tv Together We Vote Announces Voter Turnout Initiative CSPAN August 2, 2016 9:35pm-10:14pm EDT
[applause] president obama: this marks the first official state visit by a singaporean prime minister in over 30 years and celebrates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations. it is a reflection of my friendship and partnership with prime minister lee in the past eight years. it's an opportunity to repay the hospitality that the prime minister and the people of singapore showed me when i visited during my first year in office. we were there for the apex summit with the tradition of dressing of shirts that are somewhat colorful, a tradition we will reserve only for those summits and are not duplicating today. a half-century ago, when singapore was an island of rural villages and crowded tenements, few would have imagined a day like today.
singaporeans pride themselves as being the little red dot on many maps with a big impact on the world. in less than a generation, under the vision and stewardship of prime minister lee kuan yew, singaporeans transformed their nation from third world to first. they did this with almost no natural resources except one -- the people of singapore and their commitment to education, to progress, and innovation. our singaporean friends say a long road reveals the strength of your horse. a long time reveals the heart of your friends. i first saw the heart of the people singapore as a young boy living in southeast asia. we see it in now in the proud singapore americans who join us here today, including a lot of young uncles and aunties. we see it in the singaporean officers who attend military academies, more than the rest of asia combined.
order where every nation plays and trades by the same rules and we stand together to meet the threats of the 21st century from terrorism to the spread of disease to climate change. in this work, we draw strength from our people, two societies built on multiculturalism and on merit. in the united states, we call ourselves a melting pot of different races, religions, and creeds. in singapore, it is different parts united in a harmonius whole. if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it. what lee kuan yew once said of his country could be said of us -- both our populations are triers. we are prepared to try anything
to improve ourselves. prime minister lee, mrs. lee, with our eyes focused on the future and united in our quest for the progress and security of our two peoples, we welcome you to the united states of america. thank you. [applause] prime minister lee: president barack obama and mrs. michelle obama, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and americans and singaporeans who are here today, thank you very much for this kind invitation. i know it is a busy year. i watched you on television last week and michelle, too. it is an honor to be received with such a warm welcome as we celebrate 50 years of our diplomatic relations. the first official visit by a singapore prime minister to the united states was in 1967. president lyndon johnson received lee kuan yew, our founding prime minister. singapore was newly independent.
we were struggling to build a modern economy with no means to defend ourselves in a turbulent southeast asia. but mr. lee did not seek military or economic aid. at the time, america was divided over the vietnam war. he came to take the measure of america's mood and intentions. he explained to his american friends why it should matter to america and why the active engagement was important to millions of people living in southeast asia. america's government helped to contain the spread of communism and gave social security, time, and space to consolidate and prosper.
almost 50 years later, the world has completely changed. the cold war is long over. the threat of communism has disappeared. asia is at peace, though tensions are not entirely absent. southeast asia has prospered through countries cooperating peacefully as members of asean. america's endurance, policies, and actions, have contributed greatly to this current peace and prosperity. keeping your market open to trade, deepening your partnership with asean, and cooperating with countries in the region, you have helped create the basis for peaceful, rules-based regional and international order. president obama, the u.s. rebalanced to asia, an important
affirmation of a long-standing policy in the united states, has been warmly welcomed by all asean countries. to further build a constructive relationship with china will set a backdrop for the region and beyond. to personally push for the transpacific partnership, together with chile and new zealand, into what will be a major trading group linking both sides of the pacific. i know that america has many preoccupations both at home and abroad. some americans are anxious and
frustrated with economic uncertainty and the uneven results of globalization, trade, and foreign engagement. but the u.s. has many investors and friends in the region. singapore fervently hopes the u.s. will stay engaged and maintain its indispensable role in the asia-pacific. in particular, we hope, and i'm sure the president shares this hope, that congress will ratify the tpp soon. not only will the tpp benefit american workers and businesses, it will send a clear and vital signal that america will continue to lead in the asia-pacific and continue to enhance partnerships that link our countries together. ties have remained steadfast through nine u.s. presidencies, five republican and four democratic. we will maintain these bipartisan links with whatever party wins in november. we will continue to build and deepen our economic and security relationships. we are partners in tackling the scourge of isis and other forms of violent extremism.
our armed forces take part in exercises together and interact regularly. on this visit, president obama and i will discuss expanding already extensive cooperations to new areas, including private security and smart cities. our ties reach beyond government offices and corporate boardrooms to the hearts and minds of our people. thousands of singapore students and people study and work in america. thousands of u.s. companies operate out of singapore. the largest american curriculum school outside of the u.s. and the world is in singapore. is a singapore american school. there are some alumni here, obviously. in my many visits to america, i meet singaporeans living in different states, contributing in their own way to their host country and respective communities.
i meet americans who have been the singapore and tell me about singaporean friends and their favorite food. i am very grateful for this opportunity to renew our partnership on this 50th anniversary milestone. i look forward to having many more occasions and reasons to celebrate this special relationship together. thank you, president obama. [applause]
-- syria's political future. air force lieutenant general joseph when you was recently confirmed by the senate. tomorrow, there will be a hit in dover ceremony at the pentagon. we will have live coverage here on c-span. and later, an update on the international aids conference foundation held in south africa this summer. we will hear about the latest scientific advancements and funding for hiv-aids research. that is live new dniester and also here on c-span. -- >> faith and community leader spoke about a nationwide voter engagement program for november election. plans to register voters and assist in getting people to the polls. this event was held at the national press club.
>> welcome, everyone. thank you for joining us. we are here because there is too much division in our country. divided across race, across geography, across religion. we are here today as religious leaders to launch a historic voting effort called together we vote. we are here with pico national network and her allies and partners to announce to you a national multiracial multi-phase voter education and turnout effort that is focused on racial justice. we are here as religious leaders not only to speak out but to speak with. we will tell you today about all of the conversation we're going
to have with voters across the country. we will be talking to over 1 million voters in conversations with people that regularly been bypassed by conventions and parties and candidates. we are going to turning out hundreds of thousands of voters in key swing states including florida, colorado, ohio, indiana, pennsylvania. we are doing that because we wanted to create, lay the groundwork for policy change around mass incarceration and gun violence, raising wages and benefits for our families and keeping immigrant families together. today you will hear from speakers from pico national network, a national latina evangelical coalition, the 11th episcopal district of ame church in florida, the ohio baptist state convention, religiousreligious action center of reform judaism, united church of christ, bread for the world. you can follow the conversation
today using the hashtag together we vote and would like you to -- isor press, there were a call in option. i'd like to begin. we have a range of speakers today coming from all of the country. i'd like to begin with bishop who served as pico national director political director. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am the political director of the pico national network presiding bishop. we have gathered today to lay out a plan for people of faith to engage in how they want to see this country develop in the years to come. the pico national network as network of 45 federations in 21 states made up of over 40 different religious traditions in over 200 cities and towns
representing over 2 million families of african-americans, latinos, asian pacific islander, white and native american descent. we believe every person of faith should exercise their right to vote as an act of faith in co-creating with the divine the beloved community that we all desire here on earth. as such, the pico national network and allies will engage in the together we vote campaign to do the following. we are going to talk to 1 million voters, in particular those voters that have been ignored or not considered as relevant. those that were low propensity voters who we know to the work we did in 2012 and 2014 if
people reach out to them will actually come out and vote. we are going to train 15,000 volunteers and leaders within our federation, and allied organizations to go into the work of knocking on doors, of having phone conversations, meeting people at supermarkets and on the streets, in their congregations making sure that they vote the season. we will be working in 19 states. in some of the key states and the numbers we're talking about in terms of turning out for this election, in ohio we will talk to 150,000 people. in florida we will talk to 50,000 people. in pennsylvania we will talk to 50,000 people. in indiana we will talk to any 1000 people. in colorado we will talk to 10,000 people. we are laying out a framework of public policy framework so that in 2017 these voters who we are talking with now will continue
to engage the local, state and national level on issues like paid family leave in the $15 an hour minimum wage. they will engage in ending predatory payday lending. they will work to close privately run immigrant detention centers that are holding families and supporting families in this country. we will work to withhold federal dollars from cities and states that refuse to hold police accountable for how they are treating like and brown bodies in this country. together with our allies we seek to work together to unify a voice, to build to speak for this country in a way that builds up into a place where all cannot just barely survive but everyone can thrive. think he very much. >> now i would like to introduce pastor tracie blackmon in christ the king church in missouri and also with united church of christ. [applause] >> good afternoon. i consider my task for these few moments to be twofold. one, has become an of united church of christ and latino that the united church of christ is
not a political organization but we do have the partisan affiliation because we care about what happens to the marginalized in our society. we believe that we have a theological mandate, that it is a biblical mandate to care for the least of these, the left out of these, the lost of these. because of that extent we must vote our conscience, voting not necessarily along political lines where we are made up of republicans and democrats and independents, but voting along moral lines, voting about issues
that will have a tremendous impact on those who are marginalized in our society. i also stand before you today on behalf of the moral movement of revival that is going across this nation led by dr. william barber who many of you saw as the democratic convention just a few days ago, reverend james ford from the drum major institute also pastor emeritus from the riverside church, myself and sister simone from nuns on the bus. we have created a moral revival that is going throughout the nation to many states, including new york, north carolina, georgia, alabama, texas, mississippi, ohio, pennsylvania, massachusetts, south carolina, wisconsin, missouri, washington, d.c., tennessee, indiana, minnesota, new mexico, kentucky, virginia. tonight we will be in boston, if the message is clear. we are coming to reclaim the biblical narrative, to snatch it out of the jobs of capitalism and partisanship come into place it squarely back where cheeses, that palestinian jew we follow, jesus, place in the biblical narrative. and that place is people who are marginalized at the center. we are suggesting that the theological mandate that those of us who follow jesus have is that we must care for the hungry. we must care for those who do
not have shelter. we must care for those that others turned their backs on, that must be the center of our narrative. and everything we do from the poles to the pulpit to the pews must lie up on this accord. so we are suggesting that we must practice in this nation a linguistic liberation that separates, separates capitalistic ideals from language that appears to be faithful. we are suggesting that you are not right religiously based on political parties. but that you are right by
following the mandates of scripture. we are suggesting that you cannot be faithful to the word of the lord without being faithful to those that the lord came to serve. thank you. [applause] to tell us about the amazing work he's doing in ohio. [applause] >> for nearly a decade, i have been privileged to lead one of ohio's largest community organizations. it is a diverse alliance of faith groups, organizations, and workers. our year in our response to attack on voters rights, it is our goal to register over 2000
people in the state of ohio and as of today, we have already registered but registering them is not enough. we are going to turn them out to the polls this fall and beyond. it is our plan to knock on every voter store at least three times , but we're not going to stop there. we are going to send each and every one of them an application for early voting and not only that, but we are going to call them several times as well as text them. we are going to chase every new registered voter to the polls. total, we are going to have over 125,000 conversations with new voters as well as those of low propensity to vote this fall. we will knock on over 500,000 doors and these new voters will
be registered. these 200,000 voters are going to decide the election in ohio this fall because people cannot be denied their voice. running programs to register and turn out voters ever since 2007 and we will continue to do so beyond 2016. this is not just one election, it's about people of faith, regular, everyday people having the power to control and lead in their own communities. we cannot take elections off. we cannot be silent. when the time comes, we must vote because there is an attack that has been launched against voters rights, and it is our responsibility to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to express themselves at the ballot box. [applause]
now our next guest. >> good afternoon. i'm here representing the coalition ando i'm an assemblies of god minister. we are here because we won't the latino voice to be heard. many families have been divided and families have been deported, but one of the things we want to be heard is that many of these divided,that have been their kids are citizens and they are coming of age. and they are ready to vote. and we are ready to register them. citiesgoing out into the in florida and pennsylvania and registering them. we are moving in all these major cities and we have been mobilizing the congregations
right after the worship services and registering all the families and redoing it now in the ec metro area and we are starting to do this in all the other major cities. one of the things we want everyone to understand is that we want everyone's voice to be heard. we want our people to be heard and we want our families to be kept together. organization is not standing still, we are moving because family comes first. so we are here standing on the to get our voice heard and get the vote out. thank you. [applause] invitei would like to bishop adam j richardson junior from florida.
ame'm here representing the church, celebrating 200 years this year of civic engagement ,eginning with our founder represented on the forever staff. civic engagement has been what we are about. in florida, we are lined with faith in florida and will take the lead in coordinating early voting that would deliver 100,000 african-american voters in nine counties. through the engagement of 725 churches across the nomination aligns -- denominational lines. we will account are put patient through individual churches, commitment cards from voters of
each congregation, and not by the congregations that sign up. the counties will consist of miami-dade, broward, hillsboro, do ball, orange, seminole, leon, ocl look, and st. lucie. faith in florida has a formal partnership with agreement with church and the 11th district in florida, one of the strong african-american denominations in the state. congregations, each with a trained volunteer, will reach out on the phones, knocking on doors, to low propensity african-american voters in precincts close to their congregational sites. engage 50,000ll conversations in the seven
aforementioned counties. our goal is to get each congregation to 100% voting congregations by the november election day. will partnerida with local organizations to educate african-american and latino electorate about the powers of the state attorney, that they significantly impact their most pressing racial criminal justice issues. together the organizations will contact 45,000 voters, knocking on doors and ringing telephones, moving 10% of the likely turnout ined on an average turnout countywide races during previous presidential election years. in addition to the program, this partnership will pay for newspaper and radio ads to lift
up the importance of the state attorneys race and organize one candidate for him to further lift the profile of these elections. case, we are on the florida is on the case. florida is on the case. [applause] now invitelike to barbara weinstein who will be talking to us from the religious action center of reform judaism. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm here on behalf of the religious action center and the commission on social action of reform judaism. we are the largest organization in north american jewish life and like all my friends and colleagues gathered here this afternoon, we have a deep and abiding belief in the holiness of every individual and an understanding of the power and strength that
exists when we come together as individuals and former community. that there has been a systematic silencing of individual and communal voices at the ballot box in the form of closed polling stations, limitations on early voting, and onerous voter id law. that brings us tremendous pain as it does everyone here today. but we feel a particularly acute form of that pain because we know that the voting rights act itself was drafted in large part in our historic building here in washington dc and we take tremendous pride in that history . but our commitment to voting that'sis not something just a historic one. it's something we engage in today with the meaning and the purpose. and so later this month we are proudly launching a program which and he wrote me -- in hebrew means we are standing together.
we are standing together in a nonpartisan voter registration, voter engagement and broker -- voter protection initiative that will carry us from august all the way through election day. and we are launching this later this month in north carolina, which has been in so many ways on the front lines when it comes to voter issues that have of lifted communities across the country. it as well as a community in partnership with other communities, many of which are here today, with the naacp, with the lawyers committee, and we'reoing that because reminded, do not separate yourselves from the community. word because it is the word that appears in a portion of the bible where moses gathered the community together. all members of the community, young and old, rich and poor, people of different classes in status and skin color, everyone had a place within the
community. everyone today must have a place in our national community when it comes to the right to vote. those are fundamental values people have as jews, as of faith, and as americans, and we are proud to be part of this initiative today. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. next we have sharon harper. [applause] said,matthew 25, jesus what you did to the least of these, you have done to me. , this wasof these called the quartet of the vulnerable. the widow, the orphan, the poor and the immigrant. why would jesus care about the least of these?
jesus cares because the least of these are made in the image of god, just like any other human being within our borders or in our world. those made in the image of god are created by god with the capacity, according to the scriptures, to exercise dominion , to exercise stewardship over our world. but voter suppression laws and policies negate and deny human beings their divine call and write to exercise stewardship. the aclu reported in january this year that 10 states will be putting into practice this year suppression laws in 2016. the fourth circuit just as last month the clare that north carolina's suppression law was unconstitutional because it targeted the vulnerable. it targets the least of these. had their voter suppression law struck down in july. yet we see that new tactics are
being born by locations and districts all over the country. just today or yesterday, the new york times reported that in different districts, police officers are now being used in order to intimidate voters and challenge their capacity to vote. we say that they are made in the image of god, and if they are citizens, they have the right to vote. sojourners is launching the witness the vote voter suppression project. is calling on churches and faith communities to show up at the polls on election day and especially we are targeting five specific states. ohio, florida, pennsylvania, north carolina, and michigan. these are states where voter suppression laws have made it and policies have made it a very tenuous place for people who are vulnerable in those populations.
we are encouraging churches to engage in community spirit at the polls. stand in solidarity with the least of these. to voteress suppression efforts in precincts across the country. the partners we are working with include the lawyers committee for civil rights, investment , andct, the brennan center the friends committee on national legislation. we will also be putting together webinars to train churches and clergy in how to bear witness at of voter in an effort protection. and finally we will show up on november 8 and churches will love the least of these is the exercise dominion. jesus said what you do to the least of these, you do unto me. voter suppression laws have targeted the least of these. the church is rising up and is marcng