Michelle Obama heads to The U, Mazie Hirono apologizes & a CEO stays put.
Michelle Obama heads to The U, Mazie Hirono apologizes & a CEO stays put.
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September 28, 2018
Kamala Harris Focuses on Artificial Intelligence, Marco Rubio Wants Metal Detectors in Schools, and NFL Owner Protested
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HER PAINDr. Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman who accused SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, on Thursday described the terror she felt more than 30 years ago to an all-male Senate Republican slate during a Judiciary Committee hearing, while they ceded their time to a female outside counsel. HIS FURY… Kavanaugh responded to Democratic Senators with palpable anger, often taunting and interrupting them, and even accusing them of being part of a revenge plot on behalf of the Clintons. And he hadn’t even had any beers! THE VOTE… The American Bar Association called for postponing a vote on Judge Kavanaugh until after an FBI investigation. However, the Committee is still scheduled to vote today before moving Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full chamber. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to hold a procedural vote Saturday, setting up the possibility of a second procedural vote Monday and final confirmation vote Tuesday. But this morning, all eyes are on retiring Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ). OH YEAH … WHAT ABOUT ROSENSTEIN? Apparently, there’s no movement. Donald Trump pushed their meeting to next week. And even then, nothing may happen. But the Deputy Attorney General will also meet with House Republican Leadership in a private hearing in the next few weeks to discuss the GOP's litany of issues (h/t Politico). YOU GUYS REMEMBER UNGA IS HAPPENING, RIGHT? In NYC, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his debut at the UN Security Council on Thursday, where he warned that sanctions against North Korea must remain in place. He’s planning to travel to North Korea again to meet with senior leaders in preparation for a second summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un. GOOGLE MEGoogle’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, meets with House Republicans today to discuss complaints that the company is trying to silence conservative voices. He’ll also sit down with White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow at Google's request. TESLA TROUBLESThe SEC sued Elon Musk, accusing him of making false public statements with the potential to hurt investors. LOOKING FOR A SECRETARY? Found one! Hillary Clinton made a cameo on the revival of CBS’ Murphy Brown on Thursday night to apply for a job as a secretary. THE PRINCE OF LIES… Singer Barbra Streisand put her political beliefs in a song, “Don’t Lie to Me,” that appears to be aimed at Trump. PAPA, CAN YOU HEAR ME? It’s time to catch this Beat! We’re kicking off the weekend with this…
  • Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA) wants Election Day to be a national holiday.
  • Companies collaborate to provide investors with a way to invest in companies that promote diversity and inclusion practices.
  • Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) apologizes.
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama heads to the U.
  • LA Times owner recharges his battery.
  • Mel Watt faces his accuser.
  • Be sure to catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross on MSNBC’s AM Joy on Sunday at 10A EDT.
CA congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) in San Diego over the weekend before heading back to the campaign trail.
Dallas philanthropist Amy Turner, TV news personality Tamron Hall, and philanthropist Sunie Solomon at The Family Place’s 2018 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon in Dallas on Wednesday.
Kamala Harris Intros Bill to Improve Federal Government’s Use Of Artificial Intelligence
The Kavanaugh hearings were not the only thing happening on Capitol Hill this week, despite how it may have appeared on cable news. Artificial intelligence (AI) also took center stage in Congress, as lawmakers try to figure out how the U.S. can cement its leadership in the emerging technology. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Thursday introduced legislation to improve the federal government’s use of AI. The Artificial Intelligence in Government Act aims to improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning. If passed, the measure would require the General Services Administration to bring more AI experts on board and conduct original research on federal AI policy. It would also establish a board of experts who would advise agencies on AI implementation and help them overcome obstacles to adoption. The Office of Management and Budget would be also be required to integrate AI within the federal data strategy and develop a plan for investing and implementing the technology across government. The Office of Personnel Management would also need to examine the skills needed to use AI within the federal workforce and possibly create a new occupational series for AI experts. Harris, who has previously sent letters to the FBI, FTC, and EEOC asking about potential gender, race, and age biases involved in AI, says that AI still has the potential to benefit society. “We already see its immense value in applications as diverse as diagnosing cancer to routing vehicles,” said Harris. “The AI in Government Act gives the federal government the tools and resources it needs to build its expertise and in partnership with industry and academia. The bill will help develop the policies to ensure that society reaps the benefits of these emerging technologies, while protecting people from potential risks, such as biases in AI.” Fellow sponsors of the bill include Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Rob Portman (R-OH). More here

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz Intro Bill to Fund Metal Detectors and Bullet-Resistant Entrances in Schools 
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL)
and Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday introduced legislation that would allow local communities to utilize Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants for measures that they say would reinforce school safety. The School Security Enhancement Act would allow funds to be used to install metal detectors, bullet-resistant doors, and windows, as well as any technology that would reduce the time needed to disseminate information to parents regarding the safety of their children during and immediately following a crisis. The measure would also allow funds to be used for technology that covers and conceals students within the school during crisis situations, and install technologies to notify relevant law enforcement and first responders during such a situation. “This legislation will give schools the option to improve security by using federal funds for measures such as hiring security officers, implementing technology and reinforcing safety equipment to respond to a potential crisis. I am steadfast in supporting measures that keep our schools safe and prevent tragedy,” said Rubio. Cruz, who receives strong backing from the NRA, has consistently rejected gun restrictions as a solution to the plague of school shootings. He weighed in saying, “I believe the number one thing that makes schools safer is having more armed police officers on campuses. Expanding the use of these grants will empower our community leaders and education officials with the resources they need to strengthen our schools, hire school safety officers, and keep our children safe.” More here.

Mel Watt Faces Accuser in House Committee Hearing
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt and Simone Grimes, a senior federal worker who has accused him of sexual harassment, testified before a congressional panel Thursday in a tense hearing where both addressed the charges. Grimes testified to the Committee that he had repeatedly made sexual advances during conversations about salary concerns, leaving her feeling “unsafe and vulnerable.” Watt was asked if he had discussed his “attraction” to Grimes with her, citing a transcript from an investigative summary of a government probe into the matter. “In my experience there are four types of attraction: emotional, spiritual, sexual or friendship. So the exercise here is to find out which one exists. Did you ever make such comments?” Congressman Dave Trott (R-MI) asked. “I absolutely think that if you are going to mentor somebody, you’ve got to know what they are thinking,” 73-year-old Watt said in response. “If they are giving you the wrong vibrations and you are not clear with them what the expectations are, I think you can have a problem.” Grimes in her testimony said Watt had called the employment process a “charade” and repeatedly tied discussions about her professional advancement “to the fact that he had an attraction to me.” She said, “I did feel trapped, as if my back was against the wall.” She also said, “going to the work office started to become a very traumatic experience,” and she began avoiding certain work meetings out of fear that Watt would find an opportunity to approach her afterward. She began recording their interactions. In one encounter, Watt asked about a tattoo on her ankle, saying, “If I kissed that one would it lead to more?" More here.

CNN’s María Alejandra Requena on-set  Thursday in Miami.
 Vote Pro Choice’s Heidi Sieck, #MeToo founder Tarana J. Burke, and National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Ai-jen Poo Thursday at the Senate Judiciary hearing.
Lawmakers Who Are Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Request Delay in Kavanaugh Vote
Congresswomen Alma Adams (D-NC) 
and Gwen Moore (D-WI) joined other members of Congress who have survived domestic abuse or sexual assault in a letter to Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demanding that the Senate postpone scheduled confirmation votes for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in light of recent allegations of sexual assault. Joined by Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), the lawmakers also condemn the remarks made by Trump, McConnell, and other elected officials smearing and trivializing the experiences of victims of sexual assault and abuse. “As victims of domestic and sexual assault, we write to express our deepest concerns regarding your actions and various statements on the serious allegations that have been raised concerning Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his possible elevation to the highest court in the country … We further request fair and impartial consideration of Dr. Ford’s testimony, proper balancing of her story with Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony, and the postponement of any votes on Kavanaugh until all allegations have been properly investigated,” the members wrote. Read the full letter here.

Donald McEachin Wants to Make Election Day a Federal Holiday
National voter turnout has declined since 1964, and in 2014, it reached the lowest level since World War II. Only about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots in 2016. Another 18.7 million voters turned out in 2008, when nearly 64% of voting-age citizens cast a ballot. To increase greater participation in our elections, Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) on Thursday introduced legislation to make Election Day a federal holiday. The Election Day Holiday Act aims to makes voting easier. The members say their bill would increase the democratic legitimacy of our government and ensure more voices are heard in the political process. “I have fought for voters’ rights by introducing similar legislation during my time as a member of Virginia’s General Assembly,” said McEachin. “At a time when our elections are under attack from outside and within our country, it is more important than ever for us to do all we can to remove barriers to the ballot box.” More here

Gwen Moore, Tom Cole, and Jaime Herrera Beutler Intro Bill to Combat Infant and Child Mortality Crisis
Every year, about 3,500 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in the U.S. before reaching their first birthday. Sadly, there are no nationwide standards for the investigations, autopsies, or collection of data following an infant or child death, leaving grieving parents and family members without answers. Congresswomen Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) said it’s time for a change. The lawmakers on Thursday introduced the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act to study and reduce unexpected infant and child deaths. The bill is named after Scarlett, a toddler who died unexpectedly from an unknown illness in July, and hopes to better the health of infants and children by strengthening efforts to better understand infant deaths and facilitating data collection to improve prevention efforts. If enacted, it would specifically supply grants to increase support to states, municipalities, and nonprofits for improving data collection; improve death scene investigations through training; conduct child death reviews; promote education and awareness about safe sleep practices and preventing infant deaths; expand support services for grieving families who have experienced the loss of an infant or child, and more. “This doesn’t have anything to do with good or bad parenting. But because there are no nationwide standards for investigations and data collection, parents are often left wondering what went wrong and what they could have done to prevent their baby from dying. No mother, no matter her background, should have to with live with this uncertainty, thinking it was their fault,” said Moore. “Our bill will not prevent all of these cases, but it will go a long way toward improving investigations, autopsies, and nationwide collection of data further enhancing our understanding of sudden unexplained infant death,” Cole stated. Herrera Beutler added: “If there’s anything Congress can do to save more babies from dying unexpectedly from SIDS [Sudden Unexpected Infant Death], we should be relentlessly working toward that end.” Additional sponsors of the bill include Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). More here

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley hosting Permanent Representative of the Republic of Albania to the UN Besiana Kadare earlier this month at an all-women UN event in New York.
New York’s Fox 5 anchor Lori Stokes, PR Governor Ricardo Rosselló, and Good Day NY’s Rosanna Scotto on Thursday morning after an interview.
Merck CEO Bypasses Retirement 
The pharmaceutical giant Merck on Wednesday rescinded its policy requiring its chief executive to retire at the age of 65, leaving in place CEO Kenneth Frazier -- who had been set to retire in December 2019. The 63-year-old has been at the helm of the company since 2011. The company's stock price has nearly doubled since then. Under Frazier, Merck has also seen its cancer immunotherapy, Keytruda, rake in blockbuster sales and become one of the leading products in a new generation of oncology treatments. Frazier drew praise from peers and the public when he stepped down from Donald Trump’s manufacturing council in 2017 after the president did not condemn violent white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA. Frazier stated at the time, “America's leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal." The North Philadelphia native and Harvard Law School graduate is the first Black man to lead a major pharmaceutical company. He is one of only three Black CEOs heading up Fortune 500 companies, down from six on the 2012 list. The other sitting chief executives are Roger Ferguson Jr. at TIAA and Marvin Ellison at JCPenney. More here.

BlackRock and Thomson Reuters Want People to Invest in Companies That Promote Diversity and Inclusion Practices
BlackRock, a global investment management corporation based in NYC, and Thomson Reuters, a Canadian multinational mass media and information firm, have collaborated to launch an exchange traded fund (ETF) to provide investors with a way to invest in companies that promote diversity and inclusion practices. The iShares Thomson Reuters Inclusion & Diversity UCITS ETF transparently and objectively ranks more than 2,000 publicly-traded companies globally, and will track an index of 100 companies that have the most diverse and inclusive workplaces. The Index embraces a broader spectrum of diversity dimensions and goes further than other indices in the financial segment which have tended to focus more narrowly on aspects such as gender. Companies will be measured by 24 metrics across four categories: diversity, inclusion, news and controversies, and people development. "Within our corporate culture, we do see the benefits of building and flourishing an inclusive organization. We've seen the financial benefits of doing so," said Elena Philipova, Global Head of Diversity at Thomson Reuters. “[Diversity’s] becoming vastly accepted that it's not coming at the expense of profitability. It's a prerequisite of profitability." More here.

LA Times Owner Could Power Environmental Change
A lithium-ion battery is one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics. They are growing in popularity for military, electric vehicles, and aerospace applications. However, they can lead to explosions and fires, pose unique safety hazards, and are pricey. Hence, a safer and cheaper version has been long-sought. That’s where LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong comes in. On Wednesday, he announced an alternative rechargeable battery -- operating on zinc and air -- that costs far less than lithium-ion batteries. The announcement was made by NantEnergy, the company he owns, in conjunction with the One Planet Summit -- a gathering of world leaders to look at the commitments and implementation of the Paris Agreement [Donald Trump pulled the U.S. of this accord]. Soon-Shiong said tests of the new systems have helped power villages in Africa and Asia, as well as cell phone towers in the U.S. for the last six years. Because the technology costs much less than others -- $100 per kilowatt-hour versus lithium-ion’s estimated $300 to $400 per kilowatt-hour -- some in the energy industry have said it is low enough to transform the electric grid into a round-the-clock carbon-free system. “It could change and create completely new economies using purely the power of the sun, wind and air,” said Soon-Shiong. More here.

Activists Call for NFL to Make Deposits Into Black-owned Banks While Nike Give Bigly to GOP
Activists in Seattle are calling for the NFL and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen to deposit 10% of all revenue, as well as one-third of the funds making up player pensions, into Black-owned banks. A couple of weeks ago Allen -- who also co-founded Microsoft -- reportedly became a major donor of the Republican Party, and the Trump agenda, with campaign donations of up to $100,000 dollars to various GOP candidates. One of the leaders of the protest was Eddie Rye, Jr. -- the father of CNN commentator Angela Rye. He says that pro sports make a lot of money on the backs of Black athletes -- who make up to 75% of the athletes involved in pro sports -- yet the Black community doesn’t benefit economically from this disparity. “ESPN, CBS, were biding over 1 billion dollars to have the broadcast right of NFL games. So out of all the money being generated and the NFL being 70 percent Black, none of that money is coming back to the Black community,” Rye said. A group of retired NFL players has put their support behind the NFL/Black Community Revenue Sharing Program presented to the NFL that would require NFL teams to deposit 10% of their annual revenue and 1/3 of the NFL Players Pension Fund be deposited into Black-owned Banks. In related news, an analysis of contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics found that Nike workers and the company’s PAC gave $424,000 to Republican candidates or the GOP this year compared with $122,000 to Democratic candidates or the party. In fact, Nike has donated more to Republicans than Democrats in every election cycle since 2010 -- except for 2016. Nearly half of all of Nike’s political spending came from individual contributions made by company Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus Phil Knight, a registered Republican, and his wife, Penny. Online sales for Nike gear have soared and the company’s market value has skyrocketed $6 billion since they announced Colin Kaepernick the face of the 30-year anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. More on the Allen protests here.

DC Chef José Andrés, CNN’s Ana Navarro, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ Lee Brian Schrager on Monday at the Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and MS senatorial candidate Mike Espy (D) on Wednesday in DC.
Mazie Hirono Apologizes for Fundraising Off Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Hearing
The re-election campaign of Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) earlier this week sent out an email fundraising off of the hearing on SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The email, titled "Asking for a minute to explain (Kavanaugh)," said Hirono was totally focused on investigating Kavanaugh and hadn’t been able to fundraise. "I am spending every minute of my day fighting the Republicans who are desperate to rush Brett Kavanaugh's nomination and deny a fair investigation into the credible sexual misconduct allegations against him," the email read. The problem? It was sent out about 30 minutes after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford began her testimony and some viewed the email as Hirono fundraising off Ford’s sexual assault allegations. A little over an hour later, the Hirono campaign sent an email which read: "A fundraising message was sent this morning in error … We apologize sincerely for the error. All contributions that were made on this page will be donated to organizations helping survivors of sexual assault." More here.

Senate Majority PAC Targets Voters of Color
The Senate Majority PAC -- which is run by Priorities USA Action, a group founded by former top Barack Obama advisors -- is planning to spend seven figures in Missouri, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, and Arizona on messages focused on motivating and mobilizing African American, Latino, and younger voters to participate in midterms. All five states have pivotal Senate races. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in particular has been having trouble reaching Black voters. She faces a tough challenge from Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley. The Senator had previously told reporters that her campaign is having trouble attracting volunteers for its Ferguson office. About two-thirds of Ferguson is Black, about a fourth of St. Louis County’s residents are Black, and about 46% of St. Louis City’s residents are African American. As a whole, the state is about 11% Black. More here.
Michelle Obama Heads to the U
Former First Lady Michelle Obama is heading to Miami today. She will headline a When We All Vote event at the University of Miami Watsco Center, where she’ll be joined by Key and Peele star Keegan Michael-Key and singers Kelly Rowland and Faith Hill. The event is part of the campaign's "Week of Action," which includes dozens of events around the country and marks the 50-year anniversary of the Voting Rights Act's passage. Florida voters face an October 9th deadline to register to vote for the November election. The appearance is the second FLOTUS44 will make on behalf of the organization. She held a rally on Sunday in Nevada -- another battleground state -- where she told about 2,000 voters, “We get the leaders we vote for. We get the policies we vote for. And when we don't vote, that's when we wind up with government of, by and for other people.” More here.

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on Wednesday at Roll Call’s At the Races panel in DC.
SiriusXM’s Zerlina Maxwell, actress and activist Angela Bassett, and SiriusXM’s Jess McIntosh last Wednesday in NYC.
Former CBCF Head Joins NAMIC
The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) has named Congressional Black Caucus Foundation head A. Shuanise Washington as its new President and CEO. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for charting the future of NAMIC, including guiding strategic planning efforts and leveraging the organization’s existing strengths. She will also steer NAMIC through its next phase of growth, development, and innovation by identifying new opportunities and partnerships. Washington previously served as the Chair of the Board and President and CEO for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, where she oversaw public policy, research, educational, and fundraising initiatives. Most notably, she supervised their Annual Legislative Conference, colloquially known as “CBC week” -- a five-day policy gathering that draws prominent leaders from across politics, business, entertainment, academia, and other sectors. Prior to that, the 1985 University of South Carolina graduate was the President and CEO of Washington Solutions, LLC, a political consulting firm she founded in 2008. “It is a dynamic and exciting time in the media industry and NAMIC’s work and mission are more important than ever,” said Washington. “I look forward to leading this wonderful organization and working closely with the chapters, staff, board and our industry partners as we explore how to expand NAMIC’s reach throughout the industry and beyond.”
More here.
APAICS Adds Director of Programs and Community Engagement
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) has added Vimala Phongsavanh to its staff as Director of Programs and Community Engagement. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for developing and implementing APAICS programs which are related to advancing the political pipeline and leadership of the Asian Pacific American community. Phongsavanh most recently served as the Policy Director for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, where she led the organization’s policy department and advocated for issues that build power for AAPI women and girls. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director for Common Cause. "I look forward to the opportunity to build a more inclusive pipeline of AAPI leaders who will strengthen our communities’ collective political power, and to creating a more reflective democracy that shares our values," said Vimala. The daughter of Laotian refugees completed her undergraduate studies at Providence College before earning her Master’s from the University of Rhode Island. She began her career as a Web Development Project Coordinator for the Asian Community Development Corporation in Boston. More here
Feeding America Names New CEO
Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization which provides more than 4 billion meals a year, has named Claire Babineaux-Fontenot as their new CEO. The Louisiana native most recently ran her own consulting firm where she provided business advisory services. Previously, Babineaux-Fontenot was the Chairman of the Board of Atlas Technical Consultants. She also held a variety of leadership positions at Walmart -- including three years as EVP and Global Treasurer -- and worked at the law firm Adams & Reese, PwC, as a lawyer for the state of Louisiana, and as a law clerk for Judge Luke Laverne. Babineaux-Fontenot holds a Bachelor’s from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette; a Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center; and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. "As one of the over one hundred children raised by my parents through biology, adoption and foster care, I saw the ravages of hunger firsthand, as many of my siblings entered our home with visible signs of malnutrition. I will harness my learnings from working in some incredibly successful organizations toward the passion of my life, the fight against hunger," Babineaux-Fontenot said. She begins her new role on October 1st and will be based in Chicago. More here.
Justice for Migrant Women’s Mónica Ramírez at the UN General Assembly in NYC speaking on the Global Compact on Migration.
National Federation of Independent Business President Juanita Duggan presenting Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) their “Guardian of Small Business” award in DC.
Trump Appoints Obama Appointee to White House Trade Policy Advisory Committee
Victoria Espinel
, a Barack Obama appointee, has been appointed by Donald Trump as a member of the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. Espinel -- the current President of BSA | The Software Alliance -- leads anti-piracy interests and strategic efforts of major software players such as Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Oracle, and Intel. She also serves as the President of Software.org: the BSA Foundation. Software.org is an independent research organization created to help policymakers and the broader public better understand the impact of software. The 49-year-old double Georgetown graduate served for more than a decade in the White House for both Republican and Democratic administrations. In 2009, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the first-ever U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and before that, was the first-ever Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation. She has also taught international trade and intellectual property at the George Mason School of Law. The Virginia native also chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society. The appointments come as the administration’s 28 private-sector advisory committees were scheduled to give Office of the U.S. Trade Representative -- where Espinel once worked -- their assessments of the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement on Thursday. More here

Trump Appoints Director of DHS’ Joint Task Force West
Donald Trump appointed Manuel Padilla as Director of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force West -- which is responsible for the southwest land border -- last week. Padilla most recently served as the Chief of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector. Throughout his 30-year career, Padilla has held a number of key leadership positions including Chief Patrol Agent and Deputy Chief Patrol Agent, Tucson Sector; Chief Patrol Agent, New Orleans Sector; Associate Chief, Office of Border Patrol, Washington DC; among others. He also served as a member of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, eventually providing instruction on tactical procedures to host country police forces in Bolivia, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Padilla is a graduate of the CBP Senior Executive Candidate Development Program. Prior to joining the Border Patrol, he served in the U.S. Army for two years. More here.


FOMO
Today, 1:30P: A fundraiser for Lauren Underwood for Congress hosted by Isaac FardjourChaka BurgessLauryl JacksonAlethia Jacksonand others. Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information. 
Today, 6P: MALDEF's 50th Anniversary San Antonio Gala featuring special guests, Antonia Hernández and Vilma Martínez, past MALDEF Presidents and General Counsels, and honoring former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, among others. The Westin Riverwalk, 420 W Market Street, San Antonio, TX. Click here for more information.
Today - Saturday, September 29th: NBMBAA 40th Annual Conference & Exposition. Detroit, MI. Click here for more information.
Monday, October 1st, 8:30A: The Marshall Project hosts, "What's The Story? Criminal Justice and Narrative Change." The convening will feature Sherrilyn IfillPresident and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, in conversation with Grover Norquist. Moderated by Bill Keller, Editor of The Marshall Project, and featuring an introduction by Weldon Angelos. The Google Space, 25 Massachusetts Ave, N.W., DC. Click here for more.
Monday, October 1st, 7:30P: Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange hosts a conversation with DeRay Mckesson. DeRay will be joined by special guests for a live, no-holds-barred talk about inclusion, community, and progress designed to empower a new generation of leaders. The Theater at Ace Hotel. Los Angeles, CA. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, October 2nd: The Indian American Impact Project hosts Women Who Impact, an evening celebrating Indian American women advocates, influencers, and power brokers. Featuring Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA)Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), DNC CEO Seema Nanda, and others. Covington & Burling LLP, 850 10th Street N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, October 3rd, 12:30P: Meet and greet for former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, candidate for U.S Senate, hosted by Marcus Sebastian Mason & Patrice Willoughby. Madison Group, 1030 15th St., N.W. Suite 1080 West, DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, October 4th, 5:30P: A night of comedy, cocktails, and conversation in support of MD gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous. Hosted by Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley and Kathleen Matthews, along with honorary Co-Hosts MD Democratic Congressmen Anthony Brown and John Sarbanes, with special guest Dave Chappelle. Home of Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley. Address provided upon RSVP. DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, October 4th: Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC hosts their 22nd annual American Courage Awards reception. JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Monday, October 8th - Tuesday, October 9th: Black Enterprise's TechConneXt Summit featuring the first annual Black Tech Awards. Summit speakers include Damien Hooper-Campbell, Chief Diversity Officer at eBay, The Breakfast Club's Angela Yee, among othersSan Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront, 1800 Old Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA. Click here for more information.
Thursday, October 11th, 6P: The Muslim Public Affairs Council hosts the 2018 Empowering Voices Awards. Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Sunday, October 21st - Friday, October 26th: National Congress of American Indians’ 75th Annual Convention & Marketplace, “Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future.” Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th St., Denver, CO. Click here for more information.
Sunday, October 28th - Tuesday, October 30thThe Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies' CityLab 2018, a summit to address the most urgent urban issues of our time. Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, 1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI. Click here for more information.
Thursday, November 15th - Friday, November 16th: Men of Color in Communications Business Summit, a two-day conference bringing together more than 300 men of color in marketing, advertising, media, PR, and the digital space. Speakers include Jeffrey Litvack, CEO, AdWeek; Rodney Williams, CEO, Belvedere Vodka; Jana Fleishman, EVP Strategic Marketing, Roc Nation (JAY-Z's Publicist); and many more. Bloomberg Corporate Headquarters, 731 Lexington Avenue, NYC. Click here for more information.
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