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tv   Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference on Women Voters  CSPAN  September 15, 2018 3:39am-5:31am EDT

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viceis weekend, former president joe biden speaks to the human rights campaign at its annual dinner in washington, d.c. he has advocated for lgbt writes. -- lgbt rights. we will have live coverage here on c-span today. >> what does it mean to be american? that is this year's student cam question, and we are asking students to answer it right producing a documentary. defines theit american experience. we are awarding $100,000 in total cash prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000.
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is january deadline 20, 2019. for more information, go to our website. studentcam.org. >> next a look at the role of female voters with alabama representatives, and congressional candidates running in massachusetts this election. we discuss the current political landscape -- hosted by the congressional black caucus, this is under two hours.
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>> welcome, everyone. >> morning. >> this morning we are going to discuss the 98%. we call ourselves the 98%. i'm congresswoman terry suele and i represent alabama's 7th district and we will claim the fact helping to elect doug jones, first democrat u.s. senator in alabama in 25 years. it was black women who really showed up and showed out. 98% of the black women who voted voted for doug jones and it was huge for him. today's panel is called the 98%. black women organizing, voting, and winning in 2018. i know that all of us are very cognizant that the person in the white house, number 45, i can't use his name, has given many challenges to the folks in our communities. it's important that we as black women take our rightful place. we have always been the backbone of our community and the backbone of the democratic party for a long time. we are just finally getting our due. it's really important that our panel today talk about the
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importance of getting out the vote and not only in organizing, but black women having their seat at the table and running and winning in 2018. [applause] >> i'm going to give a big round of applause for johanna hayes, clayton, la tasha brown, our moderator angela rye and who else do we have? ayanna presley. we have other black women running up and down the ballot and we want to uplift them as well. they are making history and they're here to share insight and discuss the lessons learn and talk about what it means to mobilize our community in elections. i want to thank all of you for joining us. most of us here know, it takes a
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lot of hard work to put one's self out there as a candidate, but it takes organization and mobilization. none of us get here alone. i have often said that the most humbling thing i have done is run for office. you are one vote. one person. in order to win, you have to mobilize, organize and get the most votes. alabama is 50% plus one to win . you have to ask people for support and money and their time and support. you are constantly asking. it is not for the faint of heart to be a candidate. it's so important that we really focus on not just black women organizing to elect other people, but african-american women organizing and electing each other. [applause] today, we are going to get started.
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i want to make sure that all of you know our wonderful moderator who is a cnn commentator, but the ceo of impact strategies. i know angela back in the day and i got elected and was a new member of the congressional black caucus. she was the director of cbc. angela brings lots of information and energy and a wonderful spirit in talking about the 98%, black women organizing, winning and voting in 2018. angela rye. [applause] angela: good morning, everyone. >> good morning. angela: it's not sunday, but we have a singer in here on the panel. i really know that it's really early and that's why y'all are, good morning. i want to get the energy up and she did not know i was going to do this, but i will humbly
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request my good friend who has so many powerful wonderful stories to share from her work on the ground in alabama and georgia and everything else she has done to show us that black voters matter. la tasha, would you bless the congregation with a little something? we have to wake everybody up, including me. i have to wake up. stay woken here. before she begins, i must say she is from my hometown in selma. >> your mother is my mentor. angela: i know. i love it. >> my mom who was the first african woman to be elected to the city council in selma. everyone knows her as the real congresswoman from alabama. >> ♪ well the first thing i did
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right was the day i started to fight keep your eyes on the prize and hold on, hold on well the last thing i did wrong i stayed in the wilderness a day too long keep your eyes on the prize and hold on, hold on hold on, hold on keep your eyes on the prize and hold on, hold on ♪ >> amen, amen. i would say thank me later, but you can thank me now. wow. i am so grateful to be sharing space with these folks. y'all, i have been in a political depression since november 2016.
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in real life. i didn't realize it until we had a stacy abrams situation and andrew gillum situation and then, ayanna, there was this beautiful moment. a "new york times" photographer captured your stepdaughter with tears streaming down her face the night of your election, and right now thinking about this picture, i'm about to tear up. did you see it? her name is cora. number one, just a beautiful child. you see this dream of hope in her face in this picture. i really want to start with you about why you do this work, about why it's important for all of other coras out there who didn't get a picture snapped. if you have not seen this, know it's frameable for your wall. every time donald trump does
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something else dumb, you can look at cora and know she has an ayanna who won an election that was momentous and huge. talk to us about why you do what you do for the coras out there. ayanna: it's incredible to be with all of you today. bear with me, y'all. my husband just walked in. that's good. that means i better be on point. he will let me know. bear with me. this is my preacher rasp. so let me start at the beginning. first and foremost i need to say that adage that you need to see it in order to be it is so real. i grew up as a child feeling mentored by the example of barbara jordan and shirley
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chisolm. i never had the pressure and the -- the pleasure and the privilege and the honor of meeting them personally, i felt i knew them. when i was a unique child, i would go to school in church in fake pearls. i study the under arrester toy and their cadence and inspired by their fearlessness much the most formidable influence in my life. that shaped me, my world view, what i care about and how i champion the issues is my mother. may she rest in power. my mother held many jobs to support me while my father battled addiction and was in and out of the criminal justice system for about 14 years.
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my mother and i embody this larger systemic sort of challenge, pervasive issue i am looking to address. that is, i'm a survivor of sexual abuse and later sexual assault. my mother is a survivor of incest and also domestic violence. we were living in a two generational poverty. two generational trauma and poor public health outcomes. in the midst off all of that, we had every reason to go in the corner and remain in a fetal position and never come out. we felt invisible in voices and government didn't reflect us and advocate for us. however, my mother made sure i was never cynical about government and the role of government.
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she took me to vote with her in every election. she made sure i knew it was my civic duty and responsibility, but it was all right to demand and advocate for safe, clean and affordable housing. paid us a living wame and wage and quality affordable health care. it was not up to us to place the burden on the shoulders of government and solidly at their feet, but we had to do this work in partnership. that is directly how i govern today. maintain throughout my campaign the people closest to the pain should be the closest to the power. driving and informing the policy making. so for every ism and disparity that we are living in, what i know is solutions exist within community. that is how i am governed. and the last thing i would say is i was left to the boston city
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council in 2009 and i had the honor and commentary of being the first woman of color elected. it took over 100 years. people asked me who suffered? women or black folks? i would say everybody. everybody. we know that government is more effective when it reflects the citizenry it serves. it's not like for contrived moments. it's about cognitive diversity. right? the issues that are spotlight and more robust and the solutions are more innovative and enduring. i ran for the city council to save girls that didn't even know they needed saving. people told me go run a nonprofit. that's not the work or job of the municipal government. broken girls grow up to be broken women. we couldn't afford that. i knew that not from data.
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it wasn't abstract. i had lived it. the narrative was dominated by how our black and brown boys were at risk. which is true. what they were not talking about is how many of the boys were being raised by women who had survived, one in four, physical or sexual trauma. violence begets violence. two generations of trauma. i said i had to get at this. it was clear the needs of girls were not being met. this is why i do this work. it's to spotlight and emphasize and make sure we are holding two narratives. it's not about my brother's keeper or sister's keeper. it is an and, our destinies are tied. that's that is why i do this work. [applause] she is about to break another record since she has no
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republican opponent. she will be the first african-american woman to represent massachusetts in congress. [applause] having run against a 20 year incumbent. that's a hard thing to do. a lot of us couldn't come out and help her. congratulations congratulations. thank you. that's a good point to follow-up on. she mentioned that a lot of us couldn't come out and help ayana. we are going to be real in here today. i want to go to you, johanna because of your experience. you knew i was going to do it. i felt like you gave me an eye roll. >> i'm ready. i'm glad you asked. angela: we always have these conversations where we talk about the pipeline. where is the pipeline? as the pipeline is developing because you were not waiting for
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permission, where are the courageous soldiers to have your back when you stand up and say i can represent us better than you can do for us, right? >> yes. angela: i want to talk about what you experienced in connecticut and talk to us about, you had shenanigans that went on. they pulled this in the nomination process. we can talk about that and really what the path forward is for us when we can't wait for anyone to stand up for us. >> thank you and no. i appreciate the question. finally we will have this conversation. let's talk about it. just really quickly to add to what ayanna said, when we talk about role models, it's not always people in power. for me, no one in my family took me to vote and talked about school, but i was interested. everything i learned about school was at school.
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it was asking questions. not always of people in positions, but good people who worked in the corner store and lived in my neighborhood and people who were struggling, but had good hearts. i learned how to be a role model and mentor and making something out of nothing. it's very important for us to remember that somebody is watching. you are somebody's hero and you don't even know it. i never imagined running for any elected office. i realized today that i had been preparing for this for the last 20 years. it's what you do when nobody is watching that is more important. i remind everyone who is running and not running, by your presence, use whatever you have to pour into somebody else's life. when i was national teacher of the year, i said you do not know how this works.
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people step in and out and give you what you need at that time. step aside. that's what true leadership is. it's never about you. it's about the people that you serve. i am so grateful to the shirley chisms and the miss dots. there was a woman in my building who lived on the second floor and the only person i knew with a full set of encyclopedias. they used to give us some samples, so we had a couple. i sat at her table and i just read. i would go to her house after school and read her encyclopedias. she had them and they were hers, but she shared them. she had school supplies. whenever i had a project, i went to her house. i think for us, that sense of community and community building, i know for me has been the foundation of my life. to the question you just asked, hayes, and i'm
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running for congress. [applause] >> we heard that. and we are going claim it. she will be another first. connecticut never had an african-american woman represent them in congress and you are looking at the next congresswoman. [applause] from the state of connecticut. jahana: so i announced my candidacy not even out of the space of frustration, but i have something to add and there is a perspective here that is missing. i have literally, i asked myself the question who will speak for these children and the people who cannot speak for themselves. they did not vote for this, they didn't ask for this. that are in a situation where they have no voice and who will speak for them? i am going to run for congress. i announced 13 days before the connecticut convention. at the convention, i received the nomination which was unheart -- unheard of. you don't have a network and no one knows you. i had never run for office.
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i had no money. i was running against someone, he was not an incumbent, but had a 30-year career in connecticut politics. i received the nomination. don't get excited. because i received the nomination and after a series of vote switches, i lost it. it was taken away by three votes. >> that is voter suppression inside the party. jahana: i was on a screen like this and the screen went black and the leader is tallying votes and then comes out and says that i no longer have the nomination. i'm two points behind. >> i want to clarify. you were saying the republican party did this? jahana: no, this was a democratic convention. i left thinking you know what, i still left with 49% of the votes. this is tremendous. i outperform and did more than i
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i outperform and did more than i thought i would do. in the week that followed that, it did not sit well. this is the part that's important. a panel was convened with the state party to appeal the results of this convention. everyone said to me you should not go to this convention. you will burn every bridge in the democratic party if you show up at this hearing. so i went and i sat in the back. i said i'm going because this is just wrong. i'm going not as a candidate, but as a voter in this district. i trust you with my vote and if you are doing this with the lights on in plain sight, i can't imagine. so the convention, it was the ruling that went unanimously in my favor. everyone warned me against it. i said i'm doing this for the people who don't have a voice. you have to figure out what are you willing to lose over?
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>> that's right. >> i got some of the votes back and still did not have the endorsement. i was a vote behind and i said i'm going to primary. this speaks to what you just said. i met people who said to me, it's so crazy that i'm even here. i met people who said to me, will you be able to stand up to this current administration, democratic leadership, will you be able to stand up to this democratic murder leadership even when it's not popular. that's a strange question coming from the same person unwilling to stand up for me even when it's not popular. we are in the same party and you are telling me you support me, but yet you can't step out. i think that is what happened. we can't accuse other people of being unwilling to do it. you know, i am ina very unique
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position and i watched and i pray about it and i'm humbled by it where you receive this overwhelming support. i went to primary and the candidate who had no money and no network and no political clout and won 62% of the vote. and then people, you get flooded with advice and support. it's easy to support me and popular to support me now. i am so incredibly grateful for the people who prayed with me and walked with me and stepped out with me. i think it's very important to acknowledge when the votes were switched on -- i'm sorry. there is a woman here today, her name is veronica and she was one of the chairs.
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one of the delegates at this convention. it was her town that was switching the votes. she went in not supporting me. they had a candidate, but literally the same thing. this is just wrong. she stood up and was very vocal and made her voice known and she said i will work every day to help you get elected. this was wrong. people were stepping outside party lines and defying, if you will, public leadership. this is not that revolutionary. on the one hand, you are applauding us for stand ug up. i will not just step in line or step in somebody's footprints. wrong is just wrong. >> veronica, can you stand?
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i want everybody to see you. how many of you all we all need veronicas in our life. whether you run for an elected officer, you need somebody who is going lift up your arms and have your back and stand up for what's right. seriously. tears in my eyes. >> she took some hits for me. >> i believe it. >> that are did not go well. >> and veronica said i don't give a damn. >> it did not go unnoticed. it was a very difficult primary. very difficult. people had to be bold and unapologetic. >> i will go to ayana. >> before i was on the boston city council, i was an aide on
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the federal level for 16 years. i was a faithful foot soldier since i was in utero to elect democrats throughout the common wealth of massachusetts and throughout this country. i was running to represent a district that is 57% people of color, 30% foreign born, 40% single female headed households. massachusetts, the birth place of the abolitionist and the suffragettes had never elected a woman of color in the 230 year history of the house. we are the bastian of liberal politics, but we are rhetorically liberal. when we tout diversity and inclusion, when it comes to
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power and wealth, the standards change. people thought it audacious after 16 years of my toiling in democratic politics, eight years as an elected official, three times as the top votegetter that i would run. in addition, that's 57% people of color. what would have been audacious is if i didn't run. what i want to say -- i want to acknowledge this. i knew it was going to be lonely and uphill and bruising because we don't primary democrats. i was up against a progressive good guy. 10 terms, 20 years. they had not had a choice for a generation. he earned 23% of the vote 20 years ago and had gone unchallenged for 20 years. i will say that establish folk will feel, i believe, more
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emboldened to black leadership if they know you have their back. we play -- if they know that you have their back, we play small. we play small because we are afraid of our own power and because the goal here is addition and multiplication. don't get afraid. they don't want to cancel themselves out in the elevation of you. this is about their own fear of their political capital. but if aides aren't saying, i can't go against that because i'm going to lose that donor or lose that endorsement and lose the foot soldiers of that union, they'll step out. i believe that. so the conviction is not just of us that will put our names on the ballot, but it is of all of you that support the people
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behind that and the people that are already there. that will embolden folks. >> there are literally like tears right here, i'm psyched. this is -- this conversation as spiritual to me. there's something about it that's just like -- i'm going to say it this way. kamala harris told me and it's something i keep repeating to folks in this work we have to remember we're not alone. and i'm saying that to you because to ayanna's point she just said, if folks know you have their back, they'll do it. if you recognize your power,
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know you're not standing up alone, not going out to fight trying to win an election or supporting it like a veronica is, you will do different. right now, what we are experiencing is a tremendous shift in the party. for the first time no, the democrats are not republicans, right. we know what the republicans are espousing our way. this is not on the cbc foundation.
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i'm standing as an individual, it is a nonpartisan organization but i'm partisan and we're going to talk about racism. the thing that we have to get right as democrats, as progress six, particularly as we go further down the line to young people who don't identify in either one of those boxes, right, we have to get rid of the institutional racism that has been pervasive in this country and has infected the republican party and the democrat party. the conversation is spiritual to me because i'm like, thank you all for being bold enough to tell this truth in this room, but also on my instagram live so we'll make sure the democrats -- now here's the thing, miss sewell, i have to come to you, what is astounding to me is so often we talk about there's not enough black representation in the south, in the south, in the south, in the south. the south is struggling with racism. the liberals in the north have it. massachusetts, connecticut, democratic party, like i want to hear from you on johanna said it best, who is going to speak for these kids. you have been a champion for voting rights for us fighting back against republican voter suppression but what do we do when we turn back around and see some of those same suppressive tactics to keep us out and isolated. what do we do to make sure we're holding the party accountable and not keeping our voices out, silencing us, and showing we really can make us better. that's what this is about. >> first, let me just say, congress is going to be okay in the 116th congress because we're going to have some great voices added to this. >> yeah. >> i think the most important thing to remember is that the power lies with you all as voters. i just want -- we couldn't do
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this, we could not do this, without people coming to support us, to, you know, retweet our stuff, help post content. we can't do this without you. that includes being bold enough in the face of power to speak truth to that power and to call it what it is. i think that when i think about the south i was the first black woman to represent alabama in 2010. i can't believe alabama beat massachusetts and connecticut but unless you go and activate and engage your civic engagement, what is your vote? it's for not. and yet, every lever of government affects everything we
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do. we have to get excited about the fact that now shelby, a decision has happened 33 states, 33 have enacted forms of voter suppression, a photo i.d. many millennials shrug their shoulders. think of all the people who do not have a photo. state legislature lay tour can determine what form of i.d. is valid and when a hunting license is valid but a state university student i.d. is not, there is a problem. >> yes. that's alabama. when a photo i.d. in those popular photo i.d. is a
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driver's license and folks in alabama, because oh, we're running out of money, the state legislature decides to close down dmvs where people get driver's license, that's voter suppression, people. there are modern day barriers to voting and unless we get upset about it, unless we are fighting about it, unless we are calling it out, whether it's internally
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within the democratic party or it's external to -- in our government, in our nation, we've got to get excited about it. i see my interns nodding because i have to ask them why are millennials not excited about voting. there was a big presidential debate and there was notrg
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onequestion about voting. did you notice that? people are not excited about voting. we all have a right to vote. when people closes down polling stations because we no longer have the voting rights act of 1965 and they don't have to give you advance notice they're closing down polling stations so you see lines wrapped around the building think about the people who struggled to get to that line, who have -- to leave work early to go vote because alabama, we don't have early voting, it's 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on a tuesday, period, full stop. we've got to get excited about it. i think that i believe in deliverables and i want you all to know that we can't do it
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without you all and as candidates, the three of us are candidates, with these two are activists on the ground working to mobilize and do field and get people to the polls. what kenya did an amazing job as the dnc's -- [applause] >> the dnc's african-american outreach she came to alabama and lived in alabama for literally three months on the ground. you know, when doug jones says it's not about doug jones, i'm here to tell you he's right, it's not about doug jones, it's about alabama wanting to have a voice in congress that reflected their values. no one was more vested than the seventh congressional district. my district happens to be the majority minority district in the state of alabama. for the longest, all ten years,
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eight years that i was here, i was by myself. the lone democrat in alabama's delegation. no one was more vested in having a democrat than me. i could not have done it if we hadn't had people on the ground, now you know, you've been doing this a long time, natasha has been doing this a long time. it's important that we give credit where credit is due. there's not enough african-american operatives who get paid. >> that's right. >> there are not enough african-american pollsters. when you do this work you're having to hire these people and the people that you're hiring often don't look like you. >> tell it. >> that's a problem. there's a problem. when i look at young women that's why i am so pleased to have an african-american woman as my finance director. she needs to learn how to raise some money. >> stand up. stand up. that's important. that's important. >> because you have to give opportunities. we have to give opportunities. we have to create opportunities for ourselves, let's be clear, none of us got up here because
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somebody anointed us, so we have to create opportunities and then give opportunities for others. i would love it if we could pivot to why it's so important. we spend millions of dollars for house races and most of it is on television when really, it's the people driving folks to the polls that actually gets votes that elect you. tv doesn't vote. but i'm just saying, we've got to figure that out. i would love to hear from our activist, you know. >> i'm getting there. miss sewell, so i love her because this is the same energy she has about protecting you all's voting rights even if you don't live in alabama. i want you to know this is our voting rights champion in the house of representatives and we thank you. like i love her. like if you're not excited now, i don't know what to tell you. about going to vote, about registering to vote and protecting the vote. thank you, miss sewell.
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natasha, i'm keeping my eyes on the prize. miss sewell in her remarks, i'm about to get in trouble, i'm not going to look at her, she talked about wanting to ensure and alabamians wanting to ensure they have someone that represented their values and their interests in the senate. you were a key to ensure this 98% number turned out for doug jones. i want to talk to you a lot about what you did to get women, black folks, excited about going to vote against roy moore, but also for doug jones and then i want to ask a follow-up
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question, what we do to ensure he doesn't forget for those of you who don't know, the context is the senator shared the stage with the lovely terri sewell a couple days ago for an opening session here and -- oh. hold on. i asked him if he were going to vote for brett kavanaugh's nomination how will he vote and he said he doesn't deal in hypotheticals. i asked him, i told him i'm sure there are a lot of black women in the room who want him to deal in hypotheticals and he didn't still but he had a meeting with him next week. for those of you who need an action item when you leave here, 202-224-3121 is the switchboard operator for the capital. call doug jones and tell him black women everywhere said [inaudible] we got to do something. >> you're right. i think i want race wasn't about doug jones.
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what we said is this ain't about roy moore. and so it's important that we're having authentic messages with our people because let's be honest, we're saying that when we're going out in the street and talking to young folks and talking to people who are saying i don't want to vote, any of you all who have done election work, i don't believe my vote is going to make a difference, how many of you have heard people say, they're going to do what they
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want to do anyway? this question, i want you to be honest, how many have you felt like either one of those. and i do voter work every day of my life. i'm raised in that because unless we start from a framework of authenticity to be able to
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speak to what people want, it's not really about voting, it's about power, it's about how do we build power in our communities so that we can actually think about and talk about self-governance. we should -- we're the majority in the community and should be controlling the budget. that's like a non -- like a no-brainer, right. but at the end of the day, we have something to offer for all of americans. we have something to offer when we're talking about health care, for all people. when we're talking about rights for all people.
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ultimately what our work consisted of was actually using the infrastructure -- because i am from alabama and a southern baptist, you know, there's a bible story my grandmother would say and talk about moses and moses thought he wanted to get something different and god said use what's in your hand. family. use what's in our hand. what we have when we don't have resources and don't have the people -- when we don't have the party support, we have the people. and when you are able to touch and connect and mobilize people, that's what will make the difference. it is not by accident what you saw in alabama, that's not by accident. the south is rising, y'all. say you heard it here. the south is rising, right. what you saw in georgia, what you're seeing in georgia with the african-american woman, that's years of work, of people that created that space. what you're seeing in florida with andrew gillum, that's years
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of folks. the re0dk= the polls don't know they're talking to the wrong folks. they're not talking to the people we're talking to. they're not talking to the miss josephine down the street. we're talking to them. particularly in alabama and other places like alabama what has happened this is for you all as well, we have always, this is the idea that you don't have infrastructure, that in the black community there's no infrastructure, and particularly i've heard this in the party field, and being a consultant, right, that part of it, our infrastructure -- we've always
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had infrastructure even during -- during our enslavement there was always a system on that plantation to move food, there was always a system to pray, there was always a system to learn how to read that worked for us. it has always worked for us. that's what we actually have to plug into. ultimately what we do in our communities now and i think all of these women if you ask them, they've all had strong grassroot relationships. it's relational organizing that has helped and is feeding the campaign. certain things we did is, we actually worked with grassroot groups, they may be churches and may be women and the sororities or fraternities, the infrastructure available in our community being able to tap into that infrastructure and being able to share a message an authentic message about people listening instead of always going to folks trying to extract something from them, that they see you coming to the door, you have somebody that calls you and you see them on your phone and you don't want to answer the phone because they want something, right, right. people don't like that. but it's different when people
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are actually listening and listening to what folks -- folks will tell us what they want if we just listen. i think that ultimately in alabama what happened is, what has always happened to help with the liberation of our people, it is using our power around our relationship, being able to connect, being able to say authentic messages an tap into the existing infrastructure. know the south is rising. >> right. >> i love it. >> i want to come to you, because it's important, you have to sit -- if i could define this in a way, it's the dual consciousness that the boys talked about but you just don't have to do it in the country as a black woman but internal to the party. we haven't been bashing the party but setting the stage for the truth about what's happening and what needs to change and you're there to work on that. i want to give you this other example to respond to. she's not here to talk about it.
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she was supposed to be on the panel but stacy adrams, an example i've used a lot in speeches now, black people, especially running for statewide office r often told they're not electable. have you heard that? right. they're not electable. not enough of y'all heard it. you heard it here first. stacy abrams is one of those people and the party establishment, including black folks, the establishment, systemic racism can come from multiple shades because it's systemic. including black people in the party establishment, so stacy abrams she wasn't electable so much so they engaged in what i'll call voter confusion, right, by putting someone named stacy evans on that same ballot with stacy abrams, hoping that black folks and oppressed people wouldn't know the difference. we came up with a thing called black safety. black safety ended up beating white safety because she was more qualified.
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to go back to what she had been saying she had been working and proving herself. and gave white stacy a platform on something. anyway. so i want to go to you, kenya, to help us understand how the party is going to move out of this, especially with the recent -- there was a situation also in the same race, the chair of the party tom perez told stacy abrams he was not getting involved in primaries, but he just got involved in a primary. he endorsed governor cuomo in the new york primary because cynthia nixon was running against him. i want to understand how the
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party is going to start working itself out of its hypocrisy and what your role will be in helping to shed that. it's so important to the 98% and so many more, you can get the 2% if y'all can check this out as natasha said they're going to do what they want to do anyway, the only way out is for us to start having these conversations and moving to action that looks different. >> i'm actually going to quote our black caucus chair and say, while they're going to do what they're going to do, we're going
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to do what we're going to do. that -- being from the south, you hear stuff like that all the time. it's not just about running for an office but just coming from that particular region of the country you always have doubt and that doubt comes sometimes from our own people. one thing that we have to do as a community is keep going. we can't let other people determine who we are. whether you're running for office or organizing or whatever. you have to approach -- and it's one of the approaches i take on the inside. angela, we've had different conversations about me going to the party and about that, but, you know, like i believe that out of pressure comes diamond. i need your pressure. that's how i'm able to do things i'm able to do within the party. it's not just me, but other women who look like me that do things this work.i cave to uplift my colleagues, i report to her, who is a deputy national finance director, we need your support and come in the form of pressure or criticism or whatever because most of that is valid. one of the reasons i came to the party because it was valid and i believe that i could only make the change that i needed by being there. if we're not at that table we're on the menu. you won't see changes because we were in a position to say, we need to invest in black rural communities when we could, not to a candidate, but to infrastructure, like natasha said we've always had infrastructure. you have to know how to operate
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it. we can't depend on people who don't look like us to organize us. that's our job. and we do that well. >> you to have the support. >> i was getting ready to ask what does support look like to you in that role? i think it's an important thing to understand because there is a balance between constructive criticism and the support that you need to really be equipped to move the party in a better, stronger direction. >> well, support looks like terri sewell, it looks like speaking out, a convening of congressional members with the party infrastructure and saying, what y'all are doing ain't enough and we need money on the ground. i've been saying that, but when she says it helps move things. support looks like folks like you who call us out, right, but also looks like people who send me texts or calls or e-mails, people i haven't spoken to in a while to say thank you because you're there, i can see the difference, i feel the difference, even when people who i have known forever and looked up to, called sister, called
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friend, attacked me. it looks like that. looks like ordinary women who say thank you. people in pittsburgh, people in cleveland, people in baton rouge and new orleans, people in alabama, birmingham, that looks like support to me. melanie campbell, all these people hold -- who have it for a long time felt like this was their party feels like this is their party now because i'm there and doing the work every day for ayanna pressley, for johanna hayes for stacy abrams for folks you don't know and commissioners and state represent tivs who need a shot, they need a platform, they need a digital cut for them. i'm in a position to say can we get some crew down there to get this done. it ain't much, but it's enough. that's what we have to realize. [applause] >> yeah. >> most of white house get a seat at the -- most of us who get a seat at the table have to speak up. you have to say -- what she
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can't say. what kenya can say to some of the stuff i can say to tom perez. the reason why doug got in office was because there were a whole bunch of people he doesn't even know that did a whole bunch of work to help him get there. you need the resources. i want to make sure the virsz resources coming in from the dnc went to the people. she's sitting at the table at the dnc. the dnc is coming to alabama asking us for to mobilize our resources for them, you have to say to tom and jamie to their credit they listened. i said, you have got to put money on the ground. do not come to alabama, doing another television ad, not another mail piece, enough mail
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pieces, we need to activate the people on the ground who have been doing this work for free, they need resources. they need resources. helping direct that is important. so, you know, that wasn't just calling tom, that was talking to chuck schumer and at the dsdc. they have resources but you want them deployed in a way that makes sense. so when you get to the table, not just -- it's not just getting to the table of power, when you have a seat at the table, what are you going to do with that power? >> that's right. >> you have to -- >> something very important. you said you want them deployed in a way that makes sense. i think i would add to that sentence and say, in a way that makes sense to me. people will tell you how to deploy and i remind them that's not working. phone banking is not the only way to run a campaign. you have people who have done this and done it effectively,
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who are unwilling to imagine it any other way than what they've always done. and what i'm trying to say as a listener, as a voter, as a constituent, but that didn't touch me. we're at a place you have candidates being bold and unapologetic saying i'm willing to try something different. that is getting some pushback. because there are different ways of being and doing. there are different ways of communicating. i said it's 2018. i understand and appreciate your advice but this is something that's going to have me left behind. that's a 2010 campaign. we have to deal with the time we are in and the people we are talking to. i am a candidate in connecticut running for congress in a district that is 73% white and has never elected -- the democrats have never elected a person of color to this seat. i have to run a campaign that touches and speaks to the people in the district that i live in.
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so you can't come in and dump advice on me that says and this works and i say, but not for me. if you're not willing to listen to me, don't invite me to the table, take a picture of my smile but tell me don't open my mouth. i'm not that girl. i think we will do a disservice in this moment if our conversation does not -- if we don't have a critical analysis about what party politics mean. i think we really do have to have an evolution of thought around that. primarily because i do think that the paradigm of political parties in general, both
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republican and the democrats, have shifted. trump was not the party candidate. let's be honest. now they claim him now because they're all scared. he wasn't the first, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth. he attacked all of them and got there. they still don't know. >> part of that is because there has been a paradigm shift in the roles of political parties in the country that we really have to be engage in that conversation so that we're not -- i always liken it to what i call the blockbuster syndrome. do you remember blockbuster? okay. so blockbuster at one point was on every single corner, right. they were on every corner, they had the market on lock, right. and what they did is they provided a service. their service was on demand video. people who wanted to have movie, they go to blockbuster, right. and so they were even on wall street, they were doing that well, that lucrative, had a monopoly. they had it on long. along came something called netflix. the service, the need didn't change. the same demand was having video demand. right. on video demand. what they did is their service
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delivery, their framework changed. i think we can look at -- i think the democratic party has to make a question of, are you going to be a blockbuster or a netflix? so i think the blockbuster model of we need to make sure we're putting all of our resources to attract the moderate white voter, i don't know f this ain't a demonstration that that's a blockbuster model, i don't know what is. i think there is -- we have to have deep conversations and an analysis talking about how the landscape has changed, right, and what we need to do and not necessarily what the -- how i see it, what will the party do, getting the party -- the party is going to have a seat at the
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table and invite us. no, no, no. it's our table. >> that's right. >> we have to think about it, power for people at our table. then the vehicle and our partners and the framework in which we set the table, becomes something different. it's not about necessarily trying to tear either party down or particularly the democratic party, particularly since that's the party that is really aligned and then a value to my community, right, but it is around just in my life, i surround myself with folks who push me, who are critical of me, who want me to really operate at excellence. we want the same thing. we want this party to operate in the spirit of excellence so that it is reflective to the people it's supposed to serve. >> and on that point -- [applause] thank you. on that point i want to say to [inaudible]
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because i heard you getting emotional, i know it's a tough job. i know it's a tough a but the reason i didn't want you to go is because i did not want you to go into blockbuster when you are netflix. i want you to have your own table. so i'm not saying that there's no benefit to you being there, but to me as your sister, the benefit is greater to you from the outside, what you can do to help reshape and reform that party. we talk all the time on our team there's an article and i hope you will read it in the harvard business review that came out a few years ago called "understanding new power" and
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the problem is it's an old power paradigm. we gave you a black stacy versus white stacy example, you have johanna and ayanna, we know that's an old power model. she's better than that. no shade to the party but shade because it's true and doesn't feel good but that's why. i just want you to know that publicly. i love you, i don't like that. i'm not doing anything for the party right now and i'm also not a republican, i'm progressive, but i believe that progressives don't have to tell me how to reach black people better than black progressives can tell us how to do that. i think that's an ongoing theme. ayanna -- >> all of us. >> yeah. >> not all of us are progressives miss sewell said. >> well -- >> i think and i appreciate you for that but say that my decision in coming to work for the party was never about me. it was about my people. >> i see. >> because my people have to be in this world and have to exist, i owe it to our community to make sure that someone like them is there. it's not about me, it's not about you, it's not about anyone else. it's about people like my aunt and my cousins who don't have this opportunity. people from a small town like canton, mississippi, 13,000 people who see me and see them and see their voice being represented and even though i'm not a member of congress, they need someone who works for them every single day. it's not just people of canton, but also the people of the
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united states. the black people of the united states. the women people of the united states. all people of the united states. need someone in that position, in a position, that is willing to go to bat for them even when it's not popular, when it's not fair. let me tell you one of the things in going into alabama, can you get this -- i can't get nobody. you can't ask me to come talk to my people for free. i'm not going to do it. i have -- i was raised, born and raised in the naacp. my grandmother was a charter member of the canton, mississippi, naacp with an eighth grade education. i don't believe in free labor. don't believe in it. [applause] >> be real about it, this work for us is not just about race, it's about responsibility. the people who look like us who don't have the privilege of being able to come to d.c., sit on the panel and talk about what we think. no. they live -- these are lived experiences that we have to go to bat for every day and as a person who has several
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experiences i'm going to do that always. >> all right. [applause] >> so on this blockbuster/netflix theme, what i do want to say is, because now ultimately we won by 18 points. i did not accept corporate pac money. we raised $1 million in grassroots donations, the median contribution was $64. hold on. i have people who contributed $1, experiencing homelessness living in shelter that came every day. 14-year-olds that were canvassing on days that it was like walking the surface of the sun it was so hot. 250 black men behind the walls of nci norfolk who endorsed me and organized their families on the outside.
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>> come on. >> now what i'm saying -- [applause] and miss josephine on the phone. calling all her church ladies. what i want to say is that i don't -- we can't get so focused and frameworked and model we forget message. >> that's right. >> so people keep asking me what am i going to do about the leader and i say the same thing, it's not an artful dodge of the question, would you hire a principal for a school if you didn't know the mission and value statement of that school? we need to have a discussion about the mission and the value statement of this party. not -- [applause] now listen, we get marketing. we got some awesome slogans. i'm trying to get beyond hash tags unless they [inaudible], but beyond a value that we espouse and hash tags and bumper stickers, but putting in equity to make the values are real. those brothers endorsed me
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because they felt seen and heard. the 14-year-olds canvassing because they felt seen and heard. miss josephine felt seen and heard. when we talk about the millennials we had a meeting with our state party, i do want to talk about not just the dnc, let's talk about the state parties, the ward committees, okay, we need to get granular in this reform, okay, but they said -w well, you know, this was just magical. there was nothing magical about it. what happened is, when you demonstrate to people that you give a dam about them then they give a dam about democracy. >> that's right. >> you have to show up and meet people where they are and i had plenty of consultants and this consultant industrial concept that were fired because there
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was not an alignment of value and told me i was wasting my time on college campuses but i want to say these young people showed up because i was talking about one-time cancellation of student debt. they showed up. they showed up because i'm going to say this as a voter, we have given elected officials and policymakers a pass. they get to talk in slogans and check boxes and listen i was the only candidate that had a violence in trauma plank in my platform. why did i have that? most elected officials you go to and say what are you doing about violence, i support gun control. we tell them that's good enough. you go to them as a woman and they say well, i support choice. are you good? they go to immigrants and assume every immigrant is latino. you know how many black immigrants live in the massachusetts seven. they will say i support immigration reform. are you good? they go to the lbgtqia and say i support marriage quality, are you good? we don't live in checked boxes or bumper stickers.
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we live in intersectionalty and we need to demand more and that's why democrats it is not enough to just talk about a blue wave and democrats being in the majority. what matters is who are those democrats. that's what matters. [applause] that's what matters. >> oh, my god. the doors of the church are open, child. >> so i'm just saying -- [applause] >> i'm just saying, we have to have a conversation about the guts and the soul of this party and our message because all the reconfiguring of the service delivery without a message that is resonating and authentic doesn't matter. that's what we have got to get straight. i reject the notion that this is about working class white folk and everyone else. i reject the notion that we're going to have an actual debate
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about if we are the party of jobs and the economy or of criminal justice reform when the issues are conflated. i'm not choosing. we have got to get that straight and then we can get to the service delivery. >> that's right. okay. i mentioned the doors of the church are open. [applause] before there's a benediction there's time for the congregation to ask questions. let me tell you something about this church, we had enough preachers, including the moderator, and i just want to ensure that you have a question. and i know this has been spiritual and even i pontificated but i need you not to, i need you to promptly get to your question and ask your question to one of the panelists and if you do not, be an abrupt church service because i have to cut you off. there's no organ but i will cut you off. we'll take your question. name, where are you from? >> well good morning. >> good morning.
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>> i am karen stanley fleming, i do currently live in buffalo, new york, but i am from the distinguished congresswoman's great state of alabama. [applause] my question is for her because when i hear some of the righteous anger of the sister from mississippi, hello, where my husband is from, and alabama, there is something about the south rising again and so my question representative sewell, what was in your mind when you set aside the 31 million for historic rights preservation. i'm feeling it had something to do with if we understood our history we could get on fire about voting. if you would share that with this audience. maybe somebody here needs to apply for the $50,000 or that $500,000 because i certainly intend to on behalf of my parents, high school in alabama, so if you see that application coming through. >> that's a lot of shout outs.
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>> what were you thinking? >> so, really, i think it goes to having a seat at the table. what my -- the seventh congressional district is birmingham, selma, montgomery, marion, tuscaloosa, a lot of historic stuff happened there. i see it as an avenue for economic revitalization. a little selfish, but it's not just my district. so many other districts would benefit as well because we know that if we don't learn from our past, we are going to repeat the past. i think that -- so the -- i went to the president at the time obama and said i think that for the 50th anniversary of the selma and montgomery march it's not enough we have a department of interior with historic preservation grants, how about we do specific grants for civil rights sites and then clyburn said why don't we do specific grants for civil rights sites on
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hbcus too. we started a conversation based on our life experience knowing that those kinds of historic preservation grants can be a catalyst for economic revitalization of our community. there's too many of those churches are crumbling. on saturday, tomorrow, will be the 55th anniversary of the 62 baptist church bombing of the four little black girls killed. it's never lost on me i walk the halls of congress because they cannot. and what are we doing to move it forward. what are we doing to pay it forward. historic preservation grants for civil rights sites and there are 31 million, you were right, fyi are available. special grants you apply for and due october 8th fiscal year. if you want any more information about it go to my website because we have it posted on my
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website, sewell.house.gov. october 8th. >> can i just say representative sewell is not just fighting for people in alabama. she championed and led the charge to get child car as a reimbursable campaign expense. i was the first candidate in connecticut to use it and i was told well let's wait and see what other people around the country are doing. i don't care what other people are doing. i have a child and need child care. she was helping me before she even knew she was helping me. i know that by me doing that and having that show up as a line item on my report, the person at home thinking about doing this is saying, i could never do this because i have a child, you know, we're breaking down barriers from 50 years ago, barriers today and just reminding people that no, you can do this. stand on my shoulders because i've already started to pave the way for you. for that i thank you. >> thank you. >> hello, mark harrison, from the washington, d.c., area and
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prince george's county next door. i have a question about the point that you raised about the party not endorsing -- staying out of primaries. all right. i want to hear does that also include members of congress? should they stay out of primaries as well? the issue has become the issue of incumbency and some -- one of the candidates up there now, some people didn't want to endorse her but she won anyway, the sister from boston. so we have this concern even with cbc members who are concerned about incumbency. what is the position on staying out of primaries? is that the party apparatus or what about members of congress themselves? >> well, thank you for that question. the reason that that's the position that we try to take in most instances is because it gets us in the business of
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picking winners and losers. you know, we believe that will of the people shall decide. that is what we ultimately say and encourage our state parties do the same thing. they don't necessarily follow those rules. sometimes that puts us in a compromising position. because of where we sit we don't want anything to tip the scales. we saw in 2016 where people trust in us became more of an issue and so we try to stay away from that and across the party apparatus in general when i say party i'm not just talking about the dns but the dga, all the other sister committees, that is the practice and i think that also just for members of congress, they don't want to be seen as tipping the scales either. so that's kind of where we are as democrats. and the will of the people is choosing people like ayanna pressley and like johanna hayes and that's what we want to see.
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then you get the message to your point that things are shifting and then we have to also change our way of thinking and doing. >> we are having to, you know, we're ushering a new paradigm in every way, disruptive candidacies disrupting congressional wisdom, when they can run and how they run and when. so i told every aspiring candidate do not put so much emphasis on endorsements because oftentimes those endorsements aren't working. they didn't invest resources. so it is ultimately about us having the runway and bandwidth between the people. the last thing i want to say is, we need to develop a new litmus test for many of these political mobilization empowerment and women's advocacy organization. okay. because they are defaulting to an incumbency clause or a member's voting record on one single issue and an issue that i consider to be the floor and not the ceiling. i think when we -- when we're
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talking about endorsement it's not just about the dnc as a party all of these organizations are going to have to rethink what their litmus test and criteria is as well. >> oh, lord. i didn't see any -- like hey. i'm sorry about that. >> that's okay. my name is cassandra and i am an obstetrician and gynecologist and i am concerned about the reproductive rights of women. that's why i'm here. i'm glad to see you here. one of the things that i have seen just on the media is like the messaging and kind of staying on message. the republicans have it down for whatever reason, they stay on message whether it be true, false, negative, they stay on message. right.
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but the dnc i feel like -- i guess this question is to miss clayton, how do we get people to stay on message from a democratic side? i believe in collective bargaining and my concern is a lot of the people that we're mobilizing are going to become independent and if we don't stay on message our collective bargaining is dispersed. >> yeah. more than just being a tent, we're a tapestry. when you think about the contract between the two parties, it's easy to be a republican. right. they are all about what they are against, seldom what they are for, unless it's like, you know, like small texas and all that other stuff. but for us, it's a little bit different. right. and i think we struggle with this, we have been struggling with this for a long time, and one of the things that, you know -- i will talk about the table a little bit, it's been referenced, one of the things we're doing with this tour at
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the table we're talking to folks trying to figure out what are the issues you care about the most. because it will come a time for a platform before we go into convention in 2020 and we will need to know from ordinary people about what they care about and figure how we reassemble those folks to talk about what that stuff really means. far too long we've depended on people who aren't like us to tell us what we should be thinking or feeling and i'm approaching it from a different perspective. i'm approaching it from a cultural perspective because everyone, even within our culture, there's differences and there are different opinions and just because we're black doesn't mean we all agree when it comes to issues about reproductive issues in total. it depends on where you're from and moral beliefs and all that stuff. it's hard to define that and to pinpoint that, but i promise you we are working every day. that is a constant conversation we're having right now about what that looks like. you know. [applause] [applause] >> good morning. buenos diaz. my name is doug chavez, native new yorker, but a boston resident and i'm so proud of my congresswoman-elect.
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as a matter of fact, i am gleaming with pride at our leadership up there and i am looking forward to seeing all these wonderful leaders, hopefully improve the democratic party and politics in general. quickly, some may think i'm naive in this room but i envision at least in boston we got a lot of latinos got behind congresswoman-elect presley and i feel and can say i'm naive but the best way to advance under represented communities of color in this country is to build a stronger coalition and bridge with black and brown communities which i feel lack. >> absolutely. >> and i hate and it makes, creates a pit in my stomach when black and brown communities are pitted against eachy other. how, am i naive or do you believe we can build this coalition bridge? obviously i don't think everyone, even in the brown communities we don't all agree and we're all different.
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we're not a monolith group. but i just want to see a vision if that includes that and i pray it does. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> i love it. i say that, we have to learn from our mistakes. the thing that has been most rewarding and the most humbling for me is that across the board what we have received is support from groups, we have japanese women, 120 in california that are writing postcards. on election in the primaries of order ricanected with -- puerto activists. we have a group of progressive
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white, and maybe 80% of the initial campaign for the bus tour we are doing supported by progressive whites. i think, ultimately, if we are talking about issues and we are connecting that authentically, what human beings do not want access to health care. wantare folks who do not folks to have health care, but we are not talking about them. we are talking about having a coalition, it is being able to have a message that is but the larger question of humanity, how do we work together to advance an agenda that impacts all of us, knowing there are nuances. they are say colorblind, i do not trust you find th.
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i have to be invisible for you to be all right. i think it is important that the nuances and culture and richness of the cultures, i like roses because they come in all different colors, and flowers. it is important if we are talking about, and there is evidence of that in the women is generational, interracial coalition, and i think that will connect us is we are standing on issues, and what concerns us, and being inclusive in our message. t-shirt moments came out of today. that is veronica right there. >> i am a proud resident in connecticut where my future
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congressman jahana hayes will be winning in november. , i representedon city council last year, i lost, my platform was representation matters. the question i am asking the women who are running, what can we do as a party to have better representation of black people working in the field, serving as campaign managers, field directors, whatever. aesha is the say coordinator, her title is field rep. we have more young people, black people, old people, whomever get involved
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and work on these campaigns? we need a lot of volunteers, and we need more. needto do volunteer -- we you to volunteer and write checks. how can we get more representation? part of the reason why we are here is because we are talking about how black women have been underrepresented. i see the same thing happen with millennials. when we invite people to the table, do it in a meaningful and purposeful way. in,d a 19-year-old who came and they asked him to put stamps on envelopes. i said, give him a phone. he called, and it is funny because when i went to the community, people said i got a
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phone call from you, the most amazing nine-year-old. you cannot hang up on a nine-year-old. we struck old with lamar. we have to learn from our mistakes. we cannot be in this room having an autopsy on what we did wrong with black women, but then continue to perpetuate those same offenses to millennials, to brown communities, to disengaged communities. i say to people when they come into my headquarters tell me what you're good at and i will find a place. you can't just put anybody on the phone. i'm talking to people and i'm like, not putting you in front of people. that is not your gift. >> that's right. jahana: not your gift. and i, listen to me when i, and i'm going to turn it over to you, but what i have always, when i became national teacher of the year, when i decided to run for congress, one scripture settled in my soul and it has guided me and carried me every single day and it is perhaps you
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have been chosen for such a time as this, for such a time as this, so when people walk through your doors, that is their moment too. you can't take that away from them because people have come in and said i don't know how to volunteer. i've never done this before. you don't want to diminish or devalue anybody's gift. so i say to them, tell me what you know how to do and we'll figure out a way to fit that into this team. and that involves some creativity. some boldness. some diversity of thought. some educating of others. some sharing of your own gifts to feed important to the lives of others. and you can't say there are two rolls, you could canvas or phone bank. that is not how this works. i too, do not believe in free labor. i work too hard. and if you want to keep people, you have to show me i matter. you can't just invite me into
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your room so you could have a photo op of a full room but i never get to talk. and when i do talk, you never hear or consider what it is i said. you never include this as part of your strategy moving forward. nobody has time for that. we don't need a headquarters. you got a phone at home, call me. but just figure out a way to do this different in a way that is meaningful and purposeful. you can't just ask me for my vote. but that's it. i don't get anything. nothing? i don't get to come to the party, i'm not at the vip table and we can't talk and i think that is how millennials are feeling right now. if they are saying to us, i don't watch commercials. i fast forward right through. and we're saying the only way we're communicating with you is through a tv commercial, you already lost them. i was a high school teacher for 15 years.
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[applause] yes. and i'm going to tell you something. as i taught civic education and i registered every student who came through my classroom as a senior to vote, and i will tell you, most of the students are registered unaffiliated. they are not picking a party. they are making you work for their vote, and they take it with them if they don't like what you are doing. they say i don't know. let me wait and see. i have an 18-year-old son through the primary i checked his registration. he unaffiliated. i said, in this house, i don't vote, you don't eat. and he said to me, he said to me and it is probably my proudest moment, well what is your platform? what do you stand for? tell me what you're going to do for me. and if that wasn't me coming through him, so i think we have to be cognizant of that. people want to know what are you going to do for me. i'm promoting this message that says we can't just wait until we are affected by it, we have to fight for it just because it is
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the right thing to do. but what we are affected by definitely frames our decision-making which is why the civil rights legislation was so important to representative sewell and why she led the charge for including childcare as a campaign reimbursable expense. we have to make sure that when we invite people and ask them to come into our space, we actually want them there. and that, i think, is the challenge of the party. we've been invited, but don't really feel welcome. >> before you answer, can we do this quickly. we have several other questions and we only have 8 minutes left. i appreciate it. but nobody else can answer that. i need, you to answer the questions. >> thank you for being teacher of the year. and we need more teachers elected to public office. [applause]
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that is why you got to go. and you asked how to get more people of diversity and diverse backgrounds into campaign work. we have two programs, three programs to push right now to get more people of color involved in democratic campaigns , and i'm not talking about field organizers, i'm talking about finance consultants, press and communications people that is team blue. we're looking to deploy around the country because races to win in november and i don't believe you can't go to communities that don't resonate with you, it is hard to do. but the other thing is team blue, new blue crew we are focusing on college students on campuses. if you want more information see me after this. >> yes, ma'am.
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>> good morning. i'm an abolitionist, prison and police. i'm a former public defender and currently a master's student at nyu studying policy and i'm curious to know, i'm a firm believer that the system is working exactly how it was intended to work. so until it is no longer, oppression will persist. so i'm curious to know your thoughts on abolition but any inspiring words for a young woman looking to affect policy in a positive way for communities of color. any advice that you have? thank you. >> before anyone answers, let's do this quickly. i'm going to try to get all of these questions in and then let everybody close out and we'll wrap. abolition is the first question. >> my name is alexis locket from arizona and i work at a college in arizona and so we have a lot
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of brown and black students. and i want to know as a millennial woman, young black woman, what can i do as an activist? i just feel like with my studies, i don't know if i'm doing enough what, is enough as a young millennial? >> thank you. nice question. >> hi. i'm j.d. and i'm from arizona, here as a student. and i've always been a little confused about my idea of blackness. black men are not supposed to have emotions other than anger or happiness. our emotions are marginalized as far as what we're supposed to do society, and black women have been marginalized to the point of not even really being part of the discussion until now. and i haven't even seen the things i've seen from black
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previously, and i have an amazing mom. she's the greatest person i've ever known. my dad is not shabby. married to my mom, he's always a great protector. i don't have a story. i come from arizona with 7% black people and i don't have a story to fight for, really. i see, the civil rights movement in my house when i grew up. and i am still confused about blackness sometimes. i'm not after the caucus. you're all role models and you just stood for what you believed in not knowing you would be up here one day. i'm sold on black women for sure. [laughter] >> y'all can clap for that. that's all right. [applause] i do need your question. position, i domy
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not know if there is anything i can push forward now, but what can i do for candidate? >> my question, good afternoon. my question is for representative sewell. you mentioned voter suppression. what are strategies we can do to overcome challenges, because you mentioned polls are closing, certain documents are no longer valid, what are the challenges we can use to overcome? >> good morning. i am the owner of a political firm in nashville, tennessee. at the state and local level, black women organizing, we see a lot of women of color running against each other, and not a lot of pipeline building.
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, weork at the local level still fight with each other so much, and lose races that we could be winning. what would you say to folks that are working on that? >> good morning. native attending the university of connecticut as a freshman. if someone wants to be a future know how didt to you get through the challenges and obstacles you faced? and i want to know how you --rcame them, and what hold what did you hold onto, what did you strength? and what did you do when you want to give up? >> hello, i am a freshman at howard university, and i had a question about what she was
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saying about young people not voting anymore. my question is, what would you say to somebody like me who is interested in politics and wants to get involved? how do i inspire my classmates? that makes me lose hope. i want some inspiration. >> good morning. i am a recent graduate from virginia state university in the bronx, new york native. i just came back from field organizing for cynthia nixon. my question is, a lot of millennials feel like people do not want to vote because nobody is speaking for us, the message is not worded toward millennials. how can we make sure that message is worded toward millennials, and how can we ensure millennials are inspired to want to vote, because people
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were inspired to vote for ayanna pressley, but when they do not speak to our values, we do not want to vote anymore. how do we make sure our votes matter and we are not a backend voter? >> good morning. i am from new york city. i want to find out, i am late to the party, do you utilize, organize labor and political action programs to help with phone banking and things like that? this is congressman sewell's foreign because she should close this out.
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the first question is on modern-day abolition, where do you stand on that? the second is on financial aid, and are you doing enough? the next question is some confusion around blackness, and what can you do for candidates to represent your values? the next question is on voter andression, the challenges can we overcome those? and annexed is building a pipeline at the local level, how can we do that? aspiring --n inspiring future leader, how do you come over obstacles? then, young people need to be inspired, she will do that in these remarks so we will cover that there. and then the final question is
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on utilizing organized labor, which i know you do to support your campaign, and that is it. >> was this not an awesome panel or what? [applause] we have to make sure we give a hand of applause to our moderator. [applause] you.a: thank >> i will take a point of personal privilege and say we will be here for at least five or 10 minutes afterwards, but to the extent i do not get to your questions, i am sure one of the panelists will take a stab at it. i will take another point of personal privilege and thank the alabamians in the house. [applause] our electedcognize council,.our city
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i know council and hilliard was minority leader from alabama is here, anthony daniels. another point of personal privilege and thank my staff who was amazing. [applause] i want to thank my communications director who give us great information. thank you so much. massachusetts is in this room too. [applause] >> let me close out by summarizing everything the young
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folks who ask the questions asked. is in your hands as the electorate. if you take nothing else from this panel, i hope you take civic engagement. who you elect is important, that you vote is important, that you vote in every election is important. the best way to get involved is to know the power you have as a member of this amazing democracy. democracy a great that allows us to protest, get into good trouble as john lewis would say. we live in a great democracy, but what makes it less perfect is the fact we are human. we have to get off of our
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complaining and realize everything that affects us can be changed through the vote. when you do not feel like voting, that is when you have to vote, when you feel like your vote does not matter, that is when you need to vote. have you do that to young people? my mom, who was a librarian, and i was blessed to have library books in my house growing up, used to say you do not have to be a candidate or a member of congress to make a difference. teachers make differences every day in the lives of people. [applause] >> a lot of teachers are here today. >> members of organized labor differences every day. i challenge you to choose an ,ssue, whatever your issue is
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galvanize interest among your peers around that issue. that is called advocacy. i gary you to be an advocate -- dare you to be an advocate. you not only invest your time which is valuable, but you give that, and i cannot ask without doing my part. women joining in congress -- this is in her [applause]
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>> as a former executive this, noti am saying on behalf of the congressional black caucus. >> put your money where your mouth is. it is not how much you give, it is that you give. called investing in the people. ok. so what i want you to remember, all of the folks who asked questions about what to do to get engaged and how can i feel excited and what could i do about voter suppression? write a check. support a candidate. support an issue. support a party. get engaged. get engaged. you cannot be on the sidelines in this election. november 2018 is a -- they say all elections have consequences. that is true. and that all elections are consequential. but i want you to know that right now we have no checks and balances.
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in this democracy, we need to have checks and balances. and so i'm begging you as a member of the house of representatives to help us flip the house. and you can do that in your individual capacity. [applause] so if you are not old enough to vote, make sure your momma, your daddy, your grand momma, they vote. and if you are, if you are a voter, go and vote. we have gotten great at registering people to vote. and when i think about doug jones' campaign, it was very organic. we were all singing from the same hymnal, which is, your vote can matter. collectively we can make a difference. collectively when we go vote and we vote in numbers we elect amazing candidates. and that's how we move this nation forward. so i just want all of you to know we should all feel inspired by the folks on this panel and i hope that you're inspired enough that you will choose an issue,
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choose a candidate, and go and vote in november's election. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, everyone.
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>> on capitol hill, the senate returns for business monday 2:00 p.m. eastern. lawmakers will debate a bill to combat opioid abuse. final votes on both measures at 5:30. work onwill continue 2019 federal spending, including extending federal funding through the midterm elections. current funding expires at the end of the month. >> leading up to the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i, on november 11, every week and on american history tv, special programs about the war. andn late july, 1918,
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immediate step two taking american forces on the line. >> sunday, on american artifacts, northeastern france and the story of visiting villages, monuments, and the american cemetery to the battle on the western front. >> it was rainy, it was chilly. the americans launched an attack to the north of where we are standing. unbeknownst to them, the germans, who had occupied had withdrawal, and were moving their troops, but did not move them quick enough. by the end of the day, the americans reached not only the main objectives for that day, but many of the objectives for the following day. 13, therning september
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whole area had been liberated. >> watch american artifacts sunday on c-span3. tuesday morning, we are live in springfield, illinois for the 41st stop of the c-span bus capitals tour. .im butler will be on our bus it starts at 9:40. >> at the state department friday, secretary of state mike pompeo accused one of his predecessors of undermining u.s. policy. when asked about reports of former secretary of state john kerry meeting with iranian officials. secretary pompeo spoke about election security, north korea, and hurricane response efforts. this is 15 minutes.

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