She really briefs the president. OZY’s thrilled to have this Chicago lawyer, mother and businesswoman-turned-politician — not to mention the U.S. president’s most trusted adviser — share her views about the most important and intriguing news of the day. The Stanford graduate has helped the Obama administration advocate for a higher minimum wage, foster public-private alliances, and fight sexual assault and inequality. Today she joins the ranks of past curators like Tony Blair, Congressman Paul Ryan, Gwen Ifill and Jeb Bush to give us her take on today’s must-know news and trends.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Enough is enough. Although we don’t have complete information about the shooting massacre in San Bernardino, California, last week, we know this is true: We do not need to accept these types of shootings as normal. Mass shootings don’t happen with such frequency in any other developed country. What’s the answer? Commonsense laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and keep military-grade assault rifles off our streets.
Call him a rainmaker. With last week’s Paris climate talks came a surprise announcement: the creation of a new multibillion-dollar clean-energy fund led by Bill Gates. This Innovation Fund will bring together private- and public-sector leaders to focus resources on game-changing clean-energy technologies. In my role overseeing the White House’s outreach to the private sector, I’ve long seen what’s possible when private leaders use their capacities to help tackle our collective challenges. And here, Gates continues to lead by example.
Could bipartisanship begin behind bars? This week, a coalition of leaders from both sides of the aisle met with President Obama to make the criminal justice system fairer. The stats are shocking: Our country is home to 5 percent of the world’s population — yet holds 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated people. We spend $80 billion a year on incarceration and have a recidivism rate of around 50 percent. And in America, our criminal justice policies disproportionately affect minorities and the poor, who consistently face harsher penalties than others who commit similar crimes. It’s immoral and it doesn’t make sense.
Obama tells America that ‘we will overcome’ threat of terror. (NYT)
Jimmy Carter says his treatment has made cancer disappear. (BBC)
Police investigate ‘terror’ stabbing incident at East London Tube station. (BBC)
Greek legislators narrowly pass tough 2016 budget. (DW)
Reports: Suicide bombings kill 27 in Chad. (AFP)
Federal Reserve faults its own stress tests. (WSJ) sub
Well, that’s quite the status update. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had a banner week. First, he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, welcomed their new daughter, Max. Next, they pledged to give 99 percent of their Facebook stock to charity. Finally, Zuckerberg announced he would take paternity leave, sending an important signal that paid leave isn’t a women’s issue: It’s a family issue. America is the only developed nation without a paid family leave policy, and as we continue working to change that, we’re pleased that Zuckerberg stepped up as a role model.
Media matters. At the White House, we’ve realized that we must reach people where they are — including through movies and TV shows. I’ve been inspired by a number of recent films that show women in strong leadership roles. Take The Martian, which features women and men of all backgrounds in senior positions working together to bring a NASA astronaut home from Mars. Encouraging underrepresented groups, including women, girls and people of color, to enter into science and tech fields is a priority for many groups — and the role models in The Martian made our job easier.
But if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. One of the biggest challenges women face at work is asking for what they deserve, especially paid maternity leave. We’ve made a lot of progress at the city and state levels broadening access to family-friendly workplace policies, and a number of companies, from Johnson & Johnson to Spotify, have also stepped up to the plate. In the 21st century, businesses must empower parents to succeed at home and work, and this Lenny Letter piece helpfully guides women through the process of ensuring their employers do just that.
These women are boss. One of my favorite magazine pieces this year highlighted the Black women “calling the shots” across the Obama administration, from Attorney General Loretta Lynch to Special Assistant Deesha Dyer. We have made it a top priority to mentor, support and promote women from all backgrounds — and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of such an accomplished group of colleagues. Get to know these talented, hard workers — they’re our next generation of leaders.
Musical theater has long been a force for change. From protesting segregation with Hairspray to building a democracy with Hamilton, musicals have often made a compelling case for inclusion. Now comes Broadway’s new production of Spring Awakening, starring deaf and hearing actors. To some, a musical in American Sign Language featuring deaf actors might seem improbable. But the talented cast and production team recently proved what is possible during a remarkable performance at the White House.