Welcome back to The Weekender, where we’re saying goodbye to April showers and saying hello to May flowers (and hopefully better weather). Though, not everything is coming up roses in the upcoming month. The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2020 results this week, kicking off a redistricting battle that is only just beginning. In a rare turn of events, however, some Democrats and Republicans are joining together to start addressing bipartisan police reform. Plus, conversations around data privacy and gender equity heat up this week as well, which you can learn more about below. Thanks for joining us for this week’s edition of The Weekender.
THE BIG FIVE
The calm before the storm: Census results likely to spark the largest redistricting battle the nation has ever seen.
After a slew of delays due to the pandemic, the U.S. Census released its highly anticipated 2020 results, and with it, the states that will lose or gain congressional seats. Monday’s data points to seven congressional seats shifting in 13 states, with gains made in Texas, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolinas, and Oregon. On the other hand, New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will each lose a congressional seat. This comes as Democrats have slim holds in the congressional chambers, and Republicans work to keep GOP-friendly district lines. While several of Biden’s victory states trended in the wrong direction, experts say the Census also shows that many people who live in blue states, including California, are moving to Electoral College seat-gaining states, trending politically bluer. Map drawing has never been more consequential, especially in a country so polarized. Read more in The Hill
Biden’s American Jobs Plan and how focusing on just infrastructure could leave women behind.
President Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress this week, focusing on his American Jobs Plan, which is the most ambitious attempt to spur infrastructure growth and new jobs in recent memory. However, a significant hurdle in the legislation’s focus could have an impact on women. A study by Georgetown University found that men hold 90 percent of infrastructure jobs, and the majority of new jobs created under the plan would be in male-dominated fields. Women in the workforce have particularly been hit hard by Covid-19, accounting for more than half of all jobs lost within the first three months of the pandemic. Two potential solutions being floated by elected officials would increase training for women in related fields and focus on the “care economy.” Strategic Elements, a certified woman-owned business, proudly added six new team members to its ranks over the past year, with four new female hires serving as managers and department heads. Join us on our social media platforms to learn more about our new team members and female leaders.Read more in CNN
Bipartisan support for police reform gains momentum in D.C., but messaging gets complicated.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers met this week following President Biden’s joint session address, calling on members of Congress to address racial injustice and pass police reform legislation in the name of George Floyd. The meeting on Capitol Hill was stacked: Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Dick Durbin, Democratic Representatives Karen Bass and Josh Gottheimer, Republican Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and Republican Representatives Pete Stauber and Brian Fitzpatrick joined the meeting. If passed, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, allow deadly force to be used only as a last resort, limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to law enforcement agencies, and limit qualified immunity for law enforcement in cases of misconduct. While it is unclear what will win support from Democrats and Republicans in Washington, their message will ultimately be felt at the local level, where many cities have attempted to reform policing practices over the past year. Complicating the messaging are calls to defund police departments. In addition to the nuts and bolts of the legislation, reaching a consensus on that message will be critical to progress. Read more in Axios
The debate over consumer privacy and digital data heats up following Apple’s latest software update.
Rarely has one software update caused quite a stir, but a new update on Apple iPhones is turning the tech and data-privacy world upside down, causing many concerned Americans to revisit discussions around consumer privacy protections. The latest update allows users to opt-out of being tracked by apps on Apple devices. While it is being championed as a push for greater consumer privacy, Facebook, which stands at risk of losing $5 billion in revenue, has been fighting back for months. Apple is likely to be more advantageous following the switch, as the brand will offer its own advertisement opportunities and unique data. One thing is for sure: after the many app and banking hacks over the past decade, Americans feel they have no real control over their data. There is no single principle legislation that governs data protection at the federal level in the U.S. Rather, it is a patchwork of laws across the state and national levels, and businesses are expected to understand and comply with existing laws to protect themselves and their consumers. While privacy reform is not on the top of Congressional to-do lists, some states, including Virginia, are starting to pass data privacy laws on the side of consumers, beginning to alter the way users’ info is rapidly traded online and how advertisers ultimately operate. Read more in Fortune
How local TV stations plan to remain in the game as viewers shift to streaming.
For years, experts had said local television stations were a dying breed—it was only a matter of time before they soon became extinct, similar to the fate of printed newspapers. The evolution of the ways Americans view television programming and now video streaming has motivated companies like Comcast NBCUniversal to shift to the creation of a content streaming platform (for example, Peacock). While companies like EW Scripps are finding ways to remain relevant and compete with streaming capabilities, experts say it will be a challenge to convince younger consumers to invest in older tech and equipment like antennas. The key is for broadcasters to get creative and think of new revenue streams. Read more in CNBC
- 65%. The number of workers who have engaged in remote work over the past year and want to remain remote. Fifty-eight percent even said they would look for a new job if they would have to return to the office, mostly due to no daily commute.
- 7. The number of Oscars that Netflix took home at the 93rd annual Academy Awards, which was the most out of any distributor. The Oscars did not require films to have a theatrical run to be eligible for an award due to Covid-19’s disruption of theatres and movie distribution.
- 778 billion. The amount that the U.S. spends annually on military expenses. This number outspends China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Australia combined.
- 60 million. The number of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses that the U.S. plans to share with the rest of the world. Many countries, including India, are experiencing surges in cases, setting records for the world’s largest single-day increase in new cases.
- $430 billion. The amount Apple aims to spend across the United States over the next five years. The tech giant says it will use that funding towards building new campuses and investing in data centers, among other projects.
- 13.4 million. The number of women who lost their jobs between February and April last year, accounting for more than half of the total job losses, according to the government.
- 75%. The number of new jobs added to the economy between 2008 and 2017 that require college degrees or higher. Nearly two-thirds of the labor force lacks those degrees.
- $6.01 billion. The amount of advertisement revenue that YouTube brought in during the first quarter, which was up $4 billion from the year before. That is nearly twice the growth rate of Netflix.
- 96.75 million. The number of Americans who are fully vaccinated as of April 27th. Connecticut has administered the highest number of doses per 100 of its population at 87.29 percent at the state level.
Have a great weekend. See you next week.