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El Paso Times америкалық басылымы 2016 жылды қорытындылап, қазақстандық боксшы Геннадий Головкинді сегіз номинацияның жеңімпазы деп таныды. Номинациялардың жалпы саны — 21. Бұл туралы Vesti.kz сайтына сілтеме жасап Егемен Қазақстан хабарлайды. Фото: ғаламтордан алынған Басылым Головкинді pound-for-pound бойынша ең мықты боксшысы, ең мықты панчер, оң қолмен де сол қолмен де ең ауыр соққылардың иесі, денеге соққы, джеб, ең мықты боксшы және ең қызықты жекпе-жек авторы деп таныды. Осыған қоса, Геннадий Головкин мен Сауль Альварестің жекпе-жегі 2017 жылдың ең үздік кездесу болмақшы. El Paso Times нұсқасы бойынша номнацияларды жеңіп алған боксшылар: Роман Гонсалес, Эррола Спенса (жылдамдығы үшін), Гильермо Ригондо (қорғанысы үшін), Карл Фрэмптон (бағаланбаған боксшы), Сауль Альварес (асыра мақталған), Тони Викс (үздік рефери), Абель Санчес (ең үздік бапкер) және Джимми Леннон (ең үздік ринг-анонсер атанды). Айта кетейік, Головкин — Джейкобс жекпе-жегі 18 наурызда Нью-Йорк қаласында Madison Square Garden аренасында өтеді. Тағы оқыңыздар: Астаналық шенеунік Алматы әуежайы VIP залының жұмысына көңілі толмайтынын айтты Таиландта толассыз жауған жаңбырдың салдарынан жүздеген адам зардап шекті «Союзмультфильм» әйгілі мультфильмдерінің жалғасын түсірмек Алматыда көлік жүргізушісі азық-түлік дүкеніне соғылды 8 жасар жыршы қыз елбасынан сыйлыққа домбыра алды Өскеменнің тұрғындары қала әкімін танымай қалды
Activist Gabriela Castañeda wants undocumented immigrants to know they’re protected under the U.S. constitution, regardless of their status. In a Fusion video posted on Wednesday, Castañeda, who is formerly undocumented, explains the crucial rights any immigrant has when confronted by law enforcement. “This is people that’s been in the country undocumented for almost 15 or 16 years, and they don’t know their rights,” Castañeda told Fusion. “It’s people that live very afraid, has [sic] a very undignified life because, on a daily basis, they fear that they might be stopped by a sheriff.” That’s why the Latina activist, who works as the communications director for Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso, TX, teaches undocumented immigrants how the constitution can protect them. She hopes to give immigrants the tools and information to prevent abuses by law enforcement. “I was one of them, I didn’t know my rights,” Castañeda said. Watch Castañeda teach immigrants about their 4th and 5th amendments rights in the video above. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was in crisis. The agency, which provides health care to approximately 9 million veterans at over 1,700 locations, had set a top-down goal to increase the percentage of veterans who were seen within 14 days of requesting an appointment. This mandate, as admirable as it was, clashed with the diminished capacity of the chronically underfunded organization, where in some parts of the country, underpaid physicians were burning out under the weight of rising caseloads. In the end, a combination of unattainable objectives, an environment that lacked transparency, and a culture where failure was not perceived to be a viable option, led some VA administrators and clinic staff to manipulate data to make it appear as though the wait time goal was being achieved. Some maintained secret wait lists outside the system, officially adding patients 14 days before their scheduled appointments. Others routinely cancelled and rescheduled appointments to make wait times appear shorter than they actually were. The consequences were severe. Forty veterans died while waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA alone. Although subsequent investigations were unable to conclusively connect these deaths to prolonged wait times specifically, deeper scrutiny revealed manipulations at multiple VA medical centers across the country, which affected the appointments of roughly 121,000 veterans system wide. The fallout was dramatic: the Secretary of Veterans Affairs resigned and the FBI initiated a criminal investigation. Could the organization turn itself around? Obama nominated Robert McDonald, an Army veteran and experienced executive who had honed his leadership skills during a 33-year career at Proctor and Gamble, to attempt the difficult turnaround. On July 30, 2014, exactly 13 months after retiring as P&G’s Chairman and CEO, McDonald was sworn in as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. McDonald took charge of an organization that was three times the size of the Cincinnati-based consumer juggernaut he ran previously. With 365,780 employees, VA has a higher headcount than any Fortune 10 company apart from Wal-Mart, and at $152.7 billion, its budget in 2015 was slightly higher than the total gross sales of General Motors. Most importantly, there are 22 million veterans (roughly one out of every fifteen Americans) of which roughly half rely on services the VA provides. The stakes, in other words, were high. A Harvard Business School case study that Robert Huckman, Sam Travers, and I wrote earlier this year documents what came next. “Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get,” notes McDonald. “If you don’t like the results you are getting, then you need to change the design of the organization.” In this case, McDonald set out to transform the design of VA to help the organization better achieve its mission for veterans. McDonald and his team’s approach was heavily influenced by John Kotter’s eight steps for effective organizational change. Although the transformation remains ongoing, they have made considerable progress after two and a half years: Pending claims at VA have fallen by more than 90%; VA healthcare now performs better than the private sector on 96% of outpatient measures, according to RAND; and by the end of the year, all VA hospitals will offer same-day access to care, relative to none in 2014. In a survey conducted last month, 75% of veterans reported that VA effectively delivers care and services, up from 65% just a year ago. During a recent visit to the Managing Service Operations course I teach to MBA students at Harvard Business School, McDonald reflected on the lessons he had learned at VA and their significance for service transformation both inside and outside the public sector. Assemble the right team, pairing leaders from inside and outside the organization. McDonald emphasized how critical (and time consuming) it was to build the right team for the VA’s transformation. “If you talk to any CEO, they’ll tell you that the number one problem in transformation is getting the right leadership team in place,” he explained. “I’ve changed 14 of the top 17 leaders of VA in two and a half years. We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for that. It doesn’t mean you’re firing all 14, but it might mean they’re in the wrong jobs.” McDonald’s approach was to pair private sector executives who had fresh perspectives with experienced civil servants who were promoted from within and had a deep understanding of the VA’s dynamics and how to get things done in the federal government. For example, Scott Blackburn, an Army veteran and former McKinsey & Company partner was paired with Chief of Staff Robert Snyder, who joined VA in 2009 after a 26-year career in the Army, to lead the transformation and reorganization initiative. Pairing leaders from outside and within the VA proved critical for identifying transformative best practices and tailoring their implementation to accommodate Washington dynamics, all the while honoring the particular challenges facing the VA. Introducing new ideas is critical for transformation, but it must be done with an awareness of the environment’s constraints and empathy for the challenges facing the organization. Pursue a principles-based organization. McDonald jokes that when he joined the VA, the General Counsel ran the department. “A rules-based organization is a safe place to work,” he explained, “because as long as you follow the rules, you’re never going to be criticized. You go to the General Counsel for each opinion, so you never have to take any personal risk.” McDonald characterized the culture of the rules-based VA he and his team inherited as a culture of learned helplessness. Employees often lacked the resources they needed to excel at their jobs, and they were afraid to act outside their pre-specified job descriptions for fear of reprisal. The leadership team had to work through vestiges of VA’s rule-based past. For instance, in May 2015, an employee answering the phone at the Puget Sound VA in Seattle received a call from a veteran who had broken his foot, driven himself to the hospital’s entrance, and needed help getting into the building. Stymied by rules like don’t abandon your post, and advise patients outside the hospital to call 911 for assistance, the employee refused to go to the veteran and advised him to hang up and call 911. Ultimately, a team of Seattle firefighters was dispatched to the hospital’s parking lot to help the veteran from his car to the emergency room — a distance of 10 feet. In a rules-based organization, employees lack the flexibility of discretion. In contrast, in a principles-based organization, everyone throughout the hierarchy is expected to take risks, making judgments in service of the organization’s mission and values. As a veteran, the VA’s mission resonates deeply with McDonald, as it does with the public servants who have opted to work in VA, a third of whom are veterans themselves. McDonald explained that building a principles-based organization is about creating a culture in which everyone knows that if they act in accordance with VA’s principles, he and the rest of the leadership team will “have their backs.” Building this culture involved traveling extensively to meet directly with VA employees and stakeholders, implementing a pair of extensive training programs, and on a weekly basis, highlighting and celebrating the stories of employees who let the principles of the VA guide their behavior when circumstances required them to go off script. For example, in the VA hospital in White River Junction, Vermont, employees knew a regular patient so well that a single missed appointment gave them immediate concern about his well-being. On their own initiative, the employees contacted local police, who made a house call and discovered the veteran had fallen, was unable to move, and was in a critical state. By building strong relationships with patients and taking the initiative to act in accordance with VA’s values, the White River Junction employees made a tremendous difference in the life of that veteran. VA leaders celebrate and widely share examples like this one and challenge employees at all levels throughout the organization to find opportunities to act similarly in service of veterans. When employee behavior is influenced more by a clear sense of the organization’s shared values and principles than by the “safety” of hiding behind rules, it results in better outcomes for everyone involved. Measure performance carefully and manage with an eye on what’s most important to customers. The crisis that emerged in the Phoenix VA was triggered by the pursuit of a 14-day wait time goal for all appointments. However, upon digging into the data on wait times and patient satisfaction, the VA’s leadership team discovered a curious fact: wait times weren’t what mattered most to patients. “We were measuring the wrong thing,” noted McDonald, “and we weren’t even measuring the right thing.” What most patients wanted was a seamless, hassle-free experience that delivered the care they needed and that made them feel valued as customers. Yes, when people need urgent care, they want urgent care, but in most cases, being seen in 14 days is not a patient’s first priority. So although the VA now delivers more than one million same-day appointments per month, leaders have also worked to streamline customer journeys and empower employees to deliver more personalized and attentive service. Sixty-eight percent of veterans now report feeling valued in their interactions with VA and 74% report getting the services they need, which is up from 47% and 65% a year ago, respectively. VA’s experience with wait times is an important reminder that sometimes what we think matters most isn’t actually what moves the needle. There’s no hope of effective transformation when leaders’ sights are set on the wrong objectives. Align requirements with resources — and encourage employees to speak up about any gaps. McDonald notes that he’s “never gotten a letter from a member of Congress asking [him] to take a benefit away from a veteran. Instead, they’re always intentionally adding more benefits.” Historically, however, VA has not followed up with legislators to assign costs to rising service requirements, and over time, the gap between resources and requirements widened. From 1940 to 2000, VA’s budget rose at a compound annual growth rate of only 3.19% per year. In recognition of the widening gap, funding to VA increased 87% under President Obama. But in the context of rising demand, mounting costs, and increasing complexity of care, sustainable performance at VA can only endure if the services it provides remain amply funded. For example, a service level agreement that promises wait times of less than 15 days to first appointment will require more resources and should be granted more funding than a service level agreement of 30 days to first appointment. When there are new requirements, there needs to be a conversation about how delivering on those requirements will be funded — something that doesn’t happen often enough. Importantly, the resources required to achieve particular outcomes often change over time. Employees on the front line, who are best equipped to observe the gaps between resources and requirements, need to feel safe surfacing those gaps. McDonald explains, “the best customer service organizations in the world are those where the people on the front line feel an almost religious responsibility to talk to the CEO or whoever is in charge when requirements and capability don’t match. In my first national press conference, in September 2014, I gave out my cell phone number and my email address, and so I get emails and calls from veterans every day. I had to find a way to understand what was really going on at the front line, and to get employees to do the same thing.” Build a capacity for learning and continuous improvement. Making service better in accordance with VA’s mission continues to attract new patients, forcing the organization to find new ways to get more out of its operation. For example, when vets.gov, which simplified the process of enrolling in VA benefits, launched in June, the number of veterans signing-up online for healthcare on a daily basis increased nearly six-fold. Although VA has responded to rising demand by providing approximately one million same-day appointments per month, and the number of patients waiting extended periods for urgent care has fallen close to zero, the number of non-urgent appointments with extended waits is now even higher than it was during the height of the Phoenix crisis. The team has worked to address these challenges by building a culture within the organization of learning and continuous improvement. Historically, since each location was evaluated on the basis of its own relative performance, incentives existed to keep best practices a secret from other VA facilities. A new program inside VA called “Diffusion of Excellence” provides incentives for managers to share and adopt best practices. For example, administrators in the Madison, Virginia VA realized that if clinical pharmacy specialists triaged and managed chronic disease patients, it would open up appointment slots for primary care physicians to address more urgent patient needs. The idea was selected as a diffusion of excellence initiative, and has been implemented in the VA hospital in El Paso, Texas. Moreover, leaders provide training in potent improvement tools like Lean Six Sigma and Human-Centered Design, and empower the front line to innovate. McDonald explains that every employee should “own what they do, and that they should always have a personal project ongoing to improve what they do.” Accordingly, the leadership development program that McDonald and his team introduced required that all employees execute a 100-day improvement project using the skills they had learned. Through decentralized innovation efforts like this one, the team at VA is working to identify new opportunities to improve the efficiency of its offerings in order to reduce wait times when they matter most, despite rising demand for service. All told, the story of VA shows that organizational transformation cannot be static. World-class service organizations must remain vigilant about the changing dynamics in their sectors and the shifting needs of their customers. Leadership must create a culture and capacity for continuous improvement. The journey of VA highlights the pitfalls and potential of service leadership in the public sector and beyond, and the promise for leaders to make a positive difference in the lives of their customers and employees. “Leadership is a tremendous responsibility,” concludes McDonald. “You’re affecting people’s lives. Don’t underestimate the honor of it, but also the importance of it.”
MEXICO CITY ― President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Mexico to build a wall between our countries. There is indeed a way that Mexico could create a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one constructed exclusively on the Mexican side, with substantial benefits for both countries and the planet: a solar border. Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border. Solar energy is already being generated at lower prices than those of coal. With solar plants along vast stretches of the almost 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on the Mexican side, a new HVDC (high voltage direct current) grid could be set up to transmit energy efficiently from that long, snaking array to population centers along the border. HVDC power lines lose exponentially less energy over long distances than traditional power lines. Cities that could immediately benefit include San Diego, Tijuana, Mexicali, Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, San Antonio and Monterrey. If one were to construct the equivalent of a strip of arrays one-third the width of a football field south of the entire U.S.-Mexico border, wider in some areas and narrower in others, with a wide berth allowed for populated areas and stretches of rugged terrain, sufficient energy might be produced to supply all of the above-mentioned cities. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Dallas and Houston could be added to the grid. For the U.S. cities, it would be a way to obtain cheaper and cleaner energy than they can from other sources. The solar border would have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area. A solar border would alleviate a range of binational problems. It would also have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area. Since solar plants use security measures to keep intruders out, the solar border would serve as a de facto virtual fence, reducing porousness of the border while producing major economic, environmental and security benefits on both sides. It would make trafficking drugs, arms and people all the more difficult for criminal cartels. Most importantly, it would make a significant contribution to the global battle against carbon emissions, since the electricity generated would be carbon neutral, and the purchase of so much solar technology would bring its price down further. In Mexico, the solar border would create a New Deal-like source of high-tech construction and technology jobs all along the border, which could absorb a significant number of would-be migrant workers on their way to cross into the U.S. illegally, at great physical risk. Moreover, the plants would be built using environmentally sensitive techniques for avoiding habitat-loss for desert species. Additionally, the HVDC network could extend to the coasts, where ecologically sensitive desalination plants could be built for the production of fresh water, which could be pumped inland to cities and agricultural areas along the border that suffer from water shortages ― a phenomenon bound to worsen as the effects of global warming increase desertification. This would reduce tension and food security concerns that have vexed bilateral relations for decades because of the disputed water supply of the Rio Grande and other shared water sources. Because Mexican solar power is cheaper than north of the border, international investors would have strong incentives. Once the solar plants are installed and prove successful, additional areas in Mexico could be added to the HVDC grid, building on the accumulated know-how generated in the new workforce by the initial construction experience. Mexico has immense potential as a solar-producing country, especially in its high central plateau deserts, which provide the most favorable combination of dry, unclouded, low-latitude and relatively cool climate for solar generation. Potentially, all of Mexico could be solar-powered one day. How to pay for it? Although it would be a major investment, the price of industrial solar generation continues to drop quickly, and because Mexican solar power is cheaper to build and maintain than comparable facilities north of the border, international investors would have strong incentives. Fortuitously, Mexico’s recent constitutional reforms encourage foreign and domestic investment in the electric power sector. Construction of the solar border would go a long way toward helping Mexico achieve its mandated climate change goals, which include 35 percent renewable electricity generation by 2024. Electricity exports from Mexico to the U.S. have existed for over a century and have burgeoned in recent years, which should make international long-term loan guarantees for solar plants relatively easy to obtain. If the initiative were framed as a big charismatic project that has the full backing of the Mexican government, garnering the admiration of the rest of the world, it would position Mexico as an exemplary world leader in combating climate change. Mexico and the U.S. would be connected by a truly beautiful wall, a symbol of unity visible even from space. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
MEXICO CITY ― President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Mexico to build a wall between our countries. There is indeed a way that Mexico could create a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one constructed exclusively on the Mexican side, with substantial benefits for both countries and the planet: a solar border. Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border. Solar energy is already being generated at lower prices than those of coal. With solar plants along vast stretches of the almost 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on the Mexican side, a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) grid could be set up to transmit energy efficiently from that long, snaking array to population centers along the border. HVDC power lines lose exponentially less energy over long distances than traditional power lines. Cities that could immediately benefit include San Diego, Tijuana, Mexicali, Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, San Antonio and Monterrey. If one were to construct the equivalent of a strip of arrays one-third the width of a football field south of the entire U.S.-Mexico border, wider in some areas and narrower in others, with a wide berth allowed for populated areas and stretches of rugged terrain, sufficient energy might be produced to also supply Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Dallas and Houston. For the U.S. cities, it would be a way to obtain cheaper and cleaner energy than they can from other sources. The solar border would have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area. A solar border would alleviate a range of binational problems. For one, it would have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area. Since solar plants use security measures to keep intruders out, the solar border would serve as a de facto virtual fence, reducing porousness of the border while producing major economic, environmental and security benefits on both sides. It would make trafficking drugs, arms and people all the more difficult for criminal cartels. In Mexico, the solar border would create a New Deal-like source of high-tech construction and technology jobs all along the border, which could absorb a significant number of would-be migrant workers on their way to cross into the U.S. illegally, at great physical risk. Most importantly, it would make a significant contribution to the global battle against carbon emissions, since the electricity generated would be carbon neutral, and the purchase of so much solar technology would bring its price down further. The plants would be built using environmentally sensitive techniques for avoiding habitat loss for desert species. Additionally, the grid could extend to the coasts, where ecologically sensitive desalination plants could be built for the production of fresh water, which could be pumped inland to cities and agricultural areas along the border that suffer from water shortages ― a phenomenon bound to worsen as the effects of global warming increase desertification. This would reduce tension and food security concerns that have vexed bilateral relations for decades because of the disputed water supply of the Rio Grande and other shared water sources. Because Mexican solar power is cheaper than north of the border, international investors would have strong incentives. Once the solar plants are installed and prove successful, additional areas in Mexico could be added to the grid, building on the accumulated know-how generated in the new workforce by the initial construction experience. Mexico has immense potential as a solar-producing country, especially in its high central plateau deserts, which provide the most favorable combination of dry, unclouded, low-latitude and relatively cool climate for solar generation. Potentially, all of Mexico could be solar-powered one day. How to pay for it? Although it would be a major investment, the price of industrial solar generation continues to drop quickly, and because Mexican solar power is cheaper to build and maintain than comparable facilities north of the border, international investors would have strong incentives. Fortuitously, Mexico’s recent constitutional reforms encourage foreign and domestic investment in the electric power sector. Construction of the solar border would go a long way toward helping Mexico achieve its mandated climate change goals, which include 35 percent renewable electricity generation by 2024. Electricity exports from Mexico to the U.S. have existed for over a century and have burgeoned in recent years, which should make international long-term loan guarantees for solar plants relatively easy to obtain. If the initiative were framed as a big charismatic project that has the full backing of the Mexican government, garnering the admiration of the rest of the world, it would position Mexico as an exemplary world leader in combating climate change. Mexico and the U.S. would be connected by a truly beautiful wall ― a symbol of unity, visible even from space. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
5 Consumer Staples Stocks Ideal for Value Investors
ZERO MEASURE OF DEVOTION: Vets group blasts ‘secret’ VA ratings system. A veterans group has blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs over leaked internal documents showing dozens of medical facilities performing at below-average levels. USA Today obtained the documents and published them Wednesday, revealing the secret system. The VA had previously refused to make the […]
He disparaged Mexicans, vowed a crackdown on immigration and promoted building a wall, but thousands of Mexican Americans embraced him, for a variety of reasons.
On Thursday, December 8, 2016, the President signed into law: H.R. 4665, the "Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016," which requires the Department of Commerce to conduct an assessment of the outdoor recreation economy of the United States; H.R. 4902, which amends the overtime compensation system for U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations officers to Law Enforcement Availability Pay; H.R. 5785, which exempts retired air traffic controllers under contract with the Federal Aviation Administration as full-time air traffic control instructors from a reduction to their Federal Employees Retirement System annuity supplement; H.R. 5873, which designates the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 511 East San Antonio Avenue in El Paso, Texas, as the R.E. Thomason Federal Building and United States Courthouse; and S. 2754, which designates the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 300 Fannin Street in Shreveport, Louisiana, as the Tom Stagg Federal Building and United States Courthouse.
Customs and Border Protection will open a new temporary shelter on Friday in Donna, Texas, to handle a sharp increase in the number Central American families and unaccompanied children crossing into the United States, the agency announced Thursday. U.S. authorities have struggled since the summer of 2014 to accommodate an influx of Central American families and children, who often arrive seeking asylum or other humanitarian relief. After rising and falling over two years, the numbers jumped sharply this fall. The set of tents and showers at Donna comes in addition to a similar facility that CBP opened last month in the West Texas town of Tornillo, outside El Paso. Each facility can hold up to 500 detainees. “It got to the point where we simply could not handle the amount of people who were coming here and requesting asylum,” said David Higgerson, Laredo field operations director, according to KENS5 Eyewitness News. Each of the shelters cost about $3.8 million to establish, KENS5 reports. The number of apprehensions at the border has surged this year, with 46,195 people crossing into the United States without authorization in October ― a figure that includes people who request asylum or other humanitarian relief. That number marks a 41 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Unaccompanied minors and mothers traveling with their children accounted for more than 19,000 of the new arrivals. “This effort is designed to minimize the impact to border security operations while fulfilling our humanitarian efforts,” Manuel Padilla Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, said in a press statement. “We will work closely with all our partner agencies to maintain efficient operations.” Those passing through the shelters are supposed to remain in custody for three days or less. The development comes as the Obama administration faces legal setbacks to its family detention policy and criticism from a Department of Homeland Security-fielded panel of experts over its reliance on for-profit prison contractors to run immigrant detention centers. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
In March 2015, the President launched the TechHire initiative based on a simple idea: Building a pipeline of tech talent can bring new jobs to local economies, facilitate business growth, and give local residents a pathway into the middle class. To build such a pipeline, TechHire addresses employers’ great need for technology talent with emerging models for quickly training people with limited ingoing technology skills to be job-ready in months, not years. Today, there are nearly 600,000 open IT jobs across all sectors—more than two-thirds of which are in fields outside the tech sector, such as manufacturing, financial services and healthcare. These jobs pay one and a half times more than the average private-sector job, and training takes less than a year with emerging programs like “coding bootcamps,” free open data trainings, and online courses like the Department of Commerce’s Data Usability Project and massive open online courses (MOOCs) by the Federal government, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Since its launch, TechHire communities across the country have piloted fast-track training programs designed to give people skills that are in high demand by employers. So far over 4,000 people have been trained and connected to work opportunities with local employers, earning average salaries of well over median income. Today, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith announced how private organizations will seize on this progress with new steps to meet the scale of the opportunity. Expansion of TechHire to over 70 Cities, States, and Rural Areas. Earlier this spring, we announced that communities had exceeded the President’s goal of doubling the size of the TechHire initiative, reaching a total of 50 communities. Yet even after we made the announcement, new communities continued expressing interest to participate—so today, we are announcing 20 new communities joining the TechHire initiative, working with about 500 employers (and counting). As of today, communities in 39 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico, have joined TechHire. Growth of theTechHire Action Network. Today, we are announcing a partnership between [email protected], an independent social enterprise, and the U.S. Department of Education to take the lead in continuing to support, organize and grow the more than 70 cities, states, and rural areas participating in the TechHire initiative. TechUP's Include.io 27-City Roadshow 2017. TechUP | WeTechUP.com is launching the Include.io 2017 Roadshow across 27 cities in the United States to ignite 100,000 diverse and non-traditional tech talent and help 1,000 companies build their best teams. The Challenge and Opportunity People Need Opportunities to Retool and Retrain for Good Jobs More than Ever Over the past decade, towns across America have experienced shifts in prevalent industries and jobs due to rapidly evolving technologies and other factors. These changes have too often made workers’ skills less relevant, impacting their employment options and, in some cases, leading to spells of unemployment that make it difficult for families to meet even their most basic of needs. When workers lose their jobs or get stuck in lower-wage jobs because of local economic shifts due to no fault of their own, they should have clear pathways to the middle class. Technology jobs can offer this pathway. Nearly 40 percent of these jobs do not require a four-year degree. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of fast-track tech training programs like “coding bootcamps” that prepare people with little technical know-how for tech jobs, often in just a few months. A recent survey from Course Report found that bootcamp graduates saw salary gains of 38 percent (or about $18,000 annually) after completing their programs. The U.S. is Massively Underinvesting in Training for Jobs in Technology and Other In-Demand Fields to Meet Employers’ Needs In the face of a large and growing need of companies and workers to retool and retrain, the U.S. is massively underinvesting in job training programs. The federal government’s largest job training investment program only trains about 180,000 U.S. workers per year. America spends 0.03 percent of GDP on training while other countries are investing nearly 20 times more. And in spite of the evidence that apprenticeships are one of the most effective training tools, fewer than five percent of workers in the U.S. train as apprentices, relative to 60 percent in Germany. In early 2010, there were 14.4 million unemployed Americans. Current funding levels would only allocate $212 per person for training and reemployment services, an insufficient amount compared to a $1,700 average semester cost for a community college. During times of high unemployment in 2009, many states reported training waiting lists of thousands of people long due to funding gaps. Training workers in the US for 21st-century jobs will require a significant increase in investment from current levels, which are far below Germany and other European countries. This investment would benefit our businesses, our workers, and our economy by focusing on technology and other in-demand skills that are critical to fill existing jobs and attract and create new jobs in communities. More Details on Today’s Announcements Expansion of TechHire to over 70 Cities, States, and Rural Areas with 20 New Communities Signing on Today The TechHire initiative began in March 2015 with 21 communities, and today it has grown to over 70 communities working with 1,500 employers on three key actions: Opening up recruiting and hiring pathways for people without traditional credentials who can demonstrate that they have the skills to succeed in a tech job regardless of where those skills were attained. Recruiting, incubating, and expanding accelerated tech learning programs – such as high quality coding bootcamps and innovative online training – which enable interested, unexperienced students to rapidly gain tech skills. Connecting people to jobs by investing in and working with organizations that can vouch for those who have the skills to do the job, but who may lack the typical profile of education and experience. 20 New TechHire Communities Announced Today Today, the following 20 communities are joining the TechHire initiative: Alachua and Bradford Counties, FL Anchorage, AL Arizona (State of) Bellevue, WA Boston, MA Carroll County, MD Central Florida El Paso County, TX Howard County, MD Mobile, AL Oklahoma City, OK Omaha, NE Pensacola, FL Puerto Rico Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico Stamford, CT Tampa Bay, FL Toledo, OH Trenton City, NJ Tulsa, OK A detailed summary of each community can be found at the end of this document. Growth of TechHire Action Network [email protected], an independent social enterprise, will partner with the U.S. Department of Education and others to continue to support TechHire communities to implement, grow, amplify, and sustain their TechHire initiatives locally and across the country and organize the Action Network. Key goals of TechHire and the Action Network include: Connecting employers to nontraditional, often overlooked, and more diverse tech talent and lifting up best practices from model companies. Aggregating resources and partnerships to help underrepresented groups access and progress on tech career pathways. Recruiting new TechHire communities and partners across sectors to support TechHire and advance the goal to expand access to fast-track tech training for underrepresented groups. Developing and collecting tools and resources on TechHire.org to support job seekers, employers, educators, and community partners. Working with communities to identify and leverage federal, state, local, and philanthropic funding more effectively to support TechHire activities and accelerated tech training. Expanding the learning network of TechHire leaders across the country, convene national and regional events to promote collaboration among TechHire hubs, share best practices, and troubleshoot common challenges. For more details, visit the TechHire.org page. TechUP's Include.io 27-City Roadshow 2017 The TechUP + Include.io roadshow will bring together TechHire partners, technologists, recruiting leaders, and local community innovators to showcase the depth and breadth of incredible, diverse tech talent across the Unites States. Each city event features tech demos, workshops, and a career fair to highlight the next generation of technologists, thought leaders, and scale human connections. Their goal will be to spark local tech ecosystems, build momentum around inclusion, fill open tech jobs and change the face of technology. --- Summary Descriptions of the 20 Communities Joining TechHire Today We are pleased that communities continue to spread the TechHire initiative across the country, and today we announce an additional 20 communities who have developed cross-sector coalitions to train workers with the tech skills they need for the open tech jobs that local employers are seeking to fill. A summary of each of the communities is below: Alachua and Bradford Counties, FL In Alachua and Bradford counties, Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL, CareerSource of North Central Florida (CSNCFL), the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce will collaborate with Gainesville Dev Academy and others to train and place at least 300 individuals into programming and app development jobs by 2020. This program will help serve local tech jobs across all sectors, including local tech companies like Immersed Games, MindTree, Onward Development, NextGen, and Verigo. Anchorage, AL Led by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the Anchorage Mayor's Office will work with Anchorage Community Land Trust, Code for Anchorage, Future Coders of Alaska, Lynda.com, Coursera, and other programs to train and place over 500 workers into tech jobs by 2020. Once trained, program graduates will fill the needs of local employers including GCI, Municipality of Anchorage, Resource Data. Inc, and PangoMedia, as well as help retain Anchorage's top talent. To help connect graduates to jobs, the Alaska Department of Labor aims to revamp the interface for the state job-seeker platform. Arizona (State of) The State of Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity will leverage a “No Wrong Door” approach to recruit disconnected youth and nontraditional candidates into tech training and jobs across industries from aerospace & defense to financial services. The Arizona Tech Council, Arizona’s premier trade association for science and tech companies, will help leverage the resources of the tech community to focus on expanding tech talent, along with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations. In partnership with the University of Arizona and other local training providers, TechHire Arizona aims to train and place over 100 individuals across southern Arizona and Maricopa County over the next year, which is slated to increase to well over 500 individuals across Arizona by 2020. Bellevue, WA TechHire Bellevue will bring together local employers, government and workforce development resources, with educational support from Coding Dojo and Bellevue College to facilitate training and hiring of local talent into tech jobs. The TechHire effort aligns with local employers' missions to increase workforce diversity. Examples include Microsoft's LEAP and Civic Tech programs, as well as Expedia, which has hired nearly a dozen Coding Dojo graduates to date. TechHire Bellevue will specifically target under-served populations locally, including minorities, veterans and the homeless, to help them learn and connect with local tech jobs. Boston, MA A regional consortium of Boston employers and training providers are blazing the path to IT jobs, led by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), the City's workforce development board, and SkillWorks, a regional funders' collaborative. Companies from a range of sectors—including healthcare, education, government, technology, and finance—will support the initiative. TechHire Boston plans to more than double the number of high school Tech Apprentices from 100 to 250 and increase the number of individuals connected to IT-related jobs to 500 by 2020. Carroll County, MD Carroll County employers, training providers, and community organizations are uniting to train and employ more than 200 local tech workers by 2020. Led by Carroll Community College, the Carroll Technology Council and the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory, Inc. (MAGIC), a broad group of partnering organizations will connect local participants in leading-edge tech training programs to a network of over 520 county employers. Central Florida CareerSource Central Florida is developing a coalition across sectors to train and place 100 people within the year and 400 people by 2020 into tech jobs, with an emphasis on serving underemployed, minority, and female candidates. The University of Central Florida, Valencia College, and Florida Institute of Technology will each play a role in developing trainings for students to quickly learn tech skills. Businesses from across Florida that participate in the Florida High Tech Corridor Council will support the initiative with an array of commitments, including commitments to consult on course design, interview candidates, and provide on-the-job learning opportunities. El Paso County, TX Emerging companies in El Paso County will soon have an influx of talent, thanks to collaboration among the Workforce Solutions Borderplex Development Board Area and local partners to lead Reboot El Paso, a collective effort to create and expand IT career pathways. The initiative aims to train and place 400 individuals into tech jobs by 2020. First, the coalition will build awareness among non-traditional candidates, with an emphasis on veterans, the long-term unemployed, and youth. Then, the coalition commits to develop a pipeline to jobs with employer partners and assess applicants for fit to the jobs with competencies rather than credentials. Finally, the coalition will connect graduates to jobs. Howard County, MD Howard Community College and the Howard Tech Council (HTC) will come together to train individuals for jobs in tech fields including computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, and computer forensics. Howard County's TechHire initiative will leverage an apprenticeship model, whereby trainees can participate in on-the-job learning with the over 200 regional employers that participate in Howard Tech Council. By 2020, the Howard County TechHire initiative aims to train and place 800 individuals, with an emphasis on the long-term unemployed, minorities, and the military. Mobile, AL The City of Mobile, Alabama will partner with the Gulf Coast Technology Council and 17 employers to develop industry-driven training, including customized capacity building for incumbent workers, a coding bootcamp pilot, and advanced manufacturing technical trainings for entry-level job seekers. The trainings will be facilitated by Depot/U, Iron Yard, and General Assembly. This program will include opportunities for trainees to network with local employers seeking talent, including Accureg Software, AM/NS Calvert, Rural Sourcing Inc., and The Red Square Agency. By 2020, the collaborative aims to train and hire 500 technical workers, including those who are underemployed and dislocated, boosting Mobile’s burgeoning tech community. Oklahoma City, OK StarSpace46, Inc., Creative Oklahoma, and Techlahoma Foundation will work with fast-track and agile training programs to train and place 500 IT workers by 2020. With commitments from employers spanning from the aerospace sector to the not-for-profit sector, trainees will gain and utilize skills in native mobile development, user interface design, and front-end and application development. Students will also gain access to mentorship in entrepreneurship and business. Omaha, NE Omaha is bringing together AIM and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, including traditional and start-up employers alike, in their effort to develop a local tech training and employment ecosystem. Local training bootcamps have committed to help train over 1,000 people by 2020, to help fill local tech jobs in industries from financial services to tech. Pensacola, FL Pensacola State College will collaborate with employer convener Innovation Coast, Inc., including community workforce partners Global Business Solutions, Inc. (GBSI), Technical Software Services, Inc. (TECHSOFT), Gulf Power Company, AppRiver, and the Institute of Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), to train and place 200 technology workers by 2020. With a focus on veterans, minorities, and economically disadvantaged individuals in the Pensacola area, students can gain skills across IT fields, including cybersecurity, coding, and networking. In addition to training, this initiative includes opportunities to make connections with potential employers and reduce unemployment. Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico NMTechWorks is a community coalition in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico with support from the Mayor’s Office, local employers, and non-profits. This multi-sector effort is designed to map, expand, and link pathways to tech careers, especially for rural, Native American, and Spanish-speaking community members. The Community Learning Network and StartUp Santa Fe are teaming with Cultivating Coders, a locally-based accelerated training provider, and others to grow the IT pipeline and train more than 500 students by 2020 for high-demand tech jobs with employers such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory, OpenEye Scientific Software, and Descartes Labs. Tampa Bay, FL CareerSource Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County’s workforce development board, will fast-track critical IT training and employment opportunities for well over 1,000 local out-of-school youth and young adults through 2020. Employers across industries, such as BayCare Health Systems and Cognizant Technology Solutions, are partnering with the initiative in order to advance the economic health and technology industry of the community. Trenton City, NJ The Trenton TechHire initiative is a cross-sector partnership between employers, City of Trenton’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and Agile Strategies group, local education institutions, and local nonprofit organizations. This collaboration will prepare over 150 residents for tech jobs across sectors by 2020. Partners such as FCC Consulting Services, Tektite Industries, Inc., New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, and Power Magnetics, Inc. will meet regularly with Shiloh Community Development Corporation and the City of Trenton to strengthen and sustain the initiative. Tulsa, OK In Tulsa, 36 Degrees North, Techlahoma and a network of workforce and education partners will collaborate to quickly train candidates for tech jobs with local employers including ConsumerAffairs and Mozilla. With strong support from the Mayor’s Office, Tulsa TechHire plans to train and place 600 candidates, including women and youth, into tech jobs across sectors by 2020. Puerto Rico In Puerto Rico, co-working space Piloto 151 and Codetrotters Academy have launched a strong public-private partnership with support from the Puerto Rico IT Cluster, the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development (DDEC) and the Puerto Rico Science & Technology Research Trust. The Puerto Rico TechHire initiative will bring together a wide range of local technology companies and startups, including Rock Solid Technologies, Spotery, Migo IQ, and Wovenware, among others, in order to train and place 100 workers into tech jobs over the next year, ramping up to 300 workers by 2020. Toledo. OH Tech Toledo, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and OhioMeansJobs Lucas County are initiating an information technology workforce alliance to address short-term needs and develop longer-term programs for IT internships and apprenticeship programs. Tech Toledo will work with employers such as Meyer Hill Lynch, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, and The Andersons, Inc., to find and develop training to help fill their in-demand IT job needs. Tech Toledo will place at least 100 workers into tech jobs by 2020. Stamford, CT The City of Stamford and the Connecticut Department of Labor are working with Crashcode and The Business Council of Fairfield County to train and place 1,000 new workers into tech jobs by 2020 via an accelerated training program. Regional tech companies including Datto, CometaWorks, Comradity, GoNation, CTFN, and others will support with training design and hiring opportunities for graduates.
M&A is picking up pace with Sunoco Logistics (SXL) set to merge with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Tesoro (TSO) acquiring Western refining (WNR).
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts: Fred Eychaner – General Trustee, Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts David Rubenstein – General Trustee, Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Sam D. Brown – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts William H. Freeman – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Lena L. Kennedy – Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Randy L. Erwin – Member, Federal Salary Council Sayeed Choudhury – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Luis Herrera – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Homa Naficy – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Tey Marianna Nunn – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Jane Pickering – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Beth Takekawa – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Sarah Suszczyk – Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations William Valdez – Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations Mark Toy – Commissioner, Mississippi River Commission Sue Lowry – Federal Commissioner, Red River Compact Commission Anna Eleanor Roosevelt – Alternate Commissioner, Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission Luis M. Benavides – Member, United States Section of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission President Obama said, “I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have decided to serve our country. I look forward to working with them.” President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts: Fred Eychaner, Appointee for General Trustee, Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Fred Eychaner is Founder and Chairman of Newsweb Corporation, positions he has held since 1971. Mr. Eychaner also founded Alphawood Foundation in 1991. He is on the Board of Directors for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and served as its Chairperson from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Eychaner is a Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Trustee of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and is also a member of the Asian Art Visiting Committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was first appointed to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010. Mr. Eychaner received a B.S.J. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. David Rubenstein, Appointee for General Trustee, Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts David Rubenstein is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group, positions he has held since 1987. Mr. Rubenstein served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy at the White House from 1977 to 1981 and was an Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison from 1973 to 1975. Mr. Rubenstein is President of the Economic Club of Washington, a Chairman-Elect of the Smithsonian Institution, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University. He is Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on numerous other Boards of Trustees including for The University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Institute for Advanced Study, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He was first appointed to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2004, reappointed in 2009 and 2013, and elected as Chairman of the Board in 2010. Mr. Rubenstein received a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School. Sam D. Brown, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Sam D. Brown is an Executive Vice President at Amalgamated Bank, a position he has held since 2014. Mr. Brown was Director of the White House Business Council from 2013 to 2014 and Chief of Staff for Organizing for Action in 2013. He was the Finance Chief of Staff for the Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2013, the Finance Chief of Staff for Obama for America from 2011 to 2012, the Finance Chief of Staff for the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011, and Deputy Finance Director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2009. From 2004 to 2009, he held various positions as a political and financial consultant. Mr. Brown received a B.A. from the University of Southern California. William H. Freeman, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts William H. Freeman is Co-Founder and Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc., a position he has held since 1979. Mr. Freeman was Director of Downtown Urban Development for the Metropolitan Nashville Development and Housing Agency from 1978 to 1979. He serves on the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the Board of Trustees of the Tennessee State University Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Children’s House, and the Board of Directors of Hydratrek, Inc. Mr. Freeman also served on the Nashville State Community College Foundation Board of Directors from 2013 to 2014. Mr. Freeman attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Lena L. Kennedy, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Lena L. Kennedy is Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President of L.L. Kennedy & Associates, Inc., positions she has held since 1998. Ms. Kennedy is also Founder and Conference Director of the Southern California Women’s Health Conference & Exposition, positions she has held since 2000. She was Community Outreach Officer and Supervising Program Officer at the Flintridge Foundation from 1989 to 1998. Ms. Kennedy was appointed as National Co-Chair for the United States African American Leadership Council. Ms. Kennedy attended the University of California, Los Angeles. Randy L. Erwin, Appointee for Member, Federal Salary Council Randy L. Erwin is currently the National Secretary-Treasurer of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), a position he has held since 2015. Mr. Erwin has served in a variety of positions at NFFE, including Executive Director from 2014 to 2015, Director of Legislative Affairs from 2005 to 2014, and Assistant to the National President from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Erwin received a B.S. and an M.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. and M.B.A from Johns Hopkins University. Sayeed Choudhury, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Sayeed Choudhury is Associate Dean for Research Data Management and the Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University, positions he has held since 2011 and 1997, respectively. Mr. Choudhury served as Senior Presidential Fellow at the Council on Library and Information Resources from 2009 to 2013 and was a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University from 2008 to 2010. He is a member of the Board of the National Information Standards Organization and the Advisory Board for OpenAIRE2020. Mr. Choudhury has been a member of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information, Digital Library Federation Advisory Committee, and the Library of Congress' National Digital Stewardship Alliance Coordinating Committee. Mr. Choudhury received a B.S. and M.S. from Johns Hopkins University. Luis Herrera, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Luis Herrera is City Librarian for the San Francisco Public Library, a position he has held since 2005. Mr. Herrera worked as Director of Information Services for the City of Pasadena from 1995 to 2005, Deputy Director of Library Services for the City of San Diego from 1989 to 1995, and Associate Director of Library Services for the City of Long Beach from 1983 to 1989. He was Assistant Coordinator of Extension Services for the El Paso Public Library from 1979 to 1983. Mr. Herrera is a founding board member of the Digital Public Library of America. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Latino Community Foundation and previously served as Chair of the California Council for the Humanities. Mr. Herrera was named the Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year in 2012. Hewas first appointed to the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2012. Mr. Herrera received a B.S. from the University of Texas at El Paso, an M.L.S. from the University of Arizona, and an M.P.A. from California State University, Long Beach. Homa Naficy, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Homa Naficy is Chief Adult Learning Officer at Hartford Public Library, where she has worked since 2000. Ms. Naficy served as Library Consultant at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in 1999 and as an Adult and Outreach Services Librarian in the Westchester Library System from 1995 to 1999. She was a Reference Librarian at several libraries, including the White Plains Public Library, Yonkers Public Library, Newark Public Library, and New Rochelle Public Library. Ms. Naficy is Founder and Director of The American Place, a program designed for Hartford’s immigrant and refugee community. She was named a White House Champion of Change in 2013 and was awarded the Connecticut Immigrant of the Year Award in 2001. Ms. Naficy received a B.A. from American University of Paris and an M.L.S. from Rutgers University. Dr. Tey Marianna Nunn, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Dr. Tey Marianna Nunn is Director and Chief Curator of the Art Museum and Visual Arts Program at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, a position she has held since 2006. Dr. Nunn wasCurator for Contemporary Hispano and Latino collections at the Museum of International Folk Art from 1997 to 2006. She is a Trustee on the Board of El Rancho de las Golondrinas, and was a member of the Boards of Trustees for the American Alliance of Museums and the Western States Arts Federation. Dr. Nunn received a B.A. from the University of Nevada, Reno and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. Jane Pickering, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Jane Pickering is Executive Director of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, a position she has held since 2013. Ms. Pickering worked at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History as Deputy Director from 2004 to 2013 and Assistant Director for Public Programs from 2002 to 2004. She was Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum from 1998 to 2002, Senior Curator at the Museums of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 1997 to 1998, and Assistant Curator of Zoological Collections at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History from 1989 to 1997. Ms. Pickering received an M.A. from the University of Cambridge and an M.Sc. from the University of Leicester. Beth Takekawa, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board Beth Takekawa is Executive Director of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing), a position she has held since 2008. Ms. Takekawa served as The Wing’s Chief Executive Officer in 2007 and was Associate Director from 1997 to 2006. She was appointed by the Governor of Washington to serve as a Commissioner on the Washington State Arts Commission from 2009 to 2015, and serves on the board of the Downtown Seattle Association and International District Emergency Center. Ms. Takekawa is a 2011 Salzburg Global Seminars Fellow, and was a member on the National Planning Committee for the Minidoka National Historic Site. Ms. Takekawa attended the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities and received a B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York. Sarah Suszczyk, Appointee for Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations Sarah Suszczyk serves as Federal Director of the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE), SEIU, a position she has held since 2013. Since 2016, she has also served as the co-chair of the Federal Workers Alliance. Ms. Suszczyk joined NAGE in 2008 and has held various positions including: Federal Deputy Director from 2011 to 2013; Regional Counsel from 2009 to 2011; and Assistant Regional Counsel from 2008 to 2009. Prior to joining NAGE, she worked in private practice serving as an Associate Attorney at Severn, O’Connor & Kresslein, PA from 2007 to 2008 and at the Law Offices of Charles E. Ganley, LLC from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Suszczyk received her B.A. from the University of Colorado and her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. William Valdez, Appointee for Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations William Valdez serves as President of the Senior Executive Association, Inc., a position he assumed in 2016. Since 2014, Mr. Valdez has served as Senior Vice President of the Consultants International Group, Inc. and as a Principal at Deep Water Point, LLC. He has been a member of the Adjunct Faculty at American University’s School of Public Affairs since 2013 where he specializes in Federal government evaluation and strategic planning. From 1994 to 2014, Mr. Valdez served at the United States Department of Energy, holding several positions including: Acting Director in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity; Director of Business Services in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and Director of Planning and Analysis and Director for Workforce Development in the Office of Science. He was elected to the Senior Executive Association’s Board of Directors in 2005 and served as Chairman from 2011 to 2013. Mr. Valdez received a B.A. from the University of Texas and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Brigadier General Mark Toy, Appointee for Commissioner, Mississippi River Commission Brigadier General Mark Toy is Commanding General of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a position he has held since 2016. General Toy has held numerous positions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including Commanding General of the South Pacific Division from 2014 to 2016, Chief of Staff from 2013 to 2014, and District Commander of the Los Angeles District from 2010 to 2013. He served as Chief of the Engineer Branch of the Officer Personnel Management Directorate of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command from 2007 to 2009 and Commander for the 84th Engineer Combat Battalion from 2005 to 2007. General Toy received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.S. from Boston University, an M.S. from the University of California at Los Angeles, and an M.S. from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Sue Lowry, Appointee for Federal Commissioner, Red River Compact Commission Sue Lowry is the owner of Avocet Consult, LLC, where she consults on water management and resource policy issues. Ms. Lowry worked in the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office from 1988 to 2016, serving as an Interstate Streams Engineer from 1988 to 1995, Director of Policy and Administration from 1995 to 2002, and Administrator of the Interstate Streams Division from 2002 until her retirement in 2016. Ms. Lowry served on the Western States Water Council from 2001 to 2016 and was President of the Interstate Council on Water Policy from 2006 to 2007 and 2011. Governor Matt Mead appointed Ms. Lowry to be Wyoming’s Commissioner on the Bear River and Yellowstone River Compact Commissions in 2012. Ms. Lowry received a B.S in Agricultural Economics and an M.S. in Range Management and Water Resources from the University of Wyoming. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Appointee for Alternate Commissioner, Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission Anna Eleanor Roosevelt is Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, a position she has held since 2011. Ms. Roosevelt was Vice President for Global Corporate Citizenship at The Boeing Company from 2006 to 2011 and Director of Community and Education Relations at Boeing World Headquarters from 2001 to 2005. She served as Executive Director of the Brain Research Foundation at the University of Chicago from 1999 to 2001 and was an Independent Consultant in the Mayor’s Office of Program Development for the City of Chicago from 1996 to 1998. Ms. Roosevelt was Executive Director of Museums in the Park from 1991 to 1996 and Administrator and Program Director at the Center for Scandinavian Studies at North Park College from 1986 to 1988. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Institute, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Jim Browne Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation. Ms. Roosevelt received an A.B. from Stanford University and an M.S. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Luis M. Benavides, Appointee for Member, United States Section of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission Dr. Luis M. Benavides is Co-Founder and President of Laredo Premier Healthcare, positions he has held since 2016. Dr. Benavides is also an Attending Physician at Laredo Specialty Hospital, Providence Medical and Surgical Center, and Doctors Hospital of Laredo, positions he has held since 2007, 2003, and 1982, respectively. He is Medical Director for both Nurses on Wheels Hospice and Regent Care Nursing Home, positions he has held since 2003 and 1990, respectively. Dr. Benavides was a Solo Practitioner from 1982 to 2016 and was previously a member of the Texas Medical Association Council on Legislation. He is Vice Chairman of Texas Medical Association Border Health Caucus. Dr. Benavides received a B.A. from University of Texas at Austin and an M.D. from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
It’s a watershed year fraught with turmoil for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Across the American South, queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people are facing wave after wave of legislation that threatens our safety, well-being and very existence. From “bathroom bills“ to ordinances that permit discrimination, this battle is in many ways a backlash to all of the victories our community has seen recently —including last year’s nation-wide legalization of same-sex marriage — and it serves a multitude of political and social purposes for the religious and political right. In this new series, HuffPost Queer Voices Deputy Editor JamesMichael Nichols, who hails from North Carolina himself, talks to some of the leaders, movers and shakers of the fight for queer and trans liberation in the South about their own personal experiences as activists, the current political and social climate for the LGBT community in these states and the action that we, as a community, can take to help. Check out the previous interviews Pamela Raintree, Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield, Joce Pritchett and Alvin McEwen. Celia Israel is a member of the Texas House of Representatives ― and a champion for the rights of the LGBTQ community in this influential part of the American South. With political roots in the administration of the legendary Gov. Ann Richards, Rep. Israel has been fighting for queer Texans ― and all disenfranchised individuals ― for decades. With Texas now facing the prospect of a North Carolina-esque backlash when it comes to the rights of transgender Americans, Rep. Israel remains a crucial voice for our community’s most vulnerable heading into the 2017 session of the Texas State House of Representatives ― and a Trump administration. In this interview with The Huffington Post, Rep. Israel reflects on her journey as an openly lesbian politician in Texas, the realities of life for LGBTQ Texans and how we, as a community, should face the unprecedented challenges of a Donald Trump/Mike Pence administration. The Huffington Post: For those unfamiliar with the work you’ve done in the Texas state legislature, tell us a bit about who you are. Rep. Israel: Well, I’ve been living in Austin for over 30 years but I’m from El Paso, Texas. I call myself an Ann Richards Democrat in that I feel like I can keep my sense of humor while I’m working on a whole array of issues. Since we’re in the minority party in Texas, it means if I’m going to do anything good for my constituents, I’ve got to build good relationships across the aisle to get things done. So I’m a pragmatic Ann Richards Democrat. How did you initially get started in politics? I worked for Governor Richards on her campaign in 1990 and we won the election in 1990, so I was in the Richards administration from ‘90 until ‘94. So it was a matter of volunteering that turned into a job that turned into a life-changing opportunity. What are some of the biggest challenges and obstacles that you think LGBTQ Texans are currently facing in terms of legislation, institutionalized protections and things of that nature? Well, unfortunately right now we have a a Lieutenant Governor who has not learned the lessons of North Carolina and is going to make transgender children and bathroom access his top priority. And anyone who has tracked Texas knows we’ve been growing at exponential rates. Our infrastructure is overwhelmed, our schools are overwhelmed ― and I’m basically a girl from El Paso, Texas who likes to work on transportation issues. So when we get divided as a body, it makes it harder to work on things like telecommuting legislation, or creative financing for transportation when we are fighting over who gets to go into whose bathroom. And I like to point out that Texas is not Washington. We like each other – we respect each other across party lines. We care for one another. But because of redistricting and the way districts are drawn, my colleagues are more beholden to a March voter than to a November voter. And if we are forced to deal with the issues of transgender politics and who gets to go into whose bathroom, that is a dangerous place to be because – it’s like when you’re in a long-term committed relationship and then you have an argument with your partner, and then you don’t even want to look at them for awhile. I really like my Republican colleagues and they like me, but if we have to have a fight over who gets to go into whose bathroom, it damages that relationship. And it means that we’re not getting things done around public education or transportation or water quality or air quality ― there’s so many issues that we have to deal with as a state and there’s no one involved with the Texas legislature who is looking forward to January 10 when we gavel in and begin the process. The good thing about Texas, though, is we meet every two years for 140 days and that’s 140 days to do good and 140 days to do bad ― based on your perspective. But the bad part about that is if we manage to hold off harmful legislation that hurts transgender Texans, that might mean that really good legislation doesn’t occur because either relationships were damaged or we ran out of time. And that’s a painful thing to say because government should be working in productive ways and this might be a purely defensive session where it’s harder to pass legislation than it normally is. Does that make sense? Yes, it does make sense. I was born and raised in North Carolina and it’s kind of shocking that other states aren’t learning the lessons of how things panned out there when it comes to the basic rights of trans Americans. Yeah, I mentioned North Carolina because it was hugely embarrassing, I think, to the state of North Carolina and that spotlight is about to come to Texas. And in Texas, right in the middle of the state, is the city of San Antonio and San Antonio relies heavily on tourism and conference business for their local economy. The NCAA is slated to come to San Antonio, and the business community in Texas is very, very very alarmed that this transgender legislation is such a priority. Everyone understands politics ― but we are about to follow in the steps of North Carolina and take on an issue that harms transgender Texans and could harm to Texas economy and our state leadership doesn’t seem to care. I’d love to hear you talk about some of the good legislation that you’ve tried to help push through in the past, like legislation surrounding conversion therapy. Well, we filed a conversion therapy bill. It did not get a hearing. The Republican party, again, put it in their platform. Does that worry you going forward, with conversion therapy literally part of the national Republican party’s platform going into the Trump administration? Well, I’m especially worried when I see that Mike Pence is taking on such a significant role in what will be the new Trump administration. And I think my Republican friends are not as worried because they think, well, at least he knows the ropes. But they don’t have the sensitivity that we in the LGBT community and the ally community do. Because we know how hateful that is. And I know, as a legislator, how harmful that is to collegial relationships. I am now a 51-year-old woman, but I never want to lose sight of that 13-year-old Celia who didn’t know it was okay to be gay and who didn’t know where to turn for help or advice. We are growing up now – our young Texans are growing up in a different era, but not everybody has a comfortable family and an understanding teacher or priest that they can talk to. And the last thing I want is a state government to come in, publicly, and say “you’re not as good as everybody else.” And so I am always worried for our LGBT youth and I worry about the message we are sending as a state. So, I’m going to be doing my best to hold off that legislation and make a statement in support of equality – and ultimately in support of big issues that need attention. I never want to lose sight of that 13-year-old ella who didn’t know it was okay to be gay and who didn’t know where to turn of help or advice. One last question: What would you say to a young LGBTQ person or any kind of young minority who’s going to come of age during a Trump presidency? I would say that the United States of America voted overwhelmingly for the first woman president. And I also would say that this is not the time for us to say that just because somebody voted for Trump does not mean that they’re a racist. It’s an opportunity to talk to our neighbors, talk to our friends, and have civil discussions. If we break down into haters ourselves than we’re not helping. So I refuse to give into the negativity that I know if prevalent or give into the pain that I know a lot of us are feeling. I would say don’t give up ― and know that there are more good people than bad people and I refuse to give up on this country and I refuse to give up on the state of Texas. If I can do what I do on the floor of the Texas House, then you can do what you can do in your community and in your space to take action. And I don’t mean just posting something cool on Facebook – that means making calls, getting involved, making the world a better place. Let people know who you are and what you care about and know that this is a great country and it’s only going to continue to be a great country if you don’t give up on it. Want to hear more from Rep. Israel? Heard here to visit the lawmaker’s website. Stay tuned to HuffPost Queer Voices for more in this series talking to some of the leaders, movers and shakers of the fight for queer and trans liberation in the South. Check out the previous features with Pamela Raintree, Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield, Joce Pritchett and Alvin McEwen. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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