January 24, 2020

Why are Californias mayors lining up to endorse Mike Bloomberg?
London Breed, San Francisco’s first black female mayor, joins campaign following support from Stockton and San Jose mayorsThere’s nothing surprising about a billionaire winning the support of the mayor of San Francisco, a city flush with tech wealth and new money.But when the billionaire is Mike Bloomberg – and the endorsement is the latest from a string of California mayors he mentored and supported – the vow of support raises some eyebrows.Bloomberg announced on Thursday that London Breed, San Francisco’s first black female mayor, would serve as his campaign’s chair of African Americans.“Voters re-elected London Breed by a wide margin because she is taking on the biggest and toughest issues – and she puts progress over politics,” the former New York mayor said in a statement. “I’m honored to have her support and look forward to working with her not only to win this election, but to help make San Francisco and all of California stronger, fairer, and greener – with more affordable housing, more good jobs, and healthcare for all.”Breed, who previously supported the California Senator Kamala Harris in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, said on Facebook that she is backing Bloomberg because he “is the only candidate for president with a real plan for African Americans”, touting his Greenwood Initiative to increase black home ownership and the number of black-owned businesses.She acknowledged his harmful legacy of stop-and-frisk, the policing strategy that led to widescale racial profiling in New York City when Bloomberg was mayor, saying Bloomberg “owned up” to his “mistake” when he apologized for the 12 years he allowed the policy to flourish.“Of course I was a bit surprised to see the mayor endorsed Bloomberg,” said Lateefah Simon, president of the Bay Area Rapid Transit board and longtime friend of Breed. “But herein lies the power of the individual. It’s not San Francisco endorsing Mayor Bloomberg. It’s Mayor Breed.”For some in San Francisco, that’s the problem. “I haven’t met many Bloomberg supporters in San Francisco,” local lawmaker Matt Haney told the Guardian. “In fact, I don’t think I’ve met any. It doesn’t seem reflective of where the residents of San Francisco are. I don’t think her endorsement is reflective of how residents feel.”A recent UC Berkeley poll found that 85% of Californians have either a negative opinion of Bloomberg or no opinion at all. Yet since entering the race late in November, Bloomberg has secured the endorsements of the mayors of three major cities in the state – San Francisco, Stockton and San Jose. “I haven’t met any Bloomberg supporters who were not elected officials, period,” Haney said.Bloomberg, one of the richest people in the United States, has for years invested in developing political and support network for local leaders, providing them access to both money and expertise. All three California mayors who recently announced endorsements went through Bloomberg’s Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a training program for city mayors – Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs and San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo in 2018, and Breed in 2019. Tubbs attended the CityLab Summit in Paris in 2017, another Bloomberg-sponsored conference.In San Francisco, Bloomberg’s support included a $275,000 donation to support a soda tax and $7.1m to defeat an initiative to reverse a ban on e-cigarette sales – both measures supported by Breed. In 2018, San Jose received up to $2.5m from Bloomberg Philanthropies to tackle climate change. In June, Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $500,000 to a Stockton-based education reform group.“Mike has made significant investments in San Francisco, in cities throughout California, and indeed across the nation,” Breed said on Facebook.It’s significant that Bloomberg has been able to win the endorsements of black trailblazing mayors like Tubbs and Breed.At his first campaign stop in Stockton, California, in December 2019 Bloomberg stood next to Tubbs and apologized again for stop-and-frisk, but never acknowledged why the policy was harmful, or who it harmed.“There isn’t a politician alive who hasn’t made a mistake,” Breed said of stop-and-frisk. “The difference with Mike Bloomberg is he owned up to his.”“I think there is a long track record of people reaching out to black leaders and black communities in transactional ways,” Alicia Garza, founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, told the Guardian. “It really represents a lot of what’s wrong with politics in this country and I think it’s hard to believe that change will happen when these same kinds of dynamics are at play.“With that being said,” she continued, “there are decisions that leaders are having to make and they’re doing the calculus. Every leader has a right to do that.”Garza’s group, Black to the Future Action Fund, will be announcing its endorsement in February. While she demurred on her thoughts on Bloomberg and stop-and-frisk, she made a point to say that the group will consider “not just [the candidates’] future plans, but interrogating their records since they’ve been in power”.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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