NDN Blog

Watch Simon on BBC World Discussing Obama's Nobel Peace Prize and Acceptance Speech

Check out this video of Simon on BBC World a few days ago discussing President Obama's acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize. In the interview, Simon praises the Nobel Committee's decision to award this prize to our young President. Simon argues that with this award, the Nobel Committee was recognizing the hope and potential of our special leader to restore America's rightful place in the world--as a benevolent nation seeking to advance human progress.


TODAY @ Noon: Watch or Attend "The Dawn of A New Politics"

Plans for lunch? Stop by NDN (in person or online!) and watch Simon give his famous presentation The Dawn of a New Politics, in which he argues that changing demographics and new technolgies are driving a new kind of domestic and global politics. Today's presentation will be a special one: Simon plans to unveil brand new, never before seen slides.

Simon has given this powerful and strategically important presentation to hundreds of audiences across the country and around the world, each time to rave reviews. We hope you'll join the audience today, in person or online. We'll go live with the webcast at 12:15 pm. Be sure to submit questions after Simon finishes the presentation--we'd love to know what you think!


Tune in @ 4 pm: Simon vs. Cavuto

Today at 4 pm, Simon will appear on Fox News' Your Wold with Cavuto to discuss this morning's announcement from pay czar Kenneth Feinberg that mid-level executives at "bailout firms" cannot earn more than $500,000 a year. As Simon and the NDN Team have argued since the TARP funds were allocated, regulating some executive pay in the firms which received bailout money is a smart thing for the government to do. All loans come with conditions, and this condition--a few regulations on executive pay--encouranges banks to pay back the loans sooner rather than later. Evidence of this, as reported by Politico this afternoon:

Bank of America sent the federal government a check for $45 billion this week, completing its withdrawal from the TARP program. And Citigroup is in negotiations with government officials over how it will be allowed to exit as well.

So tune into Fox News at 4 pm today to watch Simon set the record straight with Cavuto.

Simon Live on BBC

At 2 pm ET, Simon will appear live on BBC World's nightly news broadcast to discuss Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech with host Zeinab Badawi.

If you can't tune in live, check our site again in a few hours--we'll post his interview as soon as it's ready!


In Japan this week? Stop by one of Simon's Public Lectures!

Simon is in Japan this week for meetings and a few public appearances as a guest of the Tokyo Foundation and Doshisha University. As always, you can stay in touch with Simon and his travels via his blog or twitter feed, but if you or someone you know should happen to be in Tokyo on Friday, December 4th or Kyoto on Monday, December 7th, we hope you'll consider adding one of his public speeches to the itinerary.

In his lecture titled, "Thoughts on America's Changing Politics in the Age of Obama," Simon will discuss how new global and domestic governing challenges, new media and communications technologies, and fast changing demographic changes are making the politics of 21st century America very different from the century just past.

Follow this link for details about Simon's lecture at the Tokyo Foundation on Friday, December 4th at 4pm.

Follow this link fo details about Simon's lecture at Doshisha University on Monday, December 7th at 10:45 am.

9500 Liberty Premiers in San Francisco

Congratulations to our friends and filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler, and our partner organizations Citizen Hope and Netroots Nation for last night's wildly successful Bay Area premier of 9500 Liberty. This important new documentary premiered before a packed house at the Sundance Kabuki Theater on Filmore, with San Francisco Supervisor David Campos and Human Rights Commissioner Michael Yaki among those in the audience.

NDN friend and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas introduced the film. Following the screening, filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler took questions from the audience, ranging from the role of President Obama to the power of YouTube, from the influence of well-funded lobbyists to the impact of the netroots, and from the economic to the moral necessity for immigration reform.

Here is one review of the premier from San Francisco's Alternative Online Newsource, BeyondChron:

Last night at the Sundance Kabuki on Fillmore, saw the premiere of "9500 Liberty", a compelling documentary by filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler. Hosted by Citizen Hope, NDN, Netroots Nation and DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas, 9500 Liberty chronicles the immigration culture war that tore apart a wealthy suburb of Washington DC. The filmmakers capture the escalating conflict as it unfolds in the streets, in online forums, and in the halls of county government. The film provides a cautionary tale of the devastation that may unfold at a national level and a blueprint for how to avoid the same tragic social and economic consequences. Before the film, Moulitsas, Supervisor David Campos and Human Rights Commissioner Michael Yaki, shared their views on immigration at the state, local and federal level.

Prince William County, Virginia became ground zero in America’s explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopt a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have "probable cause" to suspect is an undocumented immigrant.

9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual townhalls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government.

The devastating social and economic impact of the “Immigration Resolution” is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. 9500 Liberty provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.

Annabel Park was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to America when she was nine years old with her family. She grew up in Texas and Maryland. She studied philosophy at Boston University on a Melville Scholarship and political theory at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar.

Parks’s life experiences include working with inner city children, management consulting, writing and directing theater, and combining new media and political activism. She won The Cameron MacIntosh Award for her playwriting at Oxford University and was selected as a fellow for Film Independent’s Filmmaker Lab in 2005.

In 2007, Park was the national coordinator for the 121 Coalition, organizing a historic grassroots effort to successfully pass U.S. House Resolution 121, also known as the “comfort women” resolution, which will be the subject of her upcoming film Journey Into the Divide.

Co director/producer Eric Byler was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his debut feature Charlotte Sometimes (2002), hailed by film critic Roger Ebert as a breakthrough for Asian American filmmakers. His films have won a dozen international film festival awards, and paved the way for a new generation of Asian American filmmakers.

Byler’s second feature Americanese (2006) was acquired by IFC Films and won both the Audience Award and the Special Jury Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. His third feature TRE (2007) won the Special Jury Award at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival before being released theatrically by Cinema Libre Studio in 2008.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Byler grew up in Northern Virginia and in Hawai’i. He majored in film studies at Wesleyan University in Connecticut where his senior thesis film Kenji’s Faith (1994) went on to become a finalist for the Student Academy Awards, screen at the Sundance Film Festival, and win six film festival awards. Other Charlotte Sometimes accolades include a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Jacqueline Kim at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards, the Audience Award at South by Southwest, and the Special Jury Award at the Florida Film Festival.

Following the film, the directors took questions from the audience, ranging from the aftermath, (yes, the good guys win), Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and President Obama's role in the debate, their use of You Tube and the challenges we face on a national level, with forces arrayed by high-powered and well funded lobbyists. This is an extremely important film and as the directors mentioned, this isn't just a Latino issue, it isn't just an Asian issue. It's also about the economic and moral questions that challenge us all. "This film needs to be shown in places like Georgia, Colorado, Iowa and Texas," said Byler, "Not just Honolulu or San Diego where I just came from."

"This is about 7 Eleven, not 9-11", as one person in the film remarked. It's also about real human beings and how we treat each other in a rapidly changing community. 9500 Liberty is both a cautionary and empowering tale we hopefully, can all learn from.

Congratulations again to Annabel, Eric, and all of our partner organizations for a wonderful night!

NDN's Campaign to Stop Divisive Vitter-Bennett Amendment Makes Headlines

Leading civil rights groups joined NDN for a press conference on Tuesday to oppose the amendment proposed by Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Bennett (R-UT). If passed, their amendment would add an additional question to the census forms (which have already been printed) asking about one's legal status. Not only would this cost tax-payers millions of extra dollars but this amendment would discourage minority participation in the census and thus threaten the accuracy of this crucial decennil count. In his statement on the floor of the Senate, Senator Bennett essentially admitted that the data collected from his amendment would influence the reapportionment process. To use any number other than the number of "whole persons" residing in a state when reapportioning powering in the House of Representatives is in clear violation of the text and legislative intent of 14th Amendment.

But we aren't the only one's concerned with Sens. Vitter and Bennett's attempt to stop the census. Our campaign against their amendment is making headlines. Check out some of the stories below:

Battle Over Census Becoming Fight Over Illegal Immigration, Politics Daily, 10/22/09.

How to Waste Money and Ruin the Census, The New York Times, 10/20/09.

Critics Take Aim at Pending Spending Bills, Congress Daily, 10/20.09.

Should the Census Count Illegal Immigrants?, The Atlantic Wire, 10/20/09.

Proposed Census Change Would Reveal Undocumented Immigrants, Scripps-Howard Foundation Wire, 10/20/09.

Eye Opener: Citizenship and the Census, 10/16/2009. Washington Post

Obama Administration Dodges Political Problem as Census Amendment Moved to Back Burner, Talking Points Memo, 10/14/09

Republican Senators Vitter, Bennett Attempt To Force Census To Ask Immigration Status, 10/8/09, Talking Points Memo.

Let’s NOT Take A Census!, 10/8/09, The Census Project Blog.

Counting Immigrants Key for Communities
, The New Republic, 9/25/09.

Census chief: Bennett's immigration bill not practical, 9/23/09, Salt Lake Tribune.

Our Unconstitutional Census, 8/9/09, Wall Street Journal.

Leading Civil Rights Groups Join NDN to Oppose Vitter-Bennett Amendment

Yesterday, on the eve of an expected Senate vote on the divisive Vitter-Bennett amendment, a broad coalition of the nation’s leading civil rights and advocacy organizations held a press conference on Capitol Hill to urge the Senate to vote against the amendment. 

The amendment by Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Robert Bennett (R-UT) would require the Census Bureau to add a citizenship and immigration status question to 2010 census forms that have already been finalized and printed. The additional question would discourage census participation and undermine efforts for an accurate census. With less than six months to go before the April 1, 2010 count, the amendment would needlessly delay the census, wasting $7 billion and 10 years of work in research, planning, and preparation for Census 2010.

In his floor speech on this Amendment, Senator Bennett explained that he would use the data collected from the proposed additional question to “deal with the question of the apportionment.” But as NDN President and Founder Simon Rosenberg explained during yesterday’s press conference, to use any number other than the “whole number of persons” residing in a state to determine apportionment is in violation of the 14th Amendment and contrary to settled law.

Leaders from NDN, the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) released the following statements:

“While the Vitter-Bennett Amendment may appear innocent, its intent and practical effect on the Census and reapportionment process is not. If enacted the Amendment would almost certainly disrupt an orderly census count next year, eventually found to be unconstitutional, all the while starting a highly divisive  conversation about race, the Civil War and the 14th Amendment in the very first year of America's very first African-American President.
 --Simon Rosenberg, President and Founder of NDN

 “Changing the 2010 Census questionnaire at this point is unlawful, a waste of taxpayer dollars and the impact it will have on slowing down 2010 Census is a cost our economy cannot afford to take on right now.  Furthermore, asking about immigration or citizenship status in the 2010 Census is unnecessarily intrusive and will raise concerns among all respondents – both native-born and immigrant – about the confidentiality and privacy of information provided to the government.  We need an accurate count of how many people are in our country, and that means encouraging everyone to be counted, not discouraging them.”
– Terry Ao, Director of the Census and Voting Programs for the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and Member of the Census Bureau Advisory Committee

“"The Vitter amendment is deeply troubling. Not only does it threaten to undermine 10 years and billions of dollars of preparation for the 2010 census, it also contradicts what America stands for -- the idea that all people are created equal. The 14th Amendment clearly requires a count of every resident for apportionment of U.S. House seats, yet the Vitter amendment echoes a shameful period when the census counted most African Americans as three-fifths of a person. The ideals that our country was founded on, and the sacrifice and struggle of generations of Americans to realize them, deserve better than this."
 – Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR)
“Latinos are the nation’s second largest and fastest-growing population group, and the 2010 Census cannot be successful without the full participation of every single Latino resident.  The Vitter-Bennett amendment is a deliberate to attempt to suppress the Latino count, and it will jeopardize the accuracy of the most important source of data about our nation’s population.”
– Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Fund and Member of the Census Bureau Advisory Committee

For more information, follow this link to NDN's backgrounder on Census 2010, Immigration and Reapportionment.

Leading Civil Rights Groups Joined NDN for Press Conference to Oppose Vitter-Bennett Amendment

Simon Rosenberg

This morning leading civil rights groups joined NDN on Capitol Hill for a press conference to oppose the amendment proposed by Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Bennett (R-UT) to add a question about one's legal status to the census questionaire. In his opeing statement, NDN President Simon Rosenberg made the argument that the Vitter-Bennett Amendment is not only expensive but in violation of the 14th Amemendment and settled law.

NDN thanks the following organizations for joining us in our opposition to the Vitter-Bennett Ammendment: AAJC, ACLU, AFT, Center for American Progress, Consortium of Social Science Associations, Demos, HNBA, Japanese American Citizens League, LCCR, LULAC, MALDEF, NAACP LDF, NAKASEC, NALEO, NHCSL, PFAW, and SEIU

For more information on NDN's efforts to oppose the Vitter-Bennett Amendment, see our latest NDN Backgrounder on Census 2010, Immigration Status, and Reapportionment.

To see more photos from the event, take a look at our photostream on flickr.


TODAY @ Noon: Watch or Attend "The Dawn of A New Politics"

Please join Simon Rosenberg in person here at NDN or live online on TODAY for his monthly presentation of "The Dawn of a New Politics." We'll start serving lunch around noon here in our offices located just a few blocks from the White House and go live with the presentation at 12:15 pm. If you can't make it to NDN for the event, you can always watch the presentation live online. You can even submit questions and Simon will answer them in real time.

As always, these events are free and open to the public. But be sure to RSVP if you plan to come to NDN for the presentation. (No need to RSVP if you're going to watch online.)

Follow this link to preview some of Simon's arguments in the Dawn of a New Politics


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