For years the image of who drives change in our democracy has reflected an old narrative of straight white men in smoky rooms. 

The Beat DC blows through that trope. 

We’re the only daily political news platform that highlights the people of color driving policy in the nation’s capital and beyond, and the policies that impact communities of color at large. 

Mazie Hirono Aims to Help Vets Exposed to Agent Orange

Mazie Hirono Aims to Help Vets Exposed to Agent Orange

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) is aiming to help the thousands of Navy vets who came in contact with Agent Orange, the tactical herbicide used by the U.S. military from 1962 to 1975. It was named for the orange band around the storage barrel. The military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides on trees and vegetation during the Vietnam War. Hirono reintroduced the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to ensure these vets would become eligible to receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and health care benefits. The term “Blue Water” Navy veterans applies to those who served in the territorial seas of the Republic of Vietnam. “Thousands of Blue Water Navy veterans continue to suffer from serious, chronic illnesses and yet, the VA has repeatedly denied them VA health benefits because they happened to serve our country at sea rather than on land,” Hirono said. “These veterans’ stories are heartbreaking and we must pass the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to correct this wrong.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit earlier this year ruled in favor of Alfred Procopio Jr., a Blue Water Navy veteran, saying that Vietnam War veterans who were stationed offshore during the war and developed health problems linked to the exposure of Agent Orange were entitled to the same benefits as those who put boots on the ground or patrolled Vietnam’s inland rivers. This decision will impact an estimated 52,000 Blue Water Navy veterans nationwide, who are now eligible to receive care and compensation from the VA. Joining Hirono in this bipartisan bill’s introduction are Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Steve Daines (R-MT). More here.

Ted Lieu, Jenniffer González-Colón, and Stacey Plaskett Team Up to Create Renewable Energy Grants for Territories

Ted Lieu, Jenniffer González-Colón, and Stacey Plaskett Team Up to Create Renewable Energy Grants for Territories

Joe Neguse Wants Colleges and Universities to be Able to Study Cannabis

Joe Neguse Wants Colleges and Universities to be Able to Study Cannabis