Hollywood on the Potomac

Mayors Matter

February 2, 2020

“History will say we are living in a time more transformational than the industrial revolution. And as that economy has shifted, so many people have been left behind,”  said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at the opening “Mayors Matter” panel hosted by The Hill and moderated by Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Washington that included five other of the nation’s leading Mayors: Topeka, Miami, Kansas City, Fort Worth, and Rochester Hills, Michigan. Mayor Brant of Rochester Hills is also President of the US Conference of Mayors who were simultaneously meeting in Washington. The event was sponsored by AARP and thus an emphasis on re-training and re-skilling the 50 plus for a productive place in the future of work.

In town to discuss inclusion in its many dimensions and also generational inclusion, the common thread was community – the responsibility of communities to come together to solve problems by passing the political paralysis in Washington as they face local and regional challenges. What strengths does the 50-plus community bring to healthy communities? And which cities are taking the building blocks they have and reinventing themselves?

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January 26, 2020

“We are proud to co-host this with Neon who’s distributing the film and with Honorary co-hosts Amnesty International USAThe Vera Institute of Justice and the office of Cory Booker, Senator of the great state of New Jersey,” said Ambassador Charles Rivkin, CEO of The Motion Picture Association at a private screening of “Clemency” in Washington, DC.  “Now this movie, as many of you know, won the grand jury prize at Sundance and it’s about the challenges faced by a prison warden, in this case played by Alfre Woodard whose job is to oversee executions. So clearly, this is going to be an emotionally powerful experience.”

“I just want to say a couple of words very quickly about this incredible room that you’re sitting in as well as the mission that compels and drives the Motion Picture Association.  We work at the MPA every day to champion and promote and protect creativity and I’m proud to represent an industry that stands for free speech,” Rivkin added while introducing the film. “We stand for free expression for an ever greater diversity of stories and the people who tell those stories. It’s an incredible honor to lead an organization that never rests when it comes to defending the rights of creators everywhere – matter what stories they had to tell, no matter who they are, no matter what their religion, race or background. And I have to say as a personal note of pride that I’m incredibly thrilled that you’re here in this theater. This theater is about 70% bigger than the previous one before the renovation. It has state of the art technology for the technophiles and Dolby surround sound, which I think you’re going to hear tonight. There’s 50 speakers embedded in the walls. It is in my obviously biased opinion that this is the best place in Washington, DC to see a film and this room is our way of showcasing that.”

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Celebrating American Diplomacy

January 23, 2020

“I think I was invited for the gender diversity,” joked The Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri who participated in the 80th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), at the National Museum of American Diplomacy. The event officially kicked-off the yearlong celebration that cultivates an open dialogue about how countries around the world can utilize ECA resources to increase cultural connections with the United States.

“Eighteen years ago when The Department of State and the United States started this program, it was a very different world,” he said. “Today we are connected to each other by social media, by technology. Eight years ago, unless you came to the United States personally, you really didn’t know anything about it. And yet programs like this remain very relevant even for someone coming today for them to have an opportunity to come here, visit small towns, cities around the United States to compare notes, exchange ideas. The programs remains relevant particularly with many of the global challenges that we face and I encourage the department to stick, to continue, this program and keep expanding it in order to create new opportunities for us to be here. Singapore and the United States share a very close relationship. This idea of people to people exchanges remains very critical for us in today’s world.”

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