected worker, including workers making just above $15 an hour whose employers will likely increase their wages to remain competitive. Some critics of the legislation argue that substantially increasing the minimum wage will stunt job growth and put a strain on small business. The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees of $7.25 per hour has not changed since July of 2009. More here.

Department of Health and Human Services employees joining U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams for a Zumba session in DC last week.
Former AZ Congresswoman Gabby Giffords with Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), and Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, last week in DC.
Nydia Velázquez Wants $50 Million to Fight Hate Crimes
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
unveiled legislation this month that would authorize an additional $50 million in federal funds to help prevent, track and prosecute hate crimes, and assist victims. “Like many, I’ve been profoundly disturbed by the spike in hate crimes in recent years,” Velázquez said. “My legislation will ensure the federal government puts forth necessary resources to combat this scourge.” Hate crime reports increased 17% from 2016, according to the FBI, rising for the third consecutive year as heated racial rhetoric and actions have come to be ubiquitous across the news cycle. Among other provisions, the measure provides $15 million in federal resources to bolster local law enforcement hate crimes training. Funds under this program are allocated to not only solve hate crimes but to also facilitate discussion with community stakeholders whose members are at risk of being victims. Grants would be targeted to jurisdictions that have high levels of hate crime activity. The program also encourages community policing and diverse recruitment of police officers. Velázquez’s bill would also provide another $20 million for hate crime hotlines and websites, which would be operated by states or local governments in collaboration with community stakeholders. And the bill allocates another $15 million for victims’ assistance through the Office for Victims of Crime in the Department Office of Justice. These funds would help nonprofits and faith-based organizations expand or launch local programs that assist those who have been harmed through hate crimes. “Whether these vile attacks are aimed at our Jewish neighbors, immigrants, members of our LGBTQ community, or any other group, they constitute an attack on us all and we must be united in fighting back,” Velázquez said. More here.

Black Caucus Gets GOP White Supremacist’s Committee Posts Snatched; Jim Clyburn and Bobby Rush Push House to Act
After some prompting from the Congressional Black Caucus, the House GOP Steering Committee unanimously agreed Monday night to strip Congressman Steve King (R-IA) of his Committee assignments over his racist remarks and defense of white nationalism. And the rebukes continue. A resolution of disapproval, introduced Monday by Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives today. However, it only makes one specific reference to King over his remarks and is a seemingly softer approach than Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), who did not mince words when announcing his resolution. “[King] has become too comfortable with proudly insulting, disrespecting, and denigrating people of color,” he wrote. “As with any animal that is rabid, Steve King should be set aside and isolated. His rabid racism continues to stain and embarrass this body and the years of deliberate silence from Republicans have only emboldened his ignorant and immoral behavior and empowered those who emulate him." Rush continues, “My resolution to censure Representative King sends a clear message to the American people — this Congress will not turn a blind eye to his repugnant and racist behavior.  Anything short of censure would be shallow.” Rush also hit his GOP colleagues for remaining silent about King’s previous racially tinged comments, saying no one should take Republican’s op-eds, tweets, or statements on King seriously. “Republicans, in the interest of political expediency, sought his endorsement, ignored his racist remarks, and continued to elevate him to positions of influence. Only now that his behavior is well known to those outside the beltway and tainted him politically, do they vigorously denounce him,” Rush wrote. And fellow Democrat, OH Congressman Tim Ryan, also introduced a resolution censuring King on Monday. The more firm resolutions from Rush and Ryan have privileged status -- meaning they have triggered a two-day time clock for full consideration. More here.

Alcee Hastings Fighting Pancreatic Cancer
Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
, who is currently the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation, on Monday announced that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Hastings said he plans to continue his congressional duties as he undergoes treatment at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. "I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in the midst of this traumatizing news, I found myself wondering not only if I would survive this disease, but also if it would impact my ability to perform my duties," Hastings wrote in a statement. "Now that I have begun treatment, I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents of Florida’s 20th Congressional district and the nation ... Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so." See his full statement here.

2020 CA Democratic congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar hiking the Iron Mountain Trail in San Diego on Sunday.
Guayanilla, PR Mayor Nelson Torres Yordán and Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) touring the Guayanilla River over the weekend.
Trump Nominee Said Intoxicated Date Rape Victims Partially to Blame and Racial Oppression a Myth
Neomi Rao
-- Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on what many consider to be the second-most powerful court in the country after the Supreme Court -- is in hot water over past writings where she wrote that victims of date rape were partly responsible if they were intoxicated, doubted climate change, and said that sexual and racial oppression were “myths.” She also spoke out against feminism, affirmative action, multiculturalism, LGBT rights, and more as a writer for the Yale Free Press and Weekly Standard. In one piece titled, “Separate, But More Than Equal,” Rao suggested that minority students were getting an unfair advantage by having special deans devoted to helping them. In another piece titled, “Submission, Silence, Mediocracy,” she wrote, “Myths of sexual and racial oppression propogate [sic] themselves, create hysteria and finally lead to the formation of some whining new group. One can only hope to scream, ‘Perspective, just a little perspective, dahling!'” In another piece, she wrote “I’ve been to a lot of fraternity parties on this campus. It has always seemed self evident to me that even if I drank a lot, I would still be responsible for my actions. A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted. At the same time, a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober. And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice. ... Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does strips women of all moral responsibility.” Rao has also
defended dwarf-tossing, saying that laws banning the practice are an affront to individual liberty that fails to recognize the right of the dwarf to be tossed. All of this and more is surely going to be a centerpiece of her Senate confirmation. Rao is currently an Office of Management and Budget official. She was a clerk for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and an Associate Professor of Law and the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School before joining the Trump administration. Rao also previously worked at British law firm Clifford Chance in London; in the White House Counsel's office during President George W. Bush’s second term; and as a staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 45-year-old Yale grad, who completed law school at the University of Chicago, is the daughter of Indian immigrants. Rao is reportedly on Trump’s shortlist for Supreme Court nominees, too. Mother Jones has more of her writings here.
White House Dep Press Sec to Launch Media Practice
Former White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah is joining a Florida/DC-based firm. Shah will launch Ballard Partners’ bipartisan Media Group. The media practice will be "full service, multi-disciplinary strategic communications division that brings together the talents of professionals with unrivaled real-world expertise," according to the news release. The 34-year-old Cornell University grad served in the Trump White House from the beginning as Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Press Secretary. He also oversaw the administration’s efforts to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Previously, Shah was in charge of opposition research at the RNC and led a team of experts that carried out research against Hillary Clinton. During his time at the RNC, Shah called Donald Trump “a deplorable” and following the release of the Access Hollywood tape according to private messages independently obtained and verified by New York Magazine. He emailed a colleague asking, “u wanna hear something a little fucked up? ... I’m kinda enjoying this, some justice. I honestly don’t think it’s the worst thing he’s done but he somehow got passes for the other acts ... Trump is a deplorable.” He also asked an RNC colleague to dig up an old video clip of Trump that shortly afterward showed up in a Jeb Bush commercial. Shah was one of few people of color at the White House. He will be based in DC and will lead the practice with Jamie Rubin. More here.

Tulsi Gabbard Names Rania Batrice Campaign Manager
Rania Batrice will serve as the Campaign Manager for HI Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 presidential campaign. The daughter of Palestinian immigrants was the Deputy Campaign Manager and Iowa Communications Director for Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential campaign in 2016. She also served as the National Director of Surrogates. Following the 2016 primary, Batrice led progressive outreach and collaboration efforts for the DNC. She also founded Batrice & Associates, a communications, organizing, and legislative strategy firm that advises elected officials, candidates, nonprofits, and companies. She was previously a Senior Political Advisor and Iowa Director for former VA Senator Jim Webb’s 2016 presidential run and was the Campaign Manager to George Sinner for Congress. The 2003 Austin College graduate has served in a variety of senior-level roles for nonprofits, including as the Executive Director of both The Innocence Project of Texas and the Freedom Project. More about her here.
Congressional Black Caucus Names New Executive Director
Kevin Harris 
has been named Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). In this role, he’ll provide strategic political, communications, organizational and policy counsel, and serve as the Senior Advisor to CBC Chair Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA). Harris has worked on more than 50 campaigns for federal, state, and local office, including the gubernatorial campaigns for FL Democrat Andrew Gillum and MD Democrat Ben Jealous, as well as MS Democrat Mike Espy’s senatorial campaign. He most recently served as a Founding Partner at The Invia Group and Managing Director at the Peter Damon Group. The Birmingham, AL native also held various roles throughout President Barack Obama’s administration at the Peace Corps, HUD, the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and worked with former First Lady Michelle Obama on the Let Girls Learn Initiative. Harris also served as Communications Director and Spokesman to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and spent two years as Chief of Public Affairs for Baltimore City under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The 2006 Howard University graduate, who earned his Master’s at Johns Hopkins University, began his career as an Account Manager for direct mail consulting firm MSHC. More about him here.

Ruth Buffalo, the first Native American Democratic woman elected to the North Dakota legislature, voting last week.
The Government of Aragon, Spain Counselor María Teresa Pérez meeting Miami FL Mayor Francis Suárez last week to promote economic and cultural ties between Miami and Spain.
20th Century Fox TV Names VP of Comedy Development
Edwin Chung
has joined 20th Century Fox TV as the studio’s VP of Comedy Development. He most recently served as SVP of Head of Current Series at Legendary Television where he built and oversaw the department for the studio, working on such shows as Love and Lost in Space for Netflix, Colony for USA, Carnival Row for Amazon, and Looming Tower for Hulu. Prior to that, he worked at NBC as an SVP and VP of Comedy Development, where he was tasked with leading the creative production of shows 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Community, Chuck, Scrubs, My Name is Earl, Up All Night, and Hannibal, among others. The 1998 Stanford University graduate began his career as a business planner in Touchstone/Walt Disney Pictures’ Development Finance and Planning group. More here
GQ Names Fashion Director
Mobolaji Dawodu
has been named Fashion Director of GQ, where he’ll oversee fashion for both GQ and GQ Style brands. He previously worked at GQ Style as a Fashion Editor, where he styled A-list celebrities and award-winning artists including Kendrick Lamar, Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, and Mahershala Ali. Prior to that, the Nigerian American was the Style Editor-at-Large for Fader Magazine. Dawodu also has also worked as the costume designer on films with actors and actresses of color in leading and supporting roles, including the 2016 Disney film Queen of Katwe, starring Lupita Nyong’o, and holds numerous commercial advertising credits, including with Nike and Apple. More here.
NYT Promotes Randy Archibold to Sports Editor 
The New York Times has promoted Randy Archibold to Sports Editor. The 53-year-old news veteran has worked at the NYT for more than 20 years, most recently serving as the Deputy Sports Editor. Archibold -- who is Panamanian American -- was previously the Mexico City Bureau Chief where he wrote about El Chapo’s capture and his escape, gang violence in Central America, the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and the normalization of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. He has also worked as a Staff Writer on the Metro desk and as a National Correspondent. Prior to joining the NYT, Archibold worked for the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. The 1987 Rutgers University graduate is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. More here

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) on Wednesday with LA police officers on National Law Enforcement Day.
Chief of Staff Wendy Anderson, Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL), and CBCF's Tasha Cole for Delta Days in the nation's capital.
Barack Obama’s Namesake
The West Hollywood City Council last month adopted a resolution proposed by Councilmember Lauren Meister which asks that the Los Angeles International Airport be renamed in honor of former President Barack Obama. LAX is owned and managed by the City of Los Angeles. Meister said the proposal was a suggestion, not a demand. And she said that renaming the airport would be a good symbolic gesture in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles. Meister said Obama delivered eight years of a scandal-free presidency and was admired globally, the perfect image for welcoming visitors to sunny southern California. Longtime Beat readers will recall that a stretch of Ventura Freeway was renamed in Obama’s honor last year. It’s now the President Barack H. Obama Highway. The Beat also previously reported that Rodeo Road in central LA (not the famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills) will be renamed Obama Boulevard. Similar legislation is under consideration in Chicago. Bill Daley, Obama’s former Chief of Staff who is running for Mayor, proposed last month to have the Dan Ryan Expressway renamed for his former boss. POTUS44 already has a freeway named for him in Illinois. A section of Interstate 55 near the town of Pontiac is the Barack Obama Presidential Expressway. There’s also Barack Obama Way in New Albany Township, IN and Barack Obama Boulevard in Pahokee, FL. There are also innumerable schools named after the first African American president. Given the nostalgia, we expect to see a lot more. Separately, Obama is heading to Canada in the spring. He will take the stage at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on March 5th for an event billed as a conversation with the former Democratic president. More on his namesake here.
Obama’s MBK Chief Joins Law Firm
Broderick Johnson
has joined Covington in its Public Policy practice in DC. The public policy and political strategist was most recently a partner at Bryan Cave where he led the firm's public policy and government affairs practice. Before that, Johnson served as Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary under President Barack Obama (acting as the president's primary liaison to members of the Cabinet). He also was appointed Chair of the White House's My Brother's Keeper Task Force. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of My Brother’s Keeper. In the Clinton White House, Johnson was Deputy Assistant for Legislative Affairs. The 62-year-old Baltimore native also spent time on Capitol Hill serving in several positions in the House, including Assistant Counsel in the Office of the Legislative Counsel and Chief Democratic Counsel for the Committee on Education and the Workforce. The College of the Holy Cross graduate earned his law degree from the University of Michigan, where serves as an Adjunct Professor. “With the Democratic party assuming control of the House, companies across a spectrum of industries will face new challenges advocating for their legislative agendas and responding to congressional inquiries,” said Johnson. “Covington is well positioned to represent those companies before the new Congress, and I am excited to join the firm and expand its practice.” He will be joining another Obama alumnus -- former Attorney General Eric Holder is a Partner at the practice. More here.

Newly sworn-in IL Attorney General Kwame Raoul with former Obama White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers on Sunday in Springfield, IL.  
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Our Daily Planet's Miroslava Korenha, and political commentator Kurt Bardella on Monday in DC. 
Border Wall GoFundMe Money to Help Fund New David Clarke Nonprofit
A GoFundMe campaign started by a known conspiracy theorist to fund Donald Trump’s border wall raised more than $20 million from over 340,000 donors. But because the fundraiser fell short of its $1 billion goal, GoFundMe is returning contributions -- that is, unless donors want to instead donate to a new nonprofit co-run by Trump supporter David Clarke. The scandal-plagued former Sheriff is one of the board members of We Build the Wall, Inc. -- an organization which claims to be better equipped than the federal government to “use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border.” Joining Clarke on the board of the new organization are Blackwater Founder Erik Prince; Fox News contributor Sara Carter; former CO Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo; and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. However, even conservatives are questioning the integrity of the new organization. The Daily Caller on Monday said that We Build the Wall’s Founder, Brian Kolfage, was refusing to answer basic questions about the nonprofit or provide proof that board members including Clarke would not financially benefit from the organization. More here

Birmingham Mayor Weighs in on Angela Davis Civil Rights Award Controversy 
Birmingham, AL Mayor Randall Woodfin has accused leaders of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute of “poor stewardship” and demanded details of the decision to announce an award and then withdraw it from civil rights icon Angela Davis. Earlier this month, the Institute decided to revoke an award from Davis after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center drafted a letter to the board of the institute lambasting Davis for her support of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) -- a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel until it ends what they call an oppression of Palestinians. The Holocaust Education Center claims that BDS “is troubling” and “targets the Jewish people excessively.” Davis says she was initially confused by the award revocation. “I was informed, that an article had appeared in the magazine Southern Jewish Life that basically detailed some of my activism around Palestinian human rights, for BDS, against some of the policies and practices of the state of Israel,” she said. Woodfin, who serves as an ex-officio member of the board, argues that more discussion and public dialogue should have taken place. “Dialogue should have allowed for the full measure of discussion about the merits of the recognition by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, including supporters and dissenters of some of Dr. Davis’ positions,” the Morehouse grad said. “Because of their poor stewardship, some in the local and national media are misconstruing the crisis of leadership at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute as a clash of cultures, ethnic groups, or races. Let me be clear – it is not.” As for Davis, she says, “It’s actually quite exciting to see the issue of Palestinian justice, justice for Palestine, emerge as a topic of popular discourse. We have attempted for so long to encourage a conversation like this … I’m happy to assist in the process of encouraging more discussion on racism, on anti-Semitism, on justice for Palestine.” More here.
Today, 6P: The Diversity Partners -- the Hispanic Lobbyists Association, H Street (Asian American Lobbyists), Q Street (LGBTQ Lobbyists), Professional Women in Advocacy, WRGR (African American Lobbyists), and Women in Government Relations -- host #mostdiversecongressever, a celebration to welcome the 116th Congress. InterContinental at the Wharf, 800 Wharf Street, S.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Today, 7P: "Race in America Today," a panel discussion moderated by American Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan. This is the sixth in an ongoing series of discussions focusing on race in America. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information
Wednesday, January 16th, 7P: The Islamic Center of Passaic County hosts NJ Governor Phil Murphy for a town hall, moderated by SiriusXM's Dean Obeidallah. The Islamic Center of Passaic County, 152 Derrom Avenue, Paterson, NJ. Click here for more information.
Friday, January 18th, 9A–3P: The Indigenous Peoples Movement hosts the Indigenous Peoples March to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women, and children. DC. Click here for more information.
Sunday, January 20th, 10A: "MLK Shabbat: Visions of Freedom and Justice," a service featuring the Sixth & I chorus and the choirs from Turner Memorial AME Church and Metropolitan AME Church, commemorating the spirit and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. 7201 16th Pl, Hyattsville, MD. Click here for more information.
Monday, January 21st, 8:30A: National Action Network’s 2019 Dr. King Day breakfast. Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, January 24th - Friday, January 25th: The Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the National Congress of the American Indians, and the Tohono O’odham Nation host the Tribal Border Summit. Pascua Yaqui Casino Del Sol Resort Conference Center, 5655 W Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, January 30th, 3:30P: "New Chiefs of Staff Empower Hour." Join new Chiefs as they share their paths to Capitol Hill and give tips on how you can start preparing for senior roles in 2020. Location provided upon RSVP. Click here for more information.
Thursday, February 7th, 12-6PCongressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) will host the first annual Dominicans on the Hill, a day at the U.S. Capitol where Dominican Americans from communities around the nation will attend workshops on issues ranging from immigration, education and the workforce, the U.S. economy, and trade. DC. Click here for more information.
Saturday, February 16th: 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.
Thursday, February 21st – Sunday, February 24th: The Power Rising Summit, a space for Black women to turn their power into action and create an actionable agenda. Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, February 27th - Saturday, March 1st: Black Women Talk Tech presents the 3rd annual Roadmap to Billions 2019 Conference, the only annual tech conference created exclusively by Black women founders for Black female founders and their supporters. Union West, 535 West 28th Street, New York, NY. Click here for more information
Thursday, February 28th - Sunday, March 3rdThe Women of Power Summit, a professional leadership conference designed especially for executive women of color. Confirmed speakers include Valerie JarrettStacey Abrams, and Merary Simeon, Diversity Vice President, Pepsico, among others. The Mirage, 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, May 14th: 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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