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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN2  August 10, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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tweet us your answer @booktv or posted on a facebook page, >> you are watching c-span2. .. >> host: and now joining us is
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kevin ashton, he is the coiner of the term internet of things, and he's also the author of this book, "how to fly a horse." mr. ashton, what's the, what's the background story on the title of that book? >> guest: it comes from a quotation from wilbur wright of the wright brothers who was explaining how the wright brothers were first to fly. and he dropped a piece of paper to his floor and said to his audience notice how the paper darts back and forth, this is the kind of horse we have to learn to ride if we are going to fly. >> host: and how does it tie into the theme and themes of your book? >> guest: well, yeah. the interesting thing is why did the wright brothers fly first, and what was the process they used, because they weren't the first people to have the idea of building a flying machine, and they weren't the first people to try. so why did they succeed where everybody else failed? and the answer is they
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understood the problem they were trying to solve much better than anybody else. and at the end of the day, being creative is not about having ideas in the shower or aha moments or lightning bolts of inspiration, it's about solving problems one step at a time. so understanding the problem of the piece of paper which is a problem of balance was the key for the wright brothers starting on their course that ultimately led to them flying. >> host: in your introduction you talk about the development of the internet of things, and is you say there was no magic, and there had been a few flashes of inspiration, but tens of thousands of hours of work. >> guest: yeah. by me and thousands of other people as well. and i think that was an experience for me that really led directly to the book. the book is a book i wish i had
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read 25 years ago when i started my career in creating. and the lesson i learned from developing the internet of things was most of the books i had read as a young man were wrong. there are no geniuses, there are no aha moments. you don't solve problems by not thinking about them and waiting for the answer to suddenly appear. you take lots and lots of steps, many of which lead you to dead ends, and then you back up and start again. so that experience i had at mit building the internet of things directly informs everything in "how to fly a horse." >> host: kevin ashton, when did you first coin that term, and in what context? >> guest: that was in early 1999. i was a young brand manager at the procter & gamble company from cincinnati, ohio. procter & gamble makes soap and paper and many household brands,
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and i'd had an idea that i could keep my products on the shelves at the stores if i could put tiny little radio microchips into everything and connect those to the internet. but i had to explain it to the ceo of procter & gamble and lots of other senior executives who weren't as familiar with information technology as i was, but they did know the internet was important. so one day i decided to change the title of my powerpoint presentation to "the internet of things" as a way to help them understand what i was talking about and get them to show up at my presentations, and it worked pretty good. that led me to mit, and i spent four or five years giving that same presentation all over the world to all sorts of companies. and eventually the name caught on. >> host: you also write in your book "how to fly a horse" that you never got really very good performance reviews and were in danger of being fired.
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>> guest: yes. i had horrible performance reviews nearly all the time because i was always trying to create something which meant i was working on something unexpected or something that people didn't understand. a lot of the things i tried didn't work or misunderstood. the other thing i found is when things did work, everybody else seemed to get the credit. so it's a not-uncommon thing for creative people or people who are working hard to create whether it's kids in schools or junior employees in companies, it's not uncommon for them to be undervalued because they're always doing something unexpected. >> host: this is one reason the creativity myth is so terribly wrong, you write, creating is not rare, we are all born to do it. >> guest: yes. creating is what makes the human race the human race. birds fly and fish swim and
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human beings create. the reason we have become this dominant species on the planet is that about 50,000 years ago -- which is only 2,000 generations, it's really not that long -- one human being looked at a tool and said i can make this better. and up until that point, and the tool was, like, it was called a hand axe. it's a pointy piece of stone that various species of humans have been using for millions of years. and be it never changed. just like birds' nests stay exactly the same over thousands and thousands of years, they're a product of instinct. and what led to us was that that first human being saying, you know what? i can make this thing better. i can improve it. we're all descended from that first human being. so so we all have this innate instinct to try to improve things, and that's what makes us different from every other species on the planet. so the idea that only a few human beings have the ability to
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create which is embodied in this 19th century myth that there are geniuses which are always white men, by the way, this idea is completely wrong. everybody, every human being has the innate potential to create new things. that doesn't mean we're all the same. we're not all equally good at creating, but everybody can do it. >> host: in a subchapter called "ordinary acts," you write: the case against genius is clear, too many creators, too many creations and too little predetermination. so how does creation happen? and what's the answer to that question? >> guest: creation is an accumulation of many tiny improvements to things that many, many people propose and execute. so even when we have some great inventer, an einstein or an edison or somebody that people build statues of and canonize,
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when you look closely, you see they're always building on the work of not just one or two people, but thousands of others and adding their own tiny improvements as well. and eventually someone puts the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle together, and something is complete. sometimes that person accumulates all the credit. really everything we do is a series of fairly ordinary steps that eventually can lead to extraordinary results. >> host: what led you to believe that everybody is creative, not just geniuses? >> guest: well, a little bit was my experience of building things at mit and seeing just how many people were involved and how we were always acting as a community of creative people trying to solve pieces of a problem to create something new. but then as i started working on the book which began as a series of lectures, the more research i did, the more i found these amazing stories that i'd never
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heard before of people everywhere creating things. one of them, which i start the book with, is of how the vanilla industry was created. vanilla is the most popular spice in the world, and the second most expensive spice in the world. and for hundreds and hundreds of years, it could only be grown in a tiny part of mexico. and the rest of the world was trying to figure out how to grow vanilla and failing. until a 12-year-old slave, a boy called edmund -- didn't even have a last name -- on a tiny island called reunion which is off the east coast of africa figured out how to manually pollinate the vanilla orchid which leads us to the vanilla root which leads us to the vanilla bean which is the spice. and nobody else had figured out how i to solve this problem. so -- how to solve this problem. as you rook around, you find
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apparently ordinary people doing amazing things because we have this creative potential. the other thing is everything around us has been created. we are completely dependent on conscious human intervention for everything we do from apples which are the result of thousands and thousands of years of selection through agriculture to things like televisions and cars and shoes. everything is created by somebody, and there's so much of it that it becomes fairly clear fairly quickly that everybody is creating. >> host: well, what are some of the steps we can take as individuals to create? >> guest: well, so the first thing -- maybe the only thing -- is to begin. and how do you begin? well, there's probably something you're itching to improve, and it may be a tiny problem. but you try and solve that problem. and each time you come up with a solution, you evaluate your solution, and the first thing you'll find is your first idea isn't that good, either it
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doesn't work at all, or it causes a whole set of other problems. and then you try and solve those problems. and each time you evaluate the solution and improve upon it, you're taking a step. and after thousands of steps, it could take years, you will end up with something amazing. so the trick is find a small problem, come up with a solution, evaluate that solution, expect it not to work. don't be deterred by the fact that the first things you try fail. keep going, keep learning from every failure, and eventually you create something amazing. >> host: kevin ashton, another one of the stories you tell in your book is about kelly johnson at the skunk works. who was he? >> guest: so kelly johnson is a remarkable figure in the history of aviation, first of all, and that's what he's best known for. the skunk works is the nickname of lockheed martin's advanced
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research group. and during the second world war, the allies -- particularly the united states and great britain -- realized they had a major problem. second world war was really the first air war. and at the beginning of the war, all the plane, the bombers and the fighters, used propellers. and during the war it was, first of all, it was discovered that a propeller-based plane absolutely cannot go faster than about 500 miles an hour. there are some aerodynamic principles that prevent that. and then british spies found that the germans had solved this problem by developing something called a jet engine. and they were going to bring a jet fighter into mass production in the mid 1940s, and if that was allowed to happen and it was unopposed by allied fighter plains -- planes, then germany was going to win the war. and kelly johnson and his team
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were given 150 days to build a jet fighter from scratch, the first-ever jet fighter the united states had built, in about 125. and that was a major accomplishment and divide unexpected. and quite unexpected. but in doing that, and this is the story i tell in the book, johnson did something else. he really demonstrated what the ideal creative organization looks like. and it's very focused, it doesn't have a lot of administration, it doesn't waste a lot of time on meetings or planning. it really does concentrate on the work of solving problems and evaluating solutions. and when you do that, you can accomplish amazing things. lockheed skunk works then went on the to develop stealth -- went on to develop stealth technology and traveling six times faster than the speed of sound, so they continue that
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tradition today. >> host: kelly johnson discovered that a small, isolated, highly motivated group is the best kind of team for creation. what's the importance of isolation in that creation process? >> guest: well, the way you create is by doing the work of creation, and anything else you do is distracting you from creating. so, you know, the isolation is an isolation from distraction and interference, first of all. but secondly, it can be an isolation from skepticism and criticism. you've already got enough problems to soft if you're -- to solve if you're trying to build a jet fighter in 150 days. you don't need well-intentioned outsiders telling you it can't be done. you have to spend your time believing you can do it and doing it. so it's a lesson that good, creative organizations apply all over the world today. you really want to keep everybody who's not engaged in the actual hard work of creating
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away from the creative space because you can really distract and diminish the people who are doing the work if you don't keep them isolated. >> host: kevin ashton, something else you talk about in your book are the luddites. who are the luddites? >> guest: so the luddites are, i think, a little bit misunderstood. they're a group of workers from the northeast of england who are about 200 years ago rose up in rebellion against something called the automated loop. they were basically weavers, and about 200 years ago it became possible to create a loom that didn't need a weaver. it used sort of punchcards that contained the weaving pattern and automatically, you know,
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wove a rug or a piece of fabric. and the millers felt very threatened by this automation. they believed it would be the end of their livelihood, the end of the livelihood of their, you know, of their children and grandchildren. what they didn't know or couldn't know -- and many of them died fighting the automated loom. they were caught and executed or killed while they were trying to destroy looms. what they couldn't know was that was the beginning of the information revolution. what actual happened as a result of -- actually happened as a result of the automated loom and the industrial era that it heralded was there was a need for more educated workers than there had ever been before. so as a result of those, apparently, very disruptive and potentially socially damaging technological changes, two things happened. through the 18th century,
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everybody in the industrialized world learned to read. practically nobody could read in 1800, and nearly everybody could read in 1899. and following on there that in order to create a class of workers who could do the jobs we today think of as management, around 1900 most of the industrialized countries started public education. so really as a result of the automated loom, ironically the grandchildren of the luddites got to learn to read and got to go to school. so the unexpected consequence of that technological revolution was much more educated, more literate population. >> host: we often refer to people who may not adopt technology that we know today as luddites. is that fair? >> guest: no. and the luddites weren't opposed to technology, they were opposed to technology that potentially was going to destroy their livelihoods. they were fighting for their
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jobs. one of the ironies which they were well aware was the sledgehammers they used to destroy the automated looms were invented by the same man who invented the automated looms and at about the same time. so in using those sledgehammers, they were demonstrating their willingness to embrace new technology. it was the consequences of technology that they feared. and the other thing to say is there's a misunderstanding about the words technology. there's not a human being alive that doesn't use, need and depend on technology. a lot of people use the word technology to mean high technology. they think about iphones or televisions or something when hay talk about technology. -- when they talk about technology. but books are technology. bananas, which would not look like they do today without agriculture, are also technology. everything we depend on is technology. in fact, you can show very conclusively that human beings couldn't survive for more than a few days without technology because as we started adopting
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technology millions of years ago, our teeth and our jaws changed in a way that means we really can't chew food unless it's cultivated food or unless we have tools to cook it and cut it. so we're all highly dependent on technology even if some of the newer technology doesn't appeal to us. >> host: kevin ashton, how did you get to mit, and what was your role there? >> guest: so i was not a professor at america it, i was -- at mit, i was not even a student at hit. i was working in brand management for procter & gamble and trying to develop a technology that procter & gamble could use to manage its business more efficiently. and i started collaborating with some academics at mit and eventually we decided that proctor should fund their research, and mit inviolated me to go -- invited me to go and manage that program. so i was executive director of a lab called the auto-id center at
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mit. my status was visiting engineer which is kind of funny, because i have a liberal arts degree. my degree is in scandinavian studies. i spent four years studying 19th century norwegians, so i'm really not qualified to go to mit at all. but my job there was to manage the research, make sure the research got funded, make sure it stayed focus on the applications we needed it to deliver, and it was a very successful program. my co-founders at mit, who i should mention, professor santo sharker and dr. david brock, and eventually we had labs at five other universities as well. >> host: did you have a small, isolated, focused team? >> guest: absolutely. absolutely. we had probably a couple of dozen ph.d. and graduate-level researchers doing most of the work at m irk t.
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similar -- mit. similar teams at the other universities around the world that i mentioned, and everybody had an incredible sense of mission. they knew exactly what they were trying to do, exactly what their role was. they completely understood that if they were successful, they were helping to write the history of computing. so, yeah, we were very focused, very motivated. we really spent as much time as we could doing the work and as little time as possible on, in a potential outside distraction. >> host: kevin ashton, did your study of 18th century or 19th century norwegians ever pay off for you? [laughter] >> guest: absolutely. i think everything is interconnected. it's really interesting. you know, i majored in the work of a norwegian playwright, and one of the things that struck me about him, he left his parents
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behind, never went back. actually went to copenhagen, spent all his time observing people and writing his plays. he was a perfect example 069 kind of isolation and creative focus you often need to have if you want to be successful. and the other thing about ibsen which is fascinating -- by the way, get me talking about ibsen, and i can go for a very long time. the town he's from is called sheehan, small town outside oslo, and he's now regarded as one of the five most important playwrights in history. so to achieve that from a tiny backwater in norway is a major accomplishment and really further evidence that anybody can create, and one step can lead to another the step that can ultimately lead to extraordinary results. >> host: mr. ashton, you've started some other companies or some other start-ups. describe that process and what they are today.
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>> guest: well, so the first company i joined was called thing magic. it was founded by several of my colleagues and friends from mit, and as soon as i finished the research program at mit, i joined there. i think i was, like, the fifth employee or something. and we eventually -- initially, we didn't take any money. we were getting some customers and getting them to pay us up front, and then we would do the work, and we were providing them with internet of things technology using some very advanced engineering -- not by me, but by my colleagues. and gradually, we built that company to the point where we were able to raise tens of millions of dollars of investment from major investors, one of whom was cisco systems, the big computer company. and eventually that company was sold to a large industrial conglomerate and did very well.
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i then joined a company called annonock in boston because i wanted to see how we could apply internet of things technology to the problem of climate change and to clean technology. that was a company that was started by some other people, it had just gone public when i joined, and that gave me a lot of experience of both how to apply technology to the problems of energy and also what a company that had just gallon public looked -- had just gone public looked like. at that point i had really the perfect three work experiences, because i'd worked for a big, old public company, a bootstrap start-up and a company that had just gone public. so i started my own company with one of my mit colleagues, matt reynolds, a professor from university of washington, and within nine months we found ourselves in a little bit of a
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bidding war with a number of companies wanting to acquire us. and, again, that was internet of things technology to help people save energy. and so we started that at the beginning of 2009 which was supposed to be the worst time to start a company because it was really in the depths of the recession. and by january 2010 we'd been acquired for a very large amount of money, and we'd been able to achieve that without any investment from anybody at all, which is a wonderful result for an entrepreneur. so i had to -- i was very lucky. i had three very good experiences in the start-up world after leaving mit. >> host: what's a downside to internet of things? >> guest: i don't really think there is a downside to the internet of things. it's a term that really means giving computers their own senses. in the 20th century computers really have keyboards, and keyboards were how computers got
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their information which moment they were getting all their information from people. and there's only so much information that we can gather ourselves. it's tedious and trivial to gather lots of detailed information about the world. what you really want is your information system to gather information for itself. so, and this is the world we live in today. our smartphones know where we are. they use gps which is a network-sensing technology to figure out where they are, and and we have cameras that can take their own pictures and recognize their own faces and so on and so on. so we are, we are moving into a world where we're able to capture information automatically which is much more efficient. and the next challenge that a lot of us are working on right now is then getting the computer to analyze the information that it's gathering so it can either give us useful tidbits of information, or it can actually make decisions for us. decisions like deeing our
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cars -- driving our cars for us. one of the big internet of things revolutions that's coming very quickly right now is self-driving cars. that's possible because the information systems in the vehicles have network sensors. and that's going to free be us up to get finish free us up to get from a to b more safely without wasting our time. we can read a book or take a nap or have a meeting or do whatever we want to do while we're traveling. it's going to be powerful. i really don't see a downside. you know, all technology comes with a few new problems that we need to solve. that's just the way things progress. and nothing is perfect. but our ability to create new technology, which as i say is this uniquely human ability, is what allows our species to survive and thrive. and 60 or 70 years from now we're going to have to support a population of ten billion people, so we need all our
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technology to help us do that, and the internet of things will be a very big part of it. >> host: have you been following the fcc debate on net neutrality, and if so, do you have an opinion? >> guest: yeah. oh, yes, i have and i do. i mean, net neutrality is a euphemism for cable companies trying to no knop thize television. -- monopolize television. when i explain this to people, they're really surprised. the big change in the television world is that producers of television content can get it to you directly now in the world of the internet, either to your laptop -- everybody's familiar with youtube, for example -- but also to some kind of settop box like a video game console, like an xbox one or a playstation 4 or a a tivo or a device from amazon. so is what's happening is cable companies are providing you with
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internet, but they're being disintermediated from providing you with television. so we have the worldwide wrestling will now send you wrestling directly to your xbox of your tivo or to your computer. the nfl is looking at doing the same thing. and i think the great fear for the cable companies is that their role will simply be providing you with internet access, and they don't like that. so what they're trying to do is cripple those services so that you have to get your television from them. that's, that's not how free markets are supposed to operate. so we really need to be very honest about what's going on in the net neutrality debate. it's an old monopoly industry trying desperately to cling onto its monopoly, and what's best for the consumer is competition. competition is the american way. >> host: kevin ashton is the author of this book, "how to fly a horse: the secret history of creation, invention and discovery."
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he's joined us from austin, texas. >> c-span, brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. harold meyerson moderated this
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hour and 10 minute event in los angeles. [laughter] [applause >> thanks. it's always great to be back in: l.a. i'm going to briefly introduce our panelists and then start asking some questions. in order to my left robin kelley was the professor of u.s. history, ucla is a noted author a noted author of books and articles that are more or less at the intersection of the african-american experience, radical politics, and culture. he is also the editor of a
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forthcoming study on race, rights, and riots in the u.k.. a global perspective here. holly mitchell, if i say so myself, is the conscience of the california state legislature. she has not been indicted. [laughter] [applause] senator mitchell: i won't be. harold meyerson: if that's not a lock elation -- ad hoc elation, i don't know what is. she was elected to the state senate in 2014 in a district that runs om centu city do to down to south out by and includes areas like% of the african-american community here in l.a. and she is not in the legislature as the person really is a champion of poor children of home care workers, the kind of people who get left out of the state budget and then she goes into combat with jerry
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brown and others and wins things for these folks. max herman is the assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at the new jersey city university. no, this book is an oral history of the newark and detroit riots of 1967 and i should have given what it is today, he's also president of the board of trustees of the jewish historical museum of new jersey. this could be -- next month is the 50th anniversary of the 1985 watts riots. from a journalistic perspective i'm reminded of the fact when the riots started the "l.a. times" realized it did not have a single african-american reporter. they did it on one african-amern on a visit staff so so they sent him down to report. i'm also reminded of the fact
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with the 1992 l.a. riots which i covered for the l.a. weekly, kcrw realize they need to do more coverage of the inner-city and that's the origin of a long radio career at kcrw. one thing we know the rights can have an effect on his they cause relatively liberal the media for a while to pay more attention to the inner-city. the question is what else do they do? i'm going to ask questions that elicit these answers from the panelists let me start with robin. one of the things americans often forget is that before the rights of the last 50 some odd years, rights to a very different complexion, perhaps i should succumb in american history. talk about that for a minute. >> i'm happy to. always great to be at these events.
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the history of rights and the united states is more accountable like the history of fashion in the sense you have these sort of cases in 18th and 19th century and even early 20th century in which the african-american have been victims of racial uzbek go back to cincinnati 1839 and 1842. you go back to all the riots, the memphis riot, 1866. one of my favorites, not in a good way -- [laughter] that think about wilmington north carolina in 1898 which was literally a coup d'├ętat in which white democrat overthrew a republican elected government through force of arms. even if you've been to the 20th century you can also where the purpose of rights is to change, in this case the change was the destruction of black economic and social
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institutions, or another one of my favorites, east st. louis 1917 and which between 125-200 african-americans were killed by mobs. there's more to it. in that level of violence in which white mobs invaded the black community of st. louis come headlines in the paper saying make it a lily-white countered the of incidents of white women engaged in some kind oof commodity rights were they went into black women's households who are doing fairly well, still the lamps, the roads, often by gunpoint -- drugs -- as a way to try to bring what they think of as a kind of level. that kind of racial violence is what characterized much of the riots up until about 1964 for some exceptions of parliament 35 and 43 of the most part a modern
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white we think of, that is the commodity right and the insurrections against police violence, state violence really begin in early 1960s. >> holly, let me follow up about insurrections again because police violence. in the riots that robin was just talking about, the police probably either stood aside or joined in. the riots in our lifetimes become accustomed to our riots in which the role of the places usually is the spark. it's not the role of the police. it's the acquittal of the police. i've been away from l.a. for a while. have police practices in this city change? do you think they've changed enough so that people ca can thk of rights or as a thing of the past were not really? >> i don't think you can think
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of riots as a thing of the past. if the lakers could win a victory next go around we could have another one. i recognize in recent conversations which my colleague, the majority leader in maryland about the baltimore scenario, talking to my own teenage son, his orientation is the upheaval that occurs after sporting victory. think about it. lakers, the date area. as his orientation of a riot. have experience with law enforcement improved, say, since the 65 watts rebellion by that was a direct, the trigger was a shooting initiated by police. we didn't wait for the acquittal. jumped off right then. to the current day, absolutely. do we still have improvements to
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make when you look at the black lives matter campaign? we absolutely do. as with all rates lasting cultural class and related across the country, i think that any number of laws have been put on the books, any number of reports impact police culture, police climate, who the police car, the whole notion of community policing and to persuade the police force. alall of that is, but over the last several decades and we still going to go, no question in my mind. >> max, i think you predicted in the current climate is going to be writes this summer. why did you give us your thought process. >> yes, i have predicted, i'm a divided mind, i'm making a projection because on the one part i think it will happen that these events tend to run in cycles and there has been diffusion from one place to another. on the other hand, i'm not
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hoping that that will happen but want to go back to something, a comic holly mcpeak to making the word rebellion. we've been using the word riot and rebellion interchangeably. a lot of the research i've done over the past decade or so, those are fighting words. it really is indicative of where you're coming from what you call these events all riots or you call them rebellions. if you call riot it implies there really isn't an issue involved or that the motivation is simply to go out and basically as one scholar put it, writing for fun and pleasure, whereas a rebellion implies that it's a reaction to injustice. the other thing is that there's been a mischaracterization of some of these events that these are violence perpetuated by blacks against whites. when in reality much of the violence that was perpetuated certainly started in 1960s was by the police and the national
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guard. one of the clear factors in the cities come in detroit, newark and in watts is hardly anyone was killed in the first day or so. people only begin to be killed when a national guard come in, but please take more aggressive position on those things -- police take more aggression position on those things. things. >> it was an act of the '60s riots, the watts riots that we begin to see the white backlash. sort of the election of reagan as governor in 66 running against transit. that night, the election of richard reid and the slogan was tough enough to turn allies around. i never thought there was a political editor at the time that he would've been elected. for massive incarceration of young blacks, black young man really begins kind of crazy all
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cisco that we have soon after these riots. we did the rockefeller drug laws are passed, but have also never existed during prohibition, so clearly a distinction there. robin, you know, how much of the criminalization of young black men followed sort of logically, if that's the word from these uprisings speak with two things. one, a lot of people put much emphasis on the kerner commission report that came after the 67-68 riots. and rebellions. one of the problems is that the actual policy initiative in most cities was to actually increase law and order but it wasn't so
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much to engage in any kind of social reforms to drive improve the conditions in black urban communities but rather, baltimore is a good example of what they put out their own commission report and the report said what we need is more teargas, more weapons and more cops. and so in some ways we have a ramping up in the militarization of the police force in response to the urban rebellion. this on the one hand. entrance of the criminalization of urban use, i think there's two different sources. one source definitely is a source of early 1970s. that's very clear. there's reasons for that which we can talk about some of it happened to deal with building prisons as a way to do with the economic crisis. on the other hand, there some terrific work, there's a book out called the first civil right. and she talked about the fact
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it's in the truman era, the truman commission on civil rights made the architecture for criminalization but we will do it, increased policing and change the sentencing policy to deal with racist violence to put in the same architecture ends up being used to incarcerate large numbers of basically poor and middle-class people. you can begin late '50s into the '60s you can see more policing, more arrests, longer sentences going back then. that's why part of the anger against the police has to do with the fact that architecture is already in motion and more and more people are being arrested, harassed and killed by the police in large numbers. that's the sort of backup your watts and 65 wasn't a result of a single incident but as a wave. >> good old bill parker.
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ali, -- holly, shortly after the 92 riots, i should say at the weekly we use the word arise because i could arguing we are going to come up with the most left wing analysis of these events come of any of the paper and i don't the paper and ability of the people from the byword choice. we consciously what with the word riot. shortly after this, the hotel unions in the city which was an interesting and creative union put out a video called city on the brink which kind of conflated in sort of an ingenious way the underpayment of the city's service sector and hotel employees with the recent riot, noting that a lot of the 92 riots was certainly multiracial, god knows.
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and sort of was the genesis of the formation of the living wage coalition and the alliance for a new economy. i'm trying to think of any kind of sort of progressive outcome in this city from riots. it was a total flop ended when he knew that from the start. this was efforts to which i think mayor bradley appointed peter ueberroth, the hero of the 1984 olympics. i do think the rebuilding parts have worked anywhere. in terms of engendering any kind of movement, getting more attention by activists themselves, do you see any revote in the city? >> not as many since the 92 event compared to the watts. rethink that to the watts rebellion by folks were supposed
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to work, i was born in 64, year old. you think about teen hospital in so many of the services, so many of the shift and elected representation. if it wasn't for the watts uprising, tom bradley may still be the only one black cop in lapd. there was a shift in terms of primary services. so many programs and services came into the area. 92 not so much. i agreed, then try to pick up the nexus, rebuild the city. leadership means everything. the right person at the helm certainly sends a message both conscious and otherwise. you drive from south l.a. we are such a segregated city and county quite frankly. so when you step outside of your box, your world, and driving to
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traditional south l.a., transit, compton, you recognize we still have deserts wher where grocery stores never to give the boys went away after the 92 uprising. drugstores, so many close into my district in baldwin hills jungle area where we lost grocery stores. target. there's still parts of land that were never redeveloped our services have never returned. so the food desert issue has been magnified by what was lost as a result of the 92 undressed, and there will be generations who will suffer as a result of that. >> that they've been lost despite the fact there are more african-american elected officials, so much i want to ask you. much was made in the ferguson
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events this year. well, majority black city with, you know, nonetheless whites are the governing class, most elected officials. but it's also the case that when you see the stuff that went on in cleveland for instance, it's no magic carpet to have a city with african-american elected officials who still have most of the same grievances. and in baltimore the police force in the majority-minority as well, and whatever the socialization of police is it seems to overcome it is a resistance, seems to overcome it. where does that leave us in terms of you are still stuck with the same is? >> unfortunately, we're talking about is ethnic succession and politics. i think it was lot of hope and optimism in cities like newark, detroit, cleveland went black
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political officials were elected for the very first time after the rebellions of the '60s but ultimately some folks were disappointed because the faces have changed the nature of the system had not. they are still talking about machine politics. unfortunately resources, talking about the backlash after the riots in the 60s in particular, resource when into law and order and it was this kind of what we would call the politics of resentment where wives not only let physically in the city but money left cities as well. taxation became less progressive. and basically divided black political officials that really didn't control the goodies so to speak, that the white political officials had in the past. but simply replacing one set of people with enough is no guarantee we need larger systematic change. >> i am the fourth black woman instated to serve in the
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california state senate. [applause] i appreciate your blog but i'm not really sure if it's something that we should feel good about quite frankly. [laughter] but i safe in the context of what i represent just under a million l.a. county residents of all walks of life, that gives me no control over the major financial institutions who provide loans to businesses and allow people come and homeland to buy homes and invest in your community, and homeownership helped propel folks out of poverty. it gave me minimal control of her home in students can be admitted to ucla. so i'm clear that my favorite critic role in the confidence of the state come and participate actively in the development and passage of one of our largest state budget in recent history. i'm also clear i could not stop a bank from closing its doors right at the budget in the
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jungle, a bank that many residents don't have transportation to the jungle will now fall into the unbank category. so yes, i do powers as state senator, the are major areas of the great economy that i don't. that doesn't change and those are some of the major drivers that leave to the condition to which people live which lead to rebellion. >> shortly after african-americans were elected in cities like newark and detroit, the cities lost control of the school system. the school systems were taken over by state. utayou collect them into think e mayor has the power to make everything change and be more responsive to people in the city and yet their powers are increasingly limited. >> even right now most cities are governed why democrats, and its cities with things like
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minimum wage and pay the six days -- sick days are being connected but when the publicans face they are engaged over the last six months and taking this right away from cities so they can't do it. this may be cases to the city versus suburb versus excerpt. in the last two weeks there's been a supreme court decision which would've been a big deal if it had not been eclipsed by public image and the upholding of the -- put more teeth into 1968 fair housing thing and the obama administration has announced again a program, all of this is were directed to compelling cities outside, cities and suburbs outside the urban center to take more low income housing. it's the kind of coincidence these two things happened within the same 10 days, but they did.
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do any of you have any thoughts about whether actual currency socioeconomic housing integration, which seems to be third rail doesn't even describe that. but there is another list of by the administration and a court ruling that seems to be trying to push that along a little. robin? >> i want to go back, tied to question would want to to something else. sometimes we see law and order as a major transformation taking place in the post-1966 period and especially the '70s and '80s but there's another major policy shift, ideological shift in which we have increasing divestment from cities, the cutbacks in federal funding for any program, social program that actually could help people,
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especially young people survived the job prospects. housing becomes issue because your massive cutbacks. even in democratic administration in terms of federal housing support. and so the ideology of privatized, divest leads to bankruptcy. unity situation in detroit, for example, in which it's a hole in history of detroit but going back to 67 and before that, but detroit is a city that was literally under financial management. it was bankrupt. not through any fault of the workers who live in detroit and as a result people are disenfranchised. here's the political system falling apart based on an idea that you can ceo your way.
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to come back to the question of integrated housing, i think that's a huge issue, but it can go nowhere without actual adequate housing. we are in los angeles right downtown riding one of the largest homeless populations in the world. where the cd spins six, $7 million a year to police the area, not to actually provide homeless services. so in some respects if we can't solve that problem, the notion of integrated housing will not be solved either ultimately. >> i might jump in on this issue. i spent a fair amount of time in detroit, and so for all the conversation about detroit is bankrupt, detroit is about but very affluent suburbs. so this issue of integrating suburbs and city is very, very import. part of the backlash that
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occurred after the riot was that white people who had fled to the suburbs said they didn't want to contribute money to the provision of services in the inner cities. that's continuing. i'm from new jersey and other than intercourse suburb of newark but for the building montclair, new jersey, have been trying to secede from her account because they feel different to going to the so-called undeserving poor who live in the city. it's shocking what part of the same county that some of those folks who live out in the suburbs have not actually going to newark which is only four or five miles away in over 25 years. so this issue of some of forcing suburbs to accept more affordable housing and we move to integrate the cities and the suburbs is a very, very critical
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issue. >> this is all taking place at a time, reducing the housing stock and we've seen not a riot but selective toward a targeted, symbolic violence i would say, say in the mission district of san francisco against the buses taking the high-tech elite that is just -- so it's taking place at a time when all kinds of things are exacerbating the affordable housing crisis. nowhere more so than in the city. the wages, i think there was a study that said that gap between average income here in what it takes to get a one or two bedroom is greater than just about anywhere else. >> and it's getting worse. governor brown eliminated the state primary funding
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opportunity for the development and construction of low-income and moderate-income housing. we hear from developers all the time, talk about because of official policy of the state and cities have added to the equation how much more costly to build. and they would look like downtown, the rosalind and alexandria. there was a door-to-door survey of both those hotels in the mid '80s to tr try to get and an actual count of how me kids were living on skid row. they have been converted to lost. so my thought is were on those families? the youngest child we saw at the alexandria had just come from be county, the first time after being born. looked at the largest on the, families with double door refrigerators and four burners who are living in these as our owes, where are they today?
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>> at the en end of the chandler novel the long goodbye from philip marlowe said we'll never see these churches can't accept the cops. there's no way to say goodbye to the cops. is there any way to say goodbye to what the cops periodically and sometimes systemically provoke in the african-american community? is there some kind of, have we seen training, demographic shifts? does any of this do with the fact that the socialization process and, you know, some fraction of cops are always going to be thugs or racists. >> i was a no one wants to see the cops go away. while the african-american immediate is not -- [laughter] okay, let me finish my point and then you proved me wrong. african-american community is not a monolithic route.
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homeowners in south l.a. are really much more conservative i am in terms of my own politics and my views. there's a whole lot of black republican homeowners in south-central who are gun owners and want the police. the issue is not, you know, to protect, protect and serve as their status is on the side of the car, air quote. but against to? so the issue is what kind of policing in a civil society are we are willing to pay for, train for, and produce? >> elaborate on -- >> no, i did not great that it's only a lot of communities that little income communities of color want law and order. what does that mean? law and order is not depression,
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stop and frisk. law and order is peace. the disorder is a product of police practices. that's how people feel it and experience it. when i wave my hand is average want to police. i'm kind of utopian and i'm also historian. so for me the history of the police and the united states is a short history. they performed wrote about the 1840s and '50s and in some cities not into the 1900s and even have a police force. so i imagine a future where we could disband the army, open the prisons and actually create forms of public safety. what we want is public safety and security not based on repression but based on a collective, caring community where we take care of each other, where we don't have suburbs saying we refuse to give
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up our revenue, as if the revenue is really theirs, to help other communities. and as long as we have that ideology and that mentality, then we will always have the police but i think we can try to change that is the beginnings were eventually replacing the place with public safety to were all part of caring for each other. [applause] >> let me build on this harmonious thought was an issue of harboring which is actually already happening. eq look at the mobilization around visually dramatic and successful in many places campaign to raise the minimum wage, one of the things that strike about that, a lot of has food workers obvious that are people of color. some other demonstrations have actually said black lives
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matter. beginning to get there, together of an economic movement and the movement of collective outrage, frustration, et cetera over police practices. am i being utopian? am i being utopian in thinking this might be the seed of something? >> before i can go there i most remind us all, i am a strong supporter. my voting record in the senate show i endorse the 15 campaign in the city. however, in the city of los angeles indication that as they carved out a huge sector in l.a., the childcare sector. they were caught out because they reimbursed -- the reimbursement for childcare provideproviders do so love acknowledged they couldn't get there. and so that's a female dominant
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sector, a sector dominant by women of color who have no paid six time -- sick time, no vacation, retirement. one of the entities, i can't remember, the power and owners of the business sector in the county made the childcare industry like number three behind entertainment and something else. just in life for five years. this is a huge sector, private childcare provider, childcare centers. well that's good news, there's a huge segment of los angeles that won't even be there, won't be included yes, i think it's the beginning of the coalition and the movement building a part of that we can never forget who we have knowingly left behind. >> i don't think that's been reported very widely. domestic workers of all kinds of always been excluded from any
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protection for that's what domestic workers alliance and united have been pushing for domestic workers bill of rights to protect -- >> widget because been enacted in four states if i'm correct. >> right. spin and childcare providers are not included in that spirit so i could redirect and go back to the issue of policing i think it is a very important issue in preparation for today's conversation i took a journey down to watts to check out the towers which i've never seen but also to talk to people in the community. one job i was talking to come african-american gentleman pointed out there was a police substation very close by but said it had made any difference in terms of the quality of policing in the community. so simply having police doesn't mean you're going to have good policing. i don't think we want the place to inhabit go away or disappear but i think a lot of people what
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the police did more accountable. and that is something positive time and try to think of things that are positive to come out of these events. one of the positive things of late in baltimore, ferguson, of the places is people are starting to demand more accountability from their police forces and politicians are coming on board with that. in newark mayor ras baraka signed an executive order instituting a police civilian review board. people been asking for that since 1965 when the congress on racial equality branch in newark was demanding civilian review board and kept getting kicked down the road. but it was put in place just recently. new york state governor andrew cuomo, not always a huge fan of his policies but you said that police officers, if the local prosecutor will not pursue a police issue, then this table. so there has been some positive
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movement in that direction to hold police more accountable. if that's the case that made even played a part in kind of emulator rating the tendency to have these events, rise, rebellions, whatever you call it spiit. >> willa cather collection of bills that packet of those going to the legislature to one with a cartoon green trees and for the grand juries should be impaneled amid the police officers involved, shooting or excessive force, and date in my mind are painted we are looking at a dib system of culture should that while i can listen all day long and the legislatures have 4000 bills procession we can't legislate against bias, against the bias and racism, classism. that's going to be --
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>> he do that civilian oversight of the police. i think that's a very, very important thing. >> i agree. >> it does send a message to the police that someone is watching what they are doing. >> same with our issue on the grand jury, the bill we're hearing the grand jury system is not an open, transparent system. if you're involved in the death or maiming of a private citizen that you to go through the regular open transparent public process like all of us on this panel would. i agree. shine some light. it will help speed and a lot of it is because what goes on is recorded. in this regard the rodney king was sort of like before people had cell phones that could take pictures, and should've been maybe one of the things we should not have been arguing for
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after rodney king already was for installation of the kind of cameras that are now being mandated. >> one of the biggest sources for sort of modern postcard were pictures of lynching. the modern photography, edition vision of these images a thousand people watching. i agree. at the same time there's something about the fact that this technology has been out, technology second document is violence and yet it's the lack of concern. although one of th the big questions that sort of behind this whole panel is to these urban riots and rebellions, do they cause change and make a difference? i was just reminded of two things. one is when michael brown was
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killed, it wasn't his death, it was elizabeth that pushed us off the tone for our news cycle. it was the rebellion it was afterward. that's what i've seen into covered in the case of baltimore people had been beaten by police consistent but it wasn't until people kind of came out in the streets in ways that was considered urban rebellion or riots that attention was paid to freddie gray same thing with the cincinnati. we forget about cincinnati. those riots that erupted in 2001 after timothy thomas' killer was let off, lead to significant changes even though short-term changes, changes in policing and kind of committed agreement sprint but why the following change? as we discussed, the reaction to the rise of the 1960s didn't change police practices.
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it cause as you said you are just buying more guns and now by what you just said you are seeing the possibility of a different kind of change. >> maybe. >> maybe. but we urge you locate the cause of that difference if, in fact, there is a difference? >> they are very similar. in a case of michael brown it took consistent organizing a protest to bring some attention to the situation but we are not done yet. in other words, we don't know what's going to happen. in the case of baltimore we are seeing heads roll, we are seeing changes. affecting the baltimore is to be more business as usual private for a while. the difference is after, talking hundreds of cities put up, 250 deaths, 10,000 the risk of 60,000 risk of 10,000 injured in that area.
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the outcome wasn't so much a change in policy but a level of organization. that was an outcome that organizations emerged like, and alert patrol, the black panther party, the black congress, the community -- all these organizations emerged and to my reading that much anything with the backlash but it's no time organizing, not so much the rights but the fact the response was that which is going to stop and go home. the response was we're going to create a long-term opposition movement and then you get to see much more backlash. but as a result of that, the more organization, the more changes. it's just hard. >> i have to say to that is a critical distinction sometimes between a right to protest. and the eric garner case and others there've been protests and riots. a lot of the literature, the
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sociological literature suggests that the response to a protest is more likely to bring about positive social change, whereas the response to a quote right is more likely to bring more repressive action, more demands, call for law and order. the other thing i wanted to talk about was the media. the attention from the media is a double edged sword. it may bring about some positive changes but it could also be, it could deeply destigmatize city to spending time in newark and detroit, those cities have been stigmatized very typical of events that occurred almost 50 years ago. when people think of cities like detroit, newark, they often think about riots and to think about crime, disorder, dk. fortune l.a. is a much bigger city and it is many different identities so it hasn't been stigmatized in quite the same way. there is a danger that are data
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right to lead to the long-term stigmatization of a city. and then just for the dry spell process of disinvestment and makes it much, much more difficult for a city to recover. i worry about that indicates of a city like baltimore spent you don't think it was stigmatized before? >> absolutely. in fact, the rights become a cover story for whites in cities like newark. we were driven out of the city by the riots. i often call bs on that because people did start moving out of the cities in the 1940s and 1950s. federal government aid them low interest a fha loans to move out of the city, construct interstate highways, all that stuff, make it easier for a white middle class, white working-class population to escape from the cities. but the stigma deepens as a result of the rise of the rebellions to the point that now
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the city is packed with or associated with those events. >> i appreciate that distinction i just feel compelled to say, that empowers people to protest. a historically disenfranchised group of people who feel they have nothing to lose and perhaps nothing to gain are not empowered enough to protest the that's why i will not intentionally use of the term rebellion because it is a reaction to circumstance, a living condition, a state of mind that i think dozens allowed you to protest properly. spewing. [applause] >> we are going to turn to the other folks here in a couple of minutes, but the aftermath of the riots of the '60s you do
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get groups that try to take on the police more directly like the panthers, and in our day and age we have likewise made which is a very different kind of formation. >> we've got cop watch. they been doing police marching the whole time. spin there is apps for your phone you can record. >> the fact it has a lot more attraction with sympathetic middle-class whites say than the panthers did way back then. visual documentation of police abuse. as the story dies down it happened again somewhere else and we see it again. seems to create, to me, without fundamental change in everything
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that is socioeconomically inflicted on inner-city residents. it changes the atmosphere somehow. >> i think there's a big difference between the face and look at the black lives matter movement versus those brothers and sisters with black beret and black leather jackets but it was very clear that they were about power and getting some, and our notion of the power dynamic is for me to get power i must take it from you, and that evoked fear in the masses. >> the one issue which is briefly touched on with the fight for 15 is the economic power. that's something that rarely gets addressed in these conversations. we talk about the police, we talk about black lives matter but we don't get down to the economics of. even martin luther king became a much more radical person and he started demanding organizing the
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poor people's movement, making demands on the government to be more responsive. and we talk about a socialistic things, income redistribution. that's when we hit the third rail. people can come on board about the police should do this and so one, but we comfortably making structural changes, those are far more difficult. >> i will say and will go to the participants now but i will say the economy has gotten so bad for so many people that we are seeing some more progress right now through things like the fight for 15, i think a lot of us would have anticipated. more than anyone would've predicted a couple of years ago. i think that's good where do we go from here? >> with the subtitle questions. they are to those with microphones. we will do our best to get to you with a microphone. this is being reported both by
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zocalo and this will be national rebroadcast, c-span has joined us today so there will be rebroadcasting to sometime in august. he cannot afford to josephine is the first question on the right. >> hello. my name is chandra. thank you so much for taking us to these thorny issues so well. my question is a follow up to something as up to something in senator mitchell just sit there and it's about the mindset of the writer pursued the rebels, whichever term do you. and for macs and for professor kelley, has it been any studies done on the mindset of the rebels? it is there a difference between the expectation level that one group has versus the other? >> well, historically there were
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some classic status of writers involved in newark and detroit. those really my two main cities of expertise. they were studies done and wanted to show there was a quote a typical writer but a typical writer was not who you might have expected it was not somebody who was the poorest of the poor. these are folks who are actually striving in seeing the upwardly mobile but were frustrated because their path to opportunity were blocked. antigen that was part of the mindset that's part of the anger, heart of the frustration, particularly in the '60s is people have a sense of hope that they're moving forward and get the progress was interrupted. i personally don't see that sense of hope right now among young people in particular. icy fatalism. >> oh, that's bad think it is to adopt my students it.
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>> i see nothing but to. >> there's a whole cottage industry trying to get the mindset of the writers. it is true at least the 1960s and '70s they tended to more education. tended -- but then there's a question of who's been arrested. oftentimes it's those who were arrested into being part of survey data. but then to be honest, sociologist would say you cannot understand this survey the people of experience their whole life and with the spirit in the moment, in the moment of the action. because it's a transformative. i think part of the question we have to ask ourselves, what is the mindset of those people who were kind of committed to social movements and social organizations to try to make
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these kind of changes? i think that's critical because many other people into being involved in social movements are not mrs. of the same people who are engaged in these kind of actions. we also have to be careful not to romanticize the actions and also not to make every person who participates a radical nor make every single person an ils. a lot of times a whole range of circumstances that produced those actions -- and an ils. the question is what was the organizational path that prepared the way for these moments of explosion with the oftentimes think there's a conversation and suddenly something happened that people begin to organize pickets what happened before that i think we have to pay attention to. >> if i could add one piece. that i was not living in los angeles, in northern california watching my city on the news and watching
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newscasters with coverage for two -- went to betty, south-central? that's interesting. i should go home more often. [laughter] but the image that will never leave me, the comment you made about me which i'm very flattered by, we have been adopd some of the activities that go on in life rebellions and that's looting. the image of a never forget where people taking cases of diapers and baby boy in the. that spoke to me, the news tried to cover, but the diapers and formula spoke volumes to me about eight community need. >> next question on your left. >> good evening. first of all, doctor kelly, --
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alive and well. [inaudible] the way to actually punish people is by doing labor. it got to about their community based on the quote-unquote arrest. i believe in that. i believe in your vision. my question is, can rights cost change? i really believe so. but one other addition, the party talk both the economic issue. every time we talk about economics and those like with the police coming in quote-unquote try to repress them. anytime you try to slash the economic boy was to social know you will create people who are on the brink of just going up. we see the black panther start organizing a committee.
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the fbi came in and so we see that. so my question is, when actually i going to address the root cause of issues of like i'm a homeless activist and so for us it's a shame that the city of l.a. continues to ignore people on the streets when 20 years from now all those house will be abandoned. so when they can have -- [inaudible] and let's be real about it. >> can i ask you, any chance are giving affordable housing open in los angeles? i mean, where's that going to come from? >> so my utopia is always use questions like that from the perspective of is it important enough to us that collected to make it happen? government is reactionary. i am your public servant to you
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elect me. we will be importing of to be collected in of us to pay for because money doesn't grow on trees. next time there's a bond about initiative to increase taxes, are you willing to make it happen for our community? like i said confident reaction, officials respond to the pressures put upon us by our constituents. so will you empower me with that? it's the collective us. i am you. you are, you know, we are one. >> but residents don't organized like workers but that's part of the problem spent and residents must organize, and i can't engage with it just around election cycle. we have got a constant conversation about community priorities. i have to push back and have frank conversations with you that many in my position are not always inclined to do about what
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is called when folks came to me when i was first elected talk about the budget, we would to these workshops and say where to take the money from? corrections, target from direction. helmet of your voted for three strikes? you made a decision that has created this series of unintended consequences. we have done the collective conversation about what we are willing to pay for, what we are willing to include in the public discourse and what you would demand after governor on down. >> next question on your right. >> in the past few years we've seen a fair amount of the criminalization of according to the police, recording a voice with her cell phone, whistleblowing. what is being done in other chambers the power to prevent people, citizens, people who just want to get the police after being arrested, thrown in
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jail without due process, without violating their free rights of speech, free rights of first amendment, like freedom of the press? >> that is a great question. there's a package of legislation i would encourage all of you to call your own elected officials and ask what you're doing and get a sense of what the package is. i have one example. i have a bill on the books, came about in the 1930s, and i have a particular view of that individual image about a lynch mob looks like. action was designed to protect african-americans when they are in police custody from lynch mobs. we have taken the word, the governor signed a bill to take the word out up to code and the state of telephony. the time for it to come. but there's a package of bills that is look at all those aspects. some other diverse. we have a diverse legislature.
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the democrats are the majority but we've called on the other side of the aisle who sometimes have a different view of the world that i do, so there's a package of legislation that this is probably one of the most popular is the wrong word but it's one of the areas of law that has been focused on the most this legislative session. ..the most focused on things of the entire legislative those -- legislative session. i would like to briefly respond to the issue of surveillance. increasingly the state is recording things as well. there are cameras everywhere and our personal privacy is being intruded on in this illusion of safety. that is another negative outcome of the events.
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there was new architecture developed with the idea of public safety in mind like the renaissance center in detroit in the gateway complex in newark. there has been a tremendous increase in surveillance of the state i citizens -- by citizens. i think it is an illusion. >> i don't know where the gentleman went, but to the main point which is attacking whistleblowers. criminalized for trying to do the work of social justice. that is an important issue. it is a state issue but also a federal issue. the how much you love president obama, we have a president who
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oversaw the rapid increase in the arrest and prosecution of whistleblowers. >> i am from englewood. i am a native. ira member the watts riot -- i remember the watts riots. 1972, we had a speaker. theg back to economics, truly disadvantaged -- i still live in inglewood. i am hopeful, but i still see a long way to go. i can see some things that have changed. it is not as locked down as it was. that now is economically driven.
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code,d of being driven by as it was in the past. can you speak to that? >> i would agree. it is economically driven. englewood public school -- inglewood public schools are suffering deeply right now. by have been taken over public construction and you have had leadership transfers over and over. you have a mayor who is really committed to economic stability. i agree with you that while we don't have the housing and there are class issues. increaseng out how to -- and as home purchasers, the first thing you look at are the schools. am i going to buy in this home?
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life earnings. what is the quality of education for my children? just a few miles down the road is over city with a thriving school district and amazing public schools. butz as myyor colleague in the senate, i too, too am hopeful. >> if you look at the demographics, in many communities you find we have become a more segregated society that we were in the 1960's. segregated racially and economically. wilsonquick point on the point, he was arguing against
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the perception of daniel patrick moynihan, the decline of family life was related to the absence of employment. that stable -- if you want stable families, you have to have stable employment relations. butnly since moynihan, since wilson, the disintegration family hasparent spread to the white working class and is pervasive there as well. confirming what wilson said and dealing with a societal disruption, that is certainly class-based. the relief into the -- belief that this is peculiar to the african-american community, but looking at statistics today there is no way. >> i am a huge fan of wilson. one of his main points is about how the poverty gets
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concentrated in the city. that is really the second point. in addition to talking about harwich markets and stuff like that. -- marriage markets and stuff like that. it is what happens when the middle class leaves the city. how the infrastructure is dependent on property taxes. fire departments, police departments, school systems and the like. those things deteriorate when resources are directed outside the city. perhaps the recent proposals by president obama will go further in that direction. address, in essence this question from wilson, this point that if we think about the two-parent family and the redistribution of resources through a normative structure,
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if we don't have any imagination. instead of thinking about two -parent, heterosexual or families based on a wage earner, you're talking about communities where it is not based on the family model, but on a collective model of redistribution and investment. investment in terms of labor and love. part of the problem that we are witnessing now is a reconfiguration of families. patriarchal. hetero- -- andrned to families set of the normative model we go to families that existed long ago. communities. if we think of ourselves as how to develop communities, then we household taxs -- revenue, rather than -- property
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taxes rather, to fund the schools. something like that. we will not think of family households as a nuclear and isolated. that is part of my problem with bill wilson's work. concentrated poverty, yes. but the result of concentrated poverty has a lot to do with -- what he talks about, capital fight and jobs. but gracie from detroit says why are we looking for jobs when we should be looking for work. that is, work that is sustaining and uplifting. work that we can create for ourselves. one of the most exciting movements right now is the cooperative movement where workers are taking act empty firms and running them as cooperatives. these are more imaginative models than going back to the
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old ways and old practices that can maybe be more sustainable for the environment, but also for our bodies and lives. [applause] >> on that positive note, this is the end of the program. i want to thank ucla for being our code protector's tonight. co-presenters -- tonight, and all of our panelists. we will see you upstairs. [applause] >> the national urban league receny hosted its annual conference in ft. lauderdale, florida, focusing on policing, education and the 2016 election. among the speakers, reverend al sharpton. >> we must begin to prepare now
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whether it's national action network, whether it's naacp, that we are on the rink of a post-obama -- the brink of a post-obama era. we've had for seven years a black president and a black fist lady -- first lady and a black first family. whoever wins this election will be the first white in the history of this country to succeed a black president. we've never been there before. [applause] so we need to see who is the one that we feel is qualified to follow eight years of a perp sensitive to -- a person sensitive to us that come from us that will not turn around what he has began. we don't intend that when the black family leaves the white house, that black concerns leave
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the white house with them. [applause] >> you can see more from the national urban league tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the senate in its august break, we'll feature booktv programming weeknights in prime time on c-span2 starting at 8 p.m. eastern. and at the end of the summer, look for two booktv special programs. on saturday, september 5th, we are live from our nation's capital for the 15th annual national book festival. followed on sunday with our live "in depth" program with former second lady and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute lynne cheney. booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. >> next, food activists talk about hunger and what to do with wasted food in the u.s. this was part of a conference sponsored by the harvard food
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law society and the food literacy project in cambridge, massachusetts. among the speakers, former trader joe's president doug rauch who recently opened a store that sells food pastxd itd sell-by date. this is an hour and a half. >> hi. welcome. we're so glad you all are here today. my name is ona balkus, i'm a staff attorney at the food, law and policy clip aric here at hard -- clinic here at harvard law school. for those of you who don't know, clinics provide action-based learning opportunities for law students to get real world lawyering experience before they go out into the real world, and at our clinic our students are working with nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, government agencies to improve the food system in their communities. we have an excellent panel of experts here today to talk about how recovering nutritious food that otherwise would go to waste is a key strategy to achieving
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food justice. to my immediate left is emily broad leib, she is my boss and the director of the harvard food, law and policy clinic. in addition to teaching and writing about these issues, she is recognized as a leader in the policy efforts to reduce food waste. doug rauch is the former president of trader joe's and has gained national attention for his much-anticipated store the daily table which will be opening in boston next month. doug has been a long-term client of our clinic, and we are proud to be supporting his innovative efforts in food recovery. and sasha purpura is the executive director of food for free, a cambridge-based nonprofit that recovers fresh food to distribute to those in need. in 2014 food for free recovered 1.5 million pounds of food and served 25,000 individuals. food for free has recently begun an exciting partnership with
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harvard university dining services that we will hopefully hear a little more about today. so my role is to briefly help us understand the scope of this problem. so in the united states between 33 and 40% of the food we produce here goes to landfills. this problem is only getting worse between the 1970s and today. food waste has increased in the united states by 50%. so why is this a problem? well, first, one in six americans are food insecure meaning that they can't afford the type of nutritious food that would enable them to live a healthy and active life. and we know that the most commonly wasted foods are fruits, vegetables, seafood, exactly the type of nutritious foods that are also sometimes hard to afford for low income families. food is also the largest component of municipal solid waste, it's the largest part of
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what quos into our land-- what goes into our landfills. as it breaks down, it produces 25% -- 23% of u.s. methane emissions. we also dedicate 25% of fresh water in the united states to producing food that we never actually eat, not to mention significant amounts of petroleum, pesticides and other chemicals. and as we've talked about a couple of times today, climate change will disproportionately affect poor communities, so all of these environmental repercussions are very directly connected to food justice as well. so i am now going to turn it over to our panelists who are going to describe their diverse, innovative efforts to increase food recovery. we are going to leave ample time for questions, and we hope to have a thoughtful and lively debate. thank you. >> hi. so as ona said, i'm sasha purpura, executive director of food for free. we're baylesed in central
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square -- based in central square. for over 34 years, we basically go around to retail food stores, wholesalers, farmers' markets, and we collect a lot of really good, healthy, edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and we bring it to the folks who most need not just food, but access to healthy food. so we bring it to food pantries and meal programs, shelters, youth programs serving over 25,000 people. so food waste is bad, right? it's not good to waste food, and where we can control it we should control it. and one of the places we can control it is at the consumer level where a tremendous amount, it's actually shocking the percentage -- which i don't have -- of food waste that comes at the consumer level. we can control how much we buy, eating leftovers, how we store it, etc. but i would like to suggest that at scale, at other levels surplus food, extra food that could presidentially go to waste is inevident -- potentially go to waste is inevitable.
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i want to talk about a couple of scenarios. i'll talk about a small new england farm, because that's what i have experience on. if a farmer sends three of his staff out to pick beans for an hour and they come back and the numbers will be wrong here, but say they have 100 pounds of beans, and he takes those to market and sells those and makes enough money to pay for that labor for collecting the beans as well as profit. the next week maybe he sends the staff out, and in an hour they come back with 80 pounds, and maybe the next week it's 60 pounds. and at some point it doesn't make sense for him to send people out to pick every last bean, because at some point the money he's spending on the labor is going to be less than the money he earns on the small amount of food that they're collecting. so it is inevitable that on small farms in new england there is going to be food left in the fields. what is not inevitable is that doesn't have to become food waste. so there's a group called boston area gleaners that can go out to farms after the harvest, and
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they bring volunteers, and they go out after the farmer's done, and they pick every last bean and bring it to a food pantry or a shelter. so there is going to be -- and it's not, you know, the farmer isn't going to be able to do anything to run a business and make sure he picks every last bean, but it doesn't have to be food waste. if we look at supermarkets, so whole foods is our largest retail donor. we go to four whole foods stores on a daily basis. they have to make a profit, and to make a profit, they have to satisfy their clients. and their clients have certain expectations and demands. for example, when i go to whole foods, i want to get -- when anybody goes, typically in this country we expect to be able to get what we want when we want it. so maybe a tomato in january, but if i go in, i expect lettuce, and if i go to whole foods two weeks in a row and there's no lettuce, i'm going to stop going to whole foods.
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additionally, i don't want to go in and see one head of lettuce. that is a turnoff to a purchaser. when i used to sell at the farmers' market with my husband, at the beginning of the market we'd have this huge pile of beautiful bunches of beautiful orange carrots, and in two hours all but one bunch would sell. and literally in the next 4-6 hours of the market, that last bunch of carrots never sold because people don't want to buy the last bunch of carrot toes. so whole foods needs to have lettuce, and they need to have a lot of lettuce. people wallet to pick what they want -- want to pick what they want. and additionally, i certainly don't expect it's going to wilt in two or three days. i want it to last a week. it may not, if it doesn't, i may have problems with whole foods. they can't sell me that lettuce if it's not going to be good for another five, six, seven days. so whole foods is in a situation where if they want to stay in business and serve us, the population, they have to make sure they always have everything on their shelves, that it's
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full, and that they're pulling it off if it has sat for a couple of days. that is inevitable. to run their store success successfully -- and, you know, they can limit that and reuse some of that food to make prepared foods, but it is inevitable they're going to have extra food. what is not inevitable is that has to be food waste. so every morning we go to the whole foods' stores, and they load us up particularly with produce. produce is perishable, and it is one of the most wasted foods. in this case, we're not wasting it. it's perfect. it's one of the top foods that folks, food-insecure families need. it's the most expensive food. it's food they can't access in certain neighborhoods. so at the farm level and at the retail level, there is all this produce available, this is a positive thing. it absolutely should be limited because there are costs associated with producing it, but it's going to be there. the third example i want to give is a university. so as ona mentioned, last year
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we started a partnership with harvard university. they, their dining services serves 14 dining halls, and i believe it's about 138,000 meals a week to students. buffet style. and if any of you have ever had a large thanksgiving dinner, there's typically leftovers. it is really hard, the larger you get, to exactly know how much food to make and, just like at thanksgiving, if you're serving it and you're bringing a bunch of people in, you don't want people scraping the last bit of mashed potato off that plate. if i'm harvard and i have students that have paid to eat all semester they come to a later lunch, there can't be two french fries and a half a ladle of soup. they expect to be able to eat what folks ate earlier in the day. so they have done a tremendous job at limiting and at predicting and understanding how much food to prepare, but it is inevitable that they are going to have extra food at the end of each meal.
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so of that 138,000 meals, we pick up approximately 2,000 meals a week. that's a small percentage of waste. however, that is enough to field about 100 people -- to feed about 100 people three meals a day for an entire week. and that's fantastic. we take that food and get it to folks who live in motels and don't have access to kitchens or who are homeless or wholy in single- who live in single-resident occupancy. there are a lot of people out there. if it's produce, they've got to cook it, and in many cases they can't do that. so now we have this harvard surplus food that we get to give to these folks. the point i'm trying to make is surplus food is inevitable, right? there is something called food waste, and that is bad. and i i am not advocating over cooking meals, you know, making too much food intentionally. what i am saying is there's a reality to running a society at
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the scale at which we run this one, and one of those realities is there's going to be surplus foods at these larger scale institutions. and that doesn't have to be a problem, that doesn't have to be food waste. that's actually a solution. this isn't solving the core issues of food insecurity which has to do with poverty and jobs, and those things need to be addressed. people should be in a situation where they can buy their food. but the reality is many, many people are not. 45% of the children in cambridge schools are on free and reduced lunch. that's almost half the kids. so the reality is they're not. and in the meantime, we have this incredible solution. it's not only preventing a problem, which is food waste, but it's creating a solution. so the last thing i want to bring up and then i will pass this over to doug, when i was working with my husband on his farm and he was trying to create a farm and make a living as a small farmer in new england -- and that is not an easy thing to do, and sometimes at the farmers' market people would comment on the price of his
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unbelievable tomatoes. and he would get frustrated because this is the cost of food. and i saw this tension between the need to grow our local system and to pay farmers a fair wage and the issue of food access. because i care deeply about our local food system and about hunger, and all i saw was this tension. when i joined food for free, it was fantastic, and i discovered there doesn't have to be this tension. so one of the things that we do in the summer is visit 11 farmers' markets at the end of each market. now, say my husband breaks his back harvesting, brings everything to market, loads it high so it sells, and it starts raining and nobody comes to market. and at the end of a long 6-8 hour day, he's not too happy, and he's got a lot of greens or that one bunch of carrots left. now, he can load that all back up into his truck, but he doesn't have a market until next week, so he knows if he loads it back up at the end of a long day where he's already discouraged, he's going to have to load it
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up, drive it home, and it's either going to go to pigs or chickens or compost or maybe neighbors, and he's going to eat a lot of kale. instead, he can give that to food for free -- as do many of the farmers -- and it helps them in terms of insuring their food doesn't become food waste, but becomes a solution. it helps them in that they don't have to load up this food that now does not have value to them, and it enables them to help build up our food system and contribute to this issue of food insecurity with some of the healthiest, freshest food that people can eat. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, sasha. well, first, thanks to emily and to harvard for this opportunity to discuss what i think is a really critical issue. i promise not to do death by powerpoint, but because a picture's worth a thousand words, i wanted to give some
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pictural context to some of these issues. first, let me run through -- to me, first thing i learned in my awakening about this, spent 35 years in the food industry, as ona said, 31 years with trader joe's, 14 as president, and i saw food being wasted whether it was farms, manufacturers, retail, whoever it was. but when i graduated from trader joe's and i had the opportunity to do a two-year fellowship here at harvard and i started studying this issue, i was really looking at it from the stand point i was getting in the mail from feeding america to my house that one in six people in america are hungry. they're hungry. it was, like, how can this possibly be? we're the richest nation in the history of the world in food production. food is now a third less expensive than when i started at trader joe's in the mid '70s. so even though food is so cheap in america now, it's really cheap compared to what it was just even in the '70s.
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so not as a surprise, when something is ubiquitous and not expensive, we tend not to value it as much. one of the first things i had to do is if you want to solve a problem, you've got to understand it. there's nothing worse than trying to answer the wrong question. so i thought hunger was a shortage of calories. and it definitely is with part of the population. and much of the population that sasha was just talking about is in desperate need of the services that she's providing and the food banks, soup kitchens around america are providing. and that's not just what food for free does. they do a lot of other things too. but there is a part -- what i want to say is that i'm very aware that there are people in america to whom a shortage of calories is a reality. but the one in six that are mentioned as being hungry, food insecure, the vast majority of those actually get enough
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calories, as we'll see that's not really the issue. so for me, the next big awakening was to come to this, you heard about one in six americans. this is the part that gets interesting. if you can get -- all this stuff you can get off of usd a&e rs and all of the data that's out there. drown in it. 61% of food insecure are what's called -- basically, they're not food insecure, they're people that make the wrong nutritional decisions due to economics. so if bill gates wants to eat poorly, he's not food insecure. just to be clear. but if someone has to give their kid sugar water as mark would call soda, liquid candy, he calls it, or chips in the morning because that's the only way to get calories they can afford, then that's a type of food insecurity. and what we discovered, of course, is that then i think
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it's 39% -- i love this trying to remember what the numbers are now. [laughter] 38, 39% are very insecure. these are people that struggle with, you know, missing meals during the month at some time. it doesn't mean that 39% of the people every day don't -- one of the things if you go on the web site and read the definition, it's really about during a month at some point did you go without food. now, any of us that have ever gone without food for a day know that, you know, even a day is tough and particularly for a kid. here are the things i want to talk about food justice that, to me, are really important. first is when you talk about ethnic groups, black, hispanic, more than one in four, it's actually 26, 27%, so it's one in four food insecure. and of that, i don't know if you can see this, one in three, that's 34.8% of low income. so thousand you've got a third -- now you've got a third of low income families in areas around the country that are food
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insecure. now, this is, to me, a chart -- actually, i stole this from jonathan bloom, many of you know, and we were on a panel together, and i loved it. this is hunger in america. this is the evolution of man in america and hunger, because it turns out hunger isn't a shortage of calories, it's a shortage of nutrients. when you know that, the solution to the majority of those one in six are working poor. the majority of those one in six are getting plenty of calories. the problem is they're getting empty calories. they can only afford to eat things that have been stripped of nutrition. so here, again, you've seen these obesity maps, i assume. if not, you can google it on cdc's obesity maps. not now, that'd be rude. [laughter] and it goes by year from 1985. so i didn't want to bore you with the stuff. i'm going to give you the punchline, this is 2010. 1985, by the way, 25


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