Catherine Cortez Masto wants DHS reforms and Black-ish star makes history.
Catherine Cortez Masto wants DHS reforms and Black-ish star makes history.
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January 10, 2019
Barbara Lee Leads Cannabis Caucus, Kamala Harris to Announce White House Run MLK Weekend, and Ted Lieu and Jimmy Gómez Get Bold 
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BYE BYEThat’s what the president said to Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after they refused to fund a border wall, even if he agreed to reopen the government, escalating the confrontation that has shuttered large portions of the government for 19 days and counting. ART OF NO DEALThe president today heads to the border in McAllen, TX and could still declare a national emergency -- a move that would bypass Congress and use money allocated for the military -- to build the wall. It would also be an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms. TOMORROW800K federal workers will go without a paycheck. BORDERLANDS… Rather than surrender their land for a border wall, some TX property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers from the federal government and preparing to fight the Trump administration in court. CAN THIS WAIT? That’s what Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is saying to House Judiciary Committee Dems who want to hear from him about the Russia probe and other issues. Whitaker, citing the continuing shutdown, is trying to delay his testimony until February. EPA… As anticipated, Donald Trump on Wednesday formally nominated Andrew Wheeler to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. NAH, I’M GOODBillionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, known for his campaign to impeach Trump, ruled out a White House bid on Wednesday, opting instead to do whatever he can to remove the president from office. BEZOS PESOS… The world's richest couple is splitting up. Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Bezos has an estimated net worth of $137 billion. This divorce could end up being very costly. LITTLE BIG THINGS POPPIN’… When the comedy Little hits theaters this spring, 14-year-old Black-ish star Marsai Martin will hold the title of the youngest Executive Producer of a major Hollywood motion picture in history. THE RISING MAJORITY… Casts a wide net of influence across the country. The Beat catches it all. Time for you to catch The Beat. We’re back on Monday but leaving you with this…
  • Congressmen Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Vicente González (D-TX) intro a bill to stop the border wall.
  • Netflix names Director of Indie Films.
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) calls for reforms to detention protocols to protect migrants.
  • Harvard Shorenstein Center names new Fellows.
  • Catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross on CNN on Saturday in the 2P hour and on Sunday on MSNBC’s AM Joy at 10A on Morning Joe in the 8A hour on Monday.
WaPo’s Eugene Scott in studio on Tuesday getting ready for a TV hit in DC.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Tuesday opting to read a book instead of watching Donald Trump’s prime-time address.
Adriano Espaillat and Vicente González Intro Bill to Stop Border Wall
Congressmen Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
and Vicente González (D-TX) introduced on Wednesday the This Land Is Our Land Act to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Defense from constructing any new border barriers, including walls or fences, on federal land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior. The bill would also prohibit the administration from using eminent domain to force construction of a border barrier on private property, and it would clarify that Defense Department funds could not be used under a “national emergency” for constructing a barrier of any kind on the southern border. “Since his inauguration, President Trump has subjected Congress, federal employees and, most importantly, the American people to uncertainty and harm in pursuit of an unnecessary wall along the southern border,” said Espaillat. “The President’s wall is nothing more than an ill-conceived campaign tactic and a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.” González added, “I am proud to join Congressman Espaillat in supporting the This Land is Our Land Act. Let’s put a stop to the president’s wasteful project and pursue pragmatic solutions to protect our communities, our land, and our rights.” Read the text of the bill here.

Barbara Lee Named Co-Chair of Cannabis Caucus
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)
was named Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus on Wednesday -- making her the first woman and person of color to chair the Caucus. She will serve alongside Congressman David Joyce (R-OH). The bipartisan Caucus was formed in 2017 by former CA Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Don Young (R-AR), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and former CO Democratic Congressman Jared Polis. The goal of the Caucus is to harmonize federal laws that prohibit medical and recreational cannabis use with state laws that permit it. Nearly 98% of Americans live in states or territories that allow some degree of legal access to medical marijuana or cannabis derivatives and a quarter of Americans live in a states that have legalized adult use of marijuana. Lee is well-suited for the post. She introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in 2017 with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to reform unjust marijuana laws and empower communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs. She also authored the REFER Act last year, to prohibit federal funding for DOJ interference in states that have decriminalized cannabis. And the RESPECT resolution, which Lee introduced, encourages racial equity in the legal cannabis industry. “I am thrilled to serve as co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus and continue the work of reforming our outdated and discriminatory marijuana laws,” said Lee. “For far too long, communities of color and women have been left out of the conversation on cannabis. I am committed to ensuring that marijuana reform goes hand-in-hand with criminal justice reform so we can repair some of the harm of the failed War on Drugs. We must also work to build an industry that is equitable and inclusive of the communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition.” More here.
Ted Lieu and Jimmy Gómez Intro Bold Bill on Climate Change 
CA Democratic Congressmen Ted Lieu and Jimmy Gómez on Wednesday introduced a bold bill on climate change in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. The Climate Solutions Act would establish a National Renewable Energy Standard, which would require all electricity sold in the U.S. to be generated from renewable sources by 2035. “No longer can our planet continue to rely on a passive strategy to combat climate change,” Gómez said. U.S. carbon dioxide emissions rose an estimated 3.4% in 2018, according to new research -- a concerning increase that comes as scientists say the world needs to be aggressively cutting its emissions to avoid the devastating impacts of climate change. Emissions from electric power generation rose 1.9% in 2018, driven chiefly by more demand for electricity, which was largely satisfied by more burning of natural gas. This fuel emits less greenhouse gas than coal when burned but is still a major contributor overall. The Climate Solutions Act would aggressively target greenhouse gases by requiring emissions to be 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. “There is no threat greater to our nation’s security than climate change. Failing to protect our planet will endanger the lives of millions, hurt our economy and jeopardize our children’s future,” Lieu said. Donald Trump has said he plans to officially withdraw the nation from the Paris climate agreement in 2020 and in the meantime has rolled back Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing the country’s carbon emissions. “Now that Democrats are in the majority, we can and will be more aggressive on curbing the impact of climate change and creating a sustainable future for generations to come,” Lieu added. More here.
VA Del. Kathy Tran -- the first Asian American woman elected to the VA House of Delegates -- holding her daughter while being sworn-in last week.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Voto Latino’s María Teresa Kumar backstage at NBC studios in DC on Tuesday.
Catherine Cortez Masto Calls for Reforms to Detention Protocols to Protect Migrants
Following the deaths of 8-year-old Felipe Alonzo-Gomez and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, many have called on the federal government to perform a full evaluation of its processes and make necessary reforms to prevent future tragedies. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) added her voice to the issue on Monday sending a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan urging them to work with Congress to make changes to its detention protocols in order to prioritize the wellbeing and safety of migrant children. “I call on CBP to work with Congress and the appropriate medical professionals to make immediate and permanent changes to the way it processes, detains, and examines the wellbeing of children in its custody,” wrote Cortez Masto. “Children and families in the government’s custody, no matter their immigration status, must be treated with dignity and receive the utmost care.” Read the full letter here.

Top Dems Want to Know Why Admin Eased Sanctions of Russian Oligarch
The top Democrats from seven House Committees -- including House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), House Oversight and Reform Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) -- want the Trump administration to explain why it eased sanctions on businesses tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the members requested a congressional briefing and a postponement of the sanctions termination until their questions are answered. The Treasury Department late last month notified Congress that it intends to terminate sanctions against three companies tied to Deripaska despite a number of concerns about the agreement that the U.S. has reached with the Russian Oligarch, including questions of partial ownership transfers to the Kremlin. “As the Chairs of committees with oversight jurisdiction over the U.S. response to Russia’s attempts to interfere in our elections and other hostile actions, we have a number of concerns,” they wrote. “We request that you be available for a meeting with all interested Members, in an appropriate setting to allow for a full discussion of all aspects of the agreement, the sanctions termination, and the impact that these decisions would have on the U.S. effort to end Russia’s malign activities aimed at our country.” Earlier this week, Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), the Ranking Member on the Senator Foreign Relations Committee, raised this issue with Mnuchin as well. Read the full letter from the House members here.

Investigation Discovery’s María Elena Salinas walking the National Mall in DC on Monday.
ABC News’ Linsey Davis and MSNBC’s Morgan Radford on Tuesday crossing paths at the airport in Boston.
Kamala Harris to Announce White House Bid MLK Weekend
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
will formally announce her White House bid on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, sources told KCBS Radio, a station in her home state of California. They said the announcement would likely be at a campaign rally in Oakland, where Harris was born and began her legal career. Harris had been making the media rounds this week promoting her newly released book, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey. The 54-year-old Howard University grad has yet to publicly confirm that she is running. Once she announces, she would be the only woman of color in the field. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is rumored to also be considering a White House run, but she has yet to make a formal announcement. During a CNN appearance, Harris said she thinks the U.S. is ready for a woman of color to be president. "We have to give the American people more credit, and we have to understand that the American public and the people of our country are smart people, who will make decisions about who will be their leader, based on who they believe is capable, who they believe has an honest desire to lead, to represent, to see them, to be a voice for them even if they have no power," Harris told The Lead’s Jake Tapper. KCBS reports that the sources cautioned that Harris' planned rollout is still being finalized. The location and timing could change. But the current plan is for Harris to throw her hat into the ring sometime over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, perhaps even on MLK Day itself, which is Monday, January 21st. More here.
DCCC Names Heads of Recruitment and Frontline Program
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (IL) on Wednesday named several House Democrats of color as Chairs of the DCCC’s Recruitment and Frontline programs. Representatives Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Val Demings (D-FL) will co-chair the Recruitment Committee. The trio will target vulnerable GOP members who won narrowly in 2018 -- 26 House districts went Republican by 5 percentage points or less. Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) will serve as one of the chairs of the Frontline program, where he and co-chairs Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL) will help guide Democratic members from tough districts. In 2018, 24 Democrats won by less than 5 percentage points. And to help the members chairing these two programs, Bustos also announced Danny Kazin as the Committee’s new Deputy Executive Director and Director of Campaigns; Kory Kozloski as the National Political Director for Frontline; and Molly Ritner as the National Political Director for Campaigns & Recruitment. More here.

#TBT

CNN’s Lisa Ling’s senior prom photo at Del Campo High School in 1991.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaking at his NYU School of Law graduation in 1997.
Netflix Names Director of Independent Films
Sheroum Kim 
has been named Director of Independent Films at Netflix. She most recently served as SVP of Production at the entertainment and media company STX, where she worked on movies including The Edge of Seventeen, starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson; I Feel Pretty, starring Amy Schumer; and Adrift, starring Shailene Woodley. She also served as the company’s VP of Development. Prior to joining STX, Kim was Head of Development at 22 & Indiana Pictures, where she developed and executive produced the Clint Eastwood-Bradley Cooper hit, American Sniper. The 2006 University of Southern California graduate started her career as an Assistant at Warner Bros. and William Morris Endeavor. Kim is the latest addition to the streaming giant -- following the hire of Tendo Nagenda from Disney and former ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey -- as the company continues to strengthen its film ranks. More here.
Condé Nast Names Executive Editor for LGBTQ+ Brand Them
Condé Nast has named Whembley Sewell as the new Executive Editor for its LGBTQ+ brand, them. In her new role, she will oversee all of them’s editorial content and brand experiences. Sewell currently serves as the Channel Manager at Teen Vogue, where she oversees analytics, content strategy, and audience development. Prior to that, she was the Social Media Editor at Hearst Media, where she managed programming strategy and creative development for Seventeen’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. The 2015 Syracuse University graduate began her journalism career as a Programming Associate at Refinery29, Inc. “I am so excited to join the amazing team at them and help share important stories that impact the LGBTQ+ community,” Sewell said. “There are so many untapped points of view that aren’t represented in media and them’s mission to give a platform to these voices is more important than ever.” More here.
Newly sworn-in Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in DC last week.
Actor-activist Jesse Williams with a friend bringing in the new year in Senegal.
NAHJ President Returns to MSNBC
The President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Hugo Balta, is returning to MSNBC as a Senior Producer. He will work on the network’s weekend programming. Currently serving his second term at NAHJ, Balta recently added a new side gig as an On-Camera Talent Coach for No Whining Talent Group (NWT), which invests in the success of on-air journalists as storytellers and newsroom leaders. The bilingual multimedia news exec, who is fluent in English and Spanish, was most recently the Senior Director of Hispanic Initiatives at ESPN Deportes. He also worked as the Coordinating Producer for SportsCenter. Prior to that, he worked at MSNBC as a News Producer from 1999 to 2001. The 1992 Seton Hall University graduate has also worked for CBS, Telemundo, and NBCUniversal in NYC. “I look forward to working on my first love, straight news and politics for a respected news network,” Balta said. More here.
San Francisco Chronicle Adds Shwanika Narayan 
Shwanika Narayan
is joining the San Francisco Chronicle as a Staff Reporter to cover retail and logistics. She previously worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal, where she covered the manufacturing, retail, technology, transportation, and the banking and finance beats. Prior to that, Narayan was a freelance Producer/Video Journalist at AJ+, Al Jazeera’s digital vertical, where she created daily news videos. The bilingual reporter -- who is fluent in English and Hindi -- has also freelanced for NBC News, Quartz, and Hyphen magazine, primarily writing about Asian American identity. The 2008 graduate of UCLA, who also holds a Master’s from Columbia University, began her career at a radio station in Berkeley, CA. More here

Harvard’s Shorenstein Center Names Spring 2019 Fellows
The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, based at Harvard Kennedy School, on Wednesday announced its Spring 2019 class of Fellows. The Joan Shorenstein Fellowship is a four-month residential program in which Fellows conduct research culminating in an original piece of scholarship focused on the intersection of media, politics, and public policy. Among the six Fellows is Koa Beck, the former Editor-in-Chief of Jezebel and the Co-Host of “The #MeToo Memos” on WNYC’s The Takeaway. Her literary criticism and reporting on gender, LGBTQ rights, culture, and race have appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. While at the Shorenstein Center, Beck will write a paper on “How Women’s Media Operates as a Vehicle for White Feminism”. Juan Carlos Iragorri, an award-winning Colombian journalist and author who directs Voces RCN, one of the most influential political radio shows in Colombia. He is also an International Correspondent for Semana magazine, and is the Founder and Director of the Universidad del Rosario Master’s Program in Journalism in Colombia. During his time at the Shorenstein Center, Iragorri will write a paper titled, “The War against the Media and the Weakening of Democracy: Lessons from Latin America.” Adam Serwer is a Staff Writer at The Atlantic, covering politics. He has previously worked for BuzzFeed News, MSNBC, Mother Jones, and The American Prospect. Serwer will conduct research into the historical role that Black voters have played in defending and advancing the foundational American notion that all people are created equal -- most especially when others have abandoned it. Miguel Head, who served as Press Secretary and Chief of Staff to Prince William and Prince Harry; Ed O’Keefe, SVP Content Development at CNN; and Markus Paul Somm, who most recently was the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Basler Zeitung in Switzerland, were also named Fellows. More here.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), and her nieces at her swearing-in ceremony.
Shoshone-Bannock tribe Chairman Nathan Small, member Randy’l Teton, Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-KS), Council member Lee Juan Tyler, and Indian Country Media Network’s Mark Trahant last week in DC.
Former Chief of Staff Joins Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Adam Carbullido 
has joined the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations as Director of Policy and Advocacy. The Association advocates for policies aimed at increasing healthcare access for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Carbullido had worked for Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) -- who lost in the primary to newly sworn-in Congressman Mike San Nicolas (D-GU) -- since 2010, most recently as her Chief of Staff. A native of Guam, he also served as Communications Director -- where he was responsible for her health care, financial services, tax, judiciary, civil rights, labor, and housing legislative portfolios -- and as a Legislative Assistant, Press Secretary, and Staff Assistant. The 2010 University of Notre Dame graduate is a member of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association and Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association, where he serves as Treasurer. More about him here.
BLAH BLAH BLOGS
FOMO
Today, 6P: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) hosts a "Community Congressional Reception" featuring newly sworn-in members of Congress André Carson (D-IN)Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)Hyatt Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, January 15th, 7P: "Race in America Today," a panel discussion moderated by American Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan. This is the sixth in an ongoing series of discussions focusing on race in America. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information
Friday, January 18th, 9A–3P: The Indigenous Peoples Movement hosts the Indigenous Peoples March to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women, and children. DC. Click here for more information.
Sunday, January 20th, 10A: "MLK Shabbat: Visions of Freedom and Justice," a service featuring the Sixth & I chorus and the choirs from Turner Memorial AME Church and Metropolitan AME Church, commemorating the spirit and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. 7201 16th Pl, Hyattsville, MD. Click here for more information.
Monday, January 21st, 8:30A: National Action Network’s 2019 Dr. King Day breakfast. Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, January 24th - Friday, January 25th: The Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the National Congress of the American Indians, and the Tohono O’odham Nation host the Tribal Border Summit. Pascua Yaqui Casino Del Sol Resort Conference Center, 5655 W Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, January 30th, 3:30P: "New Chiefs of Staff Empower Hour." Join new Chiefs as they share their paths to Capitol Hill and give tips on how you can start preparing for senior roles in 2020. Location provided upon RSVP. Click here for more information.
Thursday, February 7th, 12-6PCongressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) will host the first annual Dominicans on the Hill, a day at the U.S. Capitol where Dominican Americans from communities around the nation will attend workshops on issues ranging from immigration, education and the workforce, the U.S. economy, and trade. DC. Click here for more information.
Saturday, February 16th: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 93rd Annual Black History Luncheon. Washington Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth Street, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, February 21st – Sunday, February 24th: The Power Rising Summit, a space for Black women to turn their power into action and create an actionable agenda. Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, February 27th - Saturday, March 1st: Black Women Talk Tech presents the 3rd annual Roadmap to Billions 2019 Conference, the only annual tech conference created exclusively by Black women founders for Black female founders and their supporters. Union West, 535 West 28th Street, New York, NY. Click here for more information
Thursday, February 28th - Sunday, March 3rdThe Women of Power Summit, a professional leadership conference designed especially for executive women of color. Confirmed speakers include Valerie JarrettStacey Abrams, and Merary Simeon, Diversity Vice President, Pepsico, among others. The Mirage, 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, May 14th: APAICS 25th Anniversary Awards Gala Dinner to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The evening honors Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders, both current and pioneers, and recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that continue to politically empower the AAPI community. 1000 H Street, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
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