Silicon Valley philanthropist and investor Laurene Powell Jobs is stepping into the political ring a day after President Donald Trump decided to end an Obama-era executive action that shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Emerson Collective, a philanthropic group founded by Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, will be airing a political advertisement in select cities across the country advocating for legislation to protect the undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, better known as “Dreamers.” For the Palo-Alto based organization, this will be its first political television ad.
The 30-second advertisement, titled “Shining,” uses former Republican President Ronald Reagan’s farewell speech as a hook to ask legislators to vote for immigration reform.
Democratic media firm GMMB booked the spots, according to Recode, which first broke the story. When this news organization asked GMMB for comment, GMMB directed us to Emerson Collective.
“Dreamers are immigrants brought here as children,” reads the advertisement at the end. “But they could soon lose their place in America. Stand with them. Support the DREAM Act.”
The advertisement is booked until next Tuesday in the television markets of Denver, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The markets were tactically chosen to appeal to the heads of both houses in Congress — Senate leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin — and critical legislators, according to Emerson Collective’s managing director of immigration Marshall Fitz.
“This is designed to remind leaders in Congress this is not a partisan issue, this is about core American values,” said Fitz. “[Reagan] is obviously considered as a standard bearer of the modern conservative movement. His articulation to our commitment to our pluralism and diversity is as powerful as it gets.”
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Fitz says Emerson Collective prepared the advertisement in anticipation of DACA being rescinded. Under pressure from some state attorneys general, the Trump administration had a Sept. 5 deadline to decide on the policy that affects more than 800,000 Dreamers.
Powell Jobs started Emerson Collective in 2004. It has focused on education, immigration reform, the environment, and other social justice initiatives. She was ranked in 2016 as the 40th richest person in the world, with more than $20 billion in wealth.
The Emerson Collective was in the news in July for purchasing a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine. Powell Jobs cited her organization’s namesake and a co-founder of The Atlantic, Ralph Waldo Emerson, as the inspiration for the purchase.
After the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, Powell Jobs tweeted that it was a “terrible day” and urged Congress to take action. She also re-tweeted Apple CEO Tim Cook’s similar message about standing with 250 Dreamers who work at Apple.
A terrible day. But a day that will elevate millions to stand up for #Dreamers. Congress, we’re all watching https://t.co/7TCqDVN6Wj
— Laurene Powell (@laurenepowell) September 5, 2017
She expanded her thoughts in a blog post on Emerson Collective’s website, titled “DACA’s Demise Betrays the Best of America.”
“To hurt these children is to hurt ourselves, our society as a whole,” wrote Powell Jobs. “The abolition of DACA represents a betrayal of both our values and our interests. We should be ashamed of what the administration has done. It is now up to Congress to correct this indecent mistake by passing the bipartisan DREAM Act.”
Photo: Laurene Powell Jobs participates in a panel discussion after the screening of “The Dream is Now” documentary directed by Academy Award-winning Davis Guggenheim at Stanford University’s Cubberley Auditorium in Stanford on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)
Tags: DACA, Donald Trump, Dreamers, Emerson Collective, immigration, Laurene Powell Jobs