tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 9, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT
riveted by his presentations on this really, really important history. i think i want to pause and talk with you all today a little bit about the contemporary manifestation of some of the history that richard's talking about. and, also, encourage you to make what i think are some important connections between what you have been seeing on your television over the last year as we've dealt with issues of police violence and urban unrest. and also to recognize, frankly, your role, our role, my role in the problem we all live with. and the segregated structure which we have come to take for granted. we have come to accept it. we have come to believe that it
is simply part of the landscape. and i suppose i want to spend a few moments talking about why we must resist this. not only because we have the fair housing act and the wonderful affh rule and because we all believe in integration and because we have devoted our lives, most of us, to fighting against discrimination. but because as a democracy imperati imperative. if this country is to make it, if you and i are to make it, unified, we have to get our hands around this problem of segregation. this past spring when baltimore erupted in days of unrest in the wake of the death of freddie gray in police custody,ier did a lot of media. some of you may have seen some of it. and when i did that media, i was asked a lot of questions about
baltimore. after all, i lived in baltimore city for 20 years. i now live in baltimore county for five years. i've taught at university of maryland law school for 22 years. i'm a native new yorker, i really transplanted to baltimore and took it on as my home and raised my children there. so people had a lot of questions for me about what they were seeing on the television screen. they wanted to know why were young people so angry? why were they throwing things at the police. why were people burning businesses in their own neighborhoods. will the cvs ever come back? why is there so much tension between the police and residents in baltimore? why would freddie gray run from the police? all of these questions were important questions and ones i answered day in and day out. i regarded part of my obligation during those very fevered days
when so much attention was on baltimore city. to press a different set of questio questions, the questions that i thought were being neglected, is and questioned that really preoccupied my thinking. questions about the west baltimore neighborhood where freddie gray grew up. i wondered why the cvs was the only recognizable chain store we saw on the street. no star bucs and chick-fil-a. it was hard for me to imagine all the hand wringing frut city leaders was about their concern for the easy tobacco mart and some of the other businesses that characterized north avenue where the unrest took place. why would the streets of west baltimore in such delipidated condition that baltimore city police could take arrestees on a quote unquote, rough ride to punish them in the back of a
police van? how could freddie gray and his siblings been so severely led poisoned in housing in baltimore in the 1990s 70 years after the dangers of lead were made known. why would we have an education system that failed freddie gray and his parents? how does a community get to be the west baltimore where freddie gray grew up and allegedly sold drugs and had that fateful encounter with the police? a west baltimore where police officers don't live in the neighborhood yet manage the streets and the community using a merry go round of catch and release. where do the officers live? how do we account for the west baltimore that was being projected on television every night? the secret to understanding the anger, the despair, the frustration, the demand for attention and justice that we
witnessed during that unrest? lies in understanding the deliberate and unrelenting creation of communities in which residents have very little chance to change their lives. communities that are deeply segregated by race. poor. lacking in transportation mobility. bereft of strong educational institutions, communities that place unimaginable strain on parents, on children, on teachers. on businesses. you've heard richard's presentation. you know that deeply intreched segregation has characterized so many cities in the north. even though i used the passive voice, i shouldn't. these were deliberate acts and policies. government sponsored policies. the landscape of the north was largely created by deliberate and intentional segregation, first through racially restrictive covenants and outright discrimination through federal housing policy affecting
public housing and private market beginning in the 1930's. and by investments. massive investments which created the suburbs. and really created the middle class for white families. the investment so well described by richard as one of the largest and most defective domestic programs of the 20th century. it includes not only the kind of support provided to the creation of suburban homes but includes the interstate highway system and the gi bill. these investments are worth trillions of dollars today. they created the white middle class and did so in such a way as to suggest the creation of the white middle class was inevitable. the gi bill, the interstate highway system the government's role in creating affordable housing in the suburbs was not explained as a government handout or welfare or affirmative action for white people, instead, those measures were understood as appropriate and sound government policy.
and as what our government owes young families after the sacrifices of world war ii. segregation was further reinforced by supreme court decisions in the education context. which first delayed desegregation in brown. the all deliberate speed decision. and by restricting regional desegregation solutions, which insured that whites could flee integration by leaving the diversity of cities. baltimore's history of housing segregation is well-documented in books like not in my neighborhood and block busting in baltimore. and by the litigation in which the legal defense fund participated challenging segregated public housing in baltimore, thompson versus hud. few realize baltimore played a pioneering role in introducing residential segregation to
northern cities when the city council of baltimore passed the first(x9r municipal ordinance i 1910. it was the talk of the nation. people from all over the countries called the city council in baltimore to find out how did you do it t. send us the language. baltimore taught the rest of the country about how to create municipal ordinances requiring segregation. i want to talk about what i think are two under appreciated elements as you move forward, i ask you to draw some attention to -- i do so because they are issues that are very current in baltimore today. because baltimore's history ofe housing segregation provides a window into one of i think are the unappreciated elements that contributed to and reinforced housing segregation and you somehow must attend to. that set of decisions are decisions affecting transportation. i've already talked about the
creation of the interstate system without which the suburbs would not be possible. that waus a massive transportation investment. transportation decisions have too often been made to further and per pech wait segregations. they are decisions where policymakers acquiesce to desegregation. or they were in concert with segregated housing policy that ultimately insure that blacks have few opportunities to access the services, jobs and amenities of well-supported and well-resourced white communities. that's why it's so ironic that after we watched the events unfold in baltimore earlier this year, the death of freddie gay, the unrest and the sad norm. it's so ironic the governor of maryland decided to abandon the
plan to build the -- i admit unfortunately named red line, the rail line that would run east to west in baltimore city. and that had and still has the potential to begin to unlock the rigid insularity communities like the community in which freddie gray lives. the decision to abandon the red line -- probably many of you never heard of it. this was a project that had been worked on in baltimore for ten years. i don't know how many people are familiar with baltimore city. very few of you. baltimore was described during the freddie gray unrest incessantly on cnn as a major american city. and that's -- yes. it is a major american city in that it has a baseball team and football team and it has a sizable population. and it has a storied history,
certainly of a storied civil rights history. the birthplace of thur good marshall. extraordinary people. a town i love very much. it has something -- it does not have something that most major american cities have and that is a true functioning public transportation system. and the lack of that public transportation system like the housing decisions that richard talked about is really not by accident. there were plans to create a functioning public education system in baltimore many times. in 1966 the original railway plan for baltimore involved a city wide subway system like you have in d.c. if you look at the map it looks like the map of the d.c. metro. that never happened, as white communities protested and expressed their concern about what this would mean in terms of the population moving throughout the system. and so the city settled for a seven stop rail line that goes from downtown to johns hopkins
and back again. it's not even a circle. it goes up and goes back. the same thing happened ip1992 when the plan was made to create a light rail system that would go through baltimore up west baltimore and into baltimore county. and there again, the system was created in a way that it does not run through residential neighborhoods. it runs through business districts. and runs up into baltimore county business districts. and when there's a desire to have another light rail stop when we finally were able to get a football team, we spent tens of millions of dollars creating a light rail stop for the stadium. but there was one community that refused to have a light rail stop. majority white community called ruxton which said they did not want the element that might be on the train in their community. the light rail will stop every
three minutes and then suddenly it will just not stop for 15 minutes. and that's as it passes those communities that objected to having a transportation system stop in their community. transportation is the key in many ways to unlocking these closed in communities like the one you saw in west baltimore. transportation is how people get to jobs that exist not largely in the center of baltimore, but on the edges of the community in baltimore county and in howard county. they allow women like the mom that everyone lionized on television who came out and snatched her son from the protest. it would allow her living in west baltimore to get to johns hopkins in east baltimore, which actually does have jobs. in fact, johns hopkins is one of the great institutions that actually hires exoffenders as well. but if you're an exoffender and you live in west baltimore your ability to get to that job at
7:00 in the morning means you'll be standing at a bus stop waiting for an hour for a bus that will meander to the city to get you there on time. unless that seemed like it is only an inconvenience, if you drive through west baltimore early in the morning, and you watch the bus stops, you see the moms who come from public housing and from low income housing standing at the bus stop. it's dark. they're there at 5:30 so they can get to the 7:00 shift at the hospital. then you have stto ask yourself where are their children? who will take them to school? who will make sure they have something to eat? who will make sure they have their homework. when they arrive in school without those things, what's the reaction of the teacher? what's your reaction when you hear about the kmichildren who arrive out school without their homework and nothing to eat?
so the decision to simply abandon a transportation system that would bring people from one end of the city to the other end of the city that would bring people to the jobs in the county from the city is a decision that reverberates through the lives of people in baltimore city. the decision that the governor made to abandon the red line unless it's revisited and overturned is one that will profoundly implement the obligation of baltimore city and baltimore county to affirmatively further fair housing for many years to come. the settlement in the thompson versus hud case, the public housing case i referred to, provides vouchers to families to move to communities of opportunity in the region. that remains critically important. so by the way, if you're wondering what you can do to support transportation in baltimore you can allocate additional funds to that program to allow families to move to communities of opportunity. but i think we all recognize that as a corollary our
obligation is also to make every community a community of opportunity. [ applause ] so in in forcing the obligations of governments to housing you must pay keen attention to the role they are playing in locking in long-standing residential segregation. hud must work hand in hand with the department of transportation in covering the symbiotic reinforcement of regressive transportation decision making in order to give life to the afah. but also to fully meet your obligations under title vi of the civil rights act and to insure that federal funds do not supreme court programs that engage in discrimination. in the new afah rule, you talk about the removal of barriers that prevent people from accessing housing in areas of
opportunity. you talk about access to housing outside of areas with high racial or ethnic concentration of low income residents. how does that happen in a city like baltimore? where many people cannot afford to own cars? it happens by transportation decisions that work hand in hand with a local jurisdiction's plan to affirmatively further fair housing. and to the extent we allow these decisions to be decoupled, so that these transportation decisions are made over here and then later on you look at baltimore county's plan or you look at baltimore city's plan. you are essentially allowing these jurisdictions to grandfather in this segregation through these unreviewed transportation decisions. and so we need these two to come together. in addition to transportation, there has to be this critical
attention to regional solutions. you know this already. you know the importance of regional solutions to segregation. the judge in the thompson versus hud case talked about the way in which baltimore was being maintained as a segregated pool for the region's poor p. he said that simply cannot be allowed to stand. but this was in part made possible by some of the transportation decisions that i described to you. you heard vice president mondale this morning. you know that in 1968 in talking about the fair housing act he talked about promoting truly integrated and balanced living patterns. those balanced living patterns cannot happen without social engineering. and here i want to push back against any negative connotation to that phrase. so i regard myself as a
descendant of chargcharles mars. who once said if you're not a social engineer, you're a parasite. [ applause ] that's our job. our job is to social engineer for good. our job is to social engineer for opportunity. our job is to social engineer for equality. those are noble goals. and lest we think we have a choice about whether we do this, i want to take you back to the supreme court's decision in brown versus board of education and the advocacy that naacp said. you know that in that decision the supreme court talked about the harm of segregation to african-american children. they talked about the way in which segregation sends a
message to african-american children that the state regards them as inferior. and that that message becomes internalized. that may all be true. but what i want you to be clear about is when we litigated that case and we provided our briefs and we included with our briefs an appendix signed by 30 social scientists that talked about the harm of segregation on black children, that brief also included an extensive discussion about the harm of segregation to white children. and it talked about the way in which segregation can produce confusion, moral cynicism, and a sense of dislocation among white children that can result in ways in which they rationize the incongruity they see in their own society. the language of equality and justice that they hear in the rhetoric of the public or their
parents and the reality of what they see happening before them. and in that brief, the social scientists forecasted i believe some of what we are seeing today. because at the end of the day when you watch that awful video of walter scott running in that park in north charleston and being shot by that police officer, it's not just that the police officers pull up next to tamir rice in cleveland and shoot him, a 12-year-old boy, it's that when his sister begins to cry and scream my brother, my brother, that they tackle her to the ground and handcuff her and put her in the back of a car. it's that they say to the screaming mother if you don't get quiet you'll arrest you, too. you have to begin to wonder what manner of people are these? what has happened to them? and so it's my belief that as a
democracy, as a society we can simply no longer afford segregation. we cannot afford the distance between us that allows one to not believe in the humanity of the other. and you and i do not have the luxury of sitting back 30 years from now asking these same questions if we are in a position of power and authority to influence one iota to lessen that distance between us. it was created by the way in which we live. it allows the uttering that doesn't see a grieving mother. and we simply can't afford it anymore. in case we're watching the events unfold over the last year and we're thinking that's all about policing and it doesn't have to do with us, in case you're thinking that what does hud have to do with freddie
gray, it has everything to do with it. and so my hope today -- [ applause ] my hope today is really to convict you, and me, trust me, i do not throw stones. it's to convict us as a society, as those who are the engineers to recognize that we bear responsibility for that as well. it will not be resolved by the conviction of this or that police officer. of course, there must be justice and accountability. if we do not begin to take seriously the harm that segregati segregation is doing to this society. harm that was predicted in 1954 when we submitted the briefs, we will be here 30 and 40 years from now with your grand
children and my grand children wondering what manner of people are these. they're the ones we allowed to be created by not affirmatively aggressively recognizing the role we must play in ending segregation once and for all. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, thank you. powerful remarks. thank you richard, wonderful remarks. and you have really, i think started this conference in a emphatic way. i'm now looking forward to hearing questions and answers from our audience.
i think people probably have a lot they want to say. i have a few questions i'm going to ask our panel while you're thinking formulating your question. let me suggest that a good question contains three elements. your name. a brief statement. then followed by a question mark. so if you think of a question you'd like to ask, there's a mike are phone right here and you can come up and ask that question. so i'm going to ask sort of an affirmative question. are there communities that either of you can think of that are doing it right? had communities that are models for integration that can help lead the way for others?
>> the answer is i don't have that list available. but so i think what you -- we have to do is take pieces from different ones, right. so if i'm going to go back to the transportation system, for example. there are obvious ones like new york city and others where there is a transportation system that allows for a certain fluidity of the population around the city in terms of getting to jobs, in terms of imagining if i move to that neighborhood, could i still get to my church on sunday morning. yes, i actually could. i could take that train and that bus and it would get me there quickly. there are elements, i think -- that's how i always think about, you know, policy in baltimore is what -- everying city is different. it's got its own background and tradition. there won't be any cookie cutter. it's about drawing from different models, what are the pieces you think can pework and putting them together for the local community that you are
working with. and i, you know, again, trying to beat this transportation horse. i think that too often we think they're separate. i think for -- i represented parents of boy and girls in baltimore in the early 1990's. i know how much the moms were affected by the fact they had to leave their kids for really long periods of time because of the transportation system. and i also know that they selected housing that was horrible, often, because of its proximity to work or to other family members or to other caregivers where they could leave their children. it was kind of bad decisions about housing, but really for reasons that made sense. it had to do with the fact that they just didn't have choices in how to navigate the infrastructure. so even the housing decisions, even as i think about giving people vouchers and saying move to a community of opportunity,
as we know from that case and it's one of the reasons why we put safe guards in with counseling and so forth. people make decisions based on the apparatus that they have around them. and they need to be able to make decisions -- greater choices. and so the reason i raise the transportation issue here at hud is because i want to emphasize the way in which transportation isolation limits the housing decisions that -- back there it says where you live is your choice. well, you know, not exactly like that. you know, it really there are a whole bunch of other choices that bear on that ability to make that choice freely. that's one of them. because you all correctly and appropriately mention transportation and the afah rule, i think that's one of the threads that you really can pull and begin to look at places that are doing that effectively and pull that into the mix. >> do you want to add anything,
richard? okay. no one has approached our microphone yet. still trying to get the question mark on the end of their question. so frequently when we talk about residential desegregation today, people talk about the need to have affordable housing and low income housing in white areas. but, of course many of our working class neighborhoods, many of our middle class neighborhoods are also very segregated. clearly, in many of those neighborhoods, comparable homes are of different value. i'm curious what you all think about this problem and if you have any suggestion,s for how you think those issues should be addressed or whether you would address them differently than the problems that we look at in
terms of segregation of affordable housing from other neighborhoods. >> well, i think you're absolutely right. and one of the things i think is troubling to me when we talk about affirmatively furthering. we talk about integration, we seem only to be talking about how to get the lowest income families into middle class neighborhoods. but we have a systematic problem of segregation in which, as you say, middle class and working class families are also segregated. and they are not helped by a policy that prohibits source of income discrimination or that requires low income housing tax credit developments to be placed into middle class neighborhoods. that requires something more than non-discrimination. as i said in my remarks before, it requires policies that are so
radical in terms of what the current conversation is that i think we need to think a lot about how to do it. one of the problems is that in addition to all of the housing programs i talked about before in which federal state, and local government systematically segregated the races, we also have federal state, and local policies that systematically depress the incomes of african-americans so they can't afford to move to neighborhoods they otherwise would have been able to move to were they white. i came across some research, which i'm now exploring in which i've learned -- i'm always learning more about this. i'm always shocked about the extent of which the government at all levels was responsible for the race policies we now live with. i recently discovered there's a systematic and still exists today, systematic attempt in baltimore, chicago, and other
major cities in this country to by countoy assessors to overassess properties in black neighborhoods and under assess properties in white neighborhoods. now, you say what's wrong with that. people like to have homes that are more valuable. what's wrong with that is if you overassess properties in black neighborhoods, black people pay higher taxes, higher property taxes than white people do for similar homes. in chicago, the most recent study i found was in the 1970's. it's a shame that people haven't done it more recently. i'm trying to get it done. in chicago, in the 1970's, the community with the lowest assessed values relative to market price of homes was bridgeport the neighborhood that mayor daily lived in and that was noted for its racist resistance to african-american homeowners. the community that was the most
hig highly assessed relative to the market price was wood lawn, an african-american community families in woodlawn were paying the lion's share of the property tax burden in the city of chicago. this is just one of many, many policies. just to go on one minute, i talked about the mid20th century. the national labor relations act set up a system where the federal government authorized unions to be the exclusive bargaining agent for all workers in that facility. well, most -- i talked about the suburbinization that took place and how african-americans were excluded. tha i -- they were also excluded
from the construction jobs. they were excluded by the construction jobs by unions that were certified by the federal government as the exclusive bargaining agent for those workers. now, that needs a remedy. i don't know what the remedy would look like. it's not a remedy that can be pursued with an individual client who can show that, you know, he or she has less funds today because his grandfather was excluded from the unions. we're living with that difference today. we're living with that difference in income with workers and fair families and descendants and children and grandchildren who had similar skills, but were excluded from a labor market that was a racial labor market. so the housing discrimination that was government sponsored, the labor market discrimination that was government sponsored, all fed into the system that we have today. and one of the consequences is
that working and middle class african-americans have lower incomes than similarly qualified working and middle class whites. and that's part of the whole housing problem as well. it means that many of them cannot afford to move to neighborhoods they would have been able to afford to move to if they and their parents and grandparents were of a different race. >> again, to talk about the interrelated nature of all of the policy conversations we're having now. we're have a robust conversation about policing at multiple levels. the president task force, justice department and so forth. you know, one of the major issues that constantly is discussed is whether or not police officers should be required to live in the communities where they work. and many people think that should happen. you know, but when it doesn't happen, you need more training and so forth. you know, we invest in things all the time. if we decided that that was a
favored policy, then we could do what we do when we have favored policies, we make investments that line up with those policies. one of the investments that you could make, one of the incentives you could offer is around this issue of housing. what would you offer, you know, municipal workers who live in the city, particularly police and firemen, the same way we created gi bills and other things. you could create incentives around housing that would encourage police officers to live in the city. you could build kind of mixed income housing in various communities so that you actually encouraged a kind of penetration and saturation of people who are supposed to protect the community in the communities that they're going to serve. it's just -- you could just decide that you wanted to do it if we wanted to do that. but it is not disconnected. this is what i mean again about recognizing the opportunities and pulling them together.
we're having a whole conversation about policing and about policing living in communities. where is the housing components to that conversation? and is that the kind of thing that a municipality is putting forward their plan, isn't a force of advocacy that communities folks could offer people to ameliorate the problems. how can we create an incentive that will affirmatively further fair housing for -- to also meet the end of that kind of community based policing, those conversations that are happening in an entirely separate room than this room. >> i'd like to add one thing. i'd like to see a program that recruits and permits african-american police officers to live in leaventon.
>> that's very specific, thank you. we have some questions here. kate? >> hi my name is kate, i work in fhao here at hud. thank you so much for the work you do and your remarks today. i really appreciate you guys beginning to flip the conversation about social engineering. and i really appreciate the broad approach that you both take to fair housing. i've heard you talk about policing, transportation, the history of housing segregation. and i was hoping you could kind of in the same vein i think you all have continued the conversation to talk about how we might continue to flip the conversation to keep fair housing in this broad perspective. i think a lot of times when we try to approach fair housing systemically and talk about these interrelated policy issues you all are bringing up we get pushed up, stay in your lane, that's not housing. and so i think it's really meaningful to hear about
specifically talking about applied transportation and how that is related to housing. and i don't know if you all have any further insight on, you know, how education is related to housinhousing, how employmen related to housing and broadening the housing conversation. thank you. >> well, i'm not even sure what to say. i think you said it so well. there is no question that all of those things are connected. i suspect that you get told to stay in your lane, thus my remarks today. and i think, you know, part of it is on us, right? we have to actually make it uncomfortable for you to stay in your lane. you know, our job is to really push you to make those kinds of connections. but i also do think that if i can be perfectly blunt, i think you're not doing your job if you're not making those connections. at least the way i read title
vi, what you all promulgated in the rule is you're supposed to be asking jurisdictions -- you've got a check list. they have some things -- i think we sometimes underestimate the power of the questions that you ask. you know, and the data that you collect, right? because you're signaling to jurisdictions what you think is important. so, for example, i think it's actually shocking and stunning that this decision to end this transportation line could be just kind of done as though there are no implications for a whole bunch of other housing and education and i'm not privy to some of those conversations. some of them i know is not happening. baltimore county has a housing complaint that it's being handled right now. i think it's relevant to the decisions that are being made around transportation. some of it is the questions you should be asking as you do your review. if you engage in your investigation, as you talk with people in different jurisdictions some of it is what we have to be doing on the
ground as we push. and ask these questions and as we frame them, absolutely. but some of it, i think, is actually what you obligated to do in order to insure that the funds that you're providing are not perpetuating discrimination and not perpetuating segregation. segregation does not exist as a one category thing. richard just described it. it's all of the other elements that go with it. and if you're not paying attention to taxes and tax assessments and all these other pieces, then in my view you're not doing your job. i think there has to be a reimagining of what it means to engage in this space. i think the supreme court's decision by taking the heat off of desperate impact and allowing you to breathe allows you to have the space to really robustly do your job. i think the circumstances we found this country in over the last year demands it.
>> just make one brief statement about education and how that fits into this. i said earlier that i think that unless the american people understand how we have created, our government has created, a system of segregation that's going to be less motivation and understanding of how aggressive we have to be in undoing it. we are continuing to misteach the next generation about the history that i have described. i've -- some of you have heard me talk about this before. i'm examined american history text books that are currently used across the country. the most widely used text book, american history text book in high schools in the country has one passive voice sentence in 1,200 pages, one passive voice sentence about segregation in the north. it says as follows, it says african-americans found themselves in segregated
neighborhoods. whoopty do. they woke up one morning in this segregated neighborhood. you know, one of the problems with the presentation i make, i think much of what needs to be done as to be done as a national policy. it can't be done simply at the local level. this is one thing that can be done at a local level. if i may say so, i don't think that hud should consider that any mmunity is affirmatively furthering fair housing if its schools are teaching this kind of nonsense to its children. [ applause ] and when you are examining what a community is doing to affirmatively further fair housing, one of the things you should be doing is what are they doing to insure that the curricula of their high schools and even their middle schools are addressing forth rightly the
history of federal, state and local sponsored segregation that created those communities as segregated ones? >> great. we have a number of questions now. i believe we have one by e-mail, too. can we -- let's go first to the e-mailed question. which someone will read out. and then we'll come back to our line that's developed here. >> this question is from kimberly. in addition to transportation access to opportunity includes good schools. across the country, schools are being closed in predominately minority neighborhoods because they are underutilized or failing. can you talk about the connection between integration and housing? >> there couldn't be a closer connection. i mean, let's be real. so in 1948 when ldf thur good marshall won shelly versus cramer, a case involving
racially discrimination. he got all these letters saying this is so wonderful and put so much work into the cases. one of the cases was obviously st. louis. he said yes, this is so important. and i'm, you know, but right now i've got -- headed back down to texas to deal with this university of texas law school case. sweat versus painter which was ultimately decided in 1950. the racially restricted covenant case was decided just as the real precursors to brown was ramping up. it was sweat versus painter, and those were the cases that really now set up the groundwork to be able to hit k-12 which ultimately became the brown cases. so you had two issues, you had
housing and education issue. education issue was one they had begun working on in 1935 in baltimore city when they challenged successfully segregation at the university of maryland law school. where i taught 20 years. and so they worked on it. now it was happening. right? if we're honest with each other, we know the relationship. if we solved housing segregation we would have solved education segregation. certainly the connection between the two is very obvious. all the questions that we're asking about desegregation, about mixed income neighborhoods, all of that relates directly to what happens in our public education system. because that's going to decide who the children are who go to those schools. it's related directly to the
array of choices that are available. this goes back to you said what communities do it well. so i was bussed to school in new york city. thank you civil rights act of 9 1964. i was bussed to school. after you were young and on the school bus, you had to take public transportation. you could take public transportation to the school that was across town and get there still at 7:30. that's how good it was. that ability when this was actually a focus in new york of schoolentgration actually was aided by an infrastructure that allowed them to move kids around, particularly the older kids who could take public transportation easily. all these things are connected and it's why i think, again, the moment is so ripe for returning to the issue of housing segregation. if you begin really getting serious about housing
integration, both racially and income integration, you're necessarily talking about integrating public schools. >> okay. do you want to add anything? let's go to a question here. >> my name is jean and i'm representing the boston fair housing commission. i want to thank you for your comments. i have two brief questions. one if you could speak to how we could use the affh rule in the issue of gentrification. so one of the things that our communities in boston ask is as neighborhoods that have traditionally historically been disinvested in begin to experience more investment and market rates go up in terms of the cost of housing and people are being priced out of their
neighborhoods, how can we use the rule to help folks. the other question i have is i have a public health background. i see housing a a social determinate of health. we have a lead initiative. almost 90% of boston's housing as led paint. can you speak to the responsibility or the opportunities for federal agencies to work better together to connect fair housing issues and health issues. i find myself talking to cdc, epa, hud, how can we connect all of the issues as all the same? thank you. >> so i'm no agency referrer, i don't know how you work together more efficiently with agencies. those are both really excellent questions. i'm taking a stab at the second one. i really do think that drawing these questions, you know -- just absolutely imperative. one of the things i think was most revealing and illuminating
about the thompson versus hud case was some of the expert testimony we began to develop around the public health implications for children of wa expert testimony we began to develop around the public health implications for children of living in highly distressed communities. and what it was doing to them and is doing to them mentally. and even more disturbingly, you know, the more kind of recent evidence that it becomes genetic. that it becomes passed on. we have children living in communities of such grave distress that it is affecting them in ways that we can't even begin to quantify. to the extent we are talk building what happens in a school and we're not talking about what happens on that walk to school and what that child has seen on that walk to school, what that child has seen on the walk home or even in the school
and the community in which they live, what they have seen in that housing project, you know, we're actually having a conversation that's not really a conversation. we are just talking in our own echo chamber. one thing i love about the thompson versus hud case, we have been looking to amplify some of the testimony around the health consequences of intense segregation and these deeply distressed communities and the need to kind were of release the valve within these communities. so for me a lot of looking at the situation with freddie gray is about that. the lead issue, there is nothing more that needs to be written about. we know exactly what lead does. we know how it affects these kids. and rather than see this as a litigation matter, it needs to be reordered again as a
critically important public health matter that has to be dealt with. this again goes to the issue of will and investment. when the movement developed and decided we were going to get lead out of gasoline, we got lead out of gasoline. i used to be involved in cases tobacco companies. it was a litigation matter. we made decisions about what was going to happen around cigarettes. we did it. so it is about will and policy. and, again, just as i said, that's you and me. some of it is what we make you do, right? which is our own activism and ability to gather a allies and to elevate these issues so they become critically important ones with our elected officials and other leaders. but the other is the will of those in agency positions who can see the connections to figure out how you break through the silos between these different agencies to be able to holistically look at them.
i know we have inter agency groups that are doing that around baltimore. i really encourage that. it is so important to bring all the different actors to the table, and figure out what is the piece and how those connections happen. >> let me address the gentrification part of your question. i'm all in favor of gentrification provided sit part of a social engineering, otherwise called urban plan scheme, in which a metropolitan area ensures that every community in a metropolitan area has a mixture of middle income, low income families. the problem with gentrification is practiced today in many places that that the low income families who were displaced when middle income families move into a previously low income neighborhood just relocate to a new segregated community. because housing is not open to them throughout the metropolitan area. if we had urban planning, which ensured not only that we
gentrified all previously low income communities but the residents of those communities then had opportunities to move to other middle income communities, then we would have metropolitan areas systematically integrated by race and by income. so the problem, it seem to me, is not the fact that middle income families are moving into low income neighborhoods. the president bush is in those neighborhoods we're not preserving some proportion for low and moderate income families. those who are displaced are not able to move to otherwise integrated and middle income communities. i wrote, as they said in the introduction, a paper called "the making of ferguson." that's how it became an almost all black community and low income. the city engaged in massive urban renewal. demolished the towers i talked about earlier. they razed all black and lower
to middle income to build the arch, highway interchanges to bring people to downtown businesses. and the only communities that would accept this were inner-city suburbs. we would have a very different kind of st. louis and ferguson wouldn't have become the new ghetto of st. louis. gentrification is okay as long as it's not gentrification of the entire area. an opportunity for the people replaced not to resettle in a new ghetto. >> so we have time for one brief question and brief responses to our panel. >> actually, she just asked my question. i will ask it in another way.
i'm with a group called lucha. we talked about the black/white paradigm of segregation. to your point, of course we should continue to educate on that history. i'm curious as to your point. you talked about the gentrification particularly in latino communities in chicago. how does the interplay of now we have mexican americans, puerto ricans, african-americans being displaced. >> in some ways it doesn't change it in that i always assume we are talking about integration. we meant integration. we didn't mean just the black/white binary. your point is very well taken. and i would say this for a place like baltimore, which is an interesting example.
it has a new opportunity to actually create, you know, integrated housing in that community where there is not like a tradition of where latinos live. there is starting to be a tradition on the east side and falls point area. very little attention to understanding what a that means. i'm actually very concerned. because i see the separation between the latino and african-american community that really does not have to be. there isn't the kind of affirmative attention to what you are asking. how do we use this as an opportunity to create a very sophisticated integrated dynamic in the city. i don't hear almost any conversation about that. that's got to be part of the
obligation. every community, municipality are thinking 2020, and what is my latino population going to be. they're thinking about it. they've got that on their mind. they are not thinking about it, as far as i've seen, in the context of how do you deal with this in a matter of integrated housing. we have to force that conversation. i think it's a setup to just kind of recreate some of the same divisions we have seen in the past that does have to be in communities that don't have that tradition. and where there are longstanding latino communities it seems to be even more obvious that should be the obligation. but it becomes part of, you know, hud's responsibility to push that, right? when you come forward with a plan, it's like there have got to be a million questions about. but what about this population.
how are you going to deal? this is latino. but not english speaking. down to the minutist level. >> thank you. well, i think our panelists made it clear if we want to address the various forms of in equality in our society, police brutality and other issues, we've got to tackle residential segregation. and holistically working with other agencies on the array of issues of transportation and education that are all wrapped up together. if anything, i think you all have perhaps convinced me that if we -- that we need to elevate and better educate the population on this and maybe we can continue the conversation. if this hashtag doesn't already exist, perhaps we need to start
#segregationmatters. i want to thank you all. i want to thank our panelists. this has been a wonderful conversation. thank you very much. [ applause ]. coming up tonight on c-span3, european commission jean claude on the syrian refugee crisis. and rudy giuliani talks about lessons learned from the september 11th attacks. later, former oklahoma governor frank keating on the oklahoma city bombing and lone wolf terrorists. european commission president jean claude junker his first state of the european address in strasbourg, france. greece's impact on the eu. and the uk's future membership in the union. this is an hour and 25 minutes.
a president of the commission who was voted for with the great majority of this house. and immediately after european parliament election. and the speech is going to be one which has pretty much better never been so hotly debated. i think we should all be proud today that this will be the first state of the union address by a president of the commission who is -- who has been elected into office under a new procedure, which made the european union more democratic. and this house this morning is the house of european democracy. and we are without any doubt facing a great wealth of challenges with the migration and the economic situation in
certain member states and the wars that are taking place on our doorstep. and we have to contribute to a solution to finding a solution and to putting an end to those crises. this state of the union is a debate where we have an exchange with the european parliament. you it is also the time when the institutions of the european union can show altogether that they are prepared to work together in the spirit of the european community and face up to the challenges that lie ahead. january claude juncker will for the first time in his capacity as president of the commission, will give an address on the state of the union. president juncker, i will now give you the floor to present the proposals that you have, the
european union in the house of european democracy, here in the european parliament. president juncker, you have the floor. [ applause ]. >> the president, council, ladies and gentlemen, dear members, for me it's a pleasant duty, not actually just a duty but a real pleasure as president of the commission for the very first time in my short life to give a state of the union address in this chamber. as luxembourg prime minister, frequently i think to be precise it was 20 times, that i gave a state of the nation speech.
but anyway, mostly i got applauded after the speech. people disagreed as to the substance. but everybody agreed that it was too long. so incidentally i run into danger. i have not actually drafted or been able to draft the speech under normal conditions. you would probably guess why. or maybe some of you know why. but i will try to conclude in an hour. the speech take place in the framework agreement between the european parliament and the european commission. which has been concluded between us. and in that framework, the president of the commission, the first half of september, in fact, comes to the parliament
and does a q&a session on the prior year and work that we tabled to the house with what what the commissioner is doing over the next few months or year. so it's really the priorities of the commission that are involved. and of the european union. and to that end, both with respect to mr. schultz and the prime minister of luxembourg and president in office have received those priorities in writing. i have made the letter available and a penned to the letter is a document about how we will do the 10 working priorities of the
commission. statement of intent. i'm not going to deal with all those topics today. i'm not doing that to be polite to you. but it is in writing. and they also have put things in writing. the parliament has received that corpus in writing. but what i'm trying to do is not to go into all the details but try to make the general picture more understandable. >> if you would like, the first president of the commission who directly endorse said, including by the vote of the european parliament. that was my direct path to office.
right from the very beginning. in fact, when i was speaking to you on the 14th of june laying out my story to you, i made it quite clear that i intend to make the commission more political. and therefore the president of the commission because of the democratic procedures and the nomination procedures would also be the political president. when i say political, basically i mean political in the very best connotations of that word. we are all politicians. if you like political people rather than just politicians. these days in the french anyway it has a bad connotation. so in the best connotation we are politicians. and by political, i don't mean
we're going to politicize everything. that is not our wish. i just want to say i really do feel that now is not the time to go ahead willy-nilly business as usual. please don't feel that's the case. [ applause ]. >> don't count how many times i use the word social. just take it my heart is full of the social. and don't use economic, monetary, budget, those words. very often people will make rather empty speeches about this. now we've got to be frank.
really the bell tolls. the time has come. we have to look overtly at the huge issues with which the european union is now confronted. and that's what i want to focus on now. our european union, want to fall into despond, but it is not in a good situation. there is no point of the president of the commission, representatives of the european democracy, and the peoples of europe to just put things in rosy colors. no, we are not in a good place. there is a lack of europe in the european union. there's a lack of union in this european union. [ applause ].
and that has to change. we have to change it, and now. work together to that end. i think that is what we have from the european electorate. that corresponds to what you gave to me. >> i don't know why you are becoming nervous about when you were speaking about the european union, sir. >> each time you respond to what you are saying because what you are saying is worthless. [ applause ].
>> mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, the programs or legislative agendas say the first priority to date is and must be addressing the refugee crisis. since the beginning of the year, nearly 500,000 people have made their way to europe. the vast a majority of them are fleeing from syria, the terror of the islamic state of libya, or detainership. the most effective number states over 200,000 refugees, hungry with more or less 150,000 in italy with 120,000. the numbers are impressive.
for some, they are frightening. but now is not a time to take fright. it is time for concerted action by the european union, by its member states and by its institutions. the first of all the matters before other considerations is a matter of humanity and human dignity. and for europe it's also a matter for historical terms. [ applause ]. we europeans, we are all europeans here. yeah, yeah, okay. okay.
i'm noting that you think you are not europeans. okay. well done. this is not the time to take fight. it's a time of humanity and of human dignity. we europeans, all of us i thought before the interruption, all of us we should remember it is a continent where everyone at least one time has been a refugee. it is not, by millions of europeans, fleeing from religious or political persecution. some were. some dictatorship. we were not fleeing from france in the 17th century.
jews, many others fleeing from germany during the nazi era of the '30s and the '40s of the last century. spanish republicans fleeing to refugee camps in southern france at the end of the 1930s after their defeat in the civil war. hungarian revolution ears fleeing austria and elsewhere, everywhere in europe after were uprising. [ applause ]. after the uprising who was oppressed by soviet tanks in 1956. czec slovac seeking exile in 1968.
hundreds, hundreds of thousands were forced to flee from their homes after and during the yugoslav wars. that was the end of the last century. not centuries ago. by the end of the last century, the last decade of the 20th century. have we forgotten that there was a reason there were more living in the united states than the entire population of scotland? there is a reason the numbers in the u.s. exceeds by far those living in ireland. have we forgotten that 20 million people of polish an century live outside poland as a result of political and economic immigration after they were
forced into settlements during poland's so often painful history. have we really forgotten that after the second world war, 60 million people were refugees in europe. that as a result of this terrible european experience, a global protection regime, the 1951 geneva convention was established to grant refuge to those who jumped the walls in europe to escape from war and total oppression. we europeans should note and should never for get why giving refuge and complying with the fundamental right is so important. the fundamental right is one of the most important international and european venues. we should not forget that. [ applause ].
i've said in this house and elsewhere, in the past, that we are too seldom of your european heritage and our european project. yes, in spite of our fragility, of our weaknesses, our self-perceived weaknesses, today it is europe is a place of refuge and exile. it is europe today that we present displays of hope, an ability in the eyes of women at the men in the middle east. this is something to be proud of and not something to father.
ladies and gentlemen, in spite of many differences amongst the member states is by far the healthiest place and the most stable continent in the world. those who are criticizing europe, the european integration, european construction, european union, have to make this is the place of peace and this is the place of first ability and we should be proud of this. we have -- [ applause ]. >> we have the means of those fleeing from war, terror, oppression. many now want to say this is all
very well but you cannot take everybody. it is true that europe cannot house all the misery in the world. but let us be honest and put things into perspective. it is certainly an important number of refugees coming to europe at the moment. however, there is 11% of the total european union population. 11. refugees represent 25% of the population in a country which has only one-fifth of wealth we do enjoy in the european union. who are we making this kind of comparisons? who are we? [ applause ].
>> let us be clear with our citizens. as long as there is a war in syria and terror in libya, the refugee crisis will not simply go away. we can build towards. but imagine for a second if it were you, your child, the world you knew torn apart around you. there is no price you would not pay. there is no wall you would not climb. no sea you would not go to sea. no border you would not cross if
it is a war of the so-called islamic state you are fleeing. we are fighting against the islamic czech state. why are we not willing to accept those people fleeing the islamic state? we have to accept those people. [ applause ]. it is time to act to manage the refugee crisis. because there is no alternative to this. there has been a lot of finger pointing. not enough finger pinning. but too much finger pointing in the past two weeks. member states have accused each other of not doing enough or doing the wrong thing. and more often that no fingers
have been pointed. if member states are not doing their job, the european parliament is accused of not doing the job. [ applause ]. we could all be -- not all. the majority of the house, myself, my commission could be angry about this blame game. but i wonder who that would serve. being angry does not help anyone. blaming others does not help the refugees. and blaming others is often politicians, policymakers, sometimes lawmakers are overwhelmed by unexpected events.
instead, we should rather recall what has been agreed that can help. it is time to look at what is on the table and move swiftly forward. we are not staffing a new. since the early years of this century, the commission, not mine, the one of manuel barbosa, has consistently tabled legislation to build the common european parliament system. and the parliament have connected this legislation piece by piece. and the last piece of legislation to force just in july 2015. two months ago. because in europe we now have
common standards for the way we accept asylum seekers. with respect to their dignity, the way we process the applications, and we have some criteria which our independent justice systems use to determine whether someone is entitled to be the national protection. but these standards need to be implemented entirely and respected in practice. and this is clearly not the case. before the summer, not after the summer. before the summer the commission started the first tiers of 32 infringement proceedings to member states of what they had previously agreed to do. it doesn't matter. we are doing. we are ledge slating and we are not implements.
it is a matter of credibility that they are implements and respecting commonly agreed international and european laws. [ applause ]. a second tier of infringement being followed in the days to come. current asylum standards are important, but they are not enough to probe the current refugee crisis. the commission, the parliament, the council said in the spring that we need a comprehensive european agenda on migration. we proposed this as a commission in may. and it would be unfair to say that nothing has changed that.
122,000 lives have been saved since then. one lost is one too many. it is too many. but many more have been rescued that would have been lost otherwise. an increase of 250%. we should be proud of that performance. [ applause ]. 29 member states are participating in the joint operation in italy. 102 guest officers from 20 countries, 31 ships, four fixed wing aircrafts, and four transport strikers. this is the first measure of
european solidarity in action. even more will have to be done. we have doubled our efforts to take among us and dismantle human traffickers group. they are not harder to come by lead to go larger people putting on unsea worthy boats. as a result, the mood has stabilized to 115,000 arriving during the month of august. the same, the same as last year. we now need to achieve a similar stabilization, which has clearly been neglected by all parties. >> the european union is in
global efforts for the refugee crisis. 4 billion have been mobilized by the european commission. that means by you too. that states humanitarian development and assistance for syrians, in the country and to refugees and their host communities in laboring lebanon, jordan, iraq, turkey, and egypt. indeed, just today, we launched two new projects to provide schooling to 240,000 refugees in turkey. and by the way, i would like to applaud the efforts of jordan, of turkey, and of lebanon. >> [ applause ].
these countries by far poorer than we are, they are making efforts we should applaud to and we should recognize. and in moral and in financial talks. we have collectively committed to resettling over 22,000 people from outside of europe over the next year. in solidarity with our neighbors. of course this remains very modest. too modest. there are efforts undertaken by turkey, jordan, lebanon hosting over 4 million syrian refugees. some member states are showing the unwillingness to step up resettlement efforts. this will allow us very soon to
come forward with a structured system to cool european settlement efforts more systematically. it has to be done. and it can be done. europe has clearly under delivered this uncommon solidarity with regard to the jeff rhees who are out of our territory. to me it is clear that the states where refugees first arrived and at the moment these are italy, greece, hungary, cannot be left alone to cope with this enormous challenge. [ applause ]. this is why the commission already proposed an emergency mechanism be made. not now, back in may, to locate
initially $40,000 people seeking international protection from italy and greece. and this is why today we are proposing a second emergency mechanism to relocate the further 120,000 people from italy, greece, and hungary. this has to be done in a positive way. [ applause ]. i call on member states to adopt the commission proposals on the emergency relocation of altogether 160,000 refugees at the council of interior ministers on the 14th of september. we are talk building 40,000. but 120,000. it is 160,000. that's the number. europeans have to take charge and have to take in arms.
and i really hope this time everyone will be on board. no rhetorics. action is what is needed tore the time being. [ applause ]. what is happening to human beings, we are talking about europeans. we are not talking numbers. human beings coming from syria and libya today could easily be the case in ukraine tomorrow. how we are making elections, are we distinguishing between christians, jews, muslims? this continent has made the bet appearance to extinguish. there is no religion. there is no belief. there is no philosophy whether it comes to refugees and to
those who are here. [ applause ]. ladies and gentlemen, winter is approaching. do we really want to have families speaking in stations in budapest and elsewhere, in tents, cold tents during the night. because we are in charge of the window period for those who have to flee their countries for the reasons i have mentioned. of course the location alone will not solve the issue. it is true that we also need to
settle way those clear need of international protection and are very likely to apply for asylum successfully. and those who are leaving the country for other reasons which do not fall under the right of a asylum. this is why today the commission is proposing a common use of safe countries of origin. this list will enable member states of countries that are presumed to live safe in. the presumption of safety must, in our view, certainly apply to all countries with european council. they have to meet the basic area for new membership. notably, democracy, the rule of
law, and fundamental rights. it should also apply to other potential candidate countries on the western balkans if that progress is made towards the candidate states. and of course the list of safe countries is only a procedural certification. it cannot take away, and i will a act strongly against that, the fundamental right of asylum for asylum seekers coming from albania, bosnia, the former yugoslav public of macedonia, macedonia, turkey. but focus those refugees which are much more likely to be granted asylum, notably those from syria. and this focus is very much needed in the current situation.
at least safe countries is not taking away asylum rights from those people from the countries listed. that's important. it is important. we are not neutralizing the geneva convention. [ applause ]. >> asylum is a right. [ applause ]. and the countries on the list of being safe countries have to know that they are taking off of this list because fundamental rights would not be assured in these countries. they are lose their chance to join the european union. these two things are going together. safe, yes. but -- >> [ applause ].
>> it is time we have more fundamental change in the way we deal with asylum applications. and notably the asylum applications be dealt with by the first country of entry. we need more europe in our asylum policy. we need more union in our refugee post. two european refugee, it requires solidarity to be permanently anchored in our policy approach and our rules. this is why today the commission is also proposing a permanent relocation mechanism which are permanent relocation mechanism which allow us to deem the crisis situations most willfully in the future, more swiftly in the future. that means more swiftly than in the past.
on account of refugee and asylum requires asylum policies after it is granted. member states need to take a second look at their support, integration and inclusion policies. the commission is ready to look into how you can support these efforts. and i'm strongly in favor, i'm strongly in favor of allowing asylum seekers to work and to earn their own money once the applications are being processed. [ applause ]. labor, work, being on a job is another dignity. those who are working are finding back the dignity they had before they were leaving.
and so we should do everything to change our national legislation in order to allow refugees, migrants to work since day one of their arrival in europe. a united refugee and asylum policy also requires stronger efforts to secure our eternal votes. fortunately in europe we have given that up in member states of the area to guarantee free movement of people. unique symbol of european integration and this giant system will not be abolished under the mandate of this commission. [ applause ]. but the other side of the coin is we must work together more
closely to manage the external because. this is what our citizens expect. i said it during the election campaign together with martin, together with gee, together with -- no, no, no. i'm not pointing at mrs. keller. but i was just thinking cyprus. i'm not confusing the two. we need to -- bitte? [speaking foreign language] sorry. we need to develop it into a
fully operational european border and coast guard system. that is certainly feasible. it costs money. the commission believes this is money well invested. this is why we propose ambitious steps to a european coast guard before the end of this year. a united european migration policy also means that we need to look into opening legal channels for migration. [ applause ]. but let us be clear. this will not help in addressing the refugee crisis we are currently in. but a man safe, controlled open
to europe we can manage migration better and make it work and illegally less attractive. let's not forget we are an aging country in demographics. we will be needing talents. talents coming from everywhere in the world. over time, migrations:n8; must e from a problem to be tackled to a well-managed resource. the commission forward to be well designed legal immigration package in early 2016. this is highly important. migration has to be legalize said. it's not sufficient to protest against illegal immigration. we have to organize legal ways to europe. [ applause ].
a lasting solution is going to come if we address the root causes. the reasons why we are facing this important refugee crisis. our european policy must be more assertive. we can no longer think like this in regard to war or stability rights with our neighbor. we have to find a solution. maybe that we are to be achieving this. we have to address in a more solution the syrian crisis.
i call it an offensive european diplomatic offensive to address the crisis in syria and in libya. we need a stronger europe when it comes to foreign policy. [speaking foreign language] . our highly determined, highly represented because she is highly determined has prepared the ground for such diplomatic success in europe. she has prepared to go on for such initiative with a diplomatic success in the iran nuclear talks. and i would like to congratulate
frederika for that extraordinary experience. [ applause ]. in order to facilitate the work, the commission today is proposing to establish an emergency trust fund starting with 1.8 billion from our common new financial means to address the crisis to all of africa and north of africa. we want to help create lasting stability for instance, by creating employment opportunities to communities and thereby address the root causes for displacements and illegal migration. i expect all, all new member states to pitch in and match our ambitio ambitions. we need this in order to prevent
future crises. [ applause ]. and to be higher development budgets. i don't like the expression development. a corporation, budgets. it is abnormal that member states of european union are reducing their budgets. they have to be increased. [ applause ]. i do not want mr. president to create any illusions that the refugee crisis will be over any time soon. it will not. and we have to know that. but pushing back boats from piers, setting fire to refugee camps, or turning a blind eye to poor and helpless people, that is not europe. [ applause ].
europe, that's the baker who gives away his bread to hungry and weary souls. europe is the students in munich and in pasa who are close for the new arrivals at the station. those standing at the munich station applauding refugees. [ applause ]. the europe i want to live in is illustrated by those who are helping. the europe i don't want to live in is a europe refusing those in need.
the crisis is dark. and the journey of course is beyond. i'm counting on you in this house, the house of european democracy and of member states to show european going forward in line with our common values and history. [speaking foreign language] >> translator: dear friends, as many of you are, i realize that i have already exceeded the speaking time which would normally be allocated to me for my state of the union address. as has been the case for a president in the commission, but i do need to take some time given the situation to talk about a number of other issues. first of all, greece, of which is very close to my heart.
we've had very serious debates about the greek crisis. it's a debate which affects us all very profoundly. it's been a difficult debate. and i endeavor at great lengths to explain to the president of greece that we were a democratic country on a democratic basis. and here you are members of parliament and parliamentary subscribe to the principal of parliamentary democracy which is paramount in the 18 other countries which form the eurozone. the commission has been attacked by certain member states who felt that they were not necessarily able to accept the proposals aimed at finding a
solution to the greek crisis. i said then and i would reiterate here today, as i said before, that the commission has a weighted duty and one of them is to be the custodian of the general interest. so the commission has to deal with the greek issue because failing to do this would have been a great weakness on our part and it would have been a failure on the part of the commission and dereliction of its duty. therefore, we did what we thought was right and we felt was our duty. and in that context, obviously, we have been subject to criticism from various quarters. but i felt that it was important that i was engaged in this debate. despite the excellent work done by the staff, civil servant necessary brussels throughout
the holidays and the parliamentary recess. i did not feel that it was correct or proper to leave it up to the civil servant toes resolve the greek crisis. we ourselves are deeply involved in it but myself and the other commissioners are deeply involved in trying to find a solution to a pressing problem. the commission and its president felt that it was not an option to fail, to find a solution to the nuclear crisis. the grexit was not an option. the greek authorities at the time, it was important that they
understood and this means that they would be -- at any cost. i was not a magician, as i said to you. i couldn't pull a rabbit out of a hat and so forth. i had to make sure he understood that grexit was a possibility but it was not something that was absolutely excluded as a last resort. so we felt we did what we had to do. and i have always believed that this is our responsibility. the greek issue is not just a question of consolidating public finances and structural funds, although that is extremely important, yes. it is towards a much more weighted problem than that affecting the whole issue of economic growth in the country, especially in the european union and so forth. and i think that the european utah is delighted to have greece
as a member and i have been profoundly perturbed by comments in recent months that greece should leave the european union and that it wasn't a serious minded partner in europe. i think that the greeks who were least well off are hard working people who are doing their absolute utmost to try to ensure that their country does make progress. and i think we need to show respect to the greeks and there has been a failure to do that in some quarters in recent times. we have agreed on the program, as you know, and i would like this by the greek government and negotiated it and be future greek governments. there are aing in open -- and in the past, some of these
agreements have been floated in the european union and the eurozone. but i think this time we all need to realize that we are serious and for real. and we require respect of the arrangements and agreements that have been reached. 35 billion has been allocated to this fund to generate economic and social growth in the republic of greece and i would like an offer which is not simply a gift in generosity, but it's an offer made in the european spirit. i would like it to be respected and accepted for what it is in greece and to think that we can make progress. the crisis is, of course, not finished. for all we feel that we have managed to make progress in the greek crisis and bring it towards a resolution are over 17 million people in the eurozone
who are unemployed. and the levels of unemployment are absolutely unacceptable in europe and economic recession will only be over once we have full employment in europe. sometimes i pause to reflect on why it should be that a country which is as rich as europe is should be so far away from respecting the fundamental rules which should be respected by all men and women, old and young. every individual has to be entitled to a job, and this is something that is of paramount importance in europe. we need to return to a situation of full employment. this is far from impossible. of course, this will presuppose that we continue to consolidate
our budget. and to work on structural reform and to invest. these are three strands of our vital policy and the council has before it an investment plan, 315 billion investment plan which we hope will be launched in detail in the foreseeable future. i think that all those who are in positions of power and responsibility in companies, unions and politics in the european union should be working in favor of growth in europe. this should be their mantra. the plan, of course, paradoxically has been up tight, the juncker plan. but it is, in fact, a plan for investment and i certainly
amount xhipt committed to making it a success not just because of its association with my name personally. and i like to think that everybody involved with it will do their utmost because it is vital for growth and employment. >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, members of parliament, this is all very important, but on its own, it is not enough. we need to have a clearer strategic vision of where we are going in the future and this is why. we have the five presidents program on deepening the european union. not just on the interest of my autobiography, but on principal, i wanted my partialment to be involved in this work.
we have produced this report for the european parliament. this is a report which looks forward to the future of european monetary unions which, of course, will involve the european parliament intimately. this is why i wanted your president to be involved right from the outset in the work that was being done. he presented a collective vice president on our proposal. we weren't all happy all the time, but we thought it was up to the essential that we had an constitutional discussion and approach on all of this. therefore, i can assure you that all have been factored in this report and i feel it is essential. looking into the future, that the parliament has a much stronger role to play. it should be involved in economic government in the
european union. and i have been -- since 1991 when i was the minister finance in luxembourg and working closely at that time with nicola schmidt. when i was chairing the intergovernmental conference, there were a number of people who were in favor of economic governance. other than myself, i am still here and i'm still with you. apparently eternal in my position in europe. at that point, we wanted to come up with a treaty which enshrined