May 21, 2019

Luis Avila: The New Battleground State --Empowering Voters in Arizona

Bio   Luis Avila () is the President and Founder of Iconico Campaigns, a company that works to build advocacy capacity in organizations around the country. Migrating in 2000 from Mexico, Luis stayed in the U.S. to attend college, where he...




Luis Avila (@phoenikera) is the President and Founder of Iconico Campaigns, a company that works to build advocacy capacity in organizations around the country. Migrating in 2000 from Mexico, Luis stayed in the U.S. to attend college, where he developed projects with people involved in arts, politics and social justice.  In 2004, Luis learned about civic participation in Jackson, Mississippi, as part of the American Freedom Summer program. He collaborated with organizers and leaders to advocate for the DREAM Act, fight against SB1070 and challenge Sheriff Joe Arpaio's discriminatory practices in Arizona. In 2008, Luis joined the Obama campaign where he got insight on cornerstone aspects of electoral organizing. This knowledge, paired with technologies developed to boost volunteer engagement, is applied now in all his advocacy and community engagement work. Luis spearheaded Somos América in 2011, the largest immigrant-rights coalition in Arizona, and currently sits on the Boards of Advisors of the National Council for La Raza and The New Teacher Project, an organization working to end education inequality. A long-time family and community engagement expert, Luis has designed engagement models for domestic and international organizations and school systems. In 2016, he served as Nevada's Democratic Coordinated Campaign Field Director, contributing to major victories in the state legislature, electing the first Latina Senator and delivering the state to Hillary Clinton, and he’s currently launching Instituto, an organization to build political infrastructure in communities of color in Arizona.






News Roundup

The FCC signals that it will approve the Sprint/T-Mobile merger, China’s Huawei has a tough week as President Trump limits its U.S.-based business, and Luis Avila is my guest


FCC signals Sprint/TMobile approval

The Trump administration appears divided over whether to approve the Sprint/TMobile merger. The companies say if the merger’s approved they’ll have 5G built out to the entire country in 6 years. Sprint says they’ll also sell prepaid wireless company Boost mobile. FCC Chair Ajit Pai says the merger conditions the companies are proposing are adequate and said he’d approve the deal. The two other Republicans on the Commission signaled their support as well giving the deal the majority it needs at the FCC. Policy expert Gigi Sohn says though that over at the DOJ’s antitrust division, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim is saying the conditions aren’t enough.


Tough week for Huawei


Chinese device manufacturer Huawei had a tough week last week as President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that bans American telecom companies from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a national security threat. American officials have accused the company of violating an American trade embargo against Iran and with assisting China with spying on U.S. companies. Since Trump issued the order, Google parent Alphabet has suspended doing business with Huawei, outside of what’s available via open source, by revoking the Android licensing deal the tech giant had with Huawei.


President Trump creates story database to collect stories of conservatives being censored on social media


Looks like the White House wants to set up its own social network to compete with Twitter and Facebook. The White House has created a creepy new database that lets conservatives report instances in which they’ve been censored on social media platforms. The President is attempting to get users to opt-in to a separate White House newsletter that purports to allow anyone, irrespective of their political views, to receive updates without relying on Facebook and Twitter.


The White House also decided not to sign on to a multinational campaign created by Christchurch, New Zealand to stamp out online hate speech. The White House says the effort would dilute the freedom of speech. 18 other countries, including many of America’s allies, disagreed.


Johns Hopkins releases free online course on gun violence prevention


Johns Hopkins has released a free online course where users can learn how to prevent and protect against gun violence. The course contains six modules taught by experts, including mental health professionals. It’s entitled Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Change and its intended to equip students to use research to combat gun violence in America.


Carriers claim to stop collecting geolocation data but evidence suggests otherwise


Major wireless carriers including AT&T and Verizon have claimed that they have stopped sharing geolocation data with third party bounty hunters. But the the facts suggest otherwise. Congressman Mike Doyle notes that the number of complaints about police departments and others unauthorized (and unconstitutional, for that matter) surveillance of individuals has been on the rise. AT&T has acknowledged that it took advantage of a loophole in a Communications Act privacy provision that doesn’t cover a type of geolocation data known as A-GPS which AT&T’s Joan Marsh says is less precise than location data covered by the National Emergency Address Database.


Amazon releases HQ2 plan for Arlington

Amazon released its plan for 2 LEED-certified 22 story office buildings in Arlington. There will be 50,000 square feet of street level space for retail and restaurants.


San Francisco becomes first city to ban facial recognition technology


San Francisco became the first city to ban the use of facial recognition technology. The ordinance passed by a vote of 8-1 and is headed to Mayor London Breed for her signature.




Tues., 5/21

New America

2019 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index

740 15th Street NW



House Judiciary Committee

Full Committee Hearing: Understanding the Digital Advertising Ecosystem

Dirksen 226



House Homeland Security Committee

Growing and Diversifying Our Cyber Talent Pipeline

310 Cannon


City Year

Idealist Gala

Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania

6PM Reception/7PM Program and Dinner


MIT Enterprise Forum

Celebrating Entrepreneurship in Our Nation’s Capital

600 Mass. Ave.



Wed., 5/22

Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide Conferences

Goes through 5/24

Vint Cerf Keynotes

Georgetown University Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy

37th/O NW


House Oversight Committee

Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1): Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties

2154 Rayburn



House Energy & Commerce Committee

Full Committee Hearing on “LIFT America: Modernizing Our Infrastructure for the Future”

2123 Rayburn House Office Building

10 AM


Tues., 5/28

New York University Center for Critical Race & Digital Studies

2019 Critical Race and Digital Studies Conference

NYU Washington D.C., 1307 L St., NW



Sat, 6/1

DC Stem Network