tv QA CSPAN August 9, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
next, "q&a" with kevin or. then leaders of canada's political parties take place in a debate ahead of the elections in the house of commons. ♪ talked week, kevin or about overseeing the largest municipal bankruptcy in u.s. history. detroit faced a long-term bet of -- debt of $18 million and a serious decline in city services. did to turn what he things around and responds to criticism leveled at him on the job. kevyn orr, from march 14,
2013 until december 10, 2014, you served as emergency manager of detroit. kevyn: yes. brian: why did you take the job? kevyn: i have been asked that a lot of times. i was a restructuring professional. detroit is 83% african-american, a city that had gone through several decades of decline. it was a city that needed restructuring. i initially was a little reluctant to take the job. i thought it would be difficult and i was comfortable in my corporate attorney life, my family and i. my managing partner steve and my wife said, look, this could be a call to action. it is important. it is outside your comfort zone, but we have people making the
ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country. this is temporary. and you will still be in an air-conditioned office in the summer and heated in the winter. sometimes you have to give back. after some reflection, it seemed like the right thing to do. brian: you are based in washington and a graduate of michigan law school. do not have anything to do with why they ask you? kevyn: i think it did. i was an undergraduate at the law school at university of michigan. from 1976 to 1983, i lived in michigan. the 1980's were pretty good years. the class of 1982 was rick snyder. 1983 was me. , we all came up in that era. having a connection to the city and understanding what it was in its heyday, as well as having participated in other cases, the
chrysler case, perhaps made me seem like a more logical election than someone else. wxyz tv in detroit covered you a lot. we are going back to one of the first times in march of 2013, to get a sense of what they were saying before he took the job. [video clip] >> a historic day, but not the sort of history a city its people want to make. detroit has been declared in financial emergency. millionicit of $100 coming up june 30. $15 billion in long-term debt. $1.5 billion of that due in the next five years. has taken the next step in getting the finances under control. was in the room
when he made the announcement. he joins me now. orr, do weo kevyn know when his first day will be? >> they have to do all the paperwork. his start date is march 25. brian: what did you feel like at that point? kevyn: it is interesting. at that point, i had underestimated the amount of attention the case would get. i had participated in other high-profile matters in federal government. i was responsible for supervising the whitewater investigation. three years earlier, we completed the chrysler case. another significant matter. i had been involved in significant things. i thought this is another job with a little bit of attention early on. appreciate they
local scene. kilpatrick, mayor was sentenced to 28 years. the city had gone through a long period of trauma about the state of affairs. the city did not look like an american city should. there was a long history of reviews. governor rick snyder spent two years reviewing the status of detroit and pushing out reports, including 22 pages of finding of facts on march 2013. that was when i began to get an inkling of how significant this might have been and how the due diligence and academic work had played into the body politic as expressed by the press corps. i began to realize it might be more significant than i thought it would be. brian: what was the first thing you notice was really a mess when you got there?
kevyn: the city was operating. bing had restored a sense of confidence and asked workers to give back 10%, particularly public safety workers. we had 9000 active city workers with 6000 on the civil side. 4000 in public safety. 2700 as police, 1100 as firemen. 's. as firefighters and emt two thirds of the budget is public safety. we met with the public safety unions for several reasons. some of our initial metrics, 56 minutes response times for police, were down to 12. they were good metrics for any city, let alone detroit. our initial view was, we have to focus on the basics.
let's get government running as it should, deal with public safety. focus on delivery to citizens. the other stuff that had happened in the past, we were not going to spend time looking at that. my term was 18 months. the clock started ticking from day one. my team and i had to get focused and move quickly. brian: you left jones day law firm to do this. kevyn: resigned from the firm, totally separated from the firm, and worked exclusively as emergency manager for detroit. brian: your back to the firm now? kevyn: back to the firm now, yes. brian: here is a stumble -- august 2013. wxyz.o [video clip] >> these are comments the emergency manager made that he may be regretting for the next year and a half he will be the
emergency manager in detroit. look at what he says about the wall street journal published this weekend. detroit was dumb, lazy, happy and rich. he goes on to say that anyone with an eighth grade education can get 30 years of a good job and pension and health-care, but you do not have to worry about what is going to come. that is a reference to detroit going through bankruptcy. some 20,000 city workers facing cuts in their pension and health care. brian: why did you make those comments? do you stand by them? kevyn: i do, but let me give you context. we were having an interview with the wall street journal. you were talking about the city in the 1920's and 1930's. we said, the city was rich and buying art. the city was dumb, lazy, happy
and rich. senator cory booker used those very phrases three times the week after that. idea that anyone was ever going to make that connection to the contemporary city at that time. dom, lazy, rich. we were not rich. clearly, i was not talking about the city. eighth grade education, that was a reference to both my grandmothers having an eighth-grade education. it did not dawn on me that had any connection to what we were doing at that time. but let me tell you, the city exploded, commentators, that is, for about a week and a half. look,y, i went and said, you can scour my professional behavior and background for the next 30 years. time,n the most heated you have never heard me use that
kind of language about anyone, let alone a city i am obligated to represent and standby. i appreciate people have taken umbrage with it because they thought i was referring to the city at that time. that was not my intent, but i will apologize for it. i do not insult people and have never done that. even people i have been in heated events with would not say that is my character. work beyond the offguard comments. there is a difference between the wall street journal and working city, that kind of stuff. we need to move behind that. i had a little over a year at that time to get done with all this. i am happy to say that when i did that, cool heads prevailed. a lot of commentators said, we understand what he meant. brian: rachel maddow talked
about the difficulty that happened in the state at the time of getting an emergency manager. let's watch what she said. [video clip] voted to repeal the emergency management law. but the republican still held majority in legislature and passed a replacement bill to the one that just got repealed, but only in a way that could not be repealed the way the old law was. 13 weeks after that, republicans in michigan are going for it, going for the big one. rick snyder announced he would use the takeover law that got repealed and reinstated, he would use the takeover law to overrule the voting rights of the population of the largest city in michigan. with the takeover, this will put roughly half the black population of michigan under direct control of governor rick
snyder. if you are an african-american and live in michigan, the chances are one in two you will be allowed to vote for elected officials. brian: your reaction? kevyn: yes, the law was repealed. but it was public act 4. i came in under 72. then 436 took effect. on the 28th, i think it was. that was a process under the michigan constitution entitled to be taken up. elections have consequences. one of them is a joint legislature. they did what was constitutionally permissible. the second layer is there was a lot of chatter about voting rights, suspension of voting rights. it is not true. elections, one for
mike duggan, on a write in and governor snyder was reelected with more votes out of detroit in the first time around. voting rights were preserved. number three, if you had come to the city at that time and looked around, certainly, most reasonable people would have come away feeling a receivership, which is what i was, was an appropriate mechanism to address 60 years of neglect. there were homes with 20-year-old trees growing through the roof. some of the police cars did not have bumpers on them. our ambulances. -- a meeting with an emt union president in the fall
of 2013. a woman had a seizure downstairs but there were no ambulances available. she had to stop and help with the seizure because they were being run into the ground. any reasonable person would have , which hasivership been going on for a couple hundred years, this has been worthy. this is by far the largest ever bankruptcy? kevyn: a different order of magnitude. the start was $15 billion in debt. we discovered it was $18 billion in long-term debt. the ironic thing about this is, of the $10 billion secured, we agreed to pay the secured debt. but for the $8 billion that was unsecured, $5.7 billion of that was retiree health-care
obligations, obligations to retirees where the city had not save a dime coming out of the general fund budget year after year. budget untilty's 2023 would be dedicated to health care. 720 out of a billion dollar general fund buzz it -- budget would be dealing with backwards facing opposition. the city would have to contract. $3.5 billion was unfunded pension obligations. the certificates of participation, that was engineered in 2005, 2006, supposedly as a solution to underfunding. what it did was set the city back with almost $2 billion in debt. was unsecured
pension obligations. it was quite severe in terms of debt service. i remember doing the math. i came up with a figure. if you took all of the city's for anyonary income fourth of july celebration, city concerts, and dedicated it to pay off unsecured debt, it would be 60 years. you clearly could not do it. we recognized the sentiments expressed, that it was unfair. i received invective. one of the statements in court was that governor snyder was the plantation master and i was his uncle tom overseer. but we tried to work through it and focus on the problems at hand. .ver time, people
saw the effort as an honest broker some of the noise started dying down. young was the mayor of the city, first black mayor of detroit, for five terms. what impact did he have on the city? kevyn: there are studies. the free press did a study. coleman young was a good mayor. he left the city in good financial condition. there was concern he had focused on building the city downtown, sometimes perceived at the expense of neighborhoods. but he came on board, took on police practices perceived to be oppressive. she took on a fire department which, for a long time, had a lack of diversity in hiring practices. coleman young was a pretty good mayor. when you look back on it, these were some tumultuous times. likewise, dennis archer was a good mayor.
the irony is there left the city in fair condition. 2010 2010,ears particular 2006 to 2009 that the mischief started. the demographic trend lines of people leaving the city. 2000 and 2010. the city went from 1.2 million to 800,000. mischief ofe the mayor kilpatrick, that exacerbated it. as one city councilman told me, the white population began to leave with the busing crisis. the black population left in the millennium. brian: is it true that 40% of the street lines -- lights did not work? kevyn: that is true.
march, first came in in we recognized that much of the work going on with the city, the detroit review commissions were supervised by the governor's office and had already developed a wealth of knowledge about the status of the city. we pull back together in the june 14, 2013 proposal for creditors. million in deferred pension payments at an 8% interest rate. $18 billion in debt. if you look at the document, it is a compendium of the ills affecting the city. we did that so people would get a true snapshot of what the city was like. no one has taken issue with what we said. brian: what is the difference between detroit being $18 billion in debt and the united
states having a debt of $18 trillion? kevyn: you look at gdp over debt service. $16 trillion. that is not a bad thing. a lot of money, certainly in our lifetime. the gdp used to be in the single-digits. but is it manageable? yes. think of it this way. if detroit had taken $1.5 billion in 2005, 2006, when the stock market went down 6700 and just invested in a dow jones industrial index, the stock market is now trading three times what it was. they would not only have tripled their money, they could have paid attention in full. and gotten back to the practice of giving pensioners a 13th
check at the end of the year. it could have fixed itself if there had been sober management going forward, just like any organization in the united states. if you have strong and focused leadership, you can resolve the problems. but it takes a lot of effort. brian: in september of 2013, we were talking about coleman young, here is coleman young the second talking about you. [video clip] in lansing got to be. they are licking their chops. they do not know who we are. they do not know what detroit is. they do not know detroit is home of rosa parks. detroit is where martin luther king first gave his "i have a dream" speech.
detroit is the place where the first radio broadcast, the first road was built. we made a soundtrack for a generation with motown in the city. this is the city of detroit. where the battle of the overpass to place. where the five dollar work lace -- day took place. right here in the city of detroit. after all that, you think we are going to be beat by some governor, by a man who thinks we have gotten lazy? the people of detroit are not dumb and lazy -- they are overworked and underpaid. brian: do you remember that? kevyn: i remember that. brian: what was he doing? what difference does it make the rosa parks was there, that martin luther king gave a speech? kevyn: everything he said was true. moved to detroit
after receiving death rets -- threats in the south. i honor and respect my forefathers, including my grandparents and my father, so i just want to be sure everyone understands -- i am aware of the trajectory of history. from 1640 when john punch was an indentured servant sentenced to life for running away, while two white men got an additional four terms. all three of them got 30 lashes, but he was sentenced to life in virginia. understand the volubility of congressman young. and some of the emotions there would be a takeover. but i would like to think that after they have seen the result, the city is above projections.
anxiety that was expressed, the invective directed personally, perhaps it was not well taken. brian: how did a white man get elected mayor of detroit with an 82% black population? kevyn: people sat down. i know mayor doug and and his opponent. i went to law school with mayor doug and -- duggan. he got his papers in a day late. moved to get him disqualified from the ballot and he was. the thought at that point was that he was not going to run. that would have meant his opponent would win. but during a write in campaign, some say some members of the opposition got a gentleman by
ugan.ame of mike do he had not been involved in but the cynical opinion was that they were not recognize the difference. but they did. they wrote in mike duggan, the white guy. and his opponents decided they would try to get him disqualified on ballot count. they sent it to the state. state did a recount and found out mike duggan had more votes in the original count. midcity --emocracy in the city and voting rights at a high level. the first white mayor in 35 years. this is a testament to the people of detroit. they put aside race and thought, who is the best guy with the best track record?
mike was ceo of detroit medical center. who has the best record? we think it is that guy. that is who they voted for. guest: when was the election? kevyn: in the fall of 2014. detroit --event in not sure how old you were at the 1967 -- clarence talked about his involvement in this. let's watch this. fill in the blanks. [video clip] >> i remember vividly the>> 1967 riot, in part, began a few blocks from my house. my mother, father, and my sisters and i had been in canada. it started on a saturday night. we had spent all day in canada.
people cross the bridge and go fishing. when we got back, there was a full-blown riot going on. i was probably 12 or so. nobody was inside. at one point, my mother and sister and i, walked out to the main intersection. there were hundreds and hundreds of people. after being there for a while, a car drove up. two white men got out and fired at the corner. corner was hit. probably about 20 people. everyone was hit except for me. my mother and sister were shot. brian: 43 people killed, 400 injured. what impact did that have on the condition you found detroit in? kevyn: the issue of racial
division some would say is pioneered in detroit. if you look at government policy. and the board of realtors, the concept of redlining, was pioneered in detroit. if a black person bought a house in a previously white neighborhood, there was a red line drawn around the neighborhood. the bank would no longer offer conforming loans for the community. there was a study that shows the greatest transfers of wealth from the federal government has been with home mortgages to disproportionately white homeowners. the american board of realtors, if you sold a home that represented a black buyer, this in theas chronicled origin of urban crisis, which goes into stark detail about how none of this is by happenstance. it was quite the roland -- viru
lent. a farmer had to defend his household at gunpoint from white neighbors. that has been going on for a long time in the community. i was well aware of the legacy, the neighborhoods. mile is a stark contrast. asphalt, same side, same area construction, totally different issues. a lot of that over time had been designed to be that way. the way it expressed itself to me was, number one, having lived through the 1960's. having lived through watergate, a very tumultuous era, i did not want that to be the face of detroit. there were detractors in the
city trying to drive that narrative, saying we need to burn it down, riot. the year after kevyn: i knew that the news media were looking for that narrative. i sat down with each city council member and said, i recognize this was a difficult time. one of the first things i did was dedicate authority back to the city council. so there is oversight in governance. runningyou should be the city -- i don't think we should be working in partnership. i am here to take care of all sins before i got here -- i don't care what you say about me -- that is fine. but let's not destroy the city that we love. let's not give the press that narrative. let's conduct ourselves in a
dignified and honorable way even though we may disagree so at the end of this process, we can always look back and say, we behaved in a way that was admirable and we did not devolve into the behavior we have seen in some other communities. -- i had ofo say the officials and residents of the city. we did not have another 1967 right. we did not set the city back politically but also we could not drive they kind of reinvestment, the positive attitude we are now seeing in the city if that had been part of the narrative. brian: when you went there first, how many empty dwellings were there? kevyn: 20% of our housing. 72% -- 72 out of 320 were vacant or blighted -- 72,000, sorry.
is that 60% ofm calls are related to blighted or blanket -- other structures. so we are running our firemen that are totally unnecessary in uninhabited dwellings. it is all three of those things. they are not on the tax roll, they are not providing value in value,f the increasing and operationally, they are running operations to him by requiring a disproportionate level of emergency service. in 2009, talking about at the media, al jazeera time -- let's watch what they were showing their audience about detroit.
[video clip] the u.s. recession has hit detroit so badly that houses have been left to rot his residence default on mortgages. vacant,that house goes aluminum disappears, copper disappears. the siding is all gone. the gutters are gone. it might be smaller or do where there are thousands and thousands of these. >> a local agent explains that banks will not pay to fix houses so they are being shoved back into a dead market at astonishingly low prices. ,> on this particular block over 50-60% of houses are in foreclosure. this particular house at $50. we are certain to see a lot of houses fall below $1000. brian: who owns all of those houses? are they empty? kevyn: we did several things. authority, houses
that have been taken back in foreclosures -- we put those into the authority. 40,000 for the city alone. some are owned by private owners. secondly, the leadership of force -- weht task chronicle lysed with technology each house in the city of detroit and graded it by its condition. they have put into a catalog of housing status so we can begin to make determinations about which should be blighted -- which should be demolished or rehabilitated. team came in and created and a qubit or on the west side of detroit to go in section by section -- the city is huge -- you can fit the city the size of boston, manhattan, and services go into the city's borders -- is going by in trying
to rehabilitate those homes and .reas to get buyers back in fourth, on the website of detroit, they can go in and bid on homes under several conditions for it you have to have it inhabited in six months. certainly, in 2000 nine, that was a representation but two things have happened since then. was reported that home sales are up by 3.9%. home prices and to try and are up double-digit's, almost 30%. we are getting our hands on mediating the blighted structures which is one of the components of our plan is that we get to blight, lighting, public safety, and financial integrity. those things are on the way. i am happy to report that we are achieving above -- the city is achieving beyond the goals we set. brian: do you have any
relationship to them now? kevyn: i am not. i'm a private citizen. i am registered to bid on private houses on the website. brian: why would you do that? kevyn: i think it is a great opportunity. i have been fortunate to work in a few other cities and when i left michigan law school, i went to miami. miami was a flame. he remembered trouble in paradise, paradise lost, joe dealers, and race riots -- frog dealers, -- drug dealers, and race riots. each summer, areas would burn. , why ares and said you going to miami? i said, because it is opportunity. some areas that were blighted now -- south beach -- was perp -- retirement homes -- i left
there and came here to washington dc in 1991. pullen built the stadium and look at what that has done. off the charts. detroit has that same field. the value proposition is high and the trend lines that we were looking for are better than we expected. i think it is a great opportunity. that is my own view. that is what i see. brian: life started for you in fort lauderdale? what were your dad and mom doing? kevyn: they were both teachers. the irony of this discussion is my dad was in the army. -- they cameher
back to fort lauderdale in 1958 and they were turned away because it was still segregated. so i was born into segregation with a midwife. my brother was born in an integrated hospital in germany and i was born in a segregated clinic in fort lauderdale. he was a school administrator and she was interim school cente superintendent. my granddaddy was a minister. brian: why did you not go that route? kevyn: i thought that i would at one point. i used to go to sunday school and i thought i would become a seminarian. i started getting into law as a young black kid driving around fort lauderdale, the county was divided by race and class by two railroad tracks.
folks who are rich lived on the beach and then there was the railroad and in the working-class white folks and then there was another track, and that is where black folks lived. i have friends of all stripes and colors and i visit my friends on the beach and got to the point that the cops would just follow me. i could tell they were doing triangulation's and parallels. just hassling for no reason. by the end of high school, i said i wanted to be a civil rights attorney. i wanted to stop this and defend this. so i decided, i am not going to going to the seminary, i want to practice law. i got into law school. the rest is history. brian: and you did -- you have done a lot of jobs. detail the jobs you have had even with the government. kevyn: i started out in private practice in florida. i left what i thought would be a two-year legal absence and went
into the fdic. this is in 1991. i went to rtc later that year. that is the residence trust corporation, trying to resolve savings and loans. brian: what attracted you to that? kevyn: there was the first persian gulf war. i wanted to serve my country. inclined buttarily i wanted to do federal service because i had some nascent political aspirations. i am just going to go for two years -- i remember telling jean stearns i am just going to go for two years. he said, if you go to washington, you will never come back. you will get potomac fever. i got involved in representations there and one of rtcpeople i worked with at and asked me to go to rotc.
firm.1, i joined my law so, three federal agencies, three law firms. brian: where did you meet her? kevyn: i met her through a mutual friend. i married up. seemed a little out of my league but i kept trying. brian: children? kevyn: two young children, love them to death. brian: how old are they? kevyn: seven and nine. brian: let's go back to another -- i don't know if you call it onto the road, november, 2014. [video clip] while they were arguing to come pensions and health care, they
were getting themselves raises, costing taxpayers more. as he reviewed more than 10,000 pages of invoices, we could not help but notice those filed by jones day -- >> these attorneys and professionals are on their honor -- >> it is not an open checkbook -- >> take the hourly rate of eight dollars and $.25 per hour. it increased 9%. another partner, her rate rocketed 12%. it was a little less for taunts while slur -- >> did you get a pay raise? >> no pay raise. kevyn: i had to be a little quiet at that time because i was emergency manager. i'm going to be a little bit
louder about this and defend the firm on three levels. one, the level of work that the law firm had to do and i said this before during the representation considering areas such as bankruptcy trial, project finance, labor, health judge said, perhaps on an exceptional level of the city should be thankful so it was an incredible representation and an incredible lot of work. certainly every representation i have been and somebody has said, look at this, because it drives the white-collar working-class narrative -- the silk stocking law firm is feasting on this -- that is not true for the reality is that this law firm -- and i was not with it but i will .efend it -- this law firm over 20% was adjusted down to that. the rate increases that jim pointed out -- that happens every year.
just a combination of not inflation that based upon the attorneys experience has to go to the practice area. certainly though, coming from a family -- both my grandmother's workmates, my mother grew up in a single-parent household, my paternal grandfather had to be run out of the house by my uncle because he was beating my mother with a razor strap so badly. bone understand how some -- someone of a more average background looks at these numbers and be concerned and not really understand for instance i don't even really tell my own mother what my compensation is because it is certainly well from where she came to to where i am from while i have had the transit of success and i hope i am judged by the content of my character is martin luther king jr. said and i have had some success in that regard and certainly significant relative to where she said her from sympathetic to that? the given the work that we did in the firm, the level of the wasect, the time that it
taken to deal with 60 years of neglect and decay for the law firm, i would say that there was value given for the payments that were made. brian: i have stumbled through this question. you are doing pretty well. kevyn: i hope so. have you noticed a change in the way people lookin look at you? to people looking you differently? do they get past the rates? kevyn: no. .t depends upon the time of day if i am driving home dressed like this, i will get a copsrent approach from than i did when i was a teenager. if i am driving on the weekends. when our son was six months so moved into chevy chase, maryland which is perceived to be a nice
community. we pulled out of our subdivision that night with our six month flared innd lights cops pulled us over. you pulled usk over because our left blank light is out. here are the bolts, i haven't had time to replace them. my wife, the doctor, me, the lawyer, with our son, for the next homer in 15 minutes, they sat there with the spotlight shining in the back -- montgomery county police -- shining back on my young baby while we had the light -- running tags, trying to find something -- trying to find something, i suspect, on what we were doing, for no reason. after 40 reason -- after 40 minutes i said, i'm going to talk to this guy.
she said, don't go, they will kill you. so we had a process that and that environment coming out of our new house in a nice subdivision with a light shining on my six-month-old son for no reason. a very troubling thing and i do think that we are at a crossroads in this nation. there is a disconnect between people. some people say cannot be that bad but then you look at the fact at the number of interactions in ferguson -- the real story in ferguson wasn't just oppressive policing, he was an integrated economic model through the administrative judge taxhe city council to drive saturation on the citizens so they could increase their budget to let an operation to drive more saturation. when good cops in ferguson said we do not like doing this, they were told, shut up, write more tickets. see the disconnect between the people who pay your salary and the people who are oppressing those and there is no believe in the legitimacy of
that process because it from their perspective the average inner-city citizen -- that is not a legitimate process for a juxtapose that, though, to the folks in baltimore and out -- freddie gray was killed during a month after, 31 people died. two months after, 45 young black men were killed her there appears to be aggressive policing. this is all very sensitive stuff that we need to spend some time cycling through but it has a real impact. people died. no matter who you are, no matter where you are, as obama said, if he had a son, his son was by trayvon. i have a nine-year-old son. in three or four years, he is going to be trayvon. i am concerned for his life. they are just going to see another little black kid. brian: i know you talked about this into troy. -- detroit. what do you tell your children about this?
kevyn: i haven't told them anything yet because they still live in this cocoon of northwest washington dc but i will have to have a conversation with my son. i have to tell him how to speak , notuse proper diction to have them change their behavior but to let them know that if something happens to him, something will happen to them. i'm an attorney, i will come after them if you harm my child. he is a citizen, treat him with respect. but i have to teach them not to give a precedent, not to give in and i. it can escalate. texas and saw down in she was stopped and she ends up dead. i have to teach them another thing. many of the kids -- we are fortunate here that we are very diverse.
we have people of all collars married, we to birthday parties, play dates, pools, it is very lovely. about 12-13 kids and start going to the mall, going to movies, maybe not the parents, but somewhere, uncle bob will call and say why is that little boy over here again and maybe he doesn't take you to junior prom or maybe you don't date -- subtle messages start to come in. what happens is the friends they have known all their life start falling off. had a conversation like this. married a diverse individual and he brought him in and recounted this to mean. he said, i want you to understand what is going to happen. here i am, an african-american, he is a white american, but both of us have to cycle through this that are going to be people who
are not happy to see you and you need to be repaired for that. the final thing i have to teach and is the meaning of the n-wiordord. it is said just like that kid who was it yale, who where he was supposed to be as somebody throws it out. so i talk about this with the other african-american professionals in our community who are very well accomplished, highly educated. are we protecting our children too much? are they in the cocoon too much? do we need to expose them get go we want to inoculate them but but not affect them. how do we do that? that evene challenge the sort of white-collar african-american professionals have. brian: go back to the detroit story, and in the end, you got people that forgive $7 billion worth of debt? how? kevyn: you can do anything with
four things. you need leadership. certainly, governor snyder provided leadership and mayor duggan cooperated. you need talent, transparency, cooperation. we sat down at the party table with the financial and labour sides and said, we cannot pay you. it is just math. math is not going to change. let's talk about what we can do. there was helped from the foundation community, some mediators came up with the grand bargain where the foundations in state aid and legislators voted millionde us with $820 dedicated to helping pension funding so that we preserve the detroit institute of arts and that was really a breakthrough heard a lot of cooperation, a lot of tough negotiations, the people working together. brian: this city was still able
to float the bond to build the rink kevyn:?key that was state assistance. the city had the public lighting authority, we had the issue for the -- $1.5 billion refunded and we had a private placement regarding the exit financing in bankruptcy. so the capital markets are remarkably -- for the most part -- remarkably logical and when enterprise that is pay as a goes, we've got where i think the lighting was at about 3.75, i thought it would have gone lower. we were able to have some success with our debt. .e can pay as we go forward our surplus lines are good. it wasn't easy. didn: how much attention obama give you personally and this issue when you are going through it? kevyn: the president's office
and the president's cabinet were front and center. shaun donovan, tony fox, eric holder, his attorneys -- the federal government was -- in fact, we convened in 2013 with over 60 participants -- gene sperling brought us all together what we, this is will b can do to assist you. that so continues. the white house has a detroit task force that just went over with the mayor -- mayor duggan -- to japan, and if they came back with $30 million in commitment from private sector factories to rebuild the city and many more to come. it was very helpful having federal partners helping us. we knew at the end of the day we were going to have to fix it ourselves. brian: in the middle of all of
detroit goesor of to prison. there for 28o be years. how much do you blame him for what happened? kevyn: have tried to stay away from bully from blame. certainly, the level of pagecation -- a 119 indictment -- and i think they were able to account for $75 million that was taken. some of the estimates i have seen go up as high as $200 million taken during the kill patrick administration. there will be a number of stories and recollections about that era. what i have tried to say is that existed, it was not helpful -- it was exactly the wrong time -- but that was pre-k and i have to
job beyond it, that was my and i'm happy to say that we got that done successfully. brian: when did you decide to go back to law? kevyn: i took some time off for time with, spent some the family, looked at other opportunities which were very flattering. almost came close to a couple going but there was never to be another law firm. i love my law firm. it has been embracing to me. i now have a washington dc office. i wanted to look at some other areas in terms of consulting and banking that just seemed right the right fit -- for me, it is an exceptional institution, it is an international institution. brian: your offices are just one block from here, in the shadow of the capital. of a power center does that make it? kevyn: i don't know, i am
careful to shy away -- to talk about power in washington dc -- there are so many people that have been som something somewhere. we like to think of ourselves as a full-service international law firm that does pretty well. we've had some notable successes over the past couple years. that entitles us to is to keep producing outcomes for the benefit of our clients but we are well aware -- we are doing ok. we are very fortunate. brian: all right guest has been kevyn orr, who was the emergency manager of michigan. and now the city is out of bankruptcy or thank you, very much. kevyn: thank you.
transcripts are to give us your comments, visit us at q&a.org. they are also available as c-span podcasts. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: if you like tonight's q&a, here are some others. former baltimore police commissioner anthony batts talking about his department. colbert king on his experience covering local politics in the district of columbia. and george packer discussing his book. you can find these and lots more programs online at c-span.org. the british house of commons is in recess until
september, so prime minister's questions will not be shown. we will bring you a debate between party leaders from the canadian house of commons. at 11:00, another chance to see our conversation with kevyn orr. announcer: the canadian house of commons has its federal election scheduled for october 19. this past week, stephen harper joined the leaders of canada's liberal, green, and new democratic party's for a debate hosted in toronto. they were asked about policy issues including energy, the environment, and the economy. they also discussed u.s. candidate relations and efforts to combat isis. this is two hours. mr. wells: the longest election campaign in modern canadian history has begun.
good evening, i'm paul wells, the political editor of maclean's magazine. i'm excited about this as you are. we have the leaders of four national political parties together in one room. we don't know whether that will happen again before you vote. i don't think they know. while they are here, let's make them work. the leaders are justin trudeau, elizabeth may, tom mulcair, and steven harper. tonight's debate will cover four broad subjects at the top of voters' minds -- the economy, energy and the environment, the state of canada's democracy, in foreign policy and security. each segment will begin with questions from me. another leader will respond,