News you might have missed: Obama to give national commencement address


Also: Organizers with the Biden campaign unionize, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, gives a boost to a statewide effort to stop LGBTQ discrimination.

Also this week, Connecticut offers statewide online job training programs, Oregon Democrats celebrate a voter registration milestone, and a "Parks and Recreations" reunion special raises millions for charity.

Read on to see what else you might have missed this week in the news.

Barack Obama will deliver prime-time commencement address for class of 2020

President Barack Obama will join a star-studded cast to deliver a commencement address to the high school graduating class of 2020, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday. Obama will be joined by basketball legend LeBron James, education activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, and several others during the event.

All four major networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox — and their television and streaming partners will broadcast the address.

Lincoln Debenham, a graduating high school senior from Los Angeles, asked the former president to give a national address to his class in a mid-April tweet that went viral.

"Hi @BarackObama! Like most high school/college seniors, I'm saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation," Debenham tweeted. "In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020."

The commencement address air on May 16 at 8 p.m. EDT.

Connecticut offers free online job training

More than 5,000 courses are available online for Connecticut residents who are out of work and looking for job training opportunities, New Haven TV station WTNH reported on Monday.

The online service "gives hard-working Connecticut residents a beneficial training opportunity that they can utilize from their own homes," Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement.

The courses — in information technology, customer service, project management, and more — are part of a program called SkillUp CT, which also offers training to prepare people for more than 100 industry certifications.

The courses are available to anyone in the state.

Biden campaign organizers ratify union contract

Field organizers with former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign have ratified a union contract guaranteeing a $15 minimum wage, HuffPost reported on Monday. It is the first campaign of a presumptive presidential nominee to have staff covered by a union contract.

"We are proud that our campaign continues to live out the values that have defined Vice President Biden's career," Maju Varghese, the Biden campaign's chief operating officer, told HuffPost. "That is why his plan to grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class — the backbone of the American economy — demands that we strengthen public and private sector unions and help all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve."

In addition to the minimum wage, the union contract also gives field organizers overtime pay and sets up a grievance process. The field organizers will be a part of Teamsters Local 238 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the first state to vote in the Democratic primary.

Oregon Democrats hit milestone of 1 million registered voters

For the first time in state history, Oregon has more than one million registered Democrats, the Democratic Party of Oregon announced on Tuesday. According to the secretary of state's office, there are 1,006,266 registered Democrats in the state and 711,344 Republicans.

"Oregon Democrats believe that we're greater together than we are on our own, and now — together — we are more than one million strong," Carla "K.C." Hanson, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, said in a statement.

The achievement was also praised by Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

"This remarkable achievement is a testament to what we already knew: Democrats are more energized and better organized than ever before," Perez said.

New York bans evictions through August

Andrew Cuomo, New York's Democratic governor, has extended a moratorium on evictions in the state through Aug. 20, CNBC reported on Thursday.

"I don't want to see people and their children evicted at this time, through no fault of their own," Cuomo said about the extension.

In addition, landlords are prohibited from charging late fees to those who cannot pay rent, and renters can apply their security deposit toward rent.

Ann Arbor endorses state law to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination

The Ann Arbor City Council has voted unanimously to support an effort to outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people in the state of Michigan, MLive reported on Wednesday.

The council endorsed the "Fair and Equal Michigan" campaign to put a measure on the ballot in November that would amend the state's civil rights law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

"We need to do everything we can to protect the vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community," Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor said. "It's inexcusable as a society that we permit this kind of invidious discrimination and we ought to do everything we can to stop it."

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign needs to collect 340,000 signatures in order to place the measure on the ballot.

Watch: 'Parks and Rec' reunion special raises $3 million for charity

On April 30, the cast of the hit television show "Parks and Recreation" reunited for a special episode to raise money for Feeding America, a charity that helps food-insecure families across the country. According to IndieWire, the effort has already raised more than $3 million.

The full 25-minute episode can be viewed on YouTube.

The show ran for seven seasons, from 2009 through 2015, and revolved around city government employees in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.

The reunion episode brought the cast back together to show how each character was dealing with shelter-in-place orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Viewers can continue to make donations to Feeding America through May 21.