Barack Obama visit to South Africa sparks controversy among small group.
Barack Obama visit to South Africa sparks controversy among small group.
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June 27, 2018
Bob Menéndez Keeps Pushing on Trump and China, Tim Scott Staffer Heads to CBS, and Ben Jealous Claims Victory
SHE SHOT AT THE KING. SHE DIDN’T MISS. A 28-year-old, first-time candidate pulled off the biggest upset of the political season so far, when she toppled incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY). If you’ve never heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you haven’t been reading The Beat DC. We break down more primary results below. LOSING BIGLYHouse Republicans are set to vote today on a so-called "compromise" immigration bill but don’t collect money for that border wall yet -- the bill likely won’t pass go. But then there was winning bigly. COURTING TRUMPThe Supreme Court upheld the president’s ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, despite incendiary statements Trump has made about Muslims. The award for best dissent goes to Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The Court also blocked a California law requiring clinics that counsel women against abortion to notify clients of the availability of abortions paid for by the state, saying that it violated the free speech rights of these Christian-based facilities. THEY’RE JUDGING YOUA federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction late Tuesday, temporarily stopping the Trump administration from separating children from their parents at the border, and also ordered that all families already separated be reunited within 30 days. TONE-DEAF COMEDY JAMAG Jeff Sessions joked about kids being separated from their families at the border to predominantly white, gray-haired participants at the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, saying the “elite 'lunatic fringe' wants security for itself but not for U.S.” LEAVE MY HUSBAND ALONE! Protesters confronted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday over migrant family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. “Why don’t you leave my husband alone? Why don’t you leave my husband alone?” Chao responded as McConnell got into the SUV. SHE MIGHT BE RESIGNED TO IGNORE YOU… Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced a motion on Monday calling on Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) to apologize to the White House for “endangering their lives and sowing seeds of discord,” resign from her position, and release a public statement saying harassment or violence isn’t a form of protest. Just because facts matter, Waters never called for people harm Trump supporters. BOLTON’ TO RUSSIANational Security Advisor John Bolton is in Moscow today to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of a much-anticipated summit between Putin and Trump next month. The meeting between the two is expected to take place on the back end of 45’s trip to Europe for the NATO summit next month. SAME-SEX HERSTORY… ESPN made history by featuring a same-sex couple for the first time on the cover of its Body Issue magazine. The cover features professional soccer star Megan Rapinoe and basketball legend Sue Bird front and center in one of the ten Body Issue editions, which all debuted Monday. We’re kicking off your Wednesday with this...
  • Some activists urge the Nelson Mandela Foundation to pull Barack Obama’s invite.
  • Judge orders Trump admin to reunite separated migrant children and parents, and 17 states plus DC sue over the policy.
  • Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) wants to expand the training and tools available to the transportation workforce.
  • Oklahoma American Indian artist Harvey Pratt’s “Warriors’ Circle of Honor” design selected for new National Native American Veterans Memorial.
  • From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning victory in NY to Joe Neguse’s win in CO, we break down the winners of color from last night’s primary, below.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) celebrating Pride in Seattle during the weekend.
WHYY’s Fresh Air Host Terry Gross with historian and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in Philadelphia receiving the Life Long Learning Award at the WHYY President’s Dinner last month. 
Eddie Bernice Johnson Intros Bill to Retrain Transportation Workers
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
on Friday introduced legislation to expand the training and tools available to the transportation workforce in order to proactively combat rapid changes in the American economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.8 million people operate motor vehicles for their livelihood. And according to a report from Goldman Sachs Economics Research released last year, when autonomous vehicle saturation peaks, U.S. drivers could see job losses at a rate of 25,000 a month, or 300,000 a year. If passed, the Transportation Workforce Modernization Act would create a $25 million grant program which would provide job training for workers displaced by the adoption of autonomous vehicles. Among other provisions, it would also direct the Government Accountability Office to study the impact of driverless vehicle adoption on the nation’s workforce, wage and job loss, new job creation, and the resulting changes to the transportation sector. “This legislation is not just an effort to reposition our economy on a large scale but an effort to ensure that American workers aren’t left behind when their livelihoods are threatened,” Johnson said. She continued, adding that while changes in the economy are inevitable, ignoring the impact on transportation workers would be a “grave mistake.” More here.
Bob Menéndez Keeps Pushing on Trump Org/Chinese Conflicts of Interest
Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ)
, the top Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday sent a letter to Hussein Sajwani, the Chairman of DAMAC Properties, raising questions after a partner of the Trump Organization in Dubai awarded a $19.6 million contract to a major Chinese government-owned company, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) -- which the State Department has said suffer from “widespread official corruption.” This is the second time since Donald Trump’s inauguration that DAMAC Properties, the Trump Organization’s partner in the United Arab Emirates, has granted a multimillion-dollar road-building contract to the Chinese state-owned company for work connected to the Trump World Golf Club Dubai. “Several events involving The Trump Organization’s overseas developments call into question whether and how it is benefitting from new business deals made with foreign state-owned enterprises,” the letter reads. “It is possible that foreign state-owned companies may be submitting below-market bids on contracts associated with Trump-branded developments to curry favor with the President. In order to help the U.S. Congress examine this issue, please describe the bidding process for this contract and information on competing bids, including the identities of the bidders, their respective bid offers, whether any third-parties were involved in considering bids, and the reasons that your company awarded the bid to CSCEC over the other competing companies.” See the letter here.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and fellow Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. sorors in St. Louis, MO last weekend.
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) last week meeting with the wife and children of Xiuqing You -- the Flushing, NY man who was detained during his green card interview.
Primary Winners
In a shocking upset, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district on Tuesday. Attorney Antonio Delgado defeated six other Democratic contenders in Tuesday’s primary, setting up a high-profile race against Congressman John Faso (R-NY). Delgado received 22% of the vote. In Maryland, former NAACP President Ben Jealous defeated eight other Democrats in a major victory for the party’s progressive wing. He will go on to face incumbent Governor Larry Hogan (R) in November. In the South Carolina runoff, Democrat Brandon Brown claimed victory over Doris Lee Turner in the race to represent the 4th Congressional District. Brown will face Republican contender William Timmons in November’s election to fill the seat currently held by retiring Congressman Trey Gowdy. In Colorado, Joe Neguse won the Democratic primary race for the state’s Second Congressional District. He will face Republican Peter Yu, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination, in the November general election. Libertarian Roger Barris and independent candidate Nick Thomas are also on the November ballot. Should Neguse win the general election in the heavily Democratic district, he will be will be the first Black Congressman from Colorado. And the state of Oklahoma became the 30th in the nation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes on Tuesday. More here.

Admin Ordered to Reunite Separated Migrant Children and Parents
A judge late Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to reunite migrant parents with children separated from them under the admin’s family separation policy. San Diego-based U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw issued a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit -- brought forth by the ACLU on behalf of separated parents -- which requires that children younger than five be returned to their parents within 14 days and that older children be returned within 30 days. The order also halts most family separations at the U.S. border and mandates that officials provide parents contact with their children by phone within 10 days, if the parent is not already in contact with his or her child. "The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property. Certainly, that cannot satisfy the requirements of due process," Sabraw wrote. “The unfolding events—the zero tolerance policy, EO and DHS Fact Sheet—serve to corroborate Plaintiffs’ allegations. ... They belie measured and ordered governance, which is central to the concept of due process enshrined in our Constitution. This is particularly so in the treatment of migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers and small children.” The judge has set a status hearing for July 6th. More here.

The Daily Show’s Ronny Chieng showing off his Wing Chun skills earlier this month (it’s a mirror effect).
HBO’s Bill Maher and Center for American Progress’ Neera Tanden on Friday in LA backstage after Real Time with Bill Maher.
Barnes & Noble Education Appoints New Board Member
Barnes & Noble Education, Inc., a provider of educational products and services for higher education and K-12, announced the appointment of Emily C. Chiu to its Board of Directors. She brings more than a decade of leadership experience with significant technology and education expertise. Chiu currently serves as a Principal at Square, Inc. where she oversees the company’s corporate development strategy and M&A activity across its SMB (Seller), direct-to-consumer (Cash App), and developer platform businesses. She also serves on the Board of Governors of the Center for Creative Leadership, a provider of executive education focused on leadership development. Prior to that, she was a Partner and Head of Corporate Development at 500 Startups, LLC, a global startup accelerator and venture capital firm. In this role, Chiu oversaw venture capital investments in the education technology space and founded 500 Startups’ M&A advisory practice. Previously, Chiu was a founding team member and VP at UniversityNow, Inc., an education technology startup. Before that, she served as the Head of Operations at TEDx San Francisco, was a private equity investor at GI Partners, a global investment firm, and served in various positions across the technology and healthcare investment banking groups at Goldman Sachs. Chiu is a graduate of The Wharton School of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. More here.
NALEO Announces New Board Members and Re-Election of Leadership
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) on Tuesday announced the election of seven new Board members. The new additions include Pico Rivera, CA Mayor Gustavo V. Camacho; Hudson County, NJ County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado; Texas State Representative Armando A. Martínez; Albuquerque Public Schools Board Member Peggy L. Muller-Aragon; Miami-Dade County Schools Board Member Lubby Navarro; Orange Unified School District Board member John Ortega; and NY state Senator José Gustavo Rivera, who were unanimously elected to serve an initial three-year term on the NALEO Board of Directors. The organization also announced the re-election of its President, Dallas County Treasurer Pauline Medrano, and board leadership -- El Camino Community College District (CA) Board President John Vargas as Vice President; Coconino County (AZ) Supervisor Elizabeth “Liz” Archuleta as Treasurer; and California state Senator Ricardo Lara as Secretary -- to an additional one-year term. The NALEO Educational Fund, which advocates for Latino participation in American civic and political life, also announced the creation of a new National Latino Commission on the 2020 Census. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) and Lubby Navarro were appointed as Co-Chairs of the new Commission. The group will hold five or six hearings in different parts of the country, and then its members will release a report with recommendations to the Census Bureau. More here.
CA U.S. senatorial candidate Kevin De León (D) marching in San Francisco’s Pride Parade during the weekend.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) with actor and activist Danny Glover in DC last week.
“Warriors’ Circle of Honor” Design Selected to Honor Native American Veterans
Oklahoma American Indian artist Harvey Pratt has been selected to design the Smithsonian's new National Native American Veterans Memorial. Pratt, a Cheyenne and Arapaho artist based in Guthrie, OK, was unanimously selected as the winner of the National Native American Veterans Memorial design contest. The Vietnam War veteran is an internationally known painter, sculptor, and forensic artist -- he retired last year as the forensic artist for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation after a more than 50-year career in law enforcement. The groundbreaking for the new memorial, titled “Warriors’ Circle of Honor,” is set for September 21st, 2019, and it is slated to open to the public in late 2020. The design brings together symbols and elements common to many native traditions: fire, water, wind, drums, the cardinal points, and the circle shape. Pratt said he hopes his memorial design will make native veterans who served in any of the military’s five branches feel welcome. “Native people, we’re the same, but we’re different,” he explained. See the new design and read more here.

States Sue Trump Admin Over Family Separations 
Seventeen states, including CT, NY, CA, and IL, plus DC, sued the Trump administration Tuesday in an effort to force officials to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The states, all of which are led by Democratic Attorneys General, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle. It's the first legal challenge by states over the practice. Immigration authorities have separated about 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks, sparking global outrage as images and recordings of weeping children emerged. Many parents are in custody thousands of miles from their children, whom they have not been able to see and have rarely spoken to for a month or more. The states say the president’s Executive Order ending the practice of separating families is riddled with caveats and fails to reunite parents and children who have already been torn apart. They accuse the administration of denying the parents and children due process; denying the immigrants, many of whom are fleeing gang violence in Central America, their right to seek asylum; and being arbitrary in applying the policy. More here.

San Juan, PR Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Latinas & Power organizer Marilyn Alverio, and CNN commentator Ana Navarro last weekend at the Latinas and Power conference in New England.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Vanita Gupta in DC yesterday advocating for workers’ rights as all await SCOTUS' Janus decision.
CBS Taps Member of Tim Scott’s Staff for Comms Director Post
CBS News has named Michele Pérez Exner as the Communications Director for its DC bureau. In her new role, Exner will handle communications for CBS journalists based in the Capitol and breaking news generated from the region, as well as for the Sunday public affairs show, Face the Nation. The 2007 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, who earned her MA from the University of Maryland in 2012, most recently spent two years serving as the Press Secretary for Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). Exner spent eight years in the Marines, working in communications, marketing, and advertising, as well as serving as an instructor and a Public Affairs Officer. From 2014 to 2016, Exner served as the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Director of Marketing and Advertising based out of Camp Lejeune, NC. Earlier, she managed a team of ten as the Public Affairs Officer stationed in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. She starts the new job on July 5th. More here.

WaPo Taps Elite Truong as Deputy Editor for Strategic Initiatives
The Washington Post has added Elite Truong as Deputy Editor for Strategic Initiatives, where she’ll work with technology-driven editorial projects and the Post’s advertising teams. She joins from Vox, where she was a Support Manager, and later on, as the Project Manager for Audience Experience. In that role, she led the launch of nine editorial networks on new platforms including Apple News and managed partnerships with Apple and Google. Truong also hosted and produced the Next Steps podcast for Poynter where she interviewed journalists on their non-traditional career paths in and out of media and wrote a monthly column on the intersection and collaboration between editorial and product teams at media companies. Prior to that, the 2013 Roosevelt University graduate was a freelance writer and editor for several outlets including,, The A.V. Club, Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab, Crain's NewsPro, The Billfold, Racked, Chicago Tribune, and more. Her first day is July 2nd. More here.

Video Producer María Tridas, artist and activist Common, and Teen Vogue’s Amber Payne earlier this month at the #TeenVogueSummit in NYC.
Rai King with husband and activist Shaun King in LA on Sunday at the BET Awards.
Some Urge Nelson Mandela Foundation to Disinvite Barack Obama
Members of South Africa's Cage Advocacy group and other South African activists are calling on the Nelson Mandela Foundation to withdraw their invitation to former President Barack Obama to speak at the Foundation's 16th annual lecture, taking place in Johannesburg on July 17th. The activists released a letter claiming that Obama's presidency is remembered in Africa for its expansion of U.S. military operations, drone attacks, and special operations on the continent. They say that the invitation is not in line with Nelson Mandela’s legacy. “Giving [Barack Obama] a platform would be tantamount to condoning these actions, something that Nelson Mandela would surely have stood against,” they wrote in the seven-page letter, which then goes on to detail examples of what they view as reasons to back their request, including an “ongoing, endless war in Africa”; “Drone attacks around the world”; and “Atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.” They finish the letter by saying, “we will continue to campaign against the lecture and the presence of Obama in South Africa. It will also cast the Foundation in a highly unfavourable light both among many Muslims and other key members of our civil society.” More here.

Today, 8:30AThe Hill and The Hill Latino host their second annual "Latina Leaders Summit." Speakers include Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA), WH Director of Media Affairs Helen Aguirre Ferré, NPR's Lulu García-Navarro, and more. The Newseum. Knight Broadcast Studio. 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here to RSVP.
Today, 2P: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management holds an informational online presentation on their Pathways Programs, an initiative available to HBCU students and recent graduates searching for careers in Federal public service. Click here to register
Today, 5P: The Center on American Progress will host “Ending the War on Marijuana,” a live podcast with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Weldon Angelos, who was sentenced to 55 years as a first-time offender for marijuana sales, for a discussion on sentencing reform and the path forward for marijuana legalization. Moderated by CAP’sMichele Jawando and Igor VolskyClick here to RSVP
Thursday, June 28th - Sunday, July 1st: The Color of Conversation Film Series. Program debuts with the documentary, MR. SOUL!, winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature at AFI DOCS 2018. Other highlights include festival favorite, BLINDSPOTTING; acclaimed documentary, MAYNARD; and Boots Riley's highly anticipated feature debut, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, with the filmmaker in attendance. AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Silver Springs, MD. Click here for more information
Friday, July 6 - Thursday, July 12th: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 68th Boule. Houston, TX. Click here for more information.
Saturday, July 7th - Tuesday, July 10thUnidosUS’ 2018 Annual Conference. Speakers include Ilia Calderón, Co-Anchor of Noticiero Univisión, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino, among others. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, DC. Click here to register.
Thursday, July 12th - Friday, July 20th: March On Washington Film Festival. Click here for more information.
Saturday, July 14 - Wednesday, July 18th: NAACP’s 109th Annual Convention. Henry B. González Convention Center. San Antonio, TX. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, July 17th - Wednesday, July 18th: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 2018 National Women’s Conference. Phoenix. 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.
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
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.
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.
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.
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 25th - Saturday, September 29th: NBMBAA 40th Annual Conference & Exposition. Detroit, MI. Click here for more information.
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