tv British House of Commons Question Time CSPAN August 2, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
monday -- on monday at 7 p.m. eastern. c-span is providing live coverage on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. the union leader along with media organizations from the early caucus and primary states are sponsoring. following the live for him, you can provide your input by joining the call in program or adding comments on facebook and twitter. wrote to the white house when he 16 on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> next, presidential candidate hillary clinton, jeb bush, bernie sanders, ben carson and martin o'malley speak at the urban league convention. and another chance to see "q&a." with robert kurson, author of the book "pirate hunters: treasure, obsession, and the search for a legendary pirate ship". >> the british parliament is in recess until september. prime minister's questions will not be seen tonight. on friday, five presidential
hopefuls spoke at the 2015 urban league conference in fort lauderdale, for did -- florida. hillary clinton, martin o'malley and bernie sanders where the debate democratic candidates. the republican leaders were ben carson, jeb bush. this is about two hours. >> thank you very much. we are absolutely delighted to be here. of course, urban league is so important, what it has done historically. i am very very cognizant of the many people who worked so hard, including whitney young. in fact, i'm delighted that the whitney young of word -- award is going to benjamin. tremendous individual. individuals like him and myself,
would never have been able to accomplish what we did without the blood, sweat and tears of so many people who sacrificed. no one will ever know who they are, but it was their foundation that really provided the freedom for us to do what we do. that is something i think everybody needs to always keep in mind. i remember as a nine-year-old sitting on the steps in the ghetto in boston, having moved from detroit after my mother, who was one of 24 children, having gotten married at age 13, and they had moved to detroit. she discovered my father was a bigamist. of course, that led to a divorce. we went to boston to live. i was sitting on the stairs looking through the building across the street out of which all the windows had been broken.
and the sun was shining through. there was a sunbeam. it made me think about my future. i remember thinking that i would probably never lived to be beyond 25 years of age. that is what i saw around me. both of my older cousins had been killed. i had seen people lying on the street with litwin's best bullet wounds --bullet wounds. it seemed pretty dismal. the fact of the matter is, with all of that going on america is a place of dreams. my mother had a dream of education. she had never been able to get much education herself. and she worked very hard, two or three jobs at a time, leaving at 5:00 in the morning getting back after midnight, scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets. she did not want to be on welfare.
she did not like the concept of the independent on other people. he worked long and hard. she occasionally accepted aid. but for the most part, was able to stay off. that is not to say that i dislike people on welfare. there is a nasty rumor going around that carson wants to get rid of all welfare programs, and all safety nets for people, even though he must have benefited from them. the people who say that kind of stuff have an agenda. they are trying to undermine and divide people. i have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them. i have a strong desire however, to provide a ladder to get people out of dependency, said they become part of the fabric of america. that is what we need to be talking about. we don't need necessarily to be dependent. we have to understand what true
compassion is really about. there are those who came along claiming to be very compassionate. they are going to eradicate poverty. there's a war on poverty. and we have spent a lot of money since that started in the 60's. over $19 trillion. what has been the result of that? 10 times more people on food stamps. more welfare, more poverty, more incarceration out of wedlock births. everything that was supposed to get better is not only worse, it is much worse. i think there is a reason god gave us brains. so that we can actually analyze things. we have two choices. when we make it efficient to do something and it doesn't work you can say maybe we can try something else. or you can say, let's you more of it.
that should do more of it. i think quite frankly, it is better to use that brain to think about what rings do work -- things do work the other way around. we need to be looking at the economic situation of this country. and how do we get it jumpstarted, so that we give people. and hope again? -- so we give people courage and hope again? one thing i have noticed spending decades in corporate america, is that we have a lot of corporate money overseas. some people take that to mean that american corporations are horrible and greedy and unpatriotic. our treasury secretary said american companies that do business overseas to escape high
taxes here are unpatriotic. you know what that indicates? a fundamental misunderstanding of the system. people don't go into business to support the government. they go into business to make money. if you are smart, you create an ear that is conducive to them making money. . he andr of course, youe do much better because.you get that is the way it works. we have a strange mentality that has taken root, where let's just say you have a tax system. where you have a 10% tax rate based on the typing -- tithing. a guide me tenderly in dollars, he gets $1 billion. the guy who made $10 billion, he's got $9 billion left. we cannot let him have that.
we have to take more of his money. the problem with that kind of thinking which is called socialism, is that you now don't have as much money as the guy with 10 billion. next year, he will put in less than one billion. more and partly, he will take what he does have and try to hide it somewhere. the american system that made us a great nation and catapulted us to the pen above the world in record time, had a different philosophy. they said, let's create a system that encourages entrepreneurial risk-taking and capital investment so that next year he can make $20 billion and put 2 billion in. that is what expands the pot. that is what causes real growth to occur. there are people who try to demonize that, and try to say that is the wrong idea. the ideal is utopia.
where nobody has to worry about anything from cradle to grave we will take care of all of their needs. many people have tried that. the problem is, italy's ends up looking the same way. a small greek of the leads -- it always end up looking the same way. a small group of elite at the top. a rapidly dependent middle-class. that is not what we need to do. those corporations have over $2 trillion of assets, which they don't bring back because they don't want to pay 35% tax rate. they ask, what can i do with this? what if we were smart enough to say, we are going to declare a six-month hiatus, where they can bring that money back without paying any taxes and 10% of it has to be used to create jobs for unemployed people, and
people on welfare? you want to talk about a stimulus that does not cost american taxpayer at penny and has an enormous effect, there you have it. those at the kinds of things we need to be thinking about. , a lot of people, when i was growing up, concentrated on racism. a lot of racism. it will keep you from being able to do things. there was racism there's no question. and there still is. there always will be. as long as there are people with small brains and evil forces, it will be there. but what do you do about it? i remember when i was in the eighth grade, having turned around tremendously, because i was a horrible student before. my mother made us read books and we were not happy about that. but you had to do what your parents told you. [laughter]
i was reading these books, and as i read about people, particularly people of enormous accomplishment -- one of the first i had read was booker t washington. i recognized that the person who has the most do what happens to you in life is you. it is not somebody else. not the environment. they can't stop you. once i developed that mindset, ice. listening to the naysayers -- i stopped listening to the naysayers and people told me i was a victim. i was the only black student in the eighth grade. they had a ceremony at the end of the year. the person with the highest academic performance. it was me. one of the teachers got up and chastised the other kids because they obviously were not trying hard enough is a black kid was number one. was she an evil person? no, she was ignorant. that is the difference.
some people are just in grants. when i went to johns hopkins and i would go in the words and have my scrubs, some nurse would say, i'm sorry but mr. brown is not ready to be taken to the or, assuming i was an orderly. i would say excuse me, i'm dr. carson and i'm sorry he's not ready. and they would turn 18 shades of red. but i would be nice to them. i would say, it's ok. i had a friend for life, they would do anything for me after that. [laughter] you just have to understand where people are coming from and to be able to react in the appropriate rway. wa iy. i was doing an interview on the -- npr. they said you don't talk about race. i said because i'm about
surgery. it is the brain makes you who you are. once we begin to understand that as a society and stop being so superficial, i think we begin to make an enormous amount of progress. the other thing i think is incredibly important is we need to start thinking about economics, particularly in the inner cities. in the black community and america, there is $1 trillion worth of assets. that is more assets than the vast majority of countries in the world. we have to learn how to use that. you have to turn your own dollars over, in your own community, two or three times before you send it out. that is how well is created. you cannot take the wealth and flee with it, you have to take other people along. if you do that, you have the ability within the black
community, to do enormous things on our own. we don't have to wait for somebody else. we don't have to be at the mercy of anybody else. people who have tried to convince us that we need to be subservient to them, and ther e, you poor little thing, i will take care of you. but we have to do it ourselves. we need to learn how to read out -- utilize resources. we need to be able to work together and stop listening to the purveyors of division tell you that just cut you think differently about something they are your enemy. divide and conquer and control. we don't need people who divide and conquer and control we need people who learn how to use their various talents and energies together in an effective way. that is what is going to work. and for the young people, we
need to begin to put out appropriate types of models. when you look at the light don't just talk about thomas edison. talk about his right-hand man a black man who came up with the filament who made the light bulb work for more than two or three days. who invented the electric lamp. who diagrammed a telephone for alexander graham bell. elijah mccoy invented the automatic lubrication system for locomotive engines. the real mccoy. you can go on and on talking about tremendous contributions of black people to this nation. we need to give those young men a very different vision of what success is for them. we have to start holding up the right kinds of model. we need to talk to them about how to conduct themselves. is there injustice out there? of course there is.
if you conduct yourself in certain ways, you are going to run into trouble. not only with law enforcement, but with that other guy down the block. you run into somebody who is better than you are, and -- badder than you are, and all of a sudden guns start blaring. we don't need that. let me just say how important it is for us to think about the fact that the thing that got us through slavery, jim crow, segregation, and all the prejudices is that we had faith in god. there are so many people now who want to throw god out of our society. they want to throw that relationship out. but there is such a thing as right and wrong. there are morals. there are values. there are principles. if we hold onto those things, it
will make all the difference in the world. if god be for you -- if god is for you, who can be against you? thank you, god bless you. [applause] >> lets give dr. carson a big round of applause. thank you. this is the beginning of the process. i wanted to post this, the national urban league plans to share with the candidates who come here, a short questionnaire. that will ask you for your position on issues that are contained in the 21st century agenda. the crowd is very interested in knowing if you can commit to respond to the questionnaire in a timely basis. dr. carson: i would be extremely happy to. as i travel around the country i'm doing lots of town hall and i don't screen any questions. i'm happy to answer questions,
and the things you have outlined as important, i would love to get into them in some detail. >> we appreciate it. let's give dr. carson another big round of applause. [applause] thank you for your work and thank you for being here today. hillary clinton: good morning! this is a great way to start my day. i'm delighted to be here. i want to thank mark for not only the introduction, but all of his work over the years. i have been a fan of mark since he was mayor of new orleans. he did great work there and he is doing great work at the national urban league. thank you, mark. we are all thinking, as i hope
we do every year, about new orleans as we neared the 10th anniversary of katrina. something like that should never be allowed to happen in the united states of america again. we have to keep learning the lesson and re-pledging our commitment. i want to thank everyone for welcoming me here today. i want to give a shout out to your national chairman of the board, michael. also backstage, i saw a longtime friend of mine, congressman alcee hastings. and alexis herman who served in my husband's administration. and tony west, who served in president obama's administration. there is a veritable hall of fame here. i could never come to a national urban league gathering without
mentioning my lifelong friend vernon jordan. she may not -- he may not be here today, but he is with us in spirit. it is also close to my heart. over the years i have gotten the chance to work with you, learn from you. i have poured over your state of black america reports. i have spoken out your conferences. but most importantly, i have seen how you change people's lives. the theme of this conference, saving our cities, education jobs, and justice. speaks to the important work you have been doing for decades. i know that you help black entrepreneurs get startup capital. i know you help people find jobs. i know you give family's financial counseling so they can achieve their dreams of buying a home, or sending their kids to college. you make sure parents have the tools to kate -- take care of
their kids health. that is the kind of day to day commitment that makes such a difference. as you help prepare young people for college and work, in a world that can sometimes make them feel that they are not very important, you make sure they know just how precious and powerful they really are. this vital work has been my work, too. my first job out of law school is not a big law school -- love for them was with the children's defense fund. the first summer after i graduated, i went door-to-door for kids shut out of school and denied education they deserved. i also began a lifelong concern by working with the cdf to figure out what we did with kids caught up in the juvenile and
adult prison system. as first lady, i helped create the children's health insurance program. you were an ally in doing that. as senator, i championed small businesses owned by women and people of color because that is where a lot of the jobs in america come from. i thought to raise the minimum wage. no one who works hard in america should have to raise their kids in poverty. these issues, your issues, are deeply personal to me. i'm fairly on this morning -- i'm here early on this morning to say first and foremost, thank you. but i'm also here to talk about the future. the work you have been doing is more important than ever. and i'm going to keep doing that work right alongside you. i would love nothing more than to stay and have a conversation for hours going into depth about every single issue that we are
worried about. but you have a full slate of speakers that will follow me. let me make three points. first, the opportunity gap that america is facing is not just about economic inequality. it is about racial inequality. [applause] now, that may seem obvious to you. but it bears underscoring, because some of the evidence that backs it up with, as a shock to many americans -- it would, as a shock to many americans. african-americans are three times more likely to be denied a mortgage. and how the median wealth for white families with more than $134,000, but for
african-american families, it was just $11,000. a lot of people don't realize that our schools are more segregated today and they were in 1968. [applause] or even that african-americans are sentenced to longer prison terms than white people for the same crimes. [applause] or that political operatives are trying every trick in the book to prevent african-americans from voting. [applause] and listen to this one. because as somebody started with -- as somebody who started with the children's defense on, and who is now the delighted grandmother of a 10-month-old granddaughter, african-american children are 500%, 500% more
likely to die from asthma than white kids. i studied and advocated, and introduced legislation to close health disparities. i knew how severe they were, but 500%? all of this points to an unavoidable conclusion. race. race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in america and who gets left behind. and yes, while that is partly a legacy of discrimination that stretches back to the start of our nation, it is also because of discrimination that is still ongoing. i'm not saying anything you don't already know, you understand this better than i do. better than anyone.
but i want to say it anyway. because i am planning to be president, and anyone who thinks that office has a responsibility to say it. [applause] and more than that, to grapple with the systemic inequities that so many americans face. anyone who asked for your vote should try their hardest to see things as they actually are not just as we want them to be. so i want you to know i see it and i hear you. [applause] and the racial disparities you work hard every day to overcome go against everything i believe in, and everything i want to help america achieve. the second point is this. this is not just about statistics as damning as they can be. this is about americans doing some soul-searching. and holding ourselves to
account. this is about all of us looking into our hearts, examining our assumptions and fears, and asking ourselves -- what more can i do in my life to counter hate and injustice? how can i make our country a better fairer place? let me be clear. i think all of us need to do that kind of interest action. but those of us who have not experienced systemic racial inequities we have an extra obligation. we need to do a better job of listening when people talk about the seen and unseen barriers they face every day. we need to practice humility rather than assume our experiences are everyone's experiences. [applause]
and yes, we need to try as best we can to walk in one another's shoes, to imagine what it would be like if it our sundown -- to sit our son down, and have the talk. or as people follow us around the stores, or lock car doors when we walked past. that andempathy, that's what makes it possible for people of every race, every religion, to come together. that is the kind of generous the -- generosity of spirit that makes a country like america and do her. and given what we have seen and experienced over the last two years, this is an urgent call
for people to search their own hearts and minds. here is my third point. we have arrived at a moment when all of these challenges are in sharp relief. we have to seize it, too many times now, americans have come together in shock and horror to process a violent senseless tragedy. like trayvon martin, shot to death. not in some empty, desolate street somewhere, but in a gated community. he was not a stranger. he had family there. or sandra bland a college educated young woman who knew her rights, who did not do anything wrong, but still ended up dying in a jail cell. together we have mourned tame your rice -- tamir rice, walter,
freddie gray, and most recently dubose. these names we have heard their grieving families. we have seen ambassador in charleston and black churches set on fire today, in 2015. but thankfully, tragedy is not only have seen. yes, the confederate battle flag came down finally in south carolina. families of the charleston victim reached out with grace to the person who terrorize their
loved ones and president obama's eulogy was delivered with grace. young people have thing to the streets, dignified and determined, urging us to affirm the basic facts that black lives matter. because of people across this country sharing their stories with courage and strength, a growing number of americans are realizing what many of you have been saying for a long time. we can't go on like this. we are better than this. things must change. it is up to us to build on that momentum. we all have to do our part. but those of us who strive to lead have a special responsibility. i am very pleased that many
presidential candidates will be here today to address you. it is the signal that the work that you have been doing is getting the political attention that it deserves. but the real test of a candidate's commitment is not whether we come to speak at your national conference, it is whether we are still around after the cameras are gone and the votes are counted. it is whether our positions live up to our rhetoric. too often, we see a mismatch between what some candidates say in venues like this and what they actually do when they are elected. i don't think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise and then say that you are for phasing out medical care --
phasing out medicare or appealing obamacare. people can't rise of the minimum wage is too low to live on. they can't rise up their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. and you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote. so yes, what people say matters but what they do matters more. americans, especially today deserve leaders who will face in equity race, and justice issues in all their complexity had on, who won't just concede that there are barriers holding people back, who will do instead what it takes to tear those barriers down once and for all.
i will never stop working on issues of equality and opportunity, race and justice. that is a promise. i have done it by entirely don't like. i will always be in your corner because issues like these, they are why i am running for president. they are why i got involved in public service in the first place, to tear down the barriers that hold people back from developing their talents and achieving their dreams. i'm asking you to hold me accountable, to hold all of us accountable. the work that you are doing must lead to action. you deserve leaders who not only get that but who will work hard every day to make our country a better place, to make it live up to its potential and to provide
the opportunities for every single child in this country to live up to his or her god-given potential. yes, i do have this ten-month old grandchild now and i have got to tell you, those of you who have are to this transformational point in your linux understand this, there is nothing like it to focus you on the present. when bill and i with charlotte doing our best to babysit, the phones are off, the tv is off. we are just focused on his miracle of life. and we are the kind of grandparents, i will confess that when she learns to clap your hands we give her a standing ovation. it is not just about our granddaughter, is it? we of course will do everything we can to make sure she has all
the opportunities she should as a citizen of this country, as a child of god, as a person who has the right to go as far as your hard work and talent will take her. but that is not enough. i want that just for my granddaughter. on the granddaughter of a factory worker, who worked from the time he was a teenager to what he retired in the scranton lace mills. i know how blessed i have been and opportunities that i have had that others with just as much talent did not. so let us tear down the barriers so that no matter whose child you are, or grandchild you are you, too will have the same chance. i am proud to be your ally, i am committed to being your partner.
i will keep fighting right alongside you today and always to make the united states of america a country where all men and women, all boys and girls are treated as they deserve to be as equals. i know we can do this. i know the path ahead is not easy. but i am not fully convinced that we will once again join hands and make a difference for those young people who not only need a path, but need the love and embrace of a grateful nation for the contributions that they each will make for a better future for us all. thank you and god bless you. >> ladies and gentlemen secretary hillary rodham clinton. i have got three short
questions. first, we are going to be sharing with you a questionnaire which asks for your positions on issues in the 21st century. i want to know you can commit to respond for that questionnaire. we will make it public. we have within the urban league movement, and exciting generation of new leaders that are coming of age. could you talk to them a little bit about the role they would play. you plan for them to play both in your campaign, but also in the issues and in your administration. some people refer to them as the millennial's. some have reversed as leaders of
our affiliates. can you talk to them for a minute? let me make a couple of quick points. i have been so blessed to have had a lot of wonderful people working for me. and now, i have the next generation, the millennial's who themselves have been successful. i see a difference between this generation and maybe some prior generations, where for african-americans, for women for others who felt like they had to struggle to be successful , there was a sense that, thank goodness i made it and i will do the best i can in my life, but the days of activism are behind me.
this new generation is in a very important way combining personal success with continuing activism and even agitation. i think we need that. i not only welcome it but i hope that we can together harness it. like i said about my granddaughter, it is not enough that some of us are successful. it is not enough that we see growing inequality. therefore, i list and ask for the help of this active committed young generation. there is that great old saying, what are you to do? you can comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. even though i sometimes maybe on the receiving end, that's ok because i want you to hold me accountable and i particularly
want to be held accountable by young people. >> thank you very much. my final question. in the discussion around income inequality, the racial wealth gap, one part of the conversation that has been missing and not really addressed is the role of small businesses, african-american owned businesses. many of them face frozen credit markets, a difficulty in building their business. what would you say to the oxford worse -- to the entrepreneurs about how they would address that concern? we serve 12,000 small businesses across the nation. about 70% of them are women owned. they are so crucial to closing the racial wealth gap.
ms. clinton: let me quickly say that i want to be the small business president. my dad was a small businessman and i saw how hard he worked and how he provided a good middle-class life for my family. 60% of the net jobs created in america are created by small businesses. but right now, we have tax burdens, regulatory burden credit barriers that are preventing both the starting a small businesses and their growth and expansion. it is particularly a problem for women of color. one thing i want to do is to really zero in on tearing down those barriers. one of the problems is frozen credit, lack of credit.
i helped to start a development bank in arkansas which is still operating and funding a lot small businesses. i want to take that model across the country. i want to expand the small business administration. i want to make sure we have all my lending that is especially attuned to small business. this is one of the keys to not only creating wealth and jobs but getting our economy that moving as quickly as it can where we were before the big crash. two quick points because i don't want to overstate my welcome. in my economic plan, i talked about strong growth, fair grove and long-term growth. we cannot have any of that without getting women into the workforce without having them --
i want to thank the urban league. highest title the land mayor. i want to thank your ceo for inviting me to be here. my name is martin o'malley. i have the former mayor of baltimore, for -- former mayor of baltimore, former governor of maryland, and i am a democrat. i'm running for the presence of the united states. mayor morreale and i will always share a certain bond of having served as mayor's together of two of america's oldest and greatest cities. the revolutionary cities of new orleans and baltimore. mayor morreale and i have discussed many issues over the years. some people are called to work. how to rebuild our cities.
baltimore is now growing rather than shrinking. how to improve our schools. in the middle of the recession we invested more to make our schools number one and to make colleges more affordable. how to create jobs and opportunities for all. in our state, we have the highest percentage of african-american owned businesses in the second-highest median income for african-americans of any state in the country. the topics i would like to speak with you about today. how can we save lives? how can we improve and reform our criminal justice system? how, together, can we make real the process of equal protection under the law? and i ran for mayor of baltimore
is a longshot candidate back in 1999, it was not because our city was doing well. despite many well-intentioned efforts, our city had become the most violent, addicted, and abandon city in america. every year, we buried 300 young black men who died violent deaths in our streets and black lives matter. i would like to share with you a true story from my time in the service, in this turnaround years in baltimore. it was october 2002, and the phone by our bed rang at three clock a.m.. i suppose one can get phone calls with good news at 3:00
a.m., but as a mayor, called about our never have good news behind them. jean said, "mayor, there has been a fire, a really bad fire. in a house with a mother, and we think five children. in the father is real bad, too. he is in intensive care, very badly burned." awful, i said. there was something in jeans voice that night and told me the story was not over. she said police and fire are here and they believe it was intentional and they are very shaken up. neighbors are here and they are very angry and they say it was retaliation. i said retaliation? by whom, for what?
jean said, for calling the police about drug dealers. indeed it was. in my 23 years in public service as a baltimore city councilman two terms as governor and two terms as mayor, the tragic events of that early morning are forever seared into my memory. the reality was this. cornell and angela dawson lived with their five children in a row house at the corner of preston and he can streets. mom and dad both worked, they love their children, provided for them, reveled in their individual talents. like so many families, they were threatened harassed, and they have life in their own neighborhood made miserable by open-air drug dealing. they would call the police to complain.
mrs. dawson would dutifully go to court to testify. two weeks later -- or rather, two weeks earlier to this incident, someone had thrown a molotov cocktail through the dawson's living room window. the bottom failed to explode police responded. state's attorney's office and housing offered to move the family but the dawson's refused to be driven from their neighborhood. police put on extra attention and on this early morning at 1:20 a.m., the district major even wrote by. like many families, the dawson's were keeping their home heating that night by leaving the gas -- the gas of an open and on. at 2:20 a.m., a young man from neighborhood, more of a look at -- more than -- more of a lookout than a dealer, lit the
gasoline, picked up in the door and toss the bottle inside where it smashed on the stairs. the old rowhouse was engulfed in flames and seconds. everyone in the house died quickly and painfully except for mr. dawson, who clung to life for two more days. i stood in a line a couple of days later with the good people of baltimore as we filed past the caskets, the kids's school portraits atop them. angela dawson's mother and other relatives made clear to the federal prosecutor that they didn't want the death penalty pursued. they did not want to see these deaths lead to one more death. life without parole was imposed. to this day, it is impossible for me to think about the dawson's without becoming
emotional. their little house became our alamo. the dawson's are very together at the same resting places so many of baltimore's fallen black and white police and firefighter heroes. every time i visit that cemetery , i walked just over the hill. i still wait and hope for love, peace, and justice to have the final word. you entire part of a living, self creating mystery called the united states of america.
because of the sacrifice and perseverance of so many in generation after generation, we have moved toward a full a respect for one another. we have moved toward more equal justice and protection under the law, but we are not there yet. every headline or video of official abuse injustice indifference, reminds us of how far we still have to go. every story reminds us that americans must endure a constant state of vulnerability even when they are driving to work. all of us must ask, what individuals -- how many individuals like sandra bland were subject to arrest for the cameras were not rolling? how many names will be not now? -- not know?
when cameras and technology were not in the on position. how many names do not know? there are certain beliefs we share as americans. a belief in the dignity of every individual. a believe in oral responsibility to advance the common good and in understanding that we are all in this together. in our idea of country, there is no such thing as a spare american. we believe you do not surrender your human dignity when you change lanes without signaling. as americans, we believe you do not surrender your human dignity when your tail light on your car happens to burnout. no american surrenders their dignity, whatever the emergency because of the color of their skin. if you do not believe that, you are not qualified to run a city.
if you do not believe that, you are not qualified to wear a badge or carry a gun. leading my own city and my state forward to achieve the most reduction in violent crime in modern history, we tried every day to become smarter about public safety and the actions that actually work to save lives and to redeem lives. our approach to courts prisons drug treatment policing, policing the police, and everything else we did. less have died in baltimore thanks to the greatest improvement. i close the most notorious violent prison in the state of
maryland. by the time i left office, as governor in january, we had not only reduced violent crime to a 35 year low in maryland, but we took actions that reduced recidivism, and reduced our incarceration rates to a 20 or low, and reduced new prison admissions by 90% -- by 19%. how? by doing the things that work like expanding reentry programs, not cutting them. like dramatically increasing drug treatment and mental health treatment. like expanding workforce training. like giving access vendors and id card before they are released from prison so they can apply for jobs and housing and benefits afterwards. we also did this by doing away with the things that clearly do not work and clearly do not serve.
for example, we decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. we restored voting rights to 52,000 citizens with old felony records. and not our first try, and not on our second try, but with perseverance and on our third try, we repealed the death penalty in the state of maryland. in our party, we have lots of good candidates who will make progressive promises, who will talk about criminal justice reform but i've actually done it. today, i want to talk to about a new agenda for criminal justice reform for our nation. policing will always be locally controlled and directed but there is a vital role that our federal government must fulfill in setting standards.
we can reduce racial disparities. we can reduce dollars we are currently spending on incarceration. first, our laws must allow punishments to suit the crime. congress seems to be making progress by reducing mandatory minimums. as president, i will root out the mindless sensing to spit -- mindless sentencing disparities like the one that still exists between the possession of crack and powder cocaine. i will work with a consensus that leads to the repeal of the death penalty in america and remove the united states from that small group of nations responsible for the majority of the worlds public executions.
second, i will take action to put the work of rehabilitation at the center of our justice agenda. there is no progress without a job. our nation currently has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the free world. we must recognize that investments that we make. our fellow government that's our federal government must help in securing employment, and we must support community services that help people return to their families and make the transition back to protect white. to that end, our federal government must lead by example in banning that a pastor will record prevents a person from gaining employment.
third, we must recognize that many people who fall into our criminal justice system would be far more effectively helped by our public health system. and yet, police are often our first responders people in crisis. as president, i will invest in better preparing our officers for encounters with our neighbors who are suffering a mental illness. for in finally -- fourth and finally, we must improve policing and the way we police our police. when i ran for mayor of baltimore in 1999, i was not endorsed by the fraternal order of police. in that election, i promise, for the