(Bloomberg) -- At the same hotel where President Donald Trump held his election night victory, Colin Kaepernick, Gloria Steinem, Usher and Alec Baldwin sang "We Are the World."
One night after Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama’s Senate race, the proceedings felt like a rebuke to Trump, with the Reagan-era song that raised millions for humanitarian aid to Africa and Haiti a fitting finale. The event on Wednesday was a fundraiser for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit founded by Kerry Kennedy to advocate for her father’s vision of a “just and peaceful world.”
“It’s really hard with this president and this Congress,” she said in an interview. “I’m really happy about the outcome of the vote last night because I think there might be some sanity in our future. We have to keep rolling that rock back up the hill.”
Scott Minerd, chief investment officer for Guggenheim and a Republican working with the White House on economic issues, also embraced Roy Moore’s defeat.
“The party has been hijacked and ultimately the election yesterday was a message from the core of the party that the senate candidate did not reflect true conservative values, in terms of family values, respecting women, all the things that conservatives are supposed to be for,” Minerd said.
He also weighed in on the looming tax overhaul. “I’m in favor of giving corporate tax breaks,” Minerd said. “But as far as the rest of it? For the middle class, I really don’t think it does much of anything.”
The event came on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first graders and six adults were massacred.
“There are no words for losing a family member to this violence,” said Kennedy, whose father and uncle were shot to death.
RFK Human Rights has worked on gun control, filing an amicus brief in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., concerning the retailer’s refusal to include a shareholder proposal in its 2014 proxy materials regarding policies on firearm sales.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his work includes closing the gun show loophole and launching a platform allowing authorities investigating a crime in New York to trace a gun to its last legal sale, even if that’s Virginia or North Carolina.
“Progress is not being made in Washington, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work hard and develop national models at the state level,” Schneiderman said in an interview.
The parents who lost children at Sandy Hook have their own effort, the nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise, which trains students and adults to recognize the signs of gun violence. On Tuesday night, the organization held its first fundraiser in New York, at the Plaza Hotel.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi were honored, and attendees included Valerie Jarrett, Robert Wolf, Robert Kraft, Adam Silver, Victor Cruz and venture capitalist Ron Conway, who has backed Kai Kloepfer, founder of Biofire Technologies, a startup creating gun sensors that can authenticate authorized users.
Conway asked for a moment of silence for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who died earlier in the day at age 65. Lee was committed to getting the tech community working on the issue of gun violence, Conway said before introducing Biden as a man who “has taken on the crooked and the fake NRA.”
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