tv U.S. Senate CSPAN October 2, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
including four specific votes to defund planned parenthood, 15 states attempted to defund planned parenthood in their state and 17 state investigations into planned parenthood justin last two months. the level of harassment is intense. here is the quick map of some of those fights. and i would close by basically with a few words of advice for candidates and officeholders talking about women's health issues. it is important in talking about women's health issues to highlight the motive of folks who would act to defund or restrict access to women's health care or planned parenthood and to focus on what the motive underlying that are. it is not about birth control, it is not about education, it is about a difference, a different set of beliefs around access to
abortion. do acknowledge the decision to have an abortion is a very personal and sometimes complex for women and their doctors and their families but it is not helpful or necessary to go further in than that. talking about the complexity, talking about a personal decision but not going so far as to say i recognize some people think this is a sin or immoral, not necessary, not helpful. be pro-active in talking about these issue is especially prevention and funding so you are able to do it on your own terms. as elected officials you want to bring this up, you don't want to wait until you get asked about this, you want to be strong and proactive in talking about the attacks on access to reproductive health care and lastly leverage voters, strong sentiment that restricting access to reproductive health services should not be a
dominant priority for elected leaders especially given other urgent challenges so the fact the we have had 15 votes restricting access to reproductive health care in congress and the last two months when you think of all the other stuff these guys haven't gotten done, haven't taken care of means it is outrageous. lastly i will leave you with a plea to be our focal supporters and to be out front and be leaders on this issue. we are at a critical moment in this conversation across the country, a round weather who is going to make these decisions are going to be women or politicians and i think as elected leaders you guys have an important role, a critical role in standing up for women's ability to make their reproductive health decisions. i would encourage you to do that. thank you so much. [applause]
>> thank you so much. we are going to take questions and we have 15 minutes or so and maybe a little more to answer some questions. we will start over here and on this end of the room over here. >> phyllis con from minnesota, terrific presentation and i hope we will see all somewhat for those of us who can't write fast enough. i want to bring another aspect of the planned parenthood, people started laughing or giving me dirty looks when i said this but i went to the head of planned parenthood minnesota and said i almost joined the demonstration against you because i was so irritated that you weren't participating in this tissue exchange. even though i am a total supporter of reproductive health, i very actively worked
legislatively on donor issue and facilitating don't requests. and so i think one of the directions i thought we should go is to kind of remove officials action. i don't know anything about it, don't know how it was going on but removed official action of planned parenthood, make sure women who are having abortions know that this is an option and facilitate the women making connections themselves. sorry, i am a basic molecular biologist is what my training was so i am very concerned about those issues besides basic political concerns. [inaudible conversations] >> right back there. >> i am chris taylor from wisconsin. i want to thank all the
panelists. and going to love your work, for planned parenthood it seems from my perspective this is about power. this is about taking away health services women desperately need to be full citizens, to be able to go to graduate school. i am worried about making it about abortion. i think a lot of these extremists oppose birth control as well and they are going after these services because they think they should be the ones to make these decisions and take away choices to women about our lives, i want to frame it a little bigger that abortion is the peace, and women having the ability to make critical decisions, for the first presentation on rules and regulations, does this motivate
people to vote? we have massive corruption in wisconsin. scott walker is back in the state so it is going to get worse. do people vote on this? that is the question. is this an important critical thing to have, these rules, and separate from that. that is my second question, thank you. >> just to respond to your first comment, i agree it is about a larger issue of control, focusing on the abortion peace because instead of engaging in an actual debate about that issue they are doing this sort of backhanded think that doesn't directly address that and makes it about something else. i was trying to draw attention to that but i totally agree there is the larger world view
clashed happening. >> so the second question probably deserves a much longer answer. rules and regulations are not what that most people up in the morning, they are worried about making ends meet, putting food on their table, addressing that concern is where you want to start, that will lead to people's decisions about who they vote for, thinking about raising incomes, making the economy grow and work for all, not just the wealthy and part of the argument is we have a system of government that is corrupt, the public perceives that and we can address that by philly enforcing the rules. i would not put it on your campaign bumper sticker. >> over here and over here. >> thank you. going back to the statement on what sells with the public and
not, can you explain why 70%, 75% by think you said, favors i will be a voice for you and only 25% favors i will speak for you. why is there an incredible difference between two words that seem to mean the same? >> that is a study that you can find in public, you can read more detail on line. it is on the global strategy group's web site. they just found i think what i am in that inning the public response is about voice is something that people are willing to have their elected officials do but actually taking the words and speaking for them triggers something they don't like as much. >> gene caldwell, a state senator from washington. some months ago there was an
arson attack at a planned parenthood clinic in washington, where washington state university is located. i am wondering if you are seeing signs of this type of aggression occurring, we seem to not have as much of it for awhile but it is interesting to me it was in a town with a college campus and what you are finding out about college students's views are republicans reaching more of them or conservatives rather, we have a lot of polling about young voters. >> there have been an increase in arson attacks on planned parenthood in the last two months, there was recently another one in california, we are seeing increased attacks on
planned parenthood health centers. this rhetoric and focus and hateful speech really lends itself to those kinds of violent attacks. in terms of pulling on the and people i don't have something i can speak to this moment. molly maid have more information on that. i will say our student organizing presence has skyrocketed in the last several years, we have these incredibly strong student chapters on 260 college campuses around the country, planned parenthood generation, and those folks are fired up, ready to go, organizing their campuses, their communities, sharing sex ads, doing all kinds of stuff and it has been incredibly inspiring to see that outpouring of support. >> i will speak a little bit to
the information we know in polling on younker people. the college age set is often too small to look at with and not poll in and of itself but you can look at millennials and one thing we do know is that as much as this sort of anti planned parenthood right wing will try to say we have a movement of younger people who are moving against planned parenthood and against you, that is simply not supported by any polling data. there is still enormous support among millennials as with all age groups for funding planned parenthood, giving women access to health care and birth control, keeping abortion safe and legal in this country. you are not seeing any trend among any age group against that. is anything what you are seeing is as these issues are being closer and closer ties to economic family economic security you are actually seeing zealander men who are more
engage in this issue in a way that helps us. not to say that older men are against it but it is less motivating and less of a rallying cry but for younger men, millennial men, they do see the connection between women's access to health care and family economic security. if anything i feel like the opposite is becoming more true. >> have a a slightly parochial view of your maps, you left new jersey out. six year fight since this governor took over and was the first governor to red line out of our budget money for planned parenthood. we continue the fight and we will win it when we get a democratic governor in two years so please give us color on that
map, thank you. [applause] >> right over here. >> susan fisher from north carolina. we have had an incredibly tough year, brutal session where in this last session the ended at 4:15 a.m. day before yesterday or two days ago, up one of the final debates was on fetal tissue. to me we talked about or someone mentioned how men, young men are getting more involved and faint goodness for that. i will tell you that the majority of the debate around this issue was coming from boulder men. the drama around this issue was coming from older republican men. i was really a lot in a way to
see the women, the republican women who would take this up, one example that was just incredible to me was a woman who said that if they were to find a cure, her husband has parkinsons' disease, if they were to find a cure for parkinson's disease she would not accept it for her husband if it had come from experiments with fetal tissue. i want to know from any of you all, how do you turn that message around? her husband wasn't there and the fact that she could sort of take that on as, are you going to make your husband's medical decisions for him, and so how do you turn that message around? i was really embarrassed to see red state north carolina, we
were just defunded, part of the problem was a real misunderstanding that is really medicaid eligibility that is at risk and not specific funding. wheat lost $130,000 in our budget that went to two programs, one in wilmington, one in fayette ville that had to do with teaching scientifically, medically accurate sex ed. those programs will be gone now. now they have to find donors. messaging is so important around this and what not to talk about. thank you for all you do. all you do. >> i will say one thing to that, thank you for all the work you do in north carolina. you are right in the middle of it. one thing i will say to that more as a reassurance than a rebuttal, you are really dealing
with extremists who do not even represent the everyday voters within their party. slide after slide after a slide, david had to show a slide where you had the most extreme republicans taken out because they are so, it is such a small, loud, vocal minority and those who are representing them do truly embodies that. what we have talent is for your average republican voters than much more all line with comprehensive sex education and much more of line with access to family planning funding and very common-sense solutions and also giving off of these issues that are distracted and getting back on track. keep up the good work, know that those people do not represent a large constituency, they are sort of out there and public opinion is on your side. >> right over here. >> barbara rachel'sson from
vermont. by training i am a social worker, vermont has a part-time legislature. i am still director of an organization that provides family and child services. i consider myself a lifelong child advocate. and i have a couple questions. one is i find it fascinating that despite what the data it shows, support for children who are homeless, children who are waiting to be adopted in this country is so high and i wondered about juxtaposing those issues with you care so much about these unborn children and yet you are defunding or doing nothing to make sure these kids get a fair chance in life, get food to eat, had a house etc.. i am wondering about that.
and i would also like to says that the templates, the framework you presented is brilliant and looks like it will be really helpful thinking about issues and one thing that doesn't come about planned parenthood, which i think is important, i work at an agency that does adoption work and we get more referrals from planned parenthood right now than probably any other community organization. and so i just want to thank you both and thanks. >> a couple quick questions. i was wondering if planned parenthood along with any other social service or unemployment service, any of these
departments, do you actively promote the registration at your facilities? because it seems to me that those are the target demographic we need to get registered to support that? the second question is a round business acting as a monolithic entity when you actually have corporations versus small businesses, is there a way to message, is there a tested message that puts that wedge between small-businesses and corporations? that they will understand we are actually acting in their best interests rather than the corporation's best interests when you have those who purport to be a voice for small business yet they really aren't, they are funded by the corporations and they really speak in the interest of big corporations. >> to enter the voter registration question many health centers do have the
registration forms available and do do voter registration drives, non-partisan, voter registration drives, and also al to in the community, voter participation efforts and i agree is really important. >> on the question of business, you raise an excellent point of the we have seen time and began. voters absolutely drop a very important distinction between corporations and small business. i could talk for dais on the importance of differentiating and on that slide i showed at the end it is not about proving, it is very important to assert that these protections for workers are not at the expense of the stability of small-businesses. they are meant to support the work force which in turn helps small businesses and in fact we found arguments that address the
fact that many of these policies level the playing field because small businesses are currently feeling squeezed by the tax breaks corporations are getting by the margins they are able to claim and they are having a harder time competing. if anything some of these policies along with some of the information david shared on ceo benefits and things like that, make it more difficult for small businesses in this economy said taking that on and making it very clear that these are to support middle-class families, working families and small businesses and you are asking just fairness with corporations, making them make sure they are paying their fair share so that all have an opportunity for success, very important point. >> i will echo everything there. the polling and research shows how important that is. two examples, one from your neighbors to the south in oregon in the middle of the recession,
the worst part of it they passed a couple different ballot measures that were corporate tax solutions and they have a small business coalition that was absolutely crucial to the message mr. change the past those. molly's partner worked on those projects. the other example is from my home state of colorado, passed a bill called the keep jobs in colorado act that tries to help in state businesses get added vantage and local government contracts so tax dollars create jobs in your own state. >> it is exciting to have this discussion, we will do two more. sorry. okay. i am sorry we just have time for one question but why don't we
have our panelists come to the side and see if they can help answer a question. i am sorry about that. go ahead. >> thank you, state senator from colorado, two weeks ago the census bureau released its annual poverty data and one thing that was unique about this release is they also at the same time released their percentages based on not just the federal poverty guidelines that something referred to as the supplemental poverty measure and so my question, how we frame the issue about economic opportunity and middle-class economics and all of that, does the polling shows that there is the way to couple of that language with the idea of specific targets for poverty reduction? the great state of oregon there
has been some success in getting the business community more engaged in their prosperity initiative and oregon business council even has something, they have a task force that works on poverty reduction. my two questions are how can we frame that conversation or refrain the conversation so we can use poverty reduction because i think there is a disconnect there and is any of the polling showing how to do that? when you do not holding are you targeting the business community in terms of getting a sense how they can be more engaged in helping to address the fact that poverty is not moving in this country and there's a tremendous amount of families that are considered, quote, working for, the people, playing by the rules, all of that language and still living paycheck to paycheck. embedded in that are two questions. i hope you can extract them a
little bit. thank you. >> there is a lot, thank you for the questions. i did show the one slide, incredibly powerful economic fact with the public was one in four children born in poverty and that is something people know we can do better at and they are surprised to hear that and i would also recommend that the more we are using language that is inclusive talking about ordinary americans, hard-working families as opposed to trying to necessarily separate out for working poor, middle-class, include more people in your description, the stronger it will be and i am not sure i can answer the question as quickly as that the crucial part of the argument when we talk about small businesses and economy the works for everyone we can do that too. ..
>> i'm sorry. we have to keep moving and i apologize. we definitely need to keep the program moving. this is a healthy discussion and i apologize. so, can-- a quick round of applause for our panel. [applause]. >> thank you very much. >> seems like we have a reckless crowd here. need to get your armor on here. can we have another round of applause for this great panel, please. [applause]. >> if you can stay in your seats we will go right to the next panel. we know you have had a lot of information and we will have an incredible panel next and then we will get you to the most important break, which is a lunch. my name is roger coyle, otherwise known as nick with hair. there you go, nick. i am actually here into roles, first and foremost i'm here's
the board chair and so i would like to-- thank you very much. [applause]. >> i would like to at this moment recognize our board. many of you are involved in nonprofit organizations and many are involved in your own campaigns where you have people who support you and obviously this organization wouldn't have been able to be created and thriving without it's a board, so we have can sunshine who is not here, andre lopes who you met earlier, naomi a briley and from from afl richard trumka and if i could have a special note for our founder joel rogers who is here at the table. give a round of applause. [applause]. >> i think like a lot of folks who have been out in the vineyards, joel has been fighting on these issues and
he's an academic at the university of wisconsin and has founded to many organizations to list. this time i believe, is his third attempt to rally state legislators and it will be the one that 60s and we would not be here without joel, so one more round of applause for joel. [applause]. >> as i mentioned, i am here in two roles, so some of you may know the other reason i'm here is i'm actually a former campus state legislator to read there are immune americans, there are about 10 of us and i now live in new york, so there is nine. i actually see my friend gail, my old colleague from wichita is here and so one of the reasons why i'm so passionate about this and one of the reasons i'm honored to be the board chair is that i am one of you. i've lived this life. i know what it was like. i was elected at age 31, had recently been married and was working in washington dc. nick and i were working together. i decided that i needed to make a difference and i'm sure like
some of you, you wondered, i have been through those conversations, cannot actually run for office and when and put on top of that that i happen to be from wichita, kansas, and happen to be indian-american, so i thought with a lot of encouragement from folks in this room that i could make that difference that all of you are making in your community and i went back to wichita, and a district that is democrat, actually republican unaffiliated democrat, member-- never elected a democrat in history and we were able to be a three term republican incumbents. [applause]. >> we were-- i was able to do that because of everything that you know, but frankly they don't understand, which is that as a community level and at the state legislative level you work across the aisle, when it is possible. you get issues done and you work on things that matter to people and i have never felt more connected to my community and
actually make a difference than when i was serving in the statehouse here at the same time when i got to topeka, i don't know how me of you have discovered when you got to the legislature and got your equipment and you got your quote staff assignments and i got the broken down chair and the always renovated part of the auxiliary building of the state capital and we were obviously in the minority caucus and got them minority of the resources of the state's capital. i remember people from washington would call and say how's it going, can i talk to your staff and there was laughter and i said well, my wife is a little busy. you know i am her staff, you realize that. so, i think the daily sort of challenges of it being a legislator or come i just want you to know our baked into the dna of this organization because i know from first-hand experience what it's like. i remember telling a joke yesterday that if you remember the 2008 campaign they
criticized then senator obama same week need your archives from your time in the state senate and he goes, well, you can have my mcdonald's receipts from being on the highway and maybe you can have my phone and actually he was elected before smartphones, so i know firsthand these challenges of what we go through and how important it is an frankly, let's be honest how overlooked this is. when i moved it to new york, i'm a proud new yorker now. gustavo was make a great point which was very honorable, he said look, i fight for important things and we know we need reform in albany, and we can do a lot to make the states more progressive, but he said i really respect those of you in the purple state and the red state, these challenges are national, but boy these are fights that are on the front lines for those of you who are really challenging areas in districts you know how even tougher it is and how important
an organization is like this. i am baffled by the notion that i could have been flown to washington dc, taken to the white house, then shown all of this information, the information exchange is still going on when nick was dreaming this up with joel i think this is exactly what he would have liked to sort of intellectual, policy, social connections that are needed for the progressive movement, so i just wanted one quick anecdote. we have on the floor, the most-- one of the most important campaign finance reform bills-- excuse me, boating rights bill and it was important in a negative way. this would have banned door to door voter registration, a 2000 legislative session and i read it and i asked someone i might-- in our caucus and they said we usually let these things go in the governor vetoes them and i said zero my, my. i understand we are a bit beat down, but we can do better and i
started texting my friend at the brennan center who started giving me legislative analysis because at least the kansas legislator had not banned of the internet, so just to go on and read the bill and he was texting me talking points and telling me analysis of the bill and i of course read it myself and we had a little exchange. we were able to beat that bill by one vote and i think it shouldn't be because i happen to have a friend from law school whose cell phone number i have and the anecdote has always struck in my head in the stickiness that we need of why you are all here today because i suspect all of you are hungry for information when the bills are coming on the fly, what amendment was just passed, what was that propose and who is voting on it and you are busy and constituents are calling. that is the very essence of why we are there to give you that safety net and to give you that conductivity, so you can be a better legislator and we can get great ideas around the country,
so we just need to get our panel. one factoid, which is a good one, this president, our great president barack obama, the longest he is served in a public office has still been the state senate in illinois pure he was in the state senate for illinois and likely he is president and will be present for eight years and now has only served seven, so his time in the state legislature is a formative experience for our present out, which i think zero invalidates all of the work you are doing in your community, so with that i want to introduce our incredible dynamic moderator for this next panel. i don't think we could have anyone better thank congressman keith ellison from minnesota. come on up, keith. as you know, keith ellison is not only a former member of the state legislature in minnesota, he is in his fifth term in
congress and is the chair of the progressive caucus and is one righteous dude. he is a trailblazer, a path breaker and he is going to introduce our great panel. keith allinson. [applause]. [applause]. >> good morning, my fellow state legislators. how are you guys doing? [applause]. >> man, you guys sound good, as some. thank you for that nice intro. here's the thing, we operate silos way too much around here. you might be thinking to yourself, what is some member of congress doing at our state legislators meeting. i don't know, maybe because you draw the districts that we run in. may be another reason, maybe you set the qualifications for the voters who we asked to vote for us. let me tell you how bad we depend on you. in 2012, congressional democrats
actually 11.5 million more votes than rick-- both in republicans and yet we are in the minority because they gerrymandered many of you guys from very important states. that's how bad we need to be working together. [applause]. >> the silos have absolutely got the jump down. the silos are dangerous. they are literally killing us. if we can find a way to work together more cohesively we will do great things for the american people, no doubt about it. i'm pleased to be here. i'm honored to be here and i want to tell you that i hear from very reliable sources that this is the largest gathering of progressive state legislators in history. [applause]. >> on good on that one? yeah, yeah. the largest gathering of progressive state legislators,
my minnesotans are the largest delegation. i'm not bragging or anything like that, i'm just saying, you know. minnesota, we have had our own battles, have we not, guys? the truth is we had to live through the governor who is running for president for a while. you remember him? we have had republican governors. we have been in the minority and got back to the majority and done a lot of things, but with progressives, when progressives got together and said we have a set of ideas that we believe in and we want to help make a top agenda, front burner thing, good things happen. thanks to the work of these guys in minnesota, if you don't mind me talking a bit that my own state. are you alright with that that? when we got the minutes-- when the minnesota progressive legislator got together push the agenda, the raise tax on the old imbalanced the state budget.
they invested-- they didn't bet, i wish we did, like an internet moment. they invested in all-day kindergarten and preschool. as you know, tuition was galloping at double digits at some point. they got together and past the minnesota dream act to allow dreamers to be eligible for state financial aid. here's the thing, a year before they took over in 2012 i'm a what we were fighting for before that, a year before they were in the minority we were fighting off a constitutional amendment, which would have been voted on at the ballot to try to tell a grown person who they should get married to or not. i mean, like an adult person cannot decide who they want to be married to because someone else believes that it's like they are positioned to make that decision for someone else. they tried to put it on the ballots. we beat them at the ballot box,
but-- that's with applause. [applause]. >> not only did my minnesota homey's say yeah, did we beat you in the ballot box, but now that we are in the majority guesswork, we will make love the law. that's because one of the pressures you guys had was, don't overreach, don't overreach, overreach? you mean to tell me to people who love each other and went to be married who are grown adults, that's overreach? to say they can marry if they want to? it's not my business; right? they did that in proving that when you win you don't put your foot on the break, you put it on the accelerator. [applause]. >> let me just say that today you will hear from some inspiring state legislators, people doing amazing, phenomenal
things. two of them will be from what we call blue states, to will be from red. those are critically important. because the folks from the blue state will tell you when you get your hands on the reins of power , do not punk out. i am sorry, you all gave me the microphone. you know how i am. and when you are in the ring, when you do have a red state and you fight uphill battles that it's so hard every day, there are things you can do. as raj said, you just a mail it in because it's tough. you figure out what you are going to do and there are folks appear to talk to you about that. last word, i'm coach of the progressive caucus. we believe that we are the congressional legislative wing of the progressive movements and we are trying to work with our progressive partners across this country, so we can help not just when elections, but when the
debates. [applause]. >> when the debates. that we should have broadly shared prosperity in this country that everyone, no matter who you are, what color you all, who you love are where you were born should have the right to rise as high as your talents can lift you up your review should it be stopped by someone because they don't like your kind. and we also believe that the better days, the better days of this nation are headedness if we just band together and include everyone. so, that's what the progressive caucuses and i just wanted to share that with you for a moment. now let me introduce you to majority leader jennifer williamson of the oregon house of representatives who will talk to you about some awesome things they have been doing. i know you have already heard about them and i must say, jennifer, it is with a degree of sadness that we are moving forward this morning and we all
here are right with you. sadly, so many of us have seen similar tragedies across the country like 261 times this year there have been shooting deaths of four people are more across our nation, so welcome to the panel. let me also introduce representative jessica hatch of north dakota, house of representatives, doing some great things. jessica, thank you for being here today and thank you for your great work and assistant majority leader gary holder winfield of connecticut senate. [applause]. >> i think you have some friends around here and they have been making the most of their majority and senator vincent of south carolina state senate who did some really-- i just want to say so very impressed with you guys yanking down that odious, nasty, ugly, traitorous symbol.
[applause]. >> it takes a lot of guts and we definitely appreciate that effort. with that, why don't we start out with jennifer williamson of oregon. come on up here. give her a hand, everyone. [applause]. >> thank you, everyone. i am super excited to be here today to talk about what we have done in oregon and thank you for your kind words and your supports last night and this morning. it's been a tough one to four hours at home, so thank you for that. so, it's like a love fest for oregon, this conference. it's been fantastic and apparently people were watching our legislative work this session and we all had our heads down doing some things and we will talk about what we were doing, but apparently people
were watching and once we adjourned in july and pulled our heads up we made a laundry list of the things we did and it's really long, actually. so, i'm going to read it and then i will tell you how we got there because i think that is the more important story about what happened in oregon because a lot of these laws that we passed were laws that we have been trying to pass for a long time, so we passed paid sick leave statewide. we passed a retirement program for every working oregonian. people that have criminal records have a chance at a job. [applause]. >> we passed a statewide ban on police profiling and set up a program to collect information on what kind of policing was happening in our communities. we passed a statewide ban-- a statewide policy on body cameras for police. it band facial recognition technology.
we expanded the background check for all private gun sales and we prohibited the sale of guns to domestic abusers. we now have free community college for oregon high school graduates. [applause]. >> we passed a clean fuel program to lower our carbon emission and this was despite the oil industry coming in and getting our little state everything they had. it was really an epic battle. we passed a phaseout of toxic chemicals and kids products and represented of alyssa kenny dyer who is here has blood sweat and tears in this bill. she was the chief cosponsor at least a couple of-- fourth sessions, so for a very long time and again, fierce lobbying by the chemical industry, the toy industry, the personal care product industry, every industry that puts chemicals into key
things that kids have showed up in salem, oregon. we had a major extension for birth control, so now your insurance must cover 12 months of birth control at a time. [applause]. >> now, pharmacists can prescribe birth control. we expanded our reinvestment program and the unique thing about organ justice reinvestment program is a will save $600 million over 10 years and we won't have to build prisons, which is fantastic in and amongst itself, but we also require 10% of those funds go directed to community-based not profit victim services. [applause]. >> we reformed our class action law so that when corporate wrongdoers injure oregonians they don't get to keep the funds that they don't distribute. we were one of a handful of
states where they got to keep the money they were not able to pass out to the people they injured, so we changed that. we have built that addressed pay equity to give more tools and as you heard earlier today a bill to prohibit retaliation when employees talk about their salaries with each other. we passed a man on conversion therapy to protect kids. we were the-- [applause]. >> but, i think the thing we have not talked about much about, but is the absolute game changer that we passed in oregon , is automatic of voter registration. [applause]. >> so, you may know that for a long long time organ, oregonians have voted by mail and almost 42 years old and i have been to the vet-- to a polling place wants. that's it. i have only voted by mail since then, so we always said that a ballot in the hand of every registered voter. but, now we get to say there will be a ballot in the hand--
every registered voter and now it will be every eligible voter, so this law, when you go to get your drivers license, 16 and older you are automatically enrolled with the secretary of state as a voter and when you change your address, it changes. we think that 300,000 additional voters will be added to our voting rolled by the next election. [applause]. >> i know i don't have to tell this crowd, but people of color, women, people in poverty will be enrolled as voters and that is a big deal. so, how did we do it? that's what i think is the more important method-- message from oregon. we need to have a really progressive table as we call it, all the organizations that are engaged in voter outreach and election work in oregon and we got together. and said we have got to do this
all together. if we are going to be the only state to increase our majority than both the house and the senate, which we were, we will have to stick together, so what you see a peer, kind of, is a website and if you can scroll it down so we can see the logo, with our fair shot coalition. our fair shot agenda, we had 27 partners from planned parenthood to the rural organizing projects all sitting around this table and signed onto this. every one of those organizations said the exact same thing, we have messaging that all of our partners use and every candidate used and is so because of that we told voters why they should vote for us and our partners told voters why they should vote for us and then we did what we said we were going to do and that list is the list we told voters if you elect as we will deliver on this, and we did.
so, this, i think, is the lesson for this organization and for all of us leaders. make sure that voters understand what they will get because when they elect progressives they are have better lives and you have to tell them that and everyone has to say the same thing and when we did that in oregon and we now have 18 democratic senators out of 30 and 35 state representatives out of 50, so we increased our majority in an election where most people didn't. [applause]. >> thank you. >> representative, jessica, are you ready? give her a hand, everyone. [applause]. >> i don't know how north dakota will follow oregon. [laughter] >> we will give it a try here. so, when you think of progressive politics, generally you don't think of the state of north dakota. there to say?
typically doesn't come to mind. we are a red state, it's a wonderful stay to live in. but, we have had our challenges and we have had a couple successes and i'm excited to tell you about them, so in the 2013 legislate a session we were disappointed when eight ballot was passed and sent to the vote of the people. it took away end-of-life decisions, in vitro and women's reproductive rights. this was spearheaded by state senator from bismarck, and a state representative in fargo. going into the 2014 election we had to defeat this measure and try to make gains in the legislature. the work we do in between sessions is very critical north dakota, because the need for-- it's every other year, so we organize and found a couple of candidates who work hard and we won. senator aaron old man, who is here, please stand, aaron.
she actually picked up a seat in the north dakota senate in 2014. [applause]. >> so common north dakota, and 2014, we made legislative gains. this led to a very proactive agenda around family and women's issues in north dakota. not only did we have a stronger bench, but we decided as a caucus working together with several organizations and constituents to provide a proactive agenda around these issues. the senator and representative boesch a who is also here and he was the first elected in 2012 as the first openly gay legislator in north dakota. [applause]. >> so, the three of us worked on a maternity paternity leave policy. we started with a much more progressive bill in the senate and we worked in the house on
another, less progressive, but still a step forward and ended up with six weeks paid leave for mothers and fathers of birth or adopted children and up to 12 weeks to care for a child, parent or spouse for state employees, all paid. [applause]. >> big step. it was a big step forward considering only mothers who had given birth were allowed paid leave prior to that session. we also cast a host of proactive legislation up dating are equal pay statute, pregnancy workplace accommodations, funding for sexual assault examiners to ensure that rape victims receive the care they need and we changed the conversation around progressive issues and made it proactive rather than reactive. we also passed the antidiscrimination bill in the senate. this bill provided protection for the lg bt community comes at they could not be fired or evicted for who they loved it.
north dakota was the first day in 2009, to pass that out of a chamber and then it died and change the conversation and when we elected a couple more progressive and change the conversation back we actually got it out of the senate again in 2015. another success we had in 2013 was, believe it or not, north dakota has medicaid expansion, yes, we do. [applause]. >> sometimes, a strategy that we have is we let them fight with themselves. is so, in the north dakota house, not a democrat got up and said anything and it passed. so, that's how we did that. [laughter] >> also, we had a corporate-- a corporation farming measure. north dakota is the only state that doesn't allow corporations to come in and purchase land for farming and that passed the legislature. however, it's important to know
it was referred back to the ballot, so now the people would get a chance to vote on that in june. it's important to know your tools and what you have accessible to you even if the legislature isn't in it, maybe there's another avenue you can take and i encourage you to go to training this afternoon for the breakout governing as a progressive and they will go over those tools more. even in north dakota we can do it. know your strategy. by the great candidates and be proactive is important because even in north dakota, things can be done, so keep your chin up and keep fighting. thank you. [applause]. >> senator gary webb filled. >> good morning. so, i'm here to talk about connecticut. connecticut is a blue state. it doesn't always operate like it's a blue state. i originally was supposed to be talking about what we do with our budget. the governor presented a budget
of social services basically. the legislature put a lot of the stuff that we want to see back into the budget. we are still having that fight right now. we has some deficit issues and the governor has made some cuts, but what i will let talk about about are two bills that we did some work on this year and it was a bill about excessive use of force and a bill about second chances. zero one to talk about them for a particular reason. when i first showed up, i showed up at progressive states and when i showed up in progressive states we are having conversation education and anyone who knows me knows i'm somewhat of a contrary in, so that when the conversation was going to sit right with me because it seemed not to actually talk about what we were going to do, but with other side was doing and i thought that was the wrong approach. that fight that i had with some of my friends on the progressive side, somehow got me on the board of progressive states. it got me involved in helping to
do something about this organization that we sit in now and as i sit here, i hear about the economy and how it affects people and i hear about a lot of issues, but there is something missing in the conversation and it's a group of people that i don't think listens to the conversation we're having, so i want to talk about that, but before i do that like any person who understands that they do-- don't do anything alone i would direct isaiah delegation. the delegation from connecticut sitting at that back table over there. [applause]. >> oh it to mention something i think is important to being able to push progressive policies to read we came as the first class when connecticut had instituted public financing eight and i think that changed the way that the conversation happening connecticut.
before i finish i want to mention that there are a group of people here who are trying to meet all of us and they are from every voice. if you don't know every voice, john, are you in the room? stand up so people can see you. they are important because they are talking about something that can change our politics, so get to know them and i will walk john around to everyone i know. we have greg, robin porter who replaced me when i moved to the senate. so, these two bills are about people's existence. the interaction we have with police, people of color, at least in the conversation we are having nationally. connecticut did something about that, but you would imagine a blue state like connecticut we would have the war that we had. but, we had a war. so, we had a war to say when police interact with people and they pull out their gun and they use deadly force, maybe a plea
should not investigate themselves and the prosecutor who is in the district with those police shouldn't investigate it. [applause]. >> we had a war to say that a community in a majority minority meaning that over 50% of the community is black and brown, maybe we should do something about what the police force looks like and give some weight to people who are exactly qualified or at least equally qualified to get the job. that it wasn't acceptable. we do get it passed, but that was not acceptable and we went on and on. how do we do this? we did this-- second chance said this, parole is in port and it should be expedited. i think that is a progressive way of thinking and it also said that we have this thing-- [inaudible] >> in school drug zones if you are in possession of narcotics or if you are selling them and you get a penalty and it usually does not actually apply.
it's used to get you to plea bargain, but it affects committees differently and so four years i have been working with some of my colleagues to get rid of these drug zones. we have another statute in connecticut that says if you deal to a minor you get the enhanced penalty, which would work better than the drug zones. it wouldn't catch up whole communities like the one i represent, new haven, and some of our more densely populated communities, but not just republicans that are opposed to it. it's a lot of us who are opposed to it, some people who even use the title of progressive. this year our governor decided he was going to jump on board for force or at least kind of full force. we talk about the part about possession he was there and i employed the governor for that because in connecticut now if you possession you go through a process and a process is the first time if you-- if it's a
misdemeanor. the second time you are referred to drug treatment and the third of fourth time you can get a class c felony. but, this is because we have a conversation going on in this country that we didn't have going on before, which is the heroine conversation. for a long time the marijuana, the crack, the things that are associated with certain communities were not dealt with the way they decided to do with it and now i will wrap up. the one thing i want to say is that we did not deal with the problem, though. the problem is that people with a health issue, we should of been there the whole time. the problem is the people we don't imagine to be the good people, the people who are dealing who devastate committees by putting them in jail and ripping up the economy of those communities, so we have done a lot of good things, but as progressives with a somewhat change the links we have. we have done some positive things and because of every campaign, every voice and public financing we have some of those voices, so thank you. [applause]. >> great job. thank you.
[applause]. >> thank you. i am from the incredibly wonderful historically rich, friendly and often very troubled state of south carolina. [laughter] >> the place i am intensely proud of. as those of you who spent time in the south know, changes very difficult. i sometimes say it nourishes the most powerful force in my state. the year 2015 has been a very emotional year for those of us in south carolina and i serve as a south carolina state senate where it was especially so. i will share with you some observations about a couple of changes that we saw and understand that change in the south is often coupled with tragedy. it's often crippled with tragedy in the winter of 2015 our
session run from january to june and my senate seat and others decided to make bicameral legislation a priority. we met with serious resistance. little action and the bill dwelled in committee. in april, of 2015, a man by the name of walter scott was shot and killed in north charleston, south carolina. the reaction initially was that there had been some resistance and of the officer had had to shoot mr. scott, but a video came out shortly that showed that mr. scott while disobeying the police officer was attempting to flee and frankly, flee in a not very quick manner and was shot in the back and
shot multiple times. it was a tragedy. it was a horrific incident in our state's. before that had happened, we would often hear that that is not what happened in south carolina. may be, i think, that many people said to themselves i'm a maybe that happens, but not to people like us. but, once a video came out there were many new people sitting at the table to discuss the need for body cameras. my seatmate and friend spoke from the floor of the senate after that tragedy and he spoke about thomas, and jesus and that thomas didn't believe until he put his fingers in the wound and i would encourage you to look at that speech if you want to
youtube and look at it sometimes. it's a magnificent speech. he didn't speak very often from the floor, but he felt compelled to speak and the bill passed in real change occurred in south carolina, and we have now funded body cameras in south carolina and we have a regime in place to dictate how it will be used in an appropriate manner and we have a committee meeting to help us implement that legislation. real change occurred. [applause]. >> real change occurred. of you to flash back with me 22014, i was a democratic candidate for governor in a difficult year, but proud to carry the banner in south carolina for the democratic party. [applause]. >> we knew it was a tough year as it was across the country and in the fall of that year myself, me and my lieutenant governor candidate decided we wanted to take on the third rail of politics in south carolina. we wanted to speak to an issue that no one would speak about
that haunted our states and as you walk down main street in columbia, south carolina, approaching the state house you could avoid. so, we stood underneath the confederate battle flag a month and a half before my gubernatorial election and said it's time to bring it down. [applause]. >> it's time to bring it down. we knew politically it was dirt-- still the third rail of south carolina politics, but let me leave you with this idea and that is when you have the bully pulpit, when you have the eyes of a state or a nation on you, use it. you don't know when you will have again. our current governor, my opponent in that election belittled our attempt, mocked us, that it was not an important issue and stood for continuing to fly the confederate battle flag on the front lawn of the south carolina statehouse. june, 17, 2015, we were called into a special session of the senate because our state government was about to shut
down-- sound familiar-- because a budget had not been passed by the republican majority. i was there that day and was in finance committee helping to negotiate with my republicans, now, that would be good for south carolina. we adjourned the senate finance committee and i went to a democratic caucus, there are 18 of us, proud democrats in a state that is pretty red. i remember that luncheon very well. i remember that my friend that i told you about who stood tall for the bicameral legislation was asked to give the prayer because he was also an ame pastor. he was at a pastorate mother emmanuel church. he gave a short prayer. i am catholic and i always kidded him that he gave an even shorter prayer that we catholics do and i was sure glad he wasn't
baptists. [applause]. >> we took up a little collection for our custodial staff who helped us all year. clem had been late in contributing and he asked me how much is it and i said it's $15 and he said here is 20 and a smile last memory of him. i think you know the story, unfortunately, that occurred. suffices to say that night after session clem left early to go back to his church. those of us in the senate learned what had happened very shortly thereafter. of crisis come some good and it's important press to use that and embrace it. the day after the massacre at
mother emmanuel, the day after he was killed, the day after a other people were killed because they were black we met at the senate again the next morning and we had to decide if we would go for it and pass the state budget, what would we do and i urge a small group of us to continue to eulogize until the story of this great man and a friend that we did. and the next day we learned that the killer had driven up with confederate battle flag license plates-- actually that day we learned it and we had a decision to make and the decisions matter and our decision was doing mourner friend, do we bury our friend or do we try to change the state and our governor did an interview and said it was too early to talk about things like that and our congressman said the same thing, both subject and myself and the kari and a gentleman named marlon kansan in the senate and others decided we were going to speak up and we went on cnn and msnbc in every
channel we could go on and through tears and morning we said it was time for the confederate battle flag to come down and within three days, within two days there was a massive humanity marching on our statehouse and within three days the entire elected hierarchy in south carolina had come to that position. finally, they had come to the right decision. [applause]. i wrap up by saying evening tragedy it is not easy and it's not-- it's difficult and so we came up with a strategy immediately that we wanted to bring the flag down and we didn't want to have compromise of whatever type you read we knew that was coming and then we, democrats in south carolina needed to drive this narrative and work with republicans who-- it was important for us to maintain control of this issue because we knew what needed to happen and so we found in the senate a republican supporter on our side, ironically and
appropriately. paul thurman was willing to stand in front of republicans and say we note need to raise the confederate flag. we don't need to fly at every few months are on occasion. it's time to do the right thing and it is time for the confederate battle flag to come down and it's time to pass a clean bill to do that and we drove that narrative from 30 days until a happened and it did happen. we are a better state for it. [applause]. >> and we are a better country for it. let me leave you with this, which is i have shared with you what is for me very personal stories and i have shared those with you for reason and it's because voters and people react, not to statistics, not to policy papers, they reacted to stories.
they react to your personal stories. we would not have the body camera legislation in south carolina, but for those like senator clementa pinckney who is willing to tell a story. we would not have brought the battle flag of the confederacy down, but for people like me who told a personal story of senator clementa pinckney and others who told the story of their family members who were killed in that awful, awful massacre on that terrible day. so, share your stories and change the state, change the nation and i say change the world. thank you. [applause]. >> so, you heard from for extraordinary progressive state legislators, two of whom are fighting uphill battles and still winning and two of whom did some great stuff. sometimes you have to fight your friends and convince them and
other times when you got the steering wheel you have to drive the car. but, you all have your own thoughts and your own questions and it's time to hear from you. we have about 20 minutes and so lets start hearing from folks, can i ask you all for a little bit of indulgence? can everyone try to get their question out in 60 seconds. [applause]. >> if you agree with 60 seconds, clap your hands. [applause]. >> would you all empower me to enforce the 60 second rule? [applause]. >> so, that means we will hear from at least 20 people and if people are quick, even more than that. let's get started. >> you just had to implement a new rule right when i came.
my name is vivian flowers. i am serving in my first term-- this doesn't count, my introduction. >> yes, it does. >> vivian flowers, state representative, arkansas. i think the question i was going to ask before it applies here as we heard a lot about data. we know a lot of the positions we take as progresses makes sense and are backed by science and many of us often times are shocked when we see outcomes and elections come a when we seat outcomes in votes taken in the state legislature. there is a silent encoded undergirding narrative around race and religion and not just in the south. we have heard a lot of questions about reframing and messaging, so whether we are talking about any of the things we heard on this panel or the previous panel, what is the reframing and messaging that we can take as progressives as well as have
some of our own testimonial, not just politicians, how do we do that, so that we can impact these other issues? i think i am under a minute. >> that's actually a good question. how do progressives talk about race in an authentic real way? and religion. i have my own reasons for wanting to see that happen. you know what, can our panelists right down notes on how you want to respond and we will take about for the time and that might help us get through as much as we can. who else's next? you got one over there? go for it. time is a wasting. >> i'm representative carla cunningham out of north carolina. i am hearing a lot about criminal justice reform.
my concern is that it's 12% population inside of the prison in the united states that has mental illness, but it seems to me that we want to do reform without preparation for them when they get out that they have mental illness component once they come back into the community because right now our mental health reform needs reforming on the outside where people on the outside that are not being taken care of now, so what about a system to take care of them and the ones already on the outside? thank you. >> another great question. thank you. >> this is-- i'm stacey newman from missouri, state representative. i agree with you in terms of taking advantage of not just tragedies, but in terms of the momentum. from your situation we have discovered in our state that we actually fund our state fund a confederate states park. i am getting ready to jump into
that issue. i'm a little reluctant because i know it will destroy everything else i'm working on in terms of abortion and gun's and voting rights and that's it i need to know is, where can i find my level of support besides local community? >> that's what we are doing here is sharing information. thank you. we will take one more and then we will let our panel react. >> thank you. aaron reagan bird from rhode island where we have a lot of democrats, but our leadership is very much not progressive, so i would love to ask the congressman if you have lessons for organizing the progressive caucus and how you can use that to shift the overall caucus? >> thank you carried why don't we have our panel respond. who wants to react? >> it's on? right. the race and religion question, i think for our work in oregon,
the most important thing we did was expand the table. so, the coalition changed. so, traditional progressive organizations labor unions and the like who have been doing this work for a long time, meant toward smaller community organizations around how to lobby, how to be involved in no a torah. we have a great organization for intercultural organizing who will pull together communities of color and smaller faith-based communities to sit at the same table again traditional progressive organizations because to tell authentic stories you need people who can tell authentic stories and they need to be empowered to tell their own story and to learn how to do this work. i think for too long we have relied on the same organizations and the same partners to fuel the progressive agenda and it needs to expand and the people at the table need to change. >> good advice. let's keep rolling erect he
wanted to do that prison question? >> s. >> in organ one of the ways we dealt with mental illnesses people coming out of the prison system the part of correction are signed up for health insurance before they leave and we are working with our providers to require that they have a doctors appointment scheduled before they leave within the first 30 days and because so often people leave with 30 days with the medication and that is it and they drop off their medication and they don't have to pay for it or connect with the system, so those primary points of contact are taken care of before they leave the system. >> senator. >> for me and in some ways the public part of my session began with me making a statement, which was i am tired as a 41-year old man of having whites people tell me that what i see with my own eyes is not true. it ended-- [applause].
>> it ended with me telling a story and it comes out of the shooting that we were just talking about, which is about having to tell my son that the reason why people think he might rape white women and he is years old, i think the way that you people's attention is to tell them things that they don't know always thinking about the answer to the question, why, why this is important because in the blue state of connecticut, we had people telling people of color who had the experience that the experience they had is not real. we passed a body cam bill and we passed a because people told her story a different way. we pastor because those stories impact people when you say you don't understand me and you can say whatever you want and have your experience, but you don't know what it is to look at your nine-year old and have to explain something no parish after explained and i think with
the get real about the conversations we are having with those who don't understand. >> okay. >> i'm going to dwell on this issue of-- that was brought up about race and politics and the question that you gave me about the confederacy and the confederate state park because i tickets at the core of what's going on in the south and in america right now in her politics. i represent an area in my district, my states that is overwhelmingly rural, small-town, 70% whites, boats for national republicans in every race and there used to be a lot of people like me elected in the southern states and they are not anymore. when i was first elected a gentleman who was a republican, older senator got on the elevator with me and said, now you are a democrat and i said that's right and he said you know you are an anomaly. he said what you mean and he said in about 10 years republicans will be represented by white elected officials, generally and with an exception
here or there and democrats will be elected who are represented by black elected officials with an exception here and there. so, i don't want you to think about what has happened just kind of happened accidentally because it has since. when democrats completely control the south their economic message was pretty similar to what it is now, a roosevelts new deal message. democrats own the south, every single office. there was one key difference, and the key difference was they were the white people's party. also, democrats even in the south, the 60s and the 70s and 80s they realized it was morally wrong and they changed that position. since that time, you have seen the electorate resort as the republican party race better position.
this is incredibly destructive to our country, politics, our governments. we have basically created a political apartheid in much of our country and redistricting has been an extension of the effort. it is wrong. [applause]. >> so, i think a big part of what we need to do all of the country and certainly in our neck of the woods is to embrace and to make sure that everyone understands we are embracing all people and that includes black people, hispanic people, white people, it's all people and that's important for us as democrats. so many folks in the south believe that their history and heritage is important and it is important, so my approach to dealing with confederate monuments and confederate relics and parks is to say, you know what, it is a part of our history. it's important part of our history. it's important that we tell the
truth about our history, the good and the bad. so, we say they said issues. we have a vicious racist murder in statute on the front of our statehouse grounds, been hillman and then hillman was a important figure in south carolina history, but we should tell a whole story about then tillman when people go into that statue they understand yes, he helped expand higher education and let a populist movement that broadened opportunity for some people, but he was also a vicious rapist who wish and supported lynching black people in our state, which is a terrible legacy that we've lived with for so long. when we move forward for the future it's important we regain the trust of all people in the state regardless of their color, regardless of their creed, regardless of where they come from and out to always think
about that. we don't want to be the party of any one group like we were in the 30s and 40s and 50s. we want to be a party for everyone. [applause]. >> i will headed over to jessica, but i want to offer a few quick points. one is on the issue of race, it is very important that you think about the local community you are in. or is no prophylactic way to always do it. there are things i think are universal. it's okay for anyone of any color to talk about racial injustice. it's okay. i mean, look, let's-- straight people need to pick about the lg bt writes. min need to speak up for women, white need to speak out for racial injustice. we can't just say that if i'm not in the group i don't have authorization to speak and so this is an important thing, so don't exempt yourself and say i'm not black, so maybe i
shouldn't say anything. it is very important for you to say i want to live in a fair country and i don't think that's fair. the second thing is, i like to hear people say in a full throated way the word white, black. don't be afraid to say it. what do you people call yourself these days? [laughter] >> do you know i mean? it's okay. say black, say white, it's all rights. it's fine. understand i'm a progressives this issue of everyone counts, everyone matters, inclusion, we can zero misting, man. people are thirsting for it and my district only about 12% african-american. only about 12% african-american. there is no one in my district of 700,000 people who is not real clear on me being black.
[laughter] >> i'm also muslim, so here's the thing about it, people do not mind me, white people in my district don't feel bad about me talking about black issues and black stuff if i speak inclusively. if i say look, the criminal justice system is not working right for a whole lotta people in particular for african-americans, you see how i did that? you speak-- you talk about everyone and then you-- you can do it within a group. you know, this economy working people experience this certified away, but think about how women experience it. do you know i mean? you can do that as long as you act like you are a representative of the whole community and then you can go into how different groups are experiencing the situation. those are just some ideas and i know you have some better ones, but i think we should try to own this issue. jessica. >> i will be brief because
there's not a whole lot i can add. in north dakota, we have a large native american population and quite often we have tribal members come and testify and i think an important thing is whether you are white, black or native american in calling out that behavior, so in some committee hearings when the chairman or someone on the committee is addressing someone of a different race in a different way, having the guts to the order that committee member and i noticed that you can't cheat people differently, so-- and building relationships with the native american tribes and trying to see where they are coming from because i have never lived on a reservation and they would know a lot more than i would about those things, so knowing it from their perspective is important as well. >> i think that's very important. connecting with your fellow americans. what a concept. [laughter] >> let me say quickly about progressive caucus because that question was raised.
first of all, one of the reasons we have a progressive caucus in congress is that we want to have values, stability. we don't want to hurt-- hook our cart to weapon to be in leadership. on most things i agree with the president and i'm proud of president obama, but on the traded thing he and i are like on different pages, big time. [applause]. >> so, we don't fall out because of it. we just work on what we can work on, so the progressive caucus value base helps us avoid personality -based. so, you have a progressive caucus and if you start winning your stay, which i strongly urge you to do, okay, how are we going to engage leadership and on some things you are with leadership and other things you're not. you would be surprised how often leadership is looking for leadership. if you say, hey, look our caucus believes we need to do this and here's our plan, it they might
say okay. we can get behind that, but you have to have someone to propose a concept. we don't have time now, but i'm telling you progressive caucus in your state legislature will help you replicate progressive ideas and actually help the progressive caucus helped author leadership to the party that you happen to be in because i was told this is a nonpartisan event. anyway, let's take four more. >> thank you, representative. i am the minority caucus. >> wyoming, all right. that's worth a handwrite their. wyoming, you all. [applause]. >> the problem we face in wyoming, is a little too much a ham radio and a little too much cable, which they are basing most of their opinion on. some suggestions from the panel?
>> write them down let's get a few more, so we can-- >> i guess i'm next. i'm from rhode island. i have been there for sometime and i actually wanted to pray not progressive caucus piece also because i think one of our challenges is that the democrats in our house and to a degree maybe the senate as well, to me maybes at the center of the whole state along the way, so as a result a lot of the tailwagging the doll thing is much more conservative than most democrats. our-- basically the speaker who is a conservative democrat as well, but to pull in that direction and i'm curious about insights about that part of the equation as well. >> absolutely. >> phyllis kahn for minnesota. i'm concerned about young people participation and so forth.
you talked about the wonderful to amendments we defeated in my precinct, which is around the edge of the student area, 200 people came in, boded no on the to amendments and left without even voting for obama. we lost, not mine where i had good student participation in the last election, but we lost legislative seats because we could not get students activated in other campuses. so, just-- that's a high issue of interest. >> important, engaging the millennial's. >> good morning. >> punishment paul booth. expected to see you. how are you doing. >> congressman, as you mentioned there are other people in the u.s. congress in the house and senate who served the state
legislators, understand what state legislation is all about and what it's like to be a state legislator or in my question for you is, will you recruit a committee of people like yourself who get what the importance of state innovation exchange and what six is all about to be a advisory committee or support committee or members of congress to support the work of this organization? >> well, the answer is they don't eat our advice, but we will engage. we will partner with six in this matter. in fact, nick has presented at the progressive caucus. we have done a lot of stuff, but your question is, how do we build on this relationship and the answer is resoundingly yes, i am all in and we are-- we are working out dates and times when nick and six can present to the democratic caucus.
but, did you know that there is no table that combines state legislators, national governors, dnc, the sec? do you all know what i'm talking about? there is no national coordinated campaign and in some of your state's record campaigns. there is no national coordinated campaign. we are trying to win-- i will take this, they never stop begging me for more money, which is fine. i don't mind doing my part fundraising, but what about some smart work. teamwork makes the dream work, does it not? [applause]. >> spots on, but the progressive caucus is looking for partnership and we are so proud to be working with six and we
went to do nothing but work more and more with six. on the progressive caucus front, the thing is when you have-- like nancy pelosi is a progressive, so right now, you know, we basically go to nancy and fate if you really want to push on this issue we got to you and she's like awesome. now,-- what if we had a conservative leadership? well, then we would still have to say look, you have 72 people in this caucus who don't think that what we need to do-- you know, we don't actually believe that rich people don't have enough money and poor people have too much, so we are not going to help you. so-- i mean, at the end of the day every leader of every caucus that you all are in is trying to build a consensus and if we are organized within your caucus, you create a gravitational pull in the other direction. don't you all remember the days
when, you know, there was sort of even if you were as progressive as you could be you kind of felt like you didn't want to use the word for people? you didn't want to use the word welfare. people would say that alienating. to whom? the point is we have to create a gravitational poll in favor of progressive values. now, we are not always go into agree and let me tell you, hundred% against doctrinaire. we do not have witness tests in the us progressive caucus. the closest thing to a witness test is our people's budget, which we formed a we offer you to vote on and we all vote for our budget, but we vote for the black caucus budget and the democratic caucus budget, but we have got-- our ideas have migrated into the democratic caucus budget on a pretty regular basis because we have ideas to start with. you cannot migrate your progressive ideas into the
democratic caucus idea box if you don't have any ideas to start with; right? that is the key. again, it's more extensive than we have time for now, but we would really love to be in a conversation about how you can start a progressive caucus here i've talked to much. but so back to the panel. >> i just wanted to go back to representative birds question. i don't have a a.m. radio and the cable issue, but one of the first things i worked on with some of the people at the table was the death penalty and there were people that just didn't see it the way i did and the way that we got moving and moved the bill in a way in my freshman year that we had never been able to move it was was to sit down with people and recognize that different perspective and actually listen to them and one of the things i did was oxley sit down, listen to people who disagreed with me and then walk away.
i didn't assert what i wanted to do. i thought about what they said and then i thought about if i had that perspective, how could i hear someone and i came back to them in a way that was much different than i would have. i will quickly say this, although my session started with the comment about what white people tell me about what i think, i think there are some of the most critical voices because when i can't be heard they can be heard because they are not seen as invested in this in a way that i am. >> other folks? >> i went to dive into the idea about how can we get more young people to turn out and vote. my answer would be, i don't know. [laughter] >> but, i think we are making a fundamental mistake and we fall into this trap all the time when we say if we could just get more young people to vote and get more of a certain minority to turn out vote. to win elections consistently you have to appeal to the broad swath of the electorate. may be in presidential races
when it's close anyway you can get over the top with a targeted turnout efforts and we should work to turn out people. but, you will surely lose even if you turn people out if you don't appeal to a broad swath of the electric with issues that matter to them and more importantly, that they believe you care about them. if they believe you care about them, if they believe that you are on their side and on their team then they will vote for you. they are so divorced generally from specific issues and the minutia that we get engaged in and we really need to swing that back really for the stands and try to get everyone into the fold. that tell you build lasting majorities. >> i went to address the same issue. in oregon, one of the things we did in our house races was i went to individual donors and said will you invest in us testing this tool, so will you give us the money to do pandora
targeting ended in collect data on it and figure out whether or not it works because for young people, women, targeted of voters, the ability to know what works, you have to collect the data and then be disciplined enough to have a data driven campaign. so, we have a large tech community near portland, so going to some of those folks who really believe in data generally was really helpful because then we weren't also taking money out of traditional male and calling in all that and so it was much easier when you had earmarked dollars to sow would love to put this in your mail program, but the donor once it to go into targeted new media. >> you could do a whole panel on how to employ technology and be a more effective campaigner, so thank you for raising that issue. >> i will be brief. i would say being sure to incorporate social media.
in north dakota, we moved mountains among young people by just doing the free things like facebook and twitter and instagram and all of that fun stuff. having that as part of your plan it's easy. it's free most of the time and the people around the table who are helping you move the bill art-- having them share in all of those things, it reaches a larger audience. >> look, everyone, i think we have pretty much reached the end of our time and i just want to say that i mean have entered we had some truly brilliant ideas emerge in the session? what do you think? [applause]. >> i just want to say, everything everyone said i agree with with 100%. i think we do have to appeal to the broad swath of the electric, but young people are a part of that. young people experience the economy in a particular way, in a way that mia 52 years old and
experience. when i graduated from law school at weight five years old, i had $12000 in student to debt. $12000 for a semester is what a lot of these people have and they are not alone in that debt because there are a whole lot of paris that parent plus loans. my point is, to appeal to the broad swath, talk to those bread-and-butter issues here don't be afraid to-- i think progressives can own this issue of racial inclusion if we are not afraid to talk authentically, in her heart about our neighbors, our friends, our people. we have had, i think, and as a morning and i just want to say that we got to just get closer and closer together and work more and more together and i can tell you 72 members of the progressive caucus want to do that with you. god bless, and have a great session. [applause].
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> a few quick announcements. you have already anticipated one, which is lunch is next and also wanted to let you know that all the materials will be posted on our website. let me skip straight to lunch is right out through those doors. if you could be back by about 12:15 p.m.-- no, about noon, in 15 minutes there is a panel during lunch, and that will begin shortly thereafter. if you-- when you come in if you could move to the tables on the far side and fill them up, so we don't pile up. thank you and thanks so much to our panelists.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> as you heard this will be half an hour break now in this state innovation conference taking place in washington d.c.. coming up next discussion on black lives matter and the black lives matter movement. among those taking part will be the co-founder of black lives matter international, half-hour break until we hear that panel. live coverage on c-span2. passing across the desk here, the conference taking place,
education secretary arne duncan stepping down after seven years in the obama administration. in a letter to staff he says he is returning to chicago to live with his family. was gotten by the associated press, confirmed by white house officials and we will continue to watch this story and give you further details should they occur. once again we are taking and innovation conference, back in half an hour. we show you a opening statements as this gets underway. >> for those who don't know me, i am the executive director, i have been working in state and local government for 15 years, i started my time in nebraska cameral, center for american progress, state and local issues, community organizer, in
immigrant communities, i worked for governor elliot spitzer until that fell apart. i was president obama's liaison to the states in the white house, and helped elizabeth warren with the dodd-frank legislation passed. i had different vantage points to fully appreciate the investment and infrastructure building done at the state level. for nearly a generation conservatives have far outpaced progressives in the business of movement building in this state, focused hard on it, poured resources on it, have been ruthlessly the efficient at it. think about where we are now. people spend a lot of time and energies focused on the presidential cycles but with all due respect i find simply focusing only on federal power
to be shortsighted behind those in infrastructure, donor class and establishment. i am not saying it is not important. it is for a number of different reasons but only focusing there is a recipe for disaster. frankly for progressives it has been. if you look at the matter of legislative control in this country, is currently nearly all read. that is because right now in america conservatives' control more state legislative chambers since the 1900s. in fact in the period president obama has taken office alone republicans have gained 900 state legislative seats, and 11 governors of the ships and majorities in 30 state legislative chambers. none of this is by accident or just happen overnight. since the 1970s conservatives have been methodically investing in the development of a coordinated state infrastructure the focus is on collections,
ideas promotion, training and grass-roots organizing, their electoral support comes from republicans the leadership committee. organizing comes from groups like americans for prosperity, an idea generation through groups like the heritage foundation. that infrastructure coupled with two groups in particular, the american legislative exchange council and state policy network create this network of in state resources that advance their agenda in the states. we look at irs filings in the state policy network they have a combined budget of $16 million. however, taking care of deeper look at public disclosure, and estimates of internal corporate spending we estimate the constellation of groups have closer to $215 million through this network to advance their policies, coordinate, organize,
train and influence legislators. i can say progressives are nowhere near that number. there are a number of different consequences to all of this that each of you in this room on a daily basis are facing. 4 one, progressives do not control legislative chambers in the vast majority of states, they do not control the redistricting process. if you don't control the redistricting process, you effectively will not have control over the united states house of representatives and that is where we are today. after the losses in legislative races in 2010 we effectively gave away the house of representatives for a decade. in addition, gerrymandering these districts have also incentivize ideologues because district are often drawn around on a narrow group of similarly minded individuals leaving no reason for an elected official to compromise. compromise has become a dirty
word in washington. you see the effects of that. the inmates currently running that asylum were willing to shut down the government this week because they didn't believe in funding women's health. how crazy is that? in exchange for not shutting down the government their own speaker john boehner, i am sure his head was a delicious treat for the conservative base that that sacrifice did nothing for the country and in fact we should be scared of this form of extreme governing but again there is nothing we can do about it because they control the legislative chambers in the states. progress of negligence has also led legislators and other state officials in position to fend for themselves. up until now there has not been any serious organized effort to identify rising stars, nurture and training elected officials or build a team. each of you in this room have told us this. last summer as we were building
the organization we had one conversation with hundreds of legislators around the country, we heard literally thousands, hundreds of times consistently the same thing. legislators feel like they're on an island, they feel like they are alone, did not feel connected to one another, national leaders are a common program, they don't have spent central place to find information and sometimes get trained when they are running for office or feel abandoned. take a look at the presidential candidates running for office on the right, most of them are governors. in the case of marco rubio, state legislator. they are relatively young and relatively diverse. they have the farm team in a way we do not. finally, power in legislature also allows the ability to have power over policymaking and the movement of the shoes state by state. let's take guns for example. later today we are going to have a moment of silence for the
victims of the oregon shooting. think about how many mass shootings occur on a regular basis, rolling stone magazine reported this morning that organ shooting was the 264 food mass shooting this year. this year. october 2nd, today, the 2 seventy-second day of the year, there are 272 days of this year and 264 days there has been up mass shooting. how is that possible? our board chair yesterday told me he was a former state legislator in kansas. he said when he would vote for a gun bill if he voted for it, even a simple restrictions on access, within hours he would be getting calls and e-mails in his office and that happens to all
of you. after colorado and oregon passed simple background check bills, the pro-gun lobby went after legislators hard and recall efforts against those who voted for simple background check legislation. in colorado two legislators were recalled and lost their jobs as a result. look what alec in partnership with the and are a was able to do with state your ground. versions of that bill move from florida to 17 states in one year and now in 26 states. when i talk about infrastructure and mechanisms to actively and quickly influence policy -- mistakes, this is what i'm talking about. we'll get frustrated seeing another mass shooting happen. we ask ourselves how can this happen? how in oregon do we let this happen? how in charleston do we let this happen? how in newat town do we let that
happen? hours public opinion even among gun owners to have at least simple background checks in place and nothing happens? they built this infrastructure that rapidly deploy information, send calls to legislative offices, can crack and disseminate policy quickly across states and build public opinion for things. couple that with the fact that until now there has not been a real alternative or countervailing force to check this sort of power in the country. and you have an environment the reinforces extreme positions on guns and everything else. another example is economic policy. where there is an assault on working and middle-class families in this country. think about this. we live in the wealthiest country in the history of the
world but i can tell you that the people i grew up with in nebraska and many other people i meet when travelling across the country would never know that because so much of the wealth is concentrated at the very top. millions of people are simply trying to provide for their families and make ends meet living paycheck to paycheck. many are barely making it. in fact i was reading recently that the top 110 foot of 1%, of this country own almost as much as those who receive 90%. how is that ok? people working long and hard for wages and benefits which should be viewed as nothing short of offensive. i was talking to my brother who was a lawyer in d.c.. this one worked at a restaurant
in north carolina. the employer which is a major national train was paying this person effectively $1.69 an hour because they were providing $5.66 hourly tipped credit. and another meal that was thrown in. $1.69 an hour. they claim to satisfy the federal minimum wage of $7.25 when you add the two together. in reality, she absolutely was not making $5.66 an hour. -employer had the nerve to work 20% of her time on bond tip work back in the kitchen. $1.69 an hour in america in 2015. this is an honest person working hard to make ends meet. i don't care who you are, there's something fundamentally wrong with that. we have