Jemele Hill named Journalist of the Year and Marco Rubio Stands Up for PR
Jemele Hill named Journalist of the Year and Marco Rubio Stands Up for PR
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May 22, 2018
Obamas Ink Netflix Deal, Judy Chu Intros Bill to Give Immigrant Workers POWER, and Nikki Haley Has Twitter Finger Troubles
GEORGIA PEACHESVoters in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Georgia head to the polls today as primary season hits the dirty South. All eyes are on Georgia, where Stacey Abrams will face off with Stacey Evans as both attempt to make history as the first woman Governor of the Peach State. If Abrams advances to the general, she will fight to become the first Black woman Governor of the state -- and in the country. GAME OF THRONESTop House Republicans are privately questioning whether retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) can hold the throne until Election Day, and some have become increasingly willing to defy the lame-duck leader. The likely successor? Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA). Mantén la sintonía... SO MEXICO SAID NAH? Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN) introduced a bill to allow crowdsourcing to fund the $22 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The Border Wall Trust Fund Act also calls for money to be used to construct a mile-long “commemorative display” to honor donors. SHAWSHANKED IN THE SENATEThe House is expected to pass the bipartisan prison reform bill today, but don’t expect the same in the upper chamber. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is holding out for a more sweeping bill this time around rather than the narrower approach that the House and some GOP senators are taking. ¿ESTO OTRA VEZ? The White House is doubling down publishing a wordpress explaining why MS-13 gang members are “animals,” after Donald Trump’s comments about undocumented immigrants sparked a backlash. LET’S MAKE A DEAL… Republican congressional leaders will be able to view some of the most highly classified information related to the Russia investigation under an agreement the White House brokered on Monday. LABOR PAINS… In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private sector employees, the Supreme Court delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws. #METOO OR NAH? Uber is being sued by a former software engineer alleging years of sexual harassment. Ingrid Avendaño’s suit marks “the first test” of the ride-hailing firm’s new policy, which no longer forces arbitration in cases of sexual harassment or assault. BIPARTISAN GOOOOOAAAAALS! Tonight, members of Congress lace up their boots and team up with sports legends for the ultimate Republican vs. Democrat showdown in a charity fútbol match benefiting children living in underserved communities. We’re kicking off your Tuesday with this...
  • Barack Obama alumni unite to write a book due out this fall.
  • UN Ambassador Nikki Haley under fire for mixing business and pleasure on Twitter.
  • Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) today will intro a bill to give immigrant workers POWER.
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) wants to help retirees make money moves.
  • Former Congressman John Conyers’ son kept off the ballot to replace dad in Congress.
  • Is Nina Turner running for President??
  • Candidates brace for Texas runoff today.
  • Meet the Asian American and Pacific Islander Capitol Hill staffers to watch. Check them out in Blogs!
  • Join Tiffany D. Cross and Rev. Al Sharpton today on Keepin’ It Real at 1:20P on Ch. 126 on SiriusXM.
Marines Maj. Gen Eric Smith and Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) with his wife Betty and son Austin at the Armed Forces Parade in Torrance, CA.
Sybrina Fulton, mother of the late Trayvon Martin, who became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. last month, with fellow member Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL).
Cory Booker Wants Federal Commission to Help Retirees Make Money Moves
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
recently announced new bipartisan legislation to establish a federal commission charged with reviewing private retirement benefit programs. Joined by Senator Todd Young (R-IN), the lawmakers say far too many households are unprepared for retirement. The Employee Benefit Research Institute predicts that over 40% of Gen X-ers will run short of money in retirement, and just under half of all private-sector workers aren’t participating in a retirement savings plan through their employer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Federal Retirement Commission Act calls for the creation of a commission comprised of the Secretary of Labor, Treasury, Commerce, two presidential appointees, six appointees from the Senate, and another six from the House. They will be charged with reviewing private retirement coverage, individual and household accounts balances, investment trends, costs and net returns, and retention and distribution during retirement as well as societal trends, including wage growth, economic growth, unique small business challenges, serial employment, gig economy, health care costs, life expectancy, and shrinking household size, that could lead future generations to be less financially secure in retirement compared to previous generations. “The most important thing we can do to ensure Americans’ retirement security is to protect and strengthen Social Security,” said Senator Booker. “Beyond that, we must work to address the shortcomings that have resulted from the shift from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans like 401(k)s. This bill will advance the conversation on individual retirement savings at a time when far too many have been left without the retirement they’ve planned for.” More here.

Live in an Area Prone to Flooding? Tim Scott Just Introduced a Bipartisan Bill That Applies to You
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
introduced bipartisan legislation that would help more vulnerable homeowners move out of dangerous flood zones. The bicameral bill -- introduced with Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) -- calls for a comprehensive review of FEMA’s program to reduce flood risk and taxpayer exposure by buying homes from property owners in flood-prone areas. In 2017, the U.S. experienced 16 severe weather events that have resulted in losses exceeding $1 billion. These events include a record number of Category 4 hurricanes that have killed dozens of people. Over the past ten years, the government has spent more than $350 billion to help communities recover from severe weather. “As a South Carolinian who grew up on the coast, I know well the devastation floods can bring without warning. Unfortunately, many of our communities have flooded repeatedly over the years, leaving families facing the constant fear of flooding and rebuilding their homes over and over again,” said Scott. “The bipartisan Promoting Flood Risk Mitigation Act will create better ways of helping people stuck in repeatedly flooded areas while putting the NFIP on stronger financial footing so it’s around for future generations.” More here.

Marco Rubio Pushes FEMA to Continue Paying Full Cost of Puerto Rico Recovery Effort
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL)
and Bill Nelson (D-FL) yesterday sent a letter to FEMA calling on the agency to extend its agreement to pay the full cost of Puerto Rico’s post-Hurricane Maria emergency recovery efforts for at least 90 more days. In the letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long, the Senators asked FEMA to extend its “100 percent federal cost-share” agreement and cover the full cost of any debris removal for 90 more days, and the full cost of any other emergency services -- such as food, shelter, and fuel for generators -- for 120 more days. “The 2018 hurricane season is just a few short weeks away, and our fellow Americans simply do not have the resources to both recover from Hurricane Maria and prepare for what may come,” they wrote. See the full letter here.

Congressman Rubén J. Kihuen (D-NV) and NNPA President & CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. at the 1st Annual Afrikfest Las Vegas Gala & Merit Awards Dinner this weekend.
NYT’s Hari Kumar, who is based in New Delhi, India receiving a visit from HuffPost Editor-In-Chief and former NYT colleague Lydia Polgreen.
Judy Chu Intros Bill to Give Immigrant Workers POWER
Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA)
will introduce today legislation that will provide U Visa eligibility for immigrant workers who report unsafe or unfair labor practices. A “U Visa” is a nonimmigrant visa which is set aside for victims of crimes (and their immediate family members) who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. Chu says The Protecting Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act will strengthen labor agencies’ investigative powers and allow a stay of removal and work authorization for workers who file a workplace claim. The bill comes as numerous cases of employers allegedly threatening to report workers to ICE after employees raise issues over working conditions, including wage theft. Other allegations have include employers demanding different documents than those required by federal immigration law or refusing to honor documents that appear genuine. Chu says under this bill, the worker who reports the illegal behavior will be eligible for protected status assuring that they can speak up against illegal business practices without fear of retaliation. Senator Robert Menéndez (D-NJ) is introducing the companion bill in the Senate. Read the text of the bill here

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Intros Bipartisan Bill to Eradicate Tuberculosis in the U.S. 
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
joined forces with Congressmen Gene Green (D-TX), Don Young (R-AK), and Eliot Engel (D-NY) to introduce legislation that they say would help public health officials manage and decrease the spread of tuberculosis. While recent data shows that 95% of cases and deaths are in developing countries, tuberculosis cases continue to occur in the U.S., with more than 9,000 patients diagnosed annually. The lawmakers say that the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act could lower that number even further by providing support to domestic programs that combat tuberculosis. Provisions include funding for the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, grants to state and local governments and Federally Qualified Health Centers, and the reauthorization of the National Strategy for Combating and Eliminating Tuberculosis. “Tuberculosis should be a disease of the past but, unfortunately, over 9,000 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year,” said Ros-Lehtinen. More here.

Terri Sewell Intros Bipartisan Bill to Provide Grants for Wastewater Systems 
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL)
introduced bipartisan legislation on Wednesday to address the widespread failure of wastewater infrastructure in rural America. Joined by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL), the Rural Septic Tank Access Act would provide grants for the construction and repair of decentralized wastewater systems in underserved communities. If passed, the bill would expand the Household Water Well System Grant Program, allocating up to $20,000 for families to either install or maintain individually-owned decentralized wastewater systems. “I have seen firsthand the economic, environmental, and health challenges created by failing sewer systems in Alabama,” said Sewell. “As Congress considers infrastructure investments this year through the Farm Bill and the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), I will fight to make sure that every community has the support needed to maintain sustainable, safe, and efficient wastewater systems.” Senators Doug Jones (D-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a companion bill in the Senate in April. More here

The Daily Show’s Ronny Chieng with NBA Brooklyn Nets' Jeremy Lin on Saturday night at the Museum of Chinese in America.
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker accepting an honorary degree from Hamilton College this weekend.
It’s Official! Barack and Michelle Sign Deal with Netflix
Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have officially entered into a multi-year agreement with Netflix to produce films and series, potentially including scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features. The deal will give the Obamas an international television platform -- 104 million people across the globe subscribe to Netflix. The couple has created Higher Ground Productions to produce content for Netflix. The NYT reports that POTUS44 said that he will not use this opportunity to “wage a public campaign against his successor in the Oval Office, or to fight against conservative media outlets like Fox News.” Reportedly, the Obamas will be both on-screen and behind the camera. Sources report that the first show will air in 2019. "One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience," POTUS44 said. "That's why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world." Susan Rice, who served as his National Security Advisor, joined the Board of Netflix in March. More here.
Jemele Hill Honored By NABJ
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has selected Jemele Hill as the 2018 Journalist of the Year. The annual award recognizes a Black journalist who has amassed a distinguished body of work with extraordinary depth, scope, and significance to the people of the African Diaspora. Hill is a Senior Correspondent and Columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated. She uses her platform to address national, social and cultural issues, in addition to sports. “It would be a serious understatement to call this recognition from NABJ special. This organization has been a second family for me, both personally and professionally,” Hill said. “I am humbled to be honored by an organization whose values not only match my own journalistically but has tirelessly dedicated itself to developing and nurturing journalists like me. ... This is the biggest accomplishment of my career.” Hill will receive the award on August 4th in her hometown of Detroit during the group’s annual convention.
 More here.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation is recruiting a Special Assistant (SA) to join the President’s office team. The SA will report to the President and also to the Chief of Staff/Board Liaison, and will play a critical support role in creating a highly functioning team and organization.
Click here to learn more and apply!
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a champion for working families, is looking for a Graphic Designer to join her 2018 re-election campaign. The Graphic Designer will work with the digital team to create social media graphics, digital ads, email images, website landing pages, and more. 
Wayfair Names New Board Member
Wayfair, an American e-commerce company that sells home goods, has announced that Andrea Jung, has been elected to their Board of Directors. The former Chairman and CEO of Avon Products is currently President and CEO of Grameen America, where she leads the growing microfinance organization serving low-income female entrepreneurs with access to financial capital, training, and support. The Princeton University graduate previously served as EVP of Neiman Marcus where she was responsible for all women’s apparel, accessories, and cosmetics. Before that, she was SVP and General Merchandising Manager, for I. Magnin. In 2009, Forbes ranked the bilingual exec, who is fluent in English and Mandarin, the 25th most powerful woman. In 2010, Jung received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for her visionary leadership in solving pressing global issues. In addition to her new post, Jung serves on the Boards of Apple Inc. and Unilever NV. She previously served on the Boards of General Electric and Daimler AG. “I look forward to contributing to Wayfair’s ongoing success and momentum as the company continues to transform the way people shop for their homes,” Jung said. More here.
Barack Obama West Wingers Write a Book Due Out This Fall
A group of 18 staffers who worked for former President Barack Obama have reunited to pen revealing personal stories taking readers deep inside the presidency. The writers offer intimate accounts of how they made it to the White House, what they witnessed, and what they accomplished there. In each one, we see the human face of government staffers devoting themselves to the issues that have defined their lives. We hear from a married gay staffer pushing the president towards marriage equality; a senior aide working to implement the Affordable Care Act while battling Stage IV cancer; a hijab-wearing Muslim advisor accompanying the president to a mosque. West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House will be published September 25th by Penguin Books. The book was edited by Gautam Raghavan (pictured) who served as Obama's liaison to the LGBT community as well as the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The West Wingers sharing their stories include: Rumana Ahmed (pictured), Deesha Dyer (pictured), Heather Foster (pictured), Hope Hall, Brad Jenkins, Leah Katz-Hernández, Cecilia Muñoz (pictured), Darienne Page, Ned Price, Aneesh Raman, Michael J. Robertson, Julie Chávez Rodríguez (pictured), Lynn Rosenthal, Michael Strautmanis (pictured), Raina Thiele, Stephanie Valencia (pictured), and Bill Yosses. More here.
Hawaii Governor David Ige (D) spending time with members of the Joint Task Force 50, who are helping with recovery efforts of volcanic eruptions.
Newark, NJ Judge Victoria Pratt with Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) on Saturday at the National Summit of the League of Dominican-American Elected Officials.
Nikki Haley Under Fire for Using Twitter to Prep for 2024 Run
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has come under fire for using her personal Twitter account to promote her diplomatic work and supposedly preparing for 2024 elections. Haley has been using her personal Twitter account, @NikkiHaley, to make UN-related announcements since her confirmation including stark condemnations of countries who vote against the U.S. and statements on Russia sanctions, as well as offering music recommendations and other personal tweets. Experts and former American officials told Politico that they were concerned about Haley’s use of her personal account, but also pointed out that other top U.S. diplomats ignore State Department guidelines prohibiting the use personal social media accounts to conduct U.S. foreign policy. Critics say taxpayer dollars shouldn't be used to fund someone's social media stardom for political or business purposes. And many have speculated about Haley’s 2024 presidential ambitions. More here.

The Revolution Might Be Compromised
Is Nina Turner running for President? The former Ohio state Senator, who is the current President of Our Revolution -- the progressive and social democratic political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) 2016 presidential campaign -- has since fallen out of favor with some board members who think she is using the group as a personal springboard to higher office. Some say she is preparing for a presidential run of her own and wants to settle scores with the DNC from 2016. Founding board member and former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores resigned last month, saying Our Revolution wasn’t paying adequate attention to Latino candidates and issues of importance to Latinos, according to Politico. The Board of Directors nixed Turner’s attempt to install her personal political consultant and friend, Tezlyn Figaro, as her Chief of Staff, even though the person had no experience in political organizing, had praised Donald Trump repeatedly, and attacked immigrants on Fox News. Figaro has remained on as a consultant, though board members have been told her contract will end soon. The organization has also suffered from poor fundraising. More here
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and CA gubernatorial candidate John Chiang (D) at the annual Long Beach Pride parade this weekend.
 U.S. Senate candidate and CA state Senator Kevin de León (D) on Friday campaigning in Topanga, CA.
Texas Runoffs Today
Texas gubernatorial candidates Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Andrew White will faceoff in today’s runoff. The winner will face Governor Greg Abbott in a steep climb against the lavishly funded Republican in a state that has not elected a Democrat to statewide office in over two decades. Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, is up against ex-high school teacher Rick Treviño for their party's nod to take on Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) in the 23rd District. In the 32nd District, two President Barack Obama appointees will faceoff. Colin Allred, a civil rights attorney who previously played in the NFL, faces businesswoman Lillian Salerno in the runoff to challenge Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX). The state saw very low turnout for early voting for the runoffs which was last week. Only 3.2% of the top 30 counties with the most registered voters showed up to the polls, according to records kept by the Secretary of State's office. More here.

John Conyers III Denied Spot on Michigan Primary Ballot
John Conyers III
, the son of former Congressman John Conyers Jr., will not have his name listed on Michigan’s Democratic primary ballot to replace his father in Congress. Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett decided on Monday that the younger Conyers was short by approximately a thousand signatures of registered voters in the district required for his name to appear on the ballot. She noted in her letter to him, however, that he could ask the Secretary of State to review that decision or challenge it in circuit court. So far, no action has been taken. Hence, the only Conyers appearing on the August 7th ballot will likely be the former Congressman’s great-nephew, state Senator Ian Conyers. He will face state Senator Coleman Young II, former state Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Shanelle Jackson, Westland Mayor Bill Wild, and former Congressman Conyers staffer Kimberly Hill Knott. David Dudenhoefer, who chairs the 13th Congressional District Republican Party, will run unopposed in the GOP primary. More here.

Columbia Law Professor Considering NY AG Run
A Columbia Law professor credited with coining the term "net neutrality," is considering a run for NY state Attorney General. Tim Wu told the NY Daily News, "I'm thinking about it. It's a great job. I've started to give it some real thought." Wu ran an impressive, but unsuccessful, primary challenge to NY Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in which he garnered nearly 40% of the vote. Wu recently served as the Senior Enforcement Counsel and Special Advisor to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned abruptly last week after a New Yorker magazine story accused him of physically assaulting four women. In 2016, the McGill University graduate, who earned his law degree at Harvard, joined the National Economic Council in the Barack Obama White House to work on competition policy. It wasn’t his first stint in the public sector. In 2011, Wu served for a year as a Senior Advisor to the Federal Trade Commission. Should he decide to run, he will face NY Public Advocate Letitia James. Other possible contenders include former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara; Alphonso David, Chief Counsel to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (D); Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY); and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout, who ran with Wu in the 2014 Democratic primary for Governor. More here.
Today, 12:30P: National Press Club Headliners Luncheon. Former Mexico President Vicente Fox will deliver an address entitled, “Democracy at the Crossroads: Globalization versus Nationalism.” Tickets $25 for NPC members; $39 for non-members. Click here for more information
Today: Common Cause Pennsylvania will host their Democracy Works Summit. Sheraton Downtown Hotel on 201 N. 17th Street in Philadelphia, PA. Click here for more information
Wednesday, May 23, 6P: The Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association (CAPASA) celebrates their 20th anniversary and commemorate the legacy of AAPI leaders lost by presenting the Mark Takai Award and Jose M. Montano, Jr. Award. RSVP here.
Thursday, May 24th, 12P: The Center for American Progress presents “Latinas in the Resistance.” This discussion will examine the power of Latinas in American society. Click here for more information.
Thursday, May 24th 6P: Third Annual Multicultural Media Correspondents’ Dinner. The National Press Club. 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Invite only. 
Wednesday, June 6th - Saturday, June 9th: The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit. Charlotte, NC. More than 1,000 CEOs, investors, and business experts are expected to attend. Click here for more information and to register.
Sunday, June 10th - Tuesday, June 12th: The ACLU Membership Conference. Speakers include Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse CullorsCongressman John Lewis (D-GA), and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL Bryan Stevenson. Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW) and Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. (901 Massachusetts Avenue NW). Click here for more information
Saturday, June 16th, 6:30P: The March On Washington Festival hosts a fundraiser celebrating Black trailblazers in entertainment featuring acclaimed actress, singer, and philanthropist Sheryl Lee Ralph in a one-woman show of storytelling and song. Studio Theatre. 1501 14th Street Northwest. Click here for more information
Thursday, June 21st - Sunday, June 24th: The Black Millennial Political Convention, which aims to increase engagement of Black millennials in the political sphere and shed a light on policy issues impacting black communities. This year’s theme is The Advocacy of Policy, Pipeline and Power for the People. Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, VA. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Saturday, July 7th - Tuesday, July 10th: The 2018 UnidosUS annual conference, Marriott Marquis Hotel, DC. Click here for more information and to register.
Thursday, July 12th - Friday, July 20th: March On Washington Film Festival. 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 and to register.
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
Wednesday, August 1st - Saturday, August 4th: The National Urban League 2018 Annual Conference “Save Our Cities: Powering the Digital Revolution.” Columbus, OH. Click here for more information and to register.
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