Subscribe to our email list
The Beat Highlights the Diversity That Leads the Nation's Capital
The Beat Highlights the Diversity That Leads the Nation's Capital
Share this Mailing:
June 13, 2017
Barack Obama Teams with Former Photog, Trump Calls Loretta Lynch a Criminal, Ro Khanna Pleas for Bernie Sanders, and Dennis Rodman to the Rescue on North Korea
The Trump administration is feeling the burn on all sides, and it’s not just from climate change. On the Hill, AG Jeff Sessions will take the hot seat at 2:30P to talk Russia in an open Senate Intelligence hearing. Meanwhile, Twitter took Ivanka to town for her tweet about the “viciousness” with which her dad is being treated ... Can you imagine how Sasha and Malia felt when he led the birther movement? #SorryNotSorry. And three letters can capture our sentiments after watching that bizarre display at the president’s first full Cabinet meeting: WTH? They heaped praise on Trump that quite frankly felt like King Joffrey Lannister’s born day, or a Voldemort round table, or North Korea. Your pick. Keeping with this theme, rumors surfaced on Monday night that Trump may fire special counsel Robert Mueller. The WH stopped short of denying this and aides said no one knows what the president will do. That, my friends, is the scary truth! One thing he did do this morning? Call former AG Loretta Lynch a criminal. Here's what we're talking about this Tuesday:
  • Trump’s Twitter fingers helped deal another blow to Travel Ban 2.0.
  • Barack Obama pens open for Pete Souza's book.
  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) longs for the good ole' fashion American leadership of yesteryear ... circa 2016. 
  • Experts report that North Korea, a well-documented threat to the United States, is set to launch new missile tests. But don't worry guys! We're sending the only man who can handle such sensitive diplomacy -- Dennis Rodman.
  • A CoS leaves the Hill. Here's a clue -- she works for a CHC member. Keep reading.
  • Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) is ready for a Bernie comeback.
  • Planned Parenthood has a message for you.
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addresses the National Congress of American Indians on the heels of bad news for Bears Ears.
  • NASA names four people of color to its astronaut program. And their pics are so badass!
  • The Joint Center asks, "Can you hear me now?" They examine 5G and what it means for communities of color.
  • The Notorious RBG to the rescue when it comes to gender-based citizenship law.
  • First the Blacksonian. Now this -- a hip hop museum comes to Harlem.
  • Sasha Obama is Natasha?!
  • The Hispanic Lobbyists Association Awards Dinner is tomorrow. Want to go? RSVP below in FOMO!
  • The Dubs won their second NBA Championship in three years. That's what we call winning.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) attends the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC over the weekend.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaking with former Obama appointee Jason Green as she readies to address the Arena Summit to help activate the next generation of leaders.
Donald Trump Calls Loretta Lynch a Criminal
At 5:45 this morning, Donald Trump called former AG Loretta Lynch a criminal.  The embattled president tweeted, “A.G. Lynch made law enforcement decisions for political purposes...gave Hillary Clinton a free pass and protection. Totally illegal!” During his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, James Comey said that Lynch directed him to adopt the same language as Clinton's presidential campaign in referring to the FBI's email investigation as a "matter."  
Umm...we guess that’s the same thing as colluding with a foreign adversary. Or violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.  Or grabbing women without their permission. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has stated the Clinton “matter” deserves greater attention. Well, that was music to the president’s ears. More here.
Obama to Pen Intro for Former WH Photog’s Book
Former President Obama’s photographer Pete Souza is to Donald Trump what Black Twitter is to ... well ... everybody. He has zero chill. The photographer has garnered a massive following on Instagram with posts that frequently mock Donald Trump, contrasting his administration to Obama’s. For example, when Trump got his hand swatted away by 
Melania, Souza posted a picture of Barack and Michelle Obama holding hands. He titled it -- you guessed it -- #HoldingHands. Now Souza is gifting the world with some never before seen images of Obama “in all facets of life.” And, the ex-commander-in-chief will write the introduction for Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs. More here.
McCain Says American Leadership Better Under Obama
Uhhh ... this is hella #awkward. If you missed it, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said American leadership was stronger under Trump's predecessor, according to a Guardian report published Sunday. Asked if the country stood on sturdier ground under former President Obama's leadership, McCain said "yes," according to the report. “As far as American leadership is concerned, yes," said McCain. Guess McCain didn’t take the blind loyalty pledge that Trump’s Cabinet apparently did, eh? The Guardian has more.
A sponsored message from
Planned Parenthood:
Meet Courtney. Without Planned Parenthood, she wouldn’t have been able to get the care she needed to manage her endometriosis, which causes painful periods and makes it difficult to become pregnant. “It’s frightening to think a service like that could be taken away from other women.”
Khanna Wants to Bring the Bernie Band Back Together
A return of the Bernie Bros? Well, if this weekend’s People's Summit was any indication, Bernie loyalists including Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) are ready. "Absolutely, he should run again," said Khanna. Sanders, he said, has the vision, the stamina and "trust at a time when people don't trust anyone in politics" -- but also zeroed in on more pragmatic concerns. "One of the advantages he would have this time is he'll have an infrastructure, (the support of) more elected officials and the apparatus to be strong," Khanna said. And while most would prefer he again fight for the Democratic Party nomination, others are itching for an independent campaign. The "Draft Bernie" group wants Sanders to break away from the Democrats and form a "People's Party," which he would use to launch either his own 2020 bid or use it as a platform to lift up another progressive national candidate. More here.
SJL Calls for Congressional Probe into Trump Over Foreign Payments Made to DC Hotel
The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee called Monday for a probe into Trump over foreign payments to his DC hotel. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said it is time for her committee to open an inquiry, hours after a lawsuit was filed in Maryland District Court alleging that the president violated the domestic and foreign emoluments clause. “An emoluments lawsuit against Trump has been filed by DC and Maryland. It is time to open a House Judiciary Committee inquiry,” Jackson Lee wrote on Twitter. More in The Hill.
Hirono Champions “Blue Slip” Process
Breaking news: Donald Trump said something that was true. The Dems are fighting his agenda. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) is insisting that the Senate "respect" the "blue-slip" process regarding judicial nominations, and hinted at its utility as a tool to fight the Trump administration. Under the Senate's blue slip procedure, a state's senators are consulted by the White House before a president nominates a judge from that state, with no attention given to party affiliation. The home state senators then have the opportunity to block a nominee from receiving a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote. Some conservatives have recently begun openly discussing the possibility that Senate Republicans should scrap or modify the "blue slip" tradition. Hirono's public opposition to such strategic action by her Republican colleagues likely previews political fights about the judicial nomination process that soon could be headed to the Senate Judiciary Committee. More here.
MD AG Brian Frosh with DC AG Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump on Monday.
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta talking work apprenticeships at the podium on Monday. 
Chao Puts Daylight Between Herself and Trump
Despite participating in that bizarre Cabinet meeting on Monday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao distanced herself from her boss’ searing assessment of the U.S. air traffic system in her testimony last Thursday before a House Transportation Committee hearing on a plan to strip it out of government. He called the existing system “horrible," saying it had wasted billions of dollars and used outdated technology. "Those are not my words," said Chao despite the fact that she stood with Trump when he announced his plan to split off the FAA’s air traffic system and place it under a nonprofit corporation. "You stood right there next to him and yet what we’re hearing from you today is a little different,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV). "So I’d like to go back over some of the things and see who we should believe." Chao stopped short of criticizing Trump, saying she believed the FAA was doing a good job. More here.
After Memo Suggestion Reduction of Bears Ears, Zinke will Meet with National Congress of American Indians
Today, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) kicks off its mid-year conference in Connecticut and officials from the Trump administration are among the major speakers at the event. Heading the list is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who will address attendees during the opening session. The appearance is Zinke's first before the NCAI, the largest inter-tribal organization, and he’s bringing backup -- Jim Cason, the Associate Deputy Secretary at Interior, and Mike Black, the "acting" Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Given that Zinke said on Monday that some areas of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument do not warrant their current protections and that the monument should be reduced in size, we now understand why he’s called for reinforcements. More here.
The Worm Wiggles His Way Back to North Korea
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been one of the country's most unlikely links to North Korea, traveling repeatedly to the authoritarian state and gaining rare access to its leadership. Yes, ladies and gents, the bad boy of basketball is back in NK this week. Rodman wouldn't say whether he had spoken with Trump about the trip but did say, “Well, I’m pretty sure he’s pretty much happy with the fact that I’m over here trying to accomplish something that we both need.” Let this burrow into your mind: The Worm, on a trip sponsored by, is our most public face to a brutal dictator as NK prepares for further missile and nuclear testing. Breathe deeply. More here.
Singer Katy Perry hugs Ana Navarro while keeping a close eye on her dog nugget. Rumors have it that Navarro may have plotted a dog napping. 
Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) meeting with the Nurses Association in her DC office lat week. 
Latino Leaders Making Moves
In an email to friends and contacts, Walmart’s Ivan Zapien, currently with the company in Mexico City, announced that he is officially moving back to DC and has decided to leave Walmart when he returns soon. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and support Walmart has given me over the years...but I have decided this is the time to try something new. In the meantime, I plan on doing some consulting, helping some friends with some business ventures, and reading the style section first for a change.” 
Marsha L. Catron, Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-CA), also announced that she is leaving her post to move back to Cali and is passing the reigns to Kim Bowman. Catron's last day on the Hill is Friday, June 16th before “heading off to new adventures!” ¡Buena suerte a los dos!
NASA Names Four People of Color for Astronaut Program
From a pool of over 18,000 applicants, NASA has picked four candidates of color to join their astronaut class. Among the chosen are Asian Americans Dr. Jonny Kim, who is a trained Navy SEAL and is completing his residency in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Iowa native Indian American Raja Chari, who earned a Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Francisco "Frank" Rubio, the son of a Salvadoran mother, was born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami. And the only Black woman, Jessica Watkins, has the distinct honor of taking Black Girl Magic out of this world (literally). The entire class of 12 astronaut candidates will train over the next two years to undertake future space missions. Congrats to all!  Looks like we may need to explore a new planet soon so good luck and Godspeed. More here.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) pays tribue to the 49 men and women lost at Pulse during last year's Orlando nightclub shooting. 
Trump State Department appointee Ashley Bell with football player DeShaun Watson at the White House on Monday. 
Strike ? for Trump’s Travel Ban
Fam, we’ve lost count. In yet another blow to the administration, a second federal appeals court on Monday ruled against Trump’s revised travel ban. The decision, from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, was the latest in a string of court rulings rejecting the administration’s efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. And yes, the ruling did mention Trump’s tweets, especially noting that Sean Spicer said they were “official statements.” Read more.
But Discrimination May Still Prevail
Even though Donald Trump’s travel ban has run afoul of the courts, the number of visas issued to people from six majority-Muslim countries targeted by the executive order appears to be slowing down dramatically. Separately, refugee resettlement in the U.S. from February through May has also plummeted, according to Roll Call’s review of data released by the State Department. While the trend concerns immigration and refugee advocates, the drop suggests the administration may be able to slow down the flow of people from countries linked to terrorism without a travel ban that judges say discriminates on the basis of religion. More here.
MD Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous campaigning with Maryland church members over the weekend.
Solidarity Strategies Chuck Rocha with Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) celebrating the DCCC chair's birthday last week. 
The Joint Center Asks: Can You Hear Me Now? A Look at 5G Technology and its Potential Impact on Communities of Color
On Monday, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released a report examining the implications for communities of color of fifth-generation wireless technology (also known as 5G), and Smart City technology. Currently, major mobile network operators, such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, offer the fourth generation of wireless broadband technology (4G). Over the next four years, these companies will start to offer 5G in select cities. 5G will facilitate the growth of Smart City technologies, which are tools that allow cities and counties to manage public services, such as transportation and power grids, more efficiently. The challenge is that these tools also risk expanding the digital divide and other racial disparities. Workers of color may lose jobs in the wake of automation facilitated by Smart City technologies, and these workers may lack the skills and relationships to land new economy jobs. Businesses of color may lack the capacity to capitalize on new opportunities. New 5G and Smart City infrastructure may be installed downtown but not in neighborhoods of color, leaving residents there without access. The Joint Center report examines the challenges and offers local leaders solutions. Check it out here.
150 Execs Commit to Diversity and Inclusion
After hosting a company-wide conversation on race relations, U.S. Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Tim Ryan began enlisting fellow executives from other companies to join his efforts. This bore a new initiative: the C.E.O. Action for Diversity and Inclusion. On Monday, the group announced that 150 corporate executives have committed to their companies’ encouraging their employees to discuss those sensitive topics. Procter & Gamble, New York Life, Accenture, Deloitte U.S., and the Boston Consulting Group are among the companies that have joined the alliance, of which Mr. Ryan is chairman. Members of C.E.O. Action for Diversity and Inclusion are pledging to encourage workplace dialogue on diversity and inclusion, to introduce or expand education on implicit biases and to publicly share the best -- and the unsuccessful -- actions their companies have taken. Efforts can be searched by industry category on the initiative’s website. The program’s steering committee plans to hold a summit meeting in November to underscore its commitment to help companies improve dialogue and opportunities for all of their workers. More here.
Congressman Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) standing in solidarity at the Equality March/Rally for Unity and Pride on Saturday.
Power couple Aisha and Danielle Moodie-Mills in studio on their XM show talking resistance. 
Puerto Rico Statehood Still Has a Ways to Go
NBC Latino’s Suzanne Gamboa takes a look at what Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his pro-statehood administration plans to do next and whether the political conditions are ripe for such a momentous change. Jenniffer González-Colón is Puerto Rico’s non-voting Resident Commissioner in the House. While she can't vote, she will file a new bill -- replacing one she filed in January based on Puerto Rico’s 2012 plebiscite -- that petitions for statehood and cites Saturday’s vote results. Then, González-Colón plans to ask the House Natural Resources Committee to hold a hearing on her bill. It would require House and Senate approval and the president's signature for Puerto Rico to become a state. Rosselló is also scheduled to be in Washington this week to make the case for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state. But he won’t be alone. Opponents of statehood will also be meetings with members of Congress. Héctor Ferrer, President of the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party (PPD in Spanish) says his group is preparing a letter to Washington contending the vote is a falsehood. More here.
Asian Americans Most Likely To Be Charged For Espionage
A recently released report on economic espionage shows that Asian Americans are more likely to be charged with that crime than any other ethnic group. They’re also found innocent at a rate two times higher than individuals from any other race. The results further confirm that the minority group has yet to be seen as “American,” Chinese-American organization Committee of 100 Chairman Frank Wu (pictured) explained to HuffPo. “I have seen from case after case after case ... that people continue to mistake us (Asian Americans) for foreigners no matter how hard we assimilate and show our loyalty,” he said. More here.
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), and Henry Louis Gates at the Gordon Parks Foundation Dinner in NYC last week. 
California AG Xavier Becerra returns to his alma mater C.K. McClatchy HS on Friday night to address the class of 2017.
Hip Hop Comes Homes to Harlem With New Museum
After 40 years, hip hop is set to get its own museum in 2018. Harlem will be the location for the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Headquarters, a non-profit 501(c)3 museum and educational Institution whose mission is to preserve, archive, exhibit, educate, and showcase hip hop music and culture from around the world. The museum will also conduct research and studies documenting hip hop's historical influence on American pop culture and its socioeconomic impact on societies and trends. The twenty-story museum is set to be open in phases, with the lower level gift shop, cafe, sports bar, and educational space to be completed first. The HHHOF believes that the project will infuse $350 million a year into the city and “hundreds of permanent and part-time jobs” to the greater Harlem community. More here.
Wait! Sasha is Natasha?!
Sasha Obama celebrated her 16th birthday on Saturday, and social media celebrated how beautifully and gracefully the former first daughter has matured. On Sunday, popular Twitter user Ashley Ford, a senior features writer at Refinery 29, dropped a bombshell about Obama that many admittedly did not know: Her real first name is actually NATASHA. Whaaaat?! So apparently, many of you guys already knew this. Sasha is simply a nickname for Natasha. In fact, Obama went by her formal name when she held her summer job at Nancy’s on Martha’s Vineyard last year, and it became more public after it was included in stories that reported news on her landing the gig. How did we miss it?? Perhaps we were too busy chomping on those full bellied clams at Nancy’s and house hopping in Oak Bluffs. C'mon -- it's the one week we can breathe and not be inundated with breaking news every ten minutes. Anyway, we see you, Natasha! More here.
You never know who you're going to run into when walking through DCA.  NAACP-LDF's Sherrilyn Ifill ran into Rev. Jesse Jackson on Sunday.
José Antonio Vargas connecting with church members in Cambridge to talk about supporting undocumented immigrants.
SCOTUS Strikes Down Gender-Based Citizenship Law
SCOTUS on Monday struck down a gender distinction in U.S. immigration law that treats mothers and fathers differently when determining a child's citizenship, calling such inequality "stunningly anachronistic." In an 8-0 ruling authored by the Notorious RBG, the court found that a provision in federal law that defines how people born overseas can be eligible for U.S. citizenship violated the Constitution's equal protection guarantee. The law requires that unwed fathers who are American citizens spend at least five years living in the U.S. before they can confer citizenship to a child born abroad, out of wedlock, and to a partner who is not a U.S. citizen. For unwed U.S. mothers in the same situation, the requirement was only one year. In the ruling, the Supreme Court said that until Congress revises the law, both women and men will be covered by the five-year requirement. Clear as mud, right? More here.
Today, 11:30A: The Raben Group and The Black Church Center sponsor "Wade in the Water," a panel discussion on faith communities and the progressive movement. 1341 G Street, NW. Click here to RSVP.

Wednesday, June 14th, 9A: The Raben Group sponsors a policy breakfast with Vanita Gupta, incoming President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Click here to RSVP

Wednesday, June 14th, 5:30P: Celebrate the release of Season Five of Orange is the New Black, and support Lesley López, candidate for the Maryland General Assembly, at Orange is the New Black Trivia Night with host Jillian Rubino. Penn Social, 801 E Street, NW. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, June 14th, 6P: A special screening of the award-winning documentary Indivisible, a film about the fight to reunite families separated by deportation. CHC Chair Congresswoman Michelle Luján Grisham (D-NM) and Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) will give opening remarks. After the film there will be a Q&A discussion with director Hilary Linder and two of the DREAMers featured in the film, Renata Teodoro and Antonio Alarcón. Click here to RSVP.

Wednesday, June 14th, 6:30P: The fourth-annual Hispanic Lobbyists Association Avanza Awards. Hall of States Rooftop, 444 North Capitol, N.E. Free to current HLA members. Click here to RSVP

Thursday, June 15th, 8A: The Hill sponsors a Latina Leaders Summit. Participants include Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Jennifer Korn, Sarita Brown, Alejandra Castillo, Nina Vaca, Geisha Williams, and Mónica Gil. Click here to RSVP.

Thursday, June 15th, 5:30P: The 56th-annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park. Watch for more coverage this week previewing the big game.

Thursday, June 15th, 6P: The Collective PAC hosts their inaugural Black Campaign School Training. The Collective PAC is an organization focused on "building Black political power" and has committed to recruiting, training and funding 45 African American candidates at the state and local level in 2017 and 2018. Howard University Blackburn Center Ballroom, 2397 6th Street, NW. RSVP to: Marica Wright at:

Thursday, June 15th, 6:30P: An Evening of Jazz, Blues, & Civil Rights, in celebration of the 5th Annual March on Washington Film Festival. Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road, NW. Click here to purchase tickets.

Friday, June 15th, 10A: The Center for American Progress sponsors Race in America: A Conversation with Mayor Landrieu. 1333 H Street, NW. Click here to RSVP

Wednesday, June 21st, 4P: A meet and greet with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, running for Governor of Florida. The Madison Group, 1030 15th Street NW, Suite 1080 West. RSVP:

Wednesday, June 21st, 6P: Reception and fundraiser for Kia Hamadanchy for Congress. 408 East Capitol Street, NE, RSVP at:

Wednesday, June 21st, 6:30P: Reception and fundraiser for David Min for Congress. Rooftop at Steptoe and Johnson, 1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Click here to RSVP.

Thursday, June 22nd, 6P: MALDEF hosts its 2017 Chicago Awards Gala honoring Carlos Tortolero, President and Founder of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, and Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director of the National Immigrant Justice Center.  Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Thursday, June 22nd - Saturday, June 24th: NALEO holds its 34th-annual conference in Dallas. Click here to register.

Saturday, June 24th, 4P: The DC chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) hosts its annual BBQ and fundraiser. Click here to purchase tickets. 

Thursday, July 13th - Sunday, July 16th: The 14th Annual SABA North America Convention, DC. Click here for more info and to register.
Wednesday, July 26th - Friday, July 28th: ColorComm, Women of Color in Communications, holds its 2017 conference in Miami, FL, featuring keynote speaker Whoopi Goldberg. Click here to register
Powered by The Raben Group
Send any and all tips to