POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Nicole Choquette 1, Jul 2 mins
2 mins
The Ritz Herald
Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield, IL. © Nicola Patterson
The Illinois House Democratic Caucus is one of the most diverse in the nation representing African-American (22), Latinx (10), Asian American (4), Women (39) and LGBTQ+ (4) members

Democrats for the Illinois House, the official political arm of the Illinois House Democratic Caucus, announces Executive Director Lizbeth Ramirez will be departing to pursue other opportunities. Speaker Welch thanks Ramirez for her hard work and efforts to help the House Democratic Caucus.

Speaker Welch said, “Lizbeth stepped up and helped pull together a new political organization for the House Democrats. She committed to assisting with our efforts through the primary election, and I am incredibly appreciative for all that she accomplished. The caucus owes her a debt of gratitude for all of her hard work.”

The organization’s Chief Communications Officer, TaQuoya McConnico, will take the reins as Executive Director through the upcoming general election.

TaQuoya McConnico, a United States Air Force Veteran, is an award-winning communications and marketing professional and former WVON News Director. She also served as a Vice President at Teneo Strategy, a global CEO consulting and advisory firm founded. TaQuoya has received numerous awards for her work, including Verizon Wireless HQ Communications Improvement Recognition, President Obama’s Call to Service Award, and The Village of Maywood Helping Hand Award. She was also named one of Chicago’s Top Professionals Under the Age of 40 to watch by the Chicago Defender.

“Since joining the team early this year, TaQuoya has been an integral part of the growth and the development of Democrats for the Illinois House,” said speaker Welch. “I look forward to the leadership she brings in helping us continue to grow and elevate our practices, build the culture for this new and vibrant organization, and incorporate old proven methodologies with the more modern and digital era.”

McConnico led efforts to further build Democrats for the Illinois…

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Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Preserve Retirement Savings by Expanding Auto Portability
The Ritz Herald

Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies and Chairman of Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC, applauds Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) for the introduction of the Advancing Auto Portability Act of 2022. The U.S. Senate legislation has the potential to preserve up to $1.5…

NCCN Policy Summit Speakers Say Flexibility in Supporting and Accommodating Cancer Patients and Caregivers Helps Workplaces Thrive
The Ritz Herald

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network convened an oncology policy summit in Washington D.C. last Friday on the topic of building a workplace that includes support for people with cancer and their caregivers. The program, which also featured a virtual attendance option, examined how workplace norms and…

Logistics Agreement Will Facilitate Aid in Western Hemisphere, Generals Say
The Ritz Herald

U.S. Transportation Command commander Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and U.S. Southern Command commander Army Gen. Laura Richardson yesterday signed a charter for a regional “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Logistics Handbook for the Western Hemisphere.”

Both commanders said the handbook will help multinational responders improve readiness in a…

Global and Geopolitical Headwinds Lead Financial Markets to Inflection Point
The Ritz Herald

T. Rowe Price, a global investment management firm and a leader in retirement services, has released its midyear market outlook for 2022. It includes insights from three of the firm’s senior investment executives:

  • Arif Husain, CFA, Head of International Fixed Income and Chief Investment Officer
  • Sébastien Page, CFA, Head…
Jackson Township Enters Into Settlement Agreement With U.S. Department of Justice
The Ritz Herald

The Jackson Township Council approved a resolution to enter into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) resolving the department’s lawsuit alleging religious discrimination in the township’s zoning practices. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the township does not concede liability with respect to the…

2 mins
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) arrive in Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, June 28, 2022. © U.S. Army Capt. Angelo Mejia
The Ritz Herald
Elements of the 101st Airborne Division began arriving in Romania to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and engage in multinational exercises with partners across Europe

Elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) began arriving to the Mihail Kogalniceanum Airbase in Romania June 20, and are scheduled to continue arriving during the next several days.

Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, will support the U.S. Army V Corps’ mission to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and engage in multinational exercises with partners across the European continent in order to reassure allies and deter further Russian aggression.

The deploying 101st Soldiers do not represent additional U.S. forces in Europe, but are taking the place of Soldiers assigned to 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters and the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division.

In all, approximately 4,700 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division are scheduled to deploy to locations across Europe.

“Fort Campbell units are always prepared to deploy world-wide on short notice to conduct contingency…

5 mins
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, and U.S. President Joe Biden arrive yesterday for the official Group of Seven summit welcome ceremony at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. © Martin Meissner
The Ritz Herald
President Biden and G7 leaders formally launch the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment

On Sunday, at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Schloss Elmau, President Biden laid out the Administration’s whole of government effort to execute the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) to narrow infrastructure gaps around the world, strengthen the global economy and supply chains, and advance international security through strategic investments. As a key demonstration of this commitment, President Biden announced another milestone in the United States’ support for clean energy innovation as part of global efforts to combat climate change. The United States is committing $14 million toward a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study to provide the basis for the deployment of a small modular reactor (SMR) power plant in Romania. This action is the next step in fulfilling the pledge made by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Romania President Klaus Iohannis at the 2021 UN Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow (COP26), where they announced their intent to deploy an SMR in Romania in partnership with U.S. firm NuScale Power LLC (“NuScale”).

This 8-month effort, expected to cost $28 million in total and to include contributions from Romania SN Nuclearelectrica and NuScale, will provide Romania with key site-specific data –…

Senate HELP Committee Passes Food and Drug Legislative Package, Including Provision to Lift FDA Animal Testing Mandate
The Ritz Herald

In a legislative action that has the potential in the coming years to prevent the use of millions of animals and to deliver safer, more effective drugs to countless patients in need of treatments, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) passed the FDA Modernization…

Statement by The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Senate Gun Safety Proposal
The Ritz Herald

Below is a statement by Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The United States Conference of Mayors, on the Senate’s bipartisan gun safety proposal:

“As mayors continue to face the devastating impact of gun violence in their cities, we are encouraged that a bipartisan group of Senators has heeded…

Statement From Airlines for America President on the Lifting of the Pre-departure Testing Requirement
The Ritz Herald

The statement below is attributable to Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio:

We are pleased that the pre-departure testing requirement has been eliminated for international air travelers who are eager to visit or return home to the United States. The airline industry appreciates the Administration’s decision…

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Meets With Singapore, Indo-Pacific Defense Officials
The Ritz Herald

Austin is attending the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. The event draws defense officials from around the world, but especially from the Indo-Pacific, and Austin is taking advantage of that to meet with many of them.

In addition to meeting with officials from Singapore, the secretary…

Statement by Energy Secretary Granholm on The Confirmation of Shalanda Baker
The Ritz Herald

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm issued the following statement today following the U.S. Senate bipartisan confirmation of Shalanda Baker to serve as Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):

“I am so grateful to have Shalanda Baker confirmed to…

4 mins
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Nicholas Longden and Lance Cpl. Romig Beley, both low altitude air defense gunners with the Air Combat Element of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire a FIM-92 Stinger during Fleet Battle Problem 22-1, aboard amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), March 20, 2022. © Staff Sgt. Brittney Vella
The Marine Rotational Force-Darwin aviation combat element participated in exercises Raptor's Strike 22 and Diamond Storm 22 alongside Australian Defense Force members
By / Newsroom Editor

The Marine Rotational Force-Darwin Aviation Combat Element participated in Exercises RAPTOR’S STRIKE 22 and DIAMOND STORM 22 alongside Australian Defence Force members from May 2 – June 24.

RAPTOR’S STRIKE 22 featured low altitude air defense interoperability and allowed USMC LAAD Marines from the Marine Air Control Group 38 detachment to integrate with their counterpart ADF forces in Adelaide, South Australia. MRF-D Marines worked closely with the 110th Air Defense Battery to enhance integrated air and missile defense. The exercise demonstrated a primary feature of force design 2030 concepts and expeditionary advanced base operations.

“Working with 110 Battery was a valuable experience that allowed us to learn from each other, which strengthened a bond that will undoubtedly be passed to future MRF-D deployments,” said 1st Lt. Alexander Bazanos, the platoon commander for the MRF-D LAAD detachment. “Working with our Australian air defense counterparts opened the door for creating TTPs for future MACG-38 and ADF integration.”

Air defense capabilities are a necessity for Marine Corps operations in the Indo-Pacific, and around the world. After several decades of competing in areas where friendly air superiority seemed nearly a guarantee, the operating environment changed. In this environment, air defense assets are critical and enable maneuver. Integrating allied air defense capabilities will further increase our ability to maintain freedom of maneuver.

“We will fight in defense of our allies and will operate in close alignment with them, from their territories, alongside their ships and aircraft, and in cooperative and even integrated formations on the ground,” provided Gen. David Berger, the Commandant of…

U.S. National Guard Strengthens NATO Readiness in Europe
The Ritz Herald

More than 20,000 service members from over 20 countries supporting NATO, including the National Guard, showcased their integrated military capabilities during large-scale exercises throughout Europe in April and May.

The world’s largest peacetime military alliance conducted activities ranging from cyber warfare to airborne operations across Baltic and Balkan regions, bordering…

U.S. Conference of Mayors Releases Comprehensive Economic Report Revealing Strength of Metro Economies
The Ritz Herald

Today the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) released its 2022 Metro Economies Report, which details the economic situation and outlook for every metropolitan area in the United States. This new data, revealed during the USCM’s 90th Annual Meeting taking place in Reno, Nevada, shows that cities are the…

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and AARP Illinois Speak Out About Need for Lower Prescription Drug Prices
The Ritz Herald

AARP Illinois State Director Philippe Largent and Volunteer State President Alan Hollenbeck joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin in a call to highlight the need for Congress to lower prescription drug prices. AARP delivered a petition signed by more than 200,000 Illinoisans calling for Congress to act now and stop…

2 mins
U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 26, 2020. © Bloomberg / Getty Images
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Supreme Court strikes down landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade

Today, the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ended a woman’s right to safe, legal, and accessible abortions, voting 5-4 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, ignoring the dangers to women’s health and 50 years of precedent. The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has policy—voted on and passed by mayors—urging Congress and states to protect and improve women’s access to safe and comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortions. At the USCM Annual Meeting earlier this month, mayors reaffirmed their support by adopting a new resolution. Additionally, mayors have spoken out about how the decision will impact their communities in a new video.

In response to the decision, Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the USCM, released the following statement:

“The conservative majority of the Court has decided women should end today with one less constitutional right than they had this morning, that government should get a veto over the healthcare decisions of a woman and her doctor, that judges should advance agendas without regard for settled law, that politics comes before health care.

“The consequences of this decision will be felt in cities nationwide, where women…

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U.S. Department of Energy Joins New Federal-State Partnership to Grow Domestic Offshore Wind Supply Chain

Arnett / RH
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will lead in the development of a comprehensive offshore wind supply chain roadmap as part of its participation in the new
RTF Calls on House Energy and Commerce to Schedule Full Committee Vote on Horse Slaughter Ban
The Ritz Herald

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation on Friday thanked House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) for his support of bills to ban horse slaughter and soring and urged him to schedule a markup before the full committee as quickly as possible.

The Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and…

Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Syed’s Visit to Frederick, Maryland
The Ritz Herald

Department of State Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed led a visit on May 24 to Frederick, Maryland, to engage with small and medium businesses on their needs when entering foreign markets. The trip was part of a series of engagements Special Representative Syed is undertaking…

Statement by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Uvalde Shooting
The Ritz Herald

Below is a statement by United States Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran on yesterday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas:

“Just over a week ago 10 people were killed in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York; today 14 children and a teacher were…