Dec 17, 2019

Twilio grants $3 million to crisis responders

Twilio is a cloud communications platform based in San Francisco. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Communication tech firm Twilio is announcing $3 million in new grants later on Tuesday, aimed at helping more than two dozen crisis services speed up their response time.

Why it matters: A prior round of funding in August focused on larger nonprofits, while these grants reach a number of lesser-known groups providing vital work to those in need. Twilio.org, the company's philanthropic arm, aims to help 1 billion people annually within 10 years.

Details: The new grants are going to organizations that help those dealing with everything from domestic violence and sexual assault to natural disasters and suicidal feelings.

  • "These are the instances where communications can mean the difference between hope and despair, or even at times between life and death," Twilio's chief social impact officer Erin Reilly said in an interview.

What they're saying: Trans Lifeline, which is receiving its largest-ever grant of $153,000 from Twilio, said that is enough to launch an urgently needed Spanish-language hotline to serve the U.S. and Canada by the end of June. As a result it expects to handle 44% more calls.

  • Development Director Bri Barnett told Axios some of the most urgent calls the group has received in the past year have come from Latinx people, including those in ICE custody in the southwest U.S.

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Senate passes $1.37 trillion spending deal

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/ Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 81-11 to approve a $1.37 trillion spending measure to avoid a government shutdown when federal funding runs out at midnight on Friday, NPR reports.

What they're saying: Kellyanne Conway told reporters President Trump is “very happy” about the legislation and signaled that he plans to sign the two bills to avoid a shutdown, according to CNBC.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 19, 2019

Trump signs $1.37 trillion spending deal, averting federal shutdown

President Trump on Dec. 19. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening signed a $1.37 trillion spending measure to avoid a government shutdown, according to CNBC.

Why it matters: Unlike last year, when the U.S. government shut down for 35 days from December through January, Trump was willing to accept less funding than he originally requested for the U.S.-Mexico border. He wanted $8 billion for the wall, but Congress only fulfilled $1.375 billion for fence construction, according to NPR.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019

WSJ: New York first proposed a larger tax incentive for Amazon's HQ2

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The initial offer for Amazon's now-canceled New York City HQ2 included $800 million more in tax credits and grants than its final $3 billion offer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Amazon is moving to New York City without the much-publicized HQ2 package. The company said in December it signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet in the city's Hudson Yards neighborhood.

Go deeperArrowJan 4, 2020