Background Briefing: March 29, 2023

Biden’s Second Summit for Democracy and the Need For a Plan to Combat the Growth of Autocracies

 We begin with the Biden administration’s second Summit for Democracy that began today in Washington D.C. with over 120 world leaders joining in by video minus NATO members Hungary and Turkey who were excluded although India’s Modi, who just jailed the leader of the opposition, did join in as did Israeli PM Netanyahu who is busy dismantling Israel’s democratic checks and balances in order to stay out of jail. Joining us is Laura Thornton, director and senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. Previously, she was director of global programs at International IDEA where she managed multiple teams across Europe focused on constitution-building, parliamentary process, elections, gender and inclusion, political parties, and democracy assessment and analysis. We discuss her article at The Hill, “What can be salvaged from Biden’s Democracy Summit.”


Starbucks CEO in the Hot Seat Before Bernie Sanders’ Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Then we examine the lively hearing today before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chaired by Bernie Sanders titled “No Company is Above the Law. The Need to End Illegal Union Busting at Starbucks.” Joining us to discuss the appearance of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz under threat of subpoena to answer why the NLRB has filed over 80 complaints and over 500 unfair labor practice charges against Starbucks is Lane Windham, Associate Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor and co-director of WILL Empower (that’s Women Innovating Labor Leadership). She is the author of Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide.


Immigrants Burned Alive in Mexico as Guards Refuse to Open Locked Gates

Then finally we examine the tragic fire at an immigrant detention facility in Juarez, Mexico where guards refused to open gates trapping people inside resulting in 38 dead and 29 injured. Joining us is Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a Professor of Policy and Government at George Mason University whose research focuses on Mexico-U.S. relations, organized crime, immigration, border security, and human trafficking. She was the Principal Investigator of a research grant to study organized crime and trafficking in persons in Central America and along Mexico’s eastern migration routes, supported by the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The President of the Association for Borderlands Studies, her latest book is Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexicoand she is the author of a study at Harvard’s Belfer Center, “Dismantling Migrant Smuggling Networks in the Americas.”