tv [untitled] June 18, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
greer's group. they really worked effectively, just how to interface with the public. i mean that's where that works really well, charles. >> congressman west, one of the things that propelled you to the national stage was your -- is your personality. in other words -- >> oh, really? >> you preach a certain kind of accountability. and what kind of role does government have with respect to -- how can government instill accountability into individuals? >> well, i think that first and foremost, when you look at the culture in the united states of america, we don't talk about personal responsibility and accountability. everything is somebody else's fault. you know, one of the things i have a problem with down in south florida, i don't know if you see it other places, but there used to be a billboard called "who can i sue.com." growing up in the military and of course having a father who served in the military and a mother who worked for marine headquarters for 25 years, there
were certain things that were expected of you. it was about respect. it was about integrity. it was about character. and i always define character as doing what is right when no one is watching. i think those are some of the basic standards. your oral and written communicative skills are important. the means by witch you carry yourself as far as your grooming and your appearance. i think those are some of the basic cultural things that we see going away in the country. i got to tell you, one of the worst whippings i ever received from my dad is when we were down in cuthbert, georgia, which is his hometown. the old folks had called back to them and told them that his son was walking through cuthbert, georgia, and was not saying good afternoon, yes, sir, yes, ma'am to people that were sitting on the porch. i came to understand that when you see your elders, you respect them. you talk to them. you give them due deference. that's not what we have. and i think those little small things. and i will tell you this. having served 22 years in the
military, when you get some of these young kids, african-american kids that come from the inner cities and think they're tough, things like that, in about two or three different years, you a completely different young man or woman. those are some of the basic things we need do get back. this is a cultural thing throughout the entire country. yo i mean i don't want the federal government to try to solve. you have this guy in, who who doesn't like big gulps. >> he wants to stop obesity. >> you want to stop obesity, come see me at 5:30 in the morning. we can go for a run. but once again, it comes back to a basic foundational structure that we once had in this country. and i think that when we break down that family structure, we get away from a lot of things that are causing us, as some people say, the unintended consequences that eventually do end up with, you know, double-digit unemployment and failures of business and things of that nature, because there is just a lack of discipline.
>> can i just add. >> sorry, absolutely. >> it would be great for our young people to have more exposure to african-american entrepreneurs. so for those that are running businesses for our business members that are on the black enterprise list, it would be great to go to some of these inner city schools and say hey, come to my office. let me show you how i conduct a meeting. let me show you how our accounting department works. let me show you how to create a marketing plan so that they get that exposure. i think a lot of it, when we talk about the young people, if in their household they don't have an entrepreneur in their household, they've never been exposed to that, how can you expect them to get that on their own? so we have a fundamental responsibility as leaders and as, you know, individuals and as professionals to provide them -- >> we're role models. >> exactly. we have a fundamental responsibility to expose them to the things. we can't just sit back and say oh, these kids don't know how to act.
well, i mean, if we know how to act, then we -- it takes a village. we need to show them how to act. >> there is a federal law on the books. and congressman west, if the congress would just enforce it, it's called section 3 of the hood act. >> yes. >> it was introduced by hud secretary george romney, 1968 as a result of the first watts riot. it was further invigorated by hud secretary jack kemp in 1992 after the rodney king riot. now i'm wondering if l.a. is going to have to burn one more time before we can start enforcing section 3 of the hud act where it says if you're using hud money on any project, 10% of the contract should be set aside by a section 3 business. what is a section 3 business? section 3 residents are people living in public housing, section 8, or under the poverty
level. 30% of those new jobs are supposed to go to section 3 residences by way of section 3 businesses. now if chicago housing authority for the last three years had complied, that $1.4 billion they received, $140 million would have gone to section 3 businesses. garbage pickup, construction, day-care centers, landscaping, patchwork on the drywalls and painting, hiring those residents. that's 130, $140 million. and 13,000 new jobs by people living in public housing. there is not one d city in this country in compliance with section 3 of the hud act. secretary of hud today donovan, he ran new york's public housing. he didn't comply with it. so when -- and congresswoman
velazquez has taken it. she tackled this about three or four years ago. it didn't go anywhere. but if we just enforce it. if the hud secretary would say comply, jacksonville, florida, or you're not going to get any more money. jacksonville, florida, was found not in compliance in 1993. it's 2012. they still aren't in compliance. secretary alfonso jackson threatened them. they didn't do it. >> all right. okay. that's -- sorry, taking a lot of notes on that. i want to go back. that's -- listen, its money set aside and it's being hijacked, we got to figure it out. i want to go back to ruth jones, in part because my mother's name -- i'm sorry, did you want to comment on that real quick? okay. >> yeah. i was just saying today we're talking about when she was saying educating the children on how to start a business. and that sort of thing. the day is pretty much gone for you to be able to drop your child off at the school and pick them up and expect them to get a real education that day is gone.
schools are cutting back on all the extras there is barely enough time in the day to get math, arithmetic and reading and language arts. just enough time to do that. we have as black leaders have an additional responsibility. that additional responsibility extends outside of our elected office. it extends outside of the schools to mentor and raise up this next generation. >> absolutely. >> we have that responsibility. unless you enengage it directly and say look, in my hometown i have a group called generation inspiration. every summer, whether they're white, black, hispanic, we take them all. we go through the steps on building life skills, showing them what a businessman looks like, showing them how to balance a checkbook, how to proper and respectful and speak articulately. that's an additional side of what our responsibility. we call ourselves, quote/unquote, black leaders. >> okay. everyone agrees with that i'm sure. ruth jones, i'm going to say my mother's name is ruth. the main reason i'm coming back to you is we talked about some of the more depressing statistics in your -- you're the city manager at rivera beach.
70% african-american, huge poverty, yet there are some thriving black business there's. how are they doing it? how are they surviving? what are the lessons to be learned? >> the black businesses in riviera beach that are thriving is first of all they have been able to get the community to back them. the residents buy from them. the businesses in riviera beach buy from each other. and once you begin to start that kind of synergy, then you can get support for the businesses that are in existence and help them establish spin-off businesses. we're developing our marina. and one of the things that we determined as a government is that when it comes to putting new businesses on the boardwalk and the promenade, we're not going to go out and look for businesses that are nationwide that you got to have a certain
income in order for them to come. we're going to get local businesses. they're going to be the businesses along our boardwalk. we're not going to get anything new. we're going to get those that are homegrown, and we are going to be the ones to help them expand. so now they can get the third or fourth place. they're going to hire people. and my people are going to get back to work. >> thank you. >> can i make a point too? >> absolutely. >> i just want to make a point that you could do so much more at the local level than you can at the federal level. and i think a lot of businesses look to the federal government to be their answer. and we can hardly pass a budget. the senate hasn't passed a budget in three years. i had to throw that in there. but look to your local level. if you're a small business, especially a minority small business, make sure that you know that your county commissioners, your mayors, your state rep, because they can get a whole lot done faster than we can in washington, d.c. >> absolutely.
and before i throw it to the audience panel, real quick, we've got a few minutes, anyone with some more specific solution ideas? because both of those things are fantastic. >> i think we can also leverage crowd funding. >> what kind of funding? >> crowd funding. which basically says you can pool your money together to invest in various business enterprises. so your ventures like kick starter or microplace, these are new ways as a result of the jobs act of 2012 that was signed just a couple of months ago, that people are getting creative about leveraging the dollars that they do have. it doesn't have to be lots and lots of money, but if you pull like grassroots funding together, you can leverage that. so i think getting really creative about the financing options. also, leveraging our private equity so the national association of investment companies, leveraging the resources that we have to really be creative about getting access to capital to flow. >> right. >> one thing that is hurting us
in the state of florida is, like, our insurance reform that we need to take, to tack until the state of florida. for instance, our -- florida is one of the few states whose got the personal injury protection where on average, our floridians are specifically our minority communities are paying an exorbitant amount of money on personal injury protection. and sometimes when i go around the state and try to articulate that with some of our minority communities, you know, they don't see that as a major issue. but one of the things that i'm trying to do is eliminate this personal injury protection and just change it so in that way what i want to do is just do a mandatory bodily injury for the state of florida where it would save the automobile policy holders over $400 a year. and, you know, so this is something that is really important. but when you talk about insurance reform in the state of florida in the minority communities, people don't see that as a major issue.
so we have to articulate these issues as just as important. if you can save $400 per household, that's a major issue for some of these minority communities. >> absolutely. and to the point also you got to shout, you got to make sure. if it's not important to you to shout about it, then no one else is going to listen. absolutely. >> one more policy idea. right now federal contracting is a great potential for minority businesses. and right now the federal government is supposed to do at least 23% of all government contracting right now is supposed to go to small business. they have not met that goal in five years, seven years. seven years. they have not even met the 23% goal because there basically is no incentive for the procurement staff at the federal agencies to meet that goal. our committee -- >> it started dropping in 1996. >> so that's one untapped potential there. our committee has passed
legislation to increase the goal to 25%. >> right. >> and also to attach an incentive for that to make it part of an employee review when procurement official goes in for his yearly review, they look whether or not you met that goal. so we have legislation. it has passed the house. it's attached to the ndaa and it's sitting in the senate. so if you agree with that, call your senators. >> please. all right, you guys. the panel has been fantastic. go ahead. >> there is one nasty thing out there, congressman west, by procurement agents. and it's called cancellation for the convenience of the government. which means you win a contract fair and square competitively. beat lockheed, got the contract, going on time, going to schedule. and they cancel it for the convenience of the government. you have no recourse. you have no recourse. and i've got a guy down in hampton, virginia. he had $1.5 million in invoices they won't honor for the work he
has done. i've got a black female at san diego airport. she won the first general contract in the history of airport, and they canceled it on convenience. she happens to be business of the year sba 2012. and then had another contract which she won competitively canceled for convenience of the government. it's jim crowe. and they told her when she won the first one, you don't want to do this. we're going to make it rough on you. and they haven't had one other black general contract, ever. >> very briefly, charles talked about my charming personality. please let me know about that. i'll be writing a letter to someone. >> yes, sir. >> okay. we're going to pass it around. say your name? >> let me hide over here by the famous mr. payne. okay, leticia west is my name. and i'm elated to be here.
so thank you, colonel west, for having this second conservative black forum. my question is for colonel west. what is our plan to recruit and to educate the black community to come over to the other side? because 95% pretty much of us vote democrat. although there is plenty of versatility in the white race, some of them are independents, some are republicans, some are democrats. why is it that we stick to one party that i think is no good for us? thank you. [ applause ] >> i think that the most important thing that i can do in an event such as this is to provide a forum. so that when you think about the millions of people that are watching this on c-span, and it will get rebroadcast, we got to get people to think. it's just the same as when you look -- my wife is a financial planner and investor. no one here, i guarantee you no one in the united states of america puts all of your
capital, all of your funds into one single mutual fund or stock or account. you don't. you diversify. and as mr. johnson said early on, i think it's so important that the black community does exact same thing with their political capital. and not just put it into one political fund, which, you know, what happens is this. you get taken for granted by one into the other you become irrelevant because they figure this is what you're going to do. so at least we're having this conversation to get people to talk and to think about, as i said, conservative principles as it relates to urban economic renewal and revitalization. individual industrialism. limited government that is fiscally responsible. the free market, and also education that leads to equality of opportunity. that's what the day was really about. and i got some great notes, some great things that we can start looking at, and i can take that over, send messages over to the chairman of the ways and means committee as far as tax policy and tax reform. we'll definitely be getting with
housing and urban development and some of these other things. we have things in the pipelines for us, contracting opportunities and protection that will be coming up for a vet on the house floor. and i'm glad to be the original sponsor of that piece of legislation. it's just about educating, about having the discussion. >> i would like to comment on that. it's also encouraging more black republicans, being encouraging of each other. you think that i didn't know any really before i became one. but that's just a reality. but when i did become one, and my wife and i decided to switch parties and leave the democratic party and become republicans, one of the first people that called my office to congratulate me was congressman west. he had not even been sworn in yet. i didn't even know who he was. but because he called and reached out to me, and it was encouraging saying stay the course. it's going to get rough for you. but if you stay encouraged and stick to your principles, you'll do just fine. and i made that my practice. every time i see another african-american switch parties, to call them as well. because we need more running for office.
there needs to be a choice in the black community. >> right. >> if you have no choice, then you can't be independent. so we need an independent voting electorate that is giving both parties, a republican and democratic option. and we need to run more african-americans in black communities. >> and i would also like to say that the u.s. black chamber is a bipartisan organization. so we do have members of both parties. and we feel that both parties should work together to protect interests and values. >> they're known as the obama chamber of commerce. i don't know see where the bipartisan -- >> wait, wait, hold it now. let's not go there. >> i got to call that out. >> norris mcdonald -- >> but we're sitting here at the forum. so we have relationships on both sides. we have relationships on both sides. >> congressman west. congressman west calls me, i come. >> both sides. >> norris mcdonald, african-american association, question, blacks do not own any
of the energy infrastructure and resources in the united states. as energy bills come up before the congress, what do you think the congress can do to help get some sort of ownership of energy, infrastructure, and resources in this country? >> well, i think, once again, you know, we have to promote black businesses investing in energy companies. you know, the full spectrum. not just green, but look at what is going on up in north dakota with the bakken fields. we should have minority businesses that are getting involved in the bakken fields. we should have minority businesses that would be a part of the growth of the keystone xl pipeline. i'm sure you can have second and third order small businesses that would be affected by that multithousand mile pipeline. i think once again it's about educating people on the opportunities that are out there. and having, you know, i got to agree with mr. johnson. the ability to get the capital so that you can invest and get into all of these different sectors. look, the way that the country is going with science,
technology, engineering, and manufacturing, i think that when you look at the trillions of dollars of capital sitting offshore in the united states of america, we should allowoffshor allow the capital to be repatriated back to the country so we can get products and manufacturing. small minority businesses and private equity, get. opportunity to get into some of these technology fields as well. but you're right. we've got to talk about the opportunities that are out there. you know, what is amazing to me is, there ain't no power in the black community when it comes to sports guys. no problem when you talk about singing and dancing and all this stuff. so why are we not in the energy sector? and why don't we have more, you know, people in the defense contracting side? when you think about all of the, you know, african-american generals that are retiring. we should have more black-owned businesses in the department of
defense contracting side. you have dan packer. >> he's getting into the business as an entrepreneur. sherman lewis, the company in houston. the nigerian brother in houston who does like a billion dollars in shipping and what have you. so exxon and chevron, exxon, you go to a meeting at exxon and you'll find some of the sharps black brains walking the earth and hopefully, as they retire, they will get that entrepreneurial bug and go into the business that they know about and that's energy. they hired some of hour best engineers. shell and all of them. and we need to get them into the entrepreneurial side. >> that's how it works. that's the reach -- and baseball, it would be the farm system and then they get the skills and, you though, hopefully, we'll have a right to -- that's a fantastic
question considering how many billions of our dollars are going into that area, yes, sir? >> good afternoon. al on the do porter with kpat examer.com." like the congressman i used to be a teacher and high school principal but i know going to afghanistan wasn't an option for me. >> it was for me. >> i think it all starts and ends with education and we've talked a lot about that. the basics is that our kids last and every standard measure academically. you look at the s.a.t. data you look at national analysis of standardized tests and you're going to find african-american children at the bottom and in many cases, they display an oppositional attitude towards learning where, essentially, dumbing-down has become equivalent to keeping it real in some kind of a way and so my question then, as far as the local leadership, mrs. mayor and the young commissioner, how do
you attract economic development, given the reality that are school systems are performing so poorly, our large urban african-american school systems are performing so poorly. how do you attract large-scale employees to get rid of that 40% unemployment rate. how do you bring people in? because when people are looking to establish a plan or an office, they want to know, essentially, how are the schools. even when you purchase a home, your question is, how are the schools? how do you answer that question when you're trying to effectively get economic development possibilities in your jurisdiction? >> we're fortunate enough to have the second rank baccalaureate high school program in its city limits. sun coast high school. so when i start talking to businesses i talk about sun
coast high school. i talk mayor mccloud bethune middle school, that's a feeder, at elementary, that's a feeder to east coast as well as jf kennedy middle school, the feeder to the number-two ranked international baccalaureate program in the country. so i begin to talk about the education within the city. now, mind you, just like i have that high-ranking baccalaureate institution i still have an unemployment rate, unfortunately, because some of our children are not being admitted on the sun coast. when we want to talk about education we got to talk about all of it and that's an admission to those programs. when you can show them that you have a training facility available when you can show them that we have individuals that have already completed our urban league program, have already completed our in-house city program.
have completed the program with work forth alliance. we have an educated workforce out here for whatever level position that you're looking for. but you got to be able to show them that you have the capability toefs an educated workforce. >> i think in gainesville it's a little difference. more of a rural area. the problem is -- we have great schools. our schools produce great students. the problem is when they leave they just don't come back. the issue is -- how can we get them to come back and what we try to track with organizations that are nonprofit or what are these kids going to college to do? to be engineers? the medical field, helping them know before they leave these are the jobs that you can come home to. these are the jobs that are available but it all begins with a changing of attitude and i think this is a critical point. some of our kids, too many times we see coaches from division one schools look at our best athletes but they don't come and look at our best minds.
i have to give florida a&m credit. i told them we have some of the best kids in the country at my school. he came to my high school and handed out $200,000 scholarships to the best and brightest. that told our kids if you're smart you can get the same attention a track star or a football player or track star can get. that kind of imagery, if we're smart they'll find us, and i told them not just to get the engineering degree, you can come back and work at one of our local companies who know you are now. so for us in small town, it's different. they're saw smart enough to leave but are they encouraged enough to come back? >> are we sticking our heads in the sand but not talking about -- i think someone mentioned the "keeping it real" phenomenon. i was at the summer jam concert my son had a couple of rappers he liked there so i went and i got to tell you something. as i walked out and, you know, i just said, we all might as welt learning mandarin, because this country belongs to china.
realistically, do we not talk about it because we just don't want to southbound politically incorrect? and when we talk about education and wanting to really be smart within a community? >> i think that we really have to encourage our children to figure out what their interests are. and based on those interests and passions, figure out how they can monetize them. so if you notice that your child is artistic in some sort of manner, your child is painting or does math really well, figure out how during the summer congress as wes mentioneding with during the summer kids finding jobs et cetera. help them to figure out how to start their business in the summer. help them to get connected with some of the youth programs, junior achievement, black girls code. a number of these programs that are available for children, operation hope. one of our partners that focus on youth, young adults and established adults. so there are plenty of resources out here to help them figure out
what they like and how they can create businesses out of that. >> not to be a broken record but it comes back to the upbringing and the family. those are the first role models that you have and i also want to say this, too. as black business owners and elected officials, we need all to be role mondels for them and we can be politically incorrect and say, no, you shouldn't be watching music videos all day. that's not where your role models are. but there's something else that you can describe to. you be a business owner or doctor, nurse, teacher. but if they're at home after school watching music videos all day, that's where they're getting their role model from. >> i think we're underrating our public school system the status that it is. it's terrible. and when kay and i were preparing to move to washington, d.c. to start the national black chamber of commerce art. they said, i got you hooked up.
he said i got your boys into the st. aal dens. he said that's may work in indianapolis but in d.c. that's ace form of child abuse. we got to st. auldins it's the number one school in the country and they have a network of graduate walts all over the place. they're cutting deals. they hit facebook. they're in the club, based on where they want to school. >> and they own their own business. >> representative, wes? >> this is a point that i want to bring up. i think that we're not investing properly in the future of our young people. this is a case. university of kentucky this past year won the ncaa championship. every single one of those starters were freshmen. every single one of them have left college and gone and applied