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tv   Democratic Platform Drafting Committee Holds Second Day of Hearings  CSPAN  June 9, 2016 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT

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better workplace for themselves and for their coworkers. union members have a voice on the job. they have bargaining rights. however, fewer working people than ever have the chance to join a union because they face harassment by companies who use fear and intimidation to stop them. the national labor relations act declares that collective bargaining is the policy of the united states. on paper, maybe in practice, not at all. thousands of workers have been fired and tens of thousands more intimidated by managers whose goal is to block workers' legal right to a union voice and bargaining rights. but when working people can make a fair choice, when management agrees to remain neutral in organizing campaigns, when legislation like the workplace democracy act introduced by senator sanders and congressman pocan, and supported by leading
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democrats, is enforced, the promise of bargaining rights becomes a reality. the workplace democracy act would make majority sign-up an option for workers to choose a union. the legislation also would prohibit companies from refusing to seriously bargain a first contract with provisions for binding arbitration. cwa knows first-hand that when working people can choose union representation without a management attack campaign, they do so. at at&t mobility, where the company has agreed to remain neutral in union organizing, 55,000 workers, just about 100% of all eligible workers, have joined cwa. the first place the workers signed up at at&t mobility was in jackson, mississippi. number two, stop the economic
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handout to the 1%. big money in politics pushed by the 1% is corrupting our democracy. we need real limits on political contributions. and we need to expand small dollar public financing for campaigns. i come from new york where there is a publicly financed 6 for 1 match for donations in new york city elections. it works. that's how candidates become more responsive to voters. that's how we get money out and voters in. our economy is rigged against working people who play by the rules, and working people know it. established companies are sold. jobs are slashed, and sent offshore. communities face a tremendous loss of tax revenue, yet the hedge fund managers and dealmakers just get richer. members of my union just ended a seven-week strike at verizon. they were forced to strike
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because this $100 billion company kept insisting on cuts in jobs and compensation. all because the company valued wall street over the frontline technicians and customer service representatives who are the source of the company's productivity and profits. because these workers have bargaining rights, we were able to secure good jobs and improve their standard of living. we must enact policies that end taxpayer subsidization on run away wall street greed and make wall street pay its fair share of taxes. we need to break up the big banks and enact a 21st century glass-steagall to craeate a mor robust banking system. we must closed the interest loophole which allows hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than working people. and end the taxpayer subsidies for outrageous corporate
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executive pay by closing the performance pay loophole. we must join the rest of the advanced financial economies of the world by passing a robust financial transaction tax that deterred risky high-speed trading and provides adequate revenues. half steps are not enough, and we should establish public banking through the u.s. postal service. number three, adopt a new model for trade policy. working people have seen more than 20 years of trade deals bargained by and for multinational corporations. despite countless promises, each successive deal was worse than the last, resulting in millions of lost jobs in the united states. the trans-pacific partnership extends the worst compoints of deals like nafta. cwa supports a fair trade model
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that includes enforceable rules against currency manipulation, required countries to adopt and enforce strong labor and environmental protections before we enter into trade agreements. and that insures that workers, consumers, and environmentalists can enforce provisions of our trade agreements using the same mechanisms being made available to investors in the current tpp. a fair trade policy can't only be about investment rights. it needs to be about workers' rights, too. the tpp is not fair trade policy. the dnc must reject it. again, thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today. and i'll answer any questions. >> questions? no questions. thank you very much. thank you. >> thank you. >> barbara carr was vice president and office manager
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with a commercial construction company for 25 years before entering the health care profession 12 years ago. now, as a receptionist as dudley's home health care, she greets both visitors and callers with a friendly smile and voice. she's a member of the seiu. >> thank you, congressman cummings and members of the drafting committee for the opportunity to testify before you today. my name is barbara carr. i'm a home care worker from flint, michigan. i'm a dedicated union worker and active in my community. i'm a mother of three great kids, a student at the university of michigan flint, personally, my masters degree in health care. i'm a care giver -- i have been a care giver all my life. i took care of elderly neighbors while i was growing up. for the past 15 years, i have been a professional home care worker. my work, bathing, dressing, helping people with basic bodily
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function, preparing meals and keeping track of medicine. it allows most vulnerable members of my community to live at home and be independent with dignity. my community is struggling. flint has been in the news a lot lately. we have been struggling for decades. before it was our water, it was the pollution in our land, the failing school system that haven't met our children's needs, a widespread inability to put gas in the car, buy groceries and still pay the rent on time. i have been friends with neighbors who can't help to pay for the care they need living in their own homes. i know the pain when the elderly neighbor doesn't get the necessary care and hasn't been able to clean their house or take their crash out for a month. i know the pain when a neighbor's kid moves away and a small fall in the tub means a trip to the hospital. a permanent institution, or worse. and despite the fact i care and provide, the only thing that stands between people's ability to live in their own homes or
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separated from the communities and institutions, i earn $ an hour. i know how it feels to choose between putting gas in the car or food on the table. i know what it's like to be able to afford work or child care. it's hard for me to continue caring for our families when i can barely afford to feed my own family. everyone should have access to the services they need so they can live in their own homes with dignity and unless. and no one should be paid poverty wages and denied decent wages to do this important work. we have higher wages, we need a union, we need access to quality care for our aging loved ones. we need a clean city with clean water that is not poisoned. we need safe schools and quality child care so our children can reach their full potential. we need a country with family is welcomed into american community. my life isn't just about one issue and neither is the democratic party's.
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all of our issues are linked in because policy and politics aren't just ideas. they're real life. i know together we can build a stronger, healthier, safer, better future. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you very much. i just want you to know that what happened in flint and what is happening in flint is un-american. that is not how we should be treating our fellow citizens. and you know. i spent a lot of time on this issue and we're going to continue to fight. >> we appreciate it. >> thank you very much. >> dr. david wolfson is the 12th president of morgan state university. he came to morgan from university of wisconsin where he was chancellor of both the university of wisconsin colleges
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and university of wisconsin extension. in february 2010, president barack obama appointed him to his 11-member board of advises s of black colleges and universities. his educational philosophy is to always put the students first. leader pelosi told us all that she got very proud of her honorary degree she got from morgan. thank you for being with us. >> thank you very much, chairman cummings and members of the platform drafting committee. my name is david wolfson. i serve as president of morgan state university in baltimore. and i also serve as a member of president obama's board of advisers on historically black colleges and universities or hbcus as they are commonly called. i extend thanks for being invited to give testimony on the critical role of hbcus and consistently educating a
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disproportionately large number of competitive graduates for over 180 years in this country. graduates who gave lives to and have been able to sustain a robust black middle class in this country. given their impressive achievements over 180 years, it is critically important that these institutions be at the center of and a target for a more substantial national investment if our great nation desires to continue leading the world in innovation, in economic growth and prosperity, and in educational attainment. i want to do four things with my brief three-minute testimony this afternoon. first, i just want to say a word or two about hbcus came into existence. second, i want to provide a few reasons why i feel they're so important to the american landscape today, and third, i'll offer you two recommendations to
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cogitate as we move forward with the drafting. the first college to be established in america was harvard university in 1636, over 380 years ago, but the mission of harvard was to education the sons of the wealthy. it did not admit women, nor did it admit african-americans. only white males. and so from 1636 to roughly 1860, the only colleges that dotted the american landscape were the ivy league colleges as we know them today. yale, princeton, columbia, brown, cornell, penn, dartmouth, and also the college of william and mary, and then queens college and rutgers university of new jersey today. all of these institutions were private institutions. in the late 1850s, america felt a need for a larger group of colleges with different missions, if the nation was going to develop and advance as a nation. justin maul, that great senator from vermont, introduced an act
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passed in congress in 1862 and as a result of that act, which really promoted agricultural and mechanical colleges, we had those institutions like iowa state and university of maryland and michigan state and auburn and lsu and the university of georgia and the like. but those colleges also did not admit blacks. and so shortly after the civil war, the nation established a bureau, and that was an effort to help the newly freed slaves acquire some form of education in the south. and eventually, that bureau brought into existence a handful of colleges for blacks. colleges like fisk university in tennessee, and of course howard university here in washington. but the federal government did not require once again those 1862 public land grant colleges to admit blacks. instead, congress passed another moral act in 1890 to create separate institutions, pub lg
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institutions, for balacks. and that's how we got alabama a&m, and the federal government in addition to religious denominations played a central role in establishing the great majority of institutions we know today as hbcus. so despite what has been an inauspicious beginning, this country's hbcus have established a remarkable record of achievement over 180-degree period. a large portion of prominent african-american leaders nationally in the 20th and 21st centuries trace their success to being educated at an hbcu, and many international leaders in africa and areas of the african diasprau point to that heritage. the role these institutions have played and continue to play in educating the african-american community is evident everywhere. the impact has been felt strongly and is clearly evident
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in education and government and business and industry and entertainment and science and engineering, and virtually every profession. the fact that the founding of the nation's hbcus, the fact is that that is one of the single most important developments i think in the history of this nation. and these institutions have made and continue to make one of the greatest contributions to the development and to the progress of america as any set of institutions in the history of this great nation. i think our hbcus are one of this country's hidden and unappreciated treasures. and it is past time for us as a nation to acknowledge it. these institutions don't need in the words of langston hughes to go into the kitchen when company comes. they are the company. and they must be at the table and bring our immense knowledge and experience to bear on the discussions that aim to shape the direction of higher education in this country.
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so with very limited resources and sometimes great opposition, hbcus have with unbelievable determination and the will to survive and to prosper, they have educated a population that many other institutions and higher education have ignored. in the process of doing so, they have been the nation's most effective institutions in providing quality education to that population. today, these institutions enroll about 400,000 students annually, but they graduate nearly 25% of all undergraduate degrees earned by african-americans. even though collectively, they only represent 3% of all higher education institutions in this nation. that is indeed quite impressive. a recent national science foundation study showed that 9 of the top 10 institutions in america producing blacks in s.t.e.m. fields are hbcus.
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that study also revealed that 53% of all blacks in the united states with degrees in agriculture got them from hbcus. 42% of all blacks in biology, 35% of all blacks in computer science, 33% of all blacks in engineering, 43% of all blacks in mathematics. 50% of all public school teachers, 70% of all dentists, the only institution of morgan, we're number one in the nation in producing african-american electrical engineers. industrial engineers, number one in the nation in producing african-american civil engineers. that's just if you will a swath of the contributions made by these institutions. and so in closing, i would like to applaud the dnc and both senator hillary clinton and senator sanders because there's a recognition on the part of all three of those institutes that
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the centrality of hbcus to the ability of this nation to realize critical education, economic, work force, entrepreneurial, scientific, sustainability and security goals is evident. there is an acknowledgment that these mission based institutions or exemplars in cost containment and in graduating disproportionate percentages of the growing populations of this nation. persons who are low income and persons of color and that hbcus are having a major affirmative impact on closing the nation's access, achievement, and attainment gaps. i share with you two recommendations i have been in conversation with and involved with, have been shaped by the national association for equal opportunity and higher education. these national association that represents all 105 of the nation's hbcus in the country. the first is i would encourage you to consider in the
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establishment of a $1 billion historically black colleges and universities college promise fund. this fund would be designed to address the need to grow and sustain the endowments of hbcus. such an investment is needed to enable these diverse mission-based, equal educational opportunity institutions to become less reliant on student tuition and fees and be able to provide gap funding to assist their disproportionately low income students to meet unmet financial need in order to enable them to persist and graduate at higher rates, and the second is i would ask your consideration of the inclusion in the high er education reauthorization of incentives for more colleges and universities to education low-income and racial and ethnic minority students and rewards for those institutions that are graduating disproportionate
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percentages of the growing population in this country. the provision of costs of education direct aid to institutions and the percentage, not numbers, of financially needed students they graduate would be a cost effective way of moving the nation in this direction. and so in closing, i think a simple litmus test of what the relevancy of this country's hbcus today is simply this question. where would this country, indeed the world, be today had it not been for the students, the hbcus enrolled and are enrolling, the alumni they graduated, the leaders they have produced, and the impact those leaders have had and are having on their states, on the nation, and on the world. the answer to that question will tell you just how much these institutions have shaped the past and their relevancy in shaping the future.
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>> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you. and we will -- we are about to take the 1:20 break, ladies and gentlemen. we will take two questions. i think reese and elson. and we have to be brief. i'm sorry. this issue is near and dear to me as a graduate of howard university. my wife and everybody in my family graduated from hbcus. it's not a personal thing. but we've got to move the schedule. so ms. reese and mr. ellison, brief questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is a big issue for me on the platform. as a graduate in central state, can you expound, because i know that leader pelosi talked about not just having a statement but putting some action. can you expound on the $1
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billion promise fund and what that might look like in our platform? because i think that is key to not just saying we support black colleges but actually putting some money behind it. can you expound a little bit on that? >> the way we are discussing this at the national level, we have details that we can provide the committee during the drafting. but it would be even a challenge fund, where institutions would raise dollars from alumni, corporations, foundations, this $1 billion would be there to match what these institutions would raise on an annual basis up to a certain amount. this is the way in which many of the institutions would actually sustain themselves for decades and decades to come. and we will provide more documentation and details. >> mr. ellison. >> could you respond to this recent article that historically black colleges are paying more to issue bonds than institutions of comparable financial
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strength? this is potentially a real drain on black colleges. and what's the extent of the problem? and what can be done about it? and we're looking at legislation, perhaps a platform to fix it, what is your take on the problem? >> we, too, have been following this. it's very alarming to those of us who are in this space. we at morgan have been able to maintain a very strong bond rating, a bond rating is the top amongst this genre of institutions. however, those institutions have paid more in the issuance of bonds, and there should be a means to investigate why that is the case and why they are paying more than other institutions that are similarly situated. >> this is an apples to apples comparison? >> an apples to apples comparison based on what we're looking at, yes. there are some issues there that are worthy of further
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explanation. >> dr. wilson, thank you very much. to the other witnesses, we will get to you at 2:00. and we will come back, committee, at 2:00 on the dot. all right? thank you very much. [ applause ]
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the second day of the democratic national committee platform hearing now taking a lunch break. a late break, which should go until about 2:00 eastern time. members focused this morning on domestic issues. we'll continue with several more witnesses on domestic issues when they return. and then we'll turn to foreign policy for the rest of the day. the dnc holding its mid-atlantic platform hearings ahead of the party's convention in philadelphia this coming july. and our live coverage of the platform hearing will continue here on c-span3.
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senator bernie sanders is in washington, d.c. he'll have a rally later on today. and he met with president obama at the white house. afterwards, he spoke briefly with reporters just outside the white house. >> thank you, all. let me begin by thanking president obama and thanking vice president biden for the degree of impartiality they established during the course of this entire process. what they said in the beginning is that they would not put their thumb on the scales, and in fact, they kept their word, and i appreciate that very, very much. our campaign has been about building a movement which brings
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working people and young people into the political process to create a government which represents all of us and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors. we will continue doing everything that we can to oppose the drift which currently exists 23rd an alogarkic form of society where a handful of billionaires exercise enormous power over our political, economic, and media life. this is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. we should not be having millions of senior citizens and disabled veterans struggling to put food on the table because of inadequate social security benefits. we should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of
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almost any major country on earth. we should not be having americans in inner cities, in rural communities, on native american reservations who have life expectancies lower than many people in third-world countries. we should not be having many of our young people leaving college deeply in debt. we should not be having in this great country an infrastructure which is crumbling when we have millions of workers prepare today rebuild that infrastructure. in the midst of all that, we should not be having a situation where wall street corporate america and billionaires are failing to pay their fair share of taxes. these are some of the issues that many millions of americans have supported during my
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campaign. these are the issues that we will take to the democratic national convention in philadelphia at the end of july. donald trump would clearly, to my mind, and i think the majority of americans, be a disaster as president of the united states. it is unbelievable to me, and i say this in all sincerity, that the republican party would have a candidate for president who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign. in my view, the american people will not vote for or tolerate a candidate who insults mexicans and latinos, who insults muslims, who insults african-americans and women.
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needless to say, i am going to do everything in my power, and i will work as hard as i can, to make sure that donald trump does not become president of the united states. i will, of course, be competing in the d.c. primary, which will be held on next tuesday. this is the last primary of the democratic nominating process. the major point that i will be making to the citizens of the district of columbia is that i am strongly in favor of d.c. statehood. the state of vermont, which i represent, has about the same number of residents that washington, d.c. has, except we have two united states senators and one congressman with full rights. while d.c. does not. that does not make any sense. also, i look forward to the full counting of the votes in
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california, which i suspect will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally. i spoke briefly to secretary clinton on tuesday night, and i congratulated her on her very strong campaign. i look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat donald trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%. thank you very much.
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>> senator bernie sanders outside the white house after his meeting today with president obama. more road to the white house coverage coming your way later on as we'll have a rally with senator bernie sanders as you just heard. he's here in washington, ahead of the city's primary. you can watch his remarks live at 7:00 eastern time today here on c-span3. >> a live look here at the hotel in washington, d.c., site of the dnc platform hearing today. the mid-atlantic platform hearings ahead of the party's convention in philadelphia next month. we're awaiting the afternoon session. should get started in about a half hour alpht 2:00 eastern ti. they'll finish on domestic issues and turn to foreign policy for the rest of this afternoon. we'll have it for you live here on c-span3 when the dnc returns to work. again, at 2:00 eastern time.
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until then, you'll see a portion of yesterday's dnc discussions. we'll show you as much as we can until the gavel comes down on today's meeting. >> good afternoon, everyone. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the democratic national convention committee's mid-atlantic forum on the 2016 democratic national platform. i am congressman elijah cummings of maryland. and it is my high honor to chair this panel and to participate in this very important process. i would like to call the meeting on the 2016 platform drafting committee to order. and now i would ask that you
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stand and we will recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag. >> i pledge aliegeants to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> you may be seated. i want to first thank democratic party chair and my distinguished colleague congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz for pointing me to the platform drafting committee. as i shared with this committee, our chairwoman is 100% committed
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to a very open and transparent process that provides ample opportunity for every, and i do express every, viewpoint to be expressed. the chairwoman, ms. wassermann schultz, made it clear that we want a transparent and respectful process of all views. she believes that that approach is not only consistent with our values but is also central to the long-term interests and vitality of our party. and so your leadership is a model for all of us, and i thank you. i also want to thank democratic national convention committee co reverend leah daughtry for her unparalleled in depth organization and management skills that make it possible for us to be here today.
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your team, including platform director andrew wosman is set and will keep us on the path of a process that remains inclusive, open, and fair. from our first conversations today and tomorrow, throughout our deliberations and final recommendations in the days and weeks ahead, it is my pleasure to welcome my colleagues on the committee. other democrats who join us today, and members of the public, as we begin these important conversations about the future of our beloved democratic party. and the future of this great nation. i would also like to thank the individuals who wie'll hear fro today for making time to share your perspectives and recommendations on the issues
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confronting america and the world today. we appreciate your sharing your expertise and we look forward to hearing from you throughout the forum. i'm also delighted to thank so many other democrats who took the time to post written and video testimony on the dnc website. in addition to welcoming those of you here in washington, d.c., i'm delighted to acknowledge everyone who is joining us today through the dncc live stream and, as democrats insuring everyone has an opportunity to listen and engage in this paramount discussion. shirley chism, who was the first african-american woman elected to the congress of the united states of america, and the first black woman to run for president
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in 1972, once said these profound words -- you don't make progress by standing on the sidelines. whimpering and complaining. you make progress by implementing ideas, end of quote. i believe that congresswoman chisom was right. and i am proud to be a democrat because our party has a long trac record of making good ideas a reality. and that's what we're about today. in the 20th century, it was democrats who fought poverty and improved the quality of life for millions of americans by implementing four pillars of progress. social security, medicare, medicaid, and the child health insurance program. i'm proud to be a democrat because ours is the party of
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inclusion. it was our party who fought against discrimination by implementing historic civil and women's rights legislation. today, while the other party stands behind a presidential nominee who openly discriminates against other americans, democrats expect and demand that our doors remain open to all. whether you are a man or woman, gay or straight, muslim or christian, rich or poor, latino, asian, white, or like me, aftn african-american who grew up the son of a share cropper from south carolina who only had a third grade education. our party has an open door policy, and i'm so proud of it.
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i'm a democrat because ours is a party that unselfishly cares about others. i believe with all my heart in the fundamental right of all americans to share in our nation's unbounded process pari prosperity and destiny. we democrats are working to build an economy that works from the middle out, not from the top down. and we seek to leave no one, no one, behind by standing up for those who have the least. it was our party who created and continues to defend programs to provide a safety net for those who are in most need. i'm a democrat because ours is the party of opportunity. someone once said that in our country and our world, we do not have a shortage of talent. we have a shortage of
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opportunity. we believe that every single person should be able to develop and reap the rewards of our god-given talent. our initiatives, our ideas, and our drive. that's why we seek to provide ladders of opportunity to everyone in our country. through quality education, jobs, health care, so that each of us can go as far as our dreams and our hard work will take us. our party has made the dreams of americans our dreams. and we have fought every day with everything we've got to lift up americans and make those dreams come true. i'm a democrat because i believe that health care is a right, not a privilege in our country. i wept, no, i literally cried the day that president obama signed the affordable care act
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into law. it insured that each one of us, every american, would have the opportunity to have health care coverage, and i'm so proud of that. i'm proud to have worked with both hillary clinton and bernie sanders along with hundreds of others to turn that into law. and i do not care how many times the republicans try to unsuccessfully repeal it, because we as a nation will never, we will never turn back. i'm a democrat because ours is the party that embraces diversity. we believe that diversity is not our problem, it is our promise. democrats know that americans prosper when we're all in it together. as we wrote in our last platform, and i quote, we see an america where everyone has a fair shot. does their fair share, plays by
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the same rules. we see an america that outeducates, outbuilds, and outinnovates the rest of the world. we went on to say we see an america with greater economic security and opportunity, driven by education, energy, innovation, and infrastructure, and a tax code that helps to create american jobs and bring down the debt in a balanced way. we believe in deficit reduction, not by placing the burden on the middle class and the poor, but by prioritizing programs that mean the most and by asking the wealthiest to contribute their fair share, end of quote. that was what we strived for under president obama, and that is what we will continue to seek under our next democratic president. finally, i'm a democrat because ours is a party that believes
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that every child, every child, every child should have access to a world-class public education regardless of his or her zip code or background. we are a party that understands clearly that the greatest threat to our national security is the failure to properly educate every single one of our children. i'm proud -- i'm a proud product of our public schools and i know that these schools are essential to the success functioning of our democracy. democrats also fight for affordable access to college and other post-secondary educational opportunities. because we know that these opportunities are the surest path to the middle class. and i'm proud to be a democrat because we stand up for working americans in collaboration with unions, push to increase the
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minimum wage, level pay disparities, enhance job protections for vulnerable workers, and fight to make our workplaces safer. and yes, yes, yes, yes. we believe in equal pay for equal work. i'm a democrat because ours is the party that honors our troops, our military families and our veterans. these brave men and women and their families have borne the burden of war and have made our armed forces the envy of the world. i am proud that we not only support them in the field and fight for them when they come back home. we are democrats. and we as democrats are committed to making sure that we keep working to give our veterans the health care, the benefits, the education and job opportunities that they not only deserve but that they have earned. i'm a democrat because ours is a
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party that strives to expand our democracy. we're not about the business of shrinking people's rights. we're trying to expand people's rights. as democrats, we work to insure that everyone, and hear me, that everyone has the right to vote, because having your vote counted is the most essential american freedom. we know that the so-called voter identification laws can disproportionately burden young people, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly, and students. unlike the other party, we refuse, we absolutely refuse to allow anyone to disenfranchise our fellow american citizens. mostly, though, i'm a democrat because ours is the party that believes passionately in fighting for those people whose
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voices are often not heard but must be heard. mothers, fathers, children, emts, police, firefighters, nurses, doctors, the disabled, and the infirm. students, parents, the young, middle aged, elderly, urban and suburban and rural, the middle class, the working class, and the poor, the gay, the straight, and the transgender. the striving and the struggling, the homeless, the hungry, and the sick and the needy. these are the voices of america, and they are the voices our party must hear today. and we do hear you. i'm a democrat because i believe in these people. everyday people that don't just make up our country but make our
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country great. this platform that we are charged with drafting is important because it is our opportunity to make sure that their voices are heard, and we want to make it clear to every american, your voices will be heard. and so we hear you. we want to incorporate your views in our statement called a platform, and we thank you. to show people as congressman chisom said, that we can make progress together by implementing ideas that work, to show the world our convictions, not just our convictions, our values. to show the world our courage. to show the world our principles. show the world our faith. and to make that clear that ours has been and always will be the party of simple, everyday people. as i have committed to each
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member of the committee and to our democratic presidential campaigns privately, i will say it again for the public record. i commit to make sure that the process we embark upon today general platform committee, i know that we will accomplish this. with that, as we begin our forum
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today, that begins with a lady speaking to us, it gives pleasure to present a different colleague who i have a tremendous amount of respect for. this chair woman, debbie kagszerman schultz. before joining the united states congress, she was first a state representative and later a state senator. ladies and gentlemen, our dnc chair, debbie wassermann schultz. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for incredibly thought
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provoking words that set the absolute perfect tone for all of us as we embark on the process of creating our platform for our party and an expression of our party's values and demonstrating very clearly why i am so thrilled that you accepted my invitation to chair this important committee and take on this incredibly important assignment. thank you so much. thank you. on behalf of the democratic national committee, good afternoon and thank you for being here today. thank you for each of you accepting this incredibly important assignment and thank you for all that you do as leaders in our community and as leaders in our party. these are exciting times. we only get one of these elections every four years and this is our opportunity to remind the american people of who we are, what we offer and
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what we stand for. we have been working to hold donald trump accountable for the shameful racist things he says. his reprehensible i plans to take our country back. he happy keeping us very, very busy. but we are not taking anything for granted and that means it's time to make sure we are putting the spotlight on the many reasons americans have to vote against trump. like the fact that he swindled hardworking seniors, veterans and families out of their savings with his fraudulent university or rooted for the foreclosure crisis. the list gets long and i don't have all day. i wanted to make sure we could hear from the folks we gathered here to hear from. there is one issue that is worth what they said with a judge born in indiana. if he truly believes that a person's ethnic heritage can
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disqualify them from serving as a judge, what's to stop him from saying someone's race, gender or sexual orientation can strip them of other rights and opportunities and to hold elected office or the right to vote? frankly with this episode more than any other, trump disqualified himself from holding a position as important as the presidency. we are going to keep holding him accountable. of that you can be sure. it's not enough to give voters a reason to vote against trump. it's time to gear up for the general election and give the american people a clear vision of what they will be voting for when they cast their ballot for a democrat. that is the vital task that each of you individually and collectively undertake today. we are here to kickoff the process where we can share with the american people what the democratic party stands for and leave now doubt that it is our party that shares their values and speaks to their aspirations.
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it is your task, the task of the platform committee and subcommittee to bring together voices from across our party from all of our campaigns and our voters. this is an open process and hall mark of the democratic party. every cycle we do more and more to engage and include the american people. we made sure campaigns were represented and 75% of the members of this drafting committee were recommended by the presidential candidates. when we are done, the process will be the most representative and inclusive in our history. arriving at a consensus will no doubt be a task, but i am confident that it will be a success. that is a no small measure. we are enormously fortunate to have a man of unquestionable integrity and legislative experience and a lifetime of dedication as he outlined in excruciating important detail to
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democratic ideals chairing this committee. congressman elijah cummings and that is why i asked him to take on the responsibility. thank you so much for accepting this important task. we want to make our case to the american people. we will talk about the convention in a moment. before i hand it over, i want to take a brief look at what the last platform meant to the nation and the people to give you a sense of what this work means for our future. this is not just an exercise in which we phone it in and produce a document that gathers dust on a shelf. our 2012 party platform called on democrats to condition rebuilding the middle class after the great recession and
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put more americans back to work. under president obama, we had 75 consecutive months of economic growth and 14 million new private sector jobs have been created. our 2012 party platform called for reducing the deficit and making the tax code more progressiv we cut deficits by almost three quarters and almost all americans saw tax relief while tax earners pay a little more. on national security, our party platform recognized that the cornerstone of our engagement is experiment to building strong alliances which were badly damaged. our platform, president obama promoted national security by strengthening relationships with key allies and we worked with our allies and continue to work with our partners to counter e merginging threats in the middle east and asia. the president made it clear to
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allies that our democratic values will continue to drive our foreign policy. he returned from a visit to japan, making him the first sitting president to visit hir shim a strengthening our asia-pacific relations. instead of the isolationism, he recognizes that we must work with mexico and our neighbors as equal partners based on mutual interest and respect. he has stood against provocations from countries like north korea and actions made clear that we will continue to stand strong with our allies including israel and ensure her security. our party platform called to stand up for the affordable care act and defend the dream of health care against the calls for repeal and i can tell you definitely that i take that very personally as a breast cancer survivor who would be job loss away from being uninsured because of having a preexisting condition like 135 million
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americans who have a preexisting continue. we are not going back. just last month for the first time in our nation's history, 90% of americans had access to affordable health care. 90%. that number alone doesn't do justice to all that it represents. the diseases and cancers, wounds healed and lives extended. comfort for the dieing and peace for families. the concrete accomplishments of the obama era are too numerous to list here today, but one thing is clear, on issue after issue when democrats are elected, we deliver on the promises and the nation is stronger for it. the people are more prosperous and allies can depend on a stable foreign policy. the people are healthier and more productive and seniors can depend on a more secure retirement and children can depend on the promise of a brighter future full of opportunity. on each of these issues we know
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that donald trump would only drag us backwards. even though we have come a long way, we have so much more to fight for. much further to go and that work begins anew now together. all of you. all of you will help determine the path for building on our progress. it's up to each of you individually and collectively to show the american people what the next democratic president of the united states and democrats up and down the ballot stand for. we have to show them what we are made of. as chair, the only request i have is that you come and offer the american people a platform that reflects hopes, dreams and aspirations. a platform that attracts an electorate as diverse and rich as our country itself. a platform that prizes optimism and over obstruction and inaction. the places people over profit and unity over division. this is a complex task with no perfect answers and i do not promise you that it is going to
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be an easy one. everything is on the table. and nothing is off limits. when you disagree as congressman cummings said, do it without being disagreeable. we have seen what results on the other side come from being disagreeable. do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. the government that works and works well in service to the people. we all believe we can have economic growth and economic fairness. this is not an either or proposition. we hope you will be guided by the tenets of our party and not confined by them we hope it reflects the great diversity and set the stage for historic victories this yf november. i want to thank the staff and the democratic national convention committee and of course please join me in tanking the staff who helped us put on this meeting today.
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thank you very much. [ applause ] thank you. now it's my great honor and privilege to introduce my friend and the ceo, reverend. thank you. >> thank you for that warm welcome and unprecedented decision to expand the platform process and this is a testament to the commitment as democrats to ensuring that every voice is heard. to chairman cummings for decades, you provided balanced and measured leadership to the people of maryland and to your colleagues in the congress and i have no doubt that under your leadership, the drafting committee will produce a platform reflective of the values that inform our vision for this nation. in just seven days, democrats from around the country and around the world will gather in
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philadelphia. the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection to nominate the 45th president of the united states. millions of people will fix their gaze on us as we present to the nation our vision for america's present and her future. we will gather in the birth place of american democracy to celebrate the most enduring of american values. that of we the people. we the people. for us as democrats when we say we the people, it has perhaps a different meaning than it does for our friends on the other side of the aisle. democrats say we the people, we mean all the people. not some of the people. all of the people. all of the people regardless of race, creed, color or ethnicity. all of the people regardless of
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sexual orientation and gender identity. all the people. those with plenty and those with little. those with more than enough and those with not enough. all the people stuck at the bottom and those that coast on the top. all of the people. the least, the last, the lost, the locked out and the locked in and the left behind. the young and the old, the business owner and the day laborer. the student, the teacher and the parent. people of all faiths, little faith, and no faith. we mean all the people. i come to this party as a woman of faith. i was raised in the church. my father is a pastor as was his father before him. his father before him. dating back to the days of enslavement. today i pastor my own
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congregation and it makes me the fifth consecutive generation of pastors and preachers of my family. it is because of my deeply held spiritual beliefs and values that i became a democrat. because i believe that each of us, all of us is made ask in the image of the creator god by whatever name we choose to call him or her. that means we must treat the people's needs as holy. that means that decent food, clean air, and pure water is not an option. it's a mandate. that care for the weak, the old, the young, and the sick is not an option. it's a mandate. that respect, honor, and dignity is not an option. it's a mandate. we must treat the people's needs as holy. i saw and see the principals of
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my faith best in the work of the democratic party. the idea that every single person is important and that we have not a single person to waste. we have a responsibility to help our sisters and our brothers to achieve their fullest god given potential to live out their god designed destiny. we are designed to live in community with our god and with each other. this is the beauty of our party. that our tent is big enough for all of us. we understand that whether we live in cities or suburbs, indian country or rural or indigenous communities, we all want the same thing. to feel safe, secure, empowered, and heard. and to have the tools and support that we need to achieve the american dream. we understand that we don't have
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to agree on everything, just the main thing. we understand that you don't have to be just like me to be just like me. today's hearing kicks off oi substantive exchange of ideas that will bring together some of our party's best thinking and it is in stark contrast to the divicive division the republicans are proposing for the nation's future. we cannot afford to let their vision unravel the progress we made over the past eight years. i am confident this process will move forward in a manner befitting the strength and substance of our ideas. with that i look forward to hearing the testimony of sister and brother democrats as we come to articulate our past and prls policies that move our nation in order. we look forward to seeing you in philadelphia. >> we leave this portion of
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yesterday's dnc platform hearing to return live to today's session and the committee will turn to foreign policy issues after several more witnesses on domestic policy. >> i apologize in advance for any rudeness associated with that. we want to hear from everyone, so we are trying to limit the questions from the committee members. we agreed to that. i would like to welcome frank clemente. and americans for tax fairness. a diverse campaign for local organizations united and support
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of a tax system that works for all americans. prior to that, he served his issues campaign director at the change to win. the director of public citizens congress watch. a national consumer watch dog organization. thank you. >> a pleasure to be here today. i'm glad i didn't come between you and your lunch. americans for taxpayers with the 400 state and national organizations with tens of millions of members. i want to address three points about tax fairness and next week i will give you more testimony. first making our tax system fairer is critical to reversing income inequality. wealthy people don't pay their fair share of taxes and neither do many corporations. a lot of income is shielded from taxation through loopholes and
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lightly taxed than the income of working people. the 400 richest americans paid the tax rate in 2013. they had an income with $83 million each. a major region is the income derived from wealth, capital gains and income at about half the rate of work. wealth is so concentrated, 80% of the benefits from the preferential tax treatment goes to the top 1%. the rich also benefit from the massive loopholes by our biggest corporations used. that's because ownership of the corporations through share holding is so concentrated among the wealthy. my second point is this. creating an economy that works requires a bold and progressive tax reform agenda that raises a lot more revenue. it's not enough to dream big. america needs to do big like we
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did decades ago. that means several trillion in new revenue over the next ten years. it's needed to fix our roads, bridges, mass transit and water systems. there should be no more flint, michigans. quality preschool should be available to all 4-year-olds. all working parents should have access to affordable child care. all of us want to make college more affordable and tuition-free and major new investments are needed to create clean energy and finding the next generation. instead of pursuing the initiatives, we let services wither away under budgets demanded by conservatives. the portion that funds all the things i just talked about was 5.1% in 1980. by 2021 it's about half that.
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about 2.8%. clearly we must rate a lot more. we need to start by creating more work. and most important we need to make sure they pay their fair share of taxes. the tax reform is reflecting revenue-neutral reform. we need more from corporations. they need to pay the $700 billion they owe on the money they have in profit stashed offshore. most of that is in tax havens. we also have to have a tax system that tops encouraging corporations to ship jobs and profits offshore. that means ending the ability to delay paying taxes on overseas profits and making sure that offshore earnings are taxed at the same ready as domestic profits. i will stop there. >> questions from committee
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members? >> i want to ask a quick question on deferral. the ability of corporations to ship their profits and sometimes their jobs offshore to avoid paying federal income taxes. in the cayman islands, the-story office building with 18,000 corporations. in your opinion how big of an issue is a deferral and should it be ended and should we have it in the policy platform? >> deferral is the central issue in the tax reform debate in my estimation. at least from a progressive side of things. that's in the law it allows u.s. corporations and profits made, they do not have to pay taxes on the corporations until they repatriate them as dividends.
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that means we have 2 preponderance $4 trillion that they oh, taxes on that accumulated offshore. they owe $700 billion on the profits. they do not want to bring them back here. they have an army of lobbyists and swarming demanding that congress pass legislation that would let them bring the profits back at a fraction of what they owe. that's how much was spent in the recovery act as a result of the great recession. we cannot let that money go without it being paid. they want to pay a 10% tax rate at pennies on the dollar. this is the central fight. the tail that is wagging the dog and this is being pushed by
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giant corporations. they want to bring it back for cheap. we are talking not about hundreds of companies. they have 40% offshore. they have $200 million. much of it is offshore. why are they paying so little? most is stashed in tax havens. >> the next comes from the
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national women's law center. for employment, education and health and reproductive rights and lift women out of poverty. prior to being named senior vice president, she led the center's anti-discrimination initiatives including working to promote equal pay and sexual assault as well as school. with a success focus on women and young girls of color. thank you. >> i want to say what an honor it is. they are working since 1972 to adhave vance and cut to the core women's lives. that's the committee in the
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agenda and i wanted to focus on the most pressing issues. the truth is for many parents working in low wage jobs, the conditions are just setting them up to fail. and meeting the demands of work and their home life becomes impossible to juggle. we know that women are making up two thirds of the workers in low wage jobs and jobs such as home health care and restaurant workers. that more than 4.5 million children are under age 18. mothers in the workforce are women of color a& they are far too low to support themselves and their family.
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and in addition to the wages, many low wage jobs come with schedules that are unpredictable and unstable and inflexible. these continues wreak havoc on the ability to access child care and pay for child care. it's not sustainable. today the national women's law center released set up for success which is a detailed agenda for action to support low wage parents and their families. the details many of the things you heard about today that would address the race and gender pay gaps such as raising minimum wage and paid sick days and leave. i am going to focus on the recommendations around child care.
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this instiers the block plant. this is so under funded that is only serves in six eligible children. they have to be paid more. to pay the child care providers required that we increase the child care provider rates. it also is going to require greater investments to strengthen the supply and the quaility of child care. this is especially important in light of the new requirements in the new law and that's in the care that is so costly and some states it rivals the cost of college and it's hard to find. the child air access for early learning act would provide funding. more recommendation. we need to increase investments
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in early education programs and head start programs and in state prekindergarten programs. >> there any questions from membe members. >> we invite robert up. the united workers's unit at the mississippi plant. according to the uaw, large numbers of the workforce are temporary employees who work for years earning significantly lower wamgs and benefitworked an for two years.
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kelly services before being hired for the pathways program. we look forward to hearing your harks. >> good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to speak to the lat form opportunity. >> we are here to talk about workers and workplace. currently in america, wages are too low and the difference between those at the top and those at the bottom is huge. we want to make the economy work for everyone. we need the economy to create good middle class jobs now. it depends on rights and wages for the majority of workers. the most effective way to create a better live life is to create the rights to support a stronger economy. we need stable and not temporary jobs and not temp jobs. i work for nissan and the
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support all the way to the real axel. i was hired to work at nissan three years ago. when i was hired i was given less pay and benefits than regular employees. this is because nissan didn't put me on the payroll. they put me on the payroll of the services. a year ago i transitioned to a program and the pathways program. i would never-full pay and benefits. i earn about that. i am not alone. it is estimated about half the workforce has been hired as temps. some have transitioned, but we have received substandard pay and benefits. they lead them in the wrong direction by employing so many
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temps. nissan lead us not into temp nation. they are not alone and one of the fastest growing in the united states. the temp industry has shifted from large clerical to large industrial. 42% of the 43. they are less likely to challenge on anything whether they see dangerous jobs or promotion. we are to the fear of being labeled a trouble maker and deny the opportunity to make a good living and good benefits. they are supporting the union before the plant closes and bringing the union. the plant will close and move to mexico. recently they had all 5,000 workers watching anti-union video. they are in the best interest to sign the card and bring us if we sign the card, my story is not
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unwufl. that's against the abuse to hold employees responsible and thank you for the opportunity to speak. >> thank you so much. >> paul? >> you made reference for the union atmosphere. >> everyone is here in a conventional negative ads, but the situation in a union representation where the employer and it's not a free and open debate.
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they show the video. >> any other questions? thank you so much. >> for the last testimony in this section, fernando. thank you. fernando, the principal at the strategic consultant before joining him, he was the deputy executive director of the mayor's office of immigrant and multicultural affairs in the city of philadelphia. thank you. >> thank you and good afternoon, everyone. my name fernando and i am a
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proud mexican immigrant and i'm not a rapist or a killer. i am a proud u.s. citizen and proud democrat that happens to speak with a little bit of an accent. i am also a small business owner in philadelphia. it is an honor to speak before you of the that they foster opportunities across the nation and the important that immigrants and hispanics are playing in the process. at the national level, hispanics are growing at twice the rate of the national in philadelphia. from the island to bethlehem to new york. the hispanic contribution is growing and growing fast. the region is the second largest region with about 19,000 businesses. that's an extraordinary number. another number that still amazes me every time i hear it is that
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in philadelphia, 96%, 96% of small businesses open between 2000 and 2013 were opened by immigrants. 96% of small businesses that are located in commercial corridors. i would love to report that the future of the minority-owned businesses for young hispanic men and women is better than ever, but we are not there yet. don't take it the wrong way. this progress is because of sound policies that offer opportunity to people like me. we can do better. today hispanic business owners are still facing important challenges. industry stereotypes and the lack of capital awareness and language access and cultural norms and others. they better understand the engagement campaigns to make sure we take advantage of grants and programs that support small businesses.
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as democrats, we know that twe give everyone a chance to create a better and a better business. i am here to ask you to consider the significance of fostering the small business economy as part of the democratic platform. as a member of the greater chamber of commerce, as a small business owner, i know how it works. i know what it takes. i know the sweat and tears and long hours that many small business owners are putting in to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. waiting for a chance to show america who we are. that keeps them healthy and competitive. i believe some of the goals, one of the top priorities and given the numbers. it should be to promote
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diversity and embrace it and use it and make it work at every level from the cloosz room to the board room and economics to political participation and that's how we maximize our economic prospect and for the future. i believe that. that is the commission of my business. that's nonprofit and small businesses to help them understand the importance of reaching out to diverse communities. the immigrants are improving that in this country one person is committed to working hard and can feel powerful and strong. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> hearing them, thank you very
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much. we will now end this session and move into the next one. >> i have a brief set of remarks for congressman cummings which i will share with the cochair. they have no greater responsibility for protecting the american people and the that the united states must continue to play promoting peace and prosperity. >> the next set of peek speakers will provide recommendations to guide and shape our 2016 platform to show america's in the world. they know we provide for the safety and security of the american people. and on friends and centers of influence and strong leadership.
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and now for the first witness, we will call the secretary of state for democracy. for that, he is currently the ethics and finance professor of business and soed of nyu's stern school of business. before that he served in the state department and led with human rights first. thank you. >> it's a pleasure to be here. and i had diverse experience both in academia and government and with the nongovernmental sector. first a broad comment. both inside the government and out, i witnessed the power of american global leadership and make a difference on human rights and democracy. the u.s. has issues to protect the most vulnerable. we need to redouble the efforts
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and use the power of the internet which is a new tool. it was almost seven years ago that eleanor roosevelt led the effort to adopt the human rights. we need to continue to lead and to do so is morally right and consistent with who we are as a people and it makes us stronger and safer and more secure. even on the places where it's not so easy to do so. president obama and the administration continue to work to close guantanamo. it's a recruiting enemies. that's the marginalization. education and promoting women's rights as a human right is not
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only the right thing to do, but strategic imperative. we need to exercise the gay rights that are human rights. that's members of the lgbt community. 27 million people in the world are a fund to our values and a source of criminal organizations and extremist groups. it threatens us all. more broadly, we need to support labor unions and others on the frontlines not only in the fight against trafficking, but forced labor, child labor and other abuses here and elsewhere. two final points. we need to continue to speak out against the persecution of religious minorities whether they are christians in syria who are being attacked by isis and
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anti-semitism in europe and minorities around the world. the policy must prioritize efforts wherever it occurs. the world faces the greatest humanitarian crisis since world war ii. more than 20 million refugees from syria and elsewhere. we can't do it alone, but we need to be in the lead and that means more syrian refugees and providing support to the agencies. these are all issues that help to define us as a party and i strongly urge that they feature prominently in the democratic platform. thank you. >> they are upholding human rights that is essential. since you traveled the world in
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the private and public sector, which impact do you think mr. trump's language is having in terms of what he is saying about tolerance and the ability to be a role model around the world. >> he is being -- one, i think the tendency towards isolating us and withdrawing is wrong at this moment. we need to engage. we should be a leader and it makes us safer and stronger. his statements, his racist statements and the range of things he said are creating panic in the world. i travel a lot. i think we need to be clear as a party that these issues help define us as a nation and we need to reinforce our engagement
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and principal commitment as universal values. >> it's foreign governments are difficult with the foreign ngos to operate within their boundaries and do you have advice for us about what we might and how we might address that? >> when i was last in the state department, we began to see this trend, laws on association and restrictions on funding and attacks against human rights and advocates we saw in a range of countries around the world. we sent a memo up to clinton to talk about the head winds. it only intensified in the last three years. we need to be clear that the
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change occurs within societies, but it can't exist if it's strangled and it's not the external support coming from the united states. we need to be creative and we need to be bold and look at the long gain. at the end of the day, it needs to be rights groups and women's groups in societies that will navigate change consistent with the society and they need support and they need protection when they get in trouble. they get in trouble all the time. it odd to be a central feature of the policy going forward. >> any other question? >> i have traveled around the world with certain ngos and seen the devastation caused by human trafficking and i agree. too many women, children, and men are being impacted by this. yet there is nothing we can do to stop it.
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it's more like heroin. how do we tackle things like that. >> engaging with local governments that this is happening. it's not enough and we shouldn't take our eye off the ball. and the unions and activists can be part of the solution within their own societies and third and this is sort of what i am working on at nyu, there is a role for american business and global business to also reinforce the best things that need to be happening. it's not possible in a global supply chain to say this is not our responsibility. they are working on inferior
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conditions. >> talk for 30 seconds on human rights advocacy. and to what extent is the same issue. >> i think they are part of a constellation of issues that are interrelated. i am about to go and that's an effort that others have done for many years and very effectively. in empowering women and rule of lie, the ability of unions these expression. all of these are human rights issues. the smart thing is to integrate democracy and human rights as
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part of an integrated hold. >> thank you very much for your testimony and we will go to the next witness. >> i think we are ready to skype in the senator as we are escaping. hello. let me do a little introduction to you, senator. >> both a governor and a senator. i like to note that as we have a week of many firsts. they have been committed to serving the citizens of new hampshire and known as common sense leadership and hard work and leadership to improving the lives of middle class. it is a number of the senate committee and armed services. the foreign relations and appropriations of the small business and entrepreneurship committee. thank you, senator.
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>> it's great to be with you all and thank you for letting me skype in. i appreciate the chairman and members of the platform drafting committee for the invitation to join you in my capacity as a member of the senate foreign relations committee to offer my thoughts on america's place in the world. our nation is and must remain a beacon of democracy and a friend to those around the world who aspire to bring freedom, security and prosperity. we also believe in strength for peace. this means maintaining strong alliances and putting diplomacy first and only as a last resort. these are important aspects of the american and it's our
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conviction of the robust diplomacy that must be the primary means of achieving the aims abroad. we also believe leveraging the soft power. the moral authority of our democratic way of life. it's important that the form form continues it fe generous investments and diplomacy and national development. democrats know that america is strongest when we learn not just to make it safer, but better. whether it's combatting hiv-aids and helping women gain access to education or supporting the democracies around the world. democrats understand the importance of addressing both short and long-term global challenges. terrorism, nuclear proliferation
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and to be sure, but also endemic property and the surge of governments and ideologies that trample on human and civil rights. i can't emphasize too strongly the value of american leadership and international institutions and partnerships such as the united nations and nato. these multinational institutions have allowed us to make significant gains and tackling difficult global challenges. gains this we could not have achieved on our. our platform should continue to recognize the value of alliances, partnerships and the web of international institutions and agreements that allow us to successfully navigate our increasingly interconnected world. our foreign policy should seek to invest in and modernize the relationships and not integrate or discard them as some have
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advocated. our global network is inan indessence instrument of american power. partnerships like the transatlantic appliance and ties with israel. but also deepening partnerships with countries that are on the frontlines and against violent extremism. now is not the time as some in the party have advocated to abandon or disband the alliances that are necessary to confront the global challenges of the 21st century. finally i would like to speak about the experience of inclusivity and tolerance as principals of the democratic party's approach to foreign policy. it is enshrined in the founding documents and in the laws. we believe in the fundamental equality of all people and
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reject discrimination based on race, creed. nationality and ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation and we support nations that share or inspire to secure these values and ideals. these values and ideals are a powerful source of america's moral authority around the world. much of the diplomacy consists of helping other countries to help build the same protections and values into the laws of codes whether it's fighting for media or putting in place protections for citizens or building an independent judiciary. they are a feature of our democratic or domestic policy. we are a nation of immigrants
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and refugees and a nation that is welcoming the disenfranchise and abuse. we benefitted from persistence to build better lives here. albert einstein and kissinger and albright, they all came to this country as jeffries and made enormous contributions to the american way of life. our generous and open culture must not change. america is a great nation, but a good nation and a welcoming nation. satly this this election cycle, we are facing a party whose presumptive nominee for president betrays our values and disdains the partnerships that we built for sustained american leadership. he would make the united states less secure, less prosperous and less respected. and we must not allow this to
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happen. in summary, i urge the committee when drafting the platform to bear in mind the importance of a strong and principaled foreign policy drawing on the power of our values and ideals. we are committed to main taping our armed forces and military second to none in the world and we are committed to using force only as a last resort and only when there is a clear path to success. we are committed to supporting and caring for the service members especially our wounded warriors when they return home. the principals i talked about guided the foreign policy for many decades and we are proud of the way president obama held firm to the principals and standing in the world over the last eight years. i am confident they will find a way to reflect these in the platform that will appeal not
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just to the fellow democrats, but all americans. thank you very much. i would be happy to answer questions and i appreciate your letting me skype in. >> thank you so much, senator. we are grateful. >> thank you. >> i just turned it on. larry is senior fellow at the center for american progress and senior adviser to the center for defense information and adjukt professor at georgetown university. prior to that, we had the council on foreign relations and served as director for the center for public policy education and a senior fellow
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for foreign policy studies at the brookings institution. welcome. >> thank you very much for having me. i appreciate this opportunity. i will cover two things today. before we employ military force and how much should we spend on that? the most important thing a woman or man who was in the white house has to do as commander in chief is decide when to send americans into battle. the first thing you need to act is this a war of choice or necessity. have we exhausted all other options? in my prepared testimony i pointed out how the president resisted the calls of people to employ military force with the poor and hungry. they keep that in mind. once you make a decision use military force, then you need to ask yourself a number of
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questions that were put i think most by colin powell when we had the doctrine. the first is what the are the purpose of it? is it to overthrow is it to transform a society? what force will be necessary to do that? is it worth the cost of being able to do that. i don't have to remind this committee about how people told us how little the invasion of iraq was going to cost. when you're going to do it, you should be multilateral if you can. a good textbook example is the first gulf war. we got 250,000 troops from other nations as well as contributions. that war cost the u.s. taxpayer nothing because since we provided the forces, people that couldn't do it provided the money. you should try and find out if you can get international approval for the action. one of the big mistakes the bush
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administration made is nato offered to go into afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11 because they declared that as an attack on the alliance and we said no, no, we can do it without you. eventually we did bring them in. next thing is how will you know when you've won. how will you know when you've accomplished. and finally what happens a day after, after you achieve the objective. after you get involved i think you need a couple of other things to keep in mind. one is if it doesn't work and you can't guarantee every intervention will work, do not double down. one of the most interesting things i ever did in government was working for president reagan when it didn't work in lebanon, we got out and we called it strategic redeployment but the fact of the matter is we realized we could not win that civil war. and then finally if, in fact, you think it's necessary to get the american people involved you
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ought to put on a warsaw tax since we no longer have a draft. this is what we did toward the end in vietnam. now, very quickly i'll go through what happened in iraq, the cost as i point out high. libya, the president said we didn't plan after. now, in syria, people are talking about a no fly zone. well, as general dempsey said that would cost a billion dollars a month. and would involve putting up to 30,000 people in as secretary kerry said. let me stop there. >> thank you very much, larry. you have a question? >> i'll just be very quick. you talked about the american military's engagement in the world. and criteria for action. the american military has been called to do different things. i wanted to get your assessments of the american military's involvement in fighting the ebola virus. it's essentially the address of
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the ebola virus and the fact that it did not become worse is in large measure because of an innovative use of the american military. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, again, i remember from my own days i spent 25 years in the navy we would do these humanitarian things but these did not involve the use of force except through self-defense. we were going in to provide -- as a military whatever else you may think has terrific logistics and they can do these things so, yes, they are. but i do think it's important to keep in mind and i mentioned it in my testimony you've got to fund the other elements of national power adequately so you don't have the military doing everything. >> thank you. wendy? >> larry, very good to see you. in use of the american military in the way that we've been discussing it, we just talked about when you have a pandemic or you have problems, our
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military's also used in disaster assistance a great deal. and you are someone who has put in a lot of time thinking about our alliances and about the institutions. we all have heard from mr. trump that nato is useless, that we should get rid of our alliance with japan, we should move out all of our troops, we should change our posture completely in the world, and i wonderred if you'd comment on that. it's not that we don't want people to increase their defense budgets. we do. it's not that we don't want people to pay their fair share, of course, we do. and need to do everything we can to make that possible. but can you talk a little bit about the role that alinesallia and nato. >> it's important to keep in mind the alliances we started after the end of world war ii were to contain the soviet union, the soviet communist
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expansionism, they can adjust to the threats that we have. even as we speak nato is undertaking operation "anaconda" in which they have thousands of troops deployed into poland on an exercise to send a signal to mr. putin that if he'd be foolish enough to come into nato, it means war. there's no doubt about the fact that europeans need to do more and i think it's important as our last three secretaries of defense have told them that they need to do it, but on the other hand we shouldn't downplay what they do accomplish. and i think that's important. i used to handle the base structure when i was there. it costs more if you bring those troops back here and have to build the facilities, japan or germany with host nation support, you know, is less expensive. >> thank you. cornell and then warren, sorry. >> thank you very much. so very good to hear you. i just raise a question about
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the moral principles when it comes to american foreign policy. my question would be in your view was the american role in the overthrow of gadhafi aviolation of international law or natural law and i would say the same thing about the support of the military coup in honduras or in iraq? but what is the role as you see it of the moral dimensions, i know there are other dimensions, what is the moral dimensions we're talking about america and having some kind of moral character of american foreign policy. >> whatever you may think about it, it was sanctioned by the u.n. and nato so that gave you the legal basis on which to do it. the real question as president obama has admitted, okay, that's great and now what do we do. that we didn't think through enough, i think that's the important thing. but i do think it's very important the moral aspect before you use force particularly when it's not a war of necessity and that's why you have to weigh the cost and
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benefits. that's how you get, you know, when you look at the moral things. you know, i was -- when i was young and i was in vietnam and i got there and i said, what are we doing. and i just couldn't believe and then, of course, you look at the -- you know, agent orange and things like that, you know, and even today, you know, people are still suffering from that there and here. >> warren? >> we are running out of time but a quick question, please? >> yeah. i just want to ask, thanks very much for testifying. the united states spends i believe more on defense spending than the next nine countries combined. and wanted to see what -- if you believe that we can responsibly cut defense spending without harming our troops or our military families. >> there's no doubt about the fact that you can do that. and by the way, it's the next seven now because the chinese have stepped up their military
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expenditures. five of whom are our allies, so, yes, we can. the department of defense does not have a resource problem. if you look and you put it in constant dollars, president obama spent more than president bush and more than we spent on average in the cold war. so, yes, they have a management problem. they need to be able to do things. as i mention in my testimony, $500 billion in cost overruns on your -- on your weapons systems. one of the things we just did, i told my boss here, you know, a trillion dollar modernization program for nuclear weapons? you don't need to do that. you know, there are things that you can do to stay within those numbers without impacting military families. and it's important to keep in mind because there are things that you need to do to the military compensation system. but that's not the veterans. they are a different budget as you're going to hear and every time i get and i talk about this, no. the veterans are taken care of
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straightly. so, no, you can -- you can -- you can do these things and it needs to be better managed. i tell you, whoever becomes president needs to make sure that they get a strong deputy secretary of defense. everybody knows who the secretary is. the deputy, somebody like david packard or charlie duncan from coca-cola that carter put in, that's when it's run well. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. and i definitely know your reports, 11. >> i got to get back to work. i'd like to invite cindy wang up. cindy wang from the center for global development. she's the senior policy -- a visiting policy fellow there. she works on issues related to development effectiveness, fragile and conflict affected states and strengthening u.s. development policy. most recently ms. wang was the deputy vice president for sector
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operations at the millennium challenge corporation where she oversaw the strategic direction and implementation of a $2 billion portfolio. >> thank you. it's an honor to be here. the center for global development does not take institutional positions, so i offer these thoughts in my personal capacity. we face challenges in the world today as every generation has. but we also have significant opportunities. as part of an integrated strategy that includes diplomacy and defense, global development is a high-return opportunity. investing in development less than 1% of the federal budget works. american leadership and our collaboration with partners has helped cut child mortality and extreme poverty in half and we are on the way to an aids-free generation. these investments make us safer and more secure.


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