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Maybe Kanye is aiding criminal justice issue championed by Kim Kardashian??
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May 03, 2018
Kamala Harris Teams with Stacey Abrams, a Possible Athlete and Artist Summit at the White House, and Marco Rubio Swings at China
¡Cállate la boca! Rudy Giuliani, now one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, went on Fox News and spilled the beans Wednesday night and this morning, admitting that the president had re-paid his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the $130K he used to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels. This contradicts the president’s own words from last month when he said that he had no knowledge of the payment. Clean up on aisle Twitter. The president is trying to clean up the mess, but even the tweets seem to leave Daniels’ attorney salivating. Holla! WH Lawyer Ty Cobb is leaving his position amid reports that he had been clashing with the president in recent weeks over Trump's combative posture with the Special Counsel's investigation. Hola! And Emmet Flood, a lawyer who represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment process, is joining Trump's legal team as it adopts a more adversarial posture. Closed for Business! After nearly two months of scandal, Cambridge Analytica announced it is closing amid bankruptcy proceedings. In other news … Girls, Girls, Girls! The Boy Scouts program announced they are changing their names to Scouts BSA in February 2019 to reflect the decision to include young women. And two grande blacks, please. The two Black men who were arrested while waiting in a Philadelphia Starbucks agreed to a settlement with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of free college tuition to complete Bachelor's degrees through an online program with Arizona State University that was created four years ago for Starbucks employees. In a separate deal, they got a symbolic $1 each from the city of Philadelphia, as well as a promise from officials to establish a $200,000 public high school program for young entrepreneurs. And speaking of Philly, former First Lady Michelle Obama showed off her dance moves Wednesday at Temple University during College Signing Day while, quite literally, twirling on the haters. Congress is out, and so are we. We’re dark tomorrow, but back on Monday. We’re kicking off World Press Freedom Day with this...
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) intros two bipartisan bills to address the wastewater needs of lower-income communities.
  • We may have found a reason why Kanye sank to “Make America Great Again.” Here’s a clue: Kim, criminal justice, and Jared Kushner. Read to the bottom!
  • Senate Dems want to nix funding for Donald Trump’s deportation budget.
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) comes out swinging against China and trade.
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) has concerns over potential conflicts of interest related to the White House’s Office Of American Innovation.
  • Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wants to force a bank to turn over Paul Manafort-related documents.
  • A possible summit with artist and athletes at the White House? Yeah. Read below.
  • Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) exposes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s request for a private office -- In Oklahoma.
  • Splinter names a new Editor-in-Chief.
  • WaPo brings on two new reporters.
  • VICE News adds an Executive Producer.
  • Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs did resign amid harassment allegations, and the “exclusive” piece exposing it ignored reporting by Native outlet.
  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) adds starpower to GA gubernatorial race.
  • Former Teacher of the Year launches a congressional bid in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.
  • SEC has named a new Director of International Affairs.
  • Former Trump appointee heads to a multinational law firm.
  • Cisco buys Amy Chang’s Accompany.
  • T-Mobile names a new Director of Public Affairs.
  • Facebook will conduct a civil rights review.
  • NFL player Eric Reid files a grievance against the League.
  • Don't miss The Beat DC's Tiffany D. Cross over the next few days! Catch her on MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber today during the 6P hour, Saturday on Fox News at 2P, and on Politics Nation with Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC at 8A.
CNN commentator Symone D. Sanders signing off from Berlin after speaking at the Handelsblatt’s Pathfinder conference in Germany.
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on Monday visiting the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cory Booker Intros Two Bipartisan Bills to Address Wastewater Needs of Lower-Income Communities
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
was joined by Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Doug Jones (D-AL) and last week introduced two bipartisan bills aimed at addressing the wastewater challenges faced by rural communities, low-income communities, and communities of color. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives in the coming weeks. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than a million homes across the U.S. lack adequate plumbing, and nearly 200,000 lack a sewage system altogether -- meaning these homes do not have an adequate method for disposing of human waste. The Senators say the proposals introduced will help solve this challenge by expanding upon existing legislation to provide grant money that can be used to help fund wastewater systems for those in need. One bill, the Residential Decentralized Wastewater Improvement Act, would establish a new program under the Clean Water Act to provide grants to low- and moderate-income households for connecting homes to existing wastewater infrastructure or installing or upgrading individually-owned decentralized wastewater systems. The second bill would modify the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act by expanding the Department of Agriculture’s Household Water Well System Grant Program to provide grants of up to $20,000 to low- and moderate-income households in rural areas for installing or maintaining individually-owned decentralized wastewater systems. “This issue goes to the core of the larger issue of environmental injustice in this country. These bills will go a long way toward providing better access to wastewater infrastructure for individuals who desperately need it,” Booker said. More here.
Senators Want to Nix Funding for President’s Deportation Budget
Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA)
, Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and a group of their colleagues sent a letter urging Senate Appropriators to reduce funding for the Administration’s “reckless immigration enforcement operations.” In the letter, the Senators highlight the threat that such operations, including an increase in Border Patrol and ICE agents, detention beds, and wall funding pose to "Dreamers" who are at risk of the administration’s arbitrary decision to end DACA. “Under current funding levels, the Administration has expanded immigration enforcement within American communities in an indiscriminate manner, failing to distinguish Dreamers and other hardworking individuals with deep community ties from actual threats to our public safety,” wrote the Senators. “ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has made repeated statements confirming that ICE is no longer adhering to enforcement priorities that focus resources on individuals who pose the greatest public safety threats. Homan has repeatedly declared, for example, that, “No population is off the table.” They continued, “In line with our deep concern about the Administration’s embrace of indiscriminate enforcement, we urge the Committee to reduce funding for beds in the federal immigration detention system. This system is plagued by limited oversight and accountability and inhumane conditions – multiple federal oversight bodies have identified extreme management shortcomings, including deficient contracting practices and a lack of reasonable inspections.” Read the full letter here.
Rubio Swings at China Over Trade
In a WaPo op-ed, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is coming out swinging against what he calls an “economic relationship with China that has become increasingly unbalanced — and, over the long term, dangerous — for the U.S.” The Senator announces new legislation to combat intellectual property (IP) theft. In the piece, Rubio essentially calls China’s trade policies two-faced, offering that since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has “One face [that] outwardly offers soaring and seductive promises of an emerging global economic order that will become more open and equitable as nations increase trade and commerce with China. ... The other face speaks inwardly to China’s ultimate geopolitical intentions.” Rubio goes on to hit China for IP theft specifically, saying that the communist nation  steals nearly $600 billion annually from just the U.S. The FL Senator calls on Congress to support the administration’s efforts to reform trade with China and announces that next week, he will introduce the Fair Trade With China Enforcement Act to “guard the American people against China’s nefarious influence on national and economic security, directly targeting China’s tools of economic aggression.” The legislation would ban the sale of all sensitive technology or intellectual property to Chinese entities and impose a shareholding cap on Chinese investors in American corporations to prevent undue influence in corporate governance. The op-ed and legislation announcement come as U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and other officials are heading to Beijing this week for trade talks with Chinese counterparts. Read the full piece here.
A member of the Assembly of First Nations from AFN Special Chief Assembly on Federal Legislation. This year’s assembly took place on Tuesday, in Quebec, Canada.
Keenan Austin Reed, Chief of Staff to Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA), in Rwanda on Tuesday for an all women, bipartisan Chief of Staff delegation.
Cortez Masto Raises Concerns Over Potential Conflicts of Interest Related to The White House’s Office Of American Innovation
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
, member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation joined Senator Gary C. Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, and sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly raising concerns over the White House’s Office of American Innovation (OAI). Several reports indicate that the office has consistently refused to answer questions about potential off-the-record meetings with large tech firms and about the lack of evidence related to the Office’s supposed involvement in Puerto Rico recovery efforts. “This pattern of failing to disclose information is troubling and raises questions about potential conflicts of interest and favoritism, especially given that OAI’s leader, Mr. Jared Kushner, has failed to place his financial assets in a blind trust and repeatedly omitted key facts on his financial disclosure form,” the Senators wrote. “A transparent picture of what industry’s role has been in drafting and influencing policy designed by OAI, or otherwise considered by the Administration, is needed to ensure the trust of the American taxpayer.” Read the full letter here.
Cummings Wants to Force Bank to Turn Over Manafort-Related Documents
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight, and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, sent a letter asking Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to subpoena The Federal Savings Bank for documents it is withholding relating to reports that its CEO, Steve Calk, allegedly made several multi-million dollar loans to Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a quid pro quo to be named to a high-level position within the Trump administration. “We are writing to respectfully request that you issue a subpoena to compel The Federal Savings Bank to produce documents it has been withholding from Congress relating to extremely troubling reports that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Steve Calk, may have made loans of up to $16 million to President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in exchange for promises to name him Secretary of the Army,” Cummings and Lynch wrote. They asked for a May 15th deadline for additional documents from The Federal Savings Bank. More here.

Eddie Bernice Johnson Exposes Scott Pruitt’s Request for Private Office -- In Oklahoma
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, and two of her Committee colleagues, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), sent letters to the GAO and EPA requesting documents and communications on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s efforts to establish a new EPA office in his hometown of Tulsa, OK. The EPA already has a regional office in nearby Dallas, TX -- a nonstop, one-hour flight of around $100 (though that ticket price is for coach). Pruitt had requested that the new office include a conference room, secure parking space, and a Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). Earlier this month the GAO ruled that the EPA’s construction of a “soundproof privacy booth in the EPA Administrator’s office” in DC, which reportedly has not been certified as a SCIF, was unlawful because it violated the Antideficiency Act. “Establishing a new EPA office in Tulsa may be personally convenient for you, but it seems ethically questionable, professionally unnecessary, and financially unjustified,” the lawmakers wrote. More here.

Assistant Director at AAPI Data and the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside's Alton Wang rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers last Sunday.
WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart with Star Wars actor Mark Hamill on Monday. May the fourth be with you.
VICE News Adds Subrata De As Executive Producer
Subrata De
, former VP of multi-platform newsgathering at ABC News, is joining VICE as an Executive Producer, where she’ll take over as showrunner of its weekly series on HBO. She'll replace Tim Clancy, who shifts to Executive Producer-at-large for VICE News. Before VICE, De served as the Executive Producer of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. Prior to that, the McGill University graduate, who also has a Master’s from Columbia University, spent 8 years as a producer at NBC Nightly News where she produced 17 presidential interviews and orchestrated NBC’s primetime special, Inside the Situation Room, detailing the Osama bin Laden raid. The 6th season of VICE, the 35-episode series, launched last month on HBO. De officially assumes the helm on May 7th. More here.
Splinter Names New Editor-in-Chief
Aleksander Chan
, who has served as the interim Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo Media Group’s (GMG) news site Splinter, will now take on the role permanently. The University of Texas at Austin graduate, who has served as the site’s Managing Editor since last fall, stepped in after the departure of previous Editor-in-Chief, Dodai Stewart, who left at the end of last year to work on screenwriting. Before that, he was a Senior Editor. Chan was part of the team that moved to GMG from Fusion, where he was the site's News Director. He has previously worked as a staff writer at Gawker and Editor-in-Chief of Gothamist's Austin site, Austinist. Splinter is the rebranded Fusion site, the digital extension of Univisión’s English-language cable channel. It changed its name in July 2017. More here.
Indian Affairs Official Resigned Amid Harassment Allegations; TPM “Exclusive” Ignores Report By Native Outlet
As we told you earlier this week, Bryan Rice -- a citizen of the Cherokee Nation who was tapped as Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) just six months ago -- resigned last week. At that time, it was unclear why Rice had decided to leave his position. Talking Points Memo yesterday had an “exclusive” piece based on an email from a BIA employee, obtained by the outlet, claiming that Rice had harassed a female employee and showed aggressive and intimidating behavior toward her in an incident she believed was captured by a surveillance camera. Their “exclusive,” however, ignored a report last Friday by saying the same -- that Rice was on administrative leave after a female subordinate accused him of harassing at the Department of the Interior headquarters in DC, and that the victim had been seeking surveillance video of the incident. See the TPM story here and the story here.
WaPo Brings on Two New Journos
Shibani Mahtani
, who covered Southeast Asia for the WSJ from 2011 to 2016, is joining The Washington Post as a Hong Kong-based Southeast Asia correspondent. Mahtani most recently reported on the U.S. criminal justice system from Chicago for WSJ. The Singapore native is a 2010 graduate of the London School of Economics and a 2011 graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Shibani will be responsible for a vast swath of territory that extends from the Philippines to Burma. She will also be ideally positioned to help keep watch on China and its widening clout in the region. She will begin work in the newsroom on May 21st before moving to Asia in mid-June. Allyson Chiu has joined WaPo’s Morning Mix team as a Staff Writer. Since January, Chiu has served as a Metro Desk intern, reporting breaking news, crime, and local environmental initiatives. She also covered local student walkouts protesting gun violence. Prior to WaPo, the Northwestern University student, who will graduate in June, was a Reporter and Editor for her campus newspaper The Daily Northwestern. Born and raised in Guam, Chiu is fluent in Chinese and conversational in Japanese. More here.
#TBT in Pics
Brains and brawn! That’s astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson during his Ph.D. years at the University of Texas at Austin.
Eva Longoria, actress and Co-Founder of Latino Victory Fund, at Roy Miller High School in Corpus Christi, TX in 1993.
Kamala Harris Endorses GA Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams
Voters in Georgia’s primary could make history during their May 22nd primary when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams could become the state, and the country’s, first Black female Governor. Aiding in the historic effort? Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) who could potentially make history herself one day. Offering her endorsement Harris said, “Stacey Abrams is a leader who believes that Georgia's potential is limitless if we work together to uplift every family. From her efforts on criminal justice reform and voting rights to blocking Republican attempts to undermine the economic security of working families, Abrams has a proven track record of achieving progress.” Both women are HBCU graduates (Harris from Howard University and Abrams from Spelman College) and are both lawyers. Given how Black women have proven to be a powerful voting bloc, this duo may prove to be a force. Abrams is facing former State Rep. Stacey Evans later this month. The winner will go on to face the GOP nominee in November. More from Buzzfeed’s Darren Sands.
Former Teacher of The Year Launches Run for Congress
Jahana Hayes
, a former National Teacher of the Year, announced that she will be running to represent Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District. The 45-year-old political newcomer, a mother of four who grew up in public housing and is married to a city police detective, was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2016. "My decision to run is inspired by the people in my community,” Hayes said. “People with real stories, challenges and successes that often never make it into the discussion. I am running because I see myself in every student, teacher, mom, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor and stranger I meet, and their story is my story. I want to earn the trust of the people in this district and be the person to carry their concerns to Washington." The Southern Connecticut State University graduate, who earned her Master’s from the University of St. Joseph and a 6th Year advanced degree from the University of Bridgeport, plans to continue working in the classroom while on the campaign trail because she said she cannot afford to quit her job nor can she afford to loan her campaign money. The seat became open when Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) announced she would not seek re-election after she came under fire for admitting in April that her former Chief of Staff threatened and harassed a former employee. Hayes will face First Selectman Mary Glassman and New Britain Alderman Manny Sanchez at the 5th District nominating convention May 14th. More here.
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DOJ Sends Attorneys and Judges to Process Caravan
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday that the Justice Department was sending dozens of additional prosecutors and immigration judges to the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue cases against undocumented immigrants while warning members of a infamous "caravan" that they "should wait their turn" to enter the U.S. The DOJ is sending 35 assistant U.S. attorneys would go to the frontier to "prosecute illegal entries into our country" while 18 immigration judges would focus "full-time" on clearing a backlog of asylum claims. Sessions spoke after 28 members of a caravan of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States were accepted for processing by U.S. border inspectors at San Diego's San Ysidro crossing. More here.
Trump Ally Proposes Athlete and Artist Summit with POTUS45
Cleveland Pastor Darrell Scott, a Donald Trump ally, is exploring plans to host multiple summits on race between prominent athletes and artists and Donald Trump to hash out their differences. Scott is set to meet Thursday with Trump at the White House about the summit proposal. Remember when Scott was planning the gang summit because he said the “gangsters” in Chicago told him they wanted to get the body count down because they respected Donald Trump so much? Yep. Same guy. That summit never happened. So yes, here we are again with preliminary plans for an athlete and artist summit. Scott says organizers are considering holding an athletes summit sometime between the end of the NBA finals around mid-June and the beginning of NFL training camp in late July. The Beat DC will certainly keep you posted on what, if anything, comes of this. More here from Politico.
Arkansas Voter ID Law Will Be Enforced
The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a restrictive voter ID law can be enforced during the upcoming primary elections -- even though another judge declared the law unconstitutional. Last month, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray had granted a preliminary injunction to block the law from going into effect ahead of the May 22nd primary. Yet, despite the voter ID being nearly identical to a rule that was struck down as unconstitutional by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2014, the Court has stayed Gray’s ruling. Voters will have to show a photo ID in order to vote in Arkansas’ primary -- early voting begins May 7th. And while the law allows voters without acceptable identification to cast provisional ballots, they must bring identification to their local election office by the Monday following the election. More here.
CBC Members Maxine Waters (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congressmen Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), with Google's Albert Sanders, Airbnb's Janaye Ingram of Airbnb, Microsoft's Nate Yohannes, Hustle's Latoia Jones and other representatives from leading tech firms discussing big tech, regulation, diversity, and inclusion in San Francisco over the weekend.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) meeting with locals in Wainiha, HI on Monday, who are rebuilding from recent flooding disasters.
The SEC Names New Director of International Affairs
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Raquel Fox is taking over as the Director of the Office of International Affairs, which advises the Commission on cross-border enforcement and regulatory matters and coordinates the SEC’s involvement with regulatory authorities outside the United States. She most recently served as a Senior Advisor to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton focusing on matters involving the Division of Corporation Finance and the Office of International Affairs and assisted on enforcement matters. Fox joined the SEC in 2011, previously serving as a Senior Special Counsel to the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and an Attorney Fellow in the offices of Capital Markets Trends and Rulemaking. Before joining the SEC, she was a Counsel at WilmerHale LLP, specializing in capital markets transactions, corporate governance, and disclosure. She began her career as a certified public accountant, specializing in taxation. The Baylor University graduate earned her Master's and law degree from Harvard. She will formally assume the position in July 2018. More here.
Former Trump Appointee Heads to Multinational Law Firm
Grace Koh
has joined the telecom practice at DLA Piper as a Partner. She was previously a point person for tech and telecom and cybersecurity issues on the White House's National Economic Council, where she worked on everything from 5G to privacy to digital trade. She's also served as Counsel for the House Energy and Commerce's telecom subcommittee three and a half years. The 1996 Yale University graduate, who earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, also served as Policy Counsel for Cox Enterprises. She began her career as an Associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. DLA Piper is a multinational law firm located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. More here.
T-Mobile Names New Director of Public Affairs
Richard Taylor 
has joined T-Mobile as Director of Public Affairs. Taylor previously served as SVP for ten years at the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. Prior to that, the Brown University graduate was also SVP at Motion Picture Association of America for 12 years and at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for seven years. Taylor started his career as a Legislative Assistant for former Congressman Jim Chapman. He joins at a prime time for new business, as T-Mobile and Sprint recently announced their plans to merge. Sprint is already shuffling their top executives as they make their pitch for the merger to federal regulators in DC. More about Taylor here.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) meeting with two-time Olympic gold medalist David Wise last week.
Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) receiving a visit from Newark Public Schools Interim Superintendent Robert Gregory on Monday to discuss education funding.
Cisco Buys Amy Chang’s Accompany
Cisco has announced an agreement to acquire Amy Chang’s Accompany, which uses artificial intelligence to build databases of people and relationships at companies. As the Founder and CEO who quit Google to start the company, Chang has compared the product to a digital Chief of Staff or Personal Assistant, giving executives the context they need before conversations and meetings. Cisco will pay $270 million in cash and stock in the deal and plan to incorporate Accompany  technology into its collaboration products, for example by introducing company and individual profiles into Webex meetings. Chang, who earned two degrees from Stanford University, has been on Cisco’s Board of Directors since October 2016. As part of the transaction, she’s resigning from the board, effective immediately. She will, however, maintain her board seat at Proctor and Gamble. Additionally, she will be taking over the company’s Collaboration Technology Group as Senior Vice President. According to Crunchbase, Accompany has raised around $40 million in funding from investors. “I am thrilled with the opportunity to join Cisco and the industry’s leading collaboration team,” said Chang. “Enterprise applications are rapidly becoming more intelligent and augmented with data and pertinent information in real-time. By combining Accompany’s relationship intelligence capability with Cisco’s award-winning collaboration product portfolio, customers will be able to more intelligently collaborate with employees, customers and partners.” More here.
Facebook to Conduct Civil Rights Review
Facebook has come under fire lately for accusations of racial and political bias -- from recently re-launched investigations by HUD Secretary Ben Carson into possible housing discrimination to allegations of of censoring conservative commentary. As a result, the company is launching two independent investigations that will take a look at both its civil rights record and its alleged anti-conservative political bias. Civil liberties leader Laura Murphy will lead a civil rights audit with input from groups like The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The civil rights audit will look at concerns from including Jews, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and others over Facebook's ad tools allowing users to target ads to "Jew Haters" and exclude some minority groups from housing ads. “We are encouraged by Facebook’s commitment to conduct a civil rights audit of the company and its products, and the team they have selected to do it....We will remain vigilant until Facebook does everything in its power to reduce the civil rights harm its platform enables,” said Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Meanwhile, former Republican Senator Jon Kyl will run a conservative bias advisory partnership that will also see Facebook executives meeting with the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation. More here.
Donald Glover, screenwriter Spike Lee, and musician Lenny Kravitz on Tuesday taking a selfie.
Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) on Tuesday with young constituents at her “Play Catch With Your Congresswoman” event in Long Beach, CA.
Kim Kardashian West Working with WH on Criminal Justice -- Does this Explain Kanye?
We may have found a reason why Kanye West sank to “Make America Great Again.” Turns out his wife, Kim Kardashian West, is working with the White House on a presidential pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. She is reportedly working with Donald Trump’s son-in-law and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and the two have spoken over the phone about the issue. The telephone calls, according to Mic, have taken place over the course of the past several months and have picked up in intensity over the last several days. Johnson, who has been in federal prison since October 1996, said she became involved in drug trafficking as a way to make ends meet following a particularly rough period in her life: She lost her job at FedEx, where she had worked for 10 years, due to a gambling addiction; she got divorced; and then her youngest son died in a motorcycle accident. She was arrested and sentenced to life in prison, with no opportunity for parole. As of May 2018, she has spent over two decades behind bars. Kardashian West first learned about Johnson’s case from a Mic video published in October and she shared it on Twitter. The video has since been viewed more than 8 million times. In November, the reality TV star and businesswoman enlisted a team of lawyers, including her LA-based attorney Shawn Holley, to advocate for Johnson’s release. Was Kanye’s recent rhetoric part of a barter? We have no idea. But will keep you posted on Johnson’s case. More here.
Eric Reid Files Grievance Against NFL
Veteran Safety Eric Reid, who made the Pro Bowl after his rookie season in 2013, has been among the most prominent football players to kneel during the anthem. Even after Colin Kaepernick failed to find work, Reid persisted and continued taking a knee as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Now the free-agent has filed a grievance against the NFL, charging owners with colluding to keep him unemployed while other free agents are finding work this offseason. The 26-year-old has said that his decision to protest racial injustice and police brutality is the reason teams are steering clear of him. He has expressed a willingness to stand during the anthem this season, Reid remains unsigned nearly two months into free agency. Kaepernick addressed Reid’s continued unemployment while speaking last month at the Amnesty International Honors in Amsterdam, where Reid presented his former teammate with an award. “Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy,” Kaepernick said. “But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career.” More here.
Today, 6:30P: The Hispanic Bar Association of DC, the South Asian Bar Association of D.C., and others host a Cinco De Mayo Networking Happy Hour and Fundraising event for the HNBA's Legal Education Fund. Hawthorne DC, 1336 U Street N.W.Click here for more information.
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.
Thursday, May 10th, 6P: Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC hosts Cherry Blossoms for Choice with special guest Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, an American transgender rights activist and the first openly transgender person to work as a White House staffer under then-President Barack Obama. Click here for more information and 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 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 Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, May 16th, 12P: The 2018 CAPAC congressional ceremony for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Kennedy Caucus Room, 325 Russell Senate Office Building. Click here to RSVP.
Wednesday, May 16th, 5P: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights hosts the 42nd annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner. This year’s honorees include Tarana Burke, Founder of the #MeToo movement; “Dreamers,” the brave immigrant youth who are inspiring a country; and Cecile Richards, outgoing President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Click here to learn more and buy tickets
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
Thursday, May 17th, 9A: In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosts a Community Leaders Forum, an opportunity to engage with senior level federal officials to discuss issues impacting the AAPI community. U.S. Department of Education, Barnard Auditorium. 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.Click here to learn more and RSVP
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
Thursday, May 24th 6P: Third Annual Multicultural Media Correspondents’ Dinner. The National Press Club. 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Invite only. 
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.
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.
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
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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