The Cost of Inequity: How and why inequity persists in the institutions that govern daily life in America

When asked how DEI programs have benefited their companies, 75% of respondents said they have resulted in better performance, more collaboration and innovation, more engagement with the community, more business partnerships and better insight into customers. However, 24% of respondents said they do not think leadership at their companies will make any substantial progress on DEI. 13% said they weren’t sure.

Manhattan DA will charge Trump Org. and Weisselberg Thursday: WSJ

  • The Manhattan DA’s office has charged the Trump Organization and its CFO, reports say.
  • Prosecutors have spent three years investigating potential tax crimes.
  • The indictments will be unsealed Thursday, according to the Times.

A grand jury in New York indicted the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, as part of a years-long investigation into tax crimes, The New York Times first reported.

It is the first wave of charges following the Manhattan District Attorney’s office’s three-year investigation into whether former President Donald Trump’s sprawling real-estate company violated state laws and engaged in financial crimes.

The full scope of the charges was not immediately clear. The indictments are expected to be unsealed Thursday after Weisselberg and attorneys representing the Trump Organization appear in court, the Wall Street Journal first reported. A representative for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.

The charges against CFO Allen Weisselberg are said to involve receiving benefits from the company — like apartments, cars, and school tuition — without paying the appropriate taxes on them, The Associated Press reported.

Weisselberg has been under prosecutorial scrutiny for months as investigators tried to flip him as a cooperating witness.

Prosecutors have also examined whether Matthew Calamari, the Trump Organization’s chief operating officer, and his son Matthew Calamari Jr., the company’s head of security, accepted similar perks without paying taxes on them.

Nicholas Gravante Jr., an attorney representing both Calamaris, told Insider that he did not expect charges against his clients this week.

“Although the DA’s investigation obviously is ongoing, I do not expect charges to be filed against either of my clients at this time,” he said on Wednesday.

The investigation kicked into high gear in February when the Supreme Court cleared the way for prosecutors to obtain eight years of Trump’s tax returns. Prosecutors homed in on Weisselberg earlier this year and secured the cooperation of his former daughter-in-law, Jennifer.

Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that she’d given investigators boxes of documents from her messy divorce with Barry Weisselberg, also a Trump Organization employee. She said they showed evidence of the couple receiving fringe benefits from the Trump Organization — like housing and tuition payments for their children — without properly paying taxes on them.

Duncan Levin, Jennifer Weisselberg’s attorney in the case, said his client provided a “mountain” of evidence to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“We are very gratified to hear the reporting that the DA’s office is considering bringing criminal charges,” Levin said. “We had been working with them and other investigators since late last year and have provided investigators with a mountain of evidence about not only fringe benefits but also other potential tax issues.”

Barbara Res, a former executive at the company, told Insider that Barry Weisselberg’s position at the company could be part of the reason his father hasn’t flipped against Trump.

Weisselberg may still flip down the line

Manhattan prosecutors started investigating the Trump Organization after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and longtime fixer, accused the company of facilitating a hush-money payment to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges that she had an affair with Trump in the mid-2000s.

Cohen testified to Congress that he and Weisselberg had helped coordinate the payment with Trump’s knowledge. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to several felony counts of campaign-finance violations, tax evasion, and wire fraud in connection with the payment.

The inquiry later ballooned to examine whether Trump’s real-estate business manipulated its property values for loan and tax purposes and whether it violated banking and insurance laws.

Trump himself has dismissed the investigation as politically motivated.

Ron Fischetti, Trump’s defense lawyer, told Politico earlier this week that his client would not be charged in the first indictment from the DA’s office.

Prosecutors “just said, ‘When this indictment comes down, he won’t be charged,'” Fischetti told Politico. He added that the DA’s office said its investigation was “ongoing,” meaning the former president may not be out of hot water just yet.

Legal experts say that even if key figures like Weisselberg haven’t struck cooperation deals, it doesn’t mean they won’t flip down the line and turn in a bigger fish. Fischetti acknowledged that investigators wanted to use other witnesses to get evidence against Trump.

“They could not get Allen Weisselberg to cooperate and tell them what they wanted to hear, and that’s why they are going forward with these charges,” he told NBC News last week. “They could not get him to cooperate because he would not say that Donald Trump had knowledge or any information that he may have been not deducting properly the use of cars or an apartment.”

How I made $16,000 a year renting out my spare bedroom on Airbnb

  • Sasha Im is a web producer and nonfiction writer based in Seattle, Washington.
  • For three years, Im rented out a spare room in her home on Airbnb, earning about $16,000 each year.
  • Im says it was “the easiest way” she ever made money as well as a great way to connect with others.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

From 2016 to 2019, I rented out a spare room in my house in Seattle through Airbnb. During that time, I earned the status of Superhost and made on average $16,000 a year. I could have made even more, but I had a full-time job and didn’t want hosting to feel like work. Instead, I focused on the joy of opening up my home to complete strangers, and although I’ve since stopped hosting, I’ve kept the lessons it taught me.

Hosting made me a better cleaner

The shared kitchen room space in Sasha Im's home.

The open concept kitchen and breakfast island in Im’s home.

Sasha Im

Because I strived to get 5-star reviews with the “sparkling clean” rating, I stopped leaving jackets on the sofa or empty coffee cups on the table. Rather than putting off all the cleaning until Sunday, I did a few quick tasks every day. Dusting or mopping no longer felt like tedious chores but a rewarding form of self-care. It felt good to be living in a place that was always tidy and smelled like fresh-cut lavender. 

Having guests made me feel more secure in my house

Sasha Im

Im on the outdoor terrace of her home.

Sasha Im

I’m a petite 5’2″ woman. I learned some karate as a kid but my best roundhouse kick might thwart a puppy, so friends wondered how I could let strangers into my home.

But here’s the thing: I actually felt safer in my house with guests inside. This is partly because the rented room is near the front door, so my guests would have been in the first line of defense had a break-in ever occurred. (I’m not sure they knew their responsibility.) In any case, I enjoyed seeing my guests, and at night, it comforted me to hear their soft snores coming from their bedroom. 

I had only a few bad experiences, like one guest who claimed she could smell my cat who had died three years prior and tried to get a refund, and another guest who stole expensive items from my closet (totally my fault for not locking up my valuables, I did lock them up moving forward.) But overall, the positives of hosting outweighed the cons. 

Hosting introduced me to interesting people from all over the world

One English couple surprised me with a five-course meal and told me about their bucket list. A Spanish couple cooked a hearty chorizo stew and invited me to visit them in Barcelona. 

As a big fan of the late Tony Hsieh, whose mission at Zappo’s was to deliver happiness, I also made an effort to connect personally with each guest. I did things like ask which type of milk they preferred in their coffee and picked up a small carton of it at the supermarket, and once left chocolates and a bottle of Sapporo for a guest who looked tired.

I had fun meeting guests, which only led to more success as a host as several people returned for a second stay or referred others to my property.

Hosting reinforced the idea that money isn’t everything

The shared living room space in Sasha Im's home.

The shared living room space in Im’s home.

Sasha Im

I rented the room out between 140 and 170 days each year, and I blocked out two to three days after a guest left so that I never felt rushed in cleaning and turning over the room. I kept the house to myself for major holidays and whenever I wanted to have friends over for a party. Rather than trying to maximize my profits, I focused on giving my guests — and myself — a good experience, so I’ll always remember hosting as the easiest way I ever made money. It didn’t take a lot of my time, it gave me joy, and there were no office politics.

Now that I’m engaged, I’m no longer renting the spare room. My fiancé and I both feel guests would make our home feel crowded, but that might change if we ever move to a place with an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) or a separate floor.

I encourage anyone with a spare room who’s been curious about hosting to try it out, especially with post-pandemic travel plans heating up and sites like Airbnb and Vrbo making it easier for first-time hosts to sign up. But remember to focus on the quality of the experience — for both you and your guests — to get the best outcome.

Sasha Im is a web producer and writer based in Seattle. Her creative non-fiction has been featured on The Moth Mainstage and KNKX radio.

Biden seizes on extreme weather to tout infrastructure: We gotta make lemonades out of lemons here

  • Extreme heat is hitting the west coast as experts see increased wildfire potential for the region.
  • Biden met with western governors to tout his infrastructure plan as a remedy to the climate crisis.
  • “We gotta make lemonades out of lemons here,” he told lawmakers about climate change.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Extreme heat is hitting the west coast just as wildfire season is approaching, and experts predict above-normal fire potential for much of the region, which could have devastating impacts.

The record heat wave has melted power cables in Portland and hospitals in the west are seeing an influx of patients due to heat, prompting President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to meet with western governors to discuss best methods for wildfire preparation and prevention.

Biden said his bipartisan infrastructure deal could be part of the solution.

“We gotta make lemonades out of lemons here,” Biden said during a Wednesday roundtable with Western governors. “We have a chance to do something that not only deals with the problem today, but allows us to be in a position to move forward — and create real good jobs, by the way, generate economic growth.”

Last week, Biden reached an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on a near $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, including $579 billion in new spending largely focused on rebuilding physical infrastructure. But as Biden noted during the roundtable, the plan also includes $50 billion to build resilience to extreme weather events, like wildfires, along with increasing firefighter pay to $15 an hour to ensure they are “fairly paid for the grueling work they are willing to take on,” according to a White House fact sheet

Although Biden is promoting the bipartisan deal as a climate remedy, Democratic lawmakers have criticized the plan for cutting many climate-related elements out of the president’s initial proposal. For example, as Insider previously reported, $213 billion for affordable, green housing was cut from the plan, along with $35 billion in climate research.

That’s why many Democrats are calling for the bipartisan deal to be passed alongside a reconciliation bill that would include the care-economy measures cut, like affordable housing and free community college, along with substantial climate-related measures.

“I’ve said all along: no climate, no deal,” Democratic Sen. Ed Markey wrote on Twitter last week. “The bipartisan framework doesn’t get us there. So I agree with our leadership that this must be resolved in reconciliation. Until then, I’m still no climate, no deal – let’s get this done.”

The White House’s domestic climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, said during a forum held by Punchbowl News on Wednesday that the reconciliation bill should include robust climate investments, saying that they “do have some bottom lines in this.”

A memo written by McCarthy and White House senior adviser Anita Dunn said that Biden remains committed to “using all the tools at his disposal” to fight the climate crisis.

They wrote: “As we work to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, we will also continue to advance the full suite of proposals in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan through additional congressional action, including budget reconciliation, to ensure we build back our economy and country better.”