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Black Caucus members seek Silicon Valley diversity

Rep. Barbara Lee will join Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on a Silicon Valley junket aimed at increasing African Americans’ representation in the tech industry.

lack of diversityLee, D-Oakland; Butterfield, D-N.C.; and Jeffries, D-N.Y., will spend this Sunday through Tuesday meeting with tech executives and local organizations as part of the caucus’ TECH 2020 initiative, a five-year diversity launched in May. The lawmakers will visit companies including Apple, Bloomberg, Google, Intel, Kapor Capital, Pandora, and SAP.

“Our goal for this trip is to encourage and partner with these organizations to implement a diversity plan that will place more African Americans in the tech pipeline,” Butterfield said in a news release. “This will potentially lead to a wide range of opportunities, from student internships to positions on the boards of tech companies. Building a coalition of leaders from the public and private sectors ensures greater diversity and full representation of African Americans at every level of tech by 2020.”

Lee said she’s pleased to welcome her peers to the Bay Area.

“This visit is another step toward opening doors of opportunity for African Americans in the booming tech sector,” she said in the release. “Increasing diversity and inclusion within the tech sector is not only a moral imperative, it’s good for business and vital to continue economic growth. As we work to advance the TECH 2020 initiative and achieve full representation of African Americans in the tech sector, I look forward to continuing to work with these companies. We must all play a role in finding innovative solutions that bring diversity to Silicon Valley.”

As part of its TECH 2020 plan, the caucus has outlined diversity principles, best practices, and resources for African American students and entrepreneurs, and has introduced legislation focused on increasing STEM education.

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President Obama returns to Bay Area on July 23

But… we’ve barely even had time to miss him! {sarcasm}

President Barack Obama will return to Silicon Valley for a July 23 fundraiser to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Tickets for the luncheon at the Los Altos Hills home of real estate developer and Democratic benefactor George Marcus start at $10,000 per person (including a photo opportunity and lunch) or $32,400 per couple (including a VIP photo opportunity and lunch).

Also scheduled to attend are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto.

Obama headlined two Democratic National Committee fundraisers May 8 in Los Altos and San Jose. Earlier, he was in the Bay Area for Democratic fundraisers in November 2013, June 2013, and April 2013.

4

Obama to visit Fresno next Friday about drought

This just in from the White House:

“On Friday, February 14, President Obama will travel to the Fresno, California area to discuss ongoing efforts to respond to the severe drought. Further details on the President’s trip to California will be available in the coming days.”

As reported here last week, President Obama promised Gov. Jerry Brown that he’s committed to providing the necessary federal support to state and local drought mitigation efforts. And as I reported Tuesday, the president is no fan of the water bill that Republicans pushed through the House this week as a drought solution.

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George Miller is heading for Bangladesh

A Bay Area congressman is Bangladesh-bound this week, intent on inspecting sometimes-deadly conditions in the world’s second-largest garment industry.

George MillerRep. George Miller, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, will be the first member of Congress to visit Bangladesh since the April 24 building collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers and injured more than 2,500. The disaster has brought a worldwide spotlight in working conditions in the South Asian nation, and whether U.S. garment retailers are benefiting from exploitation there.

Miller, who intends to meet with workers, victims, and industry and government officials, has been pressing major U.S. companies whose products are made in Bangladesh to sign onto a new binding and enforceable building and fire safety accord that has been signed by more than 31 companies worldwide. Most large American companies like Wal-Mart and Gap have so far refused to sign on.

“This trip to Bangladesh is an important opportunity to examine the circumstances surrounding the tragic events that have taken so many lives and threaten the lives of so many others,” Miller, D-Martinez, said in a news release.

Bangladesh building collapse (AP)“I hope to learn more about three particular aspects of these tragedies and American involvement in this burgeoning industry – worker safety and health conditions and the impact of the recently inked fire and building safety agreement, garment workers’ rights to form unions without fear of retaliation or persecution, and whether Bangladesh is guaranteeing labor rights and acceptable working conditions that are expected if the United States is to maintain tariff relief provided under the Generalized System of Preferences, a decision on which is expected imminently,” Miller said.

Miller recently penned a front-page editorial for Women’s Wear Daily, urging the fashion industry to come together and improve conditions in Bangladesh. Miller and Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat of the Ways and Means Committee, have also urged the Obama administration to coordinate action to improve workers’ rights and working conditions in Bangladesh.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry to visit Bay Area next week

Hot on the heels of his radio ad buy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County next week in an attempt to poach California businesses.

Perry’s office says he’ll be in California from Sunday through Wednesday, meeting with business leaders in the high tech, biotechnology, financial, insurance and film industries. His will be paid for by TexasOne – no tax dollars will be used for his travel and accommodations.

The governor, along with Texas Economic Development Corp. Chair Bruce Bugg, several local economic development officials and business representatives – including Oncor, BNSF Railway, and the cities of Allen, Amarillo, Austin, Brownsville, Conroe, DeSoto, Frisco, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, McKinney, Pflugerville, San Antonio and Schertz – also will host a reception for some business leaders who have contacted the Perry’s office since the radio ad began running.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday said Perry’s small ad buy was “not a serious story, guys. It’s not a burp. It’s barely a fart.” Wonder what he’ll say, if anything, about Perry’s impending visit…

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President Obama to visit Bay Area next month

President Barack Obama will visit the Bay Area next month, a White House official said this morning.

The President is expected to visit Seattle before coming to the Bay Area on Sunday, Sept. 25. He’ll then visit the San Diego area and the Los Angeles area on Monday, Sept. 26, and the Denver area on Tuesday, Sept. 27, before returning to Washington, D.C. Specific events have not yet been announced.

The President was last in the Bay Area in April for one, two, three fundraisers in San Francisco.

UPDATE @ 11:04 A.M.: More details here.