Barack Obama speaks in South Africa & Senate Dems release diversity numbers
Barack Obama speaks in South Africa & Senate Dems release diversity numbers
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July 17, 2018
Maxine Waters Strikes a Deal, Ajit Pai Eyes a Deal, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants a New Caucus
RUSSIAN TO PUTIN’S SIDE… The world watched in pure shock as the President of the United States lauded praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin during Monday’s joint press conference after the pair met privately for over an hour. Virtually everyone’s reaction… WTF?! Trump publicly sided with Putin and denounced the findings of America’s intel agencies that confirmed the foreign adversary attacked U.S. democracy. WORD OF THE DAYQuisling: A person who betrays his or her own country by aiding an invading enemy, often serving later in a puppet government, courtesy of, who tweeted this on Monday. A FOX FACES A TIGER… Fox News' Chris Wallace pressed Putin in an interview Monday night with some tense exchanges as the host was visibly frustrated by Putin’s trademark filibustering, and Putin clearly frustrated by a journalist actually challenging him. THE KREMLIN, THE NRA, THE GOP, AND THE SPY. On Monday, Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina was charged with acting as an agent of the Russian government. The criminal complaint quotes an explosive email about establishing a "VERY private line of communication" between the Kremlin and GOP via the NRA. TAXING TRAVEL… The president is back in the states and will host a half-dozen GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee at the White House today for a discussion about a second round of tax reform today at 2P. Expected attendees, per Politico, include Chairman Kevin Brady (TX), Members Peter Roskam (IL), Diane Black (TN), Jim Renacci (OH), George Holding (NC), and Mike Bishop (MI). Will anyone bring up the Russian elephant in the room? TIMELINE TESTIMONY… On Capitol Hill, officials from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube will testify before the House Judiciary Committee today on conservative allegations of ideological bias on their platforms. Meanwhile over at Uber… GENDER INEQUITYUber is being investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after a complaint about gender inequity. EEOC investigators are seeking information related to Uber’s hiring practices, pay disparity, and other matters as they relate to gender. WAKANDA PRESIDENT COMMANDS THE WORLD STAGE? Former President Barack Obama. POTUS44 is delivering one of his most high-profile speeches since leaving office this morning, celebrating the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. Mandela was the inspiration for Obama's first foray into politics. поговорим завтра. ←That basically means “we’ll holla at you guys tomorrow” in Russian. Ya know… in case we all need to learn the language soon. We’re kicking off your Tuesday with this...
  • A judge halts family deportations.
  • Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) wants high school kids to learn to code.
  • Senate Dems release their diversity numbers.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants a new congressional progressive caucus.
  • SAG-AFTRA agrees to represent Telemundo employees.
  • Income inequality rising most rapidly among Asian Americans.
  • Charlotte's first African American woman Mayor champions hosting RNC.
  • Join The Beat DC's Tiffany D. Cross and Rev. Al Sharpton today at 1:20P on Keepin' It Real on SiriusXM's Ch. 126. Tune in!
Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Tina Knowles Lawson on Sunday at Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s On the Run Tour II in Paris.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai visiting the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
Maxine Waters Strikes Bipartisan Deal to Boost Business Investment
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)
, the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, agreed with Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) on Monday to combine 32 bills previously passed by their Committee into a single measure. The package is intended to give small businesses and startups a cheaper and easier pathway to going public and fuel growth. Each bill in the agreement, dubbed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act, or JOBS Act 3.0, passed the House or Financial Services panel with almost no resistance. The House is scheduled to vote on the package today and will likely pass the measure with little opposition. To stimulate venture capital, the JOBS Act 3.0 would provide legal certainty to angel investors and entrepreneurs by allowing them to interact without running afoul of securities laws. The deal also seeks to give companies considering a public offering more time and freedom to gauge investor interest. “This is true bipartisanship we are witnessing today,” Waters said. She praised her colleagues for “working together to live up to what we always say -- that we all support small businesses, their access to capital and protecting investors.” More here.

Tony Cárdenas Intros Coding Bill for High School Students
Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)
and Pete Olson (R-TX) teamed up to introduce bipartisan legislation that they say will help high schools create or expand coding education programs through a new grant program within the National Activities Fund at the Department of Education. The grants would be available to local educational agencies whose programs allow high school students to fulfill a graduation requirement by taking a coding class in place of a mathematics, science, or foreign language class. The lawmakers say the High School CODES Act will help establish a crucial pipeline between students and jobs, and assist in strengthening America’s national security. STEM-related jobs are growing faster than the rest of the economy. While STEM workers do tend to be highly educated, about one-third do not have a bachelor's or higher degree, according to Pew Research. There are currently more than 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide but less than 50,000 computer science students graduating into the workforce last year. By 2020, there will be an estimated 1.4 million computer programming jobs, with only 400,000 American computer science students to fill those jobs. Nine out of 10 schools in the country do not even offer computer programming classes. Computer programming jobs are growing at nearly twice the national average rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage in 2017 for computer programmers was $82,240, while the median annual wage for all workers was $37,690. “We must invest in opportunities for young people so they can work in the growing technology industry. When we invest in our young people, America will continue to lead the global economy,” Cárdenas said. “The tech industry is creating new jobs daily, and as legislators, we need to make sure our schools get the funding they deserve to educate the future workforce of America.” More here.

What About that Abolish ICE Bill?
House GOP leaders called off a floor vote on a Democratic measure calling for the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Instead, the House will vote Wednesday on a resolution to support ICE. The architects of the Abolish ICE bill -- Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Mark Pocan (D-WI) -- called the move a political stunt by Republicans. And in a strange turn of events, the three lawmakers said they’d vote against their own bill because Republicans were going to bring it up for political messaging purposes, not actually with intentions to pass it. They said they stood by the policy. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he intended to bring the Abolish ICE bill to the floor in an attempt to force vulnerable Democrats to take a difficult vote. More here.

CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday visiting the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square, London.
Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and NBC New York’s Jummy Olabanji backstage at the GMA Summer Concert Series last week.
Dems Release Senate Diversity Numbers
The Senate released their diversity numbers on Monday, providing a snapshot of the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among U.S. Senate Democratic staff. Leading the list with the most diverse staff is Senator Brian Schatz (HI), with 73% of his staff identifying as people of color. Coming in second is Senator Kamala Harris (CA) at 66%, then Cory Booker (NJ) at 63%, then Mazie Hirono (HI) at 62%. There’s a three-way split for the Senators with the greatest number of African American staff. Senators Doug Jones (AL), Chris Van Hollen (MD), and Booker all employ a staff comprised of 33% of African Americans. Senators Tom Udall (NM) and Martin Heinrich (NM) employ the greatest number of Latino staffers at 44% and 40% respectively. Schatz employs the greatest number of Asian American Pacific Islanders at 59% and 13% of his staff is comprised of Alaskan Natives, making him number one there as well. Senator Gary Peters (MI) employs the greatest number of Middle Eastern or North African staff at 8%. See the full list here.

Income Inequality Rising Most Rapidly Among Asian Americans
Asian Americans displaced Blacks as the most economically divided racial or ethnic group in the country, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. While Asian Americans overall rank as the highest earning racial and ethnic group in the U.S., it is not a status shared by all Asians: from 1970 to 2016, the gains in income for lower-income Asian Americans trailed well behind the gains for their counterparts in other groups. During that time period, the gap in the standard of living between Asian Americans near the top and the bottom of the income ladder nearly doubled, and the distribution of income among Asian Americans transformed from being one of the most equal to being the most unequal. The Asian experience with inequality is partly driven by immigration. Immigrants accounted for 81% of the growth in the Asian adult population from 1970 to 2016, and the foreign-born share among Asians increased from 45% to 78% in this period. The trends in income growth also show that Blacks made some progress in closing the gap with whites. Blacks at the median and at the 10th percentile experienced more of an increase in income than similarly situated whites, and Blacks at the 90th percentile kept pace with whites. Hispanics experienced smaller increases in income than whites at all percentiles, however. Thus, lower-, middle- and upper-income Hispanics all lost ground to their white counterparts from 1970 to 2016. More here.

TX congressional candidate Gina Ortiz Jones (D) and McDonald Observatory Board members on Saturday at the Board of Visitors Summer Meeting in West Texas.
 Brooklyn City Council member and Lt. Governor candidate Jumaane Williams (D) on Sunday at Sirius XM HQ for an episode of Sunday Civics.
Ajit Pai Has “Serious Concerns” About Sinclair Broadcast Deal
FCC Chair Ajit Pai said in a surprise statement on Monday that he has "serious concerns" about Sinclair Broadcast Group's acquisition of Tribune Media -- a $3.9 billion deal that was widely expected to be approved. "The evidence we've received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law," Pai stated. "When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction. Instead, the law requires the FCC to designate the transaction for a hearing in order to get to the bottom of these disputes issues. For these reasons, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge." If the deal is approved, Sinclair would be the largest owner of stations with a reach of almost 59% of the country. Under the plan, Sinclair would ultimately own 215 stations in 102 markets. Many had expressed concern that the FCC was giving Sinclair special treatment. The agency's Inspector General had opened an investigation into whether Pai's efforts to deregulate the broadcasting industry were intended to clear regulatory roadblocks for the deal. Pai has denied that his campaign to roll back media ownership restrictions was designed to help any single company. More here.
SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal to Represent Telemundo Employees
SAG-AFTRA said Thursday that it had reached a tentative contract with Telemundo Television Studios to cover Spanish-language television performers. The agreement, which comes after a year of negotiations, includes participation and contributions to the guild’s health and pension plans, as well as increases in certain compensation. The details of the new agreement will be presented to the SAG-AFTRA National Board for approval at its upcoming meeting on July 21st. One condition includes residuals for both foreign and domestic exploitation and streaming platforms, based on a percentage of Telemundo’s gross revenue. It also includes first-ever guaranteed minimum rates for all covered performer categories. Telemundo employees voted in March 2017 to organize with SAG-AFTRA, with 81% of eligible voters choosing to unionize. The Miami-based network was acquired by NBCUniversal in 2001 and is the largest employer of Spanish-language performers in the United States. More here.

The Hill’s Jamal Simmons and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Thursday on-set of The Hill’s new show Rising in DC.
 AFT's Leslie Getzinger, WI congressional candidate Randy “Iron Stache” Bryce (D), and AFT's Jen Chang on Sunday at the American Federation of Teacher's union convention.
The Hill Latino’s Diana Marrero Joins Foreign Policy Magazine
Diana Marrero
has joined Foreign Policy Magazine as the Vice President for Strategic Development. She previously served as The Hill’s Director of Content Partnerships, where she, later on, helped launch and lead The Hill Latino -- a specialized news coverage of policy, politics, and issues impacting the Latino community. Prior to that, Diana was a National Account Executive at The Washington Post, and before that, the Acting Washington Bureau Chief for the Milwaukee Sentinel. The trilingual media executive -- who is fluent in English, Spanish, and French -- also held roles at USA Today as a Washington Correspondent and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Florida Times-Union as a Staff Writer. The 2000 Barry University graduate, who also holds a Master’s from Georgetown, began her news career as a Reporter for the Miami Herald. Additionally, she is the Founder and a past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ DC chapter. More about her here.

FOX Deportes Adds Angelina Losada as VP of Business Development
Angelina Losada
has joined Fox Deportes as the VP of Business Development and Growth Initiatives. In her new role, she’ll focus on generating new revenue streams through sublicensing, digital, content creation, sponsorships, and other innovative initiatives. She previously served as VP of the Los Angeles National Spot Office at Azteca América, where she was responsible for all national spot sales on the West coast. Before that, the California State University at Fresno graduate was on a number of national sales teams for Telemundo in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miramar, FL. The bilingual exec, who is fluent in English and Spanish, has more than 20 years of experience in media sales and has sold sponsorships for several top media properties including NFL, MLS, Liga MX, World Cup, and Olympics. More about her here.

NBC Adds Two to the National Reporting Team
Janessa Webb
, previously the meteorologist for ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV news in Cleveland, will join NBC News’ national reporting team next month as an on-air Meteorologist and Producer. In her new role, she’ll appear on the Early Today program and contribute to weather coverage on MSNBC. She’ll also be working alongside former Cleveland weather forecaster, Al Roker. Prior to her work in Cleveland, the Alaska native was a meteorologist and producer for four years at the CBS affiliate KTVA in Anchorage, Alaska, and a weather director and chief meteorologist for three years at KYUR-TV, also in Anchorage. The Winston-Salem University graduate starts her new role in August and will be based in NYC. The second hire is Kathy Park, who will join NBC as a Correspondent, reporting across all NBC News and MSNBC programming. Kathy most recently served as a General Assignment Reporter at KCRA 3, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento. The University of Maryland graduate began her journalism career as a reporter in Northeast Tennessee at WCYB/Fox Tri-Cities. The bilingual storyteller, who is fluent in Korean and English, is also a member of the Asian American Journalists Association. More here.

CEO of Theaudric's Real Clever Cuisine Theaudric Davis -- who pitched his business -- and Values Partnership's Brandon Andrews at a Shark Tank casting call in New Orleans on Friday.  
United We Dream ED Cristina Jiménez and TIME Magazine’s Haley Bureau on Friday discussing how to achieve justice & dignity for immigrants and people of color at a workshop in DC.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants a New Congressional Progressive Caucus
Democratic New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a new podcast released on Monday suggested a new "sub-Caucus" for progressive members of the House who want to wield increased influence by creating a voting bloc. While speaking on a podcast published by Jacobin Magazine, Ocasio-Cortez said a smaller progressive group could "generate real power. ... The thing that gives the caucus power is that you can operate as a bloc vote in order to get things done," Ocasio-Cortez said. There is already a 78-member Congressional Progressive Caucus -- which is co-chaired by Congressmen Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) -- but they often do not vote as a solid bloc. More here.

Charlotte’s First African American Woman Mayor Champions Narrow Vote to Host RNC in 2020
The  City Council in Charlotte, NC narrowly voted Monday night to accept a bid to host the Republican National Convention in 2020. The city was sharply divided with Democratic Mayor Vi Lyles, the first African American woman to lead the city, being a champion of the city’s convention bid. She insisted that “hosting the RNC is not an endorsement of the administration,” and argued that holding the gathering in Charlotte would offer “an opportunity to share the values that this city believes in -- through peaceful protest.” She also said it was the most difficult decision of her career. After the meeting, she reaffirmed her earlier position that she would not give a welcoming address. It’s common practice for a host city mayor to welcome delegates, even of the opposing party. Las Vegas, the only other location officially still in the running to host the RNC, doesn’t have the backing of the city or tourism officials there for its bid. The Republican Party has not yet voted to award the 2020 Convention to Charlotte, but it may do so this week during a meeting in Austin, TX. It’s likely that eight years after Democrats gathered in the city of about 860,000 to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term, the GOP will gather to nominate Donald Trump (we assume Donald Trump). More here.

CNN’s Ana Cabrera hanging out with her brothers in NYC earlier this month.
MI gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed (D) on Saturday marching in solidarity with the Michigan Nurses Association in Ann Arbor.
Judge Halts Trump Admin from Deporting Reunited Families and Admonishes Administration’s Slow Response on Reuniting Children
San Francisco-based federal Judge Dana Sabraw on Monday said the government must halt the deportations of reunified families in response to a filing by the ACLU that claimed the government has refused to deny "that mass deportations may be carried out imminently and immediately upon reunification." Lawyers from the ACLU had expressed concern that they would not be able to meet and represent families, many of whom make asylum claims, if they were quickly deported. The Department of Health and Human Services now faces a July 26th deadline to reunify the remaining children. Sabraw admonished HHS in a ruling on Friday saying the agency “either doesn’t understand the court’s order, or is acting in defiance of the order” to reunify some 2,500 children with their parents separated at the southern border. He also questioned the federal government’s commitment to do so. The judge, a George W. Bush appointee whose mother is Japanese, also issued a detailed timeline for parties to meet his deadline of complete reunification and suggested the department was attempting to "provide cover to Defendants for their own conduct in the practice of family separation, and the lack of foresight and infrastructure necessary to remedy the harms caused by that practice." Christopher Meekins, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS, told the court Friday: "My opinion is that the court's necessary truncating of the vetting process for class membership -- including suspension of critical information-gathering through mandatory completion of family reunification packets -- materially increases the risk that HHS will reunify a child with a parent who will abuse them." The judge said there must be determinations confirming parentage and assessing the parents' fitness to receive children and the children's safety before any parent is reunited with his or her child -- and that his order is not incompatible with moving quickly on the reunifications. More here.

Today - Wednesday, July 18th: NAACP’s 109th Annual Convention. Henry B. González Convention Center. San Antonio, TX. Click here for more information.
Today - Wednesday, July 18th: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 2018 National Women’s Conference. Phoenix. Click here for more information.
Today - Friday, July 20th: March On Washington Film Festival. DC. Click here for more information.
Today - Friday, July 20th: Inaugural Black Women’s Congressional Alliance Week. A series of events that will help Black women navigate Capitol Hill, compete for senior roles, build brands, sharpen political skills, and more. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, July 17th - Saturday, July 21st: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 2018 National Convention and Expo. Phoenix. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, July 18th 8:30A: The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State and CA Secretary of State and DASS Chair Alex Padilla will host a breakfast and discussion of the 2018 elections. 1341 G St N.W., DC. To RSVP and for sponsorship information, email Patricia Brooks at
Wednesday, July 18th, 12P: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, in conjunction with The Sentencing Project, and the ACLU, host "Quelling the Crisis: The Case for Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Reform," congressional briefing on sentencing reform. Senate Dirksen Room G50. Click here for more information
Wednesday, July 18th, 2P: Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) hosts a roundtable on Policy Solutions to Address Automation and the Future of Work. Cannon House Office Building, Room 421, DC. 
Wednesday, July 18th 5:30P: Join the first Latina Speaker of the House in Colorado and the U.S, Crisanta Duran, for a conversation about the 2018 election. 40 Ivy Street SE. Washington DC. Suggested Contributions: $250 to Host / $50 to Attend. RSVP to
Wednesday, July 18th - Saturday, 21st: NAHJ International Training Conference and Career Fair. InterContinental Miami Hotel. 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL. Click here for more information.
Thursday, July 19th, 8:30A: DNC African American Leadership Summit and IWillVote Gala with Chair Tom Pérez. Special guests include Stacey AbramsSenator Cory Booker (D-NJ)Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), New York Assemblyman & DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsEric Holder, and more. Address upon RSVP. AtlantaClick here to RSVP.
Thursday, July 20th, 8:30A: "The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of American Religious Minorities." Georgetown Law Hart Auditorium. 600 New Jersey Ave., N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, July 19th - Saturday, July 21st: The National Black Chamber of Commerce's 26th Annual Conference. Senate Hart Building, DC. Click here for more information.   
Friday, July 20th, 8:30A: “Ballots & Black Women: Marching to the Polls.” National Political Strategist L. Joy Williams joins the March on Washington Film Festival and The Raben Group to explore the role of electoral participation as a vital part of our democracy, the importance of the upcoming midterm elections, and the impact of Black women candidates nationwide. 1341 G Street, N.W., Fifth Floor, DC. Click here for more information
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
Monday, July 23rd, 12P: The Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute is partnering with the Congressional Native Staff Association, the Senate Diversity Initiative, and the House Diversity Initiative to provide a unique training opportunity for Native youth in the DC area. Location provided upon follow-up email. Click here for more information

Wednesday, August 1st - Saturday, August 4th: The National Urban League's 2018 Annual Conference “Save Our Cities: Powering the Digital Revolution.” Columbus, OH. Click here for more information and to register.
Wednesday, August 1st - Sunday, August 5th: NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair. Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. 400 Renaissance Drive, Detroit, MI. Click here for more information
Monday, August 6th - Saturday, August 11th: 16th Annual Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, August 8th - Saturday, August, 11th: AAJA National Convention. Marriott Marquis Houston. 1777 Walker St., Houston, TX. Click here for more information.
Friday, August 17th - Sunday, August 19th: Martha’s Vineyard celebrates Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) 20 years of service. Special guests include House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC)Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and more. Harbor View Hotel, 131 North Water Street Edgartown, MA. Kelley House, 23 Kelley Street Edgartown, MA. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, September 11th - Wednesday, September 12th: CHCI's Annual Leadership Conference. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, September 12th - Saturday, September 16th: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 48th Annual Legislative Conference. Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Click here for more information.
Thursday, September 13th: CHCI's 41st Annual Anniversary Awards Gala. Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. 901 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, September 25th - Saturday, September 29th: NBMBAA 40th Annual Conference & Exposition. Detroit, MI. Click here for more information.
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