Julián Castro Launches “People First Future” Political Action Committee

Julián Castro is helping the progressives…

The 45-year-old Mexican American politician and former member of President Barack Obama‘s cabinet, has launched a new political action committee aimed at supporting progressive down-ballot candidates who he believes are “prioritizing people, rather than special interests.”

Julian Castro

Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and presidential candidate in 2020, plans to use the group — called “People First Future” — to “identify and support candidates up and down the ballot,” according to a press release from the newly formed organization.

The group also made their first endorsement on Thursday, backing 12 candidates running for U.S. Congress, including seven running in Castro’s native Texas and others in races Democrats hope to be competitive in come November.

“It’s never been more important to elect leaders in our statehouses, governor’s offices, school boards, and halls of Congress who will stand up for the most vulnerable Americans,” said Castro said in a statement. “While hardworking families struggle to pay rent, get good health care, or send their kids to decent schools, well-connected and deep-pocketed special interests get their way.”

The group plans to not only provide financial support to candidates to help beef up the bench of progressive Democrats, but also mobilize progressives across the country to support those candidates.

Castro’s list of endorsements includes his brother, Joaquin Castro, who is running for reelection in Texas’s 20th Congressional District, and Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running for the second straight cycle in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. 

Castro’s Texas endorsements also include Wendy Davis in Texas’s 21st Congressional District; Candace Valenzuela in Texas’s 24th Congressional District; Julie Oliver in Texas’s 25th Congressional District; Sima Ladjevardian in Texas’s 2nd Congressional District; and Sri Preston Kulkarni in Texas’s 22nd Congressional District.

The former presidential candidate has also endorsed Lucy McBath, a congresswoman who first won Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018; J.D. Scholten, an Iowa Democrat challenging controversial Rep. Steve King in the state’s 4th Congressional District for the second straight cycle and Mondaire Jones, a Democrat running in New York’s 17th Congressional District. Castro has also endorsed Marie Newman, the Illinois Democrat who unseated an incumbent in the state’s congressional district earlier this year, and Lauren Underwood, another Illinois Democrat who won her suburban Chicago seat for the first time in 2018.

The former cabinet secretary has begun to layout his post-campaign plans in recent weeks and just announced he was joining Voto Latino, a large political organization focused on registering and mobilizing Latino voters, as an adviser with the goal of registering one million Latino voters before November’s general election.

Castro ran for president for nearly a year, announcing his bid in January 2019 and dropping out in January 2020 after failing to garner needed support in either early states or nationally. The former cabinet secretary, though, did win goodwill from progressive operatives and voters during the campaign.

The new political organization will be run by many of the same people who staffed his presidential campaign. Natalie Montelongo, Castro’s campaign political director, will work as the group’s executive director, and Sawyer Hackett, Castro’s campaign spokesman, will work as a senior adviser to the organization.

Kate del Castillo Among Artists Participating In “Cuídate y Cuéntate” Virtual Concert

Kate del Castillo wants you to be counted…

The 47-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star is joining fellow Latin stars and personalities for the upcoming Cuídate y Cuéntate virtual concert.

Kate del Castillo

The online event is set to raise awareness on how Latinos count, contribute and come together for civic actions during a global pandemic, while completing the Census 2020.

Produced by UNO Productions and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, the two-hour live stream event hosted by Nour Milla and Rafael Sigler will shed light on Latino civic power and their participation in the census.

Confirmed artists include Lupillo RiveraOzomatliNinel CondeDiego VerdaguerAna VictoriaAngélica MaríaAngélica ValeArthur Hanlon, and Horóscopos de Durango, to name a few. 

In addition screen and radio stars like del Castillo, Edward James OlmosEl Piolin, and many more will participate.

Angélica Salas, CHIRLA’s executive director, and Diana Colín, its political director, are expected to take part in the conversation on how to ensure civic power in the COVID-19 era.

“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated two major realities: how much immigrants and Latinos contribute to our society, especially in challenging times, and how important participating in Census 2020 is so we can challenge all the inequality that still exists,” Salas said in a statement. “The beauty that these artists make as they come together for the Cuídate y Cuéntate virtual concert is a sign of hope that as we all complete Census 2020, the nation flourishes.”

Cuídate y Cuéntate will take place at 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 23 via a nationwide broadcast on LATV Network with a simulcast on YouTubeFacebook, and IGTV. The show will also air on Meruelo Media‘s KWHY 22.

Lina Hidalgo to Speak at SXSW & The Texas Tribune’s “Conversations About America’s Future” Series

Lina Hidalgois ready to talk about America’s future…

The 29-year-old Colombian American politician and Harris County, Texas judge will take part in SXSW and The Texas Tribune Festival’s “Conversations About America’s Future” at this year’s SXSW conference and festival. 

Lina Hidalgo

The two-day series will take place March 14-15 at the Fairmont Austinas part of the SXSW Conference’s Government & Politics Track. SXSW kicks off on March 13 and continues through March 22.

This marks the return of the series, which will bring some of the nation’s best-known journalists together with top elected officials, political activists, and influential thought leaders — timely considering this is an election year. 

In addition to Hidalgo, the first woman and the first Latina to be elected to the position of Harris County Judge,guests slated to appear this year include Hillary Rodham Clinton,Anita HillGretchen CarlsonAndrew Yang, and more.

“The 2020 election is the most important election of our generation, and at SXSW our goal is to address the issues that affect the lives of all citizens,” said SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest. “We’re fortunate to have a young, diverse and engaged audience looking for solutions to the complex problems that face the next generation.”

The Government & Politics Track at SXSW aims to discuss issues that affect the lives of all citizens. Topics included include technology regulation, livable cities, privacy issues, and the challenges of maintaining civil engagement in the age of social media. These sessions will also address creating policies that encourage competition and economic growth while balancing legacy systems.

“Conversations About America’s Future” sessions include:

  • Former U.S. Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clintonin conversation with MSNBC political analyst and host of AM JoyJoy Reid
  • U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, in conversation with NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent and host of MSNBC’s Kasie DCKasie Hunt
  • Former Chicago Mayor, ABC News contributor and author of The Nation City: Why Mayors are Running the WorldRahm Emanuel, in conversation with Recodeco-founder and editor-at-large Kara Swisher
  • Lawyer and Head of the Hollywood Commission to Eliminate Sexual Harassment and Advance Equality in the Workplace Anita Hill, in conversation with Politico senior Washington correspondent and Politico Playbookco-author Anna Palmer
  • Journalist, author and co-founder of Lift Our Voices Gretchen Carlson, in conversation with Glamoureditor-in-chief Samantha Barry
  • Former congressman and Democratic presidential candidate, and Powered By People founder Beto O’Rourkein conversation with The Washington Postnational political reporter and moderator ofWashington Weekon PBS Robert Costa
  • Entrepreneur, founder of Venture 4 America and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yangin conversation with New York Timesmedia columnist Ben Smith
  • Four of the Lincoln Project’s founding members — independent political strategist Reed Galen, national political strategist Steve Schmidt, national political strategist John Weaver, and long-time Republican media consultant and author Rick Wilson— in conversation with CNN anchor and host of At This HourKate Bolduan
  • Justice Democrats spokespersonWaleed Shahid, Mayor of Stockton, California Michael Tubbs, and Harris County (TX) Judge Lina Hidalgoin conversation with TIMEnational correspondent Charlotte Alter, the author of The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leadership will Transform America
  • Washington bureau chief for The Daily BeastJackie KucinichNew York MagazineWashington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi, CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju, andPoliticosenior writer and Politico Playbookco-author Jake Shermanin conversation with senior media reporter at NBC News and MSNBC and the author of Byers MarketDylan Byers
  • U.S. Representative Will Hurd, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence in the Office of the DNI, Sue Gordonin conversation with editor-in-chief of The AtlanticJeffrey Goldberg

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera to Run Against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is making a run for the U.S. House of Representatives… and she’s taking on a popular freshman Congresswoman.

The 53-year-old half-Cuban American journalist, business news reporter and CNBCcontributor has launched a campaign for the New York City Congressional seat currently held by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

Caruso-Cabrera, an outspoken critic of government excess, will be running as a Democrat in the district, which stretches across the Bronx and Queens, though her political views position her significantly to the right of Ocasio-Cortez. 

CNBC says she will go on leave from the network, where she has been a reporter and anchor for 20 years.

“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”

Known by her initials, AOC, the 30-year-old political newcomer’s victory in 2018 was one of the high-profile wins as Democrats took control of the House of RepresentativesNetflix captured the win in the documentary Bringing Down the House. Ocasio-Cortez has since racked up more than 6 million Twitter followers. Along with other progressives new to the U.S.Congress, she has become a frequent target of conservatives’ attacks on Democratic leadership.

In her 2010 book, You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government, Caruso-Cabrera emphasizes themes like personal responsibility, fiscal conservatism and limited government.

Prior to joining CNBC, Caruso-Cabrera worked at Univision. She has appeared multiple times as a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. In a 2011 episode’s “Overtime” segment onYouTube, she promoted her book and defended CNBC against charges that it took a political stance similar to that of Fox News’ opinion hosts. She also described President Barack Obama as “extremely liberal” and misguided because he “believes that government can solve so many problems that it can’t,” such as health care.

Monica Hernandez to Moderate the Next Democratic Presidential Debate

Monica Hernandezis getting political…

The Latina broadcast journalist and WMUR-TV anchor/reporter will serve as a moderator at the next Democratic presidential debate, alongside ABC News chief anchor George StephanopoulosWorld News Tonight’s David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis, and WMUR-TV’s Adam Sexton.

Monica Hernandez

The debate is set for February 7 at 8:00 pm ET in Manchester, New Hampshire, wedged between the Iowa Caucusesfour days before and the New Hampshire primary four days after.

The eighth debate of the primary cycle is hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News. It is set at St. Anselm Collegein Manchester and will air on ABCHearst Television’s WMUR-TV, Apple News and on ABC News Live.

So far, all six of the candidates who qualified for the previous debate – Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren— appear to have met the fundraising and polling thresholds to qualify for the debate. Another way in per Democratic National Committeerules would be to score a pledged delegate in Iowa.

The qualifying criteria involving grassroots fundraising (225,000 individual donors with 1,000 unique donors or more per state) likely will keep out candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is self-financing.

The previous debate hosted by CNNat Drake Universityin Des Moines, Iowa on January 14 drew an estimated 7.3 million viewers, a slight uptick from the 6.17 million who watched the debate in December, sponsored by PBSand Politico, and the 6.5 million who watched November’s event, hosted by MSNBC.

The New Hampshire debate is the second of four in each of the key voting states. Next up is February 19 in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC with The Nevada Independent, and February 25 in in Charleston, SC, hosted by CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter.

Cardi B’s Next Career Move: Politics?

Cardi B is considering entering the world of politics… 

The 27-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar, who had a high-profile meeting with Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders last year, shared her thoughts about getting involved in the United States government in a series of tweets over the weekend.

Cardi B

“I think I want to be a politician,” Cardi B announced on Twitter. “I really love government even tho I don’t agree with [our] Government.”  

She continued: “Like I was watching War documentaries. No matter how many weapons a country have you need people! How are you trying to go against a country and possibly start a war when this country lacks patriotism? I barely see people claiming they LOVE being American.”

In another message, she promised to explain her stance further in a future live video.  

“I will have to explain a lot so I will have to do a video or a live talking about it …So imma come back to my last two tweets another day. Imma talk about it another day,” she wrote.

The tweets come a little over a week after Cardi B criticized President Trump‘s order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani

In a Jan. 3 tweet, she said that “s— ain’t no joke! Specially being from New York. Its sad this man is putting Americans live in danger. Dumbest move Trump did till date.”

Selena Gomez Signs On as Co-Chair of When We All Vote Organization

Selena Gomez is getting out the vote…

The 27-year-old Mexican American singer/actress has signed on as a co-chair of the national organization When We All Vote.

Selena Gomez

Gomez joins a roster of new co-chairs that includes Liza Koshy, Shonda RhimesMegan Rapinoe,Tracee Ellis Rossand Kerry Washington.

The organization was launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle ObamaTom Hanks ,Lin-Manuel MirandaJanelle MonaeChris PaulFaith Hill and Tim McGraw.

When We Vote bills itself as a nonpartisan group dedicated to increasing voter participation. The announcement marks a year until the date of the 2020 elections, which includes the presidential race.

Hanks said “registering new voters is an act of hope and taking part in the American idea.” He added that voting guarantees the blessings of “liberty for the grandkids.”  

Becky G to Perform at Tidal X’s Rock the Vote Benefit Concert

Becky Gis ready to rock the vote…

TIDAL X is back with the streaming service’s fifth annual Rock The Vote benefit concert, with the 22-year-old Mexican American bilingual singer set to take the stage.

Becky G

The benefit concert, taking place on October 21, will also feature performances by Alicia KeysFrench Montana, and G-Eazyas headliners. 

The special night inside the Barclays Centerwill look to raise funds for voter registration and education. Radio legend Angie Martinezwill play host with additional performances from FarrukoTy Dolla $ign,CarnageCNCOMoneybagg Yo,Doja CatGashiDermot KennedyLucky DayeAngelica VilaNicole Bus, and more. 

Starting at noon ET, TIDAL subscribers will have early access to ticket availability until 4:00 pm ET, when the window opens to the general public. Tickets can be purchased through TIDAL’s website orTicketmaster. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated directly to Rock The Vote. 

2018’s TIDAL X raised funds for criminal justice reform and saw Normani,Lil Wayne,Ms. Lauryn Hill, and Anderson .Paakall hit the Barclays stage.

Visit TIDALfor more information. 

Julian Castro to Take Part in 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues

Julian Castro will be discussing LGBTQ Issues later this week…

The 45-year-old Mexican American politician and Democratic US presidential candidate will take part in the national 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues.

Julian Castro

Hosted by Pose actress Angelica Ross, the forum is presented by GLAADOne IowaThe Gazette and The Advocate and will be livestreamed from Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 20 at 7:00 pm CT.

In addition to Castro, whowas the youngest member of President Barack Obama‘s Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017, participants include Joe BidenCory BookerPete Buttigieg, Tulsi GabbardKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, Joe SestakElizabeth Warren and Marianne Williamson. Country artist and contestant on season 11 of The Voice Billy Gilman is set to perform the National Anthem at the event.

A transgender activist, Ross will join GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellison stage tol bring LGBTQ specific-issues to the forefront of discussion in the 2020 presidential election. 

During the Forum, each candidate will discuss their plan and vision for improving LGBTQ acceptance in a divisive time for marginalized communities.

“This LGBTQ Presidential Forum is a pivotal moment in the 2020 election cycle,” said Ellis. “It’s the first time that LGBTQ issues will be exclusively discussed by 2020 presidential candidates on a national stage.”

She adds, “We look forward to hearing how the 2020 candidates plan to reverse the attacks and rollbacks of the Trump Administration and put LGBTQ Americans on a course to 100% acceptance.”

This comes at a time when members of the American LGBTQ community have faced more than 124 anti-LGBTQ attacks in policy and rhetoric from the Trump Administration. This includes the ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military and the administration’s opposition to the Equality Act.

Ted Cruz to Meet with Alyssa Milano to Discuss Gun Reform

Ted Cruz is ready to talk gun laws…

The 48-year-old half-Cuban Texas GOP Senator is set to meet with actress and activist Alyssa Milano on Tuesday to talk about gun reform, after they had a set of exchanges on Twitter over what’s needed to be done in the aftermath of mass shootings in Odessa and El Paso.

Ted Cruz

The details of the meeting haven’t been announced, but Milano will be in Washington next week.

“We don’t agree on this issue. But if we can talk with mutual respect & humility, maybe all of us come together to effect positive change,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening.

Cruz wrote that he was “looking forward” to the meeting, and added that “if all of us can together have more positive, civil discussion & debate on the substantive issues of the day, that would go a long way to helping unite and heal our divided Nation.”

Milano had originally proposed the meeting be live-streamed “so the American people can hear your bullshit 1st hand.” On Tuesday, Cruz responded by saying he would agree to a meeting “about uniting to stop gun violence & about theConstitution.”

Over the weekend, following a mass shooting in Odessa that killed seven people and injured 22, Milano criticized a Texas Republican lawmaker, Matt Schaefer, who said that gun control solutions would not stop a person “with evil intent.”

Milano wrote, “Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun? This guy is unbelievable and is clearly owned by the gun lobby.”

Cruz then responded that “it is of course not the right to a modern-day firearm that is God-given but rather the right to Life & the right to Liberty. Essential to that right is the right to DEFEND your life & your family.”

When the U.S. Senatereturns to session next week, Democrats are expected to press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring legislation to the floor to expand background checks. In the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio mass shootings, President Donald Trumpinitially indicated that he favored such a proposal, but he has appeared to back away from that stance, following a reported conversation with a top National Rifle Association official.

Mathew Littman, the president of the group 97% Gun Reform, said that the meeting between Cruz and Milano “are the kinds of things that should be happening more often. We shouldn’t be talking past each other. We should be talking to each other.”

He credited Milano and Cruz for agreeing to the meeting, adding “that they are willing to talk to someone who completely disagrees with them is what we should be doing.”

Littman said he has met with Milano to talk about gun reform, and said that she “is about the smartest person I have talked to on the gun issue.” “I really appreciate that Alyssa is willing to do this, but that is what Alyssa does.”

Spokespersons for Cruz and Milano didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on further details of the meeting.