Goldman Sachs names new Chief Diversity Officer & CHC meets with DHS
Goldman Sachs names new Chief Diversity Officer & CHC meets with DHS
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July 26, 2018
Bob Menéndez Spars with Mike Pompeo, Omarosa Questioned by Feds, and Kennedy Center Honors Announced
PLAYED... After Vladimir Putin ignored Donald Trump’s invite to the U.S., the White House announced on Wednesday that the follow-up meeting would no longer happen this year. TAKE MY BALL AND GO HOME... Markings on a soccer ball that Putin gave Trump indicate that it contained a chip with a tiny antenna that transmits to nearby phones. DEADLINE... The Trump administration may miss a judge’s deadline ordering thousands of separated immigrant families to be reunited by today. Hispanic lawmakers pressed the Department of Homeland Security. More on that below. FREE PRESS BARREDThe White House took retaliatory action against CNN’s Kaitlan Collins for asking Trump questions at an Oval Office photo op on Wednesday and barred her from a Rose Garden event. REMOTE CONTROLThe First Lady’s spokeswoman says Melania Trump will watch "any channel she wants," in response to reports that Donald Trump was upset to find her Air Force One television tuned into CNN. REJECTEDA federal judge on Wednesday rejected the president’s latest effort to stop a lawsuit that alleges Trump is violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign governments. Hence, the plaintiffs -- the Attorneys General of Maryland and DC -- will proceed with their case. IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS… Not the one you think! In the latest ongoing back-and-forth over the Justice Department's handling of the Russia probe, House Republican members of the conservative Freedom Caucus introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday. SHATTERED STARA man with a pickaxe and a hammer destroyed Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. RED PLANET LAKEScientists have detected a 12-mile-wide span of briny water on Mars. THE OWNERS RED GLAREDallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doubled down on Wednesday by insisting that his players stand for the national anthem, declaring that he wouldn’t support anyone who chose to stay in the locker room. REMEMBER WHENLeaked photographs showed Jones in the bathroom with strippers a few years ago? He didn’t seem to mind them taking a knee. We’re kicking off your Thursday with this...
  • Hispanic lawmakers meet with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) calls on Commerce Secretary to testify over census question.
  • Goldman Sachs names new Chief Diversity Officer.
  • Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) question treatment of pregnant detainees.
  • Meet the National Native American Hall of Fame’s inaugural inductee class.
The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj over the weekend before his stand-up comedy set at OZY Fest in NYC.
NBC’s Jacque Reid yesterday showing off a Vince Camuto dress at the studio's headquarters.
Bob Menéndez Spars with Mike Pompeo
Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ)
, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday sparred with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, grilling him over Donald Trump's closed-door meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month. Pompeo said the president was firm when speaking with Putin. "And he told you that?" Menéndez asked. "I understand the game that you're playing," Pompeo responded. "I don't appreciate you characterizing my questions," Menéndez shot back. "My question is to get to the truth. We don't know what the truth is. The only way we know what the truth is, what transpired in those two hours in a highly amazing period of time to spend alone one on one, is by understanding at least that if you were briefed by the president, what he told you. I don't think that's unfair to know." The exchange comes on the heels of the Senator calling out the Secretary of State on a few issues at this agency. Earlier in the day, Menéndez penned a letter calling on Pompeo to immediately intervene and review the sudden decision by his department to allow online public posting of 3-D printable gun blueprints in the next few days. Late last month, the Department of State suddenly settled a years-long lawsuit brought by pro-gun activist Cody Wilson that began after the federal government blocked his company’s website, Defense Distributed, for posting directions for a 3-D plastic printable pistol, citing international export law. According to news reports, as part of the settlement, the State Department will allow the company to begin posting do-it-yourself 3-D printable firearms blueprints by issuing a special exemption starting today. On Monday, Menéndez sent a letter to Pompeo calling on him to immediately increase the frequency of the Department’s daily press briefings. Since the confirmation of Pompeo three months ago, there have only been 10 public press briefings. Under previous administrations, they took place daily. See their exchange at Wednesday’s hearing here.
Donald McEachin and Zoe Lofgren Intro Bill to Provide Immigrants With Legal Representation
Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) on Wednesday introduced the Funding Attorneys for Indigent Removal Proceedings Act to provide some immigrants with legal representation during removal hearings. If passed, the bill would guarantee legal counsel during removal proceedings for children, individuals with disabilities, victims of abuse, torture, and violence, and those at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Contrary to American constitutional rights in criminal cases, immigrants subjected to removal proceedings in immigration cases don’t have the right to legal counsel. The members say their bill would not only guarantee that the government ensure access to counsel, but also appoint or provide an attorney for these vulnerable individuals. The funding for legal representation would come from a nominal increase in fees collected from those who apply for immigration benefits. “No one should be without an attorney in such a crucial hearing but certainly not children, vulnerable individuals with disabilities, victims of abuse or violence, nor those unable to afford a lawyer,” said McEachin. “Those people most assuredly should not be forced to represent themselves during a court hearing. As a former attorney, I believe that access to an attorney during such a critical hearing should not be a privilege, but should be effectively a right—in keeping with the spirit of our Constitution.” More here

DHS Head Tells Hispanic Caucus Immigrant Family Unifications On-Track
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came face-to-face on Wednesday in a closed-door meeting where she reportedly said the government knows the identities and whereabouts of every child and parent of those separated at the border. However, CHC members were skeptical about this claim, as well as Nielsen’s assurances that family reunifications were on-track for today’s court-set deadline mandating the federal government to bring together all separated children and their families. “That’s absolutely impossible. They still have hundreds of parents -- they don’t even know where they are. They’ve deported them. How in the hell are they gonna reunify them by tomorrow? They don’t even know where they are,” Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) said. Members say that the Secretary provided no statistics to back up her assertion. Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) did not mince words or hold back -- he said that he told Nielsen that "she is committing crimes against humanity, that she is a child abuser" and that she is "an accomplice of Donald Trump's racist regime." Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) pushed Nielsen on the need for a “reunification plan for parents who have already been deported, and needs to ensure that only parents who pose a serious, credible threat to their kids are being deemed ‘ineligible’ for reunification. … Secretary Nielsen needs to start telling Congress and the American people the truth.” And Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) said that while the CHC didn’t get many answers from Nielsen, the Secretary agreed to meet with them again, though they “don’t know when,” she said. “We hope to get more answers because we got very limited answers today.” For her part, Nielsen claimed the one-hour meeting was “very productive” though “very frank.” More on the meeting here.

Members Mark Takano (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Raúl Ruíz (D-CA) on Saturday visiting an immigrant children detention facility in CA.
MSNBC’s Mariana Atencio strutting in NYC on Monday before heading back to the border to cover family separations.
Norma Torres Wants to Help Homeowners Prepare for Natural Disasters 
Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA)
and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) on Tuesday introduced the bipartisan Homeowners Disaster Preparation Act to help homeowners prepare for and mitigate the devastating effects of natural disasters. If passed, the bill would allow the Small Business Administration to provide homeowners with loans up to $10,000 for pre-disaster projects in areas the Federal Emergency Management Agency deems at risk for earthquakes, flooding, landslides, or tornadoes. Loans made available under the bill would help homeowners prepare for disaster through modifications such as building a retaining wall, a dike wall, a foundation anchor, or a rain garden. Additionally, this bill would make the same loans available to individuals with severe medical conditions that would benefit from retrofitting their homes to include items like backup power generators. “In California, we’re no strangers to natural disasters or the high price tag of rebuilding. Last year’s historic devastating wildfires and landslides destroyed more than 8,400 homes and businesses. Homeowners should be equipped with the proper resources to prepare for the worst and lessen the large financial burden they’re left to shoulder,” said Torres. “Our bipartisan bill will not only allow families to make critical modifications to fortify their homes, but will also strengthen the safety and resiliency of our communities.” More here.

Pete Aguilar Leads Charge to Protect Military Dreamers from Deportation
After an effort led by Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-CA), the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment to protect DACA program recipients who are active-duty military or veterans from deportation. If it is included and passed in the final Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, it would block funds from being used to deport “Dreamers” who fall into the active-duty or veteran categories. “I’m proud that the Appropriations Committee passed my bipartisan amendment with Congressman Mark Amodei to ensure that no DACA recipient serving in our military can be deported. Dreamers who serve deserve to know they have a future in the country they've risked their lives to defend,” said Aguilar. The Committee approved the amendment by a voice vote with no opposition. More here

Cory Booker Pushes Wilbur Ross to Clarify Census Citizenship Question Controversy
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ)
and Brian Schatz (D-HI) on Tuesday called on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to come before Congress to clarify his comments on the proposal of a citizenship question for the upcoming 2020 Census. In testimony before Congress, Ross said that the citizenship question originated at the Department of Justice. However, an NPR report and recently published e-mails raise new questions about the veracity of that claim. Records from a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states and big cities over the added question included a message from Ross nearly 11 months earlier saying: “I am mystified why nothing have been done in response to my months old request that we include the citizenship question. Why not?” Earl Comstock, Director of the Commerce Department’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning then replied to Ross that they needed to work with DOJ to get them to request the citizenship question. In a joint statement, the Senators say that “In light of these newly released e-mails, Secretary Ross must come before Congress to clarify the testimony he gave under oath. Who initiated the request for the citizenship question and why? The American people deserve to know the truth.” More here.

Vice President of Communications (NYC)
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) seeks a Vice President of Communications to oversee and execute efforts to communicate that DFER are education progressives who prioritize students and families, especially low-income students and students of color who should be better served by our country’s public education system. Click here to learn more.
Omarosa Being Investigated By Robert Mueller?
Federal investigators examining whether Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen committed financial crimes have reportedly interviewed former White House staffer and reality TV star Omarosa Manigault-Newman. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FBI discovered that Cohen had intervened in a previously unreported dispute between Manigault-Newman and American Media Inc. (AMI), the company that owns the National Enquirer and paid a former Playboy model for her story on an alleged affair with Trump. In 2011, Omarosa threatened to file a lawsuit over AMI’s coverage of her brother’s murder. AMI sent a reporter to Manigault-Newman’s brother’s funeral, and the writer talked to members of the family without identifying themselves. Trump’s former fixer found out and got involved, eventually helping to reportedly put an agreement in place where Omarosa would drop her lawsuit against AMI if they gave her a job. She then worked as an Editor for Reality Weekly, as well as OK! Magazine. A former Bureau Chief for the National Enquirer told WSJ that he wasn’t sure what Manigault-Newman’s job actually entailed and that she regularly didn’t come to work. More here.
Lucille Roybal-Allard and Pramila Jayapal Question DHS On Treatment of Pregnant Detainees
Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the Co-Chairs of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, on Monday sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting answers about the status and treatment of pregnant women held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The letter comes in the wake of an article published by BuzzFeed earlier this month that detailed the accounts of pregnant detainees who didn’t receive proper, timely, and language-appropriate medical attention, and miscarried as a result. The article also described detainees being shackled while pregnant, which the members cited as a clear violation of CBP and ICE policies, and against the recommendation of several medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association. “This article illuminates a number of additional harmful practices in six different CBP and ICE facilities in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. These include incidents of improper x-rays, lack of regular prenatal vitamins, and acts of physical violence against pregnant women at the hands of CBP officials,” the members wrote. “On April 12, 2018, you testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and expressed your concern about the mistreatment of pregnant detainees. Like you, we believe it is a high priority that these expectant mothers are treated with the respect and care they need.” More here

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and his dad, Cary Booker, in the early 90’s.
Daily Kos writer Gabe Ortíz cheesing for the camera.
S. Mitra Kalita Promoted to SVP at CNN Digital
S. Mitra Kalita
, VP of Digital Programming for CNN Digital, has been promoted to SVP of Programming, National News, and Opinion for CNN Digital. In her new role, she’ll lead CNN Digital's efforts to creatively share its journalism and storytelling, and oversee the News & Alerting, Special Projects, and Mobile & Off-Platform teams. She previously served as the Managing Editor for Editorial Strategy at the LA Times, where she helped digital traffic soar to nearly 60 million unique visits monthly. Prior to that, the Rutgers University graduate, who also has a Master’s from Columbia University, was the Executive Editor-at-large for Quartz where she oversaw the launches of Quartz India and Quartz Africa. The multilingual journalist -- who is fluent in Assamese, Bengali, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Chinese, and Spanish -- was a founding Editor of Mint, a business paper in New Delhi, and has previously worked for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsday, and the Associated Press. Kalita is the author of three books related to migration and globalization, including the highly acclaimed Suburban Sahibs, and a former president of the South Asian Journalists Association. More about her here.

Daily Beast Adds Pilar Meléndez
Pilar Meléndez
is joining the Daily Beast's breaking news team. Meléndez was most recently an Anchor Producer/Production Assistant with MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber. Prior to that, the NYU graduate, who also has her Master’s from Columbia University’s School of Journalism, was a News Assistant at CNN. Previously, the bilingual storyteller -- she is fluent in Spanish and English -- interned with Erin Burnett OutFront and Hardball with Chris Matthews. Meléndez also previously worked as an Assistant at WPIX-TV, a Staff Writer for Prague Wandering, and for McGraw-Hill Education. More about her here.

WaPo Adds Gerry Shih as China Correspondent
Gerry Shih
will join the Washington Post’s China bureau as a Correspondent. The multilingual storyteller, who is fluent in English, Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish, has been based in Beijing for the past four years. He was previously a Correspondent for the Associated Press, where he traveled extensively across China to cover domestic politics, society, law, and human rights. Prior to that, Shih was a Correspondent at Reuters where he covered Silicon Valley, and in 2014 moved to China as a Technology Correspondent, covering cybersecurity and the impact of China’s policies on companies such as Apple, IBM, and Huawei. Before that, the California native was a Reporter for the Bay Citizen, where he wrote about internet companies and social media. The 2009 Stanford University graduate began his career as a James Reston Reporting Fellow at The New York Times. He starts his new role on September 4th. More here

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) on Tuesday welcoming NY congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) to DC.
VA state Rep. Kathy Tran (D) meeting with Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) on Tuesday in DC.
Kennedy Center Names 2018 Honorees -- Including Groundbreaking Award for Hamilton
The groundbreaking Broadway play, Hamilton, will receive a Kennedy Center Honor, marking the first time that a work of art will be honored. Hamilton and its creative team -- Composer-Lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, Director Thomas Kail, Music Director Alex Lacamoire, and Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler -- are also the youngest to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. Joining them as an honoree is Oscar Award-winning actress and singer Cher. Jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, who performed with Miles Davis’ second quintet -- a group that included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, and Ron Carter -- and went on to form the fusion band Weather Report, is also being honored. Also receiving Kennedy Center Honors are composer Philip Glass and singer-actress Reba McEntire. The Honors ceremony will take place on December 2nd. So far, there is no word on whether Donald and Melania Trump will attend. Last year, they were forced to change their RSVP to “no” after three honorees said they would boycott the White House reception that precedes the performance. More here.
Meet the National Native American Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Inductee Class
The National Native American Hall of Fame, an Indigenous nonprofit organization serving Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, has named their first class of inductees. About ten years ago, James Parker Shield, a member of the Chippewa Tribe and now-CEO of the Native American Hall of Fame, realized a hall of fame was needed to recognize the contributions of Native Americans was needed. Ten years later, the first group of honorees represent ten tribes in eight categories, such as science, athletics, and advocacy. Six are women. The 12 inductees are Lionel Bourdeaux, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a long-time educator and was the first President of Sinte Gleska College on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota; Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet, acted as the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the U.S. government for its mismanagement of Native American trust funds; Vine Deloria, Jr., Standing Rock Sioux, who wrote Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, credited as the first popular-culture novel to bring Native American oppression to the American public; LaDonna Harris, Comanche, is the President of Americans for Indian Opportunity, a nonprofit focused on furthering the rights of Indigenous people; John Herrington, Chickasaw, is the first Native American man to get to space, as an astronaut for NASA; Allan Houser, Apache, is considered one of the greatest Modernist sculptors of the 20th century; Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee Nation, was the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation; Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, who in 1964 won an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meter run. He was the first person from the Western Hemisphere to do so; N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, House Made of Dawn, which is considered the beginning of the Native American Renaissance; Lori Piestewa, Hopi, died in March 2003, making her the first woman to die in the Iraq War and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military; Maria Tallchief, Osage, was the first Native American to attain the title “prima ballerina”; and Jim Thorpe, Sac and Fox Nation, who in 1912, became the first Native American to win Olympic gold medals. The inaugural Induction Ceremony will take place on October 13th at Phoenix Indian School Memorial Hall in AZ. More here.
Singer Jennifer López (who just turned 49) and Investigation Discovery's María Elena Salinas before an interview on her former show Aquí y Ahora.
National Action Network’s Ebonie Riley, Skinner Leadership Institute's Barbara Williams-Skinner, Dewey Square Group's Minyon Moore, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL), this week in DC.
Goldman Sachs Names New Chief Diversity Officer
Erika Irish Brown
is joining Goldman Sachs as the firm’s new Chief Diversity Officer. Most recently, she served as the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomberg LP, their first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Previously, the University of Albany, SUNY graduate, who also earned her MBA from Columbia University, led diversity hiring efforts at Bank of America as its SVP of Diversity and Inclusion. She also worked at Lehman Brothers as its SVP and Head of Diversity Lateral Recruiting. Additionally, she had a brief stint in the political world -- she helped do a Treasury agency review for the Obama-Biden transition team. The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member was an Analyst at Lehman Brothers, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Treasury Department, a Senior Associate at Morgan Stanley, a VP for Business Development at BET, and a consultant for the Toigo Foundation. Brown’s hire comes after Goldman last week said it had created a new diversity committee to promote more diverse business leaders across the firm. More here.

Can’t Knock the Hustle
LaToia Jones
has been promoted to VP of Public Affairs at Hustle -- a text-message-based organizing tool. The Atlanta native previously served as the startup’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement. In her new role, she will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies that enhance Hustle’s influence and engagement across its enterprise, labor, political, and legislative sectors. She joined the company after serving as the American Federation of Teacher’s Assistant Director of Human Rights and Community Relations for nearly seven years. In 2016, she was tapped as DNCC CEO’s Leah Daughtry’s Lieutenant helping to see logistics during the DNC Convention in Philadelphia. Prior to that, Jones was a Senior Project Manager for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Labor and National Political Director for Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial run, the Youth Coordinator for President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, and Executive Director of the DNC’s College Democrats for America. She also ran an unsuccessful bid for DNC Vice Chair in 2017. "I'm thrilled to continue bringing power to relationships, in this newly created role, at Hustle. Particularly, given the rapidly growing link between DC and Silicon Valley, as civic engagement and tech nerve centers,” Jones told The Beat DC. “As opportunities expand and socio-political stakes rise, the strengths from both spaces must be leveraged to ensure benefits are maximized across affected the communities and labor markets.” More about LaToia here.
Friday, July 27th - Saturday, July 28th: Startup Societies Foundation and Link at Piloto 151 host the first annual Hacking Democracy Summit to develop a consortium of partners to help revitalize Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and economy in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Engine-4 Coworking Space, PR-5 & PR-2, 00959 Bayamon, Puerto Rico. 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
Friday, August 3rd, 5P: Congressional Black Caucus Chair Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) will lead a conversation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on politics and the issues that both members are battling on Capitol Hill. Dillard University Georges Auditorium, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA. 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 Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and more. Harbor View Hotel, 131 North Water Street Edgartown, MA. Kelley House, 23 Kelley Street Edgartown, MA. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, September 11th - Wednesday, September 12th: CHCI's Annual Leadership Conference. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, September 12th - Saturday, September 16th: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 48th Annual Legislative Conference. Walter E. Washington Convention CenterClick here for more information.
Thursday, September 13th: CHCI's 41st Annual Anniversary Awards Gala. Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. 901 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Thursday, September 25th - Saturday, September 29th: NBMBAA 40th Annual Conference & Exposition. Detroit, MI. Click here for more information. 
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