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Michelle Obama joins Oprah for Gandhi Global event & Tim Scott promos book
Michelle Obama joins Oprah for Gandhi Global event & Tim Scott promos book
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April 09, 2018
Kamala Harris Pens Ben Carson, Joaquín Castro Intros Sanctions, and Mayor Yulín Cruz Eyes Gubernatorial Run
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Congress is back. And so are we! Did ya miss us? We’ve got a lot to get to, so let’s get started. It’s baptism by fire as John Bolton begins his reign as Trump’s third National Security Advisor. The president’s plans to withdraw troops from Syria -- despite the advice of his advisors -- are now in question after a suspected chemical attack by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad over the weekend. Meanwhile, officials are still detailing how many troops will be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to face less than 500 migrants who are part of an annual caravan hoping to make their way to America. A cabinet meeting is happening today at the White House at 11:30A. It might be kind of awkward for one official. Everyone from GOP and Tri-Caucus members to the WaPo Editorial Board wants Trump to utter his catchphrase to embattled EPA Chief Scott Pruitt: “You’re fired.” On the Hill, lawmakers are expected to face numerous issues including immigration and trade. But sans hard deadlines and in an election year, we’re not expecting a lot of legislation. We are, however, still expecting news to be made. Mark Zuckerberg should have that new Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy, in heavy rotation. The Facebook CEO will face lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday as he testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. His Capitol Hill debut comes as the company has promised to offer all of its users the same privacy controls that will be required under a new European data protection law. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) are preparing for a standoff to succeed Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in case he resigns after the election. In sad news, Daniel Akaka -- the first Native Hawaiian elected to Congress who served for more than three decades -- has died. He was 93. Also, ICYMI: former President Barack Obama's former Budget Director and HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan, is strongly considering a run for NYC Mayor. And Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, breaks her silence today in an interview with Lester Holt that airs Monday evening on NBC Nightly News. Okay, there’s a lot of news. Read to the bottom. We don’t want to flex. But the read is so good we say our name with the text. We’re kicking off Monday with this...
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) calls on ICE to stop detaining pregnant women.
  • Hawaii Democratic Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa intro bill to help states plan for chemical attacks.
  • Michelle Obama joins Oprah at a Gandhi Going Global event.
  • Senator Kamala Harris leads CA Dem delegation call on Secretary Ben Carson and HUD to protect mission statement.
  • Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) wants to help female small business owners pay off crushing student loan debt.
  • Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and BFF Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) release their long-awaited book and go on tour.
  • CBS names Richard Parsons to Board.
  • Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Ami Bera (D-CA) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) return from CODEL to India.
  • Congressman Joaquín Castro (D-TX) intros bipartisan sanctions against Russia.
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) taps long-time senior aide to serve as her Campaign Manager for her 2018 Senate re-election campaign. Meet him!
  • San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (D) will likely shake up the Puerto Rico gubernatorial race.
  • A new Dem jumps in the race to succeed Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI).
  • A late entry by a Latina candidate in New York's 24th Congressional District sparks beef.
  • Texas Dems call on state AG Ken Paxton to investigate Cambridge Analytica.
  • Stacey Dash and Aja Brown take an exit in the race for California’s 44th Congressional District.
  • Voter fraud lawsuit against TX Latina congressional candidate dismissed.
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service has a new Executive Director.
  • Former DOJ and Interior attorney joins Native American practice at a DC law firm.
  • Consumer Technology Association has a new Senior Vice President of Political and Industry Affairs.
  • NYT adds to its national political team.
  • The Atlantic brings on two writers of color.
  • WaPo names long-time staffer as Senior Editor for recruiting and training.
  • MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid claims weekend ratings crown.
  • Native American workers were disproportionately targeted for reassignment at the Interior Department.
  • Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) keeps up the pressure on the Trump admin over its travel, legal activities, and recent policy changes.
MSNBC's Zerlina Maxwell with actress and author Vivica A. Fox at Fox's book signing in New York on Tuesday.
U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Debo Adegbile, NDRC's Eric Holder, and NAACP LDF's Sherrilyn Ifill at the MLK50 Conference in Memphis on Monday.
Cortez Masto Calls on ICE to Stop Detaining Pregnant Women
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
led her colleagues in sending a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan, strongly urging him to reverse the agency’s decision to end their policy of presumptive release for pregnant women in immigration detention. “ICE’s previous policy was sufficient to detain any undocumented pregnant woman who may pose a threat to herself or the public safety. The former policy, in place for almost two years, reflected the reality that the detention of pregnant women is cruel, risky, and therefore almost never justified,” wrote the Senators. “In addition to the physical and psychological burdens attendant to any pregnancy, pregnant women in immigration detention face additional stresses related to their physical confinement, unreliable access to adequate healthcare, social isolation, and the uncertainty of their immigration status.” The Senators say these stressors may create serious health risks, including miscarriage and fetal death. “There is no plausible justification for the need to grant ICE agents increased discretion to detain pregnant women.” This letter was also signed by Senators Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and others. Read the full letter here.
Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa Intro Bill to Help States Prep for Chemical Attacks
Hawaii Democratic Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa last week introduced The Civil Defense Preparedness Act of 2018 which aims to strengthen civil defense preparedness in Hawaii and in the country -- another measure in response to January’s false missile alert. The bill would expand a grant program through the Department of Homeland Security, which they say will help states better prepare in the event of a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. “The false ballistic missile alert sent out in Hawaii earlier this year, and the threat of nuclear attack from North Korea, reveal major gaps in preparedness measures and alert plans across all levels of our government,” said Gabbard. “Addressing this must be taken seriously and made a priority in Hawaii and across the country.” Hanabusa says this will help DHS prioritize grant funding for communities that are most at risk. “Hawaii and many other municipalities around the country will benefit from increased access to federal funding to support community preparedness and response,” she said. In February, we told you about a bill the pair introduced which would ensure more transparency in investigations into the false missile alert. More on the new bill here.
Alma Adams Intros Bill to Help Women Small Business Owners Pay Student Debt
Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC)
last week introduced the Women Small Business Growth Act to help female small business owners pay off crushing student loan debt and incentivize job creation. This bill would allow women small business owners to have 15% of their student loan debt forgiven on their third and fourth year of being in business. It would also allow an additional 20% of the small business owner’s student debt to be forgiven for each job she creates with an annual salary of at least $30,000 and precludes the dollar amount of student loan forgiveness from being considered taxable income. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned businesses accounted for 39% of all U.S. firms and employed 8% of the total private sector in 2017. And 5.4 million of those business owners are women of color. “Women take on an additional 14% of student loan debt on average, as compared to their male counterparts, stifling their ability to invest in and grow their businesses,” said Adams. “Even with these challenging circumstances, female-owned businesses grew five times as fast as the national average in the last decade. Imagine what they could do with better support.” More here
MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid with ESPN's Jemele Hill before a forum at Syracuse University on Wednesday.
Adi Sathi, RNC Director for Asian Pacific American Engagement, and his niece at the White House Easter Egg Roll last week.
Tim Scott Goes on Book Tour with Trey Gowdy
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) 
released his long-awaited book that he co-authored with BFF Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC). The pair has been on a media tour promoting Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country, which focuses on reconciliation and unity and how different races, life experiences, and pathways can lead to friendships. “I think it is a national security risk for our nation to be so polarized that we don’t even trust the motives of each other,” Scott said, speaking before an SC church crowd of 600 with Gowdy in tow. “One of the reasons why we wrote this book is because so often too many people take a look at race relations or polarization and they come to the conclusion that they’re frustrated, they’re irritated and (they think) there is certainly no reason to look into the future and believe things can get better.” Gowdy said his friendship with Scott opened his eyes to the African American perspective. "I've never been Black a moment in my life. Every time I was stopped by law enforcement was because I deserved to be stopped," he said. They also made a stop on CBS’ Face the Nation where Gowdy said he’d love to see Scott run for President. Last week, Scott and Gowdy's book was No. 5 on Amazon's Hot New Releases list. More here.
Congressional Delegation Back from India
Members of Congress Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Ami Bera (D-CA), and Terri Sewell (D-AL) joined a Congressional Delegation to India over the break. The trip comes at a time that the U.S. and India have disagreements over trade tariffs recently, with Donald Trump increasing tariff on steel and aluminum for India and other countries. The clampdown on the H-1B visa has also created an atmosphere of uncertainty. The members interacted with their Indian counterparts and discussed trade, strategic partnerships, and security coordination. The group also met with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Krishnamoorthi described India as the “linchpin of security” in the Indo-Pacific region, which the Trump administration has made one of its foreign policy priorities. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the United States and India are able to continue their partnership on peace and security in an uncertain world,” Krishnamoorthi stated in a press release. “This week’s talks have been instrumental in ensuring that the United States and India continue to build on our security partnerships and promote peace and stability in the region and across the world.” The lawmakers were joined by fellow members Dave Schweikert (R-AZ), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Drew Ferguson (R–GA), and Pete Olson (R-TX). More here.
Joaquín Castro Intros Bipartisan Sanctions Against Russia
Congressman Joaquín Castro (D-TX) introduced the sanctions against Russia during a Thursday pro forma session of the House. He was joined by fellow House Intelligence Committee member Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) -- Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. “The Russian government-sanctioned attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Officer Nick Bailey last month on British soil violated international law and indicates [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s growing aggression and disregard for international standards of conduct,” Turner and Castro said in a joint statement Friday. The Skripals were found unconscious on a park bench March 4th in Salisbury, England. Doctors and investigators discovered the poison used in the attack was Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists for use on NATO troops, and that Russia had sanctioned the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced the following week. Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, called the allegations against the Kremlin a “fake story” Thursday at a Security Council meeting. More here.
HGTV Aloha Life host Wayne Chi with his daughter and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) last week.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) with a U.S Army soldier in Afghanistan last week on a CODEL.
Kirsten Gillibrand Names Campaign Manager
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
has tapped long-time senior aide Gregory O. Smiley to serve as her Campaign Manager for her 2018 Senate re-election campaign. The 36-year-old helmed a diverse portfolio as Gillibrand's Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, including guidance on key policy areas such as gun control and marijuana decriminalization. Before joining Senator Gillibrand’s office, Smiley held roles in the New York State Executive Chamber and worked on Barack Obama's 2008 campaign in Nevada. While on the Obama campaign, Smiley aided in strategy development, coalition building, organizing and identifying areas for get out the vote initiatives. Born in Jamaica, the double CUNY graduate grew up in Brooklyn. More about him here.
Carmen Yulín Cruz Eyes Run for Governor of PR
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (D) announced that she will likely run for Governor of the island in 2020, whether she is backed by her party or not. She says she plans to expand Puerto Rico’s Popular Democratic Party (PDP) into “a movement that is more than just a political party.” Cruz said she is consulting with her family and close confidants to make the decision. “My mom told me the other day, ‘What you decide you will decide with your heart. You’re not going to make a decision because of something else,’” she said. “This country needs hope. And this country needs to feel that it owns its future and that it has the possibility of having someone in a place that represents its dignity. My aspiration was always to be the mayor of San Juan and I like doing it, but sometimes life isn’t what we want but what the moment calls for.” Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico more than six months ago, Yulín Cruz has garnered national and global attention for her public critiques of Trump and pro-statehood Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló. If Cruz wins the race for office, she will be the second woman in history to govern the island after Sila María Calderón, who ran the commonwealth from 2001 to 2005. More here.
Former HI GOP Member Announces Congressional Run as Dem
Hawaii state Representative Beth Fukumoto officially announced her run for Congress -- nearly one year after formally leaving the Republican Party. The state lawmaker made headlines early last year when she was ousted as House Minority Leader of the Hawaii State Legislature. Calls for her resignation, she said, began within a day of her speaking at the Women's March in Honolulu where she was critical of Donald Trump. She cited racism, sexism, and differences in values when she left the Republican Party. After a lengthy vetting process, the Democratic Party of Hawaii agreed to welcome her as a member. The University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate, who went on to receive her Master's from Georgetown, acknowledges that she is entering the race late, but she says polling shows that no one is excited about the existing candidates. “I do think we need somebody who has shown the courage to stand up to the establishment, but also has a proven track record of getting things done, and we need to make sure whoever we send is experienced enough in politics to navigate Washington,” Fukumoto said. The 34-year-old is hoping to occupy the seat currently held by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), who is running for Governor. Fukumoto will face fellow state Representative Kaniela Ing, state Senator Donna Kim, former Hawaii Attorney General and current Lt. Gov. Douglas Chin, and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin in the August 11th primary. More here.
Congressional Candidate in Syracuse Sparks Beef Among Local and National Party
In a last minute move, Democrat Juanita Pérez Williams announced she was running for Congress in Central New York's 24th district but the local party isn’t exactly thrilled with the decision. Her entrance into the race comes late in the political calendar and about five weeks after the party met to interview candidates and endorsed Syracuse University Professor Dana Balter. Local party chairs are blasting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for meddling in local affairs. A joint statement from local party chairs reads, "From people engaged for the very first time this year, to party and elected officials we stand united behind our designated nominee Dana Balter and against the DC meddling that has hampered far too many races thus far." Perez Williams was defeated in the Syracuse mayoral race last November. Before that, the UC San Diego grad -- who went on to complete law school at California Western, has held numerous leadership positions including Regional Director for NY’s Department of education, and later the same position at Department of Labor; NY State Assistant Attorney General; and Associate Dean of Students at Syracuse. She was also a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy. In addition to Balter, she will face Bill Bass and Philip LaTessa in the June 26th primary. More here.
Congresswoman Michelle Luján Grisham (D-NM) at North Valley Little League's Opening Ceremony this weekend. 
CNN's Van Jones before an interview with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler last week.
Texas Dems Want State AG to Investigate Cambridge Analytica
Texas Democratic Congressmen Joaquín Castro, Al Green, Vicente González, and Filemón Vela are urging Texas AG Ken Paxton to investigate Cambridge Analytica for potential violations of privacy and election laws. In a letter to Paxton, the members also call for a suspension of Cambridge Analytica, the firm that worked for the Ted Cruz and Donald Trump presidential campaigns during the 2016 election cycle, from participating in any Texas political campaign in 2018. “Campaigns in our state must be free of nefarious actors masquerading as political strategists. We take privacy and election laws incredibly seriously, and urge you to move as quickly as possible to investigate these issues,” the letter reads. Congressmen Gene Green (D-TX) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) also joined in the letter to Paxton. The Attorneys General for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York have already opened up their own investigations into Cambridge Analytica. More here.
A Brown/Dash Exit
Compton Mayor Aja Brown ended her bid to represent California’s 44th Congressional District last week. The announcement came just a week after conservative B-list celebrity Stacey Dash dropped out of the race. Both women were aiming to unseat Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), who is running a well-funded campaign in the overwhelmingly Democratic district. Brown said she is expecting her first child. “My family commitments supersede my ability to expand my level of service,” the Mayor said in a statement. However, both Brown (D) and Dash (R) will still remain on the June 5th ballot. Barragán is now running unopposed on the Dem side. However, she will face conservative Jazmina Saavedra -- a Donald Trump supporter and immigrant from Nicaragua. More here.
Voter Fraud Lawsuit Against TX Latina Congressional Candidate Dismissed
Before the break, we told you that a lawsuit had been filed against Verónica Escobar -- who is aiming to become one of the first Latinas to represent Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives -- by fellow Democrats who alleged that Escobar and El Paso County Elections Administrator Lisa Wise committed voter fraud and rigged the election in favor of Escobar. Last week, the lawsuit was dismissed at the request of Enrique García, John Carrillo, and former state Representative Norma Chávez, all of whom were challenging Escobar for the Democratic nomination for the 16th Congressional District seat. Their case had not offered any evidence of the alleged fraud and rigging. "This lawsuit never had merit under the law or fact," Escobar said. "A frivolous challenge to elections undermines confidence in the election process, reflects disrespect for the voters' will and costs the taxpayers and winning candidates resources." More here.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a CODEL last week.
The Latino Briefing's Adrian Carrasquillo and his mom cheering on the New York Yankees last Wednesday. 
ACRS Names New Executive Director
The Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) has named Michael Byun as its next Executive Director. In 2014, he was appointed by Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He was one of 10 members of the Commission to resign in protest of the Trump administration’s policies, saying they were incompatible with the Commission’s goals and values. Over his 25-year career, Byun has worked on issues including health disparities, social justice, and immigrant and refugee issues, particularly among AAPIs. He serves on many local, state, and national boards and advisory committees on AAPI issues and is the Chair of the Ohio AAPI Advisory Council. “We are at a time of great challenge unlike anything we’ve seen before. Now, more than ever, we must work together to uphold values of equity, fairness, and social justice. We are also confronted with a dynamic shifting landscape for health and social services where ACRS is well positioned as it continues to innovate to be community responsive. It is in the organization’s DNA,” Byun said. The double University of Washington graduate, who is fluent in Korean, will assume the helm of ACRS in December. He will take over the position from Diane Narasaki, who will retire in October 2018, after 23 years leading the organization. More here.
Former DOJ and Interior Attorney Joins Native American Practice at Law Firm
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has added Sarah Walters to its natural resources department to work on Native American tribal issues. She has worked for the administrations of both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Walters previously worked at the Interior Department as an Attorney, Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Prior to that, she worked at the National Indian Gaming Commission and the DOJ. The clients she will work for include the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Forest County Potawatomi Community. The University of Maryland grad, who went on to earn her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. More here.
CTA Names SVP of Political and Industry Affairs
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has promoted Tiffany Moore from VP of Government and Political Affairs to Senior Vice President of Political and Industry Affairs. Having been with the trade organization since 2015, Moore formerly led the association’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill on issues including communications and technology policy, patent litigation reform, strategic immigration reform, and international trade, and oversaw CTA’s political action committee CTAPAC. In addition to these responsibilities, her new role will include overseeing CTA’s U.S. Jobs and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Before joining CTA, the 1996 Western Michigan University graduate who went on to earn her MA from George Washington University in 2000, served in public sector roles. She was an Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison at the Office of the United States Trade Representative and, prior to that, a Legislative Director for Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI). The proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority also assumed other leadership roles in her distinguished career including Director of Government Relations for Kellogg Company, a Principal at Moore Consulting and a strategic consultant with TwinLogic Strategies. Congrats, Tiffany! More here.
CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta giving a lecture at James Madison University.
Deadline Crime host Tamron Hall with her newly adopted parrot, Jojo.
Richard Parsons Named to CBS Board
Richard Parsons
, the former CEO of Time Warner Inc., will join the board of CBS Corp. as the media company pursues a merger with Viacom Inc. The 70-year-old is the sole new nominee to the board. His nomination coincides with a push by controlling shareholder Shari Redstone to recombine the company with Viacom. Parsons led Time Warner as CEO from 2002 to 2007 and as Chairman from 2003 to 2009. He has also served as Chairman of Citigroup and as an interim CEO of the LA Clippers. The Brooklyn native and 1971 Albany Law School graduate currently works as a Senior Adviser at the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC. CBS plans to hold its annual meeting May 18th in New York. More here.
NYT Adds to Its Political Team
The NYT on Friday announced that Astead Herndon would be joining the paper as a National Politics reporter beginning in early May. The Marquette University grad was most recently the DC-based Politics Reporter with The Boston Globe. Previously, Astead served as a City Hall and General Assignment Metro reporter for the Globe, which he joined in 2015 after a summer reporting internship. The Chicago native and proud member of the  National Association of Black Journalists was a McBeath Fellow with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Astead will be based in NYC for the role. Congrats, Astead! More here.
New Hires at The Atlantic
The Atlantic has nabbed two writers: Adam Harris and Hannah Giorgis. Harris joined the team this month and comes from the Chronicle of Higher Education, where he covered breaking news, public policy, and issues affecting HBCUs. Prior to that, the Alabama A&M University grad worked at ProPublica as a social editor. His writing has appeared in BBC, Bleacher Report, and EBONY Magazine. Giorgis arrives from The Ringer where she produced entertainment pieces and contributed writing on race, gender, immigration, class, and culture. The Dartmouth grad, who is the daughter of Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants, has been featured in The New Yorker, NYT, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Toast, and Jezebel. She officially joins the team on May 1st. Congrats! More here
WaPo Names Senior Editor for Recruiting & Training
WaPo has named Carla Broyles their Senior Editor for Recruiting and Training. After nearly two decades at the paper, she has worked with just about every department in the newsroom. She has served as Deputy News Editor, Graphics Editor, Art Director, and Staff Writer. Most recently, she has been Editor of the National Weekly edition, which showcases some of the newsroom’s work in more than 35 newspapers around the country. She has also taught design as an adjunct professor at Howard University. In 2009, she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, where she studied how images in the media affect the way ethnic communities are represented and regarded. She starts the new gig on May 1st. Congrats, Carla! More here.
MSNBC’s AM Joy Outperforms CNN
MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid claimed victory over CNN, dominating the cable news competitor in the quarterly ratings for the first time in 16 years -- AM Joy is winning with audiences ages 25-54. Since the launch of the show, Reid has been part of the network’s winning formula. Her overall viewership rose 59% in the third quarter, while viewership in the 25-54 demo rose 55% in the same time period. On Saturday mornings, the overall AM Joy audience has jumped a whopping 33% from the comparable quarter last year. The MSNBC show is up 27% in the key demo. And if you follow along on Twitter, the “Reiders” are usually a trending topic on Saturdays and Sundays. The double digits weekend increases for Reid come as both Fox and CNN saw stark downturns for the same time slot with CNN suffering the harsher losses of the two. Joy-Ann, the darling of weekend talk, has also earned more viewers than MSNBC’s Morning Joe as well. More here.
San Antonio Chamber of Commerce's Shaun Kennedy and Richard Pérez with Congressman William Hurd (R-TX) (center) at a congressional series luncheon last week.
Uber's Bozoma Saint John and celebrity hair stylist Shirley Gordon at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown on Thursday.
Kamala Harris Leads CA Delegation Call on Carson and HUD to Protect Mission Statement
Several California Democrats, led by Senator Kamala Harris, have called on HUD Secretary Ben Carson to not make the rumored changes to the department’s mission statement, arguing that removing the phrase “free from discrimination” could lead to a rise in housing discrimination. In a letter to Carson, Harris, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and five members of the CA House delegation including Congresswoman Barbara Lee expressed their “deep concern that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering changing its mission statement from one that promotes inclusion and discrimination-free communities to one that does not strive to offer the same protections. ... These changes to the HUD mission statement would erase decades worth of progress and bring back an era in which people were denied housing based on the color of their skin.” They’ve given Carson and HUD until today to respond. Stay tuned. See the full letter here.
Native American Workers Disproportionately Reassigned at Interior
A review by Talking Points Memo found that a full third of the senior Interior Department (DOI) career officials reassigned under Secretary Ryan Zinke in a major agency reshuffling are Native American -- even though Native Americans make up less than 10% of the Department’s workforce. The news surfaces after Democratic lawmakers demanded an investigation into whether Zinke discriminated when he reassigned 33 career officials last summer and follows reports that Zinke has repeatedly told DOI officials he doesn’t care about diversity. Former government officials tell TPM that they see the reassignment of top Native American staffers as part of an effort to remove internal opposition to Zinke’s plan to open up more tribal and public lands to the fossil fuel industry. The DOI reassignments are currently under investigation by several government agencies, including the Government Accountability Office, the Interior Department’s Inspector General, and the Office of Special Counsel. Not only is singling workers out for political reasons or because of their race a violation federal law, but DOI’s Indian Preference rules state that the agency must give “absolute preference in employment to American Indians and Alaska Natives” in several of its offices. Those rules specifically apply to reassignments, as well as hiring decisions. More here.
Cummings and Oversight Keep Up the Pressure on Trump Admin
During the break, Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the House Committee on Government Oversight -- of which he serves as the Ranking Member -- have been busy requesting information from the Trump administration over its travel, legal activities, and recent policy changes. Cummings and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules, sent a letter to Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) requesting that the Committee hold hearings into whether the Trump administration has adequate controls in place to protect taxpayer funds from waste, fraud, and abuse. Cummings sent a letter requesting documents from the Department of Health and Human Services about efforts by the administration to scrub information about breast cancer, preventive services guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, and various LGBTQ health issues from the websites of the Department’s Office of Women’s Health. Finally, the Maryland Democrat also led his fellow Committee Dems in a letter raising concerns about the Patriot Legal Expense Fund Trust, LLC -- the organization set up for White House and Trump campaign staffers being investigated by Robert Mueller -- which accepts donations and gives out funds for legal costs. The members are concerned about the lack of overall clarity of the fund’s transparency and about the loopholes that could allow for mismanagement and abuse. Catch up with all of their activities here.
Immigration activist Julissa Arce and fiancé Fernando Raya on Sundaythe night before their wedding.
The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj with Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia at the game last week.
Michelle Obama Joins Oprah at Gandhi Going Global
Former First Lady Michelle Obama will take the stage in August at Gandhi Going Global -- an event aimed at spreading Mahatma Gandhi's ideology and philosophy at the global state. She will be joined by Oprah Winfrey at the two-day conference which will host interactive activities, educational programs, motivational talks and cultural celebration. More than 500 NGOs and organizations, 400 universities and over 100 high schools will be participating at the event, which is expected to be attended by over 25,000 people. Indian actor Kangana Ranaut and Martin Luther King, III will also be attendance. More here.
Catherine Cortez Masto to Present Ileana Ros-Lehtinen with USHCC Lifetime Achievement Award
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), the first Latina elected to the Senate, will present the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the first Latina elected to the House. The Lifetime Achievement Award commemorates the accomplishments of a national leader who has dedicated his or her career to serving our nation and acting in its best interests. “Few in Congress have done more to promote the hard work of America’s millions of Hispanic-owned businesses than Rep. Ros-Lehtinen who has served our community faithfully for almost three decades. As the first Latina Member of Congress, she has been critical in making sure Hispanic-Americans have a seat at the table, and she has inspired a new generation of Latina leaders. Her advocacy and devotion in Congress will be sorely missed as she retires this year. The USHCC is honored to present her with this award and trusts that, as a champion of our community, she will serve as an example for all future public servants,” said Fernand Fernández, Interim President & CEO of the USHCC. The presentation will take place at the USHCC’s Legislative Summit’s closing gala on April 26th. More here.
Resolution Honoring Contributions by Native Women Introduced During Women’s History Month
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
and Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced legislation last week honoring the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women. The bill recognizes the importance of promoting equity, providing safety, and upholding the interests of strong, diverse women in the US.  “I feel it is necessary that we do more to honor and celebrate the Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian women and their tremendous impacts on tribal nations, Native communities, and America,” said Murkowski. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) released a statement in support of the legislation shortly after, stating that Native women have led tribal nations’ efforts to exercise their inherent sovereignty and create brighter futures for their peoples. The two Senators are known for championing indigenous protections and tribal safety in Native communities. In February, they partnered on the Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act, which recognizes tribal jurisdiction over crimes such as sexual assault and trafficking, which aren't covered by the 2013 version of Violence Against Women Act. More here.
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Wednesday, April 11th, 8A: The Hill Latino hosts the second in their "Leadership in Action" event series. This newsmaker conversation will feature Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Sponsored by American University's School of Public Affairs and the Kennedy Political Union. RSVP to events@thehill.com. 
Wednesday, April 11th - Friday, April 13th: The 2018 Advancing Justice Conference, at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from across the U.S. to address issues facing these fast-growing communities. Click here for more information and to register.
Thursday, April 12th - Saturday, April 14th: The 9th Annual Women in the World Summit, at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. The event is presented and co-hosted by Toyota. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, April 17th, 8AThe Hill Latino hosts "Latinos in College: Closing the Graduation Gap." The program will feature lawmakers, university presidents, education officials, and students in a series of conversations exploring strategies to boost Hispanic college completion rates. The event is sponsored by Excelencia in Education and Gallup. 901 F Street, N.W. RSVP to events@thehill.com. 
Wednesday, April 18th, 6P: The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) 2018 Gala and Awards. Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. To purchase tickets, contact Heaven Ocampo, hocampo@maldef.org or 213.629.2512 ext. 143. 
Wednesday, April 18th - Saturday, April 21st: The National Action Network hosts its annual conference, this year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Sheraton Times Square, NYC. Click here for more information
Thursday, April 19th: The University of North Dakota sponsors a conference on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Standing Rock protests. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, April 24th - Thursday, April 26th: The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legislative Conference. The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, DC. Click here for more information and to register.
Wednesday, April 25th - Friday, April 27th: The African American Mayor Association 2018 Annual Conference. DoubleTree Hotel, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA. Click here to purchase tickets
Wednesday, May 2nd, 6P: The Latino Victory Fund hosts Latino Talks 2018, on how Latinos are changing America. Special guests include former Univisión anchor María Elena SalinasClick here to purchase tickets
Friday, May 11th, 9A: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights holds a public briefing on hate crimes and bias-related incidents. The Commission will examine best practices for local law enforcement on collecting and reporting data, and the role of the Education and Justice Departments in prevention and prosecution. USCCR, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1150. RSVP to publicaffairs@usccr.gov. Click here to watch a livestream of the briefing.
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
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.
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.
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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