tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN August 9, 2011 1:00am-6:00am EDT
-- following a lawsuit against the city council, the city of new york, redrawing council lines. to make them fair. so this is actually my fourth round of redistricting. i know you don't believe me, because i look so young, but this is my fourth round. it only happens once every 10 years. we quickly i want to a couple states we are working on. i will give you an example of some of the areas we are working in. the law constantly shifts on us. we have to remember that the laws that allow for equal opportunity in the area of voting are under constant attack by a conservative part of the country that believes that somehow we have reached some magic mountaintop, that we have
somehow reached an era of post racial considerations in which everyone is treated equally everywhere they walk in america. we know this is not true. we should also know in this room we have quite a way to go to make sure we are fully integrated into the legislatures of the united states. in many ways, that is a battle, and i love to use the areas of integration. integrating our voices for every county legislative body, city council legislative body, school district, congress, senate, and up. but when these bodies who represent us start to speak to our concerns, in many cases start to look like us, and in many cases speak to our concerns, whether they are of our race or not, they are at a point when we can achieve some progress for the issues that are sent to us. .- that affect us payin
i am going to go quickly. i'm not sure how that will work with my slides. >> the eastern seaboard of the united states. this is where we were. the dynamics there are different. not completely different. there are some different dynamics. the latino population from the history of the caribbean is different and more pronounced, and we are dealing with poppings -- populations up and down the seaboard. secondly, when you compare the eastern seaboard to the entire united states, you are looking at population shifts. most of the population is can coming here to the southwest, with one big exception, and that's where we started. florida. florida plor is an incredible place of economic growth and population growth.
when it comes to latino population, it is for all latino groups. it is very, very high. what we are seeing in that shift is an incredible opportunity. florida can gain two congressional districts. at this point in time, people are determining new districts. i have done this work a number of times -- years. there are a few times i had an opportunity to talk to the state about creating a new opportunity and brand new district. most of the time i'm dealing with population decline or population stagnation. florida is actually the opposite. to its credit, there is a lot of work we are doing there regarding workshops, providing
maps. helping with the creation of what's called the central redistricting corporation. they have run the gamut. the puerto rican chamber of commerce and others. we are providing information to community groups there to make sure they are able to gain one additional congressional seat anchored in tralstram florida. -- central florida. that will create additional voices in congress. the issue is very complex. we have population growth in various areas. we have a unique population growth in terms of the puerto rican population. leaving the northeastern corridor because of the economic pressures up in
northeast and particularly in new york. the combination of both north and south migration is resulting in some unique dynamics in florida. the race is one of the first questions. -- that raises one of the first questions. as we talk about redistricting, we talk about who is eligible to vote. that gap between voting the population for people that vote but of course citizenship. citizenship levels are different depenged on what area of the country we're talking -- depending on what area of the country we are talking about and what national origin we are talking about. the issues in the florida are unique in that aspect. we are lucky enough to be in a position of growth in florida for that purpose. we hope to correct one of the most convoluted districts in the united states.
district 7 in pennsylvania. all over the city of philadelphia, and done incredible things for people that like to see districts look like bangkoks and circles. -- boxes and circles. in many ways, this is one of those areas that's lost. we can talk you about that for hours, where appearances matter. how does this actually make a difference? we will be lucky in philadelphia if we are able to create a latino district there for that population. in new jersey we've had an incredible wave of activity. new jersey one of the first two states in the country to force redistricting of the state legislature on a very fast track because by law they are required to do so the year the
census data is issued. so since november new lines have been passed in both of those states. in new jersey we spent quite a bit of time assisting constituents there. i am of the mind that my goal in new jersey is long term. new jersey uses a unique way to elected representatives. 12020 people get elected from -- 120 people get elected from only 40 districts. every district elects one state senator and two state assembly persons. we all know what that means in places like texas. those are at-large multilevel districts. we all know in general that the political will of the minority in each of those 40 districts will always be submerged. at-large districts always subvert the political will of the majority.
-- minority. peff to make sure the entire -- we have to work to make sure the entire structure is revisited. in new york, there are a couple of things to of the size. we'll lost one of the congressional seats, and that is going down to florida. that would make sense. there is a certain congressman whose name has been over- exposed. [laughter] that gentleman, and the fact that he's no longer a representative for a particular district provides an opportunity for new york's latino communte community to ensure -- latino community to ensure latino majority. -- " four districts with a latino majority.
new york city wouldn't talk of those things directly. two are held by a longstanding representatives. it gives us an opportunity to ensure all four of those districts in the city of new york, and we were looking forward to that as well. a law which many of our friends and partners in our community. it goes to defending a law which governor patterson signed before he left office. that law is interesting. that law basically says that the census count of prisoners should be adjusted to reflected home districts instead of the prisons in which the prisons are located.
for the purposes of redistricting only, and for the purposes of local redistricting alone -- i real estate re peat. local redistricting in new york state, the state legislative county redistricting should be based on adjusted census data that reflects prisoners and not the districts in which the prisons are located. there's a short-term phrase for that, prison jerry meandering. i don't think the phrase does it the justice that it needs. now the constitution nalt is being questioned. we think it is a good law. the fact is, prison populations throughout the united states has increased. the fact of the united states sfl is that where you live should determine whether you are going to be counted. as a result of getting artificial counts in prison
towns in upstate new york where one particular prison time could have half of its total population be prisoners, none of which live in that city, and to get counted as residents. -- residents of that prison community. in new york state, the criminal justice system presents racially skewed outcomes. latino and black kids are stopped, frisked, charged, indicted, denied bail, convicted, sentenced at a much higher rate than their white counterparts. even when you control for crime and for drug use. so if you are producing racially skewed outcomes to begin with, and you translate that and allow it to affect the
political process by counting people elsewhere, you are losing political downstage in new york city. that is one of the issues we focus on right there in new york state. very quickly. massachusetts. here it is. we are doing really good work in massachusetts. continued opportunities there. we do mapping and have done quite a bit of work particularly in cooperation with the political national roundtable. in connecticut we are at a point where we are trying to hustle -- help the community there and create its first-ever elected latino to the senate from connecticut. connecticut has had number f --
connecticut has never had a representative which in history that are latino. cop con, has, i believe, 150 some-odd statehouse representatives. they love democracy in connecticut. 136 in the house. that's a lot for a population of about five million people. we are trying to make sure the senate is interest grated fully. in ireland ire, i had done some -- in rhode island, i had done some work 10 years ago in rhode island particularly in the area of providence. we are going to repeat that work there very, very soon. so in virginia we analyzed some redistricting in prince william county and made a comment on section five expressing our concern about the fracturing of communities there. i want to talk about the combination of two things that were said before.
it is very important for our populations to go forward. they have raised very important issues of questions as we deal with issues of redistricting. redistricting is not a cure all. if we do it well, it gives us opportunities to elect candidates of our choice. if we do this well. if we take advantage of this opportunity, all window of opportunity that occurs only every other decade. but by itself, that does not mean a shift in power. >> we need to mobilize to get people to run for office. to mobilize to make sure that the confluence of those factors occurs in some measure of
success on election day. in many case when i look at voting stability and who votes and who is registered to vote and who turned out to vote, there are many things state legislators can do to help narrow that gap. we talk about voters that stay at home. but the better way to talk about it is they stay at work. in an eight to 12 cycle on a week day which is normally a workday for all of our population. the inpabblet of states to enact -- the inability of states to enact really progressive ways to deal with acks to democracy, same day -- active democracy, same day on election-day registration, multiple or early voting. voting that occurs in different ways. we can maximize the number of people that can vote. it is critically important. documentation that people must
fill out before they can vote is a bogeyman. [speaking spanish]there has been no impeerkal -- empirical evidence that the united states has been harboring under. the constant election fraud. it had no support whatsoever in social science. constant election fraud being thrown in our face. it has no support whatsoever and social science. -- in cells of science -- in social science. the rollback of congressional reforms is in contrast of the need to close that gap. i say to all of us we have a wonderful opportunity to do this now. a wonderful opportunity to ensure districts are created
but the recognition that that is lone is not going to result in the shift of power. the last time i checked these numbers was seven or eight years ago. we were reviewing the voter rights act. that was one of the best things done in recent years. the authorization was signed by president bush. it was a historical moment for the united states to be able to extend the strongest protections for voting rights. the bilingual assistance was exteppeded for another 25 years. it was a highlight of our careers. i was focused on one particular number that struck me. in a neighborhood of 419,000.
i'm sorry. 49 other some-odd-thousand. from dogcatcher to president, let that number set there for a while. 493,000 people elected in somehow, shape, or form. >> i'm sure you do a good job. i'm sure question can not count count more than 1.5% of more than 4 thousand,9300 elected -- 493,000 elected officials. that is our work and challenge. when we get closer to the parity of who we are in the population of the united states, even though we are shared citizens of the united states, then we will reach that
mountaintop i talked to you about before. then we will be able to celebrate a lot better than we are celebrating now. thank you. [applause] >> this is an extraordinary panel. some of the leaders of this field, but we are privileged to have you with us. we will be opening up questions in a few moments. we will be going around microphones and collecting those. you talked about a shift in power. i wanted to just mention a piece that was published by bloomberg, widely circulated, and it talked about chicago. you were actually quote in to -- quoted in this piece. it said black power wanes. amid rising hispanic economic clout. the threat of the article is that hispanics now out-number
blacks in terms of their reputation in major american cities, yet the african- american community has almost twice as many elected officials in the house of representatives. the gist of this is that there are winners and losers in redistricting. how do we make sure -- how do you make sure that those who have traditionally been our allies in issues around poverty and education and immigration rights are not the losers in this redistricting effort. it requires us the candidate of our choice. a good representative will speak to our concerns. do they speak to our issues? is there a track record something that we can be proud of? so we have to talk continuously
to the african-american community to make sure we support each other when we can. also to make sure that there is not a zero sum game. also to make sure that they are communicating. that they reflect what's happening. we can take this further. in certain parts of the northeast you have dynamic changes in the latino population itself. we don't have a chance to talk about these things fully on the panel because of fime. you could say the same thing about the puerto rican population in parts of the northeast. that is the puerto rican population has a share of elected officials, but the population in the northeast means a shift into mexican and more dome can. -- dominican. the question is the same. as more mexicans come and more dominicans come, what does that mean for the lekted officials. -- puerto rico and elected officials? >> we have to make sure we can speak on the same page. what we can demonstrate unity
among issues both of substance and immigration reform, coalition districts. unity districts. >> nina, you talked about racial little polarized voting as one of the obstacles in redistricting. is that what you are referring to? >> there is racially polarized voting that impedes african- american ability and then there is racially polarized voting for latinos. it depends on which area you are in whether or not latinos and african-americans can band together and elect preferred candidates as well. it has been critical for us to partner to we can safety in redistricting. -- anticipate redistricting.
if we can do maps that mean both of our goals. i would have to say that so far we have not found this is a zero sum gain. that latino gains are not coming at the expense of african-american representation, in part because of patterns of residential concentration. we have had a successful time working in coalition, talking about maps together, and pursuing our agendas in ten tandem. >> you ask people to come forward. you have been very critical of the illinois map. do you think there will be lawsuits filed in illinois? >> i think there will be lawsuits filed in illinois. that's pretty much what i can say. >> you also talked about some of the lessons out of the census, and you talked about two things in particular. one, the youthfulness of the
population. this really is the future population. i think all of us would agree, in fact, that very much is the mantra of latinos, as goes our community so goes the future of this country. you also talk about the shift to the south. yet at the same time when you look at the south today, that's where some of the most restrictive immigration policies are coming out of states precisely where you have the largest growth of latino population. some concern about what that means in terms of voter turn- out. that without that. -- that without that the level of participation may be reduced. what do you think is the impact for 2012? >> i think it is no coincidence that you are seeing the kind of reaction to changing demographics in the south. it is a result of this historic american discomfort which
changes demographics. the immediate reaction is that you are carrying this official language. do what we can to make life as uncomfortable as we can for these newcomers in our midst. who what we know about the latino in the south is it is a newer population. that is a generation that will mature has young people that are born here reach voting age and are able to naturalize those who are permanent residents. but the need for immigration reform is probably more pair mont in the -- pair mountain in the south. -- paramount in the south as any part of the country. if you are a personnelible to --
person eligible to vote, by definition you are a citizen. born here or naturalized. >> on your mind, if you like, the economy and the recession, unemployment, under-employment, access to health care, the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the fact you have family members there you want home. all these other issues that all americans are dealing with are issues that latino voters are dealing with. what we need to make sure is that national candidates speak to latinos about these issues as well. we are not a single-issue constituent. >> do you have any thoughts about the rise of restrictionist policies out of the south and what that means as a civil rights lawyer? >> it has been one of our biggest challenges. it is nothing new to the united states. >> as we speak about immigration and lack of constituent policy and times
that occur, we have to remember these things have been with us a long time. in 1970 there were close to 30,000 people that erumented for -- arrested for people speaking a different language than the general population. we had the klu klux klan in the 1920's. many established groups need to remember how the hysteria was visited on their families. the country was grown and was made better because of the influx of so many immigrants. latinos share the same values as anybody else does. work hard for a good job and continue to take care of our families.
that's what ma has made this country great. the challenge we're facing is not only these policies at the lo local left, but this shift in how the courts look. we have a coal that's more conservative. that's our goal. to find the most innovative playing field. >> so you mentioned there are 490,000 elected positions and probably less than 1.5% of those are held by latinos. is there a target? is there a number? is there something that would be more reflective that we should be considering as an ultimate goal for latino political reputation? >> you are so close to the bottom, that anything you are looking up is fine. [laughter] look, i guess my point is this. lawyers don't have the opportunity to go to court and say nnlng has 19% latinos. -- new jersey has 90% of latinos.
we want 19% of all the seats. we do not have that opportunity. the law does not require proportion nalt -- proportionality. the laws were written very specifically to prohibit that notion to enter into the judges. our argument is not just what happens in the courtroom, it is to the american public. what exactly is wrong when you have a legislature that reflects the rarblinge class, working -- racial class, working class demographics of any community? how is it possible to take on a legislature that is so over represented by the majority population? that's what we're talking about. america should refleck the beauty of our diversity in corporate board rooms, in school boards, in the white house and in congress and everywhere else. if i'm arguing that we should have a better proportionality
national and better understanding of what that means, go ahead. we now have almost a moral obligation to do this. >> i didn't realize we are almost out of time. aws prepare your questions, nina, i wanted to ask you about california in particular. there is a republican commentateor, tony quinn, who said the work of the redistricting commission may not have intentionally set out to disenfranchise latinos but that was certainly the result. said it was a nepharious effort not from people miss intention, but came from people that dnd didn't understand the changes. how do we make sure that those are responsible? that with dovepbt don't need too litigate.
-- that we do not need to litigate. that we have a process that recognizes the sorts of goals being articulated here. >> i am not sure what is going on in california with the commission. they are aware of the problems. and they are designed to be aware and to take those things into situation. they have attorneys are advising. the statute that created the commission includes clines with voting rights right up there at the top with combines with the constitution. -- with compliance with the constitution. they have information. they have information, training, and lawyers and a mandate to comply with the voting mandate. and it is inexapplicable to me how they could have come up with first-draft plans that are so incredibly disenfranchising of the latino community. >> i'm going to turn to the audience. any questions of the audience?
>> for those of you that couldn't hear, this was a question ensuring that we represent the diversity of the latino community. including salvadorans and other population. juan, did you want to address that? >> let me take that on because i think that is, in fact, one of the dwreat greatest tragedies -- one of the greatest tragedies -- travesties that's happening right now in california. one -- there is say neighborhood in los angeles that's called pico union. is it is the neighborhood where i grew up and it is where the national office of naleo is located. that has been removed from the latino district and placed in a district with beverly hills, bell air, and pacific palisades. tell me, if a congress member receives a call from a salvadoran immigrant that lives near mcarrthur back or a donar
in beverly hills, who gets the call returned? that's the economic gerrymandering we refer to. there is also large salvadoran population and the san fernando valley. we hope the new congressional district that gets restored that was drawn in 1991 and taken away from the latino community in 2001 will be able to provide a voice for the people in the san fernando valley. we know in maryland, virginia, washington, d.c. area which is the second largest concentration of central americans in the country, that the kind of work that's being done there, that we are able to configure those districts. we are not a monolithic country, and we will wau want to make sure we have a voice in this process. >> y want to go back to one
point because we're almost ready to wrap up. you made the point that we're not a single-issue voting block. that it goes well beyond immigration to issues of opportunity and economic development and jobs, et cetera. when you look at the numbers, there is clearly this disconnect. you come out of this and say, this really is the future for anybody in business today. there is 1.2 trillion in buying power within in the hispanic community. it is the group that has the fastest growth in terms of small business start-ups. yet we also have the highest unemployment rates. we have the highest drop-out rates. our workforce training programs don't need the needs of the work force for tomorrow. you all do a lot of work in these areas. on the ground we are not necessarily sarle preparing --
we are not necessary sarbleecomparle our -- preparing people to move forward. what do you think can be done? >> we have to invest in education. [applause] >> i moderate aid session a few weeks ago. i was supposed to focus on latino education. people were bemoaning the fact that just at the moment that latino youth were becoming the majority of the youth in that state, they are the majority of the computhe youth in texas.
they are the majority in the mexico. the list goes on. at that moment, that is the moment we are naking dratic cuts in education. i ask the question, is it a consequence dense i think that's -- is it a coincidence? is something for us to ponder. is it a coincidence that at this moment -- i think that's a challenge for all of us here to hold accountable our government to ensure we do on dis-invest in the future of america's young people, who matter who they are. [applause] >> we have come out -- we have run out of time. unfortunately we weren't able to hit every single topic we were able to. this is about turning numbers into cloud. i think the numbers isolated this morning is where we need
to focus. it is around redistricted and the legislative battle that we have in front of us. it is also ensuring that we elevate the turn-out rate that people that are motor vated to vote, vote. i want to pick up on something thathe talked about a sustained said. civic investment campaign that goes beyond just the years when the replied-year electrics are out. -- the national year elections are held. this requires us to create a culture of participation. i would hope that all of you who clearly are elected that you understand the value of that will make to make sure we have those sorts of out-reach everts, especially to our populations to make sure we change the course of knows two lines and begin to end the accountability and yurnout. -- the eligibility and turnout numbers. have three of the leading --
thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up next on c-span, a discussion on media and the u.s. courts. then the second amendment foundation holds a conference on allowing guns on college campuses. later, the african-american vote in the 2012 elections. standard and poor's ratings service on monday downgraded the credit ratings of fannie mae and freddie mac. on tomorrow's "washington journal," christian weller of the center for american progress and it diana furchgott-roth of the hudson institute talk about long-term effects of the u.s. debt. later, northern virginia community robert templin college
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>> it seems like the perfect way to kick off the more formal part of our meeting. in our discussions earlier, it seemed to me we were all leaning toward one direction, the thought that the traditional media is disappearing or shrinking. we need to find out ways to use various tools to reach out to the public. that is what we're going to talk about today. we have with us four authority of to share information and they all worked in that traditional news media business, but i think you will hear that that has changed quite a bit. there are information biographies and additional resource material on the conference website. gene is the executive director
of the first amendment center parity as work in all three dying industry, newspaper, radio, and tv. [laughter] >> thank you. >> key sure to hire him. it was one of the founding editors of "usa today." he served as the washington editor and a manager for sport. he is a sincere and valued friend of this group and everything that we do. he has been for more than a decade. he was the driving force behind the series of programs that we have had with judges and journalists around the country. through his efforts, significant bridges have been built between the two professions. and both have benefited because of it. also, gene and his assistant have provided inviable assistance and support and hospitality for this conference. as you probably know, we are
meeting in some of the most desirable space in washington bridge i urge you to step outside to look out the window and i -- and we appreciate their support. i will step aside and let him get started. >> if faq. that dying industry thing. i think what try to keep some of them alive today. is great to have you here. welcome to the newseum. we're glad to have here. we will talk about a subject that i think all of you know very well. we're going to cut your questions fairly early in the session because i think it is about a conversation today. we will explore the topic that you see from your perspective and we see from ours. one of the things i would like to do to start off is that we have produced a series at the newseum on the future of news and we have a short clip of some of the opinions expressed in that series. if we could roll back clip. >> we are in the middle of a
massive transformation of journalism. it is just now beginning. the old era is gone. the new order is not in place. can print news survive the digital revolution? >> we are still doing triage. >> this guy is not falling but it is shaking. >> it proved that the next piece of the news transformation is consuming even more news online. >> it is a to its sort. there is a lot of junk their. >> who do you trust? have as untrustworthy? gen it comes down to credibility and you blow that and people do not want to trust your stored. >> when the people known as the audience use their tools to inform one another, that a citizen journalism. >> i have a problem with someone
in a basement getting pancakes' delivered by their mother at the same time they are bringing down the government. >> if you look at the history of this country, the first amendment, the first amendment not by accident -- >> cuts make us less nimble and less responsive. or i think we still have it but i would not be in the profession. >> the old media was over the lunch -- and it used to be the revolution. >> now we have to reinvent ourselves. >> joining me today moving from further away, the editor and senior vice president of american journalism review. an author and educator and journalist and must immediately for on this but doesn't for national public radio. and the managing editor for the
"milwaukee sentinel." if i can start with you, perhaps, as the moderator's prerogative, the session is entitled "the state of the news media today." let me pose this to all of you. and perhaps even tomorrow. >> it is a mixed picture. is it easy to be in despair about a lot of things. as we see, if not the collapse but the treatment of traditional media. there are new ventures coming forth. and as one of the people said, we are early in this revolution. it is hard to know how it will play out. it is easy to say we do not have a business model, what are we going to do? we try to put some numbers on some specifics to see where journalism is. we looked at investigative reporting, state house
reporting, for and reporting, and coverage of washington agencies -- not so much the president or things like that debt ceiling circus. but the meeting to take this stuff. there was a constant theme in these pieces, the retreats is you expect, bigger than we even thought it would be by traditional media. all small number of upstarts and bright spots by traditional media. nothing that we want to roll out the traditional media completely. they're still a lot of good work there. >> we study with representing the entire broadcasting industry. -- we stop take you with representing the entire broadcasting industry. even cable television audience continued to decline -- to decline, but audio services is building an audience in some ways. certainly npr has had a strong core audience.
what is your view of the state of things today? >> i think that this is a great time to be a journalist. it is so exciting. we're in the midst of a digital revolution in there so many opportunities. i get really tired of the dying news business, the platforms are changing. the news business is not changing. npr has almost doubled its audience and the last 10 years, from 13 million to #26 million. there is a hunger for that kind of qualitative, credible, trustworthy, good, solid news. i think clarence page made that point. the successful information out there, you have to go to trustworthy news sources. those are people that you have either come to know or you know people involved in the website, but there is a danger to me. the younger generation that does not know npr, does not know that
nbc is a trusted news source, and gets their information from blogs. i did not buy chris matthews, people in the basement, stuff. but media literacy is going to be the key challenge for this coming generation. how do you know what to believe? >> un-air routes in the industry that is probably most often seen as on the ropes, and yet you have found a way to do the kind of reporting that not only wins prizes, but readers. talk for a moment on your views about where we are in the state of things today. >> i agree with what she said about it being an exciting time and a lot of opportunities as well. we are not dying. i think we're going to a very difficult time in all the media, some media yet to face it, some of the broadcast media,
what they're going there because of the changes in technology. everything from craigslist taking away classified advertising and offering it for free, to pandora, building your own radio station and sending it rejects using it to your own taste. it is hard to compete with three. -- free. our audience is never been bigger. if you combine print and digital audiences, it is bigger than it's ever been. we will have 4 million page views on a busy news day. huge for a pay you prefer -- a paper site in milwaukee. but we have not figured out how to get money from the digital part of that audience. that is the part that is changing and evolving. when you go to the real tough times, a combination of the worst recession we have seen in our lives, and the changes in technology coming together at the same time, it really forces
you to adopt or die. adopt or perish. but we have decided to focus on at our paper is -- and we talked more than we ever have to our users and readers through twitter and facebook and everything else -- what can we do? what can we do of value for you that you can i get anywhere else? what kind of news information that you cannot get anywhere else? if what can we deliver to you better than anyone else can? in wisconsin, breaking news because of the size of our news room and using social media as both sources and everything else, and to deliver the informations. investigated, in-depth journalism which is getting tremendous response from our readers. also be expertise, the green bay packers to the courts. covering city hall, we of the only ones still doing that.
those of the areas where we focus our attention and resources. when she brought up the number audience, i think that they will -- the number of audience, they will come along. a great example with npr is "this american like." >> it is not produced by npr. it is public radio, but it does not matter. >> either way, it is a public radio program. it is exceptional and has such a can take young audience for great narrative journalism. >> it brings up the point that i think for younger listeners, viewers, readers, and users, the platform for the source on the platform is a little less important than the product. you identified the public radio program, and it is produced by someone else. it is that it is through npr in that sense. in terms -- vetted through npr
in that sense. there is an npr label that goes with it. that is something that news organizations did not worry about because of a staff- produced. the big enough farmout and higher freelancers a lot faster than television media. but it is more and more ironic in an era where there is a perception that journalism is on the ropes. content is becoming a thing. it is less important player and who produces it, though there is a credibility aspect. and you would see it across the range in media. credibility -- our own survey at the first amendment center, the state of the first amendment, we asked certain questions every year. one of those questions is, concerning bias. two-thirds of the american public see bias in news reports. but almost the same number sees
a role for the press as watchdog. if you just asked, is a free press important, if you get 95%. that seems at odds. how you deal with the issue ofbias? >> that is primarily what i dealt with at npr, being the public advocate for the listeners. explaining npr to the listeners, the listeners to npr. i came to learn that what we have is a very fractured media. people listen, read, watch the their own personal beliefs. so what they see as biased is that you are not on my side. you're not advocating for me. and that is not paroled the news media. i think it is a speech is complete. -- specious complaint. i got to complaints about a
story. once said that it was national palestinian radio and the other said it was about pays for the israeli military. >> that is a diversity news media. a lot of people agree with the bias, you did not come out on my side. and what we have had with the rise of cable and the internet, and fox news takes a lot of the credit and blame for this, a sizable number of people only go to news outlets that preach to the choir, they reinforce their views. you have people who go to fox in drudge websites. now we've had it: on the left
with msnbc, which was going nowhere for most of its existence, and found its niche as a last alternative. urginglerf -- left alternative. if you can see the reflection in our politics, they come from the same source. we have two sides in washington not talking to each other in a big slice of the public listening only to what they see as their own use. >> that is a national phenomenon. how does that play out in the regional and local level? >> very much the same way. there is business models around that now. there is a local conservative talk radio just like there is rush limbaugh.
it draws out a niche audience and people solid advertisers. and there is local foundations and organizations pushing political candidates on both sides to do the same sort of thing. more of these shadowy groups that are doing a former of journalism. they will sometimes breaks stories, although they come at it from a very strong political perspective. another trend coming in reaction to this, that i think is a great opportunity for people like us, who just want to get where the truth is, and not worry about the politics, is plifact. it took three people to establish this in wisconsin. a lot of resources going into that fact checking operation.
>> pick any campaign claim at that point? >> advertising and anything involved in the political process is up for grabs. including talk radio and things like that. it has gotten enormous positive response. out of the two things that have gotten the biggest positive response in the last several years. more positive response -- i have been in this business for more than 30 years now. i have never seen responses this positive toward us. the big things are fact checking into watchdog journalism. a serious in-depth investigation. we had one two years ago into subsidized child care scams.
more than $100 million of fraud we uncovered. that is delivering news of a value and readers respond strongly to that. >> fact checking is a positive step. our criticism of traditional media for years has been there is too much on the one hand, on the other hand. one side would make a valid charge. the other side would respond. you walk away saying, what? to me, that is kind of silly. we needed these fact checking out what's, nbc is more in reporting, where you reach a conclusion based on the facts, not the right wing or the left wing. there is a lot of excitement. i think that is one of the positive things we are seeing. >> based on the facts.
one of the troubling things that i see is a whose facts and interpretation of the facts? what are the facts. look at the s&p. was it a $2 trillion mistake? i have lived through the firing at npr. he recently wrote a book. he was giving his side. those are his facts. that is what he said. i know the facts to be different. most of the reporting that is done is all on his facts. that is partially the fault of npr. that is a problem. it really takes a lot of taking to get down to what is the truth of the situation. the truth is always more new ones. williams was not fired because of one thing he said on air. it was much more complicated. that is the narrative. the matter what happens now,
that is the narrative. it is hard to put that down. >> the trend has been in some ways, and started in local tv to not do institutional news. not to go to the institutions that provide facts and have a case where you can read and the opinion, but moved to lifestyles, softer subject matter. what i am hearing is the future of news to some degree is in these kinds of factual institutional accountability types of reporting. are we seeing that trend run its course as it has managed to peter al -- peter out at this point? >> there is a news organization
in bed belongs to some form of entertaining and some form of news. covering entertainment in the arts. when you are covering general features, there are a lot of options out there now. with our smaller staff, what are we going to focus our attention on? it is what we can do that nobody else can do. me give give -- let some numbers to put this in perspective. the protection this year is to lose 1500 jobs in the industry. that does not sound like a great
news. look at the trend. we lost 11,000 jobs in the television industry. on average, news rooms are 30% smaller than they would have been in 2000, roughly a decade. we have lost 30% of the staff. the reductions may have been less than 30 percent in some small newspapers. some experienced more than that. 47% of americans not get some local news, no longer through a traditional medium but for a mobile device. those numbers are going up dramatically. the number of people that had access to a phone, it was four times higher than earlier. that explosion is a new trend.
other than the internet, other platforms that saw a decline, including cable news, for the first time in 2010. more people got their news from the web and in newspapers. in national average of about five%, a slow decline. is that balance against increased readership on the web? >> i think it is five% decline in the sale of the product. the trend is to see people going to a web based product, which may be your web site than a somebody else's site, through traditional mia news. >> the newspapers have a much larger audience.
many of the sites among the most popular are on the internet. >> i had an eye opening experience, where the washington post delivered it every day. my son picked up his laptop and read a story about what it is like to live on a minimum wage. he never -- he would have walked by that newspaper all they. he got the story. it is the delivery systems that are changing. the problem is how you make money out of that. >> the pesky revenant thing seems to show up in all of these things. >> it is significant in talking about the spirit this is a very exciting time. a lot of great things are being created.
much more is being made available for journalists. there are new platforms and websites, great local sites. >> you have not had a consummate increase in the new form. is the coverage of news, regional papers around the country. it doesn't mean the lack of a kind of journalism that george has championed? in the short term, --
how you balance that as an editor? >> the first thing we had to do is figure out which positions we need to save the most. some of the technology is to give ways to cover things more efficient. 20 years ago, we had 30 people in our library. two newspapers with multiple editions. we had to cut and clip every single article and cross reference it and put it in envelopes and put it in this giant in a low of retrieving machine, so that people could
find stories in the past. nobody does that. 30 people have been replaced by digital archiving. -- digital archiving. we have a composing of people to dig a layout. a lot of the losses and staff have been in managerial positions. we have to decide on what we were going to save. it was the people on the street getting the news and information. you can get a lot of investigative data now, easier than you used to.
he used to have to ask the clerk for files to photocopy for hours. so much more is available digitally now. it is not like we lost 30% of our reporters. there have been vast cuts all- around. there are more politics now than ever before. when we go to some important state meetings, or defense policy for environmental and wildlife things, we are often the only news outlets that is their at the meeting. that is scary. >> how many of you in your respective locations have a
journalist assigned to full coverage of your area? >> we do have them, but they are increasingly young and inexperienced. they rotate off their beats very quickly. even when we get assigned reporters, they do not stay very long and come in extremely and knowledgeable about the legal system. >> when we began, we had about a dozen journalists in circuit on the federal level. we had 12 veteran courthouse reporters to come in and sit and talk to the judges. by the time we were two-thirds of the way through that, i could count on one veteran reporter
being there that had covered -- veteran being five years. after that, there were multi beats or they were covering police on monday and a trial on the next. television and radio has doubled that probably more then print. it was not all that uncommon to find a television or radio reporter. >> i covered the courts for the san jose mercury. that was over 20 years ago. >> i do not know everyone's individual situation, and a lot of it depends on the size of your committee, and what kind of experience level you are likely to have, but i encourage people, one of the tendencies people have is to get very defensive
with reporters and to give out as little information as possible. i encourage you to develop those relationships, even with the young inexperienced reporters. help teach them what you know about the legal system. if you can really help them through, they want to get it right. most cases, where we have gotten a story wrong, we are making fewer mistakes than we used to. when we have made mistakes or have a work had to run another story to clarify something, because we did not get it all right, it has often been the case where the source or sources were so defensive that they were so afraid to talk, they never clarified the issue to the point where we fully understood the issue.
that led to the problem to begin with. the vast majority of people you are working with will be people of goodwill. you can help them learn about what you know, and they can learn things very quickly. >> we heard from a lot of the judges that participated in those range -- that range of programs, it was very important to them. they were more reluctant to talk to someone that did not know or was there for a short time. it has been interesting in the flow of information. it was not just, i know a fact. here it is. it is how much do i tell you. and lots of people backing off. i contribute it a lot to misinformation. >> what about coverage of columbine? i learned one of the tv stations there would have the officer for
the police or policemen come and spend the day with them, to see what to their pressures were, what their job was like, so whoever the reporter was going to for information, but have a better understanding of how the news system works and vice versa. so to know each other's job, you understand what the pressures are. reporter policemen is also a very adversarial relationship. it does not need to be. everybody is just doing their job. >> the group introduce themselves this morning before a panel. i was struck by the number of people that mentioned the hot, a big giant media giants we have all seen come up with increasing
frequency. let me go to a little league example. my oldest son was visiting us where we lived in nashville. he is out of town. he came on a police blockade near the vanderbilt university campus. that was 10 blocks from my office. by the time he arrived, he knew why it had been blockaded, which was a suspicious package at a hotel. it was found not to be an explosive device. the story had come and gone in the course of 10 blocks. he had time to tweet and got all of that through. we tend to think of the new media explosion and the big stories, but that was an ordinary story that turned out not to be newsworthy in the larger sense, and yet he knew
about it. how has 24 it/seven, instant media made this business different? for good or for bad? >> what has made it a different in a lot of ways -- you can instantaneously learn about all kinds of things, whether it is at vanderbilt or in egypt. we hear a lot about citizen journal -- psittacine journalism. a lot of it is not confirmable. there is a huge amount of information that comes out quickly. in general, news organizations have changed. there was a rule that if someone cover a story at 10:00 in the
morning, they cannot ride until 4:00 in the afternoon -- and now you have a world where you cover it and you better tweet about it and write a lot about it and post some video. maybe you write a full-fledged story for the next day's paper. whether on a local or national story, you have tons of information quickly and access to it, which you did not have before the internet. i get very frustrated if there is not enough data on the website i look at every 2 seconds. for news consumers, it is exciting. the downside is in washington, a lot of new players in the political world.
there is a tremendous premium -- a tremendous premium on getting it first. this is not brand new. we had tail wire services for years. they were in trouble if they were two seconds behind the other. now it has gone on steroids. the downside is the pressure is to get something up quickly. you can update it and add new ones, but the potential to have shallow reporting is really huge. the growth of bloomberg has been fascinating. they are covering a lot of government agencies that nobody does. a distinguished reporter left to them, because of this tremendous premium on get it fast and first. he felt most of his work was not
very interesting. it puts a premium on being careful not to get it wrong. >> that once was the electronic, broadcasters side. i remember a state senator in indiana -- they could go live from the chambers. he walked over and said, now you can screw it up faster. that was his assessment of the value of getting it out quick. broadcasters have dealt with that for some time. it is not that the new for them. newspapers around the world have to tweet, blogged, post, what ever. >> we are still putting on extras using wire services as our primary source of information.
it seems like ancient history today. there is good and bad it to this. a lot of good. the bad is an opportunity for us to apply that credibility. one of the most interesting things we have seen on twitter, the place for breaking news, it used to be that someone would be to buy a few seconds. people would -- that is gone. when we go into twitter, they do not care if we are first, as long as once we get there, we are trustworthy.
there is good and bad. a great example last year -- we head to rancho and flash flooding last year. a big storm. i think it happened at 7:00 at night, a storm sewer was washed out below a street. it made to the land above it unstable. what are the chances of a reporter or photographer being at that intersection the moment a cadillac estimate pulled up at the stoplight, stopped and fell into a 10 foot holes? what are the chance of someone else being there with a smart phone, a camera? our editors are on twitter and created something that everybody was going to.
as in is that guy posted his photo of the escalade 10 feet down in whole, which was five minutes after he personally helped the guy out of the whole, we had it on our website. there is a credible source of information. whoever is at the event can tell you about it instantly. on the other hand, you have a congress woman gets sought, and many reported she was killed, when that was not true, but the same rushed to the truth. in some cases, you can almost justify it, because you can sell on facts or the story. in the financial industry, you do not need to be factual.
sometimes we tell our beat reporters, if there is room out there, get out there and say, we have not confirmed it or thought of it. stay tuned. people seem to appreciate that. >> there was a recent slap on twitter. it was over reports that markets had been suspended. it was due to the investigation and in great britain. there was a discussion of that later. a reporter says, it is fine. hey did you hear? it is fine to tweet that. no problem with doing that. we talk about those things in newsrooms all the time.
we get a measure of credibility eting. by tweakin >> the blogger post was nuts. to a lot of people, it was a news source. you have to be really careful. it was the latest. you do not have anything to the conversation, adding things that may be true or may not. this is a great example. who knows if something is true? if you have no business putting it out there.
>> we have seen coverage of the mega trials, where there is speculation guessing what it means. in one of the trials, i cannot recall, there was a cable show that opened up saying, we have this development. we do not know what it means. it leads to some of the complaints and problems we see in journalism. raise your hand. the microphone will come to you. some think we should be first and out there so people will follow us. >> one of the questions we should ask is why does it
matter? there is a lot of trivialization of the news in twitter. it equalizes all events. the majority of tweets -- it is good, because you can go to the source and look and see. it is really dangerous to put someone out there. if you use twitter, be careful with it, because i had an experience at npr -- i teach media ethics at georgetown. and in turn was shot last summer, stabbed in the back on her way to work. someone said morning producers a
shot. i had a direct response and said, it was an intern. i think she is ok. two hours later, i get a call, and i am independent of npr. i get a call saying please stop acting like a spokesman. someone had taken that and turned it into a block apiece. and since that out on twitter and use me as the source. anything can and will be used against year. i could give hundreds of examples where it comes back to bite you. >> tell us who you are and where you are from a. >> and what you're twitter name is?
>> he mentioned there is a development that some news organizations -- and those that have predicted revenue flows are very popular. 100 years ago when i studied journalism history, that is taught journalism got its start in this country. every news organization had its political slant. you had to buy several newspapers to figure out what went on in the world. do you see this return to this type of journalism as a plus or minus? what was behind the demise of that kind of journalism back in colonial times? >> there is that back to the future aspect.
over time, there was a business model appealing to a broader swath of people. independent in journalism, it came about. it is an unfortunate development. as i mentioned, it leans to the debt ceiling. we have a lot of people that do not talk to each other. it makes dialogue very difficult. it is also a good business model. what we see will not unilaterally disarm any time
soon. [unintelligible] >> david from washington, d.c. you talk about the cataclysmic changes in your industry. what might you expect from government public affairs people, the courts ordered the department of health, that we might do to meet you halfway to make your jobs easier? >> the judiciary, if you look at the branches of government has been much slower to respond to the new media environment, in a way that the executive and legislative branches -- i suspect if we have a gathering from legislative branches, to
numbers, we would need a much larger room. you are somewhat of a stationary target. you put out schedules, you have hearings and things that are there to be covered. the other branches were more fluid. it seems to be over the course of our 10 years, 12 years, more of an awareness of your side to get the story out. you are not the shopkeeper to count on people coming into the store to buy. you have to go out and advertise or tell a story more. any of those efforts that we have heard about going out in reaching to the public more, to get resources on the news side it seems to be an interesting thing. news organizations take
advantage of those new tools. >> there is definitely and audience with public records. getting public records up in digital format is accessible. there is a great desire for that. when we put up the database website, to help the public, some get a huge page views. people do it for all kinds of reasons. personal, business. i encourage everyone to continue moving along those lines and get those records up and available to the public. they belong to the public. they can use it in multiple ways. most of what we are talking about has not changed, the basic of what we do the business
models have been disrupted. i think the same rules have always applied in telling a truthful, honest, factual story. when i was a reporter, the public information officers who i thought for most effective over the years were the ones who realized they cannot control the political leadership. the leaders would come and go into different parties come into and out of office. the one thing they could control -- they cannot control scandal, if someone was up to no good. -- the public information officers that really shined were
the ones that built relationship and became knowledgeable as credible sources of information. if they could not say something, because they would get their crooked boss in trouble, they would not say anything. but they would not lie. i think some of those rules apply. >> feed the shark for the shark will feed itself. the more you are open or providing some information, that is what i meant by understand the role of the reporter, if you have to have it now, finding -- providing credible information on a speedy basis is really critical.
>> you talked about what is better and what is worse in the current climate. one that has changed is the accessibility. the public can see them. you can really see the basis for our story. the accessibility of that public information -- >> whenever we do a court decision, it is linked to the court opinions, including the minority opinions. what a great resource. >> just because we can, should we. you probably know of pork -- about this. when they posted the names of the gun owners, legally allowed to carry a gun.
you could go on line to the newspaper, this caused a lot of problems when people thought there rights were violated. sleepovers were not allowed, because that person has a gun. there needs to be some thought. i am not quite clear on this. kenny go to a courthouse and get the names of jurors? >> except for one case in florida right now. >> being linked to jurors -- that is important to think about and talk about. what is good, what is the purpose, an alternative? just because you can, should you? that is the important thing. >> look at that anthony trial. >> know. -- no.
[laughter] >> the judge decided not to disclose the names of jurors temporarily, until about october. in doing that, basically slashed at the media coverage of that trial. he called for changes in for a public record loss saying, it is time to evaluate what we make public or not. it has had a strong tradition in the long bond opened public records. i was struck by that. you have an official that has made these rulings very favorable to openness during the trial. the judge was balancing the access versus the right to a fair trial. at the end, he looks at this and
says, this excessive, somewhat trivial coverage moved him in a very different direction. we have on public records, practical obscurities, open records but in a dusty book down in some archives. only people recording land transfers or divorces would come and look. the public really did not get that information. at a time when we can be more responsive as an industry, the memphis newspaper got a lot of flak for put -- posting those records. the newspaper pointed out that some wrongly got a gun permit. when jim and said when he was gone, he feared for the safety of his wife, who was handicapped. now we know what kind of weapon
is in their house. an interesting debate on that. are we responsibly reporting those public records? what is happening with this new opportunity or challenge? >> you have to make distinctions. there are a lot of individual judgments made. it is the classic journalism tenet that goes back to other platforms. just because we should do it -- can do it, should we do it? the truth does not mean you cannot make that judgment.
there are some many more players in the game. your individual judgments will fly in the face of everybody else. after a while, you look silly when it 90% of the new site name somebody. >> everyone knew who she was. a handful of mainstream news institutions make individual choices. they decide whether something is going to be out there or not. nobody died and made these gatekeeper's god, but at the same time, it means all bets are off.
what do you do once one person identifies someone in that case? it expands to dramatically, the dilemma. >> i think some are worried about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. in a lot of these cases, there is outrage, and people get angry. what real harm has been done? what can be done to prevent that specific type of harm from happening, rather than that bunch of records? we have had in our state for privacy issues, the legislature to pass laws making it harder to get records, because people are worried about identity that. the consequence was we wanted to do a story on finding out which
appraisers were in cahoots with bad mortgage brokers leading the financial crisis fight, by giving false appraisals and leading to all of this damage we are still going through today. the mortgage is going to people that should not have gotten mortgages. we cannot get those records because of privacy laws in the past. we got them on mortgage brokers. we cannot get them on the appraisers that they were in cahoots with. what worries me is the more you seal off, the more likely it is that there will be wrongdoing that cannot be exposed and will never come up. >> i think we are talking about asking questions. >> will the pass in the law in florida due to the anthony
trial? i think some are overreacting. >> what i have seen, they have explained their decision very well. >> one of the things that i recall, speaking of the prehistoric days -- we have a question. let us go to that. >> i am from arizona. you touched on the investigative and watchdog reporting. how many stories do you feel have to be dug out to find a legitimate story where there was a misuse. i have seen a lot of news reporters -- you have to do a lot of research in order to
find that one story that can consume the time of the agency as they are searching for the misuse. how would you recommend that we handle those kinds of requests, knowing that 90% of them probably will not lead anywhere. >> that is a good question. what has worked well in the past is just pick up the phone and talk to us. we can work this out. sometimes you clarify their request and make it -- you focus on where you think there may be something you have a tip for. you make it much easier to deal
with. the more you can establish that, this will take too much time. you will not get it for three months. that will not do any good. you usually can work out a must -- much more focused request. the problem is, there are different definitions of what watchdog is. some of put the label on things that are not really merited. that is part of the nature of the beast. i think we are trying to do sophisticated reporting, looking at the truth. if it is not there, we will not continue.
>> that is why it can lead to wasted time on your end. it may be a tip that does not pan out or is more nuanced. it is hard to know out of the gate. >> a lot of reasons why they do not do investigative reporting is it is time consuming and expensive and may not lead to anywhere. >> my concern is with the declining numbers in the newsroom, once the investigation has started, it does not matter, there has to be a story there. the most minor point, that is not a watch dog story, some new ones has to be a story.
>> it is often the call not to run a story. >> in this climate, if this is your big investment, and sometimes that is the best thing you can do. >> to echo what has been said, working in the talking back and forth. early in my career, we did an investigation about gambling in the officials. it was sort of shoe leather knocking on doors. when we finally got the documents, there was no story there. we had gotten resistance getting that information from the record holders.
we had that kind of dialogue early on, it would not have consumed our time or as much of their time to produce these documents or resisting them at first. one of the solutions is the idea of talking back and forth early on. communication, not the greatest strength in either of our fields. >> my question is, who is a journalist? i am trying to come up with a will for my appellate court, for letting journalists tweet from the courtroom. my problem now is, who is a journalist? every blocker out there a journalist?
coo is checking their facts? >> the first amendment does not specifically protected the press. it protects the public. someone can go to the court room in tweet as a member of the -- you could it? no cellphone. >> i think you touched on the first amendment answer. a functional definition to start out with is much better than a circulation or term of employment or audience size. there will be places that do not have them at that have been in the business for 50 years that is much smaller than the person that has 1 million hits during the week. the least a functional definition. what are you doing? and you conveying news and
information to the public? start their it is going to produce numbers these days, particularly in high profile trials. >> if there are certain limitations, like a small courtroom, i think it is an imperfect solution. you can almost throw the ball over to the media organization and say, come up with a system. you figure it out. we have had to deal with it in a lot of situations. sometimes, you have to throw the ball into their court. >> i think it is a fascinating issue. the definition continues to change. i think there was initial reaction of traditional media f
chris matthews, pancake idea. they were circling the wagons. it was old school. there were a lot of blockers that no. there is the whole citizen journalism that goes to their township meeting every week. i do not think those answers work anymore. >> there was some discussion on our list of about when you have an advocacy group that was filming in court that would not have been under rules to do that. we asked ourselves, does it matter?
and how do we address that? we start looking at the media and not the person. if you are allowed to be there, we cannot limit you and require you to get court permission. that is a hard call when so many people are out there doing it. any comment on any way we can deal with that? it is in federal court now. >> if you go back to what the media is. , they were highly partisan. no objectivity.
and that is what a free press has in mind. it changed in part, because it was a mass audience. i think they look to what is the purpose of it. a surreptitious video, may be done from a shirt pocket, and portrayed as we did not want you to see this, versus and other view of the courtroom. right from the start, he run not providing or slanting that report by saying, come on in.
have a seat. rotate people in and out, if there is a space issue. if you treat them all the same way, they lose that immediate aspect about the court's motive. >> other states have similar organizations. our position has always been, we are just citizens. we share the same right as all citizens of wisconsin. in most cases, where there is a sensational trial or an immediate amount of space, i think it is the best way to go that citizens are citizens. >> they say transparency is the new conductivity with the internet. the more open, the better.
>> nancy peters, minnesota. we oftentimes have a high- profile case that is reported very well, very accurately. once a year, there is the public commenting on the story on line. for me, it is a discouraging to read what more than half of the comments are, because they miss the main point of the story. and they have their own agenda, that they can spin off into something else. then the banter between them. we are supposed to be educating the public about the courts as you are trying to. what does that do to your
development and how you approach the next story. right from the get go, it was a great story. the public is still not absorbing its the way you would think. >> i think online commenting is pro-democracy. news organizations will not get rid of it. it has very little volume. i took a lot of grief, -- the figures are that 90% of the public online reids and moves on. there is a percentage that will comment, and then the one% online nominators. i doubt george would say he would get rid of it, but i do not think it is worth paying attention to.
>> one of the uglier side of journalism. it is an ugly window into human nature. the level of comment and personalized responses. i have a friend that is a national leading sports writer. she cannot bring herself to read the comments. they are attacking her character, her hair style, in the most vicious way. pro-democracy is a good way to put it. what bothers me are the anonymous comments. i do not think there is a place for it.
broaden our perspective and look past that. we need to look into the days and weeks beforehand at the points where this person purchased weapons, when we could intervene, when mental-health officials actually spoke with him and chose not to fully follow up with a student until he no longer posed a threat. i am not comfortable with the status quo on college campuses right now. do not think that i think things should remain the same. i absolutely think things should get better. we need to do more preventive work. we should be proactive instead of reactive. proactive in measures like mental health, making sure that students are followed up with until they no longer pose a threat. we should be preventative beforehand. i was the victim of someone whose background was not given
from one agency to another agency. if that exchange happen, he would not have been able of purchase a gun down the road. he could've gone to a gun show and purchase those with no background check whatsoever. if you want to deal with the shootings anywhere, college campuses anywhere, we should do background checks on every single person. i hear that guns do not kill people, people kill people. if you agree with that general statement, it is nine guns and kill people, then you agree that we need to check those people. and we do not do that every time. it is ridiculous that it can literally be denied from one guy at gun show, go to tables over, and purchase that same gun without any background check. it will actually charge you for
premium. people were trying to evade background checks, going under this system. that is worth a lot, and that is something that they will pay. people say, i never want to have to use this gun. it is a last if i want to do. however this is the first-ever you are discussing here. we need to be maxine out all other avenues, not only mental health and backward checks, but having a lock on the door. adding two doors in a classroom. having and also they cannot be changes shut so that the police can i come in. if we did all of these things and we're still having problems, that we can continue to look down the list. but do not go to the end of the list first.
there are non-controversial things that can help prevent violence just about anywhere. the one thing i think that happened recently that makes it your argument more difficult for me to understand is the fact that in state after state is becoming easier and easier to carry a concealed weapon, to get your permit. in virginia you can get your permit without ever shooting a gun. how can you tell me that is someone we should introduce with a gun in a college campus? i fundamentally do not agree with that. people i know, over in iraq, i can understand that they can at some point. but the other people i know? my friend who died, who never shot a gun in her life, i would not feel comfortable with her sitting next to me. i'm sorry.
when states are making it easier every year and you guys do not say nothing? i do not understand. we're talking about people having eluded, concealed weapon in public. this is out in public. this is a privilege we grant to people for certain requirements and those requirements are dropping and they should not be doing that. you should want the highest standard among gun ownership, for people that you associate. let's have that discussion and not this one. i know what i was coming into coming here today, that this is not a group of my buddies, so to speak. but i understand that you guys are afraid. you guys are fearful when you go
on to college campuses. i understand that. i was in a situation where i was almost killed on a college campus. people are surprised that do not carry a gun with me everywhere i go. i do not want to live in a free country where my freedom depends on something on my side. i do not think that that is working toward a free country. you should be allowed to live without having -- without worried getting shot at going down the street chemical into a supermarket, going to a college campus. that is what we should be working toward. not the other way around, in my opinion. i am trying to deal with that fear, and i am dealing with that fear by leggett -- looking further upstream instead of at the last popples second. -- last possible second. but before the situation that
you never want that have happened happened. then we can make some progress. it would not only reduce violence on college campuses, but just about anywhere. if the general idea is that more guns in our country would make us safer, if that was true, then the united states of america should be one of the safest countries in the world. and we are not. so that is all i really have to say. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. we will follow-up with a one group -- one-minute grouper bottle on the side. -- group rebuttal on each side. >> the head of the brady campaign had agreed to do this and i guess that he left. colin step in and i appreciate
him doing that. i ended up talking to dozens of people present at these types of events. my heart goes out of people for it is hard to think of the more terrifying, helpless situation, when you have to live there and pretend to be debt usually, and hope that the person is not going to kill you. when there's nothing as you can do it that point in time. it is hard to think of the more terrifying situation. i want to address some of the points that colin brought up. one is the experience. we have had a number of multiple-victim shootings and schools. people will know that over a quarter of this school shootings in the united states have been stopped by citizens with gun before uniformed police have been able to arrive. but they get relatively little coverage about how they actually were stopped. the been stopped in churches and malls and other places around
the country, even on city streets. their stock without people getting killed, then it gets no coverage. and that only gets a percentage of the news coverage. in mississippi in pennsylvania, a couple of cases. you had the appellation of law school in virginia, stopped by citizens with guns. bill anderson, we looked at 13 different types of gun laws, background checks included, brady act, other state background checks. i wish it was that easy. i wish it was easy did you could just pass a background checking keep bad things from doing things spurred the person who shot colin did not fail packer and checks. he passed them. how're you going to change it,
make it so anyone who has any type of memo illness are going to lose their right to own a gun? the problem is coming even with the rules that we have, if someone is planning ahead, and the norwegian killer was planning ahead for years, how can you stop somebody, even though they have very strict handgun regulations in norway, it did not stop them from getting the handguns that he got and used in the attacks. their regulations are stricter there can in the united states. yet it did not stop him from being able to do that. and the background checks, i do not know of any research by criminologist that have found that background checks and national studies, looking at the brady act, have found drops in violent crimes nationally.
that is what the mitchell one thing with regard to israel. israel has learned a lot from these types of attacks. it has learned that terrorists have a huge strategic advantage for you could try to put more police there, the stores, but the problem is terrorists can either wait until the uniformed police or military leave the scene in attack, or they read the first people that you take out. israel for years kept trying to put more police and more military on the street. they gave a because they did not have enough money to protect every possible vulnerable target. what they did was, in the early 1970's, they started letting a build jewish citizens carry around concealed handguns. now about 15% is able to carry handguns. you'll see at the very same time, a huge change in the type of terrorist attacks that
occurred. i do not have time to go into it now. you want to have more regulations? you have to realize that there are trade-offs. you make it more costly and difficult for people to get guns, you will let your people who will be all have guns and protect themselves, and you'll have less deterrence in terms of these attacks are occurring. but thank you for coming here. the reason why we wanted someone from the brady campaign was to precisely given alternative viewpoints so that we could have a discussion and dialogue. the last time i debated someone, we talked for half hour afterwards. i enjoyed it and i appreciate colin coming. [applause] >> thanks, john. i heard you saw something that i have heard quite often in debating, this argument.
criminals do not follow the rules. you pass rules that only affect a law-abiding people. i understand that people will always run red lights, people will always drive recklessly, and some people will always be. if your idea is we should not have traffic lights or stop lights or speed limits, because people will break the rules? that is the fundamental argument, a call or anarchy if you take it to the end. we need laws in place to make it difficult for dangerous people to easily obtain dangerous weapons. it is simple, a fundamental fact. last weekend, seven people were killed in akron, ohio in their homes. not a gun-free zone. i'm glad you mentioned the aberration law schools shooting, something restated over and over again in the public domain.
there's something fundamentally wrong with your understanding of it. that shooter finished shooting and disarmed himself, put his gun down, and was tackled by another unarmed student. he was being subdued by the student, and two law enforcement officers went to their trust, who are taking classes there, and then held him at gunpoint. he was stopped by and on non person after he had disarmed himself paired this was not someone stopping a shooting because there was a concealing carry licensed person. another person was stopped by a 55 year-old woman, not someone with a concealed weapon. like i said, generally, i understand how people feel uneasy, but we need to look at the bigger picture. we need to step back and have an open highs as opposed to looking at something very narrowly.
this is bigger than a problem on college campuses, we have a problem of violence everywhere in our country and we need to address all of it, not part of it. something as simple as requiring background checks on every single seller. if you read these an american, you should want to know that the gun you are about to sell someone who can legally on it. who does not agree with that are smart what we're trying to do is pass simple common sense things that make it more difficult for dangerous people to retire or to acquire license. thank you. [applause] >> thank you all for being here. i do have to mention that this is something that we pride ourselves very much for concealing carry, that we welcome the opposing view.
if you disagree with that, and you think our viewpoint is wrong, or you think that we are misguided, and come presenter reformation because we are willing to hear it. however we have been pushing this agenda for a long time. >> later this morning the president travels to springfield for the interstate moving since -- interstate moving services company. we will have more of our live coverage of events in a moment. >> the ayes are 74 and the nays are 26. the motion to concur is agreed to. >> with the debt ceiling bill now signed into law, watch the debate on the house and senate
floors and see what your elected officials said and how they finally voted with c-span's congressional chronicle, a comprehensive resource on congress. if there is video of a recession in complete voting records. when members return in september, all of the appropriations process with daily floor action at c- span.org/congress. >> seen as a testing ground for presidential hopefuls, republican candidates are gathering in iowa for state your activity for starting thursday, line from des moines, we will interview candidates and take your phone calls about politics. we will go for the iowa straw poll were three of the past five winters have gone on to win the iowa caucus and two have won the presidency. this week on c-span. >> now discussion on the african-american vote in the 2012 elections. speakers include maryland
create a stronger progressive moment that is more reflective of our changing nation. ofay's panel is a series events to help understand the voting population veered we've had panels on women voters, latino voters, asian-americans and pacific island voters, and today we have and as someone not to discuss the african-american vote. with us is donna edwards' year results maryland's fourth congressional district which includes portions of prince george in montgomery county. she is the first african- american woman to represent maryland in the u.s. house of representatives. she serves on the committees of transportation and infrastructure, science and technology, and on the human rights and bench -- commission. she is a member of the progressive caucus and was recently chosen to co-chair the democratic congressional committees.
after she made her remarks, my colleague will moderate a question and answer with representative edwards. enjoy the program and thank you, congresswoman. [applause] >> thank you for being here on a pleasant day in washington. i represent a district outside the city and i love august and the traffic is so much better. i get to go to things in here and a lot of wonderful, interesting panels and events. i appreciate being here. the topic today is really fascinating and i want to share with you my perspective as someone who represents maryland's fourth congressional
district comprising two county's right outside of washington, d.c. i want to tell you about them because they mirror what is happening in metropolitan areas and all across the country. prince george's county is a majority african-american county by population. we have had a really strong growth over the last decade, of like many counties are among our hispanic and latino populations. montgomery county also bordering the district of columbia is now a majority minority county. maryland like many states is well on its way over this next decade to becoming a majority minority state. i think those are the realities of the demographics all across our country. i happen to be so pleased to represent two county set also from an economic perspective many people in both of these counties are doing extremely well.
probably the population in prince george's county is not as reflective of the african- american population and economic demographics of other places around the country, other counties of this type. but it enjoys all level of success both politically and economically that is very different and then some other places in the country. nonetheless, some of the same concerns that we have in prince george's and montgomery county in the suburban areas, in these growing areas of change tomography, or problems that other communities across this country face. when faced with a question about 2012 and what the demographics suggest, and then beyond that, i have to look to those two counties as a way to reflect what may be happening
all around the country. now i'm always loath the when speaking with anyone about what is going on in african-american communities to speak on behalf of those communities, because while many of us share a lot of concerns and feel some of the challenges, we are not monolithic. that is a mistake that is made politically but i democrats and by republicans. if you ask what are the concerns and my communities, here's what i continue. those concerns mirror concerns nationally, concerns about jobs and job creation, about the relative disparities between those who earn a lot and those who do not earn so much. they are the same challenges of growing your children and educating them and sending them on to colleges and universities and trade schools, the concerns about whether those young people will be able to find jobs in the larger economy.
what i continue as well is that people have in my community a majority african-american congressional districts with these different yet very similar counties, that people are also concerned about the other mundane things like transportation policy and how they can get to and from work and around their communities. they're concerned about whether their air is clear and clean and whether their water is clear and clean. they believe that our national policies need to be more reflective of the broader communities that we represent. are these african-american concerns or american concerns? there is a mixed question there. i read over this last weekend articles about whether president obama is going to enjoy the support among african-american
populations, among those of the left of the political scale and that kind of enthusiasm, over this next election. what i would share with you is that i think that the frustrations that people feel our frustrations that all americans are feeling in this tough economy. and that whomever is -- if president obama is reelected, if there is another candidate on the other side there rises to the fore, that they will have to address those concerns. i'm always challenged to think about those demographics and what they mean for african- americans. because there is an african- american in the white house, does that change the way that we think about our policies and politics? does it mean the difference in the terms of the way that we think about our civil-rights, our rights as american people?
i love present obama and like what he is doing some times. sometimes i'm critical of what he is doing. but no more critical than i would be if anybody else occupied the white house. and this is what i hear among african-american families and in the communities that i represent. so here we are, moving toward 2012, and we are asking ourselves, what sort of policies are we going to pursue and how are we going to represent that in our politics? when i think about the county's i represent, part of the demographic shift, the community that we describe as african- american is also an african community. it is not just african american
if you get the kind of line and turn across here. and one part of the canada represented in montgomery county, we have had huge growth of african immigrants in parts of both of these counties. that also impacts the with the we think about our local politics and about policies. it means that in representing a community of -- as the first that i do, that the hispanic and african-american populations and asian populations, and combine that with the white population, they are concerned about other issues, concerned about immigration and the impact of immigration on our larger economy. not concerned so that they want to constrain that, but concerned that they want to manage it. and i think these discussions can play out in many different ways in many different communities.
i want to share with you the way that that happens in mind. some of ask whether given the african-american community,'s high unemployment, what the expectations are among african- americans in this next election. i will share with you that when i look at unemployment, i let that the unemployment numbers released just last week. one of the not so reported facts and at 116,000 job growth in the last week's report, is that there was actually a higher rate of growth, and african- americans and the reported in the 116,000. to be sure, to get this economy rolling, we will need three times that number of jobs created over the course of weeks and months in order to make a difference in the economy. there are african-americans who
came -- who are unemployed in this recession, who as the economy grows are going to get back into the work force. but we have a couple of different economies going on, and i think this is a concern that is raised among african american political leaders and in communities when it comes to unemployment. when we challenge the administration as we would challenge any administration to focus on job creation, you have those people who will go back into the economy, across the board, and as the economy recovers, and i believe that it will. but you also have a core of chronic unemployment that did not just take place with this last recession but has been going on for a couple of recessions in some communities. african-american immunities, the hispanic population, which requires a different type of strategy than just getting the
economy rolling again. some of us who are members of the congressional black caucus, there is hardly a week because by that one of us is not asked about whether or not president obama is doing enough for black people. i think president obama is doing just what he needs to do and we can argue about how their needs to be more here and there and how we would all to it differently, for all americans. i think that our job and part of our responsibility of representing a majority african- american district in the congressional black caucus's to chalices administration the way we would challenge any other administration to be more and do right by our communities. for 20 tell, for me, it means focusing on creating jobs to grow the economy overall, but the train people for the skills that they will need for the 21st century.
job training and job creation, recognizing the way that we will rebuild this economy is not with the skills that we left in the 20 century. that would be a challenge for any president. it is especially a challenge for this one. he is beginning to define an agenda going forward for 2012. just like everybody else across the country will be asking those questions of the two presidential nominee's from the parties, we will be asking that question of president obama. i think that he has a khodzhent response to those questions -- cogent to those questions about an economy that he inherited, about circumstances in our institutions that he has inherited. but he has to have a response to that. one is larger economy begins to work again, i think that by investing in things like our infrastructure, rebuilding our
roads and our bridges and investing in mass transit, that these are things that will come to the benefit of african- americans said that we can properly as the questions about whether this president or any president is doing what is right by all of our communities. i would note one thing they resonated, i was on a coffee shop in my congressional district talking to people, and in a grocery store, that is what we do in august. but as i was out, people were really cognizant of the fact that they thought that the president was fighting for pell grants. why as a fight for pell grants something that is relatively a small program within the larger federal budget, why is is so important to african-american families? it is in part because we have a generational professionals now have pen if it is like i have from the pell grant programs, and we have a growing generation that wants to send their kids to school, facing to
the extent that they on homes, that they're facing lower equity in their homes against which the bar to send their children to school, and for whom pell grants are really important components along with student loans about the way it their children, their young people, can achieve in this century. they'll look at the defense of something like that, like programs, and the defense of social security and medicare and the basic safety net programs, as a defense for a community there really struggles. so those of the questions that i think will be asked in 2012, and i believe that republicans frankly have missed the mark when it comes to reaching out to the african-american community. for example, in the recent debt ceiling debate, to hear the rumor mill, a gop strategy that would cut away pell grants and student loans, it is not that
african-americans will not vote for republican candidates just because they are republicans, but they will look at what the issues are and what the substances, and that debate, in order to make a decision about whether it someone is standing for them or not. that has always been true and it is especially true in 2012. i will argue to those who are seeking to egal whatever% of it owed it is reaching -- eke out whatever percentage of those, is on that basis, in my community, it is on that business that we make our political decision. the fact that one party or another supports spending on programs -- on pell grants and
student loan availability and on child nutrition, and on affordable housing, and for a safety net program like retirement security, for health care -- speaking to those issues, they are speaking to job creation, those are ways that you develop a relationship with the community. and i know that that is true among african-american populations, most assuredly true for all americans. whomever those canadas and whatever the political party is this speaks to those concerns, they will gain the support of those political candidates. and we're not here to discuss the party politics, but it is important for us to focus on what it is that draws people to one party or another.
that goes deeper into the question of whether or not one party or other is responding to issues of concern to communities comes to issues of concerns to african-americans. i think i am going to stop there. i will just say in closing, however, that again, african- americans and the people i represent in my congressional district are not of one mind about their politics. but they are of one mind about what is that is needed to improve their community. i think that the challenge for 2012 and going forward in terms of our relationship with hispanic communities, our relationship with other minority communities, is to be of level is about things that are going to lift communities appeared people are very sensitive to that and they know those things.
they know that when it comes time to putting food on the table and someone has to go out and find a job, the skills it takes to do that, what skills the text to be on the work force, and whether there are policies in place that enable them to deal -- as the president said -- to have all americans take advantage of the american dream. so let me take a few minutes to take just a few questions, and i will share with you that for all that has been written -- and i haven't called just a few days ago from someone saying, the support among african-americans for president obama has dropped to historical lows. and i would urge them to come out to the fourth congressional district, because my experience is that that has not been true. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, congresswoman. we will take a few questions from the audience.
if you could please wait for the microphone and state your name and organization you're with. right here. >> i have no organization but i am a product of the 1960's and i remember people who are dying, fighting to get the right of abode. it seems that there are hard to many african americans who do not mud. i live in virginia. i believe that it would be in the interest of the black community to get out the vote to people who do not even know what a pell grant is. danville, we have mr. cantor representing us. it seems to me that if the african-american community had voted in the state elections
that elected the tea party candidates as they did in the last presidential elections, we would have a very different outcome. likei'm saying is, people yourself and others who have a public voice, what you do to get african-americans registered to vote and to the polls instead of just national elections? >> in the 2008 election across the board, with such huge voter turnout among african-americans because there was a candidate at the top of the ticket that spoke to the concerns and needs and challenges, hopes, dreams, and opportunities of the american people, and that african-american people. i believe candidates matter, quite frankly, and issues matter. and i will say this is a challenge to many of my democratic colleagues as well, when we speak to the issues that are of concern to people,
whether those are african- american people or others, because the challenge of the country is not just as you suggest that african-americans are not voting. americans are not voting, let's be clear about that. so the challenge is making certain that we have candidates who are talking about issues in a way that is more than just talk but suggests that they will take a meaningful opportunity to work on things that are of concern, i would say, working on things that are concerned to working people. i know what it is like to get up in the morning and struggle to pay their rent, the mortgage, the electric bill, to juggle those bills in a well that some many american families do. and i know that when people understand that we understand as elected leaders, those seeking public office, what they are facing every day, they will come out to vote for you. so our challenge, whether you're
at the top of the ticket as the president will be, or whether you're running for congress, is to speak to the needs of the american people, and if you are representing african-american people and hispanic and latinos and white people and nations and everyone in between, speak to the needs of working people and people will show up to vote. >> right there in the back, in the middle. >> i am from oped news, and now all is said since i became an activist for election integrity, that if everyone in this country who could bode did vote, there will never be a republican in office. [laughter] but my immediate concern is what percentage of people in your district vote, and what is the
congressional black caucus doing about getting people out to vote in general? and they are working against an awful lot of machinery, including corruption at the level of computerized voting machines. the effort really has to be redoubled. >> listen, in this country, we are not a nation that requires people to vote. there are some countries were betting is a requirement, a constitutional requirement. it is not here in the united states. it is up to people who run for elective office to be responsive to the needs of communities and encourage them to vote. but we also have to do with systemic issues begin in the way of people being able to exercise their franchise and the way that they need. all point in particular to the
unbelievable number of voter identification laws that are cropping up all across this country, that in effect operate in a way that i believe is designed to suppress votes. in particular is used to suppress votes of people of color in a whole number of states. i believe it is a challenge for our democracy to make sure that we get rid of these barriers they get in the way of people being able to vote. i am very proud to come from a state, maryland, where in our last election finally instituted the ability to vote over a couple of weeks. and for our off cycle elections, it was refreshing to see people who did not have to wait until a given tuesday in the evening after work to try to make it to day care and then on to a polling place in order to be of that exercise their franchise predicted to win on monday or tuesday or wednesday
or saturday. i actually think we need more of that. some suggestion that there is a massive voter fraud going on all around the country, and that is the reason we need these laws in place, these voter i.d. laws, ways in which you have to check your birth certificate -- i do not carry my birth certificate anywhere. we actually have to reverse that trend and open up opportunities for people to be able that exercise their franchise in a way that is meaningful to them varied and that as i have anything to do with machinery, but with the system. and there are reasons that -- i have been a big proponent and always have been long before i came into congress of actually opening up opportunities for people to participate and exercise their civic responsibilities. and that means actually
expanding opportunities to vote. you can imagine, sometimes they're people who hold elective office, who do not mind the idea of having a small electorate with which to deal, because it is shaky of canada having to respond to everybody, knocking on doors, making phone calls at a lot of different places, and stopping in at all whole bunch of businesses that you never did before, but that is not good for democracy. we want to open up the marketplace of people who can show up in both at many different places and exercise their franchise and a way that they can. i do not think we run any risk at all -- i cannot remember what state was listening to someone talk about allegations of voter fraud, and it was literally, hundreds of thousands of votes cast? 0.1% of anything identified as potential voter fraud, that even
actual voter fraud. -- not even actual voter fraud. that is a suggestion designed to suppress votes and results in systemic policies they get in the way of people exercising their protests. everyone who wants to be able to vote should be able to do that. the age limit is over 18, that is fine with me, too. but you can do it across restore or the board of elections, it does not matter to me. >> anyone? yes. >> is going to be an important issue in this election, and you cannot wait until the last month before the election to have your gotv plan in action. laws were passed in the states as to registration, and we know already that it is to block the minority votes.
i challenge the black caucus and the latino caucus to formulate a plan now said that people will have those appropriate ids. i've asked the question over and over about early voting for no one can answer the question. what type of identification? your driver's license in order to vote in that election? early in that election? that question should be answered now. and formulate a plan now. i also challenged both caucuses to stop talking with politics. i realize you like your jobs, i realize the tea party, guests, but what the people need is for you to talk to them. remember the last democratic president, clinton. he always knew how to connect on four different subjects. he always connected with the
people. people do not understand the debt crisis. they want to hear what it means to them. they do not understand free trade with china. they only understand what the price of food is in walmart. and you have to talk with small -- walmart and bring it down to the level, but the key to this election, i say, even in the district of columbia, the machines did not work. it didn't work with gore, and no one did anything about it. and if you do not have a trail on those votes, they will lose it. >> this is the last question that we can take. let me close by saying that as to the election, i think you're right. we have to have a strong turnout from a whole range of folks to comprise the 2008
electorate cut and we need to make sure that they are as invigorated for 2012. but that also means we have to have a strong electorate the comprises young people. people my son's age. i want to give my son who is 23 a reason to go out and vote, not just a vote for his mother, but a reason to go out and vote. m believe me, i have to work for that vote. [laughter] we have to give young people a reason to vote on. we have to say to them, to speak to them about their concerns, about their concerns for jobs and being able to take advantage in this work force. we have to speak to them about our desire and what the differences are between those who want to make sure that they are able to get an education and those who are working against that. many young people voting. we need a high voter turnout
among african-americans, among latinos. the congressional black caucus has actually been doing quite a lot on this issue of what is happening systemically in some of the state's are around voter i.d.. not all of these laws are fully in place, and some of them are being challenged in court. that fight is that actually over. -- not actually over. we still have to challenge people to come out and vote, but the way that we do that is to speak to their concerns. none of us will get excited about going out to vote if people do not understand what it is that we are interested in and what we're concerned about. that is the hallmark of how one wins an election. we also have to do what we need to do both in congress and raising visibility of the issue
of jobs in this country, the no. 1 driver was on people's minds right now, whether the in their children are going to be able to survive in this economy and get a job where they can get up in the morning and take care of themselves and their families. the candidates to speak to those issues, whether national candidates for local candidates, or going to be the ones that it invigorate the type of energy it will take for this 2012 election cycle. that said, as a part of this discussion that we're having today, it is about the changing demographics for 2012 and beyond. and what that means about our politics and our policies, what it means about a kind of candidate running in elections all across this country, at the national and local levels. is reflective on how the lines are going to be redrawn for
redistricting in some states, in states where it is not just about the congressional line but all of those local lines that then become the pipeline for candidates that are more representative of the community than they are now. this is a really defining time, and for the american public, to actually embrace who we are becoming. we're getting there and who we are becoming is a much more diverse country were many more people enjoy the opportunity and participate in the political and civic life of this country. and that begins with us, i think, in 2012 has this electorate and is change the demographics is reflected. i just want to thank you all very much. i will be looking at our panel as it is aired on c-span. and i encourage all of you if you're writing about and thinking about and talking
about 2012, you have to talk about the way in which communities of color need to be and should be increasingly engaged in our politics in our civic life. thank you all very much. [applause] >> you want to come on? thank you, congresswoman. thank you all for joining us today. we are excited for this panel we are about have this afternoon. i will do some quick introductions. to my right is a pulitzer prize- winning journalist third he had been a member of the editorial board of the "washington board" since 2007. it's been a contributor on abc news and a substitute host wnyc.
before joining the faculty, she taught at harvard clinic -- harvard kennedy school. she covers race of the immigration and race in american politics. she is author of a book and numerous articles and book chapters. last and not least, -- he provides strategic counsel to corporate and nonprofit clients. during the 2010 congressional elections, he was a democratic political analyst for cbs news and before that i fixture on cnn. please join me in welcoming our panelists today. [applause] i was going to start off by talking about the economy and we will have plenty of time to get to that. but i wanted to talk about voter
turnout and voter support, says that was something the was brought up in the last sessions. 2008 was at an historic election for many reasons. it was the election of the first african american president and turnout was unprecedented. we saw a drop in 2012 -- in 2010. in 2012, how we recapture the excitement of 2008? will the issue is be on the table be enough to drive african-americans to come out in the numbers that they did in 2008, given what we saw in 2010? >> i think there are a number of structural reasons that we can let's get to explain why voter turnout has increased over time. get out the vote efforts have been improved, and social networking tools have a lot to do with that. so if elected 2008 and set a historic election in terms of turnout and in other ways, but
can we recapture that? i do not know. i tend to expect that voter turnout will go down. in part it will be because -- one is dissolution that democrats feeling that president obama has not delivered their -- for them, and then you have a week's slate of republican candidates, where the republicans can rouse themselves to get to the polls for this bunch of candidates. >> any thoughts on then? >> would be like 2008, you can never experience your first kiss twice. so the excitement that comes along with that election will be really hard to replicate and manufacture mechanically. there are a group of people to pay attention to, who was excited as they were about to fascinate, they denied a chance
to participate, high school-age children across the country, they volunteered into a lot of work. they are now in college. they also have unemployment. they have not had that five or they learned in high school and now they're starting in their first job if they are not in college. so there is a population there for the candidates to go after that will make a difference. but if you look at what has happened at our unemployment level round the country, i come from michigan and detroit. what you are seeing in a place like michigan are these manufacturing job losses that occurred not just fund the last four years but the last couple of decades. a lot of people voted for barack obama and not necessarily for individual policy reasons, but because it was something about their heart, an aspirational gold the face of. is this going to be a challenge
to go back in connected them on the emotional level to get the reaction they will make them turn out? >> i agree with everything that they said. i especially like jamal's analogy. the good thing to keep an end mind, it was not just at the barack obama was running for president, but remember that not down, drag out primary fight between senator clinton and senator obama, and there was excitement in the democratic base for months. once they finally figured out, people ran to the polls. jamal raises a good point about people voting with their hearts. it is easy to vote with your heart when you are listening to someone speak to you and speak your ideal and vision of america. it is another thing to go into the voting booth in 2012 when that person inspired some much
hope and hope for change in the country, and now that person has a record to run on and has circumstances beyond his control that have been smacked him upside the head since before you walk into office. they will be the challenge for the administration and would be a challenge for any incumbent administration. because this administration is so historic in some meaningful lot of levels, i think that i agree with him that probably turnout will go down for the reasons that she said, but also people will just -- who was a askedthat the president's that said she was weary? she loved the president but she was weary. it was not a novel plan, but the first time we heard it articulate it. articulate it.