Archives for posts with tag: politics

I went to the White House Thursday to report on the White House’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Check out my web brief.

Obama fields questions, and a pitch, from kids
The Washington Post
April 25, 2014

First lady Michelle Obama acknowledged Thursday that the children of White House workers pay a price for all their parents do to help the president.

“We know how much you guys sacrifice because your parents work here,” Obama said. “You know, for many of you, I know it’s hard when your mom and dad [say:] ‘You know, I’m going to miss dinner tonight because I have to work late,’ or ‘There’s a meeting on Saturday, so I’ll miss your game,’ or ‘I have to travel next week, and I might not be able to get to that recital.’

“Our kids go through it,” she added, “and it’s not a lot of fun.”

On Thursday, Obama tried to bring a little of the fun back by hosting about 150 children of White House staffers at the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day…read more…

Online: “First lady says kids pay a price for the Washington life

Updated April 25 at 12:56 p.m.

Yesterday was a whirlwind. After waking up at 5:30 a.m., I spent 18 hours total in Wards 7 and 8 (east of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.) and in the downtown Washington Post office reporting on the mayoral Democratic primary.

My reporting contributed to The Washington Post’s extensive coverage of the Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s victory over incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray.

Below are links to articles and tweets that contain my writing, reporting or photos from April 1. I’ve pulled out and quoted (what I think is) the most interesting stuff, and you can find more at or at my Twitter account:

“How D.C. votes: Paper or Scantron?”

“Huge variation in turnout across city”

THEARC has special meaning to the mayor, since it’s part of what he sees as successful development in Ward 8. ”It’s a phenomenal addition to this area of Southeast,” Gray said Tuesday when he swung by the recreation and arts center shortly before noon. While “the turnout has not been great,” he said, those who showed up were “energized.”

“Shallal’s key challenge: ‘Who are you?'”

Andy Shallal stands out in a crowd. In the parking lot of Benning Public Library in Ward 7, the restaurateur and mayoral candidate towers over volunteers for Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser.

Shallal walks laps between the polling place doors to pick up handicapped access signage and the bed of his campaign’s pickup truck to grab a slice of pizza. In between, he greets voters with a handshake (and once, a long, quiet embrace of a somber voter.)

“It’s not a heavy turnout,” Shallal said in an interview. “Everybody’s precious.”

City polling sites show apparently low voter turnout

Many preferred to sit out.

Hezekiah Smalls, 23, volunteered for 15 hours of Election Day but spent none of that time voting. “I don’t think it was important enough,” Smalls said.

Though he considers his time at the Benning Public Library running the ballot boxes a “service to the community,” he said he prefers to vote only in presidential elections, where, he said, the outcomes have a bigger impact.

“Voter turnout: ‘Where is everybody?'”

“Poll workers: Lowest turnout in memory”

“Bowser, Gray supporters explain choices”

Down the hill from the Covenant Baptist Church in Congress Heights, Lafayette Barnes and Clifford Waddy stand by campaign signs and flyer and joke about age and giving their information to a reporter.

But Barnes is manning the table for Mayor Vince Gray, and Waddy sports a green cap emblazoned with the name of council member Muriel Bowser, Gray’s closest competitor for the mayoral election.

Turnout light so far in one precinct

Diane Boyd, 62, voted for Gray after seeing improvements of the community in terms of education, crime and the economy.

“Across the river, on the other side, they get a lot of what they need…east of the river, we’re denied a lot. It’s not the same,” said Boyd, a contact representative for the D.C. Board.

Some of this reporting makes an appearance in the print edition depending on the edition. Given the late results release by the D.C. Board of Elections, The Washington Post’s print edition carried the mayoral race on A1 in every edition Tuesday night, but in different ways depending on the news available at the time.

College Park drops age for elected office to 18
The Washington Post
Feb 13 2014

The College Park City Council voted this week to allow 18-yearolds to run for public office, opening up the opportunity for students at the University of Maryland to seek council seats or the mayor’s office. Under the new rules, adopted in a 5 to 3…read more…

You can also read the online at The Washington Post, my first clip for the education section.

(This blog post has been updated.)

A few weeks ago I went to a Costa Rican presidential debate in San José. When I got back to the states, I wrote, recorded and edited my first international piece and my first piece for Latin Pulse I’ve done in months. It’s also the first time leading the weekly news program.

I also snagged a couple of photos of the candidates present.

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This is an important report for me. Majoring in international studies was my way of preparing me for a life of international politics reporting. I’ve also invested myself in radio reporting with work at Latin Pulse as well as PBS MediaShift. The fact that this piece exemplifies both is particularly significant in my professional development.

Hopefully this is not the last.

The Eagle, American University’s student newspaper, has an agreement to syndicate quality content through UWire to other college newspapers.

A pleasant surprise: Three of my articles written for the newspaper were picked up for UWire for syndication.

Zach Cohen's syndicated story via UWire headlined "Huntsman: I lost because I didn't pander," originally published by The Eagle

Huntsman: I lost because I didn’t pander

Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has come a long way from getting his “ticket to ride” by finishing third in the New Hampshire primaries.

“Put whatever I’m going to tell you tonight in proper perspective, because I’m just a loser,” Huntsman told students and alumni at American U. on April 18.

Zach Cohen's syndicated story via UWire headlined "D.C. students react to East Coast earthquake," originally published by The Eagle

Students rally against student debt at Sallie Mae headquarters

American U. students joined their peers from other D.C. universities to protest high student loan debt on Oct. 28.

Protestors, including about a dozen AU students, marched in the streets from an Occupy D.C. camp in McPherson Square to the D.C. headquarters of Sallie Mae, a company that provides student loans.

On the way, the group of students and some teachers blocked the streets, making it impossible for traffic to pass.

Shouts of “Hey hey, ho ho, student debt has got to go,” and “When education’s under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” filled the air during the mile-long walk.

Zach Cohen's syndicated story via UWire headlined "Students rally againsdt student debt at Sallie Mae headquarters," originally published by The Eagle

D.C. students react to East Coast earthquake

American U. evacuated all on- and off-campus buildings for a short period of time following a 5.9 magnitude that rocked the eastern United States Tuesday.

No one on campus was injured in the earthquake and there was no apparent damage to any AU buildings, according to emails from the University.

The earthquake, centered in Mineral, Va., started around 1:51 p.m. and lasted less than a minute.

Do you know where these stories eventually appeared? Because I don’t. UWire asks its clients, of which The Eagle is one, to publish the story in print, not online, to retain the value of the original publisher’s post.

If you saw these stories in print anywhere other than The Eagle, please let me know and comment on this post.

See 1:44 of this week’s edition of “Latin Pulse” for my story on new research out of the Brookings Institution and the implications for Latin American foreign policy.

Also, I was on C-SPAN!

The author, featured in a screen capture of C-SPAN coverage of the Brookings Institution event called, "The Politics of Marijuana Legalization." To the author's left, John Walsh of the Washington Office on Latin America.

The author, featured in a screen capture of C-SPAN coverage of a Brookings Institution event called, “The Politics of Marijuana Legalization.” To the author’s left, John Walsh of the Washington Office on Latin America.