tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 10, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
i have my own show and tell. alum, they did not know they will be called up. then you can calmly out if i say things that are not true. [applause] ballot for them on the from arizona and orange county. i am the founder of the new american leaders project, and that want to talk about the organization and what we do. i am doing the long view, but actually, we have 30 people on the ballot, mostly in arizona
and orange county, the core areas we have been working in the past few years. in 2008, when we were in the exciting another presidential election, i was in d.c.around the table with immigrant rights activists, and we were beating ourselves up wrong in what had gone 2006 and 2007, and how we would fix that when we had a new president. of the first year of the first here wethe president -- are eight years later with no immigration reform. time when we had the conversation, we were constantly berating ourselves when it was not us with the problem, it was the people in office that were the problem. and we needed to change not only who was in congress, but who was in office at the local and state level.
the is the work we do at new american majority. so they can understand the experiences of their community, and go on and run and win campaigns and govern in ways more responsive to immigrants and people of color. there are three strategies i think are central to the way that we do our work. one is that we do not see an immigrant as an outreach strategy. we see immigrant versus third-generation, anyone who identifies with that experience as very core and central to the work that we do. that work iswe do to conduct our campaign training in a way that was designed for this population. it is not, here is how we have always done it, let's go get more diversity. our strategy is one of inclusion . campaign training that says, you can talk about your immigrant in a way that can affect and reach voters of all
backgrounds. in can talk about targeting a way that is not just about prime voters. and you can fund raise, even in the communities that are often income, you can create opportunities are those folks did feel like they are part of american democracy. so in terms of the story and the voters, we are really doing campaign training in a different way. designed with the immigrant community front and center, as the linchpins of changing the way democracy works. so that is the first thing, the second, is that we reframe the conversation around policymaking, not -- have you crate a policy and then translated or figure out how to get it out to immigrant
communities and tell them about that policy? is muche policy that more cognizant of who america truly is. 38% of the country are people of color. so when you talk about policymaking for america, you can be talking about a policy and a certain old frame and think, let's get it out to latinos and asian-americans. you really have to design policy in a different way. we are up turning what we are doing from the very beginning. the third thing, is to put the public back in public service. although that sounds like a sound bite, it is a critical component of how we train and support people who run for office. one of the things we heard over and over from people is that we got a lot of support in office, and then they said goodbye.
but that is not how it works. politics is politics for a reason. you do need to learn how to play the game at a certain level. part of our job as an organization is not just a train people to run for office, but also to support them when they get into office, to help them remember and understand what it ,eans to be a movement builder once you are an elected official. we train movement builders and want them to keep those values once they are in office. those are things like continuing to engage your constituency, create a feedback loop so you're hearing from folks about what they need. being a constituent relations officer, at a local level, you are responding to every day constituent needs. and by doing that, understand what it is they need from you as a policy maker. for the purposes of emphasis, i want to share, isa 38% of the
country are people of color. only 14% of our state legislators are people of color. only 14%, so we have a big gap. it is a smaller gap in congress, and i think more people tend to look at those, but i think all of you in this room, and certainly those of you on our panels, there is a lot of relationships. the last point i will make, there is not a single state legislature to date that has a proportionate number of asian or latinos, proportionate to its population. not even california or hawaii. not even in mexico. those i mentioned because they ofe a high proportion asian-americans in hawaii. of beingrms commensurate with the population, there is not a single state. so we have a long way to go to catch up.
never mind to be ready. and we all know that it is not about numbers and faces. it is about the needs and responses -- responsiveness to our community. i do want to end on that, that the journey is not just about diversity, but creating a more inclusive conversation both about representation and about policymaking. thank you. [applause] aimee: i have so many questions. i want to start with the new politics part of this conversation, and i want to invite everyone here on the panel to begin the conversation. so if you just jump in. i am from a big family, so feel free to do that. i want to start with some of the comments -- all of you suggested that we have a political system that is broken and that is not really addressing and engaging
the new american majority. what is your assessment about that? the things on the top of your list, the things that are really damaging in terms of holding and engaging this electorate and what you would do to fix it? sayu: you want me to go first? aimee: go whenever you want to go. sayu: many things drive me crazy, but i am concerned that the progressive movement has not invested in the long term and is still, frankly, not interested in investing long-term pipeline. we are not that interested in the legislature, you throw a fundraiser for a congressional candidate and lots of people come. the star-fucking, if you'll excuse my term -- that obsession -- i teach my daughter's those words, she needs to know which she can use.
that whole obsession with the person at the top of the ticket extends beyond the presidential. what happens is that we have a very shortsighted strategy. we get excited about the -- in 2014, there were three or four major races with latinas, and none won. it was very distressing and disappointing, but it was really the long-term investment. aimee: is there anything on your list? carol: absolutely. one of the things that drive me crazy. we have known for decades -- we said this time and again that voters of color, black voters in particular, have a history of being taken for granted. the assumption is that may be the candidate on the other side is so terrible that it automatically becomes the motivator for turnout. that is not true.
it will be interesting to see how that plays out in this election. i think you all saw the other day that apparently trump has 0% support in ohio and pennsylvania. so folks on this side are saying that is great. but that does not mean those black voters in those states will turn out for the democratic candidate. and it goes back to sayu's point about long-term investment. it is not just lacking on the pipeline side, it is lacking everywhere. so every single cycle -- and i have been doing this work for decades -- we talk about the need for long-term investment in communities of color, talk about the need to focus on turnout. and here we are in july, still. i work with a lot of the organizations that are already here and existing and in place that work on doing political work in communities of color. and if they are still underfunded in july of a presidential year. like what the fuck?
we cannot start building this show now we should have started , in july of last year. the fact that organizations and -- why are we not making it rain on them? these are the folks on the ground who have the relationships, those who were in communities. it takes time to scale up and run large-scale programs. that is exactly what we will need to turn folks out. when you compare the left to the right, we understand there is a significant funding gap. the right, generally, has the capacity to raise more money than we do. so we rely on people power. but that takes time and investment, and that is not something you can turn on a dime.
aimee: when i learned black women in 2012 were the demographic, more than any other race or gender, with the highest voter turnout, upon which president obama's reelection hinged, and the democrats are absolutely dependent on black women in particular to turn out in large numbers. the fact that groups like higher heights, who focus on engaging black woman as candidates, are underfunded is not logical. chuck, what is on your list? what has to change? chuck: we can be there all day, if you want to go through the rocha list. the highlights will be what drives me crazy. what drives me crazy is a media consultant translating an ad in english into spanish and that being their latino program. it drives me crazy that poor young kids of color cannot
afford to take an unpaid internship to try to make connections in washington. [applause] chuck: it drives me crazy to think that the elite industrial political class in washington thinks that donald trump being on the ballot will turn out people of color. it drives me crazy to think about the industrial complex of political consultants, who should be in this room, listening to fascinating ideas, and people demanding a chair. there are certain people at the tip of this spear. people, long before my crazy ass, that set the path. we're the ones here, no matter what color your skin we all have , skin in the game. we all have to eat and we were feed our children we were all , raised by a mom and a dad, or 2 moms or 2 dads. they love you whoever you are. that should be reflected in our politics.
the reason you do not see people go for african-american woman is that 99% of them are afraid of them. would not know how to talk to ssem and understand how bada they are, they would not take their shit to begin with. i have had good sisters who taught me well. but unlike most political consultants, i can be taught. that is what we have to do. put passion back in our politics. we let donald trump win some of the war because he makes it very simple. no one can get more simple than this redneck from east texas. we need to put passion back in our politics. also, make sure it is reflective of everything we do. that is the core of what makes me the most mad. aimee: i want to -- yes. carol: i want to put a finer point on what chuck said. it astonishes me to this day that we treat people of color -- like talking to people of color
is like speaking a foreign language. sometimes it is. sometimes there is translation involved. but talking to black voters -- we are not aliens. the idea that we have to talk differently, no. what needs to be different is who are the decision-makers. we cannot translate a white message to a black or latino or asian audience. that is not how it works. we have to change the frame, we have to change the people behind the cameras, writing campaign plans, driving campaign budgets. when i go to these gatherings of political class technocrats -- it can no longer look like an all-white room and chuck and i are the only brown spots. aimee: it is not just cannot look like it is cannot win. , how many in this room are
interested in winning? everyone. so it is less of a moral argument or a desperate plea for people invisible to decision-makers, and more of a direct statement. democrats will not win if they do not figure out how to fund, properly resource, engage, run candidates, and run the issues that appeal to the hopes and aspirations of the new american majority, of whom people of color are the vast majority. can't be more simple. my question is for those of you , who work in campaigns, there is something called the "prime" voter you go after. also called the swing voter. whodo we need to involve the most important voter is in a city council race, or the
presidential races coming up in the fall? how do we think about who are the most important voters a campaign should be organizing around? sayu: chuck talked about in the strategy in orlando. newly registered voters. i want to put a personal point on this. i have been living in this country 17 years before i became a citizen. it was the way the process worked. in 2001, i voted in my first election. in 2002, i became commissioner of immigrant affairs. what i was telling folks this morning is that i was an appointed government official in new york city before i was a prime voter. we need to disrupt our notion of who is a potential civically engaged individual. you think about people like jessica, and others in our country, who are in positions where they are more highly
civically engaged than someone who is a native born american citizen, whose primary form of engagement is showing up at the polls. so that image of the prime voter who shows up every time to an election is not necessarily our most engaged citizen in the way that our young people, who are out there marching for legal status, testifying in congressional hearings and all of that. there used to be a time when you came to this country, you got your legal status, and you voted. that was the trajectory. now there are so many points in which you enter the civic engagement trajectory. we are not accounting for those ways we can honor, immigrants in particular, their commitment to this democracy.
we need to disrupt our idea of prime voter, but of engaged american. aimee: chuck, you run campaigns. how does one do that? chuck: it is hard. if you want to speak about the truth, it is all driven by money. at the end of the day, no matter what we would like for them to do, and talk to all of the poor black or brown of votes, -- voters, they have a targeted budget. they are supposed to run this campaign in a box. they talk to us the day we were putting up yard signs -- "you have to do it this way." but you do not always have to do it this way. this morning, i said every cycle -- the beautiful thing about what i get to do, beyond working with great, wonderful people, is i get to be inspired and learn new things. that is the first thing you should find in your political consultant. they should be having their ear to the community and having an
idea what that community is. every campaign consultant is taught that you go into a race figure out what the win number , is, based on the number of people who have come out in the past, put out a layer of -- layered communication structure, and talk to them. you send them a few pieces of mail. you may knock on their door and you may just send digital ads targeted to that community who has a greatest likelihood -- and that is how you target voters. every single consultant will run the campaign the exact same way. nobody, in any campaign until i worked with bernie, and there was a person of color helping make the decisions. but if you want a solution, how to get around is to show the growth. use the florida nine example. because i am latino and tied into that community, i know because of what is happening in puerto rico, there are droves of
people moving in with their family in orlando. because of that, voter registration is spiking, on top of there was a presidential election. so there are these anomalies that status quo consultants do not know about. and guess what those people moving from order rico are inspired to do? they want a say so in their economy and budget, that is where your institutional consultant makes it better. to be tied into another part of the community in d.c., it is a fresh concept of how do we test something different so you can come back and have a larger audience to make social change. i think that is the bedrock of it. carol: and i guess my job here is to piggyback off of things chuck said. you talked about money in campaigns and campaign budgets.
i think why we have the reliance of prime voters, who have a proven track record, is they are cheaper per vote to get to the polls. if you have someone who has repeatedly voted, all you have to do is persuade them, and the likelihood that, on their own volition, get out on election day. that, per vote, is cheaper than investing in turnout. investing in folks who if you get them to go to the polls will vote for your candidate or issue. it is a turnout game. quite frankly, when you're talking about african-americans, latinos, unmarried women, they have more challenges to even get up and get out to vote. we talk about getting them off the couch and to the polls. it takes more money. you have different cycles and averages. but i have seen a persuasion voter is five dollars per vote.
a turnout voter is we also have $21. to get used to what will investment look like. it may cost more money per vote, but that is how you expand your base. aimee: we are going to see the big national campaigns invest millions in tv ads. does that get new american majority voters to the polls? carol: it is a combined strategy. you cannot rely on one tactic. tv is a tactic, a way to communicate to a large audience. it is the most cost-effective way to get numbers. but you have to layer that. when you are talking to the new american majority with more personal contact. there was a book a couple of years ago written by two academics in california that talked about the way they were able to get these new voters out to vote just by knocking on doors and having intimate one-on-one conversations.
so yes, tv can help. and it is not just television. right now, your tv and digital strategy need to go hand in hand. because people are not just watching and consuming media on their televisions. most of it is coming from your phone. so how does your communications strategy translate from television to your tablet to your phone and whatnot. it very much has to be a layered, integrated strategy. sayu: you brought up the issue of the intimate voter to voter contact. another thing i shared this morning that has been bugging me is this notion -- this movement for automated voter registration, which i think conceptually is a great idea. definitely brings more people automatically into the system. however, automatically registering a voter does not
provide the intimate voter to voter contact. in fact, you lose something. the type of work that candidates and nonprofits do when they are registering voters in the field that allows a conversation about democracy. we will lose that. so the work that will come -- we should not assume that just because people are automatically registered, they will show up. i think there is an next her burden we have to make sure we are responding to. how do you really connect with these folks on a person-to-person level? that is what is missing. people feel very disconnected. people turn out in the presidential, because it is this movement, though there is no guarantee they will turn out for the democratic candidate because they are disillusioned by the republican. in the down ballot races --
number one, you absolutely have to have that person-to-person contact. otherwise, they will not know there is an election. secondly, i will mention that tom long, a board member of the new american leaders project, and eight political science professor at ucsb has done incredible modeling on reaching new and low propensity voters. part of what he suggests is that the investment, there is a group of prime voters in which yes, it is cheaper to reach them, but perhaps, because they are almost guaranteed to turn out, that if you reduce contact with the number of prime voters and use some of the dollars to reach new and low intensity voters, that that is also a strategy. it is not an either/or strategy. it is supplemental. but for down ballot races, for the types of people we are talking about in pipeline development, reaching new and low propensity voters is more
cost effective, because we are already engaging with those communities. you have already crossed some hurdles that some random person coming into the community has to overcome. aimee: i want to ask, does anyone care to assess our national campaigns and how well they are doing on said approaches? i just want to say -- chuck, you just came from seven months, hiring every single person of color for bernie sanders, running that campaign. you talked about that that being , the core strategy for winning voters for sanders under 35. you have that experience. you worked on the national and presidential level. so now i would like some assessment. we are going into the democratic convention in two weeks. we will have a nominee and a
presidential and vice presidential, we have a set of senate races, and all of the other down ballots. how are we doing and is the party getting with it or not? chuck: the easy answer would be no. let me give some credit and take some blame and give credit. in our staff, i see all those beautiful faces of color. i always tell them it is easy to be an asshole and hard to be humble. we need to learn that in the consulting class. hillary, she is putting together a phenomenal team. she had the pick of the very best out there. but what is the "best"? they are doing good at hiring lots of people of color, some of which are literally my best friends. peoplethe scenes, me and
in the know who are running the day-to-day of the operation, and i know what they will do a week before they do it because they are doing it the way everyone does. they do not have to do it perfect, they will do well. they have done good in hiring people. even doing well in hiring people of color consultants. won't do goodns polls. in her case, i would give her a b minus, because there is more she could be doing. but they will do good enough, and i will say thank god they are running against donald trump. b is the good score. the bad score is every senate race in america. it may be the last bastion of the "good old boys" system. not just me but every consultant i know that represents the new american majority has met with all of those people in the senate. they still run things with someone's brother in law and someone's friend. they translate an ad into spanish, and it is good enough.
it is still the good old boy system. so i worry constantly about those campaigns. they have been one of the slowest institutions to show change or the ability and want to run change. and the dccc is run by a great guy. he is gay, progressive. but there is more than just one man or one woman who runs something. they should be more open and the entire process. the dccc, now run by a latino, called me to run spanish programs in the california primary. i have never been called to do any work there before. things are starting to change there. in full disclosure, steve phillips, and the book, have helped push the envelope more than i have ever seen this done in my entire lifetime. [applause] chuck: take it from the old man
who has been there, who has been taught by a wonderful group of white people. i say this everywhere i speak. like "chuck, what do you have against white folks?" i love white folks. my mama is white folk. let's get this clear right now. white folks have changed my life forever by giving me an opportunity. we are not putting everybody in a case. i am saying a consultant, political industrial complex has to change not only in the party but in the progressive movement. the same group of consultants who run the dccc run most of the big nonprofits. aimee: we often can point the fingers, but the organization in our movement, some who may be in the room or in this conference, sit on millions of dollars that will be invested this election cycle. and if the same consultants with the same frame of mind, without involving their idea of the prime voter, without a commitment to engaging the new
american -- if they decide they will run the campaign the same old way, it will result in the same in's and out. how do you assess, what is your assessment? carol: i actually came from one of those organizations. for 11 years, i worked for planned parenthood until i went into the private sector in january. one of the things i credit planned parenthood for, that i would love other organizations to look at, think about, and engage with those folks on, is several years ago, they realized it is not just an issue of diversity. you can change the staff you have, and you can hire more people of color. you can even give them a seat at the table. but planned parenthood recognized they fundamentally needed to change the way they operate. the way that inequality and discrimination get perpetuated, that is institutional and internal. so policies and practices need
to change. they need to shift. that recognition led them to go through an internal change process. it is not just a product you put out externally as an organization, it is also the way that you make decisions, who gets to sit it those tables, how those tables are constructed. that will fundamentally change the way they engage in do work it is already showing some . it is already showing some impact. i think you will see that in the way they make investments, both in their own programs as well as supporting programs from organizations on the ground that already exist. aimee: i read an inflection point where our largest progressive organizations, if their leadership is almost exclusively white, we have a problem. that is a hard conversation to have amongst progressives.
but given the connections, engaging the american majority in the electoral space, it is a crucial time to have a conversation. i want to talk about trump, because no conversation would be complete without figuring out -- when you said "thank goodness hillary clinton is going to run against trump" -- and all three of you called into question the fact that we had this horrible, racist -- that is attracting and saying all of these things that are essentially anti-new american majority, in every sense of the word. we have him running, but you are also saying there is no guarantee that people of color would be motivated to go to the polls. why is that? why would people not say, i have to beat him, so let me vote for hillary clinton?
carroll: i think there are three things we do not talk about that keep people from engaging in the political process. one is the structural disadvantages that our opposition have been able to put forth, in terms of our voter id and voter suppression laws. and redistricting. between those three things these , are all structural disadvantages and barriers we have to overcome to get our people out. secondly, people are so disillusioned in the political process. the fact that trump is even -- has made it this far should be laughable.
in no way, shape, or form, is this person qualified to run one of the most influential countries in the world. so i think people are checked out. aimee: that is kind of a sad state, are we so checked out we will we not even go to the ballot to beat trump? chuck: there are a couple of points. on the last point, i will give credit to the dccc. but i believe in not only sitting and bitching and lifting people out. trump -- let's think about numbers. because trump got 13 million votes in the primary. keep in mind mitt romney lost four years ago by getting 60 million votes. there is a difference between 13 million primary voters and 60 million people who voted for mitt romney.
the second thing is, people assume, the policy is so outlandish, the biggest thing i said is "assume." never assume anything. i have messed up a lot in life because i assumed things. folks in our movement think they can take the money they had set aside, what little bit that was, chicken scratch that was, for latino or african-american or new american majority outreach and think they can move it out, because donald trump alone will turn out that vote. i will remind people because we are students of history, there was a governor pete olson in california who had a very anti-immigration bill that was supposed to mobilize latinos in california -- >> prop 187. chuck: thank you, prop 187. it was not just the proposition and not just an evil man saying evil things, much like donald trump. but there was an orchestrated effort, and those as old as i am will remember, there was a $10
million investment into the progressive community into the neighborhoods registering latinos, educating latinos, and turning out latinos. that single $10 million investment has literally changed the state forever, to where there is a latino state speaker and state senator that control almost everything. >> it ushered in a super majority for democrats. chuck: because of an investment in the community. what you take back is you do not have to invest in the whole people of color universe across america. start out small. take a bite out somewhere in colorado or nevada where you can teach people it is ok. because donors just need to be shown it is ok. and if they get reciprocal results, and if you show them that at the granular level, they are smart enough to do it. they are smart enough to be millionaires. they can figure that out. you lead that horse down there, splash a little water, they will get it.
aimee: yes. now what do you have to say? and you have to stand at the mic. so there's a difference between a comment and a brief question, and a speech. just to clarify. and tell us who you are. it is for the recording. >> so my name is ernesto, straight out of compton. one of the questions i have is a lot of political consultants, whether from people of color or otherwise, spend so much time in legislative and executive systems of government. but we spent so little on the judicial branch of our government. which, is not crucial, but more effective -- or more powerful in
terms of getting representation. when you look at citizens united and the hobby lobby case, a lot of these decisions were done by scotus representatives, which are not as diverse. we start looking at the different judges appointed by the government, who are not always representative of the constituencies they represent. is there some sort of strategy for a movement going on there to start shifting and focusing on the judicial branch? aimee: it is really about the underinvestment in judicial. i will throw in for the panelists, what about these district attorneys that have such an influence on the local levels in cases with police killings. what we, as a nation, experienced in the last week. those are largely elective.
over 90% -- the women's organization funded a study that shows that 90% of district attorneys go unopposed. and they are mostly white men. that has a great influence on the judicial process. who is charged, what they are charged with, how fast they are charged, and if they reflect what the committee wants or needs. sayu: pipeline development. good idea at all levels. there is so little money and so motivation on the part of the communities that we work with, that we have a very broad improvement strategy. not specific to any office. we just want to get in there thinking about it. but the idea of creating ,rograms specifically targeted training them and giving them the whole support, not just one weekend of training, doing the , you can go to law
firms where there are lots of people of color, who are interested in these issues, we recruit them and get them to run. i do not think it is a different strategy. because of the limited investment in pipeline development. >> hello, i am from rochester, new york. about 400 miles from new york city, and i am representing myself. my question is, you keep talking about we need money, we need money. who should i give money to? senatorial come a congressional committee or congress, how do i get it to where you people say it should go? as an individual? i will be giving money this year, but i have no idea. i have not given money because i do not trust them. i am asking you.
is worth noting, this is a question of resources, as we have heard over and over again. steve phillips and susan sandler have organized for donors to develop a series of best practices before they give, so those are large donors who give a lot of money to campaigns. how can you make sure that a campaign is actually committed to engage in the new american majority? the are helping through democracy alliance and other progressive circles to educate and bring donors in. alsohen there are individuals who have to decide what campaign or what funding vehicle, and then we get into this question, because the , we haveions individual donors, and we are committed to funding candidates and initiatives at the center of the new american majority.
you can see that is a commitment. when you look at nonprofits or other institutions, it gets a little murky. what are your thoughts? think you're right, she does not know where to give. voters and people, whether -- they only know the information you give them. if you tell a voter about their risk and what is at stake, they will do that. but it is much broader than that. to the giver point, and those who want to donate, i had lunch a while ago, talking about the donor networks. with bernielearned sanders, about low dollar giving. you want people who want to pull the cart in the same direction. they also need to know how long
it will take them to get there. we all wear so many hats. i own a political consulting firm, but i am also the vice chairman of a organization called latinos outdoors. i like to take young people of color and get them out to enjoy our national parks. i give my money to groups i feel strongly about. it was targeted to me, i found out, i got active, and now i am the vice chairman. do the research, the donor thing. >> you can also get to the new american leaders. [laughter] a great investment in the future leadership of our country. i highly recommend it. >> i have a report right here that i can give you. >> you can also invest in higher heights for america that works on developing political leadership and mobilizing black women voters.
dockables a tax the contribution. political contributions are not tax-deductible. >> yes. >> hello, i am jennifer with the women donors network. i wanted to mention to that last question, there is a new effort, the on an advisory board, idea is to mobilize in this election year donations small and large to movement, community-based groups in key states. can go state-by-state and find groups in those states to invest in, you can donate right there. it is a really great resource that everyone should know about, and it is just starting. i just wanted to mention that. and i also wanted to mention another panel right now about the prosecutor piece, electing reflective candidates to these
really important criminal justice positions. it is quite exciting because this movement is starting to happen where people are getting involved in these elections, the women from the lack prosecutors association, trying to get the anders to run for offices they are 87% unopposed, according to our research. you can also see our research that really lays it all out. thank you. >> yes. matthew, deputy director of global trade watch, we did polling for women's voices and votes. i am glad to hear you folks talking about it today. right now, we are at an important moment where we are
trying to increase our outreach, especially with trump playing out. one of the issues we are facing, it is a very labor-heavy, and white-heavy movement. but with polling and focus groups, we found stories from , who from latin america after nafta, were displaced from their homes. theirs one of the reasons family emigrated to the united states. so there are other stories, especially in the african-american immunities of lost jobs, the nabisco factory that closed. we are trying to engage these communities and raise their voice. but our biggest concern is that trump is using trade to electrify white, working-class americans. there is a whole subset of rising american electorate that we want to get engage and have their stories told because they are being left out. i did not know if you had any thoughts of how we can better amplify those voices?
think thatd not trade would be a latino issue. onill give you a 32nd answer that. i worked in a factory in east texas when i was 19 years old, my father worked there, six of his brothers, and 12 of my cousins. i was a factory worker, i never graduated college. i was making tires. nine years ago, they shut down and the work went to china. my entire family lost their job, and many went without work. i watched todd akin decimated community, and influence all over the areas around it. when people went through their, they give pink slips to everyone. when i was helping to run bernie's campaign, i was doing bilingual mailing, and used the trade issue and jobs issue because i know what organization you are with.
i used to that language that they taught me, and i think that pissed, i- i get so have to slow down. if you get one thing from the message, you cannot put all latinos in an immigration box. box -- itt them in a is that you build commonality and become a trusted messenger in that community. immigration may open up the wound, but you pour the sultan with trade later and rub it in until it hurts. that is how you actually move that message and move that voter . that means bringing in people who can understand and translate the hopes and dreams and needs of the community. >> i can go into a latino community and talk about a
latino and my strong latino family that lost jobs because of trade. but it is much broader than that. >> thank you. question.one quick lots of people you have running for offices, what percent are immigrants? not know, there are all first and second generation, but i do not know firsthand. i would guess about 50%. i know on that list, there are 1986, who got amnesty in people who have been on the no-fly list, it is a wide range of ethnicities and backgrounds. questions, ithe looks like there is a fragmentation in terms of how different organizations are candidates are doing their work. outside of the dccc, is there a
conversation about having an umbrella that progressives can get under, people running for office? to share similar strategies and best practices and have a for certain types of candidates open to these ideas, versus just the broader establishment? >> the short answer to that is no. is, it keepsswer getting tried, and there are thatof different groupings come together at certain points that do not manage to sustain themselves, partly because one of the things that happened, we have these strategic conversations and then election time comes and people go into their silos. just like we cannot put latinos there isbox or bucket,
a different side of the problem. we are not always coming together. even the work in these communities, the political work as well as broader organizational work, is ethnically siloed. ,ou have latino african-american, and other organizations. fundingur communities, comes down in these ethnic silos as well. corporations have african-american community relations, and asian-american community relations, and they do not know what to do with that. allhey do not say, let's give you money. just like there is that issue, there is also the issue around progressives, environmental justice groups, women's donor groups. we will not have a
conversation unless you can guarantee every single candidate will be pro-choice. i am not going to ask them that when i am recruiting them to run for office. they probably are pro-choice, but i do not know. there are very specific ways in which people think that makes it hard. as an organization, that has been a real challenge for us. nonstarter if you're working with multiple communities or around multiple issues. >> and, running out of time. i just want to say, that there is great hope and possibility. this is not just about how are not and should be, but about what we want for our country, and how we will do the business of politics. starting with carol, your greatest hope right now as it relates to the new america majority? >> i think the greatest possibility and hope is that we have the chance to fundamentally
transform the way our politics work, and the policies that have come out of that. i encouragehings all of us to do, and i say this at every talk again, when we close our eyes and try to think weut what our vision is if got the world we wanted, what does it look like when we all are free, i really do believe that we have the opportunity to get there. >> i have three hopes. that you ask your employer when i hire someone to do something if they are hiring a person of color to be there consultant. theve hope because of bernie sanders campaign watching the young people are more progressive than i have given them credit for, and they truly know how to still dream and hope. my last hope is that you will follow me on twitter at --
@chuckrocha. as charmings to be as chuck. my other and most sustainable hope is that every day, we are training more new americans to run for office. today, we have gone from having three alumni in the room to four. every day, we are increasing the number of young people, the people of color, immigrants getting ready to run for office. and they really are the only reason i am hopeful. gofinally, i hope you will check it out on twitter and facebook. the voices of new american majority means that amazing, national experts were doing the work of the future of politics in our country have a platform and a voice. that is what we are all about. democracy and color is what it is all about.
if you are in philadelphia the week after next, you will join us our luncheon. you wanttalk to me if to be there on the monday of that day to talk about the leadership of women of color and uniting a party and leading the nation. know, my bookyou is coming out in september, very excited to bring together the issues of women and people of and the exciting possibilities that offers us as part of the new american majority. hope you have a fabulous rest of the conference. please give these amazing people a round of applause. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> looking at our primetime schedule, starting at 8:00 eastern, a discussion on how the obama administration is working with the clinton and trump campaigns on transitioning the white house from one administration to the next. also, primetime with books and authors who have written about criminal justice. and on c-span3, american history tv, which looks for candidates who ran for the presidency and loss. tonight we examine the life and career of barry goldwater. will be looking at think tanks in washington, particularly on education issues and their involvement in the corporate world. after that, the bureau of labor
statistics, jobs, wages, and prices. plus, all of your comments, phone calls, and tweets. washington journal live every day at 7:00 eastern. also, wrote to the white house coverage continues. hillary clinton will be talking about her economic policy proposal. she will be speaking to an audience in warren, michigan. you can see her tomorrow at 1:15 eastern. her vice presidential running mate tim kaine campaigning today in dallas, texas. tweet, some video of tim
[laughter] meanwhile in missouri they are celebrating the 195th birthday today. pride heressional from jason smith who represents the eighth district. he says it is an honor to represent the great people of the show me state. hereor john phone is serving lunch at the agriculture appreciation day. it is a south dakota tradition. you can follow members of congress on twitter by using our list at our website. congress may be out of town but the state department is not. they released their international report on religious freedom. he unveiled the report and you'll hear questions and
comments for david saperstein. >> good morning everyone. is my pleasure today to join you to present the state department religious freedom report for 2015. i want to thank ambassador saperstein and his entire team for their hard work in review and producing this report. their commitment underscores the fact that no one should ever have to doubt. support for religious liberty guides the united states and our foreign policy every single day. this principle is written into the founding d.n.a.of the united states renewing and strengthening our nation with every generation.
it is the centerpiece of global human rights conventions and law. our body commitment is affirmed by the priority we have given to defending and championing international religious freedom everywhere but especially where it is under threat. we've grown the religious freedom office the last several years and we have created a new religion and global affairs office under the outstanding leadership of sean casey. put that together and that makes 50 full-time state department personnel focused entirely on religious freedom and role of religion in foreign affairs. working closely with 199 foreign service officers in our embassies to produce the report we are putting out today. as secretary kerry said the purpose of this annual report is not to lecture. it is to inform, to encourage,
and ultimately to persuade. bigotry and intolerance with be found in every part of the world including the united states but every country has an obligation to respect religious liberty and frequently of conscious. we encourage every country to do so. this report, which is based on a wealth of objective research, is one of many ways we give life to that advocacy. our message is simple. societies tend to be stronger, wealthier, safer and more stable when their citizens fully enjoy the rights to which they are entitled. when a government denies religious liberty it turns citizens who have done nothing wrong into criminals igniting tension that breeds contempt, hopelessness, alienation. far from the vulnerability or weakness, religious polarism
gives each a tangible reason to contribute to the success of the entire society. that is why no nation can fulfill its potential if its people are denied the right to freely choose and ultimately practice their faith. now, it used to be our annual report focused almost exclusively on the action of states but we have seen nonstate actors including organizations like al qaeda posing a major threat to religious freedom. there is no more egregious form discrimination than separating out the followers of one religion from another, whether in a village, on a bus, in a classroom, with the intent of murdering or enslaving the members of a particular group.
this past march secretary kerry made clear his judgment that dash is responsible for genocide against communities in areas under its control. they kill christian because they are christian, shia muslims because they are shia. they are responsible for crimes and ethnic cleansing directed at the saw him groups and some against sunni muslims. kurds and other minorities. they have not only killed, they have sought to erase the memory of those they have killed destroying centuries old religious cultural sites. naming these crimes is important but our goal is to stop them. that's why president obama mobilized a coalition of more than 65 partners from every corner of the world to combat and ultimately defeat dash.
together we are cutting off their financing, destroying sanctuaries, stemming the flow of foreign fighters and combat ing social media. allowing citizens to return home and gutting the twisted foundation on which its ambitions rest. we know that the fight to defeat them on the grounds is far from over. but as the noose closes around it we have seen them try to adapt by encouraging indiscriminate attacks in as many places as possible. a market in baghdad. a nightclub in orlando. a promenade in nice. a cafe in dhaka.
a square in central istanbul. one of the best ways to deny them victory is ensuring those they have sought to destroy not only survive but thrive. as the fight for the liberation of mosul draws near we must work to ensure a future in which all iraqi, be they sunni, kurd, christian or other feel represent and protected by the nation they call home. two weeks ago here in the state department we convened over 30 delegations and challenged them to do more to ensure religious and ethnic communities can remain in their homelands confident in security and economic opportunity. every government has an
obligation to protect its citizens and in responding to threat posed by terrorism this can be and we know it, an immensely challenging task. it requires sharing intelligence, identifying suspicious behavior, taking legitimate security precautions, countering efforts to radicalize young people and since they point to text to justify crimes we plus partner with religious, civil society and political leaders commit today defeat efforts to radicalize communities and youth. but security concerns with not a defensible reason to suppress and apply collective punishment or deny frequently frequently essential to religious practice. we stress this not solely to defend the principle of religious freedom but terrorists are quick to exploit evidence of discrimination in trying to rationalize their actions and attract new members. whatever the intent, repression tends to fuel terrorism, not top it, which means denial of religious liberty is not only
wrong but profoundly misguided and self-defeating. this report holds up countries in which progress to religious freedom is being made. i will cite one example, vietnam. reporting requirements and registration limit the ability of registered and unregistered communities to freely practice favorite. that said the government is currently drafting a law of religion and belief to be considered there fall by the national assembly.
at its heart, this report seeks to demonstrate all that is at stake. we believe so strongly in international religious freedom for all because it is something we value very deeply for ourselves as americans. 50 or 100 years ago if you asked an expert what constitutes the wealth of the nation, you probably would hear that the land mass and size of population and strength of military and abundance of natural resources. and all those make a difference and matter and the united states happens to be blessed with many of them. but what we know now in the 21st century is that the true wealth of the nation can be found in the human resources of a country
and their ability to freely build, invent, excel and express themselves. country that fully unleash there potential that invest in the health, prosperity and security of their societies will thrive in the 21st century no matter the abundance they have or don't have in traditional measures of wealth and strength. religious freedom is a core component of maximizing that potential for people to express themselves freely to maximize their own potential. i want to thank ambassador saperstein and everyone who contributed to this year's report. it is an extraordinary testament to their energy and passion and dedication. i'm pleased to yield the floor to ambassador saperstein for his remarks and he will have the pleasure of answering any questions you may have. thank you.
>> i want to thank deputy secretary blinken for his listen and abiding commitment to religious freedom. i want to acknowledge the assistant signature of bureau of democracy human rights and labor coordinates all these efforts at the state department. thank you for coming for the release of the 2015 international religious freedom report an event that provides each year with an important opportunity to highlight this key issue that continues to be a top priority for the administration. on that of international religious freedom. we document the status of the human rights and religious freedom in 199 countries. through the immense efforts of countless state department officials in washington, at embassies, consulates i can affirm once again that the 2015 report maintains a high standard of objectivism and accuracy for which the report is known making an important source of information for nongovernmental organizations, civil society and governments alike.
i would like to begin by speaking about one country we are not charged for reporting on the united states. religious freedom was essential to the founding of america as the secretary said. we have built a system that allows members of the religious majority, members of religious minorities and nonbelievers alike to live, worship and practice and express their beliefs freely. relation frequently has always been at the center of american values and center of our success as a nation. as it is a vital component of our foreign policy.
in the year and a half since my swearing in we have continued to make headway on the priorities i enumerated during my confirmation. since my appointment we have been given significant increases in staff and resources allowing us to expand our country monitoring work and increase visits to countries where religious freedom advocacy can make a difference and increase our robust programmatic work. in many countries religious freedom flourishes according to the 2014 annual study on global religious freedom trends, 76% of the world's countries provide the basic conditions for people to freely practice their religion or belief.
our work however focuses on those 24% of the countries with serious restrictions on religious freedom. whether government policy or hostile acts individuals, organizations or societal groups. these are countries in which 74% of the world's population live. in countries where religious minorities have long contributed to the national society for decades, centuries and millennia we witnesses violent upheavals in which communities are being danger of being driven out of their homeland based on their religious or ethnic identity. the pages of this report are able to put a human face on this issue that touches so many lives and remains a value of such concern in the hearts of the american people. while the report touches on all manner of restrictions to religious freedom i want to highlight the chilling and dead ly effect of laws in many places as well as laws that purport to
protect religious sentiments from defamation. roughly a quarter of the world's countries have blasphemy laws and one in 10 have laws or policies penalizing the existence of them and used by governments in too many cases to intimidate, repress religious minorities and governments have too often failed it take appropriate steps to prevent violence sparked by accusation. when these claims turn out to be blatantly false accusations made to pursue other agendas governments will often fail to hold perpetrators accountable. the failures weaken trust in the rule of law and create impunity for those that would resort to violence. the commission on international religious freedom states
blasphemy laws inappropriately position government as arbiters of truth or religious right and empower officials to enforce particular religious views against individuals, minorities and dissenters. where an authoritarian government supports an established creed blasphemy accusations are frequently used to silence critics or rivals under the guise of enforcing religious piety. a former specialist noted in the december 2015 report that the u.n.human rights council abundant experience in a number of countries demonstrates that blasphemy laws do not contribute to a climate of religious openness, tolerance and nondiscrimination. to the contrary they often fuel stereotype being and discrimination and incitement to violence.
such laws have a stifling impact on the enjoyment of frequently of religion of belief and healthy dialogue and debate about religion. there are many tragic stories that illustrate the harm posed by blasphemy laws and apostasy laws. i will mention a few that no area is immune to the effects of such legislation. iran continues to execute prisoners of conscience for their beliefs. they executed at least 20 individuals on charges against god. according to the human rights documentation center at least 250 members of minority religious groups remain in prison including sunnis, bahais and others.
religious leaders who didn't support government policies reportedly continue to face intimidation and arrest. the government continues to harass them and regulated religious practices of christians to enforce a prohibition. saudi arabia penalizes blasphemy with prison sentences and lashings. often after detention without trial and custody. in january authorities publicly lashed a person 50 times with a sentence from the 2013 conviction calling for 1,000 lashes for violating islamic values and committing blasphemy and mocking religious symbols. in november sources reported the general had sentenced a palestinian person to death for apostasy.
in nigeria in 2015 the court sentenced nine members of a muslim sect for blasphemy for allegedly elevating the founder above the prophet mohammed. in indonesia they enforce blasphemy laws that undermine religious freedom. in june of 2015 four members were convicted of a movement of blasphemy and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from three to four years for spreading teaches contrary it islam. in pakistan the government continued to enforce blasphemy laws which punishment can be death or a range of charges including defiling the prophet mohammed. christians and muslims were arrested on charges of blasphemy in the last year. in 2016 after a hindu convert was accused of two hindus were shot and one died. we are concerned also over
authorities targeting harassment of muslims for blasphemy violates of the laws and other crimes. in germany blasphemy laws were used to punish those who defamed religion this past february in the city for having bumper stickers that challenge the beliefs of catholics. and we heard nonstate actors inflict punishment for their own interpretation of blasphemy. in may a person was playing soccer with his friends in syria and during the game he said a bad word out of his frustration. he was detained by dash for blasphemy or curse being god. in days he was marched out into a public square and murdered by a firing squad in front of a crowd of hundreds including his parents.
chilling stories like this show how terrorist organizations have committed by far some of the most egregious abuses when claiming individuals have engaged in blasphemy or cursing god including those involving public crucifixions. the lawyers and human rights defenders who stands up for those accused of blasphemy themselves are often targets. we saw this in mauretania when the human rights activist, who defender a blogger became the target much death threats and another convicted of charges related to work as a human rights lawyer in saudi arabia including the defense of his brother-in-law on charges of
blasphemy. so, what are we doing in the pages of our annual report? we lift up these examples and others to highlight the need of elimination of laws like these that restrict religious freedom. we believe shining lights on them is the best way it address them and our report addresses that. beyond reporting conditions on the ground leaders at the highest levels of our government regularly speak out against and engage with government leaders regarding the broad panoply of religious freedom violations and abuses. we work with people empowered to change laws and practices and publicly use social media speeches and op ed to advocate for the issues about which we care. my own travels to more than 25 countries i have specifically raised our concerns about blasphemy laws as well as legislation dealing with defamation of religion in countries such as egypt, pakistan, sudan. burma.
iraq. i confirmed our opposition urge being into the laws be eliminated or not enforced. i have raised as well in each of these countries and others individual cases of prisoners of conscience who suffer in jail who much peacefully exercising their right to live in accordance with their belief. we partner with communities and local n.g.o.'s to build programming that addresses intolerance and promotes the department of state has devoted tens of millions of dollars to foreign assistance programs that promote religious freedom. one example is our programming based on u.n.human rights council 1618 which focuses on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping, discrimination and incitement to violence and defamation of religion through nonpenal ways except enforcement of criminal statutes involving actions on hate crimes beyond just speech.
drawing on experts from the departments state, justice and homeland security, we work with foreign law enforcement officials to promote best practices in police training, criminal prosecution, community engagement and encourage legislative reforms to achieve those goals. across the globe encouraging efforts of governmental and nongovernmental responses and addressing negative impact of such laws. in 2015 iceland abandoned its 75-year-olds blasphemy law. we hold that will be a model for other nations to emulate. in june an international contact group on religious freedom of more than 25 like minded governments encompassing countries if six continents with majority populations all seeking to advance frequently of religion and belief met at the department of state in washington.
we are taking collective action to address the most urgent religious freedom challenges and in a similar vein as you heard just two weeks ago we convened a major international meeting coordinated by our special enjoy for religious minorities in the near east and south central asia that brought together more than 30 countries and agencies to discuss how to meet the needs of religious and ethnic minorities victimized by death. there are the inspiring nongovernmental efforts and i will not only mention religious freedom. norway, sweden and denmark many groups formed human rings around synagogues to protect them after anti-semitic attacks. recently in france after the beheading of a priest local muslims showed their solidarity with a grieving catholic
community attending mass with their fellow country men. in may of 2015, muslim leaders in pakistan courageously stepped forward placing themselves between a mob and neighbors accused of blasphemy. in sudan in august of 2015 i was present to watch the release of two of the country's most prominent religious prisoners of conscience although sadly after they were freed and left the country charges were reapplied. when militants attacked a bus in kenya with the report of killing them they refused to be separated from fellow christian travelers and said to kill them or leave them all alone. although two passengers were killed the attackers eventually relent and withdrew. in january of 2016 a group more than 300 islamic scholars gathered in marakesh where they would issue a declaration for
protecting religious minorities and muslim majority countries and islamic religious leaders and n.g.o.'s and political leaders are following up with plans to build on efforts of the declaration. the pope's visit to the central african republic helped ease tensions between religious countries but they are again on the rise beginning in june after a muslim motorcycle taxi driver was stabbed to death and six police officers were taken hostage. i will be traveling there next month. in closing, the protection and promotion of religious freedom remains a key foreign policy priority for the united states. as daunting as the challenges are that we face across the globe we will not be deterred in
the work we did. we will continue to partner with other nations and committed n.g.o.'s and courageous individuals and communities on the grounds and across the world to advance these core freedoms. this report is at once vivid testimony for the testimony whose plight might get scant attention and document and blueprint of what must be addressed to bring us closer to the day when religious freedom will thrive for all. with that ends, we rededicate ourselves anew today. >> think you, ambassador. while we are familiar with many of you, i would ask you identify yourself by name and outlet. >> i am with reuters. in the executive summary and in your own opening remarks, you
have emphasized the prevalence anti-blasphemy laws and the ways in which, particularly islamic societies can use them to punish people, and discourage religious freedom or inhibit it. and also, how they can leave -- lead to mom violence against people. three things. number one, it is the case, you emphasized that by making it the first part of your summary, is it the case that there is more prosecutions in the islamic world related to ?lasphemy and other such laws is this a trend that is increasing, or is it largely the same as it has been in years past? second, i think you mentioned
abandoned a had blasphemy law. are there significant numbers of non-muslim majority countries that have anti-blasphemy laws? or is this largely a problem confined to the muslim majority world? and finally, what is your, you spoke of religious freedom with united states but what your assessment of donald trump's call for the banning of all muslims, temporarily, from entering the united states? how does that square with the traditions of religious freedom in this country? >> ok, first. the blasphemy laws, you can go online at the pew reports ncl list. a report was issued recently and you can see a list of every country in the world that comprise that corner of the world's countries that have blasphemy laws. and there are still five states in the united states that have
blasphemy laws on the books. it is -- first, your first question. it is about the same as it has been. it is not increasing. every year, we lift off one trend in the area of religious ,reedom to try and have people try to ensure that people don't overlook some of the most serious ongoing abuses that take place. so this was not lifted up, as for example last year, when we focused on nonstate actors as a new development. but it is a factor that is often overlooked. and it is in that sense that we have brought this up. it probably is more prevalent in the muslim world that the laws that exist are implemented, but it does happen, i cited germany as an example. they are on the book and it does
happen in other countries as well. in burma, which has blasphemy laws on the books, we have an incident not too long ago in which, that was a factor. so we do have examples in other countries that are not muslim countries, as well. in terms of donald trump, that is beyond the purview of the administration, as spoken clearly about the concerns putting aside who they emanate from. about the concerns of singling out any group of different treatment because of their religious identity or peaceful religious practices, and that would apply in the united states as it would elsewhere. those are universal rights enshrined in our constitution. based on the model of the constitution, the ban on the religious for office and it is no establishment from religion.
america gave to the world this concept of the international civil andn said it -- political rights that no citizen's rights, as a citizen, the political human right as a citizen should ever be impaired, ever be different because of their religious identity and practices, their religious beliefs. that is one of america's great gifts from the world. it animates our foreign policy work. >> do remarks like this make it harder for you to do your job? >> i truly think that countries across the globe, and i travel to many countries of different religious majority populations, they see clearly the basic constitutional institutional constraints against violations of religious freedom in united deeply,and i think we we believe deeply in america's promise to be a model about
treating all people equally, without regard to religion. so i think that is clear and is not tarnished by the statement here. no matter who is elected, the institutions of the united states, constitutional constraints will ensure that we , continue along the line that we have for the last 200 years. >> i am carol from washington post. are you expecting to be accused governments for pointing the finger, given the statements made by donald trump? also, a few months ago, when the secretary declared that daesh committed genocide, can you point to a single thing that has changed, or anything that designation accomplished? >> let me deal with the first question. the united states, in terms of the statements that are made.
the policies of the united states, the laws of the united states, the constitutional structure of the united states, in terms of its promise on religious freedoms, remains intact. it doesn't mean we don't have problems internally within the united states. there are debates over religious freedom. those are serious debates. how do we balance out the fundamental first amendment promises of religious freedom with other constitutional civil rights and protections that other groups have? we have a major debate in america about that. people can choose sides from abroad. people can be critical of the way that we may handle some of those things. we have debates over questions where corporations have religious freedom. i pray for the day that the kind of debates and concerns that we are addressing in the global community are debates about how we balance out robustly
protected religious freedom rights and civil rights, we are -- whether corporations have religious freedom. repressed,ing with brutalized communities subject to societal violence. people who are in jail, tortured and killed, butchered and raped, and slaved forced to marry or , convert in countries across below. -- thethe countries problems we have in america are the problems other countries have to deal with. but i am proud that america has taken its historic commitment to religious freedom and helped mold like -- mobilize the international community to address it more significantly and robustly. you asked about the genocide. i am extremely proud of the genocide determination that has been made. the secretary has insisted that we very carefully document and take the time to do it right,
gather evidence that will allow for the ability to make a fact-based determination as to whether or not genocide happened. from the moment he did that, he called us and asked, first, i will point out that regardless of whether he had made that determination, from the beginning, we acted as though that was the challenge we faced. by robustly putting together the coalition of now, over 65 countries who militarily, are daesh. weto defeat took a significant step to prevent genocide. that is what the president said. we have to stop it and we moved to do that. and we have robustly helped support all of the displaced populations of refugees, the thelations, and have led world in mobilizing resources,
including at the recent conference, the recent pledging conference here that initiated , that resulted in over $2 billion in new commitments to help these populations. since that time, we have begun to deal with the question. people have to choose. do they want to go as refugees or migrants, or do they hope to return home? we have over a million people in the turkestan region, who are waiting in iraq who want to return home, and we have been active in responding to the genocide determinations to create conditions that would allow them to return home. knox has been leading the efforts on behalf of of the protection of cultural heritage. we are beginning to arm and train local defense forces of the different minority groups, who will be integrated with the peshmurga and the iraqi military forces. we have been making plans in
terms of what kind of transitional justice modalities need to happen when people return home to former neighbors or others who have taken over homes or businesses, to prevent it from descending into sectarian violence. will be rebuilding the infrastructure. utilities are working so people have security that they can depend on there, so there will be schools for their kids. there is planning going on all the time in this area. so all of that was on the foundation of the genocide determination at the instruction of the secretary, and we have been very proud to have played a role in helping to bring that about in the conference at we held two weeks ago, also an -- bringing together 30 wastries across the globe an explicit outcome of the genocide determination. i write for a palestinian
newspaper. my question to you, if you could share with us some of the practical steps you are taking to mitigate or reverse the perils faced by christian arabs in iraq, which is largely as the war on iraqe u.s. in 2003, the occupation, and its consequences. and syria, the result of the attacks of a fundamentalist group aided by the u.s. and its allies. and they continued and unending occupation which you support. >> i have already answered the question in terms of iraq, in terms of the robust effort we have made to create conditions to protect the religious minorities. i will point out that if you look at those, 127,000 refugees who have come to the united states from iraq in the last
decade, 40% of them are minorities and mostly christians who have come to the united states. but all of our efforts to allow people to return home and do it safely, to ensure their security, will be protected, benefits all minorities, and certainly benefits the christian minorities, as well. we work very closely with the communities here to gather what information we can using our -- to supplement what we have from our own diplomatic sources in military sources and intelligence sources about what the needs of these communities are and to be responsive to them. in addition, we remain the largest owner in terms of supporting the displaced populations including the , christian populations in iraq. in syria, many of the areas that minorities are most likely
-- most densely concentrated on were not areas that were, in the early stages of the civil war, most protected, as you know. and so now, more and more, we are seeing those areas and i -- being affected as well, and i that in oneout area, when the syrian christian communities were attacked again, our intervention with military, the military and ferment -- intervention on the air in support with the syrian militias and kurdish militias were indispensable in terms of allowing those forces to push they haveof the areas taken. we are moving militarily and trying to plan ahead to the time when people have the option to return home. many of the lessons we are learning out of our work in iraq in this area are fully applicable to syria, as well.
so the coalition of the groups that we are dealing with at the un security council, the coordination of the former -- the foreign minister of france, and paris last summer, and there conference, ar gathering of the same countries, a larger number, in spain hopefully before the end of the year, are all aimed at evoking commitments from different countries, what they will do to allow minorities to return safely to their areas. in terms of the palestinian christian community, on my trip to israel and palestine, i met with a broad range of all religious minorities there. almost every one of the major religious groups, the patriarchs of many of the groups of the -- the grassroots leaders. particularly it was the focus on the challenge of the evangelical christian communities face
there, because they are not recognized under the ottoman traditional construct of religious groups that are recognized. to marry people, their state is to divorce of thosef the pastors churches, their ability to travel, to minister to their people is restricted. we are working hard to use some in some of those restrictions. in terms of the broader issues, the political efforts of the united states, the -- some kind of peace accord remains indispensable in terms of fully of allg the rights involved to be able to thrive and be protected. we continue on that front, as well. >> i am from egypt. my question is, does the u.s. theider the extermination work of individual islamists or
muslim brotherhood [indiscernible] helping to advance religious freedoms in egypt? >> the president has done any number of things in egypt. in egypt faced challenges. the president made a very public communityhat the copt needs to be protected. he has gone to christmas mass about muslimenly egyptians are all egyptians. theas helped rebuild churches that were destroyed in the violence a couple years ago. while copts still face challenges, particularly in rural areas, he has also called
on muslim leaders to be more assertive and robust about putting forward a more traditional view of islam as he understands it. to contest the extremist interpretations that suggest violence is justified by the islamic tradition. it is justified based on their result -- religious views. that has led to important changes. we have seen it in text books that are being changed in order to mitigate the extremist pro-violence messages in the textbooks. so there have been some improvement on that as well. we believe that whatever entity people belong to, if they are prepared to express their religious life peacefully, they ought to be allowed to do that.
and across the world, we have said to rulers that we have the connections and influence to make a difference. to them, we urge you in responding to legitimate security threats, not to be peaceful in repressing expressions of religion that may be unpopular with you. because it drives it underground. it diminishes transparency. it fills those people with frustration and anger. it leads groups to give up on believing they can live out their lives in accordance to the law of the land. and it is simply a strategy that divides society along sectarian and religious lines, and undercuts the ability of a society -- the stability of a society. the question is, whether they are peaceful or advocating violence in their life. so that will apply as much to the members of the government as
-- men -- members of the muslim brotherhood as any other group. >> we have time for two more. >> [indiscernible] indian television stations. i don't have to repeat what is very well put in the executed summary. i have two questions. one is, this is a new thing, this muslims being attacked in ban, cow the beef slaughter and most of the cases, it is some other kind of meat. and the second one is, the ngo's facing what has been going on, the money coming in, if they are catering to the directives of the government.
if you go through those in -- the summary on india, it keeps coming up repeatedly. happenedwhatever [indiscernible] and today, he is the prime minister. .ndia is being converted not one week passes without my inbox showing something of oristians being attacked having problems in india. when you talk about all this isis and isil, these are people who are doing genocide. they are not governmental. you have invited the prime minister here four times in two years. , they are come out
sitting laughing at your report if there is no follow-up action to do something about this. >> president obama traveled to india and he gave a major public speech in which he was very clear about the need for religious freedom in india that could be exercised without people being subject to violence. urging the government to ensure that all people were able to safely live out their religious lives. we have been clear in our engagement with india about our concerns about the times the government has been slow to react when violence has taken place. and some of the controversies over the cows are an example of that. there have been other times where the president has spoken out, and has spoken out
forcefully about the need to protect religious freedom for all, and the security for all. clear,ink we have been where there, about our view of what is needed, and our willingness to be supportive in confronting the challenges to religious freedom that need to be addressed there. and when the government has been slow to react, urging them to be more assertive on that. so, you know, when he has promised to ensure that everyone , and i'm quoting now, everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt religions of his or her choice without collision -- without coercion or undue influence as responding to some of the attacks on christians, seen as proselytizing and encouraging others to convert --
we have been clear and consistent in our messages about the things that we think are most helpful to the stability of the region, and the stability of the country will continue to be supportive of the efforts where he is acting in accordance with the international obligations of india in these regards. >> i'm sorry, we are going to wrap up. >> i am with the washington blade. you have mentioned earlier that there is an "major debate about religious freedom in this country." and i wanted to ask you about evangelical preachers and this -- other folks from this country who promote anti-lgbt efforts, i think of jamaica overseas, and some countries in africa, uganda. do you have any position on that? i know the administration has spoken out but do you have a position on these folks who are promoting anti-lgbt efforts overseas?
who are from the united states, based on religion? >> my personal views are not relevant to this. i'm here to speak on behalf of the united states government. it has been quite clear on the issue of protecting the lgbt community across the globe and that people are not to be discriminated against. simply because of a mutable characteristic, or in terms of religious freedom, the most central organizing believes .f conscience that they hold we have robustly protected that right. that includes the right of the people in the lgbt community to organize religiously and participate in their own religious life. and that is a long-held position that we have had. we equally defend the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of
association, freedom of religion of those groups who differ from the position of the u.s. government on the issue, to exercise those rights, so long as they do so peacefully. we believe in the free marketplace of ideas that holds hold aboutn we fundamental civil rights for all communities, including the lgbt community, will prevail. we protect the right of religious groups to express views counter to these folks within the united states and outside. the construct of our rights, the fundamental rights here, it is that the rights are not absolute. there can be a compelling interest in which the united states government has the right to say that the compelling need l limited league curtail --
imitedly curtail fundamental freedoms can be justified. they are rare. if there is a compelling interest, we have to pursue it in a way that least infringes on the fundamental right. but just in the case of another country, late evangelical groups of other countries that curtail the rights of women, children, the lgbt community, we believe we have taken the position that it is a compelling interest under international law, and in to own legal system here, protect the fundamental civil rights of people. but to do it in it -- the most limited way possible, which includes the right of people who get hurt to speak out on their rights. we will continue to pursue that. let me just say one other word. this will be the last time that i will take the podium under the obama administration.
as the deputy secretary indicated, this administration has been so robust, look at the structure here, our office has significantly increased staff. we created the religion and global affairs as well. over 50 full-time people working on religion and religious freedoms here at the state department. working in concert with every one offf, in our embassies, who has to focus on religious freedom, to reach out to the religious communities who will -- who may face discrimination or limitation on religious freedom. this has an extraordinary impact on our being effective in foreign policy, affirming our fundamental values and goals to
do so with a thriving sense of religious freedom and protection of religious freedom and belief for all peoples across the globe. i have been immensely proud of what this administration has ,one, and i am convinced because i have seen firsthand, how it has made a real difference in the lives of real people across the globe. we will continue to push as vigorously as we can until, as i said, religious freedom becomes a reality for every person in every nation across the globe. thank you, all. >> thank you. thanks to the ambassador. have a great day, everyone. >> he was a look at our primetime schedule on the c-span networks. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span,
a discussion on how the obama administration is working with the clinton and trump campaigns on transitioning the white house from their administration to the next. on c-span2, it is book tv with authors that have written about criminal justice. and on c-span three, it is american history tv with our series, "the contenders, kelly look at contenders who have lost the presidency. we will examine the life and career of barry goldwater. >> washington journal is live every day with new and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, new york times washington correspondent will be on to talk about a series behind the new york times and investigating reporting on the blurring lines of educational institutions of the corporate world. the commissioner of the bureau of labor statistics and the economic policy correspondent
for the washington post will join us to discuss the latest bureau of labour findings on jobs, and wages. we will talk about the u.s. economy, exam name -- examining reversing wage stagnation and earnings inflation. journal" onngton thursday morning. join the discussion. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> tomorrow, hillary clinton will speak to an audience in michigan. you can see the comments live thursday at 1:15 p.m. eastern on c-span. after that, we will get your reaction and take your calls. q&a, aay night on documentary film instructor talks about his students' award-winning documentaries, some of which have been prizewinners at our annual