We got the INSIDE SCOOP from Washington D.C., the U.S. capital. Check out our 6 burning questions with Legislative Analyst and Federal Lobbyist for UnidosUS, the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., Bayly Hassell!
1. Hey Bayly, how has quarantine impacted your beauty routine?
Washington D.C. shut down mid-March and enforced strict stay at home orders shortly thereafter. What many of us believed would be just weeks of isolation soon became months with no end date in sight.
In any other year, this would be the peak of gala and events season; I would be booking hair appointments and dressing in formal wear to attend White House Correspondents Dinner parties, receptions on Capitol Hill, and political fundraisers. With an abundance of time to overthink and reminisce in the months of quarantine, I realized that much of my beauty routine has typically been dictated and informed by in-person interactions; work functions, evenings out with friends, and the highly publicized and professionally photographed events that generally take place this time of year.
My beauty routine in the so-called “new normal” has been more for myself and a notably less time-consuming endeavor. After a month or so into the lockdown, when most of us realized we would be staying at home for the near future, my routine became more self-care oriented. I’ve mostly been sampling new face and skin products, trying different face masks, taking long baths, and experimenting with makeup techniques.
2. John Bolton just released his book on Donald Trump. Do you think is claims about the president are factual? What are your thoughts on his book?
Having read portions of “The Room Where it Happened” along with interviews from credible journalists and news outlets, I do believe Bolton’s claims are factual. Exposés of the dysfunctional inner workings of the Trump Administration have become relatively routine and garner interest and plenty of profit for the book business and ousted Trump staff alike. Similarly, and unsurprisingly, Bolton’s book reiterates many of the shocking stories that have already circulated and reinforces the prevailing narrative of disorder, dangerous decision making, and general rashness and immaturity that have defined the Trump administration.
While most of the book is devoted to Bolton’s highly detailed accounts of exchanges, incidents, and critical political moments, Bolton’s book is mostly, in my opinion, a monument to his own grandiosity and self-importance. While his latest book has confirmed rumors and verified what many have suspected, I doubt it will sway Trump’s most fervent followers. It may however (and hopefully), dissuade moderate Republicans from supporting Trump’s re-election this November.
3. BLM movement is nationwide. What events took place in Washington for Juneteenth?
A number of organizations hosted marches and numerous informal demonstrations took place throughout D.C. I marched in the Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of the White House and a number of friends attended events at the U.S. Capitol. Two of our professional basketball teams, The Mystics and Wizards, also led a highly publicized march.
4. Who will you endorse for the 2020 election and why?
Joe Biden all the way! My top picks for Vice President are Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris. America cannot afford another four years of this administration and I think my country, along with the rest of the world, is eager to see credible and effective leadership in the White House again.
5. How are protests and/or riots affecting your everyday life?
I live in downtown D.C. in the historic U Street Corridor. The White House is just several blocks south and, as you may have seen, this area has been the epicenter and focal point of most of the demonstrations. Every single day for the past several weeks there has been protests and demonstrations, some violent, but mostly peaceful and unifying. The newly christened Black Lives Matter Plaza, directly in front of the White House, continues to be occupied by activists, signs, flags, banners, and tables where volunteers distribute free food and drinks along with masks and sanitizers; the mere act of walking through my neighborhood has been an entirely different experience.
I am also close to a police station and Malcolm X Park, which has been a gathering place for activists. The National Guard and police have been on every corner, often – and alarmingly – heavily armed. Having lived downtown for 6 years, I have grown accustomed to seeing and hearing Presidential motorcades as well as Marine One, the President’s helicopter. A number of additional helicopters have been routinely monitoring the area, sometimes hovering disturbingly low. The heightened police presence has been unnerving to say the least and utterly dystopian, like something from an Orwell or Atwood novel.
As a civil rights lobbyist, I have participated in many peaceful protests and work with numerous progressive organizations that support and advance the BLM movement; so, activism and advocating for equality was already a constant in my day to day life. Over the past few weeks, it has been heartening and inspiring to see thousands of more people from all walks of life gathering to march, engage in meaningful dialogue, dance in the streets, and come together in this critical moment for our nation.
6. Melania, Ivanka and Kayleigh always look great. Who leads the political office in fashion trends?
Speaker of the House and the most powerful woman in America, Nancy Pelosi! The photo on the left of me and Madam Speaker was taken at a Democratic fundraiser for Members of Congress. Nancy Pelosi even makes face masks look chic! I have worked and collaborated her and her staff on countless issues, both in my time working in Congress and now as a federal obbyist and political advisor of my organization’s Political Action Committee (PAC).
Thank you, boss babe Bayly for the 411 on the historic shift happening in the United States of America! That is our top story at Pink NEWS!