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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  January 16, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EST

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earlier questions and -- with susan, the world view issue is something that needs to be probed. that's something i start with because i think there's something always there that is just covered when you're just focused on the issue. you have to look at these packages. it goes down to -- it relates also to what gary asked about, so what are the -- you know what's the prism through which democrats or republicans view these issues or at least the american public. obviously, multiple prism but i wanted to note one thing. on the poll that you referred to, you're right about the democrats that tend to see it mostly through human rights. certainly the israel/palestine question, mostly through a human rights prism. but the republicans actually don't see it necessarily through a u.s. interest prism either. they actually see it through two prisms. one is also human rights, by the way, particularly evangelicals. but evangelicals in particular see it through a religious
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prism. on that one, they are the only community, the only community in the poll, that had strong feeling about -- it's just their position on that issue is religiously motivated. now here, we haven't done all the analysis yet. there will be more analysis of the data when we look at further demographics as we've done in the past one. but i would suggest that if you look here, just at the democrats and republicans alone, it tells you that there is something of a world view that you have to analyze. just by looking at the differences on some critical issues. now, going back to tamar's question about attitudes toward the muslim worlds i've been doing that polling for a dozen years across arab countries on multiple issues, including attitude towards extremism and al qaeda. we've asked many questions originally about al qaeda specifically. there is something to be learned here because initially when we probed about attitudes toward al
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al qaeda over the past decade and a half, certainly after 9/11, what we find is most people, when you ask them, what is it about -- what aspect of al qaeda do you admire most, if any? the number one answer during that decade was the fact that stands up to the united states. number two was that it was championing causes like the arab/israeli issue. and those who said they endorsed its agenda of a puritanical al qaeda state, always ranged from 4% to 10%. there was no variation. it was by and large the enemy of my enemy. now, that's not necessarily the case for people who join it. now, remember that. we're talking about public attitudes in the broader community. not about why do people join. that's a different story. but of those attitudes in the public in general, it was the enemy of my enemy. now, the interesting thing about isis is that while it is -- of course, it is derived from al
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qaeda. i mean, you look at it and al qaeda in iraq, and so there's a link, obviously. an ideological link. but here's the interesting thing. when isis initially emerged, it said, unlike al qaeda, my first aim is not america. my first aim is arab rulers. and it was tapping into something really, really interesting. first, in iraq and syria, if you had sunni communities that were unhappy with the ruling governments in both places, but more importantly, the fact that you had an arab spring of people wanting to get rid of regimes that have obviously stalled and the regimes were fighting back. so they were tapping into something that was different from al qaeda's issue, which is they were angry with america. they were tapping into people who were angry with regimes. they said they left america -- by and large -- not that they liked operational priority.
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now it is different. so now the interesting thing -- this was my worry all along -- that the minute you go in and you intervene, do you make it about america and do you play into their hands when people who are reluctant to support them but may still be angry with america? i still think that one of the things that's working against them is al qaeda was seen to be a remote insignificant, america-centric organization that had no chance of ruling over them. with isis, it's too close to home. and overwhelming majority of people in the arab world would never want something like isis to rule over them. and that threat probably is the one that is deflecting a little bit of the anger with the united states in the fight against isis. >> interesting. >> gary always asks the most philosophical questions and i'm going to answer with empirics. i'm going to answer with, what are the roots of opinion on isis?
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shibley's poll really presents -- gives us three groups. the largest group are simply americans who fear it is an extension of al qaeda and they -- americans just want to fight against the terrorist threat. that's 43%. but then 33% gave a kind of human rights answer. most troubled by isis' ruthless behavior and intolerance. so clearly there is still a human rights constituency. and then what foreign policy types tend to worry about, isis can threaten our most vital interests, 16%. or threaten allies in the region, 7%. so the smallest numbers are the people who probably think like foreign policy specialists, which need to include that we are a nation of moralists or protect our own shores jacksonians, who tend to be governed by realists. >> well, that is a fascinating point. i have to add just one note on the question of public opinion in muslim majority countries
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when it comes to the extremists. isis and al qaeda have us at a real disadvantage here. which we have to recognize. which is even if the vast majorities of these populations rejects them rejects the ideology rejects the goals rejects the idea that they might rule over them in the horrific manner that they are ruling over the territory they have conquered, they don't need a majority of these populations to be successful. and they certainly don't need a majority of these populations to do what these three guys did in paris yesterday. they need a tiny, tiny fringe. that is the essence of what makes this counterterrorism struggle so hard. you can do a lot on counternarrative. you can do a lot on enabling environment. but you really don't need that many people to be a successful terrorist movement. >> good point. >> and that's just a tough reality with which we have to
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reckon. i apologize, ladies and gentlemen, you have been fantastic and i see that there are a lot more questions but we have run out of time. i really want to thank you all for coming. i want to thank you, susan, e.j., shibley for a wonderful poll for a fantastic conversation. and we will be continuing this conversation in the weeks and months to come. thank you. with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span2, here on c-span3 we complement that coverage by showing you the most relevant congressional hearings and public affairs events. then on weekends, c-span3 is the home to american history tv with programs that tell our nation's
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history. the civil wars' 150th anniversary, visiting battlefields and key events. american artifacts touring museums and historic sites to reveal what artifacts reveal about america's past. history bookshelf. the presidency looking at the policies and legacies of our nation's commanders in chief. lectures in history, with top college professors delving into america's past. our new series, real america featuring archival government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. c-span3, created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, "like" us on facebook and follow us on twitter. president obama and british prime minister david cameron are pledging a joint effort to fight domestic terrorism following deadly attacks in france. the two leaders met at the white house a week after 17 people were killed in attacks in france. at a news conference, both also urged the u.s. congress to hold off on implementing new
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sanctions on iran. here's a short portion. >> i take this voe seriously. i don't question the good faith of some folks who think this might be helpful, but it's my team that's at the table. we are steeped in this stuff day in and day out. we don't make these judgments blindly. we have been working on this for five, six seven years. we consult closely with allies like the united kingdom in making these assessments. and i'm asking congress to hold on because our negotiators, our partners, those who are most intimately involved in this assess that it will jeopardize the possibility of resolving -- providing a diplomatic solution to one of the most difficult and look-lasting national security problems that we've faced in a very long time. and congress needs to show patience.
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so, i -- with respect to the veto, i said to my democratic caucus colleagues yesterday that i will veto a bill that comes to my desk. andly make this argument to the american people as to why i'm doing so. i respectfully request them to hold off for a few months to see if we have the possibility of solving a big problem without resorting, potentially, to war. and i think that's worth doing. we'll see how persuasive i am. if i'm not persuadeing congress, i promise you i'll take my case to the american people. >> the news conference with president obama and david cameron lasted over an hour and also covered terrorist threats and the economy. you can see the entire briefing tonight beginning at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. president obama heads to
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capitol hill tuesday for the annual state of the union address before a joint session of congress. we'll have live coverage of the speech. our coverage also will start before 8 p.m. eastern as we hear from former house historian ray smock and to get your input on expectations for the speech. republicans have tapped newly elected iowa senator joni ernst to give the party's formal response to the president's state of the union address. senator ernst was elected in november. she's the first woman to represent iowa in congress. the c-span city tour takes book tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their histories and literary life. this weekend we partnered with comcast for a visit to wheeling west virginia. >> i wrote these books "the wheel family," there are two volumes. the reason i thought it was important to collect these histories is wheeling transformed into an industrial
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industrial city in the latter part of the 20th century and early part of the 21st century. it's common in west virginia in that it drew a lot of immigrants from various parts of europe here in search of jobs and opportunity. so, that generation, that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their stories. to get the information of the immigrant generation and the ethic neighborhoods they formed. it's an important part of our history. most people tend to focus on the frontier history the civil war histories. those periods are importance, but of equal importance in my mind is this industrial period and the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in
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the 1770s. the first project funded by the federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland, maryland, to wheeling, virginia. and when it comes here to wheeling that will give this community, which about that time is about 50 years old, the real spurt it needs for growth. and over the next 20 to 25 years, the population of wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. national organization for women president terry o'neill talks about the socioeconomic relationship between minimum wage and reproduction rights. she spoke at the annual meeting
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in washington, d.c. this is just under an hour. >> well, i want to welcome you all -- i want to welcome you all to the 2015 aals annual meeting program of the section on socioeconomics. this is the socioeconomics luncheon. welcome you all here. i have a few obligatory announcements, a few discretionary announcements and then it will be my pleasure to introduce our speak her. a sign-up sheet is located in the end of the room. if you sign up the als will verify your attendance at this program for cle purposes. please refer to the sign-up sheet for more details. the als wants you to know we value your feedback. please take a moment to complete
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a session evaluation form that you were handed and you walked into the room. please leave it with a student proctor at the doors. so those are the obligatory announcements. a few discretionary announcements. this is the 20th year of the aals section on socioeconomics. if you account this founding forum in 1996. we are dedicated to a set of principles. at that time 120 law teachers from 50 member schools of the als signed it and our guest speaker, terry o'neill, is a founding member of that so she has a long and venable history in that mission. i'm not going to take a long time to describe socioeconomics but i can describe its essence in a com couple of sentences. the first news is good news for economists and that is you
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cannot do important public policy without economic analysis. the second principle is good news to some economists and that is, ah, but you cannot do economic analysis without drawing upon all disciplines necessary and giving them the same dignity you give to economics in performing your analysis. with those two principles if widely accepted i think causes like as those champ beyond by the national organization by women are much more readily achievable and we're dedicated to that. there is a fledgling organization called the society of socioeconomists. can you get that by going to societyofsocioeconomists.org. membership is free, so i know you can afford it. and everybody is welcome. now, for ourq4éñ beloved luncheon speaker, terry o'neill. she was elected the president of national organization for women in 2009. and was re-elected in 2013.
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she oversees n.o.w.'s ambition multi-agenda program, including reproductive rights and justice, economic justice ending violence against women ending racism and homophobia, and guaranteeing women's equality under the u.s. constitution. what a noble set of goals. before this she was an academic teaching both at tulane university. and before that the california -- university of california at davis. she is a respected expert in corporate law, corporate responsibility.ñr she also taught feminist legal theory and international women's rights. as i mentioned before, she is a founding member of the als section on socioeconomics. her title which is
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socioeconomics and feminism what do reproductive rights have to do with -- excuse me and what does the minimum wage have to do with economic rights. in a way her title is generic. one could say socioeconomics and blank. fill in the blank. environmental justice, economic justice. you could almost -- and then what doesn't? rather than see it in the general form let's hear terry speak particularly about what does the minimum wage have to do with economic rights. thank you very much.6
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organization, the national organization for women has six core issues that we address. and so they are reproductive rights and justice for all women. ending racism ending home homophobia, economic justice for all women and getting women into the constitution at last. the reason that now has these six issues at the core of its agenda is because we do view those issues as deeply interbetweened and interrelated, right? and i think it's really intuitively easy to see how all of those issues, economic justice and reproductive rights and violence against women and
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racism and homophobia how they all interrelate. if you just think about it this way. in politics, right, who are the candidates that we think would probably be opposed to same-sex marriage? opposed to women's access to reproductive health care? opposed to serious funding of the violence against women act. what you find is it's the same crowd over and over again that are more or less in opposition. so they get the enter interrelationship of all these relationships so it's very important we understand how they're interrelated. the issues are also -- and this is different. those issues are also intersectional. which is to say that if you take any one particular issue that comes up. let's say reproductive rights.
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access to reproductive health care looks very different for an immigrant woman in what we call down county, montgomery county maryland, where i live. a suburb of washington, d.c. access to reproductive health care looks like one thing in immigrant communities in my county versus looking like something in a healthy, predominantly white, upper middle class community. which again looks very different from what it might look like in a middle class african-american community. the point is that issues surrounding the immigrant community play into women's access to reproductive health services in very different way. so immigrant women face this
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intersecting reality of anti-immigrant bias, of fears of being picked up or having family members or neighbors being picked up by immigration and -- ifshlgts i.c.e. immigration customs enforcement. that plays out one way whereas reproductive health care in the african-american community play out in a different way. we have a long and sorted history in this country of taking children away from african-american single mothers by presuming they are not very good at being mothers. that's an aspect of their reproductive health care that intersects with both their reproductive function and their race. that's what i mean when i say it's intersecting. it's sort of all intertwined sort of a service of a society that is sort of headed by one group, you know, and where others are kept in places right, where they need to know
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their place. that's the interrelationship piece. the intekzrsectional piece is hard to grasp until you think of it as the lived experience of the individual women who are impacted by these policies. all right. you know i said i was going to talk for 15 or 20 minutes and then throw it open for q&a and i absolutely intend to do that, so robert, i'll count on you to not let me ramble too much. so, that's what i wanted to talk about today. was to look at the minimum -- what does the minimum wage have to do with reproductive rights and justice. so, i think the easiest way -- the easiest answer, of course, is well the minimum wage is actually a women's issue. reproductive rights and justice, that's really an economic justice issue. so, i'll sort of unpack that a little bit and explain why we get to that point.
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on minimum wage well, two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. in the progressive community in washington, d.c., that has become a mantra. the democrats and the progressive community have been pushing for several years very hard to raise the issue of the minimum wage, to increase the minimum wage. i know that my chapters in new jersey and actually -- it was activists from many parts of the country came to new jersey in 2013 to help pass a minimum wage law at the state level. we didn't get barbara bowno elected governor but we got the minimum wage law passed. in 2014 we got the minimum wage law passed in arkansas and alaska even those same voters voted for united states senate who don't support an increase in the minimum wage. that's a whole other conversation, i guess. why were n.o.w. chapters -- by
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the way, let me pause for a moment and say, the national organization for women is actually the grassroots arm, if you will, of the women's movement. we don't do research. we don't provide services. and we don't have a lobby shop in washington, d.c. like a lot of other women's organizations. all of our lobbying is done grassroots. we have 50 chapters around the country. they do grassroots lobbying to their senators and also to their state elected officials and local elected officials. so why is it that n.o.w. was so interested in the minimum wage as an issue? one thing two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. here's another piece of that. the reason two-thirds of minimum wage workers in the united states are women is because over 70% of tipped minimum wage workers in the u.s. are women.
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tipped minimum wage many people don't know this, the federal tipped minimum wage is $2.13 an hour. $2.13 an hour. these are servers in restaurants. they are other service providers. mostly servers in restaurants. to be clear, the that vast majority of tipped workers do not work at ruth crist steakhouse making good tips. they work at denny's, ihop, the olive garden. the vast majority of them are women. they are very disproportion alately women of color. the reality is if we were to increase the minimum wage for everyone, men and women, to whatever, to $15. by the way $10 an hour is a poverty wage. it does not pay the bills.
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and our dear friends on the hill in washington are very fond of patting themselves on the back with $10. it doesn't pay the bill. it remains a poverty wage. it is much better than the current $7.25, but it is not acceptable. it needs to be like between $15 and $20 an hour. the reality is if you bring the minimum wage up to what it is right now to $15 or $20 an hour across the board for men and women, you will go a long way toward actually closing the gender wage gap. because a significant part of the gender wage gap that has women paid -- i think right now it's 78 cents for every dollar paid to men. for latinas it's more like 59 cents to the dollar. and for african-american women it's roughly 64 cents to the dollar. that's the gender wage gap. that wage gap would not be eliminated but would be significantly narrowed if we
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simply waged the minimum wage to a living wage. that's why in that sense it's a women's issue. it's also a reproductive justice issue. here's why. rock united an organization based in new york city and it's run by a woman who teaches at berkeley now. she came out with a study that absolutely floored her. she was astonished by the results of her research that shows that sexual harassment on the job is sky high for women who are tipped workers. working in restaurants. think about why that is. women are not working at the high-end restaurants with the big, big bills and the big, big tips. they're working at the mall, the rub tuesday and so forth. their base pay is $2.13 an hour. that's not quite enough to pay their taxes.
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so 100% of the money they get to pay the babysitter, child care worker, pay the rent the food and so forth is actually paid by their customers. the restaurant is the only industry on the planet where the owners of the companies get the customers to pay the wages to the workers. that's what's going on throughout the restaurant industry because minimum wage is $2.13. that's because of efforts of the national restaurant association or like i like to call them, the other nra. so, as a result of the fact that these customers are paying the wages of these tipped workers, they have to put up with a
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shockingly high level of sexual harassment on the job. being groped touched being hit on having inappropriate sexualized comments made to them. constantly, all day long. because they can't afford to be fired. and they can't afford -- and their bosses are always telling them, the customer is always right. you never get in the face of the customer. the customer's always right. so right there you can begin to see how this plays in. that, in fact discrimination against women in employedment very often takes the form of sexualized behavior. then can you see a direct connection between the minimum wage or wages or economic justice and the reproductive rights and reproductive health of women. so, that's one piece of it. that the minimum wage really is a women's issue. the other piece is that economic -- that reproductive
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rights really are an issue of economic justice. and i think the easiest way to encapsulate that is the -- it was really given to me by a man who left a message on my voice mail. years ago. i think it was 2011 and 2012 when in washington, d.c. there was this huge effort to shut down planned parenthood and to defund all of the title ten family planning clinics which of most don't provide abortion services. they actually provide birth control, std screenings, hiv screenings and so forth. but the effort was to shut down the family planning clinics and defund planned parenthood. we were working very hard, trying to get the word out this was possible and we needed to stop it. in the midst of all of this i get a voice mail from a man who identifies himself.
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i don't remember his name now. but what he said was, i'm just calling to thank you for all the work your organization is doing to make sure that -- that planned parenthood stays strong. he said, you know, i know birth control is really important for my wife's health. i get that. but i got to tell you, it's really about our family's finances. he said i got laid off six months ago and i'm having a hard time finding another job. we've got two kids. we can't afford another child right now. if she didn't -- if she wasn't able to go to planned parenthood and get her birth control at an affordable price, i don't know what we would do. it's in that sense that re reproductive justice is absolutely a matter of economic justice. now, this year you'll see that play out in a slightly different context in the united states supreme court young versus u.p.s.
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a young woman was pregnant. i think she had lost a pregnancy previously. the doctor said, you get to a certain point in your pregnancy you can't lift more than 20 pounds. she was a driver for u.p.s. there might may have been some boxes that were more than 20 pounds. she works it out with her coworker. she mentions to her supervisor and she has this to make it sort of formalized so she won't have to lift the 20 pounds. and the supervisor goes and looks through all the hr documents that she had. i think the supervisor is a woman. looks through all the hr documents, looks through the union contract and says you don't fit any of our categories. you weren't picked up on drunk driving. we could accommodate for that. so, if you lost your license, you're a driver, you lost your license because -- for drunk driving, we could put on you desk duty or something for a period of time. you don't fit there. you're pregnant. that's not you.
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so, you don't fit into the americans with disabilities act because pregnancy is not covered by americans with disabilities act. and you also do not fit within the pregnancy discrimination act, says the supervisor. because you're looking for an accommodation. and accommodation is not -- it's not spelled out how that might work under the pregnancy discrimination act. so you don't fit of the categories i have in my hr manual and we can't accommodate you. she said, fine fine i'll keep working. the supervisor says, no actually now that you've told me that your doctor says you can't lift more than 20 pounds, i have to put you on unpaid leave. because we don't want you working if your doctor says you shouldn't be doing that. she was forced on to unpaid leave, which caused her to lose her health insurance. so, now she and her husband had to dip into her other pockets to
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pay her prenatal care and childbirth until she could get back to work. there again actually accommodating pregnancy and, you know, news flash where do we think the next generation of workers is coming from? accommodating women who are pregnant is very much a part of the economic justice afforded to those women. she's lucky. this woman was fortunate because she had a partner, another adult bringing money into the household. most of the women -- i say most. a very large number of women who face pregnancy discrimination in the workplace are single moms. and they're the ones who can least afford not to have accommodations. and the kinds of accommodations that women are denied -- let me just say. u.p.s. is a very good workplace in a lot of ways.
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they have -- the case is going up to the supreme court. but the u.p.s. practices have now changed. and pregnancy is accommodated by the u.p.s. for workers. but there are places where women are not allowed to have a bottle of water with them although their doctors have said just stay hydrated and you'll be fine. but you're not allowed to have a bottle of water with you as you're doing the job. whatever the job is factory work or whatever. so it's absolutely a problem of women's economic ability to get this. the final thought i wanted to leave you with on birth control. the defund effort of planned parenthood has failed for now. there's an ongoing effort in washington -- around the states but especially in washington, d.c., to remove birth control from the standard health insurance contract. you know under the affordable care act every insurance company
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has to provide a list of standard insurance. thing thes can't weasel out of. it's heart disease and diabetes and surgery for broken legs and includes well over 50 or 60 preventive services. screenings for high blood pressure and heart disease. and birth control is on that list of preventive health care services. 98% of women in the united states have utilized birth control at some point in their lives. 99% of sexually active women utilize birth control at some point. go into any catholic church, look around at the families, they've got two kids. what do we think they're doing, right? 98% of sexually active catholic women report utilizing birth control at some point. it's smaller for evangelicals. 96% of evangelical women who are
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sexually active report utilizing birth control at some point. and for a surprisingly large figure, i don't know what it is, but a large number of women use hormonal birth control for purposes other than preventing pregnancy. make no mistake, preventing pregnancy is key to women's health. unintended pregnancy is deadly. unintended pregnancy is highly correlated with infant mortality, with maternal mortality and with domestic violence homicide. highly correlated with those three things. the united states has the highest rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality of any other country in the developed world. our rate is higher than that of some developed countries. nearly half of all pregnancies in the united states are unplanned. and a huge number of women before the aca, had no
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consistent access to the birth control that was right for them because they worked where? in a minimum wage job that didn't provide health benefits to its minimum wage employees. so under the affordable care act we've made some real problem. the act doesn't cover all people in this country, but it covers a great number of women. they all get birth control as part of their ordinary preventive care under the act's standard contract. here you have the incoming leadership of both the house and the united states senate who have already indicated that they intend to bring up a law that would strip birth control out of the standard health insurance contract. and they're saying it for religious reasons, right? just so you know, my name is o'neill. i know that the bishops are opposed to birth control. i get it. the bishops -- catholic church
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teaching also krs vasectomy to be a sin. a sin. you don't see the catholic bishops going up and down the halls of congress demanding criminalization of vasectomy. but you do see them walking into representatives' offices and sitting down with them and talking about the way the law should be drafted to criminalize reproductive health care for women or to prevent women from getting access to it. and that's not okay. my organization has taken the position that basic health care, like birth control, cannot be blocked. there is no religious excuse for it. there is no constitutional right to be an employer. have you a constitutional right to be a mother superior. you don't have a constitutional right to own and operate a nursing home. and if you do decide to own and operate a nursing home or a university or a hospital or
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even a church and you decide you need janitors and secretaries and other people working in there. not clergy. other people working in there. you must follow the law with respect to the health care that you provide your employees. it's one law for all the employers. we don't believe there should be any religious exemption because it is a matter of basic economic survival for women and their families. so, that's where we're at with the way we understand these issues of reproductive services for women. and i think this is a good point at which we can stop and maybe take some questions. [ applause ] >> thank you. i think you probably could do your own moderating.
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>> that's fine, sure. yes. >> what does the landscape look like for the repeal of roe versus wade in the next two to four, six years? >> that's a great question. and it's the repeal ofx5a casey, 20 weeks is the point at
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which state can ban abortion. the 20-week ban was passed in house. senate is now under control for those who expressed support for a 20-week ban. there are currently ten states -- less than a dozen more than a half dozen, states around the country that have actually passed 20-week bans. arizona is one. the ninth circuit ruled that that ban was clearly unconstitutional. actually, as a facial matter. facially unconstitutional. didn't even have to be tacked on an as applied basis because there was no set of circumstances under which a criminalization of abortion previability could be considered constitutional. so it's been struck down in arizona. it has not been challenged in most of thelp other states where it's come up. i think in idaho it was challenged, but that was a weird case. there were a lot of other things going on there. so, what you have actually is a
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20-week ban in place in a number of states, moving forward, not challenged. and you have movement in both both houses of congress to pass a 20-week ban. the only way you can uphold a 20-week ban is to overturn roe versus wade. in fact, there are -- there's -- identify i've seen at least some opinion out there that you can't draw a principled distinction betw it's a nonviable fetus there's no principle distinction between 20 weeks and 18 weeks and 15 weeks and 12 weeks and 6 weeks. and the justification for the ban, by the way, is fascinating. it's thatñ fetuses feel pain. that's junk science. it's been shown to be junk science numerous times. that's one justification. another justification is that abortion is much more dangerous for women as the pregnancy proceeds.2n that's just an astonishing claim. have you to ask yourself more
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dangerous than what? actually terminating a 20-week pregnancy ist&: than childbirth sti,or childbirth tends to be traumatic and can be -- is always dangerous. so, yes, of course as a pregnancy proceeds, any( termination is more dangerous than if the termination were done earlier. but the termination is still safer than childbirth itself. and so what's fascinating to me is that the only justifications that have been brought forward for this criminalizati]@ff abortion are both demonstrably false. and yet we have -- it looksb. -- i think that it's very possible we could see a 20-week ban. if it gets passed at the federal level, i think it has a greater chance of going all the way to the supreme court, of course. yes? >> i would like to build
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on the gender nation of minimum wage. one critique from dyan is the influence of a billionaire boys club of tech executives and finance executives sort of coming in and saying to teachers educators generally, we know more than you about measuring outcomes. we don't care about your professional autonomy. we want to sweep you away and impose one best way of teaching. and also of course there's kate's great book on the boys of facebook and how women are kept out of tech and kept in lower positions. i'm wondering your position on the new digital economy you know, how these old hierarchies from finance and sexist hierarchies are being reproduced by a lot of tech firms and tech enthusiasts. >> that's a great question. the tech industry is a real problem. it's not just on gender, it's on race. rainbow push coalition did some really great research and got
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google and facebook and then sort of tumbling another set of tech industry to start revealing what their force -- what their workers of color look like, where are they. indeed, the workers of color are kept down. the women are kept down. women of color, white women and men ofz3í color as well are kept down. it's absolutely replicating what we see in other venues.xd we've been actually working with our friends in the teachers unions to try to stop what we've -- we've really taken a different -- we're concerned about a different set of things. i think it plays into what you're talking about. we see attacks on publicly funded education period. the attack on teachers unions. the attack on unionized teachers as that they arefá such a big part of the problem. in wisconsin, that was one of the reasons for trampling on union rights is that these teachers were not doing their job and they were out of the best thing i ever saw there was an info graphic that said,
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yeah you remember when it was the teachers of wisconsin who drove the economy and then, you know, got a bailout, dot, dot, dot? yeah, me neither. so, that's what we've been working on with that. you're right that's a real problem. june, you had your hand up. did you have a question? >> yeah. let me ask you about fertility and if that's going to change the picture. the journal has been writing stories that it will hurt the economy. we certainly know our kids -- no one can afford to have a child anymore. i'm curious how that intersects with what you're6z talking about. >> the -- >> falling fertility which is at 186 now. we look like northern europe. all the projections is it will continue to fall. >> you know, i think that's absolutely an economic thing. right, when you and naomi have talked about the fact that, you know, middle class -- the middle
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class ideology goes very farñ deep into the low wage population. way down into the population, as well as going up into the upper reaches.'c and on middle class ideology, people love marriage. they respect it. they think it is an important institution. they want to give it all the respect it's due which means they're not going to jump into marriage and start having kids until they're economically secure. and i think that's absolutely right. i ñ an for -- as a matter of this country being able to compete economically, we rely on immigration. it's the same as the northern europe. and we're going to. i, frankly, don't have a problem with that. i think that -- that -- t)6" global village and so forth makes it -- makes it less important for any one country to keep reproducing its own workers. butym that makes international trade agreements all the more
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important and i -- my organization is -- we're not taking the lead by any stretch. but we definitely are supporting our allies in opposing thetpp.t( let me go -- how about if i go around? >> thank you for your inspiring and illuminating comments. i thought the first 80% you said was particularly powerful because it was cutting across divisions of gender and class and political ideology and was potentially really unifying and coalition building. and so i was moved by it thinking about how effective it was as a political matter. but then the last 20% of what
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you said --?; or 15% was very potentially divisive, i think, in that you asserted veryt( strongly that there isé÷ç no right -- employers have no right -- no constitutional right and no moral right, or no right to havefá any say about what kinds of benefits provided in connection with employment as it relates to health care and birth control and abortion availability in particular. but for many people in our society, they feel very strongly in another direction about that. and so it seems to me thata5 obamacare was obviously a compromised bill that nobody wanted. right? but it would be just as responsive to the problem for your organization or like-minded people to say, now is -- that
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the reasons -- that we've seen the problem with employer mandates as a -- that it is divisive to our society. so now is the time to take those lessons and turn to true universal health care, true single payer health care. right? so that rather than digging in on obamacare and on employer mandates to use the division over employer mandates to pivot towards a true universal health care, i just wonder what you think about that as a political matter and as a theoretical one. >> that's a great point. but i don't think it is either/or, at all. my organization for 25 years has strongly supported single payer health care. we absolutely think that's where it has to be. but what we are concerned about with the whole religious exemptions debate that's going on which is impacted, by the way, employment right for ot lgthe
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lgbt lgbtq. you're only targeting women's health care for discrimination, companies like hobby lobby want to do that. what we are concerned about is embedding thatn&b kind of religiously justified discrimination in law. and here's the thing. we're going to have the aca for many, many, many years before we get single payer. that's a political reality. right? what kind of single payer do we want to inherit from the aca? one that assumes that there are some types of people who just don't get the health care they need because they've got the wrong anatomy? is that what we want to inherit from the aca? no. so we are attacking it from both angles. we absolutely are supporting the single payer, but we are: very
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clear-eyed that that is not going to happen any time soon. what we've got is is the ability to stop this business of religious justification for what i call flat-out gender bigotry. when you're talking about birth control, you're talking about 98% of the women of this country. 98% of us needing access to this medication. that is expensive. it needs to be covered. it's about our health. so that's just basic. when you're attacking access to basic health care only for the women, that's bigotry. and so we don't allow gigbigots to use their religion to justify racism, and we shouldn't allow bigots to use their sexism to justify withholding birth control from women. that's where we're coming from. nina had her hand up. i'll come back to you next.
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>> you're one supreme court decision away from losing row v. wade. yet the polls slow that you shouldn't be losing. so what's wrong? why are you losing and what do you do to turn that around? >> i'm going to tell you, i think there is two reasons that we're losing. one is absolutely at the feet of the women's movement. but the progressive movement generally. i'll talk about that in a second. the other is not at aurour feet. so what is at our feet? . is not to comfort those of us who feel that we are part of the progressive movement but it is not just the women's rights that are losing. the death penalty opposition to the death penalty is not going anywhere. we are clearly losing unions. we are losing the environmental fights. we are losing those hand over fist. aspect after aspect after aspect of the progressives7 agenda is really getting hammered right now. that includes women.
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the only place that we are winning is in the lgbtq fight for marriage equality. we're not actually winning on employment nondiscrimination and we're not actually winning on adoption, and we're not actually winning on family formation entirely yet. we are winning on marriage equality which is luge. which huge. absolutely enormous and important but that's the only aspect of the progressive movement that's really going anywhere. that brings me to the second piece. let me tell you what i think the women's movement has not done well. we didn't go to the states. we didn't go to the states early and we didn't go to the states aggressive. and we don't have the resources to go to the states. we keep thinking if we hang around in washington, d.c., we'll stop these silly states from passing all these laws that are bad for women. and that's not working. right? my organization is -- i call this the grassroots arm of the
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women's movement. we have 250 chapters around the country. threats that are there. we should have really well-trained volunteer lobbyists in all 50 states and puerto rico and washington, d.c. and we don't. we don't have the resources for it. before i became president of n.o.w., actually i served is as executive director of the national council of women's organizations. it's about 200, 250 women's organizations nationwide. some of them are more regional but really all of the women's organizations -- i was the e.d. so my board was nine ceos of women's organizations. all across the board struggling for resources. there is a fabulous report that was put out in 2006, where's the money for women's rights. and it traces globally. it was put out by a canadian organization. traces globally how there has
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really been a restriction in fundsing for women's rights work globally. lot of reasons for that. it has to do with the growth of religious extremism and the global south and global east. so the north -- global north and global west funders began divers resources to those stressed communities where women an girls were not getting basic health care at all. not getting water in their communities and so forth. there's a shift of resources. and the women in the north and west have really struggled. that's one piece. but the other piece is inequality. i really think that the entire progressive movement has been hurt seriously by galloping in inggalluping =t0w inequality.
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joseph stiglets points out that at the very, very top of the income globally you have stronger and stronger and stronger imperative to prevent a reduction in that inequality. so it's a spiral going in exactly the wrong way. which then makes all of us non-profits weaker and weaker and less resourced and less resourced. but at the state level we are absolutely getting kicked in the teeth for women at the state level and we don't have the infrastructure at the state level to stop it. we're building. we're rebuilding. unions have figured out that they need to work with all of their allies at the state level. but, you know we're absolutely far from where we need to be. yes, nina. >> mary beth. >> mary beth. sorry. in virginia governor mccallkaulol
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luf asked -- i wonder if you can blow out a little bit the scope of what you just talked about and share your thoughts on this sort of most persuasive narratives about the economic and economic justice implications of access to reproductive health care. >> sure. and i can give you more resources, too afterwards. but here's the base ikz. 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by the age of 45. 1 in 3 of us will have an abortion by the age of 45. it is a common and necessary aspect of women's reproductive health care. . we have to dip into our own pockets to provide that health care for us, that's that much more money that we don't have to set aside for our c7mege for our kids for a down payment for a house or for our own retirement. in fact, when you look at what's
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going on for women economically low-wage work, women that cluster in the low-wage occupations that don't have health care benefits. increasingly they will because of the aca, but a lot don't. what you see is women have less money coming in the door just because they're women and more money going out the door just because they're moms. the single most important factor in determining whether a woman will live in poverty after the age of 70 is whether she had children. that's the reproductive health as economic justice thing right there. women are far more likely to be financially responsible -- financially responsible -- for their children and for their elders than men. and so you've got less money coming in because of the wage gap, yet your expenses are higher because you're dipping into your own pocket to pay significant aspects of your
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health care. now if women can't access -- which has been actually true for a very long time many women not being able to access birth control and have to pay for that out of pocket. by the way, birth control, the ability to control the number and spacing of your pregnancies dramatically reduces stress. and the more we learn about stress illnesses, the more we see how deeply connected that is to cardio health disease high blood pressure and diabetes. so again, reproductive health is absolutely essential to maintaining the kind of healthy body generally that allows you to go to work every day and get your damn 77 cents. right? so, yeah. i hope that is a start. okay. yes. >> you already alluded to the problems at the state level. i wonder if you are considering
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trying to get more women elected as governors number one. and number two, exploiting the fact that in the national governors's association, the republican governors often break with the national strategy and are more progressive and listen closer to home. i mean it seems that some real leadership in the national governors association could really neutralize some of the federal -- are you exploiting that enough? >> not enough. but we are -- we are definitely involved with that. there are organizations that are taking the lead. there is a parody project which is being run by the hunt alternatives fund which is trying to get more women elected to the governorships and also to congress. but they're really stuck at the state executive and theng congress. they've produced some really interesting research that suggests as follows.
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my organization worked very hard, for example, to defeat joanie earnst, the hog castrating candidatemy for senate. we fail, she won. from iowa, right? but she's wrong on our issues. so we are absolutely an issue-focused organization. there are other women's groups that will only endorse women candidates. we endorse men who support our issues just as we endorse women who support our issues. but -- but, that doesn't mean that after we lose that election we don't work with all of the elected officials. by absolutely work with all of them that will work with us on various issues. one of the reasons that i think it's so important to get women elected, even when they don't support our issues is that -- there needs to be a lot more research. but if you compare a 9 self-identified right wing female politician to a self-identified right wing male
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politician, the woman generally will vote for issues that actually support women more often than the conservative man will. if you look at self-identified moderates, the woman moderate will more often vote the way i would want her to than the man. and even if you look at the self-identified progressives, the woman progressive will vote the way i would want her to more often than the man progressive. or as one of my staffers called it the other day, our friends the brogressives. so, yeah, it is really important. hunt alternatives fund is taking the lead but we're very much a part of that. i think that's it all the questions. okay. thank you all so much.
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>> the association of american law school's section of socioeconomic luncheon is hereby adjourned. we look forward to a wonderful ñ+w afternoon. we thank president terryñ o'neal from the organization for her inspiring speech and we offer her any help that we can in the future. thank you very much.r president obama and british prime minister david cameron pledged a joint effort today to fight domestic terrorism following deadly attacks in paris, france. they also strongly urged the u.s. congress to hold off on implementing new )jju on iran. prime minister cameron admitted a5 he's been talking to u.s. senators about it and here's what he had to say. >> big picture is very clear. the sanctions that americaok and the european union put in place have had an effectpá has led to pressure. that pressure has led to talks. and those talks at least have a prospect of success. i would argue with the president, how muchs7 better is
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that than the other potentials? but to answer you directly, yes, i have contacted a couple of senators this morning and i may speak to one or two more this afternoon. not in any way as british prime senate what it should or shouldn't do. that wouldn't be right. but simply to make the point as a country that standse1 alongside america in these vitalrrn:ñh5d"9k opinion of the unitedfá kingdom that further sanctions or further threat of sanctions at (s"]f)y$y)9csme/ 2úñ pointd b;o(jyo )z]okjfe1pgñaactually help to bring t:j successful conclusion'c and they could fracture the international unity that there's been, which has been so valuable in presenting united front to iran. and i say this as someone who played quite iq think a strong role in getting europe to sign up to the very tough sanctions, including oil sanctions, in the first place. and i would just simply make this point. those sanctions have had an
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effect. and to those who say if you do an interim deal, if you even start discussing with the iranians any of these things, the sanctions will fall apart, the pressure will dissipate, no one will be able to stick at it. that has demonstrably been shown not to be true. so the pressure is still there. as the president says if the iranians say no and there is no deal, then by all means let's sit down and work out what extra sanctions to put in place because we're absolutely united in the simple thought which is a deal that takes iran away from a nuclear weapon is better than either iran having a nuclear weapon or military action to prevent it. in the end, it comesv 5.3y that simple choice. so i do what i can to help as one of the countries negotiating? sure, i will. i think the way the president put it i wouldn't disagree with. it is very hard to know what the iranian thinking is about this.
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i'm the first british prime minister in 35 years i think to meet with an iranian president and it's very lard tohard to know what the thinking is. but there is a very clear offer there, which is to take iran away from a nuclear weapon and to conclude an agreement with them which would be mutually beneficial. that's what should happen. >> the news conference with president obama and prime minister david cameron lasted over an hour and also covered terrorist threats and the economy. you can see the entire briefing tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. president obama heads to annual state of the union address before a joint session of congress. we'll have live coverage of the speech. but our coverage also will start before 8:00 eastern as we hear from former house historian ru. smock. and to get your input on expectations for the speech. republicans have tapped newly elected iowa senator joni ernst to give the formal response to president obama's state of the union address. senator ernst was elected in november and she is the first
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woman to represent iowa in congress. here are some of our featured programs for this weekends on the c-span networks. on c-span2 saturday night at 10:00, "wall street journal" editor bret stephens argues that our enemies and competitors are taking advantage of the situation abroad created by the u.s. as it focuses on its domestic concerns. sunday night at 10:00, democratic representative from new york steve israel on his recent novel about a salesman and a top-secret government surveillance program. and on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on lectures in history, george mason university professor john turner on the early mormons and their attempt to create a new zion in the american west during the 1830s. and sunday afternoon at 4:00 on "reel america," "nine from little rock. kwlts " nine from little rock."
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find our complete television schedule at c-span.org. let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. e-mail usq at comments comments @c-span.org. or send us a tweet @c-spanw3 hash#comments. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. the health & human services department held a briefing on youth homelessness and announced key findings from a federal report set to be released later in the year. three former homeless youth addressed the audience on their experiences and they later took questions from the audience. this is just over an hour. >> good afternoon everyone. welcome. thank you for joining us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the runaway and homeless
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youth act and hear about the important efforts to end youth homelessness. my name is mark greenberg, acting assistant secretary for the administration of children and families in the department of health & human services. today we're recognizing the only federal anti-homelessness initiatives aimed specifically at young people. the programs that are authorized by the runaway and homeless youth act and administered by the family and youth services bureau, at the administration for children and families. we're also celebrating the hundreds of community-based programs round the country that have worked hard for these past 40 years to end youth homelessness. most important we're celebrating the accomplishments of the young people themselves and of course, we want to express our tremendous appreciation to cindy walker for the work she has done on these issues and for joining us and speaking with us today. so thank you cindy for being part of this.
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we've come a long way since 1974 when the runaway and homeless youth act was signed. before the act was signed, young people who had run away or had been found on the streets were routinely viewed as delinquents put into detention centers or jails far too often. today, the act enables youth serving organizations across the country to move young people into stable housing provide vital services, such as family and individual counseling education support and career training. in 2013, more than 30,000 young people across the country were served by emergency shelters that enabled them to have a safe place to stay, help them return to their families or another stable living situation such as a friend's or relative's house
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or relsidential program. another 3,322 people< entereds7 fsbe funding that year. they couldn't return home because of severe family conflict, abuse, abandonment or a host of other issues. transitional living programs gave them a place to stay. often their own apartments. helped them continue their education, embark on careers, deal with mental health or substance abuse trauma or other issues that hampered social and emotional well being. the ultimate goal of these become independent, to support themselves and in some cases their own children. street youth are particularly at risk for sexual exploitation and trafficking. so in 2013, street outreach programs were funded if more than 100 programs. made contact with youth more than 600,000 times handing out toothbrushes, socks, sandwiches,
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water, referrals to clinics, cards with the address of nearby shelter, all with the goal of helping to get young people off the street and out of lampfof harm's way. and the national hotline that's funded by fsbe at chicago's national runaway safe line answered more than 200 calls a day from youth and concerned adults offering an important lifeline and reunification services. while thousands of people are helped every year by these programs, there is more to be done. far too many young people experience homelessness each year. the department of housing and urban development estimates that on a single night in january of 2013 there were 46,924 unaccompanied children, teens and young adults experiencing homelessness in the united states. an important step toward ending youth homelessness is getting better data and getting a better
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understanding about why young people become homeless what happens to them when they're homeless, and what services they need. so, i am pleased to introduce my colleague, director of the derision of adolescent development and support, to talkfá about an important new study of street youth conducted in partnership with street outreach program grantees in 11 cities across the country. teresa? thank you, mark. good afternoon, everyone. i'm very excited to be here to share some of the findings from our street outreach program with you. we conducted the first of a kind study with youth living on the streets in 11 cities as mark mentioned. a loot of our street outreach programs in those 11 cities were able to conduct interviews and
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focus groups with street youth totaling 656 youth ages 14 to 21. the executive summary of the study, my understanding it is actually available outside the room so please feel free to pick one up. we wanted everyone to have some70 highlights of the study in preparation for the 40th anniversary of the runaway and homeless youth act. also in preparation for national prevention -- national runaway prevention month which is in november. and we anticipate the full report will be out by the end of the year. so why is this study important, you ask yourself? well, first, the data from this study provide a huge stepping stone in learning more about the service youth and needs of a subset of street homeless youth. second the data have brought implications because they confirm some of the findings we've seen in other studies and we also know that we're hearing some of these information from
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the field. the study also helps demystify some of the misconceptions that we have of young people who are homeless. so i'm going to spend a couple of minutes just talking about the misconceptions and comparing it to some of our study findings. misconception number one, young people can go home, find someone to stay with or go to a shelter. well, our study found that getting off the street is difficult. study participants had been homeless on and off for a total of about two years. two years of wondering where they're going to sleep each night, where their next meal may come from, instead of focusing on school and developing job skills, and also experiencing those teenage lessons that they can use to develop socially and emotionally. more than half of these young people reported that they tried to get to a shelter for safe housing but the beds were not
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available. more than 1 in 4 youth said they had no transportation to get to a shelter. remember, young people aren't just homeless in cities. they're homeless in suburbs and in rural areas where there may be little or no transportation. we know that there are not enough beds. we know that there are not enough beds to house young people that are homeless. so according to a point in time count, on a given night in january of 2013, there were a total of 4,117 beds available for young people under the aim of age of 18 who were homeless. this same point in time count also showed that nearly 6,200 unaccompanied minorsthis same point in time count also showed that nearly 6,200 unaccompanied minors experienced homelessness on a given night in january of 2013. this means that more than 2,000 minors did not have a place to sleep. we do not have enough beds. the second misconception i'd like to address is that young
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people are on the streets living a life of freedom away from adults. people homelessness is not freedom. rather it's hunger and fear and not having a place to sleep. young people are on the streets are victimized at high rates. in our study, 60% reported they had been raped beaten up, or robbed. the third misconception i'd like to address is that homeless young people are bad or want to be out on their own without adult support. innbour study more than half of homeless youth became homeless for the first time because they were asked to leave home by a parent or caregiver. and nearly one-quarter became homeless because they were being physically abused or beaten. nearly 30% of participants in our study reported being gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and an additional 7% reported are being
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transgender. though our study did not ask if youth left home because they were rejected after coming out. we think it's telling that lgbt youth were so overrepresented among the group of street youth that we interviewed. fourth and final misconception that i'd like to address today is homeless youth don't have aspirations. well, our study found that in addition to wanting basic things like shelter, and transportation, more than half of the young people said they needed services to advance their education. more than 70% said they needed employment services. so when young people -- and we know this, when they get these types of support they can succeed. today we're going to hear from three resilient young people in just a few minutes. but at this point in time i have the privilege of introducing laura zeilinger, executive director of the united states
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interagency council on homelessness who is going to talk more about what we need to do to end youth homelessness by 2020. thank you. >> thank you for the introduction and for your incredible partnership. i'm honored to be here today. it is vitally important that we keep shining the spotlight on youth homelessness keeping this issue front and center. ending youth homelessness is a social justice issue. in each of our cities and towns, as weaver's heard every night there are young people who face the unimaginable risk of exploitation abuse countless traumas that threaten not only their immediate health and well being but that can inflict long-term damage. everyone from the federal
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government to change agents like cyndi lauper and the true colors fund, to every youth provider in america, every school. we all have the shared responsibility and opportunity to be the caring adult who brings young people back to safety, back to stable housing helping them establish permanent connections, and improve their outcomes in education, employment and well being. because of the very nature of youth homelessness, what we know about it is limited and improving the data on youth is vital. which is why the release of this new study from hhs is so important to this effort. it adds to our understanding. we know also, that what gets measured gets done, which is why getting to a confident estimate of the size of the population is critical. the federal government with partners across sectors is working now to get the quality of data to where it needs to be through focused efforts to improve the annual point in time
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counts for youth. but let me be clear, while better data is critical, there are things that we can do now today to improve the lives and outcomes for youth. to do so, we need to make some changes. we need to be smarter about how we understand and meet the needs of youth. we need to work together to connect youth with the resources and systems they need in a meaning it will and in a systematic way. we can take action today to identify and use the touchpoints that we have to more effectively understand and meet the needs of young people. this report gives us that much more to work with. no single program is the magic pill. no agency can alone end youth homelessness. but many play an important part. when a young person is in crisis, it is not fragmented by government programs. it is whole and it is
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overwhelming. yet, when solutions are viewed through the lens of programs, the scope of their interaction is often narrowly defined by whether they're part of a school or law enforcement juvenile justice, protective services. so often we find ourselves in the situation where on some level, many are responsible in part, but nobodys0qé is responsible for the whole. and without a system in place it's impossible for people to even understand their role. this has to change and we are focused on changing it. programs have to break out of silos and be able to put youth at the center of their work. this is how we solve complex social problems. at the united states interagency council on homelessness we have the necessary and extraordinary mission of coordinating among 19 federal agencies working with states, communities, the private sector, non-profit organizations throughout the country in efforts to prevent and end homelessness. in 2010 the obama administration latlched opening doors -- the
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first-ever federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. and in opening doors we set four bold and measurable goals. to end homelessness among veterans and their families by the end of 2015. to end chronic homelessness in 2016. to end homelessness among families, among youth, and among children in 2020. since 2010, we have changed the trajectory on homelessness in our country. we've established a trend line toward ending homelessness across each ofmy our goals. we know now that homelessness is a problem we are solving. since 2010 we've reduced homelessness among veterans by one-third nationwide. we've made significant progress ending veteran homelessness because we knew from years of study and research what interventions work and with bipartisan support from congress we asked for and received the resources to meet those needs. with veteran homelessness as a proof point, we are making the
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case for our youth as well. we have a federal framework to end youth homelessness where we set a path to progress by improving data and building systems. this progress was not made by government alone but in partnership with stakeholders across the country. we are stronger and more effective when we work together toward the shared vision that every young person deserves a safe and stable place to call home, which is why i am so honored to introduce the next speaker. she is someone i truly admire. her passion and dedication to who she calls her kids is an inspiration and a force that is moving our work with greater urgency and focus. to many, she is a grammy emmy and tony award winning artist. and to thousands of young people, and to people who are part of this effort she is an unwavering advocate for equality. in 2008 she co-founded the true colors fund which works to end
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gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth homelessness. just a few weeks ago, i heard her speak about choosing a path for the true colors fund where she described the choices for the direction of the organization to raise awareness of the issues and share best practices, or to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work of ending youth homelessness. she and her amazing team chose the latter. one thing i appreciate about cyndi is her emphasis on the importance of learning from young people on what matters and how to make a difference. i'm grateful we'll get to hear from jesse anthony and sincere today. we can take a lesson from the disability rights movement of nothing about us without us through this conversation today. but i am honored to introduce to you now the one and only, cyndi lauper.iw'
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>> okay. i'm so grateful that everybody came here today to celebrate the anniversary -- the 40th anniversary of the runaway and homeless youth act. i know that i'm known as an entertainer, or a small gal with a big voice or a big mouth. and i decided a while back to use my big voice to shall the voice for the voiceless. and certainly these kids, these lbg -- well at so many times they made me abbreviate explain the abereave yaxs. the lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender youth which make up 40% -- or up to 40% of the
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homeless young people in. country. when the alarm inging -- what got me was that -- what would you say, rene? up to 7% of the general population of youth in this country identify as gay or transgender in layman's terms. that, to me, is alarming because that means the kids are being thrown away because of who they are. i think we need these kids. i think you never know who's going to turn out to be what. there is a bill -- i can repeat the same stuff that resa and laura just told you. the one thing that our fund or organization does is try and
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make a network for all of the people and programs around the country to talk to each other to find out what works what doesn't work. it's hard to get a count on these kids because who the heck wants to say yeah, i'm homeless and i'm gay beat me up. it's tough for the kids. it's really tough. and everybody wants to be a tough guy, but when you think about it look at a 15-year-old and nowadays, kids are coming out even younger because it seems from the media that you know, it's cool to be who you are. and then they come out, and their parents don't know how to deal with this. so, unfortunately sometimes it comes to them running away out of fear of rejection or violence or both. and that's kind of sad for a kid.
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because, you know, kids don't really ask to be born, and they don't come with a money-back guarantee. you know when you buy something, you get something you can't go and you know return them. there's no return policy when you become a parent. and it's tough. it's not easy to be a parent. so we also wanted to work with rene and other organizations and outreach programs and resa. and i also want to say that the people that are doing this work work really hard and they're like angels. okay? they go out in the field and they talk to these kids. and sometimes you get some kids to come in and sometimes you don't. these homeless kids hide. so it's hard to get a count. but we need a real count as resa said, and as laura said, to help
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them. and that's kind of the work that we've been doing because i don't think you should throw any kid away and they shouldn't one minute -- thank you. okay, let me just cut to the chase. all right? for those of you who don't know senator leahy and senator collins recently introduced the runaway homeless youth and trafficking prevention act. okay? it improved in a number of ways recognize ig the needs of all youth, including lgbt youth experiencing homelessness. it includes a provision that aims to support family reunification and intervention which is crucial as family conflicts is the number one reason. we just said that. most important, a non-discrimination clause to include lgbt homeless youth not only to have access to crucial services but also services are safe, welcoming, better tailored
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to meet their unique needs which will prevent unsafe activities they need to do to survive. right? the legislation is kreecleared the senate and the senate judiciary committee by a strong vote. now it is headed for the sflat. we all need to roll our sleeves up and make this happen for the kids. it's important. and actually, it saves money. instead of punishing them for being homeless. let's bring them back in. let me#d11 you one thing. it's well worth your money. i was one of the kids that benefited from a program like this and i think that it's important. i think that i gave back and i always try to. and you never know who these kids are going to be. i never for one thought i'd be anything or amount to anybody. and it's ironic how i'm standing here with these people the same kind of people that helped me re-enter and go from hostile to
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hostiles hos hostals, to youth shelter to a home. so please, please let's be energized and make this thing happen. okay? thank you so much. wait a minute. that was silly. let me just say something. for one now, let me introduce one of these kids. you all look like beautiful kids. i do not know your name. you're the next speaker. aren't you? come on up. which one's speaking first? you are introducing him. okay. so what is your name? >> debbie collins. >> yes it's right here. let me introduce debbie power. thank you.
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>> thank you, cyndi. i get the honor of irnt deuceus introducing our youth speakers today. i'm debbie powell. we are the federal funder for the federal runaway and youth homeless program. i'm honored to introduce these three young people that we have with us today. they exemplify what happens when we work in partnership for success. so first we have jesse. jessica mccormick, a student at aquinas college in grand rapids michigan. she expects to graduate in december with a double major in sociology and community leadership. jesse first became homeless in high school and received help from arbor circle a grand rapids grantee of the family and youth services bureau runaway and homeless youth program. because of her experiences with homelessness in high school and college, jesse has advocated locally and nationally for
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homeless college students. i'll let jesse tell you more about her work and her homelessness. >> good afternoon. my name is jesse mccormick and i am here from aquinas college in grand rapids, michigan to share some of my experiences. i became homeless right before my senior year of high school. i was removed from local police from my home and tn didn't match up with the county's definition of what age was eligible for foster care. i was assisted by -- as was mentioned, arbor circle, an organization in grand rapids who helped me with case management and ultimately encouraged me to attend aquinas college where i had been accepted. this was really crucial as was mentioned in the study one of the main things that young people really are looking for are employment and education opportunities.
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and i truly saw this as one of the avenues that i needed to take in order to rise above the situation and escape the cycle of poverty. i think it's also important to note however, that once you are in college there are multiple barriers to staying in college and to staying that course and succeeded within it. and i think those were also mentioned. it goes hand in hand with employment opportunities transportation health care housing, all of these things are essential if you're to focus on your school, succeed and ultimately graduate from college and move on to your successful life. i think that those are largely things that need to be addressed. i know i worked with change.org and asked my school particularly to focus on their break policies fall breaks, christmas breaks traditionally where homeless students may not have
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an opportunity to stay safe, stay sheltered. i was very fortunate that change was happy with my campaign and we received just short of 127,000 signatures. which led my led to a greater discussion. it kind of led them to take us more seriously. this past april we as a school they took action and we're moving towards solutions. we met with probably six or seven different schools within the grand rapids area who are facing similar challenges to get the process started and to start a productive discussion of with are we go from here. how we can collaborate, what solutions may be. so i'm very happy to see that progress not only within my school, but that they're leading within our community. i think that all of you here today are aware that there's a #endyouthhomelessness. but i also think that it is important to move from our
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awareness and spreading this awareness to our action. therefore, i wantsed to use ed towanted to use some of my experienced to maybe give you guys some ideas on how you to take action, how you can help, how you can participate in this. i think we all are aware of high schools in our areas and those high schools have liaisons. and each of you -- i mean anybody can do this, can contact their local liaison to see what they need, how they can help. maybe they need something as simple as mentors to talk to these students, maybe these youth need school supplies. maybe these youth need shoes that fit. maybe even they need to pick out clothing. all of these basic needs can be met by anybody. everybody lives within the district of a high school. for those of us here who work for service providers you can be a useful by empowering the youth you work with, speak to them about what they can do, how they can move forward. encourage them to pursue those
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employment opportunities, those educational opportunities, and help them on those basic steps. help them with the all of the different expectations and documents they're expected to set forth. for those of you today who work directly with policy, i know that it was mentioned that there were more than 49,000 youth counted that were homeless on a given night in january? and i would agree with cyndi that maybe that's a low estimate. i've heard numbers maybe between 1 1/2 million and 2 million. i think that's due to the fact that because it is such an invisible population and because we do blend in it's more difficult to track that. so i think that we could really benefit on a policy level from a definition and from kind of some safe way to measure in order to move forward. and if we're really going to end our goal of youth homelessness
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by 2020 i think that it is essential will have an aligning definition that will look into that and that will embrace all of the different situations that homeless youth are in from living in their cars, to staying with friends, to couch hopping. there are multiple different possibilities and i think it is very important to address that. so i hope that today each of you will leave not only with some encouragement and some ideas about the policies and about what can be done, but about how you can take action and how you can be part of the solution. >> thank you, jesse, so much for your remarks. i think you are a future policymaker. i have several ideas that we will use to help redesign our services for youth that are
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homeless. and so next we have anthony ross. anthony grew up right here in washington, d.c. homeless at age 13, he entered the family and youth services bureau funded emergency shelter at sasha youth works. later he studied for the ged while working two jobs. he went on to attend university in raleigh, north carolina and graduated magna cum laude. now he aspires to become a lawyer and he's been accepted -- he shared with me earlier -- he's been accepted at the university of north carolina central into the law program. and is looking for scholarships and grants. so if you have any information to share i'm just sayin'. help him out. okay? >> anthony saysko the ongoing support of sasha bruth and in particular former staff member george montgomery who was here today helped him overcome homelessness. anthony?
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>> good afternoon, everyone. i am anthony ross a 24-year-old african-american male and my dream is to show the people of the world that they can become successful no matter the circumstances. at age 13 i lost my grandmother who was the sole care taker to heart disease. i never knew my dad and my mother was a drug addict. when i lived with my mom after my grandmother's death she had my sisters and i living in a house with no water with be heat and electricity for months due to her drug use. my mother's attempt to take care of my sisters and me only lafrted nine months. we ran out of the house one night when she tried to murder us with a meat cleaver. my sisters and i were separated as they went to live with their father's family while i ended up homeless sleeping in cars and shelters in washington, d.c.
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my mother's sisters tried to take care of me but could not. one tried to hit me with a frying pan because she was always stressed out. the other was an alcoholic who threw my clothes out of her apartment, then threw my birth certificate and social security card in my face stating she no longer wanted to take care of me. i then lived with a family of 13 strangers they lived in a one bedroom section 8 apartment in southeast washington, d.c. they would not allow me to get food from the refrigerator. and when i found out that they were getting food stamps and welfare benefits using my flame, i was beat up and kicked out of the house. i had no choice but to return back to the homeless shelter. i always had to watch my back and protect my belongings because different people will sleep in the shelter throughout the night. i wanted to go to high school so bad but i could not because i needed to feed and clothe myself at such a young age. i was able to enroll into a two-year ged program at age 16 while i worked at starbucks during the daytime and rubby tuesday at night. after i earned my ged, i prepared for the s.a.t. examples
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because i wanted to go to college. i stayed up until 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning teaching myself algebra, trigonometry and algorithms by watching youtube videos and having tutors come to the shelter to tutor me. after i was accepted in 2009 in north carolina, i spent four to six hours a day in the library studying in a syllabus and earned 4.0 gpa my freshman year. thank you. because i was overlooked in the foster care system i was if he ever assigned a foster family i was housed and invited to eat thanksgiving dinners and christmases with my friends and mentors. when the campus closed down for holiday breaks because i had nowhere to go. while i was in college, i was inducted into the alpha kappa mu honor society for social sciences. i was on the president's and dean's list since freshman year around out of all political science majors in the university i won the department award. i served three years in the student government association
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and it was elected student body president of the university my junior year. i interned for the mayor of washington, d.c. this was a similar experience that exposed me to politics and enhanced my professionalism in the workplace where he and president obama performed several initiatives together which i was able to see firsthand. i served as a guest speaker at the british embassy and was 1 out of 15 homeless students chosen in the united states to attend a scholarship conference for the education of homeless children and youth. 145 15 of us not only shared our stories over 700 policymakers to decrease youth homelessness in america, but we also built the bond after family we never had. our efforts helped draft a bill to congress for the homeless youth act before we received awards on capitol hill. on may 5th, 2013, i graduated magna cum laude. i am now aspiring to become an attorney and later run for
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political office. according to my instagram, over 100,000 people across the world including from australia, oslo norway, singapore and england vurnlged urged me to write an autobiography. it was recently pub accomplished on amazon.com in hopes of helping others achieve their goal. please not only support me by purchasing a copy of my autobiography, but also hair is with your family and friends to help someone else in need. it is important that we keep funding youth homelessness programs to help others succeed such as i was able to. thank you and god ples.
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. >> i'm just sayin', awesome. i'm going to introduce you to my son. maybe you can help him. okay. so now we have sincere. sincere was raised in the garfield park neighborhood on chicago's west side. as a young adult he faced homelessness when his mother passed away from cancer. coming out led to the further loss of his stable support system. he found the programs of the night ministry in chicago which receives funding from the family and youth services bureau. now he wants to change the way people think about homeless individuals and he has become an outspoken advocate for the young people in chicago. please welcome sincere.
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>> good afternoon everyone. as she just said, my name is sincere and i grew up, as she >> growing up, i honestly didn't have a really tough time. i was living with my mother and my grandmother along with my sister who really supported me through a lot of things through our life. in 2008 my mom lost her battle to cancer which left me in a state of not knowing what do with life, how to proceed, anything. at that point in time i decided to become my authentic self and came out to my friends and family which i thought was the( easiest process because we had got over that hump, which in reality was one of the biggest challenges of my life. i was always told my friends,
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you should always be who you are no matter what's going on. except they left out the fact unless you are gay keep to that yourself. so upon coming out it was a battle. just to figure out resources, just to figure out what where i was going to go because my mom was my main care giver. that role reversed as she got sicker. however i just managed to maintain. in 2008 i became fully homeless or dependent on the streets to survive. upon coming out, i found i just started posting things on facebook just saying how over things that i was, how i was ready to just give up on life. and a lot of folks that i didn't even know started sending me messaging telling me not to give up that there were many services
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where everybody went in chicago was the boys town area. upon getting there i received support from folks who i never would have imagined. folks in similar situations and who were in struggles themselves but wanted to make sure that not another person felt unsupported. for about two years i traveled on the streets, staying in abandoned builds, parks, district friends house, just pretty anywhere where i felt safe enough to go to sleep. maybe about ten of us at a time. and shortly after that we found the night ministry. they opened a low barrier youth shelter which allowed folks to come in as they are. meaning they didn't try to figure out why you were homeless or what type of person you were. there they were there solely to
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provide the support that you needed at that time. and that blew my mind. i didn't know anyone would help without asking for something in return. and without a safe keep books or study and doing homework in the rain honestly ruined my books sometimes. sometimes stuff was stolen as i was sleep. and it just created another barrier to trying to get an education. in 2012 i decided edd i was going to continue studying for my ged and move forward with my education. at that point in time one of my many mentors told me about a job opening at the night ministry they thought i was highly qualified for. of course i did not believe this. but after talking to a few friends i applied and
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interviewed for the position. nonetheless i actually -- i was offered a job at the night ministry within the youth shelter i used to attend myself. it was the greatest -- like, it was the most -- it was one of the best days of my life to say it simply. i never would have imagined i would be one of the people to be there for folks and show and guide folks and show them there is not just an end when you become homeless. that there is still a future. that there are still things you can move forward to. since then i have been back and forth from small cities big cities throughout this country just letting folks know that the basic support that folks never even think of or the privileges that we all hold as far as food, shelter, just a person to talk to -- those are the things that are deeply needed in order to
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end this epidemic to say the at least. right now i have just been promoted to a full time position within the program which allows me to be there more and to talk to folks see what the current needs of folks. because the needs of four years ago definitely are not the needs now. people believe that like things stay the same and we always need to give out the same resources and same types of support. when young people evolve rapidly. especially now. as i heard folks say earlier. young folks are coming out as early as maybe 12, 13 if not younger. therefore we need to be ready in order to support those young folks who do come out. also i have been currently talking to a lot of folks about how to realize my dream of opening a 24 hour youth resource center. the 24 hour youth resource center would basically be a combination of a drop-in center,
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a youth center and educational center. that everything everyone finds everything they need in one place. we know everyone wouldn't be able to stay or get the resources. it would be open to serve the maximum amount of folks that we can serve at that moment. thank you. [ applause ] >> so i want to get a great big thank you to your youth speakers today. you have heard me say this before. but every time i hear one of you all speak it makes me know that, you know, the supports that we provide in our programs are what you need. and you are true inspirations and i'm so happy that you are sharing your stories here today. and i hope you are able to touch many other lives, especially other youth lives that feel hopeless and feel there is no place to go. to see you all t successes, the
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things that you have accomplished, it gives hope. and and it is so wonderful that you are here. not just adults who have never experienced homelessness but people who have experienced it who can be success and feel they need all of us to help. and what i heard of course we always need more funding. but what i heard so loud and clear was that it was the positive adult in those lives that helped them make a difference. we always say how overburdened we are with our own life. but if you have a hour a week a hour a day to give support to a young person ho just needs to have an adult that says "you can do it," "i believe in you" that is the most important thing we can do in this room. i'm going to go off script for a minute and ask the zult adults that have been part of these
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young kids lives to stand for a minute. because you gave your time today even to come, to travel with them. [ applause ] thank you. you are also an inspiration for us. and so this is the opportunity we have now to open up the floor for questions. i'm going to ask that the press hold their questions to the end. and i'm going to ask that our guests on the floor ask questions. are there any questions out there for your youth panel. chris holloway, yes. >> good afternoon. thank you all for joining us. i want to say a special thanks to our guest the three youth. in the brief time they have had with us really demonstrated an
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amazing story of resiliency and one we all need too take away as inspiration for our own lives. whenever we think that we're in a position of trouble or difficulty, i think we need to reflect back on the stories that they have given us today and realize that more often than not we are not really in that bad of a situation after all. so thank you for that. i do have a softball question for you all to get the ball rolling. you have already talked about positive adult connections and people in your lives and we've acknowledged some folks here. can you talk at all maybe one or two points each of things that have really meant the difference between being in a continued homeless situation or being able to crossover into a situation that has some sense of permanency and facing forward movement in your life.
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>> i would say that working with schools and the policies schools have has been really important for me. everything from how they handle a young person who doesn't have the traditional like social ties. who doesn't have -- i mean, i transferred high schools five times. and i don't think i had the same math classes any two semesters that we're supposed to be in. is and standards changing from district to district to district and where you are changing between that, it was very difficult for me to have a ground line or baseline. so everything from how they handle that kind of establishing baseline to how they handle the thin

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