tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 30, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EDT
and what i am very proud of is that our commitment to justice reaches beyond our borders. the history of the jewish people reminds us of our unique responsibility in the international community, to stand up for what is right, speak out against hatred and injustice and ensure that the lessons of the holocaust are not lost to history. we have a responsibility and we must defend those unjustly persecuted, no matter where they are, and we must stand by our ally israel in the face of continued threats. . i hope you will join me in celebrating the rich history of jewish americans and looking forward to an even more vibrant and just future for
all people. >> thank you for your commitment and for blazing a trail and thank you for acknowledging my daughter and son's bar mitzvah, it was amazing to have the name of the service and ceremony during jewish american heritage month. we had a wonderful celebration last month and thank you for being an incredible example as a jewish mother who is raising jewish daughters. thank you for being an incredible example to them. mrs. lowey: i'm a jewish grandmother and i'm proud of my children and eight grandchildren. and i just want to say again
that you are really a role model for all women, not just jewish women, a strong woman with integrity who is committed to judaism, her family and yet you understand so well that we have an obligation beyond ourselves as we lift people up and hope that all people in the united states of america and around the world have the opportunity to raise children and have a good life and can have a future. so i want to thank you, because you are a role model that just does it all. in fact, it's amazing to me that you have done it all. so congratulations. thank you again for marking this important month for all of us. schultz schultz it is -- schulz
schulz it is hard to say enough good things about an incredible fighter, someone who has been a champion for the values that i know i was raised to believe in around my family dinner table growing up, the -- mr. speaker, we are going to use somiedish phrases and hebrew expressions, but the commitment to service and our commitment to fighting injustice is based in the notion of repairing the world. and so often we have mountains in front of us that seem so tough to climb and repairing the world can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. but working together to address a little bit of injustice, just
a small bite at a time, but banding together to do it is something that the jewish community has stood for for many years and no finer example -- i have to tell you that january schakowsky, as a representative from illinois, and someone who had a reputation long before i had the privilege of serving in this institution is someone like i wanted to be when i grew up, because he is the epito mmp e of what i was taught to believe in around my family table, fight for the civil rights and civil liberties that are instilled as jewish values. congresswoman january schakowsky from the state of illinois. ms. schakowsky: thank you for your leadership role in making jewish american heritage month a
reality. this was your idea and you mobilized the members of the house in a bipartisan way to make this happen. and we're so appreciatetive. i think jews and non-jews alike realize it is important to honor the culture of the jewish community. jewish americans have have shaped american culture. jewish americans have made untold contributions through science, art, medicine, education, sports, technology, entertainment and government. jewish americans have served in the military and in government, have helped build and grow our economy and have served our communities as teachers, nurses, organizers and in countless other critical roles. american jews played a critical role in creating and sustaining
a homeland for all jews around the world, the state of israel, our beloved state of israel, first as a refuge for those who survive the holocaust, continuing to be a place where all jews are welcome and today, an enduring and essential ally of the united states of america. as a first generation jewish american, i have personally witnessed the struggles and successes of jewish immigrants who came to this nation in order to create a better life for themselves, their families and future generations, the reasons that all immigrants seek out the united states. like other important immigrant communities, the jewish experience in the united states represents the promise, the opportunity and the freedom of america. i think today about my grandparents, sam and marry, who
settled in chicago with three of their four children, fourth was born in the united states. my mother was not. they came from russia. they left a place that they knew they would never return to, left a place where there -- where it was dangerous for the jews and came to chicago, illinois. and every sunday, we would go to my grandparents' house in hum bolet park and i would rush out to what is now the garage but was the barn, where teddy the horse was there and i would say hello first to teddy even before my grandparents and teddy would pull the cart that my grandfather, a peddler, would every weekday, get up at the crack of dawn and take teddy and the wagon to the vegetable and
fruit market several miles away and load up the cart and carry bags of potatos up several flights of stairs in the alleys of humboldt park. my grandmother stayed home and she was a homemaker and they put all of their children through college. that was the american dream. my grandfather, as a peddler -- now college television isn't what it is today -- now college tuition isn't what it is today, two teachers, one lawyer, one business college student, all of those children of my grandfather, the peddler, could make it in america. that is the american dream.
it is the immigrant dream. it is the dream of hard-working people who believe if you get up at the crack of dawn and carry potatos up the back porch, that is the dream for everyone, our children and their children, that they can have a good life if they are willing to work hard. an estimated 250,000 jews live in chicago today. chicago's vibrant jewish community has been home to countless prominent figures, from sports, to the arts to politics. the father of community organizing came from a russian-jewish immigrant family. nobel prize-winning author grew up in chicago, from humboldt park. and his work show his strong
jewish roots. two actors were raised in jewish households. and benny goodman called chicago home. sidneyiates served in the house for 50e years working for environmental protection and two members of the chicago bears nfl football team are jewish american. american jewish-american month recognizes the contributions of jewish americans to our community, to our country, to our culture. they have made extraordinary contributions to american life and culture and in chicago and throughout the country, american jews continue to be leaders in
their communities. and all of those jews in america today owe a thank you to congresswoman wasserman schultz. so i thank you and i yield back. schulz schulz let me thank you for your leadership as a ranking member of the subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection for the energy and commerce committee and your leadership has been incredibly important for america. and i think it is interesting, you taught me something -- i didn't know there are two jewish players on the chicago bears. and one of your staffers was joking with my staffer today saying there are more jews on the chicago bears then there are in the illinois delegation. kind of ironic, actually. thank you so much for being here. schultz schultzes ta -- it's my
privilege to recognize a newer member who has big shoes to fill and served as a member of the house committee on judiciary and foreign affairs and state senator in the state of florida. i know him so well, congresswoman ted deutch. mr. deutch: thank you to my dear friend and thank you for your committed work to making sure that only this special order took place today but for your work in making sure that this month became a reality. you are to be commended for that and i appreciate it. i appreciate that opportunity to be here tonight. mr. speaker, i rise to celebrate the seventh annual jewish american heritage month, to
recognize the contributions of jewish americans throughout our history. america's jewish community has helped our country since its inception. jewish americans have served in our armed forces, in every major conflict in our nation's history and helps drive america as a powerhouse of economic innovation, contributing key advances in everything from science and medicine to the law and the arts. today, as we mark this year's jewish american heritage month here in congress, i would like to highlight our contribution to america's social policy. jewish americans have a long history of shaping our political priorities as a nation. i'm proud to be part of a community that has led efforts to protect the most vulnerable, to ensure fairness in our justice system, to promote economic opportunity and the
safeguard the religious freedoms and liberties of all americans. we need -- we look no further than social security, a program that keeps 50 million americans economically secure each year. serving in the community that helped establish social security was wilbur cohen, a man who was apointed by president kennedy as an assistant secretary for education, health and welfare. as a member of president johnson's cabinet, his influence over issues that impact america's seniors continued to grow and many today regard him as the man who built medicare. jewish americans took an active role in our struggle for civil rights. in the 1950's and 19650, they were engaged in the civil
rights. a great american jewish leader was one of the founders of the naacp and made the case that civil rights were not only a jewish issue, but civil rights as a great jewish issue. he understood and believed firmly that the jewish community that the nation, america was stronger when prejudice is defeated and when equal rights were extended to all. now joshua heshel marched with dr. king in selma and in reflecting upon that march, he said, when i marched in selma, my legs were praying. . it was his commitment
to what he viewed as essentially the holy work of lifting up all americans and ensuring equal rights for all. several prominent jewish activists, including michael schwarner, lost their lives along with african-american activist james chaney, while fighting for the right to vote alongside organizers in the south. and perhaps there is no greater indication of jewish americans' involvement in the struggle for civil rights than the fact that both the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965, two landmark pieces of civil rights legislation, were both drafted as legislation at the religious action center of reformed judaism. as a jewish american, i'm honored to be part of a community that throughout our nation's history has helped make
america a more fair and a more just nation. a nation where opportunity extends to all, where everyone can be lifted up by giving -- by going bisken -- by being given a chance to succeed. a commitment to ensuring that seniors live lives of dignity, where poor receive the support that they need when the times are most difficult. and finally it is the respect for every american, the dignity of every american that is recognized and fought for still to this day by so many in the jewish community. i am so grateful to my friend, congresswoman wasserman schultz, for helping to ensure that we have the opportunity to share these thoughts here on the floor of the u.s. house of representatives this evening, i'm grateful for that opportunity, i thank you for it, and i will yield back to my
friend. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you so much for your commitment, for your leadership. it is really a privilege to fight side by side with you. on behalf of our constituents in south florida, and on behalf of the values that matter so deeply to our commoo community. it really -- to our community. it really -- i've watched for many years, actually before you were elected to public office, your commitment to the u.s.-israel regulationship and to a strong and vibrant jewish state of israel, as an ap -- apack activist and then as a state senator, now as a member of congress and a colleague. thank you. it's now my privileged to recognize a newer colleague and a newer friend, with someone who i have seen develop as a leader and someone who has stepped up to represent her constituents in the western part of our country,
which i'm sure is a completely different jewish experience than east coast -- than an east coast experience. congresswoman bonamici is a new member elected in the special election, not even a year ago. actually just a few short months ago and she has stepped up and represents the portland area in oregon, is a member of the congregation beth israel more importantly and pleased to recognize her here tonight. ms. bonamici: thank you so much for yielding me this time, congresswoman waser -- congresswoman wasserman schultz, and for your leadership in jewish american heritage month. it's great to join you and our other colleagues here this evening, and, mr. speaker, to recognize the contributions that so many jewish americans have made to our communities, to our states, to our country. and there are many jewish americans who could be
recognized here this evening and deserve to be recognized for their contributions here this evening in honor of jewish american heritage month. i rise to pay tribute to a great jewish american, an oregonian, mr. herald shnitzer. he was the fifth of seven children of russian immigrants. he was born to rose and sam who took a junk business and turned it into a steel empire. as a boy harold earned 25 cents a week for polishing medal at his father's scrap yard. he told his teacher that lincoln high school in portland, in a his future was in steel, and by the wage of 16 he came back here to the east, he was studying at the massachusetts institute of technology. from which he graduated in 1944. he served in world war ii, he dealt scrap metal during his time in the army and he was
expected to take over the family business. but something happened, he didn't want to compete with his brothers. so he left to start his own real estate company, harsh investment properties. throughout his years, throughout his life, harold, along with his wife, arlene, generously supported education, health care, cultural and jewish constitutions and organizations, not only in portland but throughout the state of oregon. harold lost his life last year at the age of 87. there is no question that he embodied -- he made the world a better place. i want to thank you for this opportunity, congresswoman wasserman schultz, to pay tribute to a great jewish american, but also to say thank you again for making jewish
american heritage month a reality, so that others can learn about the contributions of jewish americans around this great yi -- country. thank you againer to this opportunity and i -- thank you again for this opportunity and i yield back the balance of my time. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you so much and thank you for your committee on the budget. we serve on that committee together. you have represented your constituents well and i appreciate you honoring the contributions of jewish americans across this country here tonight. now it's my privilege to bring to the ross trum, for lack of a better term, a friend and colleague who represents the southern region of california and -- san diego, yes, and who has been an incredible leader in the -- on the armed services committee, who has definitely, in her own right, been a jewish leader and as a jewish woman someone who has taken a leadership role in the area of
the armed services, not only not traditional women -- to women, but one we have a story to tell about jewish involvement throughout our american military history and i'm going to share a little bit about that later. but thank you so much. congresswoman susan davis. mrs. davis: thank you. i want to thank my colleague, debby wasserman schultz, for having us together to talk about jewish american heritage month this evening. it's important for us to do that. and whenever we think of perfecting our union, the president spoke about this a little bit today, as he hosted a number of individuals in jewish community and people from around the country today, and the thing that i always think about is -- because it is part of our tradition. to repair the world.
many, many jewish people came to the united states having left a community in which they weren't able to make contributions. and i think that's partly why, in bringing some talents and some skills and, yes, in many cases they weren't skills that were honed very well when they first came to this country, but they developed those and in developing those skills and in making a contribution and becoming treasures for each of their communities, they clearly made a great deal of effort to repair the world. there's another tradition that we have, it's called -- and it's about caring for others. it's about giving to others. it's about engaging people in that effort. it's about going down tooup kitchen from time to time, it's about bringing homeless people in to your synagogue or into your temple during the winter, it's about engaging all the time because we know that that's important to do. and so that caring goes back to so many of the traditions that
we all share. it's about the golden rule, it's about taking care of one another, it's about treating people the way that we want to be treated. that's very, very much a part of our heritage. i'm going to share a little story today and it's a story that i think my colleague is going to be laughing a little bit about. because it's not something that i would ordinarily do. but i had a chance to read a little bit about a very special jewish woman, her name was thelma, to be -- tell ma tibby isen. she lives today. i tell this story because she was very, very famous as a professional athlete in america, probably people who don't know about jewish women in athletic or in baseball, would know of her. but those who do would know that name. and i bring that up because my colleague brought me into the first and only bipartisan women's softball team here in
the capitol. and i have to tell you, i have to share my stories. i never played in professional -- not professional, i never played team sports in my life. i probably picked up a baseball maybe once to kind of hit somebody. but i really don't remember doing that at all. so when i was asked by my colleague to join with her in this team which is supporting young survivors of breast cancer, i thought, well, that's crazy for me to even do this. i surely can't do any -- i can't make a contribution to this team. but i've done it because i've cared about the cause, certainly of young survivors who have breast cancer. and largely because there are a number of jewish women who by virtue of their genes have a propensity to develop breast cancer. and right around the time that i
actually had agreed to be on this team and actually this even goes back to walking in the three-day march for breast cancer, i learned that my sister had breast cancer. and fortunately she's been able to overcome that. but it was something that i knew and i had to take account in my own life as well. i wanted to share this story because i enjoyed reading about thelma. i'm going to share that. one of the most versatile and talented jewish professional athletes in america was thelma. she was a star of the all-american girls professional baseball league. the only professional women's league in baseball history. and the women's hard ball league lasted from 1943 until 1954. and she was one of at least four jewish women in that
professional league. as its only jewish superstar and a pioneer in women's sports, she was an outstanding athlete in her native los angeles and she started playing semipro softball at age 14. when the league was formed in 1943, she won a spot on the milwaukee team which was moved the next year to grand rapids, michigan, and her best season was in 1946 when she led the league in triples. she stole 128 bases and made the all-star team. now, the part of this story that i particularly like was that her family was very am bisk lent about the career choice -- am bive lent about the career -- ambivalent about the career choice this, quote, nice jewish girl had made but she ultimately won their respect. she recalled in an interview with a historian, my name and picture were in every jewish newspaper. my uncle, who had said, quote,
you shouldn't be playing baseball, you'll get a bad reputation, a bad name, was in the stands bursting with pride that i was there. when she retired from professional baseball in 1952, she settled in pacific palisades area and became a star for the orange lionette softball team, leading them to a world championship in 1993. she helped establish the women's exhibit at the baseball hall of fame in cooperston, new york -- cooperstown, new york, and she wanted to have all this recorded to keep the baseball league in the lime light. it gets pushed into the background, she said, just as women have been pushed into the background forever. if they knew more about our league, perhaps in the future some women will say, hey, maybe we can do it again. well, that's probably how all of us feel here in our bipartisan effort in women's softball.
we're going to play this game on june 20, we're going to play against all of our women colleagues in tv and radio and in print, the media, and we're certainly hope that we're going to bring back a victory here. and if i may, mr. speaker, i wanted to just highlight a few people, really my contemporaries, in san diego, who have made such a contribution. because they're well known in our community and certainly when we think of jewish american heritage month we can't but help think of these individuals who today are continuing to make a contribution. two of them have passed on. one of course is joana sulk that we all know very well. the sulk institute of san diego continued to educate our students, for our country and really for -- scientists for our country and really for the world globaly. i've had an opportunity to meet
with a number of young scientists there from time to time and they're enthusiasm and their desire to really cure diseases in our country are just always inspiring and i think of them often when i think of this institute. the other person who i wanted to highlight very briefly is a gentleman named saul price. saul price was the founder of price club. he and his family. and whenever you think of ingenuity and innovation, entrepreneurs, he was a great, great at this, and he also founded an organization that i had an opportunity to be the executive director of in its early years, the price fellows program, educating a very, very diverse group of young people to repair the world, to find in civic life as a student and then as they go on as adults to find a way to really make a contribution to their community. it's a wonderful program, the
young people come here to washington every year, and finally to just say, in regard to great contributors in our community and across the world today, dr. irwin and joan jacobs, dr. jacobs, the founder of equal com, along with a doctor in san diego who have made such extraordinary, extraordinary contributions and continue to do that every day. it's a real honor to be in a community where their philanthropy is so well known. . and the veteran of the year in san diego continues to reach out and make a great contribution and remind everybody of his extraordinary story as a jewish war veteran. thank you to my colleague for bringing us together today and
it's my honor to speak about jewish american heritage month. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, congresswoman davis and sharing the stories that jews in the san diego community in america have made to the fabric of american history. it's now my pleasure and privilege to ask my colleague from the great state of connecticut, chris murphy, to share some things. this is a reunion of sorts. a number of years ago, when mr. murphy and i, along with mr. ryan from ohio and our former colleague, congressman meek from florida, we used to spend time down here on the house floor around this time or later in the 30-something working group and you may still be eligible to participate. i know longer would be.
maybe i would be part of the something in 30-something, but i did have a chance to meet your fantastic lieutenant governor at the jewish american heritage reception dinner at the white house and she is an incredible leader and example of the political leadership that is part of the contributions that american jews have made to american life. mr. murphy. mr. murphy: thank you very much, congresswoman wasserman schultz. i don't think we were allowed down on the house floor this early and it was close to the witching hour when you and representative meek were down here but it is wonderful to be back here and i was touched to ask me to come down here and say a few words. the murphys are not a well known jewish-american family and yet in connecticut, we are so, so
proud of the legacy that we helped to contribute to with respect to jewish american heritage and this is a great way to be part of this month's celebration. the list is long in connecticut. i think about somebody like andey fisher, who was one of the piners in this country trying to teach kids with learning disabilities. one of the first female superintendent in hartford, connecticut. kid kaplan who was from my district, a feggetweight -- feather weight championship of the world and i think maybe most of the political legacy that jewish americans from connecticut have left this country. i think a lot about abraham
ribbicoff. he was our governor, our senator, our congressman. and he faced not so quietly the prejudice that so many jewish americans faced as they entered into political life and commercial life throughout the last 100 years. he talked openly when he first ran for governor walking into social halls and hearing prejudice whispers throughout the room. and he talked about taking that prejudice head on. he would walk up to the podium and talk about the fact that he lived the american dream, as the son of polish immigrants, as a young guy who grew up in zipper factories and he was living the american dream. he is probably best known for a
moment at the podium of the democratic national convention in 1968 when chicago police were outside treating protestors fairly roughly. he was the one member of the political elite to stand up on the podium and call them out for their tactics and the mayor of that city calling him some pretty unfriendly names, he kept his cool and is credited with essentially marginalizing that with historical behindsight. abraham also saw his role as one of the leading jewish american political leaders in this country. he had a young intern named joe lieberman. he hired in the early 1970's, his administrative assistant, a
young hotshot lawyer jamed joe blumenthal and they are serving as connecticut's two senators, proud of our tradition in connecticut of jewish-american participation in american politics. so i'm really thrilled to be down here with you to share my gratitude for what jewish americans in connecticut have meant to our cultural life, educational life, sporting life and political life. representative, thank you for your leadership and thank you for asking me to come down this evening. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you for your leadership on the foreign affairs committee and on important issues for us in the jewish community and important
to americans as israel is our strongest ally and friend. you are right and the reason i wanted you to come down tonight, growing up as a jewish girl on long island, i knew a few folks over your way in connecticut, being a resident of the tri-state area and knowing the rich tradition of political activism of jewish leaders in connecticut and we'll call you an honoree jew tonight, muiryberg. thank you for your leadership and thank you for your joining us to honor the contributions of
jewish americans. mr. spr, i'm going to wrap up and share a few other things to lp tie a ribbon on the second-to-last of jewish american heritage month. i want to share a story of a floridian, because oftentimes, certainly recently, florida would be well known for our significant sizeable and accomplished jewish community, particularly in south florida where my district is. i like to say that the person that represents paradise down our way in south florida, but the paradise that we see today in south florida was mostly swampland many, many years ago. so the pioneers that blazed the trail that allowed for the vibrant communities that we have in our state wellry were were just that were piners. and i want to share a story. for example, mose levy, he was
one of the earlies and largest developers in the state of florida. at his plantation, which was the first jewish settlement in our community, he housed several jewish families while reintroducing sugar c arch nmp e. thanks to his cultivation in alachua county, go gators, florida, boasts a sugar production market today and that can be traced directly to moses levy. as a civil rights activist, that's the story i want to highlight. he had the intellectual spirit
and repairing the world. he was an advocate for public education for boys and girls and that wasn't common back then. education was left more often for boys and girls were lucky if they had someone in their lives to encourage them to get an education and i'm proud to remember his early contributions and dedication to education and gender equality. levy county today is named after this gentleman as well as his david lev yinch, our first united states senator in the state of florida and was an american jew. the other thing i want to mention, mr. speaker, is also not often that americans are aware of jewish contributions to our military history, and there
is a way that people can get educated about american jewish contributions to the military history throughout our history of involvement militarily, by going and visiting the national museum of american jewish military history which is in our nation's capital on dupont circle. i hosted an event a few years ago and was thrilled to learn about the contributions all the way back, mr. speaker, to the revolutionary war. jews were not only a part of fighting the revolutionary war and fighting for freedom in the united states, but also financing and making sure that solomon was an important figure in ensuring we had the resources and the minute men had the resources to ultimately be able to make sure that we have a country and we are the beacon of
and encourage both jews and non-jews to celebrate these rich traditions. earlier this month, on may 2, there was a focus and a program on religion and politics, called "when general grant expeled the jews," because it's so important and jewish community lieders talk so often about the importance of not forgetting about previous persecution, so we can make history doesn't repeat and having the opportunity at the museum in philadelphia to hold that lecture so we are familiar with that history was important. it was also a program in miami beach, coming to america, the jewish impacts and the jewish response. we had some you knee programming, the american jewish deli, because food is important to the jewish way of life all over the world and held in new york city at the park east synagogue. and two other important events to highlight which the jewish american heritage month, film festival held here in washington, d.c., and lastly the program held in margate, highlighting the contribution of jewish women in america. as a jewish woman in america i'm proud to have been a part of introducing this resolution, ensuring that ultimately we were
able to honor the contributions of american jews to our history, but also to make sure that we can help all americans make it a priority that we promote tolerance and reduce anti-- sefmentism and reduce bigotry and reach out to non-jews and help them learn a little bit more about a culture that they are unfamiliar with and history and culture that is foreign to them, so we can all come together as we are so committed to doing in america, as one people standing for freedom, standing for tolerance and standing for justice. thank you so much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman jeeleds back. under the speaker's announced policy, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, is recognized as the designee of
the majority leader. . mr. jones: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this is not the first time i've been on the floor of the house to speak about the v-22 osprey crash that took place in arizona in but to -- 2000. the crash that claimed the lives of 19 marines, mr. speaker, the pilots of the osprey, major brooks gruber and lieutenant colonel john brow have been blamed for the accident by the media. the reason i'm standing here 1 years later is that the marine corps has not supported the finding of their own accident investigation for 12 years. the report known as the jagman report, conducted by the united states marine corps, clearly states that the pilots were not at fault. on page 77 of the jagman it says, and i quote, during this
investigation we found nothing that we would characterize as negligence, deliberate pilot error or maintenance material failure. after 12 years the jagman, which has not been nor do we want to try to change that report that i just read, mr. speaker, but we are asking the united states marine corps to make the change that is necessary because the press release that came out after the crash on april 8 of 2000, the united states ma kin report claimed -- marine corps claimed in their own press release, and i quote, the pilots tried to accomplish the mission appears to be the fatal factor. mr. speaker, the osprey, for those that might not be familiar, and i will hold up, is
the helicopter that goes from the helicopter mode into an airplane mode and i'm holding it, mr. speaker, so that those that are watching might be able to see it. at the time of this crash, the v-22 was still a plane and what needed to be asked by the united states marine corps was that bill boeing do more testing and more testing would have probably meant that they would have understood an issue that's called vortex reinstate. v.r.s. it is well known in most helicopters but in the osprey that has the twin engines, they did not know how the vortex reinstate would affect the
engine. that's what caused this tragic accident in 2000. again, there were 19 marines that were killed and burnt to debt. mr. speaker, in this 10-year journey that i have been on to clear the names of the two marine pilots, the one on my immediate left is colonel john brow, his lovell wife trish and their two children, matthew and michael live in california, maryland. the other young marine besides colonel brow's photograph, it's the co-pilot whose name is major brooks gruber. major gruber's wife, connie, lives in my district. she's the one that brought this to my attention. in these 10 years, in addition to the jagman report that i just quoted, that says that these pilots were not at fault, i've reached out to so many people that it's unbelievable,
including the former assistant secretary of defense, phil core, and i would like to read his comment, mr. speaker, and i quote, major gruber should not be blamed for an accident caused by loss of lift due to the aircraft entering vortex ring state. it is a phenomena which no one in the marine corps adequately understood in relation to the osprey at the time of the accident. phil core further stated, and i read, not only did the minute corps not understand osprey performance under v.r.s., the root cause of the accident, but neither did the contractor, nor the marine corps had tested the aircraft via v.r.s. conditions, something which following the accident it later took the marine corps years to accomplish. surely major gruber cannot be blamed for something that the marine corps itself did not grasp until years after his death. and, mr. speaker, i further
quote phil core. considering that it was ignorance on the part of the marine corps that caused the april, 2000, accident, the marine corps should make it clear to gruber's family, with no ifs or buts, that gruber was not responsible for the accident. i don't suppose marine corps ever apologizes but considering that the accident was their fault and not major gruber's fault, an apology to the family would be in order also. mr. speaker, i don't really like reading that because i have such great respect for the marine corps, but i must say today on the floor that i'm very disappointed in the marine corps. because before i finish, in just a few minutes, you're going to understand why i'm disappointed. because the two wives have asked for something very similar and i will explain that before i close. another one of the experts who has joined us, former advisor to the secretary of defense, rex, stated, and i quote, the failure
of the manufacturer bill boeing and the navy to characterize the slow speed, high rate of dissent, handling qualities of the v-22 through flight testing, to describe them for the air crew in the natops and provide an adequate warning system were the cause of the mishap, not the aircraft crew. with the passing of 10 years and the failure of the aircraft now secure, excuse me, the nature of the aircraft now secure, i sincerely hope the names of brow and gruber can be cleared for posterity. i strongly support any and all measures to this end and request that this letter be included in the official record. regarding the cause of the m-22 mishap in arizona on april 8, or any resolution attempting to clear the names of lieutenant colonel john brow and major brooks gruber.
mr. speaker, so many people in this 10-year effort have joined, it's just unbelievable. i read just from two of those individuals, well known in the defense industry. another person who was in the air in the third osprey, lieutenant colonel james schafer, a dear friend of brow and gruber's, who was in the air with them that night in a separate plane agrees with me and has gone above and beyond in his quest to clear his friends' names. i want to thank colonel -- lieutenant colonel james schafer for stepping out. he's a great marine, he loves the marine corps but he knows that these two gentlemen should never be seen as being at fault. mr. speaker, i've gotten to know the two attorneys who defended the families. jim furman in texas was the attorney for john brow and brooks gruber's families. in new york the attorney was brian alexander who defended he
and his associate defended the 17 marines and their families who were killed in the back of the plane. both these attorneys, mr. speaker, as written to the commandant of the marine corps and made it perfectly clear that the lawsuits are all settled and nothing, should the marine corps decide to give the two wives what i'm going to describe in just a few minutes, a letter stating clearly that their husbands, colonel john brow and major brooks gruber, should not be seen as fault. they have stated in writing and i have copies, mr. speaker, that there will be no lawsuits. the lawsuits are over. this is what connie gruber wrote me back in 2002, i want to read part of this for the record. i contact you in hopes that leaders of integrity, free of bias, would have both the
intelligence and the courage it takes to decide the facts for themselves. if you do that, you will agree the human factor/pilot error findings should not stand as it is in the military history. again, i respectfully ask for your support. please do not simply pass this matter along to general jones without offering the support my husband and his comrades deserve. please remember these 19 marines can no longer speak for themselves. i certainly am not afraid to speak for them and i believe somebody has to. even though it's easier put to rest than forgotten, please join me in doing the right thing by taking the time to address this important issue. over the years i have received some help from the united states marine corps but the commandant is the person now, mr. speaker, that could give the wives what they're looking for. and that is just a simple letter
that i'm going to read for the record. on july 27 of 2000, the united states marine corps issued a press release about the april 8, 2000, mv-22 osprey crash that killed 19 marines in arizona. in that press release the united states marine corps cited human factors as a cause of the accident. furthermore, the release included a statement saying the pilots' drive to accomplish that mission appears to have been the fatal factor. since that press release, there has been a mistaken perception in the news media and written history that because of the accident was pilot error, that perception dishonors the pilots who died that night, lieutenant colonel john brow and major brooks gruber. i would like to set the record straight on this matter.
the july 27, 2000, press release unfairly placed the blame for the accident at the pilots' feet , is morally wrong to place the blame for that accident on john brow and brooks gruber. the mishap was not a result of pilot error but was the result of a perfect storm of circumstances. any accident is a result of a multitude of factors. the primary cause of factors of this accident were, one, insufficient developmental research and flight testing, two, no knowledge of the possible sudden onset of an asymmetrical flight condition and loss of control during vortex ring state, third, inadequate mv-22 natops v.r.s. discussion warnings and proceeders. no v.r.s. avoidance traping -- training, further state what is we're asking the commandant to issue i've just read a little
bit, part of it, now i want to finish, mr. speaker. with no knowledge, training or warning concerning the possible consequences of v.r.s., john brow and brooks gruber were essentially on their own in uncharted territory. the official investigation into this mishap explicitly states, and i quote, during this investigation we found nothing that we would characterize as negligence, deliberate pilot error or maintenance/material failure. i wholeheartedly agree with the investigation, any publication that is contrary to the official marine corps investigation and reflects the mishap was a result of pilot error should be corrected and recanted. lieutenant colonel john brow and major brooks gruber were aviation pioneers in the truer sense. the ultimate sacrifice made by all 19 marines aboard the aircraft that night led to a critical advancement in mv-22 safety and capability.
and overall readiness of the united states marine corps. it is because of their sacrifice that the mv-22 is successfully carrying marines in and out of combat today. mr. speaker, the letter i just read has been approved by the marines who wrote the investigation, colonel mike morgan, colonel ron radish, and major phil stackhouse, and has been approved by the widows, connie gruber, down in jacksonville, and trish brow in california, maryland, and her two sons, michael and matthew. the letter does not go against any word in investigation. the commandant should send these letters to both wives. and, mr. speaker, i have said to the commandant a few months ago, sir, if you would call a press conference at marine headquarters in washington, d.c., and you invite the families of john brow and brooks gruber, you would present the
two wifes, connie and trish, on your stationary exactly, mr. speaker, what i just read, this would bring a tragedy to a close . i'm going to continue to beat this drum, mr. speaker, for as long as i can. because the dead cannot speak for themselves and it's we the living do not speak for the dead and speak the truth, how you can ever correct a mistake if we don't take this upon ourselves? the last point before i close, i want to read this, this is from the attorney, brian young, these two attorneys went to an administrative judge and the lawyers for bell-boeing were there, and they made this point. on april 8, 2000, there was no emergency procedure or recovery
technique for asymmetrical v.r.s. the pilot's manual lacked adequate content and clarity because of the incomplete development testing that was insufficient, explanatory or emphatic tests to warn pilots of the hazard of operating in this area. the pilot manual was plagued with inaccuracies that degraded flight operations and contains performance charts provided by the developers which did not reflect actual conditions. mr. speaker, bell-boeing after the lawsuit had the experimental pilot named tom mcdonald spend 700 hours in the air trying to figure out how to respond to vortex wing state. he figured it out.
he won the kinsler award, only given to one experimental pie rot in this country per year because he solved the problem of vortex wing state v. -- vortex ring state, what pilots are supposed to do when they hit the v.r.s. state. mr. speaker, i hope that the commandant of the marine corps, who i have great respect for, will do what is right for john brow, brooks gruber and the 17 marines in the back of the plane that crashed and issue the letter that i just read for the record to the two wives, do it in a public setting, bring the press in, and say that the marine corps does not forget its dead. it is so simple, mr. speaker, you would never believe how many people said to me in this
10-year journey, why doesn't the marine corps do it? i can't explain it. the lawsuits are other. the plane is safe, the v-22 is safe. everybody is trying to take it out of the program. but for the families of john brow and brooks gruber, this is the right thing to do and in my humble opinion, the marine corps is so well respected and thought of in this nation that they would be even revered more if they would say to colonel john brow, to major brooks gruber and your families, you did your job, you did it to the best of your ability, we regret you were not prepared but it was not your fault that you were not prepared. it was a rush to get this thing completed by bell-boeing and the united states marine corps. with that, mr. speaker, i want
to thank the staff for staying later tonight. i knew that i could convey my heart in about 25 minutes. and mr. speaker, i will continue to be on the floor from time to time with the photographs of these two young marine officers. i wish i had the 17 that were in the back of the plane but i don't. with that, mr. speaker, as i always do when i think about our troops over in afghanistan and iraq, i close by asking god to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform, i ask god to please bless those who have given a child diing for freedom in afghanistan and iraq and i'm going to ask god to please bless this effort to clean the -- clear the names of john brow and brooks gruber and ask that we will do what is right in the eyes of fwoth for america. i ask god to please bless mr. obama that he'll do what is right in the eyes of god for the american people and three
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? mr. jones: i make a motion that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow
incredible efforts of the men and women of our armed forces, commanders, and leadership of the president and congress, we were able to end the iraq war responsibly. al qaeda's on the ropes and its leadership is decimated and we have made significant progress in afghanistan. i have been going to afghanistan for well over three years now since secretary gates and i first had that conversation. and i was there a couple weeks ago and i just have to tell you our troops, our allies, our afghan partners, they are performing exceptionally well and doing heroic things to bring security to that country.
i was in the helmund valley several weeks ago where last summer we took such terrible losses. this time i walked around the market. and i went all the way up to the dam, all the way up the helmund river, which was just a distant dream to me six, eight months ago. over the last 10 years congress and the department worked together to get our troops what they needed to operate you effectively and it's led to results. i know people here at a.e.i. provide cutting-edge analysis on the subject of afghanistan and other pressing national defense issues for which we thank you and we appreciate your work and continued support of national defense. the second theme he raised was the strong view we had to take a strategy driven approach to reforming the defense budget. much has changed since that time. congress passed the budget control act which significantly affects our fiscal reality. but our commitment to a
strategy driven approach to our budget has remained steadfast. that commitment began under second gates and continues today under secretary panetta under the leadership and guidance of president obama. we focused on the force we need to build for the future and that remains our singular priority. today i want to tell you a bit about our strategy and our budget for the future which we have tailored to meet our strategy objectives. -- strategic objectives. before going to some specifics, some general points. i know congress has gone through its mark. and on that i just want to say that every dollar the united states spends on old and unnecessary programs is a dollar we lose from new necessary strategic investments. as secretary panetta said, if we had an open bank account we
would keep all of it. but we don't have an open bank account. so when something is added to our budget that is not needed, we are forced to take out something that matters. from force structure, readiness, modernization, for from the health of the all volunteer force. when we are forced to hold on to older, less capable systems, so others can pick one item or another that they favor, but we have to balance them all. and we have a responsibility to sequester. i want to say one word about that awful prospect up front. people ask are we planning for sequestration? the secretary of defense has said no, we are not. maybe later in the summer o.m.b. will have to request we
look at it and determine what steps can be taken. i don't want to mislead you here. planning has a certain rational tone to it. but congress in writing the budget control act did not design sequester to be rational. sequester was supposed to be the trigger, a trigger so irrational that the prospect of it would drive and force the leadership to do what was needed. which is to put together an overall budget package for the nation's finance that is could win wide support. sequester was designed to be irrational. and indeed aspects of sequester defy reason in any reasonable management of a nation's affairs, including its defense. as secretary panetta has made clear on numerous occasions, a sequester would have devastating effects on our readiness and work force and disrupt thousands of contracts and programs. moreover, under the law d.o.d. would have limited flexibility in how the cuts would be
applied in fiscal year 2013. so both the size and nature of sequester would nullify the strategy for the post war force of the future that we so carefully put together under the president's guidance a few short months ago. managerially, our military and civilian program managers would face absurdities that result from the arbitrariness with which sequestration would take effect. and managers throughout the government not just defense but nasa and d.h.s. and h.h.s. everywhere would find it impossible to cope with this kind of irrationality. this applies to managers in the defense industry as well. our partners in providing weapons systems to the force. we remind you that the quality of the weapons systems produced by our defense industry is second only to the quality of our people in uniform which makes our military the greatest
in the world. irrationality and uncertainty are subjects of concern to the defense industry and i certainly share industry's concerns about the sequestration. this is not the way to do defense planning and budgeting. instead we need to take a rational, strategic approach to our budget. and that's what we are doing. so let me explain our defense strategy and budget and why we built the budget we did. i have to back up for a moment. this is a time of great consequence for american defense because two forces are coming together at the same time. the first is obviously the budget control act. but the deeper, more fundamental force is the force
of strategic history. for a decade our department has been riveted of necessity on two wars of a certain kind in iraq and afghanistan. one has ended, the other has not, but will. thanks to the hard work of our men and women in uniform and our international allies and partners. through these wars over the last 10 years, by developed cutting-edge capabilities and counter insurgency and counterterrorism. those were the skills we needed. we learned to do them exceptionally well. and we will retain those key skills going forward. but as the wars wind down, we must look up and look beyond to what the nation and this world need next. we have the opportunity and really the obligation to pivot our defense to the new challenges and opportunities that will define our future.
while we have been fighting, the world has not stood still. our friends and enemies have not stood still, the technology has not stood still. now we must meet these changes. and really in some places catch up with them. to do that we must let go of the old and familiar and grab hold of the new to build what chairman democracy called the joint force of 2020. and the point i'm making is we need to make this transition even if we had all the money we wanted. but, of course, we don't have all the money that we want and there is a second great force impinging upon us which is the budget control act.
i just want to remind you of the magnitude of the budget control act's effect and the need we have to make this adjustment and consonance with the force of strategic history. the -- just to remind you the facts, the base defense budget is not decreasing. overcoming years, but neither is it continuing to rise in real terms as it has over the past few years. and as we planned for it to do as recently as a year ago. the difference between our plans before the budget control act and the plans imposed on us under the budget control act is the famous $487 billion over 10 years. an adjustment of about 9% of the total that we planned, which is
a very substantial adjustment by any measure. and to that we must add the magnitude of the reductions in overseas contingency operations or supplemental spending that correspond to the winddown of the war in iraq and eventually in afghanistan. so those are the numbers with which we are dealing and this is the moment which we find ourselves to deal -- which we find ourselves. to deal with the two forces we knew we had to do several things. first is to put strategy first and then budget. president, secretary of defense, the chiefs, the service secretaries, and so forth spent much of the fall meeting constantly building off the work that secretary gates had begun the summer before and culminating and decisions made by the president to try to scope out what the defense strategy of the united states should be in this new strategic era, and you saw the strategy we put out pictures in early january and then a little bit later the budget.
and the reason was the strategy was our guide as we made this large budget adjustment and the sequence was critical. second thing that we -- second rule we observed was -- i put it in secretary panetta's terms which is everything on the table, everything on the table, no sacred cals, including many things we have not looked at managerially for many years in the department for the simple fact that we didn't have to. so everything on the table. the third principle we applied -- and this is important -- we did not proceed by subtraction alone, by taking things away but by building towards that force.
the image i always have in my mind is an ice sculpture. you can either watch the chips fly away or you can watch the shape emerge. we always made sure we watched the shape emerge which is the force of 020 which is what we are trying to -- 2020 which is what we are trying to build towards. so that's what we did and the result was a strategic package and was a balanced package in three parts. first part was a continued discipline in how taxpayer
dollars are spent. i won't say too much about that in this audience. many of you heard me speak about this in my previous job, but we need to continue the relentless pursuit of better buying power for the taxpayer and the war fighter. this is necessary for two reasons. first of all, to the extent we can, we would like to absorb any reductions in the budget, in the budget control act without diminishing military capability. so one would like to find efficiencies where one could. can't tell you that we can find all deficiencies but it's quite a bit. the second is if we are going to retain the confident of the taxpayer that their money is being put to good use in defense. that confidence is essential for us to continue to enjoy the
funding from the taxpayer that we really need to defend the nation. for both of those reasons we need to keep at it and that's why we proposed things like another round of base realignment and closing, brac. people say, how can you do that? and the answer is, how can i not do that? how can i not propose the cutting of tail and only the cutting of tooth? how could i justify not protecting bases? i couldn't conceivably do that. i realize it's not popular but it's one of the things that we felt when we said everything was on the table, brac was on the table. so the better use of the taxpayer dollars. our second part again i won't go into here because i think it's of less interest to this audience but it's of essential importance which is to take some steps to slow the growth in personnel coasts in the department.
so we made some proposals that are measured and we think it's necessary. the view of all us and the joint chiefs was that this approach was the right one. but the third part of the budget package was the one is of most interest to this audience and that is the part that was tuned to the new strategy. if you look at the new strategic guidance that we issued in early january, i always say this is what you would have written down, too, if you had the same question. not rocket science. pretty straightforward answer to the question. well, after iraq and afghanistan, what should we
focus on now? but it was important that we write that down and say it and that we guide our budget move accordingly. i pick a few of the pieces of strategic guidance, two out of the five or six that were in there. the first i'm sure will be very interesting to this audience is what we call the rebalancing toward the asia pacific region. and a logic behind that is very simple. it is this. the pacific region has enjoyed peace and stability for over 60 years and in that climate first japan, then korea and even, yes, now today china have had an environment in which they could develop economically and politically without war or conflict.
that's not a birthright. that is something that was guaranteed, reinforced by the pivotal military power of the united states in that region. we are going to continue to play a pivotal military role in the east asia pacific region so we can keep on keeping on with that good thing. it's good for us and it's good for everyone in the region. that's what we're going to do. and so if you look at what we did managerially in dealing with the consequences of the budget control act, the pacific posture increased relative to that elsewhere.
some specifics and the navy, our navy is going to remain about the same size and grow somewhat in the outyears but we're doing a big change about newer ships for older ships. so not only are we protecting our investments in the navy overall, but this is the important point, we are shifting the naval presence to the pacific. you'll see that go on over the next several years. that's carriers, it's destroyers of a couple kinds, it's attack submarines, the new combat ship all going into the pacific theater. go to the air force. the air force, we did decide to make some reductions in air force tactical error squadrons by removing some of the older or single purpose aircraft.
that to make room for newer aircraft but we made no changes in the tact error posture in the asia pacific. none at all. in addition to that, we are continuing on, despite the budget control act, with the stealth bomber, with the tanker and with a host of other platforms all going forward despite the budget environment. say something about the marines. the marines in the asia pacific region. there will be something more about this later. reduction in marine corps in- strength reflecting the winddowns in iraq and afghanistan. no reduction in marine corps presence west of the international death line. none. and -- international date line. none. in fact, we will see more marines out in east asia.
why is that? because the marines won't be in afghanistan. they are going to be at their stations. we have a new rotational presence in australia that we're building. marines presence in guam. definitely going to make that move now, and so marie -- marine corps presence in the asia pacific also. finally, we sustained or launched new capabilities specifically for the asia pacific region. i mentioned the new bomber. didn't mention yet the virginia payload module for the virginia class submarines, conventional prompt strike and a host of upgrades in radars, electronic, protectional electronic warfare, new munitions of various kinds and on and on and on all not only protected but enhanced going forward. so i wanted to give you some of those particulars because i know that's one of the strategic principles that was most interest to an audience like that.
take one more and then i'll -- that's it. the other one really derived from the president himself who had a very good instinct in this regard. he kept saying to us, make sure that you don't follow the last in first out rule, that you don't pull up the things that are most shallowly rooted, namely, your new things, because that's the easiest thing to do. i want to see that we are enhancing the capabilities that are going to be part of our future. and what are they? well, cyber, for example, we will spend more on in the future. we need to. we have lots of opportunities there and we will. certainly aspects of our science and technology base so we continue to invest in the future
and not consume feed corn of tomorrow. special operations forces including counterterrorism which we gotten very good at over the last 10 years. we need to keep being good at that. certain of our space initiatives. all our major space initiatives going forward. host of unmanned aerial systems, navy, air force and army. all of those things enhanced, and, of course, when you do that something else is not going to have that opportunity to be enhanced, something that's older and part of a legacy. but that's what we needed to do and that's what we did. so those -- in outline is how and what we did to try to adjust the budget to the strategy. now, in the time since when we released our budget plan and today, congress went through its mark.
and i want to emphasize the package that we submitted is one that was not only strategic but the thing i want to stress is carefully balanced. we're building the force we need for the future. we made decisions within the constraints of the budget control act. we had to. and when additions are made to that package in one area, we out of necessity have to take mg out elsewhere. -- something out elsewhere. it's the rule of the game. that's what it means to be once you have a budget a zero-some game. so all of the package could lead to an unbalanced portfolio. for example, a hollow-ween of the force. and i want to specifically call
out a cup of things in that regard. first, tricare. i mentioned that we did not believe that compensation could be exempt in this climate. health care costs consists about 10% of our budget, and we want to give our troops and retirees the very best health care at the lowest price in the country and we do. but in order to deliver high- quality health care we need to control spiraling costs, so we made some modest proposals, respecting tricare and we need these savings to balance and maintain investments in the military. we need them. we understand it's a difficult step to take. we think it's a fair one and the right one. let me talk about aircraft retirements. we're looking to retire some old single purpose aircraft in favor of newer multiaircraft like the new bomber and the new tanker. and i mentioned that we had proposed making some of those
changes in the tactical air forces. we need to be able to make those changes. to keep older aircraft online would impede the air force from becoming the air force of the future that we need, and that would be unfortunate. so as it affects the tact air force, the changes that we made we think were well-advised, and they allow us to make the transition to the future in the air force that we seek. that's with respect to tact air. with respect to lift, we -- all of our modeling shows that we have excess intertheater strategic lift. we need to make sure that our lift capabilities are allocated correctly and access to intertheater lift is not -- we can't afford it.
we don't need it. we also have excess in trust theater lift. this affect the c-130's in particular. and the c-130's have an important use, not only to our contingencies of importance overall national defense but also in defense support civil authorities. very important role in defense support civil authorities, so they need to be present in adequate numbers for our contingencies, and they need to be at useful locations within the country to provide proper -- appropriate support to civil authority. where they are is of less concern for national defense, and we're prepared to be flexible in that regard and the secretary has even indicated that he is prepared to be somewhat flexible with respect to the numbers of c-130's even
though we have excess. but overall we need to be able to retire older single-purpose aircraft and aircraft in excess of need, and that's what makes rom for the new. -- room for the new. likewise with the navy, if we hold on to older ships it will come at the expense of the new. todon't want to hold on older ships because we have to pay to modernize them, pay to man them, pay to operate them and they are not as capable as a new ship would be. so our shipbuilding plans call for a somewhat larger, the end of our 10-year period but decided more capable navy and that's the plan we would like to follow. we say something for army and marine corps. army and marine corps are two services that are facing the most titanic transitions as the iraq and afghanistan wars wind down because they have been so deeply and wholeheartedly
committed to those two conflicts. and they're trying to make a transition from this necessary focus on counterinsurgency or coin over the last decade to a wider spectrum of capabilities that we need for the future so they are the dominant ground force, full spectrum combat capability best in the world future. that's what we want. so we are not going to size the army or the marine corps for long protracted stability operations any longer. thee not going to retain large rotation forces that we have needed to constantly rotate brigades in and out of iraq and afghanistan. we're not going to retain it
not because we are abandoning coin. as i said we are going to retain that important and hard one excellence in coin, but we don't need the bulk of the force structure. you can't predict the future. obviously no one wants to get in another war like iraq or afghanistan anytime soon, but the point so we are predicting the future. the point is if we did we would mobilize the reserves and rebuild and we would have by definition time to do so. if there were another large long counterinsurgency war that needed to be fought. so that is not force structure that needs to be retained in being, and that isn't what we want or the army or the marine corps want. they want to be able to take down that in strength somewhat and make investments in creating the full spectrum force of the future. that's what we need to do, and if we're prohibiting from making
those reductions in army and marine corps in strength it frustrates our opportunity to help them make that transition from the decade they've been in for the decades we need them for in the future. i hope that doesn't happen. so in conclusion, we're in all of our services and in all of our activities in national security, embarked on a strategic transition following the wars in iraq and afghanistan. this is just the beginning. this ship is making a very big turn, and we need to follow through on our plan and keep moving toward the future. it's an important job to do. transition is going to take some time but you can see the outlines of where we're going. secretary panetta, chairman dempsey devised it and president obama scrubbed it very hard and all the members of congress i speak with every day and whom envision i speak of, the same opportunity and really the same obligation to the war fighter and the taxpayer to pivot or strategic approach. we all see it. we just need to do it. as we work out the details we look forward to working with each and every one of them and with each and every one of you in this room on the process every step of the way.
so i thank you for your attention and for the wonderful work that this institution does. \[applause] >> this allows me to introduce one program note that i forgot to mention at the beginning and also to put myself at the front of the question. if you'll indulge me for a second. first of all, just to remind everybody of secretary will run his own q&a session. there are ground rules that sue plant even that. that -- supplant even that.
put your compelling statement in the form of succinct question. i will now give an example of how to do that. mr. secretary, you described a process of transition, the ocean liner metaphor you used. obviously the term that you've embarked on is incomplete. so i'd ask you to both look ahead and cast your mind back to both past job and your past experience in the 1990's. do you foresee a transition that's necessary within the defense industry that would parallel what you've described and what do you think that would look like? >> i do, and it's a very important question. my colleagues in the defense industry are thinking along exactly the same lines and almost without exception are steering their companies in that position so they will continue to serve our needs in the future in a different way
they have in the last 10 years. i say a few things about -- i said already that the defense industry is second only to our people, our defense industry is what makes us a great military power. therefore, a technologically advanced, vibrant and financially successful defense industry is in the national interest. and we want to work towards a defense industry and the future that continues to be as great as the one in the present and the past. we in the main leave to market forces the adjustments in the defense industry that will necessarily come aztec nothing changes, as missions change, as the transition unfolds because the speaker theory says that's good and that's what we want. we do keep our eye out for
things that could be deleterious to our string. one would be the short-term financial perspective impinging upon our industry that came into the housing market, certain aspects of the financial services market so we can't afford to let that thing happen to our defense industry so we are aligned with the long-term investors in our defense industry in terms of long-term health, productivity growth and so forth. second, we'll be looking as we make changes for any parts -- any skillsets that are now in the defense industry that if we allowed them to go away would be very difficult to or time consuming. those i -- we have an obligation
to sustain, and i've invited my partners in industry to identify those opportunities for us. that's an example of something we didn't do in 2013 but as we put together the 2014 budget we definitely want to look at those holes and within the reasons of our budget constraint make those kinds of investments. so we want to work together with the industry upon which we depend so much so that they make the transition with us and that they're here to make the greatest military in the world 10, 20 years from now. so i appreciate your question. if there's anybody from the industry here in the room, thank you. and please go back and tell your people thank you. we don't take you for granted. we appreciate what you do for national defense. >> amy butler with "aviation
week." since 9/11, and you talk about this transition, there's been a lot of money point of order into i.s.r. resources for any number of reasons. can you walk us through what the pentagon is for reconciling the i.s.r. forces in the future given the fact that the quick reaction systems which are unique and what not, and also at what point, if you haven't already, will you start shifting funds from the current i.s.r. programs that we know of today toward new sensors and/or new platforms maybe that can penetrate such that we need for the future? >> both good questions. let me take the second one first. that transition -- that -- you're calling a shift, has begun. actually began a couple years ago, and i'm limited in what we say about our future i.s.r.
capabilities, but trust me that we're investing in the future. with respect to the ones, you're so right we put together quickly under the pressure of combat and which have been so amazingly successful. they do pose a managerial issue before the war because they weren't necessarily designed to last. they don't have the futures that we want that will be part of an enduring part of the force. the air forces had to work through a very complicated process. we do intend to make them an enduring part of the air force's force structure but we had to figure out how to do that. it wasn't just the air frames. it's how to crew them over time, how to train the crews, where to put the crews and so forth. likewise, for the liberty fleet, liberty fleet also very much a quick reaction type of fleet. those are the turbo props with a lot of i.s.r., so forth on them.
also essential, and we are going to keep a portion of that fleet. there will be things that we built up for the wars in iraq and afghanistan that are not worth keeping in the force structure because they'll be outdated or they're not suited to more contested air environments. afghanistan is obviously not a contested air environment. you just fly around and do what you want. that won't be that case everywhere in the world. so that's an example of a big transition in the air force. by the way, it has the man to unman transition aspect to it. there is a lot of adjustments begun on at the same time.
>> thank you. professor at the university of california and i'm here with our students. i'm sorry we didn't bring our weather with us. as a veteran of the undersecretary acquisition office in o.s.d. for many years, i hear themes of old problems that still exist. as you meet today's situation. we have a concern in my time in the pentagon with the notion of cost growth and reductions in programs and stretchouts. so in managing the challenge of the future, the mantra of the old days was guard the front gate, stabilize your programs as much as you can in order to meet the goals of reducing cost growth and delivering on time. we tried to manage the number of major systems through the front gate. we tried to manage cost growth and systems by controlling class 1-e-c change orders, baselining. that's my editorial comment. my question is in building your
budget, to what response are you -- >> wayne, we absolutely are. by the way to your students i hope you decide to make public policy what your life's about. nice to get up in the morning and be working on things that are bigger than yourself. we need good people. i hope you take an interest in it. it has a very direct effect. i mean, i -- particularly with my 18-l background protect well-managed programs. if you have a program that's not doing well, that's overrunning, that's behind schedule, that's not going well, you are -- there's a presumption against you in this environment. and i say that to all our program managers in government and all my colleagues in industry as well.
you need to make it possible for us to continue to have you do what you're doing for us. and if you -- if you're running up the bill by a few percent every year, we cannot sustain that. so you are presumptively on the block if you are a poor performer. and some of our really well- performing programs, we are protecting them, not just their existence, but making sure they stay at an economically efficient rate of production, whether they be munitions or aircraft and so forth, but i won't name the stars, but you know we obviously have programs that disappoint us and frustrate us, but we also have programs that perform very well. they deserve protection because they're going to deliver more combat capability per dollar than the ones that are poorly performing. and the worst thing you can do
is bring back rates of production to the point where they are economically inefficient. that's truly the future. managing is an important part of it. i'm sorry. can you wait one second? my distinguished predecessor, secretary wolfowitz. >> paul wolfowitz, once upon a time i had your job and i know how difficult it is, i should leave you alone, but this is a friendly question. to ask you to look in the future a little bit, it's famous that when dick cheney was being confirmed as secretary of defense the word iraq didn't appear once in his hearings. i believe -- not sure with rumsfeld's hearings, but he certainly had to search very hard to find the word afghanistan. so it's pretty hard to know what's coming up next. having said that, i know you thought a lot both in your job and the previous ones about
terrorism. my question is, one, would you rank that as high up in the probabilities? do you think we're doing enough about it? and to what is the defense department's mission or is it between agencies or falling between cracks? >> terrific question, and you're reminding me that i actually forgot to say something which is in my list of protections which is counter- w.m.d. with respect to bio, reading into what you said, paul, if you're concerned about the potential of the biosciences to create threats in the future, not only with existing pathogens but i think the real revolution lies farther in the future, but certainly so, it is a defense problem. it's going to be a defense problem. they will be used in war. they will be used in terrorism, and any time anything at that scale emerges, people are going to expect us to play a role. we have a substantial investment in that area.
at the moment it tries to balance the legacy stuff that is naturally occurring pathogens and looking it he frontier as well tries to the extent we're able to and you know you've been part of this to get our feelers out there in the world so that we're engaged with the community of researchers in this field and to the extent possible with those in the past created stocks of pathogens and some make sure they stay out of trouble and so forth. it's very important. and while we're mentioning the biosciences, another thought that comes to me, if you don't mind, the biosciences are going to be the revolutionary sciences for the -- in the next generation even as information -- i know this is trying.
everybody says this is true. information technology was for the generation just behind us. and in addition to posing new threats, one thing i wanted to say is it has given us tremendous opportunities as well. we in the department of defense and, paul, i'm sure you know this well, have sadly over the last 10 years become pioneers in several fields of health care. t.b.i., p.t.s.d., prosthesis and so forth. and hard-1 as the expertise has
been, it is there and is available for everyone else to use as well. be very proud of what we have managed to do to take care of varon warriors. >> the army, especially the institutional army has had a rough time getting their acquisitions done well over the past 12 to 15 years how confident are you that the army has fixed itself and it will do a good job and what are you doing to ensure that happens? >> you are right.
everyone at army acquisition would say that they are disappointed at the performance of the last decade. i said before the -- the army has -- is making the most difficult and largest transition of all the services just because they have been really up to here in iraq and afghanistan now for 10 years. and so in acquisition and in everything else how they define their mission, how they organize and so forth, ordierno and mchugh are taking a really fundamental look at that. and secretary panetta and i have wanted to make sure they had the time and the strategic patience from us to make the changes that they need to.
it will take some-time just because of the magnitude of it but it will be reflected in acquisition as well and it really needs to be because they -- they missed -- there's a lost decade there for the army and i think it's widely recognized. it's sad. >> thank you. jeff of "air force times." there have been problems with the f-22's oxygen system where there are limitations where they can fly.
i want to know is the d.o.d. confident in the aircraft if another war broke out today that it could order into battle? >> i think the answer to that is clearly yes. that's the judgment of the air force. that was the judgment of the secretary in allowing the deployments to go forward. we did, however, and secretary panetta did this -- was very concerned about the ibog's issue. wanted to accelerate the fix for that. wanted to make sure while they were training for operations, if need be, that the safety of the pilots, the aircrews was taken into account mostly by taking sure -- several operational things, but importantly by making sure there was an air field near enough that they could get to if they began to experience any of the symptoms associated with this problem. so the answer is, yes, the
aircraft will be used operationally if need be, but also yes, we are concerned and have been concerned of the ibog's issue but i think the secretary is getting us on track to fix that. the tie. yeah, the tie. he's not used to having a tie on. >> thank you very much. i'm mike with professor glass. my question entails, we talked about single purpose aircraft. i know this is probably a sensitive topic. the a-10. upgraded with new aviationonics. is a-10 an aircraft that will serve in the near future in 2024 that you are talking about or can it be replaced by suitable replacement aircraft?
>> well, i think the reason why we were able to reduce the number of a-10's is that we can do unlike 20 years ago the a-10 job from other aircraft whereas the a-10 really does that, does it very well but that's all it does and so it's simply a matter of putting your money where you have the most capability. and that's what lies behind the decisions of the a-10. that is an example of what i was talking about. >> you just mentioned the u.s. planning sending more carrier to the asia pacific region. so will that include china -- >> repeat it. >> do you think that might irritate china and, also, the other question is on south china fleet under the mutual defense treaty that the u.s. -- with philippines, that the u.s.
should come to the aid -- if the philippines were under attack? so if there is any possibility that we will see the u.s. troops appear in the south china sea if that's the case? thank you. >> with respect to the first about china, just go back to the point i made earlier which is that the peace and prosperity that all have enjoyed in the east asia pacific region, including china, which is important economic partner of ours, so the question is, what is the environment within which that good thing, which we've had going for 60 years, will continue? one ingredient in that, really a pivotal agreement, has been the american military presence in the east asia pacific so we want to keep that going.
we think that's good for us but we also think it's good for everyone in the region as well. with respect to maritime disputes in the south china sea, i think we've been pretty clear about our outlook on that. these are things that need to be addressed peacefully, and that's the position we've taken right along. i think that's the position of principle and pass and, you know, the secretary of defense says i left the pentagon talking to shangri-la. i know he will be asked the same in the next few days. >> one more. >> one more, sure. >> thank you, mr. secretary. it's a great review of the u.s. defense strategy.
as the secretary leaves for the region, in china and india today, what do you think his message will be for india? because china is growing militarily. the u.s. budget is going down, and china's military budget is going up. and this will be a special message for india. what do you think the u.s. and india will have? do you expect any special signings between india and the secretary during his visit? >> we have going on with india so i'm sure there will be a number of things with the secretary's visit that he'll be putting in motion or concluding or whatever. we have i think the number is several tens of exercises with the indian military. i think that's reflective of the fact that we are destined to draw closer to a country that
shares so much in the way of its characteristics and its values. i felt this way for a long time with india. i just met with a group of indian thinkers about security affairs a couple weeks ago. they were here in washington and told them the same thing. you look around the world and india's one of those countries mips that you know is a kind red soul to the united states -- kindred soul to the united states for the future. so building that ground is essential. we have been ought -- we have been at that now for 10 years, and i know that secretary wolfowitz played an important role in that. that's just been growing and growing and growing.
of course, those of us who are enthusiastic about it, as i certainly am, and i know secretary panetta is and secretary clinton is. only want to see it go faster and faster. i think i'm ok. one more. the gentleman in the glasses. >> thank you, sir. mike with cnn. you briefly did discuss sequestration, but i wanted to ask whether it happens or not, it does seem to be kind of a possible reality -- what are the concerns you're hearing from the about sequestration and what are you -- >> the same things i mentioned that our managers in the government are. this is something that is both by its size and its nature -- i use the word rational. completely irrational from a management point of view.
for those of us that tried to keep this complicated program on track, you have people working. you have a flow in your factory or whatever. you got it all planned out. we've agreed between the two of us. we got in a place where we think we got a good thing going, a program that's delivering the capability we need. it's economically paced and so forth. boom. in you come and it makes a managerial mess out of all of the things that we tried so carefully to put on a steady footing.
our partners in industry and us. that's why it's so, you know -- i use the word irrational. it is. managerial irrational. next to you. we'll make this one the last. yes, ma'am. >> my question is about biofuels. in both the house and the senate marks of the national defense authorization act, they essentially would make it impossible for the department of defense to buy another gallon of biofuels in fiscal year 2013. i want to get your response to that and also any word on if great green fleet or any other department of defense -- >> well, obviously we asked for the freedom to do that and we would prefer to have the freedom to do that so that's a simple answer to your question. i'll say something more broadly about energy. we are big consumers of energy in the department, and we do play a role in the nation's overall energy strategy. we do things -- anything we do has to be in the interest of defense.
in the first instance. but the three ways that we participate. we do useful things for defense that might be useful for the country's energy situation at large are, first, we do do some r&d. we don't try to compete with the department of energy in scope or size or quality, really, for that matter. we can't but there are certain areas where we have needs that are distinctive to us and where we need innovation and the only way to get that innovation is for us to sponsor it ourself. secondly, we are frequently able to partner with the department of energy and
provide installations or ranges or something else for them to try out their own r&d, and that's fine with us. if we can do that that's fine. and then third, a few areas and carefully selected areas in which we by following our own need, defense needs act as a first adopter of a technology that might later prove of wider use. might. i give you an example. high energy density batteries. everybody's talked to the troops knows the depth of 1,000 ounces and how they complain about carrying around all this electronics they carry around. the hardest part is the batteries. if we can get a higher energy density battery we would play pay a lot for it. more -- we would pay a lot for it. more than you would pay to put in your flashlight and that would be a perfectly legitimate investment for our troops, and
it may be that if we made an investment of that kind over time that technology would mature, the price would come down and it would become competitive in the commercial marketplace. in which case we would have fostered an innovation of greater use. good thing. defense has done that in many, many fields for many, many decades and absolutely fine. but we part with the first principle is anything we do has to make sense from a defense point of view. we are the department of defense, and he has -- and that's how we justify our investments. >> i want to thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> i hope you feel like you got away without suffering too many casualties. >> wonderful group of people. thank you so much for the opportunity. \[applause] \[captions copyright national
cable satellite corp. 2012] \[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> is still ahead on c-span, congressional black caucus forum on voting rights. we will hear from attorney general eric holder, followed by a state discussion on laws requiring photo i.d. to vote. and then we will hear from the girl scouts and ceo on their anniversary. from the house -- tomorrow, the house of representatives is scheduled to vote on the 2013 intelligence policy bill. we will talk with texas congressman mike conaway, a republican member of the intelligence committee. and then a discussion of the
bipartisan transparency caucus, which mike quigley co-founded with deraa icet. washington -- "washington journal" like every day on c- span starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> then the weekend in wichita, kan., with book tv and american history tv, saturday at a noon eastern, literally -- on c-span 2. and dennis carney on the founding of beechcraft. also, a rare book collection. and sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv, experience dearly days of flight in the aviation museum.
once a month, c-span's local content vehicles explore the history and literary life of cities across america. >> attorney general her calder said today that voting rights laws is one of the justice department's top priority the attorney general made his remarks at a conference held by the congressional what caucus.
>> without the conference of the denomination of black churches, our churches would never knew each other because it is too easy to live in a box of our old, local situation. bishop adams called us from the walls of our denominations into the big room where we could all sit and celebrate our unity in christ. it is my pleasure to present
the chairman emeritus who will present our keynote speaker, bush about and spirit [applause] -- bishop adams. [applause] >> in deference to the schedule, i know how to be brief. [laughter] thank you, mr. president, for those kind words. thank you. i do want to tell you that i lived in texas for 40 years and everything you said about waxahachie is true. [laughter] mr. attorney general, other distinguished people here, press people, congress people, and all other kinds of people, if you do
not know who eric holder is, it is too late for you to find out. [laughter] distinguished servant of the people, relentless do work of justice -- doer of justice, have served at all levels in this country for the opportunity to provide an opportunity for justice for the people. he serves now as the attorney general of the united states, as the chief legal officer of this country, the hon. eric holder. [applause]
>> good morning. it is a pleasure to be here. thank you, bishop, for that warm introduction. as i was listening to the congressman, i was thinking to myself, why would he do this to me? i'm just a lawyer. he is a congressman, a pastor, and he brought it, didn't he? [applause] so, thank you, congressman. it is a privilege to join with you and with dr. richardson, dr. burton, in opening this 2012 consultation. i will thank you all for your kind words, for your leadership, for your partnership, and for your prayers. i need your prayers. the president need your prayers. please keep them coming. we also thank the members and supporters of the conference of
the national black churches and the congressional black caucus is here to support the work you are doing today, and to bring renewed attention to the need to protect voting rights of every eligible citizen. and to pledge to be part of this discussion and to be -- it is a pleasure to be part of this discussion and to be among friends and allies. i am grateful to be part of the work that the people in this room are doing each day to enrich our communities and our lives. since its establishment in 2009, cnbc's efforts have reached many people. and over the past 40 years it has is that was itself as the conscience of congress. and that is true, the conscience of congress. you have a powerful force for change. together, you are not only providing a voice for the most
vulnerable among us, you are shining a light on the problems we must solve and the promises we must fulfill. in so many different ways in classrooms, court rooms, houses of worship, halls of justice, in your own -- own homes and neighborhoods, you are working to protect this country from its past and to strengthen its future. in an effort to honor america's most noble and in during cause to secure justice, you got a great job. despite all you've done, you have advanced this -- despite all that has been done, you have advanced this cause. but as you know, this is no time to become complacent. yes, we have walked far on the long road toward freedom, but we have not yet reached the promised land. and we have ways to go to eradicate violent and to uphold the civil rights of all citizens.
that struggle has not yet ended. that means it is time once again to ask dr. king's most famous and enduring question. -- where do we go for here. like many of you, i would argue that of all of the freedoms that we enjoy today, none is more important than the right to vote. the right to vote is a basic right, without which all others are meaningless. today as attorney general, i have the privilege and solemn duty of enforcing this law. this is the law that dr. king
and so many others once championed. for this justice department and for our government and law enforcement across the country. this is among our highest priority. especially when it comes to combating hate crimes and working to strengthen our communities. our efforts on the generations who have taken extraordinary risks and willingly confronted hatred, by as an ignorant, as well as the clubs and fire hoses, bullets and bombs, to ensure that the children -- their children have the right to
participate in our government. without the there -- without those children, there would be no barack obama. we must never forget that. and we must remember that the right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government, but is and always has been the lifeblood of our democracy. in fact, no force has proved more powerful than the efforts to expand the franchise. without the right to vote there would be no congressional black caucus. these people who lead our nation, who are the conscience of congress would not be here without the right to vote. despite this history and despite our nation's long tradition of extending voting rights to non- property owners and to win in, to people of color, to native americans and to younger americans, and today, a growing number of citizens are worried that despite the decisions that five decades ago so many fought
to address, my travels across this country -- thought to address. in my travels across this country, citizens now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most noble ideals. the achievements of the civil- rights movement now hang in the balance again. congressman john lewis may have described the reasons for these concerns best in a speech on the house floor last summer in pointed out that the voting rights that he worked for throughout his life and that he willingly gave his life to ensure our "under attack by a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students and minority and low- income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process." not only was he referring to the deceptive practices that we have been fighting for four years.
we know about all of that. -- that we have been fighting about four years, we know all about that. let me assure you, for today's department of justice, our commitment to strengthening and tefillin our nation's promise of -- to fulfilling our nation's promise of equality and justice is now more than ever. we are dedicated to aggressively enforcing the voting rights act and for fulfilling our obligations in section 2 and section 5 of this law. under section two, where there is a denial or vote dilution, we have opened a record number of investigations, more than 100 and the last fiscal year. we have also had success without litigation in encouraging voluntary improvements and compliance. at the same time, section 5, which for private -- provides
pre clarence of the voting change -- provides pre-clearance of the voting changes, it has become integral to the protection of voting rights. certain covered jurisdictions are prevented from altering their boarding practices until it can be determined that proposed changes would have neither a discriminatory purpose or effect. this is called a pre-clearance and has been a powerful tool in combating discrimination for decades. and it hasn't -- has consistently enjoyed bipartisan support, including in its most recent reauthorization by president bush and an overwhelming congressional majority came together in 2006 to renew the key provisions and extend them until 2031. yet in the six years since its reauthorization, section 5 has frequently come under attack by those whose claims -- who claim it is no longer needed.
only a challenges to section five were filed in court. by contrast, over the last two years alone, we have seen nine losses contesting that constitutionality. and each of these challenges to section 5 claim that we have obtained a new era of electro equality. america in 2012 has moved beyond the challenges of section 5 and that it is no longer necessary. -- challenges of 1965 and that section 5 is no longer necessary. i wish this was true. subtle forms of discrimination have also come and have not been relegated to the pages of history. as we have seen, the voting rights act, including section 5, has been consistently upheld in court. a couple of days ago, the d.c. court of appeals rejected one of the latest challenges to section 5, reaffirming its continued relevance as a cornerstone of
civil-rights law, underscoring the fact that it remains critical in safeguarding the essential voting rights that for many americans are now at risk. as you know, we have worked to draw attention to in the past two years more than one dozen seexecutive laws that could make it to the beginning ardor for voters to cast their votes in 2012 -- may get continuously harder for voters to cast their votes in 2012. we're looking for changes to our systems and processes, including changes to early voting procedures, and two photo identification requirements. to ensure that there is no discriminatory purpose or effect. the state passes a new voting law and meet the burden that it
is not discriminatory, we will follow law and the change. but when a jurisdiction fails to meet its burden that a proposed change would not have a racially discriminatory effect, we will object, as we have in 15 separate cases in/september. for example, in texas, the justice department has shown that an electoral maps were manipulated, suggesting party controlled while diluting minority strength. this is the type of discrimination that section 5 was intended to block. the case has been tried and we are now awaiting the court's decision. unfortunately, like world redistricting is far from the only concern in these jurisdictions. the reason changes tuesday of
all voter identification laws has also presented problems requiring the department's attention. in december, we objected to south carolina this voter i.d. lot after finding this is based on the state's own data, the data they sent to us, that the proposed change would place an undue burden on non-white voters. this past march we objected to a photo i.d. requirement in texas because it would have a disproportionate impact on hispanic voters. the justice department is also working to protect the rights of our men and women voting overseas as well as americans living abroad, those with disabilities, college students and minorities. we filed a lawsuit against the state of california to remedy the absentee ballots being given one time to overseas voters. this is the eighth such lawsuit that the department has filed in the last two years to protect
the voting rights of overseas citizens. will also be working to protect the motor vehicle law. that will provide access to registration. in one cases in work -- one case in ryland, it resulted in more voters been registered than in the prior previous two-year time frame. we are also working to uphold the integrity of our election system. i want to be clear that no form of the electoral fraud ever has been or ever will be tolerated by this administration, this justice department, or myself. [applause] from my early days as a trial attorney, have been proud to stand on the front lines of that fight. i fully understand the importance of investigating and prosecuting fraud cases whenever and wherever they arise. i also know firsthand what so
many studies and assessments have shown, that making voter registration easier is not likely by itself to make our elections more susceptible to fraud. and while responsible parties on all sides of this debate have acknowledged that in person voting is common, absentee voting is meeting -- needs to be taken seriously. we had a meeting with the congressional black caucus a few months ago introducing legislation that would oppose any state election law that would negatively impact minorities. you have a critical responsibility to help identify and implement the most effective ways to safeguard that most basic of all american rights. you have a thoughtful voice to add to discussions about voting access, what the struggle for freedom has long been about
ensuring, the opportunity for citizens, to signal their party and to shape your own futures. the american people have fought for such a system and now with each of us, the fight must on. the progress we hold dear is in our hands. and democracy that we hold sacred is our responsibility to carry forward. in driving these efforts, i am privileged to khandelwal as partners. and a commitment and leadership -- to count you all as partners. your commitment and leadership are a testament to what we can all achieve together. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the congressional black caucus also held a panel on voting laws. we will hear from the civil- rights and civil liberties groups as well as congressman cedric richmond of new orleans. this is around 20 minutes. >> i and the congressman from the second district of the great city of new orleans. i know you all thought you would see charlie rangel, but as you can see, i am a little bit younger and just a little bit thinner than the great charlie rangel. i will do my best to represent him well. for me, this is such an
appropriate conversation to an appropriate group of people at the right time. i say that as a beneficiary to the work you all did years and years ago. but for you, we would not have the right to vote. but for our churches, i would not have had the opportunity to go to integrated schools and some of the best schools in the country. but for you who marched and sacrificed so much, i certainly would not have had the chance to be elected to the louisiana house of representatives and to the united states congress. for that, i say thank you. i recognize that i stand on your shoulders, and with that comes the obligation that we honor that. it is humbling to work side by
side with many of you, and many of my colleagues in the congressional black caucus that i grew up idolizing and reading so much about. but we in this room know how important is to have the right to vote. it is what validates you as being an american citizen in that you have equal rights to everyone else. when no right to vote is threatened, it should alarm all of us. and our distinguished panel guests today will talk about the implications of it, the new laws when we talk about the voter write the laws and the hurdles and attributes to cast
the right to vote, those things are very alarming. and the truth of the matter is that as we see them pop up, it is a solution in search of a problem. even as louisiana and in those southern states, you will not see rapid voter fraud or any of those things. to come back with such an overkill, something that could jeopardize so many people's right to vote, it is something we have to pay attention to. we have come very, very far, and primarily because of relationships with our clergy and elected officials. and right now, we are in a unique moment in time because we have the ability through one person or two people to galvanize and to get messages out and to protect the community and inform the community. and we recognize that this order
should and his relationship has endured because in years to come we will have to make sure that we can fight and take up for everyone. i will leave you with this because as the elected officials, we get the phone calls every day from people on social security, medicare, people who cannot make ends meet. we want you to know that we certainly appreciate what you do for our constituents. your role in the community is the exact same as ours. we help people and we fight for those who normally do not have
equal say so. i will introduce representative g. k. better filled -- representative g. k. butterfield. and with that, i will ask for your prayers also. [applause] >> thank you, congressman for the work they do not only with the congressional black caucus, but what you do for the entire congress. i cannot stand without recognizing the illustrious congresswoman from florida, corrine brown. and the distinguished member from the state of california, barbara lee. thank you for coming. [applause] some of you may know me, many of you may not know me. i represent the eastern part of
north carolina. the 24 counties east and north in north carolina. i serve as the vice chair of the congressional black caucus. i want to thank you very much for coming today to have this important conversation with us. i also bring greetings from my home church, the missionary baptist church. unlike to do that briefly what i am speaking to organizations. how do stand in the shoes of john lewis? it kind of reminds me of when king was assassinated and david abernathy ascended to the chair of the eoc. -- the o.c..
that is -- the eoc. that is where i find myself today. we are here to talk about protecting voting rights. it is critically important. and for us to talk about the full dimension of voting rights, you cannot address the subject in a contemporary context. you've got to go all the way back to the ending of slavery in 1865. when slavery came in, there were 4 million african-americans in the south. they had no right to vote, no education, no asset, absolutely nothing but faith in god and faith in each other and faith in committee. and starting in 1865, the former slaves began to build their community. the first thing they did with held of whites from the north was to build churches in the south. and many of our churches -- and i represent a rural district in
north carolina. many of our churches were found in 1865 and 1866. my church was founded in 1872. the first thing they did was to build churches. the next thing was to build schools. many of the schools were attached to the church. the third thing they did was to get involved in the electoral process involved in the community. 1870, 34 words were added to the united states constitution. those were plain and simple. the right of citizens of the united states to vote will not be on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. and based on that, african- americans began to get involved. i want you to know that 20 african-americans were elected to congress during reconstruction. eight were forced us from south carolina, four from north
carolina, and others all across the south. all of that came to an end in 1900 when these franchises amendments were added to state constitutions. in my state, for example, an amendment was added that required would-be voters to read and write. to the satisfaction of the registrar. it was called the literacy test. it came in during 1900. not only that, but a poll tax was implemented requiring would- be voters to pay poll tax. the last black congressman from the south in the district that i now represent -- all of the black poverty and were unable to get reelected because all of the african american voters were taken off of the voter rolls. there was no participation whatsoever in the electoral process.
dr. king was given the nobel peace prize in oslo, norway, and he was summoned to the white house by then lyndon baines -- president lyndon baines johnson. while at the white house, dr. king looked lyndon johnson and the guy and said, president johnson, now is -- looked him square in the eye and said, president johnson, now is the time for the rights act. and he said, don't take me there today. you know i just use all of my capital and resources and good will in trying to get the congress to pass a civil rights act. we've got to wait on a voting rights act. dr. king said, mr. president, i'm very disappointed with you. because you know the 15th amendment that was added to the constitution in 1870 has no meaning for african-americans today. we need a voting rights act. that is when selma, montgomery took place and all of the violence that you know so much about.
it is what john lewis would have talked about today. that is when they sell month, montgomery -- selma, montgomery voting rights movement began. and pres. johnson called a nationwide press conference to announce that he was changing his position and that he would support a strong voting rights act. and he did that at the peril of a second presidency. he did it at the peril of losing democratic influence in the south among white voters. but he did it because it was the right thing. and now we have a voting rights act. what i was in law school 35 years ago, 40 years ago, i suppose, there were no african- american elected officials in my great state. today, we have some 800 or 900 black elected officials, 300 in my congressional district alone. the voting rights act has made a difference. [applause]
but now, all of this progress that we have made it is under assault. there is a right-wing conspiracy that is a lot -- that is alive and well in this country that is trying to take us back to 1900, and even before. they are coming in very discreet ways. the citizens united case is an example that now allows corporations to give unlimited amounts of money, anonymous unlimited amounts of money in support or in opposition to political candidates. and is working. and there are other devices at play today. others will talk about that to alert you and inform you and empower you to go back to your communities and the vocal on this subject and make a difference. trust us, when the congressional black caucus tells you that a voter i.d. law will be detrimental to black political empowerment, we know what we are
talking about and it is for real. what they want to do is not to take away the right to vote, but if black voter participation can be diminished, even by 10%, it will make the critical difference all across the country. the president won in my state all across the country by a narrow margin. had it not been for north carolina, he probably would not have won the presidency. we thank our panelists today and we thank them for their willingness to come. instead of reading the bios, i can give you some summary about where they sit and what they do. but deborah, singular legislative counsel for the aclu. and the director for the brennan
center for the washington d.c. office. and marcia, co-director of the lawyers committee. i am from the south. give me a break. [laughter] how many are from the south in here? there we go. i am in good company. garcia -- marcia is from the committee. and then we have the co-director from the advancement project. and finally, in addition to our program, a lady that has -- that i have no fred least 35 years and has really made a difference in our work -- that i have known for at least 35 years and has really made a difference in our work, barbara. [applause] this is where i will need some
help. before i do that, let me recognize my good friend, congressman sanford bishop. please wait out the crowd. he is from the state of georgia. wave at the crowd. he is from the state of georgia. >> since we all work in washington, we know how to shuffle and change things around a little bit. once i got married, my name became austin-hillary. no one knew what my name was. we understand. thank you for inviting us to come and talk to you about the work that we all do end our efforts to protect democracy. all of us at the table before you today work with major organizations that really work to protect the core principle of our democracy, which is the voting rights here in this country. we want to talk to you about, number one, making sure you have
a good understanding of exactly what has been happening in the past year in terms of state laws that have been passed, litigation that is occurring, and really, the assault that is under way and threatening every american's right to vote, not just black americans. white americans, latino americans, every american's right to vote is being threatened, because when you challenge that right, you are challenging the right for everyone. that is something we all need to be concerned about. the brennan center for justice is the organization i represent. i served as the director and counsel for the women's center. we are a nonprofit legal advocacy thinktank organization and we take a three-pronged approach to the issues we work on. we litigated. we produced scholarly work. and we do advocacy work here in washington d.c. those are the ways we think we can be most effective in trying to defend and protect our democracy.
we work on issues such as voting rights, criminal justice, racial justice. we look at the courts and protecting the courts. i'm here to talk to you today about the work we do with respect to voting rights. if you have not seen this, and i did not have 250 copies, of which i hear you are all strong, but this report is called "voting changes in 2012." the center for justice drafted and produced this in the fall of 2011. we put this together for one reason, because we wanted folks like you to have a one-stop resource where you could go to find out what in the world has been going on across the country in terms of these voting law changes. we know we have been hearing in the news that one state is
passing a law of dealing with voter i.d., requiring people to come to the polls with variety. that we hear of another state passing a law that the sunday voting that you do before the election, we will do away with that. it was all coming at us so quickly, and what we said was, we need a tool that will enable individuals to have a good understanding of what in the heck is going on in the country. because we all know that knowledge is power. and in order for you to even understand how to help your parishioners, your community members, you have to have a good understanding of what is going on in the country. that is what this report does. but here is the frightening thing. we produce this report in october of 2011. it is already outdated. because the efforts that are under way to change these laws are fast and furious. they continue all throughout the
state legislative periods across the country. i will give you the numbers. i know the numbers are boring. what i was in college i would tell my professors, i don't need these numbers. and lo and behold, he laughs at me now because clearly, what i do now is deal with the numbers. that information is power. i will give you an overview of what the country looks like now when terms of the laws that have been passed, how many people were affected, who are the groups of people that are mostly affected? -- mostly affected. and we will talk to about what is going on at the ground level in terms of litigation and community organizing, and we need to do to arm yourself and your parishioners to be prepared for the impact of these changes. we estimate in our brand and centre reports that up to 5 million voters will be impacted
-- brennan center report that up to 5 million voters will be impacted by these changes. i know mostly what you have been hearing about in the news is this concept of voter i.d.. you need to understand this is not just about voter i.d. there are changes that have taken place that you need to understand. but let's start out with the voter i.d. because that is what we are most familiar with. at least 34 states introduced legislation that would require us to show photo identification in order to vote. and an additional four states request that voters show identification to actually register to vote. what this means is that when you show up to register to vote, previously, you did not have to have a photo id. now these states are saying you have to have one. and some of these states are saying that on the day you show up at the polls, you have to of the photo id.
a lot of people say, what is the big deal? we all have id. my 80-year-old grandmother does not have a photo i.d. anymore. but she still wants to vote. proof of citizenship laws is another way that these laws have taken effect. at least 15 states have introduced legislation that would require proof of citizenship, meaning he would have to show your birth certificate or some other id that shows you are a u.s. citizen in order to register to vote. the citizenship laws have passed in many states, including alabama, kansas, and tennessee. here is something we need to understand we talk about something thatpreviously, priory two states had passed proof of citizenship laws. and now, we have numerous states that have passed these laws.
there's also bills to make registering more difficult, by eliminating same-day voter registration. they have organizations that normally have been on the ground to register voters are now limited in some states. some to the point where they have said we will close down shop. we are so fearful of these new laws, in understanding them and ensuring that we're not running day -- we will just leave. imagine the impact of that. statistics show that many people, particularly minorities, use those third-party voter registration options. they register to vote when the naacp sets up the registration tables. they registered to vote and the league of women voters said up registration tables. so when the pullout, that means those communities that have depended on them are being
greatly impacted. several of these states have reduced early and absentee days. that means at least nine states have reduced their early warning -- early voting periods. we know that many voters to the advantage of early voting so they did not have to stand in line on tuesday and some people cannot afford to stand in line for five hours. some people cannot be off of work. so these the early voting days help those individuals. florida, georgia, ohio, tennessee, and west virginia were states that succeeded in reducing early voting could and then there are those states that made it even harder to restore your voting rights. what this means is this. individuals who were formally incarcerated, who you would think, once they paid their debt to society, would get their voting rights restored because
of their rights to do all of these other things to obey the law have been restored. but unbeknownst to many, their right to vote in many instances has not been restored. and even in states where they had previously been ahead of the game, states where they have said we recognize that, one individual has paid their debt to society, their right to vote to be restored -- two states, florida and iowa, rolled back their law and they have now said, i know we gave you that opportunity before, but under the new governorship, the change to that. again, my colleague will tell you a little bit about that. what do these numbers mean? here is what they mean. this means that, in 60% to 75% of all of the electoral votes that it will take to elect the next president, those are the majority of states where these new laws have passed, the states
that make a 60% to 75% of the electoral vote that will be required to elect our next president. 11% of all americans lack photo id. a lot of people, again, say who doesn't have id? but 11% of us do not have it. 18% of americans over the just 65 lack photo id. at least 7% of americans lack proof of citizenship. i don't carry my birth certificate around. i don't know if any of you have yours here with stupid but i don't have a document in my purse that says i am united states senate. with respect to women, 34% of women lack proof of citizenship with their current legal name. my colleague has heard me say this before. she is judith brown diana appeared my -- judith brown
diana. i am -- all the men are laughing. that is another discussion for another day. [laughter] the the bottom line is that it has become more difficult for us because they're people call me hillary and i say that my first name is nicole. they get all confused. judith and i are lawyers. we're lawyers who are knowledgeable about voting rights and voting issues. imagine the 34% of those women who don't have this knowledge and disinformation. -- and this information. when you talk about voters will no longer be able to vote on sunday, i am looking at you all because we all know that many of the people you're presenter the individuals who will be impacted by the exchanges. let me quickly get on to tell you about what can be done, what
kinds of things you can do. there are legal challenges going on across the country. the brennan center is involved in some of them. there is a case in south carolina coming in texas -- we are representing, along with some of my colleagues, the league of women voters and florida because florida is one of those states that has really had some laws that made it very, very difficult for organizations like the league of women voters to handle their voter registration. that is one of the groups that said, with respect to the set of florida, you have made it so hard for us and we're concerned about the new law that we are pulling out. the league of women voters is not registering people to vote in the state of florida right now pending litigation. those are things you need to be worried about. students are people that are being heavily and backed by the new law. there are some states that have said -- heavily impacted by the new law appeared there are some
states that have said that, it you come to my state from another state, your ideas not been enough to allow you to vote in this state. we need to be concerned about this. we're talking at the elderly. we're talking not students. we're talking about minorities, black and brown people. and we're talking about women of all colors, again, who have these funny names or who have changed their names and they do not have id. and these battles are continuing. the information in the burn center -- the brennan center report is outdated because things are happening consistently. there are legislators around this country who, like all of us in this room, are not necessarily as concerned about protecting democracy. i will tell you -- all of us who were here on the day of today, our organization, we don't care if you're blue, black, yellow,
purple or read. what we are concerned about is that all americans have their right to vote protected. that is the message. don't allow folks to try to pigeonhole this and turn it into a black issue. this is an american issue. this is a democracy issue. [applause] i will sit down now because i have given you the numbers. my colleagues will give you more information on what you can do. this is what i will leave you with. we have left a one-page information sheet on the table. if you don't see it out there, as we are mingling afterwards, grabbed me and i will give misinformation. i will give you my card. we put together an information sheet for you of all the different places on the brennan center website where you can go and connect to links that will give you our report -- this nice big red compendium. it will give you a report we did
on voter fraud. as the congressman said earlier, some think that this is about voter fraud. it is not a real issue. this argument that this is about voter fraud is a solution in search of a problem. and we also give you links to tell you how you can get the most updated information about these changes across the states. we want you to be armed with knowledge. maybe we should turn this into a little card you can stick into your wallet. that is what this is. i will leave you with that. keep up on misinformation. this is information you can share with your parishioners and your community members. again, we wanted to know what is going on and we will do our best to keep you updated. again, this is about protecting our democracy and our right to vote. that is part of our history in this country. what we have been about, as the congressman said, opening the doors to voting, not closing
them. we want to ensure that no more doors are closed. thank you. [applause] >> the web site is www.brennan center.org. really, sometimes you forget. we have these materials. i will be around. i have cards. my associate molly, everything that i said was wonderful, she is responsible for. anything that i said wasn't, don't blame her for it. we have all of disinformation. thank you. >> thank you, nicole. thank you mr. richmond. i am with the aclu in
washington, d.c. and i worked in congress, for congress, and the white house agencies try to promote voting rights. i also represent the larger organization that also works on voting rights from three angles. we pursue litigation in state and federal courts. we lobby of the federal and state level. we also engage in public education in a variety of communities. i quickly want to touch on the trend you heard about so far, which is this new wave of attacks on the right to vote. in particular, i want to talk about the criminal different -- criminal disenfranchisement laws, and how you can work with the faith community to get involved. as you heard, there has been a different variety forms of the tax. we heard about voter i.d. and system requirements and limitations on early voting. these tactics are all different
good but the impact is the same. the impact and the intent is to exclude certain groups from the electorate, the bottom line. all of these laws place disproportionate burdens on african-americans, the elderly, people with disabilities, students, low-income and language-minority voters and it is not a coincidence. the aclu is working in virtually all the states that have passed new laws and we are challenging voter i.d. wisconsin, for example, along with people -- along with people on this panel and defending the their constitutionality of the voting rights act, which is also under attack. in the context of this larger trend, there is a smaller trend that is very important which is happening and is very alarming. in florida, iowa and south dakota, they have rolled back voting rights for people with criminal convictions, even though they have been voting for years without negative consequences. the trend in the state before
that, for 15 years, had been torn and easing of these restoration requirements -- have been on an easing of these registration requirements. here we are, about to face another important election, and there are millions of people who have served their time in prison and, because of this issue only, and i even called the other issues we have talked about, but this issue only, they will lead people to vote. just in florida alone, up to 1 million people will be affected by this new draconian law. i want to give a little bit of -- about it.t it appeare every state has a different law. in two states, you can actually vote from prison. the most progressive state on this issue are maine and vermont been kentucky, virginia, florida and iowa have banned you from
voting for life in -- for life unless you have individual clemency from a governor. that is almost impossible. some have a 14-year waiting period just for a clemency hearing and clemency is rarely given. in other states, you have to wait for parole or probation to be over. in total, there are 5.3 million people who cannot vote because of a criminal conviction. and 4 million of those people who are in our communities, working, paying taxes, sending their kids to school who have no voice in their political process. one of the most problematic features of criminal disenfranchisement laws is that it is closely tied to discrimination in america appeared even though these laws existed since the revolutionary war -- in america. even though these laws existed
since the revolutionary war, we talk about poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, all designed to suppress the black vote as well as felony disenfranchisement laws. there were all passed as part of the same scheme. the voter right at got rid of the other forms of discrimination, although we are seeing a rise again in some of these laws. unfortunately, criminal disenfranchisement laws continue. as i said, the pact continues to it is estimated that 30% of african-american men have lost the right to vote, which is seven times the national average pared and latinos citizens who are represented in prison are impacted as well. i fear we see a national disgrace. 70% of the people who are disenfranchised by these laws
are part of our community, are part of your parishes, are trying to have a voice, but they are being silenced. federal congressional action is needed. there is a bill in congress pending called the restoration act. we need your help with that. the democracy restoration act coalition, you have all been stalwarts for advocates for change. the groups that work with us to emphasize the role of production and rehabilitation and why it is important to have this fundamental right restored. members of the state community are active members. there is a letter that we signed, as members of the faith community, that we have sent to congress and we would love for your parishes and churches to be joined in that letter. finally, one other thing i wanted to mention is some of the
litigation we are doing with the faith community and how you might be able to join that effort. you heard about the restrictions also on early voting and how that is impacting the sunday before elections. in ohio, yet another tactic to stop people from voting, they passed hb 194. it eliminated letting co-workers help you find the right precinct if you're in the wrong place. despite statistics showing that whole of these halfies to the voting administration process in ohio, -- these have eased the voting administration process in ohio, the faith community in ohio have demonstrated how it can be problematic. they have souls to the polls programs where they bring in entire congregations to the board of elections to vote early.
it was extremely popular in 2008 in ohio where there were lines for early voting. this law in ohio would eliminate that sunday. it has not it gone into effect. this is where you can help. because the aclu of ohio, our coalition partners, the faith community, state legislatures have all worked together, it will now be on the ballot to give the people of ohio a voice in determining what will happen to them. but after november, the future of the souls to the polls program and early voting itself is in jeopardy. so we need your help. we also reject the aclu has created podcasts with the pastors -- the aclu has created podcast with the pastors about targeted attacks that stop people from voting. and florida, there is a similar story. the bill has passed, a chubby
-- it had the changes to the florida election laws and it became law in may. it cut back early voting, among other things. again, the sunday before the elections, of course. and the variety of other things. it is also one of the states that rolled back the criminal disenfranchisement loss. from 2008, on the sunday before election, voters accounted for 32% of the voting turnout in florida. once again, not taken the incidents -- not a coincidence we are working with the faith community and other coalition partners in florida and we are currently live giddy with other groups. we need your help there. the last thing -- currently litigating with other groups. we need your help there. the last thing, over the summer, we will have brochures and cards
that we can distribute in these states that have passed problematic laws. we will talk about criminal disenfranchisement in states that have done that. so you can pass it out of the parishioners can be aware of what their rights are, what they can do, and how they can get involved. you can do to aclu.org and start downloading that material by the end of the summer. thank you very much. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. it is a great pleasure for me to be here this morning to talk to you about a subject that, unfortunately, is one that we are grappling with decades after we thought we would be finished with it. i am the voting rights co- director from the lawyers committee for civil rights under law. 49 years ago, president kennedy
called a private bar to the white house and said we need your help in the fight for civil rights. you, the church, were out there in the streets and kennedy said we need a partnership between the church and the bars to fight. never suspecting that, almost 50 years later, we are still in the same fight. right now, we are any crossroads in our democracy. after decades of increasing access to vote, we are now turning and reducing that access and we are now fighting and believably to make sure all eligible voters have a right to vote. and deciding against laws across the country that have the potential to disenfranchise millions of voters. and the frightening thing about this is that a lot of voters are not aware. they are not aware that these
laws are being passed. there are a number of people who went to the polls in 2008, in 2010, and they do not know that, when they go to the polls in 2012, they may be denied the that they were not aware they needed to have appeared they may be planning to go to the polls on sunday before election day and find out, no, you can no longer vote then. they may find out that they have been removed from the polls because of states like florida that have a purging regime where you -- where they're using faulty data bases and sending messages to voters stating that you're not a citizen and not eligible. come to a hearing and bring proof. this is what we're dealing with in our democracy. we're hearing that the reason for this is voter fraud. voter fraud is a phantom. yes, there have been mistakes
that people have made in trying to vote. but we have discovered that they were mistakes or maybe acts of individuals, but there is nothing within our democracy right now that threatens us to the extent that we need to take away the rights of millions of voters to protect our democracy. we are being fed this myth. instead, the rights of millions and millions of voters are being taken away on our watch and we cannot allow it to happen. we need your voices. let your parishioners know what is happening. and we're here to let you know that we're here to work with you. they have mentioned resources that are available. i will talk with you a bit more about resources that we have available. the other battle that is going on is that the heart of the
voting rights act is under attack. section 5 of the voting rights act, which requires states that have a history of discrimination to get federal approval before instituting their voting changes, that part is under attack. right now, in federal court, we intervened in a case where a county in alabama has brought a challenge to the voting rights act. in florida, they withdrew the review from the doj and ticket to the courts. oh, by the way, if the court object that we can't, we the constitutionality of section 5 that requires us to do this. after texas passed its photo id law and doj said the law discriminates against minorities and we object, they are now in the d.c. court asking
the court to approve the voter i.d. law. oh, and by the way, we challenged the constitutionality of section 5. so far, the district court and the d.c. district circuit courts have upheld the constitutionality of section 5. but this will be before the supreme court next term. we need your voices to speak up for why section 5 is needed. as we saw in texas and in south carolina, the department of justice was able to show that these voter i.d. laws discriminate against minorities. this is why section 5 is still needed. this is why congress decided section 5 was still needed. and we need to protect the heart of the voting rights act. we are now in a horrible position of fighting to hold onto gains we made decades ago that we thought, oh, that is
over and let's move on to the next fight. the battle continues. i also wanted to mention national voter registration, motor voter, making it easier to register to vote. that is not being implemented. ok. the ncra motor voter is not being implemented. we had to bring litigation against states, ohio, missouri, indiana, ga. to enforce registration opportunities when people go to public assistance agencies. because of our litigation, now over 1 million voters have been offered the opportunity to register to vote. i have been asked to explain a little bit more about section 5
of the voting rights act. as we know, we have lived in the history of states that discriminated against minorities and the voting rights act requires those states, before any voting change they made, we have to submit it to did doj or the district court in the district of columbia for approval before they can be implemented, such as the photo id law that texas past, that said, no, you cannot use a student id in order to vote, but you can use your concealed gun permit in order to vote. and in south carolina, it passed a similar law. before those laws can be implemented, they have to have reviewed and doj said no. the law allows them to go to the courts and now there before the court. but as it, they are challenging the very basis of having to submit to this review. -- but, as i said, they are
challenging the very basis of having to submit to this review. they pose a special challenge, that we now have to take back our democracy. we have to fight back for our democracy. we have to raise our voices. we have to let the voters out there who are unaware of these changes, we need to join together and let them know that the changes have occurred. those that need id in pennsylvania or tennessee, we have to see how we can help them to get the idea that is needed. those who are in texas were south carolina need to know that come even though the states pass an ideologue, they're not yet implemented. sed an id law, they're not yet implemented. in the election of 2000 where voters were purged, we realize
that litigation was not the best ways to address laws in voting. we put together a coalition to help voters before and on election day to be able to exercise their right to vote and answer any questions they have. we have a hot line, a nationwide hotline. voters can call and have their questions answered before election day, on election day if .hey are at the polls appeare we have trained attorneys to enter their calls. in 2008, we had 2000 legal volunteers. the same for 2012. we also created a resourced sheet. we have handouts here on the table available to all of you. they talk about our website where you can find information on all the laws in all the states. if you want to work with voters to help them get id, we did a
report along with other organizations about groups in tennessee and wisconsin that are working to help voters get id, what works and what doesn't, the resources needed. we have that died. we also have a smartphone app. for the under people, this is the way they get their information and use their information. -- for the younger people, this is the way they get their information and use their information. all of these resources are available to you. we talked about the voting changes. we have the map of shame which shows all of the changes in voting laws that threaten to disenfranchise voters. in closing, i just want to say that we need you.
we need the partnership between the bar and the church to continue. you are the voices for the parishioners out there that need to know about these changes. and we stand ready to provide you with any information that you need in order to be able to do so. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. we have two speakers remaining. before calling on the next one, let me inquire about how we stand on time. will staff respond on that? we have 15 minutes remaining. all right. before calling on the next speaker, i think we have a few other members who have arrived. i would like to quickly recognize them. congresswoman barbara funds from the state ohiof ohio. bobby scott from the commonwealth of virginia. bennie thompson from mississippi is our chairman.
thank you. [applause] and keith adelson from minnesota. [applause] >> i am just yelling at her because she took all the time. i am co-director of an organization called advancement project. we are the next generation civil rights organization that believes the change will happen from the grassroots up. what we do is support grass- roots movements to work for racial justice. as you can see, from all that you have heard so far, in 2008, turnout among african-americans, latinos, and young voters was up. in 2010, we sat home. and others were planning.
in 2010, there was a sweep of state legislatures by the republican party. i want to say that i am from a non-partisan organization, so i'm just telling you the facts. so in in 2010, when they took over the state legislatures, they moved very quickly in 2011 to redistrict themselves into power for 20-30 years. in 2011, they quickly also moved to put in place new rules around voting because they saw the changing demographics in this country and they saw that we could actually turn out in good numbers when we wanted to. and so they put in place new laws. and they did not stop appeared in 2012, they tried again. in some states, like north carolina, where they passed the legislation for photo id, they
would do it by any means necessary. they tried to override the governor's veto coming times? three or four times, with the last time in a midnight session. under cover of darkness. so it is important for us to understand that what is happening across the country is very important to some people. some people that don't want to give up power. it is important that we let our folks understand the lengths to which they will go in order to get that power. so we have seen across the country these laws and it is not just the voter i.d. laws. but let me tell you about voter i.d.. advance the project has a couple of cases pending -- we have a case in wisconsin where 78% of african-american males between the ages of 18 and 24 do not have state-issued photo id.
i said 78%. we have a case pending in texas. we are part of the case that is brought by doj. do you know that coming in texas, 600,000 already- registered voters do not have state-issued photo i.d.? that means they have been voting, but some has changed the rules on them, changing the rules of the game right before we get ready to get to the finish line. that is not fair. so we also brought a case in missouri could they decided they would put it on the ballot in 2012. and we were able to stop them because their language was a little faulty. and a little untruthful. they call that the voter protection act. i took offense to that because
our program is the voter protection program. and they said that getting ideas better protection. no, we won that case. so it will not be on the ballot in november, unless the legislature moves to get new language on the ballot, which they are trying to do. we have a case in pennsylvania with the aclu. one of our plaintiffs is miss alawite. she is a 93-year-old african- american woman who has been voted, as she says, since we could. [laughter] [applause] that means miss apple white, the first election she voted in, she voted for president kennedy. for the first time since then, she will not be able to vote because she does not have vide, because she does not have a birth certificate. she was born in a time when many people were not born in hospitals. we know that many of our folks, especially our elderly folks, will be facing these kinds of
hurdles because there are those who want to make it harder to vote. they will tell you because they want to prevent fraud. but they're not preventing fraud. there preventing voting. you do not need a state-issued photo i.d. with your current address on it that is not expired to get on an airplane trip by the way, getting on an airplane is not a right. don't listen to the rhetoric. there is rhetoric surrounding these laws because they want people to buy into this idea. but what we need to know is that buying into the idea means that we are undermining democracy. because what is great about our country is the ability to participate in our elections. it is the one day where we have equalized everything. equity across the board. it does not matter if you're black, white, rich or poor. we'll have the same day where we
go into the polling place and get to cast that ballot. so there are those who say that, in fact, they don't wanted to be cool and they will pass these laws to make it harder. let me just say, on the voter fraud, i have an article down here called "five myths around voter fraud." you need to read it. you need to share it with your congregation. people need to know that it is rhetoric and it is myth around voter fraud. you know that you're more likely to be struck by lightning than to find a case of voter fraud at the brennan center. let me move on to florida quickly. i love florida appeared to have been doing voting rights litigation since 2000 down there. katherine harris said she would cast a wide net. that is her language. a wide net in order to do purging.
so they did not do it too well. we know a lot of people showed up to the polls and their names were not on the rolls into thousand four, they tried to do it again. they came up with a bad list and they did this matching could be pure name hadn't e on the end of it -- this matching list. if your name had an e on it, there were told to drop that list and they didn't. but here we go again. days of you in florida. florida is notorious -- days of a new -- deja vu in florida. florida is notorious. they have a list of the lead did not as citizens. 400 people have already come
forward to say this is my proof of citizenship. first of all, 50% of the list were latino voters. first there were going after black voters and now they're going after latino voters. understand that what they're doing is sending you a letter and telling you to come prove to us that you are a citizen pick you have been voting for 30 years. we don't care. come prove it to suspend they know that there are a lot of people get frustrated by this and say i will not the if you will put a barrier in the way i will vote. they are counting on that. what we have to do is tell people it doesn't matter how high the barrier. this is too important. this is a right that we will not turn our back on. in florida, we know that we have to continue this fight. but i want to tell you about another thing going on. there is a group called truethe
vo -- truethevote.org. they said they would hire people and train people to work to the polls. in houston, they sent poll watchers out in 2010 as a pilot project and send the tea party people down to the black precincts in houston to look over the shoulders of people as they voted. that was the pilot. kelly had taken it nationwide. they will be coming to a police -- date have now taken it nationwide. they will be coming to a polling place near you. they want to challenge the eligibility of the voters. this is about intimidation. this is about try to make sure that not only will we change the rules and make it harder, but when we get there, we will scare
you. we have to be ready for folks and tell them that we will not be scared. yes, the fort lauderdale paper today talks about the 91-year- old veteran who was on that purged list in florida. a veteran, ok? he served his country and is on this list illegally. but don't worry. we will take care of florida in this case. don't you worry. [applause] true the vote, what you need to know is that they will be prepared and we will be prepared. for those who can, for your congregations, get people to sign up and judges and election judges and poll workers, because we need to be on the inside. we need to have an eye out for
what is happening on the inside. the other thing i want to tell you about is that we will be doing advancement project in the brennan center and communications work. i want you to write down this e- mail address. i want you to sign up to get our communication materials. it is email@example.com. if you send an e-mail to us -- it is firstname.lastname@example.org. we will be doing some polling and understanding how voters think about voting. we also want to make sure that people are equipped with messages. on fraud, there are not preventing fraud, there preventing? that was a freebie.
we will be taking e-mails and we will put you on a list the people who will get regular communications about the things that you need to be telling folks about voting. there will be a time when you need to tell people, for example, to check your registration status. about 40% of black folks in this country have moved between 2008 and 2012. 40%. many of them will need to reregister. so we will give you from now until the election the information you need to get voters ready for election day. we will also give you those little messages that you need to make sure folks get in degraded so they understand. but let me say this -- get invigorated so they understand. but let me say this.
we go way back coming case you didn't know. in november.d if you thought that we had a bad time in 2011 and 2012 with these laws? you ain't seen nothing yet. because in 2016, think about it there will be no incumbent. so it is wide-open territory. that means that there will be those who really have to get the game straight. you don't steal elections by going in as mickey mouse and a impersonating do this -- in verse sitting judith brown diana. the real voter fraud is changing the rules of the game so we cannot vote. the real voter fraud is the misinformation that they put in
our communities before an election so that we won't vote. so we have got to be prepared. if you sign up on that the mail, we will keep you engaged. don't leave it alone in november. because in january, legislatures come back and we will see them come back and they will be rabid. they will be drooling like a rabid dog coming after us. so we have to be prepared. what i want us also to be prepared for is that are members of congress, the thing that we will come back for is some proactive legislation. [applause] we have got to have some change. and we are not only coming back with proactive legislation, but let me tell you the little visionary thing we really need. and congressman jesse jackson, jr. has been pushing this for years. but i will tell you that we need to have an explicit right to
vote in the constitution. without, we see these attacks. without it, we see no standards for how we vote. do you know that there are 13 dozen jurisdictions that run them 13 different ways -- 13,000 jurisdictions that run them 13,000 different ways? we need to be explicit about making sure that the right to vote is enshrined in our constitution. thank you. [applause] >> amen, all right. good afternoon, everyone. i want to start off by always giving honor to god for this opportunity to be here and to speak to you. you have heard some powerful women already today. [applause] i just wanted to dothank -- to
thank the congressional black caucus. i remember the fight to make people realize what was going on, so many people who have been out in front on these issues. when they started this whole effort of voter suppression, it did not just start in 2010. it started in 2000 with that election. then they ratcheted up another notch in 2004, again prior to 2008, and they are back at it again. what we have to understand is that, when they did all of this, one of the motivating factors was that, if you look at your congress, if you look at a lot of your state legislators races, you will find out most of the races were won by 2000 election
votes. in 2010, when those races were held, 25 million people who had voted in 2008 sat down and did not vote. they said, ok, we will make sure that you never vote now. part of this is about how you really have and maintain and dominate power illegally. our duty today is to remember that the bible tells us that for the lack of knowledge, the people perish. you see, we have to have the black church, as black organizations, as organizations committed to democracy, as organizations who believe in a true america, multiracial, gender is cool -- gender equal,
giving your body there -- giving everybody their rights, it is about us to guarantee the pathways are there. what we have to do is understand that there is something for every church, every single church that is here today, there is a role for you to play. don't let anybody tell you otherwise. because, when they came up with all of this evil, this nefarious in seriousness that is downright evil, they counted on everything. they counted on our people being in different. they counted on people not knowing. they counted on people being so into themselves that they were not paying attention. watching "basketball wise" and everything else. but they did not think.
they counted on these groups. they will be to underresourced. they will not have the funding. they will be so frightened on everything else they are trying to do. and their egos will be too big for them to pull together. but there's one thing they didn't count on, one thing they didn't count on. they didn't count on us. they underestimated us because they don't understand the power of our guide. he will not let this happen. he will not let us sit back. what our duty is today is to understand what we have to do. we have to take this up a serious not. we have to build within our community a resistance movement. we have to have folks understand
what is going on. no matter what their race. what we will do is a couple of things. i want you to think about this as black churches. first of all, your first level of defense here. i want you to take down this number. marcia mentioned it and i want to make sure that it becomes part of your mantra, your heart, your whole code. everything your -- one-866-our- vote. that is your lifeline. whenever somebody comes to you and says i cannot vote, that is the line you call. when people come to you and say i don't know how to get ideas you do not know, that is the line you call. when people come to you and say they just told me that i am not
registered, that is the line you call. i want you to understand that is the whole line. that is your lifeline. that is the first thing i want you to understand. once again, let's bring it home -- one-866-our-vote, 866-687- 8683. it will be answered live beginning monday june 4 until november 7. and every day, monday through friday, during business hours, that line will be open. when it is not being answered live, we will return calls that people leave us. let me tell you that, already, we have been filing lawsuits and giving plaintiffs to other
organizations for lawsuits because people have been calling our line and say that my rights have been violated. the second thing i want you to understand -- judy already said it, but take it home again -- we need to have the congregation to be poll workers and poll watchers. you have to say to them. because people have that ability. and we need them this year. we need them to do that. the third thing -- register people to vote. register people to vote. you can do that. you can absolutely register people to vote. i want to talk about it. this easter, last easter weekend, black churches got together and registered 120,000 people. we can do this. there is nothing to stop us from registering people to vote. once again, become a part of
that. the second thing -- we have been talking about this whole vip process, that you need to make sure that your congregant's understand that they have to verify their registration. they have to know what their identification requirements are and they need to get that identification. and they have to make sure that they go to the correct precinct to vote. you may not know that come official of to the wrong precincts, you may vote, but they will not count it if you do not come back and prove it. so it is critical, my brothers and sisters, it is critical that we make sure that we provide that information. i want to ask right now, how many of your church is have a voter registration program? excellent. i want to see every hand raised next time. how many of your churches have a get id program going on? let's get them. let's make sure appeared in this
packet, there are folders here called the get id program that shows how to create them. this packet is in the front row right here in front of the congress people. please, please, please, i did that packet and make sure to use these resources. in closing, in closing -- because you never really close, do you? [laughter] because the work -- the work is still here upon us. we have a duty. jesus said, if you love me -- if you love me, feed my sheep. if you love me, feed my sheep. let's feed the sheep. let's do the work. let's show them who we really are. and let's keep grounded and centered in our guide.
thank you. -- in our god. thank you. [applause] some love, let's show to this panel. let's show some love to this panel. we have had such wonderful chunks of meat. this has been a very substantive gathering. this is what we wanted to accomplish. solid methodology, solid procedures whereby we can actually make a difference. we're not here for decoration. we're here to make a difference. and these panelists -- we owe a lot to the congressional black caucus for facilitating this for us. c'mon, let's show our congressmen and women how much we appreciate them. [applause] that is right. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] i said earlier that this was a historical event in that the two groups have come together. but it is a mirror of what happens in each of the congressional districts all year long. it is a partnership between our congress people and our church that deliver services on behalf of our people. and we want to thank god for this opportunity here today. >> coming up on c-span, the ceo of the crow scouts on the 100 anniversary. then deputy defense secretary ashton carter on the defense budget. then remarks from attorney general eric colder. and two live events on c-span 2.
at 8:30 a.m. eastern, "national journal" look at how mitt romney or president obama would preside over the next four years. a third discussion with representatives of both campaigns on how they see the general election playing out. again, that is live starting at 8:30 a.m. eastern tomorrow on c- span 2. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, a house homeland subcommittee looks that security measures on freight, rail, and mass transit. it has been expanded to include highways and pipelines. that is also on c-span 2. >> the crow scouts ceo and memory chavez -- anna marie chavez spoke in washington, d.c. today.
she talked about women in the border, in congress, and other leadership positions. this is one hour. >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. i am the 105th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading organization for journalists committing to the future with the events such as these while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club is at our website at www.press.org. to donate to our programs offered to the public through our national press club institute, please visit press.org/institute. i like to welcome our speaker
and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guest of our speaker including members who are -- if you hear applause know that members of the general public are attending so it is not generally a lack of journalistic up to activity. i would like to welcome our c- span audience and public radio audiences. you can also follow the action on twitter following-tag ncplunch. i will ask as many questions as time permits. but like to introduce our head table guest and the web like each of you to stand up briefly as your name is announced. from the right, peggy, crossed out and congressional
correspondent for hispanic delegates. diane booth, girl scout and girl scout leader author and freelance writer. lisa gables, a guest of our speaker today. nelson, grossed out, author. sheila johnson, managing partner, monumental honors of the washington mystics and the guest of our speaker today. angelic teen, bloomberg news and vice president of a national press club. i will skip our speaker for a moment. deborah participate central 0 which connects scouts with milady business leaders.
lydia is posting the largest gathering ever grow scout said the girl scout rock the mall on june 9. valerie jackson, jr. and a cadet to grow scout. the suzanne, grossed out a press secretary for legislative affairs. national press club board member. john michaelson, girl scout, executive producer and host of green connections radio. joining us today in spirit, a girl scout founder juliette gordon low who made her debut at the wax museum here in washington, d.c. [applause] when many people here girl scouts they immediately think cookies.
-- the girl scouts and went away at age 10. that was a moment of revelation. as she tells the story was the first opportunity she had to go away by herself without her family. she was with girls her own age from all over the state from many different backgrounds. the experience gave for the experience it was cool for the girls and it was a bigger world than she ever thought about. that is what juliette gordon low had in mind when she established the girl scouts. that was 100 years ago before women had the right to vote, were expected to go to college, or to participate in the
business world. flow who was the product of a southern upbringing found her true calling in bringing girls of all backgrounds together to a lot about self-reliance, diversity, and actively participating in civic life. the first to grow scout handbook was called "hello girls can help their country." he would be pleased to note two- thirds of the female members of congress have been girl scouts. all three secretaries of state, condoleezza rice, madeleine albright, and hillary clinton, the list goes on. feature leaders right here in our audience. elie beall, becky town send, and numbers of troop 0446. yesterday president honored blow with the medal of freedom.
today and a maria chavez, her journey brought her here. she had a scholarship to yale and a career in public service cancelling the janet napolitano on latino matters and community services. she spent some time in d.c. as well as senior and the department of transportation, and the federal highway in, administration. she became the ceo of gross got usa one year and a half ago and found out leading the national organization means dealing with politics. even as she lay leads the 100th anniversary celebration she is dealing with political fire from some who sits down and promotes sexuality and even abortion. the u.s. conference of catholic bishops says they are investigating the organization. it means taking the organization into the digital age. a new badge growth can turn for
netiquette, understanding on mine safety in and preventing cyber bullying. java's helps to make her mark in a big way. we look forward to hearing all about it. please welcome and maria chavez. -- anna maria chavez. [applause] >> thank you. thank you teresa for the wonderful introduction. the mother appreciates the fact you used the official bio. to tax credit. i want to thank the head table. thank you for making this happen. lydia who is my colleague. i am grateful to lead a organization, but a partnership with 112 grow scout councils across the country. lydia lee is the council here. thank you for being here.
to our national board representative. i bring her good wishes as well. for those of you in the audience here to support us and also grows out to by the way we work for every day and are so proud of the peoria i wanted to start my remarks talking about a girl. a girl -- a very special girl who grew up in china. a little about this grow. if you imagine your hand. in her hand she did not have figures, just a palm and a thumb. there was a family to travel to china to adopt her in an orphanage. they brought her to georgia where their loved her and cared for her. even the daily tasks of picking up a toy or tying a she was difficult for the young girl. danielle had aspirations but the parents wanted to know what they could do for her and her life. as anybody does these days they
google the solution. they found a whole community out there of people who wanted to support the young lady but they found a group of particular -- a group of leaders who wanted to investigate a process to how this little girl named the danielle. they went out and for six months they investigated different options. they visited manufacturing plants, they went to craft stores. 180 hours of research and work they developed a prosthetic hand made out of molding with things they could figure out how to use and a craft store and velcro and they parted on her hand and it worked. for the first time she was able to write her name. these individuals are called the flying the monkeys. that is truly what they are named for. it is a gross scout troop from
ames, iowa. there are amazing. so amazing that to these members went on to win a global competition bidding down almost 200 other teams and climbing a $20,000 prize to patent their device they call ball but one. it is a great story. i tell it because it not only inspires me, but it inspires other girls. think about this. six intrepid middle school gross figuring out, how do we create a hand for a little girl. -- six intrepid little girls thinking how do we create a hand for a little girl. we have girls out there who have ingenuity, creativity and not only that they are thinking about other people and how they can help. as the chief executive officer for the gross cost of the u.s.a. i have the privilege and honor
of seeing these girls across the country. this story has a good ending. unfortunately there is another side to this, which will be very honest it distresses me. i know there are remarkable girls trying to do great things. enough of them grow up to realize their full potential. unfortunately they do not see enough woman and leadership positions across the country at this time. if you look at congress, and only 16% of our elected officials are women. across corporate america, women occupy only 15% of seats some board rooms. only 2% holding top job at a fortune 500 company. webb and manage only 3% of all hedge funds and 10% of mutual funds. women hold funds significantly
outperform for funds in general even in tough times like these. hold 16% of the top positions that movie studios and on fewer than 6% of tv stations in the united states. women make up only 6.5% of the science advisory board members at u.s. high-tech firms. let me give you another image. imagine this. imagine day classroom and an elementary school with 50 kids. evenly divided between boys and girls. ask every single girl to leave the room except one. ask the group of 25 boys and one girl to take comments of a challenging problem. and that is the situation may have here in the united states. unfortunately, we are making progress in some areas. young women are going on to
college. they are earning a degree. half of all law students are women. as i have noted in too many cases, we are not getting girls from aspiration to action. especially when it comes to critical fields like science, technology, engineering and science and math. it is a vicious cycle. at the saying goes, you cannot buy something you cannot see. duros cannot sit back and go, i can do that. i see myself there. a again, i work with a lot of girls. i travel the country. one of the best jobs in the world as the job by and sitting in today. i get to talk to girls and they tell me their dreams. they also tell me, eagle 1 -- that is what the girls call me
-- he will want, help us. this is what the reality is for us. i go to school and i am really psyched about math and science. around fourth grade people said, girls to not do math and science. then they go on and go to high school. you're thinking about student government. the they do things and unfortunately, that is being too bossy. where are you doing that. and they go on to their careers. sometimes they do not see role models and the firms that want to work at. the gross honestly say, help us. help us change the messages girls are getting into a's society. unfortunately we have research institute that brings out some negative data around girls. right now our research says nearly 90% of girls say the fashion industry places a lot of pressure on them to be sent.
the fact is 42% of girls in the country are growing up economically disadvantaged. those rates are higher for hispanic and african girls and the country. eight out of tendrils are interested and interacting with potential women, a majority of them say they have not been offered a chance to visit the work places -- does anyone wonder why they say leadership is neither important to them or say they do not want to be leaders? i know you are probably taking a pause with me because we have to get beyond this data. looking at growth, specifically we found a purse statistic recently. on february 14 we published a report that said girls love
math. what they want is a hand up. they want somebody to mentor them around these issues. talking to girls we want to let them know it is a career option. we cannot have a gross opting out because they can change the world. it is not just about growth out. it is a bout all girls. this one girl in particular, an amazing girl, she at the right age of 17 invented a national particle. not just any man of particle but one that kills cancer cells. -- man no particle. she won a $100,000 grand prize at a math and science competition. coming right up against her is another who did research on land mines around the world.
she did not set back. she wanted to do something. she created an alternative -- a device that goes out there and identifies where the mines are buried. she won a $25,000 fellowship. people can produce it at a cheap costs and other countries. the point is this. when you inspire girls. would you support the amendment for them, they will get on their journey. they truly not the path. sometimes we put barriers in their way. we put negative images. if you are truly sitting there with a girl at the start taking the barriers out of the way, they will jump to where they need to get to. i am very fortunate. i have a lot of people who mentored me. apparently i was poor and i did not know it. we were rich and loved it. i remember thinking the only
thing i wanted to be was a girl scout. when i had the opportunity to become a member, i moved to san antonio, texas. we moved to work for the girls and southwest texas. i remember sitting there and thinking about girls. they see our organization. it is iconic. one would day or during the recruitment. we still work in partnership with school districts to recover girls. we do the brochures. we an ounce to recruit an event. we hope it gets into the teachers' boxes and we help they put it into girls backpacks and we hope it gets, and the parent finds the form. that worked one day and san antonio, texas. a little girl had the form in her backpack. she showed up at one of our events at an elementary school one night. after everything was done, my
staff and the volunteers looked. there was one person left. it was the 8-year-old girl. i said where are your parents. she said, i can buy myself. there is my bicycle. we said, it is late. she said, i forgot my way. can you take me home? we found she was working -- she was living with their parent. a script and the script because it is only $12 to be a gross cow. for them and that was a heavy left. they looked under a sofa cushions and a refrigerator. she found a $12 and change. she brought to bat in a bottle. she put that in front of my recruiter and said, you know, we may be poor and the lawn today but i want to be a girl scout because i know i will change the
world to read i have to tell you, she changed my life. i knew at that time it was not about the girl scouts. it was about girls changing the world. they are ready. it is up to adults to say, you know what? let me pay that $12. let me give you the opportunity to integrate with amazing women and men who want to support your journey. go as the flying monkeys. go as angela. you know, for us, we sit here and the nation pose a capital where innovation and creativity and governance happens. can you imagine if we doubled the number of girls here in the nation's capitol? with our girls?
to resell read the list and it goes on and on. -- teresa read the list and it goes on and on. imagine if we doubled the percentage. recently we found if you compared grow scout alumni to non alumni they outperformed in almost every single measure. they were making more money every year. they had a higher educational attainment. they were happier. there were volunteering and they were voting. they were voting often. what we also discovered is that currently we have 59 million living alumni in this country. approximately one in two women have spent time in our organization during her lifetime. what i loved about it is it will
give us the opportunity to bring them back into mentor other girls. our system is simple. it has worked for 100 years. it is called discover connect and take action. allow heard is -- to connect her to other people interested in that project. i allow her to take action to make a difference. it works. 100 years. she would tell you if she stood here today that it works. again, we are not only in every zip code but we are in 92 countries in the world making a difference not only for girls but for their communities. i need your help. we cannot do it alone. we will create an opportunity for you. it is called "to get her there. it is the largest campaign for
grow leadership in the nation's his story. we want to create balanced leadership in one generation. so that every single girl has the opportunity to step into the leadership role. we will need her smart ideas. we will need her to sit next to boys in the classroom and contribute. it is not about boys against girls or moms against women. what is a bout is this great country. it is about the girl scout movement that needs to continue. we need to help more girls. the issue for us at scale. we cannot do it for ourselves. it will take every government leader, every business leader, every parent to invest and girls. only 7% of the philanthropic
dollars go to grow causes in this country. it is not enough. -- girl causes in this country. somewhere across the country there is a girl sitting there with a cure for alzheimer's. there is a brawl at figuring out how to make other lives better. the question is, will we get her there? well wait? do we have enough passion and around the issues? will we dedicate the time to sponsor a girl and a mentor her. will we stand up and said, today, and on my watch. when people start -- will you stand up and said, that is not true? you know, i will end with a simple story peoria the fact of
the matter is, i stand before you as a product of this grim organization. for girls scouts i probably would have been on a different path. i was on all the indicator lists -- latina, agricultural community. my parents had not gone to college. somebody, an adult in a rural community said, you matter. today on my watch commander. a long the way my path was fueled with adults who understood the potential of a grow. when i under rigid what i asked you today is that you invest in one grow. it could be your mother, your daughter, your knees. it could be a daughter of somebody in foster care or child protective services. take the time. there is a girl sitting in memphis, tenn., aims iowa, or
birmingham, alabama who needs us. i am convinced that when a girl succeeds the country's succeeds. thank you. [applause] >> you talk about reaching out to one grow. if you could speak to younker rose and convince them to stay in the growth out, what would you say? what does being a gross coming to you? >> there is a lot i would like
to share with the girls. i have this great opportunity. what i would tell them honestly is to be a girl. i had a great opportunity to work with two gray governor is in arizona. one give me a chance to work with chou protective services. girls had issues that impacted their lives. i met a young lady who was 15 years old who had lost her youth. i said if you could talk to other girls, what would it be? she said, tell girls to be girls. studying in a hurry to be adults. enjoy life. go out and create friends and positive environment. do not let social pressures take you down because you will have a mortgage when they, do not worry about that. it is ok. just be a girl and joy in life. that is what will make you happy. >> what do you think are the two
or three biggest barriers to growth becoming girl scouts? quacks' surprisingly what a lot of people do not realize, the barrier is financial. even though i will -- it is only $12 a year to be a girl scout. that is two lattes. where i came from we had about 20,000 gross counts. that means i fund raised every year to pay for half of the girls and grossed out. that can be a barrier, but adults can step in to have them. between rural and urban i think it is a different experience. i grew up in a rural community with a girl scout group. in an urban community they may have had more opportunities to do field trips around different things. what i think is great about growth stocks, once you enter,
whether you are in san antonio, texas or here in the nation's capital, who are entering a national movement. your experience will be the same. >> can people contribute directly to peg the repository dollars dues and how did they do that? >> absolutely. we can start today. our web site is girlscouts.org. you can contribute. we but love for you to invest in the future of this country. -- we would love for you to invest in the future of this country. >> the gold award as comparable to the eagle scout rank. nobody knows what it is. well that ever change?
[applause] >> absolutely. in 2016, they called the award will turn 100 years old. a i think it is a branding issue. we changed the name of the gold award. it is the highest award a broken horn and draw scouting. -- a girl can turn in girl scouting. it was named a different thing. you are going to see in the nexw months, a ramp up around the campaign gold award. we will show the country be amazing women who have earned the highest award in girl scouts and the will honor them and show them. what i would love to see as with the eagles out -- scout award, the girls walk in with their resume and it says gold award recipient and their hired on the
spot. but it is an educational process. we can tell people that if a girl received this award, she only represents 5% of gross and in all of gross scouting. it is the pinnacle of their career and we should support them. >> how you think participating in the gross scouts will help women achieve leadership positions in society? >> for growth in gross counting -- for girls and girl scouting, it is an opportunity to learn different things whether it be homelessness or domestic violence. through community service, they are constantly giving back and raising funds to fund other nonprofits and to solve community issues. with a girl scouts and being involved, it can really expand their horizons and help other people. >> how does the cooking program
fit in today's modern girl scouts? >> you have to meet some of our amazing cookie sellers. they are hard core. they go out there and they have a goal. well what i love about the cookie program -- first of all, a lot of people do not know, it is the largest entrepreneur program for girls in the country. i meet women in the highest positions of corporate life and the first thing they tell me as i learn my business skills making the pitch, selling micro scout cookies, setting goals and tracking inventory. and i volunteered my mother and i dragged her into it. and my father had to help and all of a sudden the family was involved. but what the cooking program does for girls is it less allows them to set a goal as early as five-years old. they are out there. what they do is they sell the cookies and they get a
percentage of the revenue. they get to decide what they will do with that. in a lot of them travel internationally to visit with other girls. they are either bronze, silver or gold award projects to help other people. it gives some self-confidence. how many of you have done a cold calling business? how hard is it to knock on the door? what the girls have told us is we want a technology side to the cookie business. they are online. they have a technology background. they want us to integrate our traditional cooking program which is iconic with the future business. the future of business has an e commerce platform. you may see something in the future around some of these technology advances that growth will help design a round cookie program. >> what percentage of gross up the sales does a gross scout troop retain after deducting expenses? >> it depends on the beach where
you live. a little trivia question tyrian there are two companies that make a girl scout cookies in this -- there are two companies that make a girl scout cookies. and in some states, the samoa has a different name. but the money, 80 cents goes to the baker and a girl gets a percentage to rid the other piece goes to the troop or local council to fund their camps, programming during the year, after school. it provides support not for. what is most important and what i want to say to you is thank you. thank you for supporting the girls because it is funding their leadership development
program. all the money they raise stays local. it is invested back into your local communities. so thank you for supporting them. >> i was a top cookie seller with a mother that was a cooking mother. so my family appreciates that. on the other hand, what of the level of childhood obesity, does the girl scouts have any comment about that? >> isa everything in moderation. -- i say everything in moderation. people get very excited because are cookies are sold only once a year. the cookie program -- the first girl scout troop made cookies in 1917 in oklahoma. over the years, a lot of the cookie revenue is donated to the troops.
you can walk up to a cookie booth and say i will not purchase a cookie today but i will donate the cookies back and the girls will ship the cookies overseas. one of the amazing pieces i get in the mail or letters and e- mails from people serving overseas who are in a bunker in the middle of battle and then the mail comes after two months of waiting and what they get is a care package. and there are cross all cookies and saw the them. all of a sudden, they are transported back to being 12, sitting in their grandmother's kitchen. for them, it is a peace and time with the are connected back to this country to say we are there supporting you. so our goals are doing that in supporting military families. with help listing -- with healthy living, we want to assure the girls they are
living actively. we are involved in programming with exercise. that is a critical part of our work with girls. >> one grossed out here said she -- but she has enjoyed most is that opportunities inexperiences she's -- she has gained and is wondering if girl scouts around the world are getting the same opportunities. >> we are honored to have grossed out in 92 countries. -- girl scouts in92 families. countires. crows may be living abroad working for a -- girls may be living abroad working for -- they are working on the same badges and learning from the same books. what we are doing is connecting the girls living here domestically with their girls
out counterparts. we were in houston for a national convention last fall and we saw a girl scouts from all over the world come together. they are part of the same family and having fun together. >> what is the organization doing to recruit leaders who are willing to go camping, even if rains come inhales or snows? -- rains, hails or snows? >> a lot of people say they want to help but they do not like camping. we have tons of volunteer opportunities. just talk to the table of growth here today. if the act -- if you ask them, everyone of them has a different area of expertise. we need adults to volunteer to support those passions. if you are not a camper, maybe if you are a judge -- i recently
recruited one. i said this is how you will help me. first of all, you have the juvenile justice system. i said if you volunteer with me and sign up more gross doubts, we will divert girls from your bench. you know what he did? he wrote a check to become a member that day. since then, he has sponsored a series were he is working with local lawyers and they are literally teaching girls of all the law. merely showing them the process. if you're over the age of 18 and
you want to volunteer, we will find a way, even if you are not a camper. >> as children become more connected through devices like tablets and smartphone and their attention spans decrease, how does the girl scouts and just -- adjust? >> speaking from my mother's perspective, at 10-year-old u.s. every device manageable, understand that connection but that also realize this is the first generation that has spent most of their time growing up inside. when i was a gross out, my mother would say go play and we would go off -- girl scout, my mother would say go out and play and we would go off. so there is a balanced making sure that they are
technologically savvy so they can compete in school and in their careers but to also understand about the environment. one of the benefits of being a gross out -- girl scouts is its about the environment. we own green. in their experiences, girls have always been connected back to the environment. they are out there. they have taken them horseback riding and camping. they can understand about the earth and the other stars and galaxies. we are constantly bringing them into nature and connecting it back to science and math and technology so that girl scouting makes sense for them. >> with your new product, togetherthere, how they plan to get younger girls to make sure
they stay on the right path to get to their future as they get older? >> for us, it is very clear. a lot of people say it is an audacious goals, changing the leadership landscape of this country in one generation of girls. but i said it is time. how can you wait for another generation to pass by without getting those opportunities? when my mother was growing up, her opportunities were limited compared to mind -- to mine but she did everything in her power to take down those doors and barriers. to engage more girls and to make other people aware. i am hoping all of you here, you will educate your colleagues at work. set them down and say have you heard about this campaign? it is powered by rolls cows but everybody is involved. -- by girl scouts but everybody
is involved. our goal is to engage adults in becoming aware and advocating on behalf ofgirls and donating to the cause. to a girl scouts organization for an organization that empowers girls. it is about every single community organization coming together to support leadership. >> girl scouts the -- the girl scouts have a long history of being inclusive to gays and lesbians. how does that inclusiveness shaped what the organization is today -- how has that inclusiveness shape what the organization is today? >> our organization has always been that way. i was recently able to go to georgia. we turned 100 years old in march.
i was sitting there reflecting as a reading her diaries are around the challenges of creating an organization around corals. this is before women had the right to vote. she created scandal throughout georgia because she had roles marching to the street in bloomers because they were going to play basketball in her backyard. for her, it was about engaging all girls. during my visit there, i got to meet with the leaders and a rabbi at a local synagogue. they showed me in their archives presence and letters from julie gordon low. some of the girls from the synagogue for some of the members of the first troops of gross out. you look across -- troops ioof girl scouts.
you look across the country and our girls come from all sorts of backgrounds. we are creating opportunities for girls to know that we all matter. the u.s. conference of catholic bishops filed an inquiry to investigate concerns the girl scouts have problematic relationships with groups like planned parenthood. what is their relationship with planned parenthood? >> thank you for this opportunity to set the record straight. i think with social media and opportunities to post things, there are certain misconceptions about our organization. i think because we are an inclusive organization, we stand in a place where we serve a broad demographic of girls. all backgrounds, all faiths. we are working with the
conference of bishops have to answer questions they have the data received from some members. we look forward to answering those questions and bringing the facts. but we have been very clear. we do not take positions on some of these issues that we are being alleged to take positions on. those issues are clearly within the family decision making. we are a leadership development program. that is what we have been founded to do, that is our mission, to create a gross of her rich in character who make the world a better place. -- to create girls of rich character who make the world a better place. we look forward to setting the record straight. >> to the crow scouts have a relationship -- do the girl scouts have a relationship with planned parenthood? >> we do not have a relationship. we are focused on what is a to
portrait girls. -- what is important to girls. >> there are many media representatives here. what role should they play in empowering grows and women and what is your view of how women and girls are portrayed in the media today? >> we have a lot of studies that have come out through our research institute that talk about the issues impacting girls. we hosted media panels throughout the country. i was stunned recently to talk to some ladies. they came up to me and said we want to help. to show girls that it is ok to be themselves and you do not have to do computer generation to change the way you look. one particular female newscaster actually did something live on television with no makeup. it created havoc. can you imagine? but it was her way of telling
the girls it is ok. we do not need all of this to be the professional person standing out. this is our job. we have had some amazing media partners. i want to specifically think our media partners here today and those across the country who have been working with us during our hundred anniversary to spread the good message. and they have. we have gotten over 70 million medium -- media impressions over the last six months. our media partners understand that we are one community. but they can help. they have a powerful voice. they get to the girls through television, magazine, radio. they can help encourage the growth to stay on their paths -- girls to stay on their past. >> the boy scouts have been talking about struggling with membership numbers. how is the girl scouts bering?
>> the first time in 10 years, we are up in membership. we are very proud of that. i have spoken to other ceos of major nonprofits and i think we have all been struggling because of the economy. when a family sit back and says we have to make rand or a parent loses a job, they go back to the basics. part of it is -- we are the best kept secret in the united states. to talk to any woman from most -- for the most part, they were touched by an organization and have a positive opportunity. but we do not tell our story. part of that is telling the story so more girls will join. they cannot buy something they cannot see. that is why we are out there. yep probably seen in the last six months more stories about
girl scouts than ever. talking about the great work they're doing changing lives. for us, it is about sharing that external story so that people will invest in paroles and advocate for them and sponsor them. -- invest in girls and advocate for them and sponsor them. >> economic imperative. i used to work for the sba. i think you about economy and where jobs are being generated. there is a need -- they are going to need skilled employees. from a business perspective, you have to invest in growth to get them on that path. if we sit back and say let's do
two or three generations of gross, will pass a whole opportunity that these girls will give back to the community and country. it makes sense for government to invest in programming around a leadership development for girls. with 59 million living alumni of gross counts -- girl scouts, by spreading the message, they will come back. everybody will get involved. >> how to the girl scouts work to build a girl's up on their own terms? >> it is always a discussion that men are in these roles. we recently looked across the top 10 jobs sectors across the
country from military to academia. only 70% of leadership positions were held by women. i think it goes back to what you see in front of you. for my mother, she was so wise career she would not tell me what to do. she would a kind of lay out the issue. she walked me through saying how can you make a difference? in my mind, i figured out how to get there. girls need adults to stand up and say so you found out there is no recycling program in your school. so what would you do about that? let the girls dream about that. as we engaged more girls and adults, i think it will start seeing in this. the balance of leadership was created over many decades.
we cannot do it today. we cannot do it tomorrow. but in one year, we can create awareness about these issues and get on our way to making a difference for girls. >> togetherthere address is getting younger girls involved in scouting. does it include older girls? >> we serve girls all the way to the age of 17. a lot of girls think they cannot join because they are in high school. the girls i have spoken to love being in girl scouts even if they were older because they could see the connection between what they want to do as an adult peripherals a working towards their silver and gold awards, they are being involved in issues and impacting their community. so they figure out maybe that is what i want to go to school to study. then they get into the field and they figured there are a girl
scouts lot of -- a lot of girl scouts alumnis working in this company. maybe they can help me. i asked them questions. i sit down with a lot of them. when i was a local ceo, i sat down with girls. i would say there are 10 -- they would say what you want to know? i said, how are we recruiting? is that working for you? and they would tell me eagle one is not working. if the compound of the table in high school with a box of cookies, -- if you put up a
table in high school with a box of cookies, that will not work for me. we created a program called gamme sigma girls. because i was told older girls would not join girl scouts. we thought we would get one high school in san antonio. be sent 25 girls. almost overnight, we got every single high-school to become girl scouts. we blew the cap. happened?what they started getting involved. then they ran for student government. a maker recently -- i met a girl
recently and she told me that girl scouts changed to life. a lot of people told her as she got older, you should not get involved in this. but she joined and all of a sudden she had girl scouts friends and sisters. they started doing community service projects and joining student government. this young girl had been homeless all her life. she had been in 10 schools. she immediately was grounded in girl scouts. she went on to speak nationally on the issues impacting teenagers and homelessness and has now gone on to college in a full ride. she speaks about how in one year as a junior in high school, girl scouts completely changed her opportunities. it is never too late to join. >> when do you think we will see a female president and will she be a girl scout?
>> the odds are sheep will be agirl scout. even if you look at the current cabinet of president obama, hillary clinton, the secretary of state, 8 girl scout. they are in these leadership positions already. for us as a community, but above an opportunity for a woman to serve. she will serve as a leader. as somebody who wants to make a difference. the fact that she is a woman is an added bonus. a lot of people say how can you do that? we are making our way. we are in schools, doing the internships, taking a hard jobs and hard assignments and making sacrifices. give them a chance to fill that need. >> before i get to the last
question, a couple of announcements to make. i will like to remind all of you about our upcoming luncheon speakers on june 4. we have the general -- gerald ford awards. tonight, -- on june 9th. we have our 15th annual beat the deadline race that benefit the national press club. tony horton will be here. ivo like to present our guest with our traditional -- i would like to present our guest with traditional npc coffee mug. [applause] have you learned of theflash -- the flash mob dance? >> i am a little stressed about
that. but i have a beat. i will pick it up. i am ready for the challenge. >> if you want to try any of it? i hear you are a good dancer? >> what is your favorite cookie? >> oh, man. wow. you saved the toughest question until the end. i will tell you what my answer used to be. after i gave the answer, it was a little political. my husband happened to be listening when i said i loved all cookies. he said stop it when i got home. you have a cookie, say the cookie. so my favorite cookie is the samoa. i