tv Texas Tribune Festival - Trump the Resistance CSPAN November 21, 2017 10:01am-11:01am EST
>> a three-judge panel from the u.s. court of appeals ruled last week the administration could sixentry of people from muslim majority countries with .o connection you can read more about this at the hill.com. colorado's first latina house speaker and the president of joined parenthood activists to discuss resistant to trump policies at the texas tribune festival in austin. [applause] >> hello. chief political
[applause] really exciting. he was on the ground in ferguson, missouri. since then he is been at protests around the country protesting police violence. he joined other advocates in founding campaign zero, an effort to end police violence. [applause] and ezra levin, cofounder and executive director of the indivisible project.
worked forvisible he prosperity now and served as deputy policy director for congressman lloyd dilated -- -- this panel will last about 60 minutes. it will conclude with a q&a at the end. we are going to do q&a a little differently. you will secure your questions to the texas tribune and i will get your questions and read them to the panel. instead you will submit your questions to the texas tribune
and we'll read them to the familiar. to submit your questions, you can submit with the #ask trib. or text ask tribute to 5125498 450. we will get the questions, and then i will sort through them and pose them to our panelists. let's jump into this because panels always go much faster than you think they do. i think we all know what the resistance to the trump administration is it and what that means. i am interested in going beyond the surface level to talk a bit about the term itself. when we say resist, are we simply speaking about working to prevent the worst the trump administration can do, or are we talking about advancing a positive agenda? does the word resist obscure some of the works that is actually happening? >> thanks. great to be on a panel of folks who are not only resists but persist continuing. that is one of my favorite thoughts. we are not just going to fight back, but we are going to move forward. for planned parenthood and action fund, we gained more than a million new supporters just right after the election. the whole idea is not simply
fight back on the worst things like the graham cassidy bill. it is not dead. you have to call your senator. i think the idea is to use this. folks have described it as a movement moment. i have felt there has never been a better opportunity as organizers for a longer haul to fight back for what we believe in. one of the reasons being on this panel is excite is gone folks are coming into these movements and rejoining or starting new things with a much broader sense of what it means to be part of a progressive movement. we know at planned parenthood, we are fighting to protect access to reproductive health care and rights. we are proud to stand for racial justice and voting rights. all of these issues affect our patients, staff and families.
that to me has been one of the better things, although we have a long way to go, about the movement we have seen since the election of 45. >> i would like to pose a question to the we of panelists. resistance, does it include positive action of a forward-moving agenda? >> i think it absolutely can have a forward-moving agenda. i think one of the key issues is it is more important than ever for people to be involved with the political process. it is because of the work of people calling their senators, their congress people about health care, about daca, about so many of the issues that are under attack now. that is what we are going to need to make sure that we keep on going forwards into the right direction. but it happens not just with communication with elected officials. it also has to happen at the ballot box. in 201 and 2020 we have
incredibly important elections. if we can continue to make sure that momentum goes in the right direction, i think we can make sure that we have the right people in office. it feels like to me for so long in this country when it comes to racism, sexism, casting people out because they are different than what we perceive ourselves to be, that we are seeing some of the things that are being said and done in a very over way, in such an over way, it is one of the first times in my lifetime that we have seen some of the things that are happening. but in all of the darkness of the conversations and the actions, i think the light is making sure that we are coming up with a new path forward to address those issues head-on and that we are supporting leaders that are willing to address those issues head-on. \[applause] >> three things. one is that we know that freedom is not only absence of oppression, but the presence of justice and joy. just getting rid of the bad stuff doesn't actually just make
you free automatically. you have to build a future proactively. when trump says make america great again, that is a ask recall. we have lived in a world where white people have controlled the world. that is not a hard world to imagine. but a world of equity is not a world we have ever experienced. so our task is about deep imagination, that when we tear all bad things that we don't want, somebody on our side has to be there to build up things. the last thing i will say is it has been interesting in this mast year to see people so proactively talk about the protests. in the streets in 2014, people didn't think the protestors were amazing people. they are like the protestors are out there? really, in 2014? but it is interesting because now that trump has implicated way more than marginalized
people. there are people who believe the history of injustice in this country began with the muslim ban. that is wild. part of the work of resistance is remembering that this is deeper than this moment. trump the originator of this. he is like the embodiment. so we are fighting him, but we are fighting ideology that is bigger than him. [applause] >> there is something unfair about having to follow his comments. so i would just reiterate of what has already been said. we came out with a google doc nine months ago, and that is all what we thought it was going to be. what we have seen in the resistance is a ton of people that have woken up. they have seen there is in
justice in this country. imagine that. we need to recognize that the resistance isn't nine months old. it has been going on for years and decades. part of the responsibility for folks who are newly engaged in this activism is work with folks who have been fighting across the country to resist this new attack on not just progressive valdez, but basic tenants' to america democracy. to answer your question, can there be some type of proactive agenda, there is no power to set an agenda. what we have is the power to respond. that is not the only power we are ever going to have. there needs to be somebody out there to build the bold
progressive future. so when we do tear down all this, we know what we are building. so that absolutely has to be a part of it. but we have to recognize that 32 million americans are going to lose their health care in graham-cassidy gets passed next week, and that is the urgent thing right now that we have to respond to. >> sort of around that issue, the kind of direct protests that indivisible, for example, does, is very effective at challenging a concrete piece of legislation like graham-cassidy. there is a lot of great work done against the better care reconciliation act over the summer. but the trump administration isn't just legislation coming out of country. it is a swath of things. it is executive orders and administrative stuff. how does one resist that, the aspects of the trump administration of the trump agenda that are insulated from popular protests? >> i would say the trump administration's agenda, just that, it comes out of a long line of the g.o.p. push priorities that have couple natured in this overall stault.
it exists in. legislature. that is not trump pushing through graham cassidy. that is members of congress. it depends on not trump, but other elect the officials. there is a question, how do we resist in congress and at the state and local level. there are administrative actions through hud or any of the federal agencies. as a constituent, you don't have much power to resist that specific ack. the fact of the matter is trump doesn't care what you think. but your independent elected officials do, whether they are libertarian or elsewhere. in the state house or governorship, they do respond because they have to get your vote for re-election. when the trump administration acts union lately to assault us, its how can we resist this? sometimes it is through congress, through the state house and corporate pressure. there are a lot of ways to resist. the question isn't where the attack is coming from, it is what you can do as a constituent
with your power. >> yes. i would like to hear you on this. this is a particular problem for fights against police violence, which is butt the fuse. it is not only tyler there is a direct line of accountability. >> like i said before, he is not the producer, he is the product. there is an ideology that is much bigger than him at this moment. in organizing, we often organize around what i call loud trauma. we organize around broken bodies, the stuff that is the biggest. but the quiet trauma has a huge impact on people's likes. what does it mean, all the mid level judges trump is appointing that will be there for the next 50 years? it is clearing out the entire backlog of civil rights violations. that is a nightmare for people across the country. there are 18,000 police departments.
at the d.o.j., they can do stuff around money, but most of the changes will happen at the local level, which creates a different challenge. protest is not the answer, but protest creates space for the answer. what so many groups have done is opened up people to think about the issues deeper. so then they go in their neighborhoods and say i can do this and i can do this. people don't realize that in 1912iss across the country, it is more likely to be killed by a police officer than a private citizen. that is wild. you ask people what a felony is, most people thing felonies are like somebody blew up a building and killed 50 people. if virginia, a theft over $200 is a felony and you lose your right to vote permanently. it is wild. how do people understand there
is a lot of quiet trauma happening at the local and state level that they can fight back against immediately. >> is there a way to connect people who are -- they are getting into activism because of trump, to can't connect them to broader things? we can see the direct threat of trump, but this quiet trauma is a little obscure to their vision. >> i will say that i think what the organizing treat canny has not done well in the past three years is meet the interests. there is way more interest to do whatever. the organizing infrastructure to absorb that interest hasn't materialized in the way people want. everybody is trying to figure out how to do that. people forget is that we all-starred as random people who wanted a better world. they made global doc, and i was on my couch. people had this idea that we all got here that we were tapped. it was like people sitting down thinking about things, saying i
think this is wrong, let me do something. then they do something, and it doesn't work, and it does work, and it does work. that is how all good organizing actions begin. >> there is something that happens when you get dozens or hunting of thousands of people together for focus. they think wait, why don't i focus on city council or state legislature or the other things out there. indivisible austin is a strong group. they saw they could have impact over here. i think if there is a magical tool that we have, it is getting people in person together in a room to figure out how to make the world a better place. >> just to tee off that, one
thing we have to think about as organizers is we are not going to win everything, so we have to claim what we do. when you get that muscle memory to fight back, but keep going until a bit of justice comes. getting thousands of people into a state capital as folks did was insane. \[applause] the organizing lesson in that was we never had a vote. people stayed until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning just to try to testify. sheer what happened. if people never quit. folks from texas, even though they passed these horrible bills, women and doctors started telling these stars, and the texas tribune started telling stories. they documented the harm to women. and two or three years later, we overturn these bills in the supreme court of the united states of america.
that is persistent. it is basically never, never giving up. \[applause] >> i will add to that. i think there is great opportunity in state legislatures and city councils across the country. in colorado we have been able to be quite productive. we actually had a package of bills that has been focused on building trust between law enforcement and communities of color, and i think that there are ways to thread the needle to get divorce stakeholders to support legislature. the outcome of that is things are banned in certain circumstances. there is live videotape of when somebody is being interrogated in most situations. we are focusing on how can we bring people together to make sure there is the right kind of change.
but we also have to think of what is the lens that different legislators and people of power look through? right now in colorado there has been a focus on can local law enforcement, can their budget be able to sustain the cost it would need to enforce federal immigration law? absolutely not. are there other ways we can think about argument that will him think about argument that will bring difficult people from different backgrounds to the table to advance so many of the issues that the people of our state and country care about and make sure that everybody is looking through a lens of fairness. >> one question i have, and this is for you, crisanta, a, because you are a lawmaker and it has relevance in general. when president trump revoked or said he would revoke daca, immediately con congressional
delmonico -- democrats looked for a deal to cut. they looked at disaster funding, but the prospect of a permanent solution on daca. one thing since then is president trump's approval rating has gone up a couple of points. there is a pretty good case to make that the public spectacle of trump working with democrats to do something constructively helped him out. so my question is do democrats and people who identify with the resistance, do they take the opportunity to work with the administration if an op treaty or something presents itself with the chance of of the longer term goal of getting beyond trump more difficult? >> i carried the bill to get undocumented people in colorado.
what it comes down to is this. when we see someone like donald trump making a tax on a community, whether it is rescinding daca, or pardoning somebody known for racial profiling. there is no doubt we need to be able to respond to those. but one of the great errors i think of the represent party was during the -- of the republican party, it was no. no matter what obama was trying to accomplish for the american people, they always attacked it and went after it. the affordable care act is a perfect example on that. that was a represent based model. when there are opportunities to do good, we have to find those opportunities and be able to make sure that we are driving policy that has a good outcome for all people. even if the republicans are able
to get it together and do something or immigration reform or daca, there are so many issues that people feel like they have been under attack. in all of this, we also always have to be focused on working people in this country. there are too many communities that have been left behind, that have never bounced back after we have had a globalized economy. when we are fighting for equity, when it comes to race, and sexism and all these other issues, we can never forget that the road to the white house, the road to different leadership positions will go right through middle income families. are we doing everything in our power to make sure people have tools to succeed and provide for
themselves and their families. that is a question we should always be asking. >> do you have a response? >> dealing with the trump question is a real question. a part of that is do you have to tell your bully to stop bullying you? you don't sit down with the bully to stop hitting me anymore. somebody should sit down but not you. if we are trying to change real people's lives in a beneficial way, we should do that. i think about this moment as the hillary campaign. it is a failure of everything somebody on the left that is a consistent voice and response. he cares about how he looks in public. his ego 1 so fridge i'll, there is not a response from the left. it is a consistent voice. he is holding it down. [applause] i think that is a real need. i see pelosi goes into the room, and he talks about it the next day. obama is writing a book, so he is not doing it. we know killer mike was out there. people didn't even know who
killer mike was. you know katrina pierce was out there for trump. who was delivering hillary's message? i don't really know. i supported hillary in the end. but it is a question of who is honing the message. the right has mastered the message. it is not about people's lives. but they have nailed it in. and we are like we need health care and what is the other message. how do we make that deeper? >> i would like to talk about this deem specifically that was cut earlier this month. when we wrote the indivisible guide, i remember the week it happened when we decided we needed to do this. a trump person was talking about the japanese internment camps in a positive light as a model for policy. in the same week, we heard leadership talking about how to cut a deal on infrastructure. the idea that we could wind up in a world that we could have internment camps was scary to
us. this is why it was called indivisible. the idea that you might be a tax advocate, reproductive rights advocate, but if you wait for your turn to tanned up four issues, you will lose. our only hope is if we stand together. what we saw was democrats ended september with a strong hand. there were several must pass peoples. a short term budget. then trump did something dumb and evil. he attacked 800,000 of the best america that is to offer by ending the daca program. we have tools to respond. we have must-have legislation. the next day, the democrats went into the oval office and cut a deal. if you are wondering why we
discussing the zombie trump bill it is because of that deal. people think this is like the touchy-feely, everybody stand together rainbows and sunshine approach. that is part of it. you have to stand up for the most vulnerable communities, but that is not all of it. it is a strategy that if i don't stand up for you, i am going to lose. when you talk about cutting deals with trump, hey, i am all for the butterflies and rainbows deal if it is on terrible. if cutting a deal with trump winds up leaving 800,000 people behind or endangering health care for 32 million americans, no thank you. we are not going to take those kinds of deals. \[applause] >> we had a bit of our own experience at planned parenthood, just as an example. i don't think this is -- maybe he likes to make deals. i think most of the stuff i think to the points we were making is actually happening in congress and happening in
agencies where we have no opportunity. some of the most nefarious things are happening where we don't get to have a vote. i look at the department of health and human services. tom price, who when he is not flying on a private jet from washington, d.c. to philadelphia -- did you hear about this? > who among us doesn't take private jets to philly? >> literally there, they are putting sort of gears in motion to execute a domestic gag order in this country. meaning that anyone who receives national family planning dollars can no longer advise women of their right to an apportion, refer them to an abortion provider, give them basic health
care information that is legal in america. that is the kind of thing that i am worried about. we are following donald trump and his crazy tweets on twitter, and meanwhile they are unraveling health care and rights for millions of folks. i feel like that is get to be the tough stuff, is how do we not take the bait and focus on like the craziness over here and really focus on the point that was made, people in america who are depending on government to be there for them. >> how does one respond to that? >> you actually have to declare war on it. you have to completely sideline a line on everything that is happening. unfortunately, that is just what is going to happen. it is not going to be bills. it is about saying what is happening to real people in this country and listening to their story? when you begin to take away
birth control for 57 million people in this country, which tom price would like to do, when you take away the right to give information about abortion. we are not going to win that because he is in charge, but we can create the biggest ground swell movement we have ever seen on rights to reproductive health in health care. that is our job. it is going to have to be calling it out as well as frying to win everything we can. i just think folks are -- people get tired. there are only so many times you can call congress. but that is what we say when it works. when donald trump was elected, and when paul ryan came out, january 27 had they were going to repeal obama care and it was going to be on the desk. it is september, and that bill
has not passed, and it has not been on donald trump's desk. \[applause] again, i know everything isn't about health care, but you have to call a win a win. it is not like it didn't happen because they change the their minds. it didn't happen because thousands and thousands of people rose up and called members of congress and went to washington, d.c., and wore their hats to town hall meetings. to me, we have to be able to tell the story of organize and tell our story even if we are not going to actually win. >> specifically, i want to hone in on, whether it is four years from now in 2021 or eight years from now in -- i don't know what year that is -- regardless of whether it is four or eight years, there is going to be an
after-trump period. there is going to be a post trump. this question is for you. in that moment, the task will be recover, improving, building something anew. what for you does that look like? what does that work look like then to begin laying the ground work for that inevitability? what advice do you have for other people who are thinking towards the future? when this all passes, what do we do and how are we going to get there? >> closest to me, we can live in a world where police don't kill
people, where we don't lock people up. i am mindful, people of color we get pegged as mass incarceration. it affects us. everybody has access to health care and they can actually plan their parenthood. and people know what power looks like at the local and state level. part of it is taking away all the bad stuff. i just went to angola, which is the biggest prison in the country. it is 18,000 acres. 20 square miles. it used to be four plantations, now one. the cook county jail used to house about 18,000 people and now houses about 10,000, which is wild. people talk about bail reform as if it is a mythical magical thing that can ago. kentucky does not have ball, chicago is ending bail. we can actually do those things. you just don't hear about them. then it is the quiet trauma. louisiana and oregon are the only states that have non-unanimous juries. it only takes 10 on a jury to convict you to life. it was related to integration. they didn't want people of color sitting on juries and lower the conviction race, which is crazy. >> i had no idea.
>> why are people mad about this? how do we start lifting that stuff up and talk about it in simple language. then we have all these people mobilizing people. i believe if we shine the light and tell it in a simple way, people we'll get them. it is about telling a story differently and changing people's minds. the police will say when should the police be able to kill people? i say when should the police be able to kill your child? they are like i don't know, and i am like well, i don't know either. some of this is telling a story that other people can repeat at their dining room table. how do we talk about health care that we is say over and over and jails over and over. it has to be a part the work of a better future.
>> think that we need to continue to make sure that the momentum that we are seeing is going in the right direction. and i do believe that the status quo and that politics and usual is not going to be the way to make sure that we are going into the right direction. i think we need new leaders. i think we need to support new leaders to be able to get into a variety of different positions. it has been the honor of my life to serve as the first latina speaker of the house in colorado and the only -- \[cheers and applause] and to me it is wonderful to be the first and the only latina speaker in the country right now, but it is also even that much more important that we build pathways for different leaders to be able to get into a variety of roles, from city hall all the way up to the white house.
to me, being inclusive isn't just about being politically correct. i truly believe that you get better policy when you have people in positions of power with different backgrounds and experiences. so i'm focusing heavily on recruitment and lifting others to be able to get into the right places to make sure those voices are in positions of power. >> there structural things that lawmakers can be doing right now? there are elections coming up next year.
after elections, that help kind of prepare the ground for getting new kind of leadership. i am thinking specifically about gerrymandering. if you can do this now and in the after-trump period, you can do more in changing policies. >> we have a redistricting process coming up in colorado, and we will see this across the country as well. it is so important that we have competitive districts where people have a real opportunity to be able to run and to be able to win. i think there are several legal battles that are taking place right now, and i know that different states are looking at fair processes. that is something for people to be paying attention to in your particular state as some of those proposals come up to see what will lead to a fair and balanced process. >> we know what gerrymandering
does. it doesn't reflect the diversity of this state there. is also voting rights. it has been esoteric, more of a litigation strategy. i think it has to be a grassroots mobilization strategy. the denies of people the right to vote for a whole host of reasons. we can't have a true democracy if people can't vote. and then i do think we have to rehabilitate the idea of voting, that it actually makes a difference. that is one of my biggest concerns, that people get so discouraged because their vote didn't count or they were denied the right to vote. i think the mobilization has been fantastic. as i say, like marching -- the women's marches, that was fantastic. going to town hall meetings. thousands of people calling congress. but none of that is going to matter until we get people to go vote and change who is in office. \[applause]
and we talk a lot about -- my own example of dealing with reproductive health care and trying to explain to men in congress about how it all works. i think if we had more members of congress who could get pregnant, we would not be fighting about birth control and planned parenthood anymore. \[applause] >> i want all this. how do we get this stuff? the answer is look, our political system is not responding to the people. it is not producing the policies that the majority of the people want. the exciting about this dark time is the silver lining that more people are engaging in the process. people feel like they are under attack by this administration by the policies every day, does that burn them out? we get this question a ton. the source of burnout is you give up your thursday night, and you go to a legal local meeting, and some guy talks on about 45 minutes, and you feel like you are not doing anything productive.
something lack is gone a community level progressive infrastructure that can mobilize people. but it is not just mobilizing people. it is building up leadership in the learn term. from that flows the electoral wings. we are going to have all these dumb policies that respond to corporations. >> we also have to figure out -- how to talk about voting is one way to build power, but not the only way. i remember being in the white house and obama. i have voted, i still got tear gassed, pepper sprayed and tear gas the. voting was not the thing that stopped those things from happening. standing in the street is important, voting is important, and going to city councils are important. i have seen generations above me, like the obama team and hillary world. if you vote, we get free. i have voted my entire and i still had that. we talk about progressive policies, we never forget equity work as a primary focus.
while i am heartened by the enthusiasm, these people were not with us when we were getting beaten in the street in 2014. it is easier to mobilize around those things because it is obvious wild. the police killed thousands of people every year. that is wild to me. how do we make sure that when he is gone that this infrastructure and its energy remains around equity work. people get real gunshy when it comes to fighting about poor people. there are other issues that consensus is easier to build on. >> we are at the q & a portion. if anyone wants to ask a question, tweet with the #asktrib. or text ask tribute to 51254398450. i have a bunch of questions here that i have not had a chance to look at. so i am going to look through them. here is worn that is really
good. alexis g. on twitter asks how do each of you practice self care in the midst of doing resistance work on a daily basis? this stuff can take a heavy psychic toll. i would like to hear what everyone does? >> i don't practice self care. \[laughter] >> it is a millennial thing. >> i love to spend time in the mountains when i can, but it is a challenge. i think serving in my role, i have been grateful to be there. but there are times i felt like i had to work twice and hard and be twice as smart to be in a leadership position like i am in. i am working on the balance issue. so if anybody has some ideas about self care, i would love to hear your recommendations. >> there is a fatigue setting in. people have been working and working, and while i think some
of it is the lack of infrastructure, i do think some of it is how long can everything be like a four alarm fire? every day it is like that is bad. that is even worse. i didn't know it could get worse. that takes a lot of energy. there is a fatigue coming. for myself, being alone in a room with four walls, that is centering for me. a lot of people like to go to beaching with other people and that kind of thing. for me, it is four walls, me and i am good. >> i recommend anybody setting out on a new venture. my spouse is actually the co-executive director. it means we don't talk about anything but indivisible and work. so that is not really self care. it is making me second-guess a lot of my thoughts here. >> a related question comes from heidi who is asking on twitter. when your efforts start to feel future a.m., when you doubt you are making an impact, what keeps you inspired or keeps you going? >> i think that is a really good question, heidi. i do think sometimes -- because
this is going to be a long haul, and has been for a lot of folks. sometimes you have to get off the field, and that is ok. to me, at least in this last year as i felt like after this election of 45, that it was going to be -- a lot of folks were going to lose health care. every day that i can get up, and we can keep the doors open at planned panarin hood, which is my small piece of the world. i did the math. i figured out 8,118 people got health care that day. though may be people who otherwise wouldn't get health care. sometimes you have to break it down into little pieces like that. that has helped me keep going. i figure that every day we have stopped this administration from rolling back the progress made on health care, millions of people have kept their health care coverage, and that is worth getting up every morning for. >> for me it is results.
i think we have had a lot of very destructive pieces of legislation that have come forward in colorado, all bills that got a fair hearing but respectfully died. the times that have been most motivating to me is when we are able to thread the needle and find common ground without sacrificing our values, without people losing their access to health care, without doing those things. i am still a believer that there is more than binds the human experience together than will ever divide us. for me it is always trying to find where are those points of common ground so that we can do what is right for the people that have elected us? this last legislative session, the governor said it was the most productive one he has seen since he has been governor. we worked and tried to deal with issues that people deal with every single day. we made advancements in education and transportation.
how do we drive the right agenda forward? but that said, never not being willing to stand up on a -- attacks as it relates to racism, sexism, some of our values we cherish. i don't think those two goals need to be mutually exclusive. we can do post. >> i would say i am reminded that something woke us up. for so many people it was a facebook post or a google doc. none of us can give you power. we are not god. what we can do is unlock the power that you already have. i have feel like in three years i have seen people every day find the power they didn't think they had, and that gives me hope. the local activists here, fighting the police union contract in austin, one of the worst in the country. people find a part of the pie, and they start to fight. that is how we win, these successive actions build up to have a rip. effect. somebody asked me recently, shouldn't he be celebrating the monuments coming down?
they are symbols of power and hate, and we should celebrate those things. but our generation has not seen a fight start and we win. you think about monuments for so many people. they mark this is bad, and the monuments are gone. you win once, and then you start to believe that you can do something impactful. a lot of people with health care. they pushed against health care. they didn't think they would ever get it. they called, they marched, shut down the town halls, and then the bill didn't get passed. that matters to people, and that matters to the way the energy flows. those things keep my hopeful every day. >> absolutely yes. \[applause] >> at a macro level, we are eight months into a unified
conservative government the likes of which we have haven't seen in over a decade. they have been promising to repeal the affordable care act, and it is not getting done as a result of this crazy thing, people standing up in their communities. that is inspiring, that you are able to change at the national level through these relatively small actions. and then every time i talk to group leaders or members who haven't done politics before, now they are leading groups. now they are running for local office or fighting on the monuments, or fighting for daca or whatever is up right now. they are motivated by all of the right can't, and they are seeing the fruit of their labor. that is inspiring. i leave all those meetings inspired. >> i go through these related
questions, and one of them from zach on twitter, if trump is just the remix to what has been around, how do we ensure that people are as active once the oppression is not as overt. anyone can take it, or i will just point to someone? >> like i said, i am a little worried. you think about the thing with that. people literally believe that every fell on killed 15 people, that is how people think about felons. when you think there are places across the country where people are in jail because they stole an iphone. in jail for 20 years because they stole an iphone. or things like drug-free school zones. it is like a nightmare. if you sell a dime bag within
a,000 feet -- with a thousand people of a school, you get like 15 years. we will have to be explicit of calling out racial organizing so that when trump is gone, that people still focus on it. would republicans are good at is flipping the phrase. the less we kill ourselves over tag lines and words, the right will sack nice everything for the ideology. the kkk, to the all right, it is the same idea. they swap out the words whenever they won, but they will keep the idea consistent. sometimes we get in this box where like people -- represent rations becomes like a bad word and we don't talk about the idea. we should probably correct about the centuries of inequity. all these black kids that can't read aren't dumb. you don't come from a legacy of reading. i am a third generation reader.
i am the third generation of my family who can read and comprehend text. my great grandmother could sign her name. that is wild. we are failing as organizers. the only way i can make sure we keep talking about it, and make sure that people have proximity to the issues -- i take people to a jail, and they see it for the first time, and you are like i get it. people don't actually live in cells like you see on tv. they live in rooms as big as this, dorms of bunk beds of like 400 and 500 people. when people come out of jail, they are like let them all out because this is like a wild thing. how do we make sure that our best organizers have proximity to the issue and they become implicated in it regardless of who is in the white house. >> that was beautiful. if we are satisfied with just
unelecting 45, then we are not fighting for the right things. this is really about building a country of equity and justice. for some of us, we thought during the obama administration, you used some examples yourself. we had to fight to get birth control covered for women. it was not women. now we have 57 million women who are getting birth control at no cost because we fought for it. finally folks caved. it is really important to remember that we are not fighting about who is in the white house. we are fighting about ideals that transcend any administration. i think the exciting thing again is we are investing in a whole new generation of organizers, their ideals are much higher than those of us on this stage, and that to me is what is going to make a difference beyond this administration. >> you had your hand up? >> sure. i totally agree with everything
that was just said. we talked to this guy marshall gaines a lot. he was peter chavez's organizing director. he distinguishes, mobilizes is what a traditional campaign does. they mobilize for a thing, you get them to vote for the candidate. afterwards, energy dissipates. that is all well and good for the campaign. if you get your ballot issue or your candidate elected, that is fine for the energy to dissipate. organizing is much different. it is about building up local power so that you can mobilize for individual actions. but the importance of mobilizing is his because it is more permanent. the unit of activism is not the individual because individual activism wayns. that is fine. but if you have a group that is building up local power on a regular basis, when a local leader drops off, somebody else is there to pop up. it is not about trump when this or the next elections are over, but you have folks who are continually investing in their own communities and in the political structure. or on that topic of local
infrastructure, sarah on twitter asks that. there have been multiple mentions of grass infrastructure, what can local folks do to build it if it doesn't seem to exist in their area? >> i think the amazing thing is everywhere i go now, and true for the rest of the folks here, people are self organizing. my mantra is don't way for instructions. this is not a time that someone is going to have the perfect idea. i remember after the election, people would come up to me with these looks, saying what should i do, as if somehow there was like one thing we could do and take it all away. the truth is, it is not. it is a number of things. i was just in paul ryan's district. we have three planned parenthood centers in his district, and they are all add risk of shutting down. the women who are patients are
saying where are we supposed to go. they organized forward kenosha, and they have shall 1,400 members and running for office. i really think that is the thing. you really have to just do what you can do. i mean i think your point is right. who knows? what is the final thing that is going to tip the balance on any one of these issues. but we can't wait until we figure that out. who knows what it was that took john mccain over the line to vote against this health care pill? those are the things we can know. we have to keep moving. >> pick your passion because it is so easy to fight for so many different issues. picking your passion can be very, very helpful to focusing in on what you want to accomplish. i have to give a plug for some of the state legislators and
local leaders. get involved in a campaign with somebody who you believe is going to fight for the right values. a lot of the races that we work on not only in colorado but across the country, it is a couple of hunt votes, 50 votes, sometimes can make a big difference in terms of who has power and who does not. getting involved, making calls, knocking on doors, you can actually make a really big difference. >> when you think about the black lives matters movement over past years, people forget we were in the streets for 400 days at the beginning. if we sit still for more than five seconds, we were immediately arrested. we were able to sustain being in the street for so long without there being an original organization that made all the decisions. there was a i will bail fund, and we figured out how to co-exist because we had a common goal. but it didn't require a traditional organization. i think we are in a space in the organizing work where the internet might be my chapter. the specialty becomes a way to build power and connection that
doesn't require in person as much as it used to. i think that we have seen so many people actually like find a home on the internet to organize in a way that just didn't exist before. i don't think that will replace the impersonal organizing. it took on bodies being in the middle of the stream. it wasn't just talking about how crazy the police were. we had to show up. but there was so much work thaw never saw, and i think this is a moment where we can actually build power difficult. power is the ability to influence the decision-making process, and politics is a politician making process. people can interact in both, and we can actually change the way that people do it. it was said earlier. the movement so far has been made up of folks who stood up and did it. that is what has been driving this. if you are waiting for somebody to come over to you and say this
a crisis, stand up, it is not going to happen probably. it has been made by people who volunteered themselves. there are an average of 13 grooms in every district in your country. if you type in your zip code, you will find one in your area. you can plug into this. if you ask yourself what you would have done in historical fights in justice, civil rights, or rights for voting or anything else, the answer is what you are doing right now. if the question is how do i get involved? the answer is you just get involved. that is what is making this work right now. >> we have time for one last question. i am going to pull together a bunch of different questions a around the same topic. >> we are going to leave the
last minute of thiswe going to t minute or so of this discussion. >> the house will be in order. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. november 21, 2017. i hereby appoint the honorable andy harris to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend dr. scott wilson, capitol hill presbyterian church in washington.