In September 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolled back guidance under Title IX regarding standards for colleges to prevent, respond to and investigate incidents of sexual assault on campus. The Department of Education has issued interim guidance, pending a public notice and comment period. Jenn Brown, of The United State of Women, discusses the roll back and encourages public awareness of the upcoming notice and comment period to assure that all voices are heard.
Traynham: In 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolled back guidance issued by President Obama´s administration that some argue strengthen the rights of college students who experience sexual assault. Hello, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I´m Robert Traynham. Joining me to raise awareness on this topic and the notice-and-comment period is Jenn Brown with United State of Women. Jenn, welcome to the program.
Brown: Thanks. Glad to be here.
Traynham: So, let´s talk for a few moments about specifically what President Obama did a few years ago and what Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education under President Trump, rescinded.
Brown: Yeah, so we´re talking about Title IX, which was a piece of legislation passed by Congress that essentially prohibits discrimination in public education, and then from there, it went to to the Department of Education to interpret the laws. Under the Obama administration, they set up a series of guidelines for colleges and universities who are facing an epidemic of sexual assault -- one in four women are assaulted while in college, that told them what they needed to do as a public institution to protect the women on their campus and then, if something does happen, how to support them afterwards.
Traynham: Okay, so that´s what President Obama did, presumably right before he left office. Then we have President Trump´s inauguration, and we have Betsy DeVos, the new Secretary of Education. What did she do
Brown: So she rescinded that guidance.
Traynham: So rolled back
Brown: Rolled it back and issued sort of temporary guidance that really did not protect young women at all, but we hope that in March, she will open this decision up for public-comment period, giving us the chance to express our fears.
Traynham: And to be fair to the conversation -- obviously, I know this is a very emotional and controversial topic -- Secretary DeVos said the Obama administration did not do this the right way in terms of the public-comment period. Just saying what she said. But what does she mean by that
Brown: You know, I think that what I´m most concerned about right now is that she actually does open this up and give us a chance to have our voices heard on it, and I think this issue is so serious and so prevalent in this moment of time that we´re in right now, where women are having their voices heard. I want to make sure that she hears from us.
Traynham: Well, Jenn, to that point, how do you make sure that she, meaning Secretary DeVos, and her staff hear from you and your colleagues all across the country
Brown: So the Department of Education is going to be opening up a website where you can submit directly to them, so what we´re asking everyone -- everyone who posted with the #MeToo hashtag or know someone who did --
Traynham: And it can be male or female.
Brown: Male or female.
Traynham: It doesn´t matter.
Brown: We want everyone. We actually think it´s really important that men play a role in stepping up and helping this, and basically, what we want them to say to the Secretary is that we want young women to have protections on college campuses and we think that it´s an essential part of Title IX.
Traynham: You know, Jenn, let me just say this. I appreciate your fairness in this because you artfully said something that I think is very important. You weren´t emotional with respect to what Secretary DeVos may or may not have done. You´re trying to pivot to a solution.
Traynham: And trying to make sure -- these are my words, not yours -- that women and men on college campuses -- make sure that their voices are heard.
Brown: That´s exactly right.
Traynham: And my next question for you, Jenn, in about a minute or so we have left, what about parents What about teachers What about other people Should they be involved in this movement, as well
Brown: Yeah. We really believe -- the United State of Women has partnered with It´s On Us, which is a campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses, so we believe, whether you´re working on gender equality in the workplace or you´re a parent or you´re a teacher or you´re a man or a woman or however you identify, that we all have to play a role in ending this assault against young women on college campuses.
Traynham: This will sound strange to say, Jenn Brown, with United State of Women, Is it part of your goal, part of your mission to be out of business where you don´t have to have the sexual-assault stories that are unfortunately being told over and over and over again
Brown: That is 100% right. I will be more than happy to give up my job if it means that no young woman on a college campus is sexually assaulted.
Traynham: Jenn Brown, thank you very much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
Brown: Thank you.
Traynham: And, of course, thank you for joining us, as well. For more great conversations with leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I´m Robert Traynham. Have a great day.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
Korean Americans, like many other Asian Americans, are recent immigrants to the United States, emigrating in large numbers after 1965. As first and second generation Americans, many still have close ties with their homeland, where family and friends still reside. A discussion with Sam Yoon, Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans on the Korean American community, including their ties to both North and South Korea.
As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the Small Business Administration is studying how the practice of Multiple Award Contracts impacts the ability of women-owned and other socio-economic categories of small businesses to compete for government work. Jane Campbell, President of Women Impacting Public Policy discusses the SBA study, which is in response to a WIPP report regarding women owned businesses and government contracts.
"Kansas state legislators put their ideologies to the side and worked together to stabilize the Kansas Budget. Kansas State Senator Jim Denning, Majority Leader of the Kansas State Senate discusses the successful bipartisan effort.
Interview recorded November 30, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: With the state economy in the red, Kansas lawmakers from opposing parties united to reverse the decline. An immediate benefit -- schools across the state received $300 million in new funding. Hello, everyone, and welcome to ""Comcast Newsmakers."" I'm Robert Traynham, and joining me is Senator Jim Denning. He's the majority leader of the Kansas State Senate, and one of 2017 Governing magazine Public Officials of the Year. Senator Denning, welcome to the program.
Denning: Yeah, thank you for having me.
Traynham: So it's widely known that your home state went through a steep decline in revenue. I think a lot of folks around the country were saying ""How are they gonna get out of this "" And you clearly, along with your Democratic colleagues and the Governor, figured out a solution. Tell us about it.
Denning: Sure, we had cut taxes significantly starting in calendar year '13, and we had two provisions in our tax policy. One was a pass-through where small businesses and sole proprietorships would not pay any tax at all on their non-wage income, and that ended up being a loophole that we ended up closing. And the other thing that we had in the policy was that it was marching to zero, that is to say marching down to zero tax, and it was just a statutory march. It wasn't based on any economic activity. And by the second year of the tax cut, we had realized that we had gone too deep, that we needed to reverse a bit of that tax cut to stabilize the budget. We were starting to get to the point where we couldn't fund our core services like schools, mental health, you know, the...
Traynham: The basic necessities, if you will
Denning: Yeah, just the basic -- correct.
Traynham: Senator, let's talk for a few moments about the rainy day fund and that concept. I'm from Pennsylvania, and I know when I was in college and also in high school, there was the state legislature, and I was saying, "Listen, happy days are here again, and this is great from a revenue standpoint, but let's plan as though that the happy days will end at some point, and so let's have a savings account, if you will." And as I understand it, your doing something very similar.
Denning: Yes, we're looking at a rainy day fund next year, and you say, you know, the economy, it ebbs and flows. Right now it's flowing. We're having 3% GDP growth, and we're certainly seeing that at the state level, but we know that a recession is inevitable. We just came through the 2002 recession, and then the deep recession of 2008 and 2009, so we know that the economy will once again contract, and we would like to have a rainy day fund built up so that we'd have a little bit of a cushion so we can continue to fund those core services without taking on additional debt or just simply cutting.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the first comprehensive tax reform passed since 1986, under President Reagan. While charitable deductions have been preserved, some non-profit organizations are concerned about a potential drop-off in donations next year. An interview with Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President for Policy at United Way Worldwide.
Indian Americans, long underrepresented in elected office, hit a key milestone in the 2016 Congressional election, gaining three seats in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate. With a total of five Indian Americans elected to Congress, parity has been achieved between the Indian American population and Congressional representation. Progress continued in the 2017 elections, with twenty-five Indian American candidates who were elected to various political offices across the country. Gautam Raghavan, Executive Director of the Indian American Impact Project joins Comcast Newsmakers to discuss the increase in ranks of Indian American representation.