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April 26, 2018
Ben Carson Raises the Rent, Rubén Gallego Gets New Role, and Hakeem Jeffries on Prison Reform Bill
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White House Physician Ronny Jackson just said, “I’m out.” Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs has pulled the plug on his nomination after allegations of his leadership and ethics continued to surface. Stand by for POTUS45’s next pick, which some predict may come from the cable news circuit. In other news, Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, said he would plead the fifth in a lawsuit filed by the pornographic film star Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels. Lots happening on the Hill today. Another embattled Cabinet member, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, heads to Congress today to face the House Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment, where he’ll have a day-long grilling on accusations of ethics violations and lavish spending. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) will host a discussion on 21st century energy solutions for Puerto Rico at 3P. Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL) will hold a news conference to discuss military and veteran spouses’ deportations at 11A. And, brace yourselves: Diamond and Silk will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on social media filtering practices and their effect on free speech, this morning. Cue Kanye. “They make us hate ourself and love they wealth.” The nation’s first memorial to lynching victims opens today in Montgomery, AL. Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, offers a tour. And in the Arizona Legislature, the only two Black lawmakers were formally chastised for speaking out against a Republican lawmaker’s published column, which included a racial slur -- a lyric from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Kendrick Lamar that included the n-word -- and they say derided Black activists while attempting to discredit leaders of a teacher group protesting for better pay. Democratic state Reps. Reginald Bolding and Geraldine Peten called out the misuse of Lamar’s lyric as well as the over familiarity and uninvited intimacy with African Americans. Lastly, actor Hank Azaria says he will stop voicing Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon following a documentary made by Indian American comic Hari Kondabolu that argued the Indian character is based on racial stereotypes. Guys we’re going dark tomorrow but back on Monday. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest. We’re kicking off Thursday with this...
  • House Judiciary Committee kills plans to vote on Congressman Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) prison reform proposal.
  • Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) intro bill to provide clean and safe drinking water to millions.
  • In the words of Cardi B, they went through your phone last night. Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) want to know who’s tracking Trump’s cell phone use.
  • CAP President Neera Tanden under fire for outing sexual harassment victim amid claims that the organization bungled her allegation.
  • Essence Magazine lets two top staffers go.
  • Sinclair sells to minority-owned companies.
  • Dems introduce new handgun licensing bill.
  • Top Dems come out against plan to change education for military families.
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) wants to fight childhood obesity.
  • The rent is already too damn high! But HUD Secretary Ben Carson wants to raise it higher.
  • Congressional Black Caucus members and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) hit DHS for their treatment of African detainees.
  • Meet the two Latino Dems running to replace Blake Farenthold in Texas’ 27th Congressional District.
  • Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) taps Latina Press Secretary for her Senate campaign.
  • McGraw-Hill Education names a new President and CEO.
  • Congressman Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) chosen as new Natural Resources Subcommittee Chair.
  • Inside the NFL players and owners meeting on Donald Trump and Colin Kaepernick.
  • AG Jeff Sessions and DOJ resume legal advice program for undocumented immigrants after heavy outcry.
  • Supreme Court tilts toward travel ban.
  • Don’t forget to tune in to AM Joy on Sunday morning to catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross take on the latest political news with MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid.
ID gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan (D) at the Boise Watch Party for the Democratic debate on Sunday night.
Our Revolution President Nina Turner with Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) and a South Carolina Democratic Party member at the SCDP Convention this weekend.
Prison Reform Stalls in the House
A day after rapper Meek Mill was released from prison, a prison reform proposal hit a snag in Congress. The House Judiciary Committee killed plans to vote on a prison reform proposal on Wednesday. The delay followed behind-the-scenes opposition from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who told the House Judiciary panel members to oppose a narrower prison reform bill without the addition of a sentencing overhaul they spent months negotiating. The omission of sentencing changes is opposed not only by Grassley and Durbin, but also by dozens of powerful progressive groups including the ACLU and NAACP. Politico reports that the Trump administration and GOP leaders want to see a prison-only bill move, not the broader criminal justice bill, but that’s not stopping Grassley and Durbin from what one Republican portrayed as meddling in the House debate. The House bill would provide training programs to prisoners in hopes of discouraging repeat offenses. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), a proponent of the narrower version of the bill, has been working for months with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the DOJ on a prison reform bill that could garner enough bipartisan support to pass the House and hopefully the Senate. “I remain optimistic that we can negotiate a prison reform bill that Democrats and Republicans can support and that we get over the finish line in the best interests of our constituents,” Jeffries told Politico. More here.
Keith Ellison and Ro Khanna Intro WATER Bill On Anniversary of Flint Crisis
Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-MN)
and Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced on Wednesday the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act. The members say the bill would provide clean and safe drinking water to millions of people while creating nearly a million jobs. It would also infuse State Revolving Funds with $35 billion a year. The money would go to improving drinking water and wastewater services by dedicating a source of federal funding for community water and wastewater systems. Grants could also be used to replace lead service lines going into homes, removing lead pipes and plumbing in schools, construct and improve household drinking water wells and upgrade home septic systems. “Today marks the four-year anniversary of the crisis in Flint, Michigan, but the reality is water infrastructure around the country has been neglected for decades," said Ellison. “Low-income communities and communities of color can’t be expected to thrive when they lack basic necessities like water.” Khanna continued saying, “Fourteen million U.S. households are struggling to pay for water that too often isn't even safe to drink. Decades of federal underinvestment has left many communities, particularly low-income and minority neighborhoods, with leaky and contaminated water systems. It's past time that we ensure everyone in this country has access to the most basic human need: clean drinking water.” Improperly treated river water damaged city pipes, which leeched lead into the tap water. Tests show lead levels are now within state and federal quality standards. Ellison says Flint is not alone. “All over the country, we need a solution to water infrastructure,” says Ellison. “Flint is the poster child for the problem, but the problem is, without a doubt, nationwide.” It’s not clear if Republican majorities in Congress would be willing to even consider expanding the federal government’s role in water infrastructure. More here.
Lieu and Gallego Concerned About Trump’s Personal Cell Phone Use
Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA)
and Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) want to know what the administration is doing to keep Donald Trump’s communications secure after news reports that he is increasingly using his personal cell phone to call those outside the White House. In a letter to Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence, Vice Admiral Nancy A. Norton, White House Communications Agency/Defense Information Systems Agency, Joint Force Department of Defense Information Network, and Randolph D. Alles, Director of the U.S. Secret Service, the Congressmen ask about the steps being taken to prevent the president from falling victim to foreign hackers. “As Members of Congress and veterans who understand the importance of secure communications, we are deeply disturbed by reports of President Trump’s continued and increasing use of his personal, unsecured Android phone,” Lieu and Gallego write. “While cybersecurity is a universal concern, the President of the United States stands alone as the single-most valuable intelligence target on the planet. Given the apparent lack of progress the Administration has made since initial reports in 2016 of the President’s poor operational security, it appears the only thing standing between the Office of the President and the next national security nightmare is a combination of President Trump’s personal restraint and sheer luck.” Read the full letter here.
NBC’s Tamron Hall over the weekend at the Disruptor Awards in NYC with young honoree Madden Humphries.
Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) in Calexico, CA with this year's Congressional Art Competition winner, Maia Ysiano.
Bonnie Watson Coleman Intros Handgun Licensing Bill
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) joined co-sponsors  Congressmen Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Albio Sires (D-NJ) to announce the Handgun Licensing and Registration Act of 2018. This legislation would overturn an outdated 1986 law to build a framework of commonsense standards for handgun gun ownership in the country by creating a federal licensing and registration process for gun ownership with minimum requirements that the person seeking gun ownership is at least 21 years old and undergoes firearm training. The bill also dictates that the handgun owner has undergone a criminal history and background check (including submitting fingerprints and photographs) and would institute a license renewal process after five years of issuance. The bill would only allow states to the opportunity to opt out of the federal system on the condition that they implement a state registration system that meets the same requirements. “Our government requires registration and basic standards for voting, operating a vehicle, even opening a business. Yet, for weapons created with the single intent to take a life, we have developed a dangerous aversion to any mechanism to understand where and with whom these weapons reside. 96 Americans are killed every day by a gun. It’s time to give law enforcement the tools to prevent this violence and provide a record of accountability for those who seek to do others harm,” said Watson Coleman. More here.
Top Dems Come Out Against Plan to Change Education for Military Families
Led by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services, all 41 Democratic members of the two Committees came together to send a letter to Chairwoman Virginia Foxx and Chairman Mac Thornberry expressing strong opposition to the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Specifically, members were concerned with how this bill would privatize and dilute funding from the Impact Aid program. “Over the years, no one in either chamber suggested that Impact Aid should be privatized. It is unfathomable that now, as ESSA is being implemented, you and your colleagues would be open to a major redistribution of Impact Aid dollars, a redistribution that would strip funding from 1,200 school districts and 10 million students,” they wrote. “As you are aware, 80% of our military-connected students attend public schools. Any amendment that diverts resources from public schools would be detrimental to the majority of military-connected students.  Furthermore, privatizing impact aid would violate the statutory purpose of the program: to reimburse school districts for the loss of local tax revenue in communities where there is a federal impaction.” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is pushing for military families to be offered private school vouchers, even as major groups within the military community oppose the proposal. See the full letter here.
Cory Booker Intros Childhood Obesity Bill
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
reintroduced a bill on Monday to combat childhood obesity. The Reducing Obesity in Youth Act encourages local partnerships that directly target populations with the highest childhood obesity rates. Recent data demonstrates the depth of the challenge of childhood obesity and the importance of addressing obesity at an early age. According to a recent 2014 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a third of children who were overweight in kindergarten were obese by eighth grade and remained obese. Furthermore, between 2015 and 2016, obesity for kids between the ages of two and five years old increased from nine to fourteen percent, the highest increase since 1999. The Reducing Obesity in Youth Act would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award five-year competitive grants to local entities to assist in the development of healthier early care and education environments. It would also integrate the promotion of healthy eating (including early feeding best practices), physical activity, and screen time reduction into existing early care and education State programs by requiring local grantees to use the funding to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to implementing partners. “We know that the choices our children make in their earliest years when it comes to healthy eating and exercise will impact them throughout their lives,” Booker said. “This bill will empower communities to work together to prevent childhood obesity and help our children build lifelong healthy habits.” He was joined in re-introducing the legislation by fellow Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Chris Coons (D-DE). More here.
Regional Communications Directors (U.S.)
Energy Media, a collaboration between Resource Media and the Energy Foundation, is on a search for four Regional Communications Directors. They are seeking candidates in Las Vegas, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Raleigh. Click here to learn more and apply!
Northeast Policy Director (DC)
Energy Foundation seeks a clean energy policy expert and passionate advocate in the Northeast to join one of the most prominent organizations in the world promoting clean energy solutions. If interested, please submit your materials by May 7th. Click here tolearn more and apply.
Two Top Staffers Let Go from Essence Magazine
After a restructuring at Essence Magazine, Editor-in-Chief Vanessa DeLuca and Editorial Projects Director Patrik Henry Bass have been let go. DeLuca, who became editor-in-chief in 2013, had been with the company for 15 years, and Bass, best known as the magazine’s books editor but also an organizer of the annual Essence Festival, had been with Essence for 18 years. “As we forge our new path as an independent company, ESSENCE remains committed to its authentic vision — highlighting the beauty, power and magic of Black women.  We are also committed to continually evaluating how we need to transform and evolve to best serve the interests of Black women around the world in a more elevated and comprehensive way,” Michelle Ebanks, President of Essence Communications, said in a statement. “This includes addressing the needs that align with our future as a fully-integrated, cross-platform content company that reflects the diverse range of who she is, where she is, and how she lives. To ensure that we have the infrastructure necessary to support this path forward, we are realigning our editorial team structure to include more content integration and audience development across all platforms, including digital, social, video, live experiences and the magazine.” Earlier this year, Essence announced that the company’s assets were being sold to Richelieu Dennis, Founder of Sundial Brands, a large personal-care products company, which produces the Shea Moisture line amongst others. Dennis buying the media brand now means it is once again Black-owned after the company was under Time Inc. leadership for nearly two decades. More here.
Sinclair Sells to Minority Owners
Sinclair Broadcast Group’s latest version of its Tribune deal, filed Tuesday with the FCC, includes new station spinoffs. A dozen of the stations were sold to minority-owned companies, Sinclair pointed out, including Howard Stirk, owned by Armstrong Williams, and Standard Media, whose parent, Standard General, is headed by Soo Kim, a Korean American and former head of Media General. The transactions are aimed at gaining regulatory approval for the Tribune deal. The company is seeking approval from the FCC as well as antitrust regulators at the DOJ. Those opposed to the deal say the merger is not in the interest of consumers and would hurt local media across the country. The Coalition to Save Local Media, a diverse group of stakeholders in the deal's rejection, was not impressed by the latest iteration of the deal. “Sinclair admits it will plan to skirt the rules through side deals with prospective buyers instead of fully divesting stations. The number of times Sinclair has had to correct this deal shows just how much it distorts the marketplace," the group said. More here.
#TBT in Pics
Can you guess who? That's former Today co-host Ann Curry in her senior year at Ashland Senior High School in Ashland, OR.
Check out Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ). He was all smiles for his yearbook photo at Union Hill High School in Union City, NY back in the early 70's.
Ben Carson Proposes Raising the Rent on Low-Income Families
HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposed changes to federal housing subsidies Wednesday, tripling rent for the poorest households and making it easier for housing authorities to impose work requirements. The initiative would raise the rent for tenants in subsidized housing to 35% of gross income (or 35% of their earnings working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage), up from the current standard of 30% of adjusted income. About half of the 4.7 million families receiving housing benefits would be affected. The cap on rent for the poorest families would rise to about $150 a month -- three times higher than the existing $50 ceiling. About 712,000 households would see their monthly rents rise to $150, the officials said. “There is one inescapable imperative driving this reform effort,” Carson said in a call with reporters. “The current system isn't working very well. Doing nothing is not an option.” Carson’s proposals, and other initiatives aimed at low-income Americans receiving federal assistance highlight the comprehensive effort by the Trump administration and a GOP-controlled Congress to restrict access to federal assistance. Just last week, House Republicans advanced a plan to strengthen work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. The proposal approved by the House Agriculture Committee would expand work initiatives, mandating that most adult recipients under 60 work part-time or enroll in a state-run training program. It would apply to as many as 7 million adults. And the Trump administration has also started allowing states to impose work requirements on residents enrolled in Medicaid. More here.
CBC and Zoe Lofgren Criticize DHS Treatment of African Detainees
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Chair of the CBC Immigration Working Group Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) sent a letter to Donald Trump criticizing the Department of Homeland Security’s treatment of detainees from Somalia, Kenya, and Sudan and other African countries and calling for an investigation into recent incidents in the United States and abroad. According to reports, federal immigration officials have denied food, water, and restroom facilities to African detainees, as well as subject them to physical and verbal abuse. In one case, 92 Somalis were shackled at their wrists, waists, and legs for two days aboard a plane in Dakar, Senegal. In another case, 80 men from Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and other African countries were subjected to physical and verbal abuse, including racial epithets, at the hands of corrections officers at the West Texas Detention Facility in Sierra Blanca, Texas. “We write to express our outrage over this Administration’s abuse of African immigrants in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody. There have been numerous reports that immigrants from Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and other countries have experienced extreme physical, verbal, and mental abuse at the hands of government employees and/or federal contractors. The depravity and persistence of this abuse stems from a culture in which the lives, safety, and security of Black immigrants are devalued. We believe this Administration has perpetuated a destructive anti-immigrant narrative that is rooted in racism and the abuse of Black immigrants combines the very worst aspects of anti-immigrant and anti-Black racism,” the members write. Read the full letter here.

Supreme Court Tilts Toward Travel Ban
Solicitor General Noel Francisco (pictured), the first Asian American to serve in the position, told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the president was well within his power to ban travelers from certain majority-Muslim countries if he thinks that it is necessary to protect the country and that the proclamation came after a thorough, worldwide review of the vetting procedures. “The vast majority of the world, including the vast majority of the Muslim world, was just fine,” Francisco said, while a “tiny” number of countries were not. The conservative Justices appear to agree while the court's outnumbered liberals expressed doubts about the president's power to ban travelers indefinitely and said even his tweets on the subject can be used to decipher his motives. "Where does a president get the authority to do more than Congress has already decided is adequate?" Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked. The high-profile hearing, the last of the court’s term as it turns now to writing opinions, is considering the iteration of the president’s travel ban, issued last fall, that barred various travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. Restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela are not part of the challenge and Chad was removed from the list earlier this month. Lower courts have struck down each of the three iterations of the president’s travel-ban. A final decision from SCOTUS is likely at the end of June. More here.
DOJ Legal Aid Program for Immigrants Facing Deportation Continues
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
agreed to resume the Legal Orientation Program -- a legal advice program for undocumented immigrants created under President George W. Bush in 2003. The DOJ had planned to suspend the what's known as the "legal orientation program" to conduct a review of its cost-effectiveness. But Sessions said Wednesday that feedback from bipartisan members of the Senate Appropriations Committee led him to abandon the plan to kill the program pending a review of its effectiveness. immigrants are allowed to have legal counsel but the government is not obligated to provide it, so many undocumented immigrants have no legal help as they argue their case to stay in the US. The program is administered through outside groups and works with nonprofit organizations to provide immigrants with presentations, workshop sessions and referrals to potential pro bono legal services. An internal study commissioned by the Justice Department that was made public this week recommended expanding the Legal Orientation Program as a way to make the courts more efficient. More here.
RNC Director for Asian Pacific American Engagement Adi Sathi on Tuesday at the arrival ceremony for French President Emmanuel Macron.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii cleaning debris at Waimanelo beach on Earth Day.
Meet the Two Latino Dems Running to Replace Blake Farenthold
TX Governor Greg Abbott has called a special election to fill former Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold’s seat, for June 30th. While the filing deadline for candidates is this Friday at 5P central time, two Latino Democrats had previously filed to run against Farenthold before he resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct. Eric Holguin is one of the Democrats hoping to flip Texas’ 27th Congressional District. The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi grad was born and raised in a working-class family in South Texas. Holguin first ran for public office when he made a bid for City Council in Corpus Christi as a college student. After that, he worked for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Raul “Roy” Barrera, a former Robstown, TX police officer and Nueces County constable, is the other Democrat in the race. Barrera previously ran against Farenthold in 2016 and is currently a Special Deputy/Court Security Officer at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is a Del Mar College certified Communications Officer and certified Peace Officer. Holguin and Barrera will face off in the May 22nd runoff. Republicans Bech Bruun, a Texas Water Development Board Chairman, and Michael Cloud, a former county GOP Chairman, have said they will file to run. More here.
Congresswoman Taps Latina Press Sec for Senate Campaign
Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
has tapped Molly Nuñez to join her Senate campaign as Press Secretary. It won’t be her first campaign rodeo. She previously served as Spokesperson for Tom Pérez’s campaign when he was running to serve as DNC Chair. Before that, she was part of the Rapid Response Team on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The 2013 Washington University graduate began her career as an Account Manager at DCO Group. She later served as a Public Information Officer for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. Nuñez joins Sinema’s campaign as the Congresswoman is leading in the polls with a strong lead over Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ). Sinema is considered the presumptive Democratic nominee. Analysts say that Democrats have a real chance to win a Senate seat in Arizona, where Donald Trump beat Clinton by less than 4 points in 2016. More about Molly here.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with rapper Meek Mill, who after 5 months, was released from a Pennsylvania state prison on Tuesday.
GA gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) with author and feminist icon Gloria Steinem on Tuesday.
McGraw-Hill Education Names New President and CEO
McGraw-Hill Education, a learning science company, announced the appointment of Dr. Nana Banerjee as President and CEO. Until recently, Dr. Banerjee was group President of Verisk Analytics, a data analytics provider. The 47-year-old came to Verisk as part of its acquisition of Argus, where he was COO. While there, he helped drive the acquisition of several high-profile global companies. In prior roles, he served as head of Citibank's credit card business in the United Kingdom and as VP of Marketing at GE Capital. He began his career forecasting housing starts at The McGraw-Hill Companies' FW Dodge unit. "This iconic brand is founded on the reputation of its people, its content, and its tools, as the finest in the industry. I am looking forward to teaming up with our colleagues and fulfilling the promise of our vision to unlock the full potential of each learner with enhanced access and better quality learning solutions, enabled with scaled technologies and advanced analytics,” Dr. Banerjee said. The native of India has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the State University of New York; an MS in mathematics from the Indian Institutes of Technology, Delhi; and a BS degree with honors in mathematics from St. Stephens College, Delhi. More here.
Gallego Chosen as New Natural Resources Subcommittee Chair
Congressman Rubén Gallego (D-AZ)
yesterday was chosen by his Democratic colleagues on the House Natural Resources Committee as the next Ranking Member of Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs. The top Democratic spot was left open after Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) resigned from the Committee to serve on the House Rules Committee after her appointment by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “Congressman Gallego has been a firm advocate for the people of Phoenix, tribal communities, and people all across the nation,” said Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), who is the top Democrat on the full Committee. “He’s been a fierce leader on our Committee and has proven that he’s not afraid to speak up and call Republicans out when they’re wrong. He will use his strong voice and experience to champion these issues for all the communities he represents.” More here.
Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL) celebrating Earth Day with district constituents at the Caribbean Fusion Festival in Kissimmee, FL.
CA congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) on-set with NBC Politically Speaking host Gene Cubbison last week.
CAP President Under Fire for Bungling #MeToo Allegations
Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden is under scrutiny after she accidentally outed a victim after a BuzzFeed report on harassment allegations at the organization. During an all-staff meeting on Wednesday meant to address BuzzFeed’s report that CAP had mishandled harassment allegations against a high-level communications manager, Tanden said the victim’s name; BuzzFeed had not identified the victim, and the victim had not given CAP permission to identify her. “She feels awful that it happened and that the victim’s negative experience was compounded; she also expressed that the victim’s actions in coming forward were courageous," a spokesperson for CAP said. "Neera’s horror was very evident in the meeting.” However, Tanden’s disclosure left employees shaken. "There is literally one thing you cannot do in this meeting and that is out the victim and Neera did it multiple times ... It also destroys whatever small level of confidence in the system remained," a CAP employee wrote to BuzzFeed. “As a manager I don't know how I can tell staff to trust the system when the head of the organization just outed the victim in front of the entire organization. It is impossible to trust her.” A recording of the meeting obtained by BuzzFeed shows Tanden referenced the victim’s identity twice as she responded to a question about the retaliation the woman faced for reporting the sexual harassment to the human resources department. More here.
Inside the NFL Players/Owners Meeting on Donald Trump and Colin Kaepernick
The NYT on Wednesday published quotes from three-hour audio recording leaked from the fall NFL summit between owners and players. Highlights from the confidential meeting between 13 players and 11 owners included denunciations of Donald Trump’s campaign against the NFL -- and his presidency in general -- from Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and New England Patriots owner and previous Trump supporter, Robert Kraft. “The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” said Kraft. It’s divisive and it’s horrible.” Eric Reid, Colin Kaepernick’s former teammate, attempted to steer the conversation back to the 2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award winner and the kneeling protests. “I feel like he was hung out to dry. Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us,” Reid said. “Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this. We all let him become Public Enemy No. 1 in this country, and he still doesn’t have a job.” This was the last time Kaepernick was mentioned in the recording. The NYT describes the conversation as a discussion in which “leaders of the most dominant sports league in the country and several of its most outspoken players confronted an unprecedented moment — mostly by talking past one another.” More here.
BLAH BLAH BLOGS
FOMO
Today, 12P: The Raben Group presents “Being Muslim in America: Current Political Climate and What's Next After the SCOTUS Travel Ban Hearing.” Farhana Khera, Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, sits with Roy L. Austin, Jr. for a discussion. 1341 G Street, NW Fifth Floor, DC. RSVP here.
Thursday, April 26th, 1:30P: UNCF Education Summit 2018: Bridging K-12 & Higher Education. United Negro College Fund Inc. 1805 7th Street NW Washington, DC. Click here for more information
Today, 5:30P: Latino/AAPI Unity Event. Join Glen S. FukushimaHelga Flores Trejo, CAPA21, and Latino Victory Fund on for a joint event celebrating the friendship between the Latino and AAPI communities. Click here for more information.
Today, 6:30P: Lab 29 presents “Equity in Education: Why Keeping Culture in the Classroom Matters,” a discussion on how the connection between culture and education is a key aspect in empowering Native Americans in the U.S. George Washington University, 2121 I Street Northwest, Funger Hall, Room 209. RSVP here.
Today: The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legislative Conference. The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, DC. Click here for more information and to register.
Today - 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 Salinas. Click here to purchase tickets.
Friday, May 4th, 5P: Please join the Friends of the American Latino Museum and LatinVIP to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the American Latino Museum Commission report and Cinco de Mayo. Los Gallos Negros perform. VIP admission and specials with donations of $50 and more. Decades DC, 1219 Connecticut Ave NW. RSVP here
Tuesday, May 8th - Thursday, May 10th: The Wall Street Journal's The Future of Everything Festival. Speakers include Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund Leader Tina TchenWSJ Editors, and more. Spring Studios, 50 Varick St, NYC. Click here for more information.
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.
Monday, May 14th - Thursday, May 17th: Federal Asian Pacific America Council's 33rd National Leadership Training Program. Keynote address by U.S. Department of TransportationSecretary Elaine Chao. Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, May 16th, 5:30P: 2018 Mission Forward Spring Reception: “Building Equity and Breaking Bias,” a powerful conversation on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Speakers include Ed Yong, science writer for The Atlantic, and Liz Neeley, Executive Director of The Story Collider. Mission Partners, 7201 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 780, Bethesda, MD. RSVP here
Monday, May 21st - Tuesday, May 22nd: Common Cause Pennsylvania will host their Democracy Works Summit. Sheraton Downtown Hotel on 201 N. 17th Street in Philadelphia, PA. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, June 6th - Saturday, June 9th: The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit. Charlotte, NC. More than 1,000 CEOs, investors, and business experts are expected to attend. Click here for more information and to register.
Sunday, June 10th - Tuesday, June 12th: The ACLU Membership Conference. Speakers include Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse CullorsCongressman John Lewis (D-GA), and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL Bryan Stevenson. Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW) and Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. (901 Massachusetts Avenue NW). Click here for more information
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.
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
Saturday, July 7th - Tuesday, July 10th: The 2018 UnidosUS annual conference, Marriott Marquis Hotel, DC. Click here for more information and to register.
Thursday, July 12th - Friday, July 20th: March On Washington Film Festival. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, July 17th - Wednesday, July 18th: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 2018 National Women’s Conference. Phoenix. Click here for more information and to register.
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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