Why Women Still March

Women March in San Francisco, CA January 2019

Showing up at The Women’s March in San Francisco, CA – January, 2019

Women March in San Francisco, CA January 2019While 2019’s Women’s March was criticized for size, affiliation, accusations of bigotry and beyond — women and girls and allies of all backgrounds still showed up in cities across the nation. Join American Enough for live dispatches with leaders, organizers and skeptics of this year’s March explaining why it was important for so many to show up.

The opinions expressed in this episode do not necessarily reflect those of the host or of MouthMedia Network.

Is 2019 the Year America Finally Enacts Paid Family Leave Policies?

Why working families in the United States struggle to spend time with newborns & raise their families…

Executive Director of the nation’s leading paid family leave advocacy organization PL+US, Katie Bethell, joins the pod to discuss why working families in the United States struggle to spend time with newborns & raise their families (when the rest of the industrialized world invests in robust parental leave protections) and why hope may be on the horizon in 2019.
Katie Bethell is the Founder and Executive Director of PL+US and one of Fortune’s 2018 “World’s Greatest Leaders” with 15 years of public policy and issue advocacy experience in the United States. Prior to founding PL+US, Bethell was the Campaign Director at MomsRising.org leading successful bids for family friendly policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Her portfolio included work to win passage of statewide paid family leave in New Jersey and Washington State, paid sick days legislation in Connecticut, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Following MomsRising, Katie was Managing Director of North America Campaigns at Change.org, where she oversaw the team that ran hundreds of impactful public campaigns in the US. For her Change.org organizing, Katie was named by Fast Company as one of the “Most Creative People in Business.”

(Golden Globes Special): Is Hollywood Shifting from Commercial Impact to Social Impact?

The transforming of creative content in Hollywood…

In an era where entertainment increasingly mirrors the despair contained within our daily news cycle, one studio in Hollywood is doubling down on creative content that seeks to unite Americans with hope & inclusivity. Co-Founder of Wayfarer entertainment, Farhoud Meybodi, joins the pod to discuss how their brand of TV, Film, and Web-driven content can both speak to the issues of our time, while using art to galvanize change.


Co-Owner of Wayfarer Entertainment, Farhoud Meybodi is a Clio Award-winning director, and executive producer focused on premium storytelling content across scripted, unscripted, and branded distribution channels.

Unlike many creatives in the entertainment business, Farhoud started his career in law, and spent his mid-twenties climbing up the corporate ladder as a sales and marketing executive for a global luxury brand. This non-traditional background gave Farhoud a marketers mindset – something he draws upon frequently when helping brands, agencies, TV networks, studios and NGOs connect with audiences through the power of human connection and social impact. At his core, Farhoud is passionate about creative storytelling content that entertains, educates and inspires.

Mostly recently, Farhoud directed and executive produced Season Four of My Last Days, an award-winning documentary series about life told by courageous people living with a terminal illness, for the CW Network. He received a bronze Clio Award for directing and executive producing “Meet Anthony,” a season three episode of the show profiling renowned street photographer Anthony Carbajal, and his harrowing life experience with ALS. He developed, and executive produced Chefs Without Borders, a documentary series featuring celebrity Chef, Curtis Stone, and Actress/Model, Lindsay Price, as they journey from Los Angeles to Tanzania to live with, and learn from three Indigenous tribes, each representing a unique perspective on food insecurity. Farhoud also developed, executive produced and wrote Man Enough, a dinner conversation series featuring Scooter Braun, Anderson Silva, Justin Baldoni, Matt McGorry, Javier Munoz, Prince EA, Derek Hough, Tony Porter, Aydian Dowling and Jamey Heath that explores the heart of traditional masculinity in America. Farhoud created, developed and executive produced Project Upgrade, an unscripted series for Google featuring YouTube stars, The Merrell Twins, as they set out to design and build a new consumer product with the help of successful, female mentors from Google, Space X, NASA, and Disney.

Farhoud has also developed and directed national campaigns for Subaru, Kellogg’s, MetroPCS, and The Ad Council, and sold several scripted pitches to major studios and television networks.

Why are Paychecks Shrinking, if the Economy is Booming? 

Why Most Americans Can’t Afford a $400 Bill

Rachel Schneider (Author of the Financial Diaries, and Entrepreneur in Resident at the Aspen Institute’s FSP) followed 235 American families to understand why so many American’s still feel financial duress even while our economy grows at a rapid rate. She joins to the pod to detail how experimenting with new policies, like short term cash infusions, can address wage stagnation in the country.

Rachel Schneider is the Omidyar Network Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (FSP), and co-author of The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty. Described as a “must-read for anyone interested in causes of – and potential solutions to – American poverty” by Publisher’s Weekly, The Financial Diaries challenges conventional wisdom about inequality. As a social entrepreneur, Rachel is launching a new effort to explore how the social contract should evolve as a result. She is particularly interested in how small, strategic cash infusions can go a longer way by helping families at pivotal moments in which they simply don’t have the cash on hand that they need. She is developing hypotheses about how cash infusions can not only be stopgap measures, but also be a bridge toward stability and an investment in mobility. She is seeking partners with whom to expand and test those hypotheses by designing and implementing prototypes, and drawing attention to the range of solutions that can help families in need.

For the last decade, Rachel has lead many of the projects at the heart of the work of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), where she is still a Senior Advisor. She is both a conceptual, and a practical thinker, with an unusual ability to think both about big ideas and about the smaller steps that can be taken today. Her research has been cited in the nation’s largest publications, and she is a highly sought-after consultant, writer and public speaker.

Rachel began her career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co., but credits her commitment to the potential for innovative finance to solve major social problems from her days as a VISTA Volunteer (now AmeriCorps). She holds a J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley

How New York Trains Workers For a World of A.I. – with Karen Bhatia

Karen Bhatia

Karen BhatiaWith all the promise & fret of automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics —

Karen Bhatia, Vice President of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, joins the pod to discuss how to leverage private dollars & public curricula to train workers for the jobs of tomorrow, today.


Karen Bhatia is an innovative strategist and vision-led leader at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. Over 13 years of experience helping businesses start and scale. Integrate big vision with specific plans to execute. Lead strategy to identify market opportunities, develop business framework and prototype innovative products. Expertise analyzing challenges from business, legal, and policy perspectives.

Currently lead Creative & Applied Tech strategies at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to support emerging tech and inclusive entrepreneurship in the city. This includes developing NYC’s blockchain strategy, launching the first publicly-funded VR/AR Lab in the country, spearheading the City’s strategy for ethical development of AI & leveraging big data, and growing advanced manufacturing in fashion.

* Co-founder & President Emeritus, Stanford Startups NY
* Western Queens Tech Council, appointment
* Advisory Board, Tech Day
* Executive Committee, Springboard Enterprise Business of Blockchain
* Advisory Board, Rutgers University Big Data Program
* Advisory Board, rLab, NYC VR/AR Lab
* Advisory Board, German Tech Accelerator
* Advisory Board, NYC Media Lab
* Advisory Board, Made in NY Media Center
* Advisory Board, Jamaica FEASTS (culinary incubator)

How the City of L.A. Resists Anti-Immigration Policies in the Era of Trump

Dr. Linda Lopez

Dr. Linda LopezDealing with changing Federal policy in immigration affairs departments in major US cities…

Dr. Linda Lopez, Chief of Immigrant Affairs to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, joins the pod to discuss how Cities can still connect immigrants to the promise of the American dream at the local level, even while the Administration attempts to water that dream down at the national level. Recorded on location at the 2018 Concordia Summit in New York.

Linda currently serves in a senior leadership role with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti focused on policy guidance impacting underserved communities in Los Angeles in areas of immigration, public safety, and community building.

Previous leadership roles include University of Southern California, American Political Science Association and National Science Foundation. Established track record in developing innovative projects and successful implementation with diverse set of stakeholders. She regularly consults with non-profits, and other municipalities on policy design and implementation. She has also worked with the UN, UNICEF, and Red Cross on humanitarian relief at the local level.

Media: Linda has extensive experience speaking at international and domestic conferences on topics focused on education and access, technology and services, migration and security, and innovative public private partnerships with the philanthropic and private sector. Sampling of speaking engagements and panels include: Smart Cities New York (2018), Concordia (2017),Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resiliency Athens Network on Refugee Populations (2016), German Marshall Fund Strategic Planning Conference(2017),Truman Security Project (2018) Pacific Council on International Policy (2018), Open Society Foundation (2018) panel on how global cities are integrating immigrants and refugees, Atlantic Live Dialogues (May 2018)

#GivingTuesday & Lyft: Are Tech Companies Leading the Way on Social Impact?


LyftLyft’s Head of Social Impact, Mike Masserman, joins the pod to talk about how a tech company can still invest in social good — even in an era of heightened government scrutiny across some of the world’s largest technology corporations.

Mike Masserman is currently the Head of Global Policy & Social Impact at Lyft, where he works on initiatives related to civic engagement, autonomous vehicles, opening global markets, and smart cities.  Michael was previously the Senior Director for Federal & International Government Relations where he built out Lyft’s Federal and Policy Partnerships teams. Prior to Lyft, Michael held a number of senior positions in the Obama Administration, and worked in various capacities on Obama’s 2008 campaign.  He began his career practicing international corporate law at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York, and then at King Wood & Mallesons in Sydney, Australia. He received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Michigan, his J.D. cum laude from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and is a National Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project.

The Unsung Heroes of The West Wing

Presidential speechwriters, Pentagon advisors, and the staff who help confirm Supreme Court justices don’t often grace the front pages of newspapers or tabloids. But in their book The West Wingers, 18 former White House staff detail how their own personal stories helped shape the work of the nation. Editor Gautam Raghavan, and contributing writers Aneesh Raman & Stephanie Valencia, join host Vikrum Aiyer.

Automation and the Future of Work in America

New forms of work, through apps like Uber, and new forms of automation — are sparking both new opportunities and considerable angst among American workers.

CEO & Co-Founder of The Workers Lab, Dr. Carmen Rojas, joins the pod to discuss how to build a 21st century set of organizing principles around preparing and protecting workers, while balancing the innovations that are fueling this century’s growth.

Dr. Carmen Rojas is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and government leaders to create replicable and revenue generating solutions that improve conditions for low-wage workers. For more than 20 years, Carmen has worked with foundations, financial institutions, and non-profits to improve the lives of working people across the United States.

Prior to building The Workers Lab, Carmen was the Acting Director of Collective Impact at Living Cities. She supported 22 of the largest foundations and financial institutions in the world to invest in improving economic opportunity for low-income people by supporting projects in the fields of economic and workforce development, energy efficiency, and asset building. From 2008 to 2011, Carmen was the Director of Strategic Programs at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s Green Access and Civic Engagement programs. Alongside her work at the foundation, Carmen also taught in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to this, Carmen was the Coordinator of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Taskforce on African American Out-Migration to address African American displacement from the city. 

Carmen currently sits on the boards of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Neighborhood Funders Group, General Service Foundation, JOLT, Certification Associates, and on the Advisory Boards of Fund Good Jobs and Floodgate Academy.

Carmen holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007.

What’s the Matter with Florida? Comparing the 2000 and 2018 Election Recounts

Bush v. Gore Florida recount attorney, and veteran campaign operative, Todd Elmer joins the pod to describe what the chaos inside an election recount looks like, while reflecting on the opportunity America has to protect the voices of voters in Georgia, Arizona, and Florida.

Todd Elmer has built a 20 year career at the intersection of politics, law, communications, and artificial intelligence policy. Most recently, he served as part of the DNC’s national Deployment Project, which sent seasoned political veterans to support targeted Congressional races in the 2018 midterm elections and help win back the House of Representatives to Democratic control.  That recent service traced back to his experience in the 2000 presidential campaign of Al Gore, where he worked at the campaign headquarters and was then deployed to serve as a Democratic attorney in the 2000 Florida recount.
In addition, he has served as White House advance staff for President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden at official events throughout the United States and around the world.  He spent several years in the administration of President Barack Obama, where he was appointed to be the Chief Communications Officer of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), directing all internal, external, and crisis communications, as well as social media and business engagement efforts, for the 13,000 person federal intellectual property agency.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, he directed communications and public affairs initiatives for artificial intelligence pioneer H5. Mr. Elmer’s public affairs and policy work with H5 supported the company’s efforts to effectively replicate and automate expert human relevance assessments through a precise combination of patented artificial intelligence technologies and a proprietary professional services process.
Prior to joining H5, Mr. Elmer designed corporate communications and public affairs strategies for a wide variety of Fortune 500 corporations and national political organizations. He also practiced law within the public and private sectors, as an international trade attorney at the U.S. Department of Commerce and in the Washington, D.C. office of Kaye Scholer.  
Mr. Elmer holds a Juris Doctor, with distinction, from Emory University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Furman University.