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Cory Booker wants to guarantee jobs and Ro Khanna writes Net Bill of Rights
Cory Booker wants to guarantee jobs and Ro Khanna writes Net Bill of Rights
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April 23, 2018
Barack Obama Heads to South Africa, Catherine Cortez Masto Teams with Maxine Waters, and Kamala Harris Says Keep Your PAC Money
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The French are coming! President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the White House this morning as the Trump administration readies to host their first State Dinner tomorrow. True to form, the MAGA President has already broken with tradition, choosing not to invite a single Democrat or member of the media to the function. Also of note, First Lady Melania Trump did not engage the services of an outside event planner for her first state dinner, as most modern administrations have done. She has opted, instead, to rely on her own choices. Macron, who is reportedly tasked with convincing Trump to preserve the Iran nuclear deal while he is here, will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. And the White House Correspondents Dinner is this weekend, with festivities beginning Thursday night. On the Hill, the House is out and the Senate meets at 3P. In other news, Amnesty International has given Colin Kaepernick its top human rights award for his public opposition to racial injustice. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is Amnesty's 2018 Ambassador of Conscience. Speaking of heroes, James Shaw saved the day at the Waffle House from a gunman. And speaking of a mad man, Kanye West is tweeting support for Black Lives Matter critic and Trump enthusiast Candace Owens. Remember when he and Stacey Dash fell down? A foreshadow perhaps. Fix it, Yeezus. We've got a lot to get to today. We’re kicking off the week with this...
  • Barack Obama heads to South Africa to speak at Mandela Lecture and identify new Foundation leaders.
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) wants to guarantee jobs in high unemployment communities.
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) intro bicameral legislation to prevent FHA foreclosures.
  • Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tapped to draft Dems’ Internet Bill of Rights.
  • Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) wants to make sure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t regulate the business of insurance.
  • Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) has a new, bipartisan bill to combat the opioid epidemic.
  • House Dems press DOJ over political discrimination when hiring immigration judges.
  • Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) takes it to the Street. Meet her new Chief of Staff below!
  • DNC Chair Tom Pérez is confident about the lawsuit against Russia, Donald Trump, and Wikileaks.
  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson reopens investigation to see if Facebook violated fair-housing laws.
  • Internet Association names a Director of Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Counsel.
  • Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) says entire House leadership team should step down if they can’t flip the chamber.
  • Democrat announces challenge to Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL).
  • Meet the techie launching a bid against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D).
  • CHC BOLD PAC steps in with more congressional race endorsements in New Mexico.
  • Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA) wants to help small business owners comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Dems demand FEMA remain in Puerto Rico to help with electrical grid.
  • Administration challenges Native American tribes on Medicaid work requirements.
  • Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has begun dismissing hundreds of civil rights complaints.
MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid with CNN commentator Angela Rye after the host of AM Joy was honored at National Action Network’s Keeper of the Dream Gala in New York last week. 
NY congressional candidate Suraj Patel (D) pledged not to accept money from the oil, coal, or gas industries on Saturday, one day before Earth Day.
Booker Wants to Guarantee Jobs in High Unemployment Communities 
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
will introduce legislation that seeks to establish a model federal jobs guarantee program in up to 15 high-unemployment communities and regions across the United States. The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act would establish a three-year pilot program in which the Department of Labor would select up to 15 local areas (defined in the bill as any political subdivision of a state, like a city or a county, or a group of cities and counties) and offer that area funding so that every adult living there is guaranteed a job paying at least $15 an hour (or the prevailing wage for the job in question, whichever is higher) and offering paid family/sick leave and health benefits. “Not only would this have a positive impact on the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans right away, but the valuable data gathered would help us learn lessons, assess its effectiveness, and perfect the idea,” Booker said. There are still 337 counties or county-equivalents with a combined labor force of more than 6.7 million people that have unemployment rates of 7% or higher as of February 2018. Advocates argue that the bill would help African Americans and disabled Americans who wouldn’t be expected to wait until employers have run out of white and non-disabled people to hire until they get their chance. More here.

Catherine Cortez Masto and Maxine Waters Intro Bill to Prevent FHA Foreclosures
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Housing Committee on Financial Services, have teamed up to introduce bicameral legislation that would strengthen the requirements for, and increase oversight on, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgage servicers. The FHA Foreclosure Prevention Act would require HUD to increase its oversight of FHA mortgage lenders in order to ensure compliance with the FHA’s loss mitigation requirements. The bill would also establish a complaint and appeals process for borrowers who feel they are facing unfair treatment. “A decade after the devastating foreclosure crisis, we continue to see significant problems with the servicing of FHA loans that unnecessarily put homeowners at risk of foreclosure,” Waters said. “[T]he FHA Foreclosure Prevention Act, would ensure that FHA servicers help families experiencing financial hardship avoid foreclosure so that they can remain in their homes.” Cortez Masto said,“As Nevada’s attorney general during the foreclosure crisis, I have seen far too many lives turned upside down due to rampant foreclosures, as well as the devastating effects that come with losing one’s home,” said Cortez Masto. “To this day, borrowers are unnecessarily being put at risk of losing their homes because of servicers’ failures to comply with the FHA’s loss mitigation requirements.” More here.
Ro Khanna to Draft Internet Bill of Rights
After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress over the Cambridge Analytica data leak, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) -- who represents Silicon Valley -- said that witnessing how some of his colleagues did not even know certain basic internet concepts compelled him to act. Since then, the Congressman has been tapped by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to draft the Internet Bill of Rights. We’re not exactly sure what that is or what it will look like. However, Khanna has long proposed such a measure to give Internet users clarity over the data they share as they click through Facebook photos or shop on Amazon. “Technology is still the most popular industry in this country,” said Khanna. “This bill will help reclaim the public’s trust.” Only eight years older than Zuckerberg, Khanna has been called “Silicon Valley's ambassador to Middle America.” His district is home to Apple, Intel, Yahoo, Tesla, and others. Alphabet, with its Googleplex, is one district over, as is Facebook. Since arriving at Congress in 2017, Khanna has repeatedly preached about the need for an Internet Bill of Rights to clearly outline what rights Americans have on the internet. He has demanded rights for Americans like the right to access their own private data, delete their data off the internet, and to have universal access to a neutral internet, among others. Khanna said there is no set date when the Internet Bill of Rights would be drafted. But he plans to seek ideas from the Silicon Valley giants who are his constituents. More here.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) arriving to Senate chambers last week, with her newborn, Maile.
NBC’s Morgan Radford celebrating Spring on an early Friday morning walk to work in New York.
Members Press DOJ Over Political Discrimination When Hiring Immigration Judges
Congressmen Joaquín Castro (D-TX), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), and Don Beyer (D-VA) sent a letter last week to Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeking information about allegations that the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Department of Justice are engaging in illegal political discrimination when hiring immigration judges and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). In the letter, the members noted in their letter that basing hiring decisions on ideology or political affiliation violates federal law and Department policy. “These allegations are extremely troubling not only because they may violate federal law and repeat the mistakes of the past, but also because they further aggravate the critical need for more immigration judges and BIA officials to address the massive backlogs in immigration hearings across the country,” the members wrote. In 2008, an investigation conducted by the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility found that aides to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “considered political or ideological affiliations” when evaluating immigration judge candidates and candidates for the BIA. The report warned that “both Department policy and federal law prohibit discrimination in hiring for career positions on the basis of political affiliations.” The members requested a list of candidates for immigration judge or BIA positions that have been pending for more than one year, individuals who have been given appointments as immigration judges or appointed to the BIA since January 20, 2017, and candidates who passed background checks for these positions but have not been given appointments or had their offers withdrawn. Read the full letter here.
Stephanie Murphy Intros Bill to Combat Opioid Crisis
Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
introduced a bipartisan bill to combat the opioid epidemic that she says strengthens prevention, improves treatment, and supports law enforcement efforts. The Opioid Emergency Response Act includes provisions to improve access to treatment, invest in life-saving research, and crack down on synthetic drugs and the criminals who supply them. Specifically, the bill aims to reduce opioid use in hospital emergency departments by incentivizing the use of non-opioid alternatives to ease pain in patients. The legislation, introduced with Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), also calls for federal grants to states to help them improve access to treatment among other things. According to the latest estimates, more than 175 Americans now die each day -- and more than 60,000 die every year -- as a result of opioid overdoses. “Our nation ... is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and we must act swiftly and decisively to prevent the crisis from destroying more lives and tearing more communities apart,” said Murphy, a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. “I’m proud to work with Congressman Buchanan to propose bipartisan solutions that will help prevent and treat opioid addiction and crack down on the criminals who profit from the pain and death of others.” Murphy is also the Democratic co-lead of the Road to Recovery Act, a bipartisan bill to repeal a federal law -- called the “IMD exclusion” -- and authorize Medicaid to cover addiction treatment at certain licensed, accredited residential facilities. More here.
Tim Scott Intros Bipartisan Bill Aimed to Curtail CFPB Reach
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
introduced targeted, bipartisan legislation that would ensure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) does not regulate the business of insurance. The Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act of 2018 aims to better codify the CFPB’s current boundaries in the insurance business and seeks to keep insurance regulation on the state level where it belongs. “As someone who sold insurance for 23 years, I answered to our state’s insurance director in Columbia, not bureaucrats in Washington,” said Scott. “Congress never intended for the CFPB to be an insurance regulator, and this bipartisan, commonsense bill ensures that our 150-year old system of state-based insurance regulation stays in place while keeping costs down for policyholders of all kinds.” Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI). The bill was advanced by the House Financial Services Committee on a bipartisan vote of 37-18 in January. 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!
President Obama Heads to Africa to Speak at Mandela Lecture and Identify New Foundation Leaders
The Obama Foundation is adding to its international programs. The Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa, announced today, is a one-year leadership development and civic engagement program that will train and support 200 promising young leaders across Africa working in government, civil society, and the private sector. The Foundation received nearly 10,000 applications for 200 slots. The program will launch in Johannesburg, South Africa with a five-day convening running from July 14th through July 18th and include plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, and technical trainings that will help these young, emerging leaders drive positive change throughout Africa. The convening will also include a town hall meeting with former President Barack Obama, where he will hear about their experiences and the work they’re doing. Following the South Africa convening, leaders will remain connected to the Foundation and one another via an online platform where they will engage in topical discussions, access leadership and training resources, and participate in trainings and webinars led by experts and industry leaders. This inaugural group of leaders is expected to ultimately serve as the backbone of a larger ecosystem of Foundation changemakers across the continent and, eventually, the world, as the Foundation launches similar leadership programs in regions around the world. The Foundation announced Bernadette Meehan, previously Executive Director of International Programs at the Foundation, will now serve as Chief International Officer. She will develop and oversee all international programs for the Obama Foundation.While in Johannesburg, Obama will also deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on July 17th -- a day before Nelson Mandela International Day. To honor the centennial of Madiba’s birth, the lecture’s theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World” and will focus on creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality. About 4,000 people are expected to attend the event at Ellis Park Arena. More here.
Pérez Confident About DNC Lawsuit Against Russia, Trump, and Wikileaks 
The DNC announced last week it was suing Russia, the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks over alleged Russian election meddling, saying the three entities came together to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. On the Sunday morning TV circuit, DNC Chair Tom Pérez told NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he fully expects their lawsuit to be heard by a jury. “I'm confident we will get a jury trial ... I want to make sure we send a very clear signal. This was an assault on our democracy and we have to protect that. I'm punching back not only for my colleagues, I'm punching back for democracy," he said. In the lawsuit, the DNC says that those they named in the suit were part of a greater conspiracy to damage Hillary Clinton when the hacked and published the Committee's emails. Pérez spent Sunday defending the lawsuit. More here.
AFT's César Moreno Pérez and MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz, at MALDEF’s 2018 Awards Gala in DC last week.
GA gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) with North America’s Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey at their Legislative Conference over the weekend.
Administration Challenges Native American Tribes on Medicaid Work Requirements
The Trump administration has approved Medicaid work requirements in three states: Kentucky, Arkansas, and Indiana, and other states also have proposals pending with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. However, tribal leaders are calling for an exemption from the new Medicaid work rules. Citing an exemption from penalties if tribal members don’t have health insurance, the tribes say there is a precedence. However, the administration says the tribes are a race rather than separate governments, and that as such, an exemption would be illegal. “HHS believes that such an exemption would raise constitutional and federal civil rights law concerns,” they said. The tribes say this claim is wrong because the Constitution protects tribes as separate governments. “The United States has a legal responsibility to provide health care to Native Americans,” said Mary Smith, Acting Head of the Indian Health Service during the Barack Obama administration and member of the Cherokee Nation told Politico. “It’s the largest prepaid health system in the world — they’ve paid through land and massacres — and now you’re going to take away health care and add a work requirement?” More here.
Ben Carson Reopens Investigation Into Facebook
HUD Secretary Ben Carson has reopened an investigation into whether Facebook violated fair-housing laws reopened after a five-month freeze. “Since our initial investigation, we have learned more about these practices that warrant a deeper level of scrutiny. At this point, we are resuming an investigation and have made no findings in this matter,” said Jereon Brown, HUD’s General Deputy Secretary for Public Affairs. The agency’s investigation into Facebook originally began in late 2016 following the publication of a ProPublica article that described how Facebook had enabled advertisers to exclude categories of users based on what Facebook termed “Ethnic Affinities” -- which is a violation of federal law. Facebook provided realtors, for example, with ad-targeting options that allowed them to “narrow” their ads to excluded, among others, Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. The ad-targeting mechanism may have also allowed realtors -- or homeowners looking to rent out or sell their own properties -- to exclude people with disabilities as well. In November, Facebook said in a statement that it had installed “safeguards” to prevent advertisers from excluding users based on their race and ethnicity. However, a “technical glitch” had allowed the practice to continue. Grilled during a Senate panel on Wednesday over who ultimately ordered the HUD investigation squashed, Carson was once again at a loss for words, visibly straining to hold back the names of subordinates involved. According to reports, Anna María Farías, head of HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity division, is said to have ordered a hold on roughly a half-dozen investigations. When pressed on what basis the investigation was terminated, Carson pointed to both time and workload constraints. More here.
Education Department Begins Dismissing Civil Rights Cases
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has begun dismissing hundreds of civil rights complaints under a new protocol that allows investigators to disregard cases that are part of serial filings or that they consider burdensome to the office, according to the NYT. The changes include a provision that allows the Office for Civil Rights to dismiss cases that reflect “a pattern of complaints previously filed with O.C.R. by an individual or a group against multiple recipients,” or complaints “filed for the first time against multiple recipients that” place “an unreasonable burden on O.C.R.’s resources.” Department officials say the new policy targets advocates who flooded the office with thousands of complaints about similar violations, jamming its investigation pipeline with cases that could be resolved without exhausting staff and resources. But civil rights advocates like Catherine E. Lhamon -- who led the Office for Civil Rights under Barack Obama -- worry that the office’s rejection of legitimate claims is the most obvious example to date of its diminishing role in enforcing civil rights laws in the nation’s schools. “The thing that scares me is when they get to say ‘we won’t open some cases because it’s too much for us,’ or ‘we don’t like the complainant,’ or ‘it’s not our week to work on that,’ you start to change the character of the office,” Lhamon said. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has already rescinded guidances meant to protect students against sexual assaults on campus and Black and transgender students against bias. More here.
Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Raj Shah with Associate Director Charlanne Burke and staff in Palo Alto, CA celebrating the two year anniversary of the ‘Resilience’ Strategy, a plan to address the threat of rising sea levels in the San Francisco area.
CNN’s Jim Acosta last week with former ABC White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson.
Karen Bass Names New Chief of Staff
Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA)
has named Caren Street as her new Chief of Staff. A veteran of Capitol Hill, Street was most recently the Policy Director for the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to that, she worked as a Policy Advisor in the office of former Democratic Leader, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, where she worked for nearly ten years. The 2007 Howard University graduate went on to earn her law degree from George Washington University in 2016. She has worked on a wide range of issues from homeland security and criminal justice reform to voting rights and healthcare reform. She has a particular interest in business, economic development, and tax policy. More about her here.
Sean Perryman Joins Internet Association
The Internet Association (IA) has named Sean Perryman as Director of Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Counsel. Perryman will lead and coordinate IA’s advocacy efforts around diversity, inclusion, and workforce-related policies at the local, state, and federal level. The Baruch College graduate, who also earned a law degree from Vanderbilt University, previously served on the Democratic Staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as Counsel and IT/Cybersecurity Subcommittee liaison. Perryman also serves as Education Chair for the Fairfax County NAACP. More here.
Oculus Names New Lobbyist
Lobbyist Christina Weaver is joining Oculus, a subsidiary of Facebook, to develop policy for emerging technologies -- namely virtual reality and artificial intelligence. She was most recently a Director at The Raben Group where she had worked for over five years working on Policy Analysis, Governmental Affairs, Legislative Policy, and Advocacy. Prior to The Raben Group, Christina worked as Legislative Counsel for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). The 2006 Howard University and 2009 Boston College Law School graduate began her career as an Attorney in the Office of Thrift Supervision in the Department of Treasury. She joins Oculus at a good time. In March 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to acquire Oculus VR for US$2.3 billion in cash and stock. In 2015, Oculus VR acquired Surreal Vision, a British startup focused on 3D reconstruction and mixed reality, stating that it could be possible for Oculus VR to develop products with the concept of telepresence. The company also partnered with Samsung to develop the Samsung Gear VR in November 2015, for the Samsung Galaxy smartphones. More about Christina here.
WaPo’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee on assignment with independent photographer Maddie McGarvey in Indianapolis, IN last week.
Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Friday met with the Mexican American Council in Homestead, FL to discuss tax reform opportunities in struggling neighborhoods.
Dem Launches Campaign to Unseat Mario Diaz-Balart
Democrat Annisa Karim announced she is challenging Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional District. “I just got permission from work to run for office – so I have to hit the ground running. This is a winnable seat and I have an amazing team working hard to make this a reality! I have to raise $13,000 in April to make sure I can get my name on the ballot and it won’t be easy,” Karim announced on her Facebook page. She is currently a Manager within the Lee County Department of Parks & Recreation as well as alumna of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School -- the site of the mass shooting in Parkland, FL that sparked a movement. She attended the University of Florida where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in wildlife ecology and conservation. “If elected politicians do not represent their constituents — do not heed their voices — it is a betrayal of their office. We need to restore decency and civil discourse into our national political debate. In Congress, we need to work across partisan lines to implement the will of the people,” Karim said at a fundraising event. She indicated climate change was her main focal point, though she is also an advocate of immigration reform with a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, protecting benefits for senior citizens and sensible gun reform. Karim will face Cuban American Dr. Alina Valdes in the August 28th primary. Díaz-Balart is, so far, running unopposed on the GOP side. More here.
Meet the Techie Launching a Bid to be Mayor of Chicago
Tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin has thrown his hat into next year’s Chicago mayoral race to challenge incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The 30-year-old announced his campaign during a 90-minute announcement on Saturday. The native of Chicago’s South Side and a graduate of Northwestern University, Sales-Griffin is the CEO of CodeNow, a nonprofit organization that promotes STEM education and teaches children how to code. “I shouldn’t be running for mayor . . . and the reason I’m doing that is because I’m willing to put myself out there and talk about the things that people don’t want to talk about,” Sales-Griffin said. Others in the 2019 mayoral race include Paul Vallas, the former Chicago Public Schools CEO; Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown; Garry McCarthy, a former Chicago Police Superintendent; Ja’Mal Green; Chicago Principals and Administrators Association President Troy LaRaviere; as well as businessman Willie Wilson. More here.
BOLD PAC Endorses Two More Latinas
BOLD PAC, the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, recently announced their endorsement of two more Latinas for Congress: Antoinette Sedillo López (D) and Xochitl Torres Small (D). Sedillo López is running in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, hoping to succeed CHC Chair Congresswoman Michelle Luján Grisham (D), who is running for Governor. Torres Small is running in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. She’s hoping to flip the seat being left open by Congressman Steve Pearce (R ), as he also tries to become NM’s next Governor. Check out the full slate of BOLD PAC endorsements here.
Clyburn Calls for Leadership Shakeup if Dems Fail to Flip the House
Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC)
over the weekend said that if Dems fail to take the House in the 2018 elections, the entire leadership team in that chamber should step down. Clyburn is the third-ranking Democrat and a top ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). During his annual fish fry event, Clyburn told Politico that “If we’re still in the minority ... all of us have got to go.” He made this comment as he appeared alongside Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), who ran against Pelosi for Minority Leader in 2016. More here.
Kamala Harris Says Keep Your Corporate PAC Money
Appearing this morning on The Breakfast Club, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) said that she will no longer accept corporate PAC money. “Money has tipped the balance between an individual having equal power in an election to a corporation. I’m no longer going to accept corporate PAC checks,” Harris said. This is a firmer stance than she took earlier this month, when she was asked during an event in Sacramento whether she would pledge to refuse campaign cash from a corporation or corporate lobbyist. At that time, she said, "It depends … That's why we have rules that require that any donation that anyone receives needs to be disclosed. So that (voters) can do an assessment ... and look at where the contributions come from and make your decisions about whether those contributions have influenced the way that people act and the way that people vote. And so I am an open book there." Since then, she has closed the books on corporate cash. Her own PAC has brought in more than $3 million for her colleagues up for re-election this Fall. She has also made trips to three presidential swing states, attending multiple fundraisers for vulnerable Democratic Senators Bill Nelson (FL) and Sherrod Brown (OH), as well as a state party forum in Nevada where she endorsed state Senator Aaron Ford’s bid for Attorney General. According to the latest FEC filing, the Senator has just over $2 million in her campaign coffers. Watch the full interview here.
Congresswoman Michelle Luján Grisham (D-NM) with NM congressional candidates Antoinette Sedillo López (D) and Xochitl Torres Small (D) on Wednesday at the Emily’s List Gala in DC.
Rapper and activist Common, Rev. Al Sharpton, Robert Smith of VISTA Equity Partners, NY AG Eric Schneiderman, and Kerry Kennedy in New York at the National Action Network Keepers of the Dream reception over the weekend.
Donald McEachin Intros Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act
Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA)
introduced the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act on Wednesday in effort to better help small business owners comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the current Disabilities Access Credit, small businesses can receive a tax credit worth 50% (up to a limit of $10,250) of costs incurred to meet accessibility requirements. This new bill would double that credit -- an action McEachin says will allow small businesses to make necessary structural improvements, and employ more individuals with disabilities. “Unfortunately, far too many of our dedicated servicemembers come home with permanent injuries. As our returning veterans transition to civilian life, we need to do more to help them find well-paying jobs and continue to support themselves and their families. Enabling businesses to more easily hire these veterans, and any American who wants to work, is one of the best steps we can take,” said McEachin. More here.
Dems Demand FEMA Remain in Puerto Rico to Help with Electrical Grid
As news of the all-island blackout was about to break last week, four top Dems including Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Natural Resources Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long calling for an extension of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) mission to restore power in Puerto Rico, which is currently scheduled to expire on May 18th. “We believe that USACE must continue its vital work to restore electrical service on the island until power is fully restored and the plan for transition to full control and operation of the grid by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is completed and implemented,” the four Committee leaders wrote.  “An extension of the Mission Assignment is necessary to allow additional time for capacity-building to ensure that a transition strategy can be effectively developed and implemented prior to the departure of federal contractors.” More than 6 months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, 49,000 people in Puerto Rico remain without power constantly and blackouts continue to plague the island. Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) also signed the letter. See it here.
FOMO
Today, 3P: Congressman Joaquín Castro (D-TX) and others hold a conference call briefing to discuss a Texas redistricting case to determine whether state House maps and congressional maps intentionally discriminated against Texas minority voters. The call-in number is 785-424-1667, and the password is TX REDISTRICT.
Tuesday, April 24th, 7P: Arrival of President Emmanuel Macron of France and Mrs. Macron to the State Dinner. The North Portico at the White House. 
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, 5:30P: Please join Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) for an evening of #BlackGirlMagic. CBCI Townhouse 413 New Jersey Ave, SE. RSVP to Brandon Neal at pylorus.contact@gmail.com.
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
Thursday, April 26th, 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, 5:30P: Latino/AAPI Unity Event. Join Glen S. Fukushima, Helga 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.
Thursday, April 26th, 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.
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
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, 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.
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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