tv National Action Network Legislative Policy Conference Day 2 CSPAN November 14, 2018 6:35pm-8:00pm EST
black power and the meredith march against fear." and author charles hughes on the role of music through his book "country soul: making music and making race in the american south." on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. the history of cotton in memphis during the mid 19th century. and then a visit to the national civil rights museum. watch c-span's cities tour of memphis saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv. on c-span3. as we explore america. >> the national action network is holding its annual legislative and policy conference on capitol hill this week. we begin this portion of today's session with remarks from new york congresswoman yvette clarke. it's an hour and a half.
>> you know, i was elected in 2016 initially. and when i first came to congress, we were the biggest class of democrats taking back the house at that time. and they called us the majority makers. what i want to say to you in this room in 2018, you are the majority makers. you are the ones who went out and you made sure that the
voters came out. you made sure that whatever was needed for us to take the moral high ground and to take the leadership to move this nation in the direction in which we would like to see it go, you did what had to be done and i am grateful and so are all of my colleagues. for what you've done and your continued sacrifice. i have to tell you, you haven't made it. yes, we have a victory in the house of representatives. ut that is only temporary.
for the first time in history, there are a record number of women coming to the united states congress. there is a record number of women coming. because, you know, in all actuality, it ought to be 50-50 in a society like ours. if we want to talk about equality we want to talk about equity, we want to make sure that our voices are reflective of who we are as a nation, it ought to be 50-50. but we're going to take what we got right now and be grateful. we have two native american women who will join our ranks. the youngest woman ever elected to congress, to join the new york delegation, making the delegation one of the mightiest in congress. and i have to admit, i'm a bit biased on that one. the congressional black caucus, the conscience of the congress,
gained nine new members. we are now 55 members strong. representing nearly 80 million americans from new york to california. we are the most powerful voting block in the united states house of representatives. and we will use our leverage to fight for the causes that have always mattered most to us. justice, fairness and equity. justice, fairness and equity. the american people elected to us washington to finally hold donald trump accountable. [applause] and if he can't be held accountable, we know what we got to do in 2020. accountability not only means cleaning up corruption, but also putting the interests of all americans first.
democrats have pledged and will make good on our word to lower prescription drug prices, raise wages through a strong economy, and clean up donald trump's culture of corruption. one of our top priorities as a caucus must be comprehensive immigration reform. we have helped to fight off attacks against the diversity visa lottery, and we will continue to defend it, whenever it is under threat. we are also fighting to preserve temporary protecttive status for haiti, el salvador, nicaragua and numerous other countries and proudly fighting to protect the dreamers and to prevent children from ever being separated from heir families again. we of african descent understand and have lived with the legacy
f family separation. you don't know if you are sitting next to your cousin right now. you don't know whether you are sitting next to blood right now. we had to embrace each other as blood not knowing. and to see this administration do what it has done to those families on the border brings us the worst of who this nation is. so these have been rocky times but democrats will fight for immigration reform. or all in the congress and the congressional black caucus will continue to hold true to its legacy as a moral voice and the conscience of the congress. we will use our leverage to ensure that 21st century asylum and refugee policy is implemented.
we will ensure that dreamers, d.p.s. recipients and diversity lottery holders are protected. the only way this nation continues to thrive to strengthen itself, to re-invigorate itself is when we are open to making sure that as people seek refuge in our nation as people want to bring their talent, skill and expertise, that we have a 21st century system that enables that. anything beyond that, we are a dying nation. and we need to be clear that when you are taking away the lives of the natives of the nation and brought people to this nation wave after wave after wave, it is critical we be a part of strengthening and that is reflective of who we are as a people.
you cannot ban people coming rom the continents of africa but welcome those who come from western europe. you cannot ban the people who re fleeing, fleeing violence and then open up your doors to folks who may come from norway nd sweden. and russia. [applause] s. clarke: let us be clear, we are all reflective of a system, that were brought here as chattel slavery, but others who were welcomed here to strengthen our communities. and we will stand with them.
anything less than that is simply unacceptable. and so to each and every one, it is my honor and privilege, and i thank you so much. you could have been doing anything this week. next week is thanksgiving. you have could have been doing shopping, but you came to washington d.c. to remind us, don't get cocky, get to work and get the job done. thank you. [applause] reverend sharpton: give her a and! senator brown mentioned, i hear about her often from our greater cleveland chairman and our president, cleveland chapter of
national action network. hey brag about their congresswoman from the third district in ohio, serves on the committee of financial services, a member of the congressional black caucus, but a strong advocate for health care, let us hear from congresswoman joyce beatty. [applause] mrs. beatty: good afternoon my brothers and sisters. i want to myself with the words of my colleagues. let me say the two most important words i can say to you this afternoon and to you reverend al, thank you, thank you to the national action network and thank you to a room full of advocacy, workers for champions of civil rights. thank you for being here today at a very unique time.
you see when things are wrong, in my opinion, as the granddaughter of a baptist minister, someone above has a way of taking care of things. this election is the beginning of taking care of things. you see, when the members of the congressional black caucus leadership went to meet with 45, e said to them, to black people, what do you have to ose? well, we gave him an answer back and i want to echo it, one word, everything. we understood as people who have been in the movement and who ave been in the fight, civil rights, and education was on the ballot and we under stood that freedom is not free. there is a cost for it.
and john lewis and reverend al sharpton and jesse jackson and many of you all fought so we ould sit here in this senate building today. so i proudly say to you as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of my sheroes, shirley chisholm. much like we are in ohio. so let me just say to you, a change is on the horizon, my brothers and sister. when we come back for the 116th congress, reverend al sharpton, i make you a commitment, that we will stand stronger and taller with you and with the national action network. ou are our foundation. we must stand together and the
word we must remember is unity. so often when we start rising up, we forget from where we started. so i say to you today, a change is on the way. and in the words of martin luther king, when you think about his words and i'm going to paraphrase it, when he said, it is not where you stand during times of comfort and convenience, but it is action, national action network, that you have taken during times of controversy and challenge. we are not free from controversy. we are not free from challenge. yes, we will have the majority as the democratic party, but my friends, we still have 45 in the white house. we still have a senate that's just a little short.
so let's not get comfortable. let's not think that our challenges are over. know what we stand for. and know that the congressional black caucus will stand with you on health care and education regardless of your zip code or the bottom line on your w-2 form and know we will stand with you on criminal justice reform. and we got my girlfriend, lucy cbeth coming up. y'all know about jordan davis. we will have a great champion championing all the mothers that are out there. and we will not forget charleston nine. we will not forget what happened in florida, because it is all eople that we stand for. let me just end by saying again, thank you. thank you for what you do. and just in case you didn't remember, i am congresswoman joyce beatty.
and i approve this message. god bless you. [applause] reverend sharpton: earlier this year, our washington bureau honored this next congresswoman. i told them how everywhere i went in the virgin islands, they talk about her, stacy laskett. and she said, probably because hey're my relatives. but she has distinguished herself as one that has stood and represented and has been unafraid and unequivocal and
honored that she will address us at this time. the congresswoman from the u.s. virgin islands, stacy plaskett. [applause] ms. plaskett: good afternoon, everyone. i want to thank the national action network members, the chapter leaders, the reverend al sharpton, founder and president, the washington bureau chief and policy advisers and all of the coordinateors and all of you for being here this afternoon. reverend sharpton going down to the virgin islands and hearing my name being called. it's true, i'm probably related to most of the island. but i think the reason they also spoke about me is because they sent me to washington to be their voice. and i understand when my elders give me a task, that i must do it. and that i have children who are looking to me to see what i do as well. and that's why all of us are up here.
for those who cannot speak for themselves. when the hurricanes hit puerto rico and the virgin islands, i felt my duty to speak out because so often when those atural disasters, myself, like sheila jackson lee in houston, texas, it's the underserved communities that are impacted the most. the underserved and rural communities that have the greatest damage, because it is those communities that have not received the funding to begin with that were not to be able to be strong. in the u.s. virgin islands, health care system, we lost both of our hospitals and lost most of our schools. not until this last month, october, 13 months later, that our children were able to go back to school full-time. all of our public schools are
impacted to such a degree that children were not in school on a full-time basis for over a year. i had children in august asking me when i go back to school? children, eager to learn, working parents trying to figure out what am i go go to do with my children while i have to ork. this was the reality because congress had not done what it was supposed to do to begin with, to help build schools, health care, infrastructure throughout the understand in -- the united states in underserved areas. it's our job to make sure that happens. there was reporting on monday from cnn that the white house officials have told congressional leaders and appropriators that president 45 does not want any additional relief funding sent to puerto ico. that he has said that there should be talks to stop cutting
funds that are going there. that he's not sure in fact that they are using the money appropriately. i think what he's concerned about is have they paid homage to him appropriately to ensure that that funding stays in place. the funding fight could be the last of the trump presidency waged by a republican-controlled congress in the upcoming months before the democrats control the congress come january. it's my hope that you all in this conference will take up that fight for those who cannot speak for themselves. we need schools built. we need hospitals built not just in puerto rico and the virgin islands but throughout this country. we need safe public housing. i'm going to tell you why public housing is so important. our h.u.d. secretary would like o cut funding. public housing completely out. he said people do not pick themselves up from their
bootstraps coming out of public housing. i am living proof of public housing. [applause] it is my parents living and you'll like this one, in bushwick projects in brooklyn. the money they were able to save living in those public housing allowed to put their brothers and sisters through residency school, nursing school and allowed them to save money to buy a home and use that equity to put me and other cousins through college. that's what we do as a community. we're not there because we're lazy. we're there because we need support to live the american dream. i know that in the upcoming january when we come back, that we are going to make it possible for other kids from bushwick projects, from other kids from other parts of this country to be able to live the american dream because the support that they ask for is not a handout but a hand up. but i thank you all for being the support that have
individuals to speak on your behalf. keep telling us the truth. keep holding us accountable. right, sister. i see you pointing at me. we appreciate it. we need to hear what the truth is so that we can be ready tore 2020. thank you. thank you. [applause] reverend sharpton: stacy plaskett. give her a hand. [applause] reverend sharpton: a man that embodies the coalition that we need, the bonding that we need. he represents the district at our national headquarters. he and i go way back to fighting police brutality with kiko garcia when mayor dinkins was mayor. and he has stood up in this
congress around the issues we care about, voting rights, of our immigration and about health are. and i'm proud he is our congressman of our home district. congressman espaillat. mr. espaillat: thank you. i bring you greetings from harlem. arlem is not just 125th street or the apollo or the national action network. it's an attitude, it's a personality. and i bet you there is a harlem in cleveland, ohio. i bet you there is a harlem in philadelphia, pennsylvania. and in baltimore, maryland. and in detroit, michigan.
so now that i represent the ntire nation, i want to say to you, i want to congratulate the reverend for his steadfast work and this national action network. and it is so important that the word national is there. because it followsal tremendous tradition. the marcus garveys of the world that try to organize plaque -- black people around america, right. the great late, powell, who passed national legislation and architect of the social service safety net that we often take for granted. the great martin luther king that led a national movement for civil rights. and voting rights. so this organization plays a
pivotal role right now, a national role in making sure that we respond to the assaults coming from the white house. and we know in a short period of time, less than two years, we may think this has been going on for six years, but in less than two years, the white house has attempted to erode the advancement that we have seen throughout decades. you seen it with the muslim ban. then he went to try to dismantle obamacare. and yes, i say obamacare, not the affordable care act, because they are both the same, right? sometimes you ask somebody in the street, which is better, the affordable care act or obamacare? they say i like obamacare. hey are both the same. 20, 30, 40 years from now, we will look back and say there
were major health care provision programs implemented nationally. medicaid, medicare and obamacare. i think that is the potential of that program. he tried to dismantle that. he went after immigrants. dreamers. daca recipients. he separated moms at the border from their six-month-old babies. he tried to take away temporary protective status from countries of color, because deep inside the immigration debate, everend, there is a racial component to it that very often s left unsaid. because if you see the folks that the white house trying to
keep out, they come from subsahara africa and haiti and nicaragua and el salvador. even though there is an immigration debate laced in there, there is a racial component that often is not alked about. and in addition to that, he ulls us out of the paris agreement, relegating us to pollution, an unhealthy planet that our children will inherit, and our grandchildren. he tried to move forward and he started throwing paper towels at the folks that were reeling back from hurricane maria. and in the virgin islands, help came too late.
this is all in less than two years. he went after our athletes that took a knee and tried to exercise their constitutional right to say what they felt. he went after our journalists, jim acosta, abby phillips, many women. all in less than two years. now you, the american people, and i say you, because in many lections across the country, certain sectors of the electorate decided to continue o support people that were openly segregationists, people openly in support of guns, eople that were openly
homophobes and xenophobes. but women, particularly black women, shed up at the polls. now that we have embraced the slogan for the people, let me ell you what that means. for the people means infrastructure that would not only fix roads, bridges and tunnels and also schools and public housing. and in that process, we will make sure that we get jobs to our young people to lift them up with prevailing wage. what that means, that means criminal justice reform, eliminating mandatory minimums, doing away with the warehousing, massive, unprecedented warehousing of people of color in jail houses across america. eliminating solitary confinement, criminal justice reform, that's what it means for
the people. it means a comprehensive immigration reform effort for dreamers, family reunification. supporting recipients. making sure that we continue to make our nation an experiment of mmigrants. yes, that's what for the people means. it means environmental justice, not just going back to the paris accord, but ensuring that across our cities we don't continue to have many of our neighborhoods being dumping grounds where our children continue to get sick and our elderly cannot continue to breathe. election reform. couple of weeks ago, the elections were polluted with voter suppression. some guy in georgia just purged
400,000 people. and you know what happens when somebody that regularly goes out to vote and shows up and finds out that they are not in the roll, they go back home. and as we have in our community, they tell everybody as they go back home. that is a big old mess over there and four, five other people would also stay home. so we must make sure that we have same day registration that would make it easier for people to get to the ballot and making sure that everybody gets out to vote. and that's what for the people means. t's not just a slogan, it is the action that we must undertake as this new congress. i thank you all for coming here in the great tradition of the african-american community, of
organizing national movements, continue to struggle, continue to acknowledge tate and keep the faith. thank you so much. [applause] everend sharpton: there are as i said when ms. pelosi was here, there are the side issues that hey try to pull us in. yesterday, when we had senator klobuchar and senator harris and others talk about 2020, and my next speaker is mentioned on every list. but he is one that i can say whether 2020 or any other year was coming would stand on the issues that matter to eople. i'm concerned about 2018 where
e have votes being purged in georgia and where we have people being overlooked all over this country. i'm concerned when you have a president that will stand up and in no uncertain terms insult three black women reporters and act like that we don't understand what his disposition is. and that is our concern. we get to 20 when we get to 20. but i went to public schools in brooklyn, but 18 came before 0. nd that is why we are in washington to deal with we won the house and now what is it that we are going to get one? and i think when you look at
this brother, one of the women i just talked, one of the victims of trumpism. she's from n.p.r. he really going to take me bad for introducing her. whether you talk about what he did as a student organizer, as a city councilman, as the mayor of newark and u.s. senator, he has been on the front line, he has been productive. and when the president tweeted -- you can always tell, my mother told me when i was kid she was alabama and i was from brooklyn and she said you don't now anything about a farm, she said, but always remember that if you throw a brick in a pile of hogs, the one ha hollers is the one you hit.
when you hear somebody hollering, it's because they have been hit. so when i saw the president tweeting that newark was a failure under cory booker, i said cory must have been hitting him now because he is tweeting and hollering. let me introduce the man who made him squirm during the kavanaugh hearings, senator orey booker. senator booker: does this mic ork? udio problems]
senator booker: i live in a community that's struggling. it is struggling buzz of decades and decades of policies in washington, d.c. to the detriment not just to the community but the ideals of our country. i get worried when we take a moment like this and make it all about who is president. this is more than who is president. this is a president who wants to make it all about him. because when he is reading the news and he's reading the headlines and everybody is talking about him, he's sucking all the oxygen in the air and distracting from the issues not just from communities of color but all communities in our
country. this is not about him. it is about us. the united states of america. one nation under god. and we're not going to let people slice and divide us against each other. we need to talk about each other. i love the national action network. it didn't start as a response to trump, it started as a response to injustice and it has been active for many years because everyone in this room who love this is country, and i believe this country hasn't broken your heart, you don't love her enough. [applause] you don't love her enough. so there is injustice in our ation. and this organization was formed
not because everything was going right because there is gin justice-t there are americans who are dissatisfied, who are dissatisfied because we live in a country where communities kids can find unleaded gasoline easier than unleaded water. we live in a nation that a criminal justice system that treats you differently. we are dissatisfied because we live in a nation that pays teachers so little that they have to get extra jobs just to ake ends meet. e are dissatisfied in this country because on blocks like mine where a young man was murdered with an assault weapon. we are dissatisfied because we aren't doing things to make our communities safer that 90% of americans agree we should do. we are dissatisfied because we have a nation right now where oung brothers like jemel roberson, a security officer who subdued a shooter was shot and
killed. how many of our young men and women were dissatisfied because there were millions of americans, black, white and latinos who work full-time jobs every single day but live below he poverty line. dissatisfied as a nation that profess to favor freedom but one in three incarcerated women is ight here. and 80% of those women are survivors of sexual assault. talk about the school-to-prison pipeline which is real, but the sexual assault to prison pipeline is also real. everything i just mentioned had to be mentioned. like massive voter suppression that we are seeing in the state of georgia. everything that i mentioned was going on before this president was elected. what do we stand for? why are we are here?
not to talk about who we're against, but what we're for. this is a country that is not perfect. our very founding, these incredible principles and ideals, those dock yulets that elevated the greatest of american values, were also saturated withres. dufse big triand hate. ative americans. they were treated as savages. blacks treated as less than human beings. women not mentioned at all. the great history of america isn't absence of hate or bigotry or oppression. those have been with us from the start. great history of america is not folks here in washington but ordinary americans making an extraordinary commitment to the cause of our country, fighting against those ills and evils to make real on the promise of the country.
that is the story. and it came from organizations like you who came to washington. it wasn't strom thurmond who woke up and said it's about time hey have civil rights. it was black and brown folks, gay and straight folk, catholic and jewish folks, all kinds of folks who made a coalition of urgency who fought for the justice we enjoy. and the problem right now, as much as you want to make it about one individual in the we have to fight not just the actions of the bad people but the inaction of the good people. we have the people in this country we need to drive the changes that we have to demand. the question is too many people sit on the sidelines. too many people think it is a spectator sport.
all the great changes from the suffrage movement to the labor movement, all the great changes have been made and claim the rightful ideals when we pledge allegiance to that flag. when we say we'll be a nation of liberty and justice, not for some, but for all. and that's where we are right now in america. the american dream hangs in the balance and a moral moment in our country and everybody here has to make the decision, where e begin to have your ideals as -- to lose your ideals as a nation, special breast interests get more and more powerful, and working americans lose their opportunities, and the foundation of this country becomes quicksand into moverity. hopelessness and despair and rates of opioid addiction and suicide rates go up.
we are losing the idea of the american dream, but i believe in the american dream and i believe it's worth fighting for. i'm going to end with this, what you all already do, what reverend al lives every day. some folks get it twisted. we all love our country. don't let anybody use patriotism as a weapon against other americans. we all love our country. but the question is, as they say in church, faith without works is dead. y'all know what i'm talking about. that civic space we have and the ideals we swore an oath to, those are being tested right now. it's not enough to put your hand over your heart and pledge allegiance to the country. dent just put your hand over your heart but extend your hand in service, reaching out to your fellow americans, even if they disagree with you, even if they
disagree with the way you pray, if they disagree with your ideas. we are one nation, one destiny we need each other. i end with a poem. sometimes you have to go back to art. we know this from the movement. the songs and the poetry sustained us. awoke the moral imagination of a country to what's possible and i still believe we are nation headed to the promised land. i still believe we are a nation that can be a light to other nations again. i still believe there is nothing wrong with america that can't be right with america. i call on the words to you who basically said, swear the oath not with your words but with your deeds. let america be america again. the land it never has been yet but yet must be the land where everyone is free the poor man the indian the negro me who made america whose sweat and planned
parenthood whose faith and pain whose hand at the foundry whose plow in the rain must make our mighty country live gone america never was america to me yet i swear this oath america will be. right now, this nation needs every single one of us. this nation needs national action network. this nation needs people who swear that oath not with their words, not with their lip, but with their action, too many things are wong, don't make them about one individual. we have to make them about the cause of our country, all of us united in struggle can make real on the wrds of our ancestors and this can be a nation, one under god, where everyone has abundant pathways to life, liberty, and a whole lot of happiness. thank you. cheers and applause]
reverend sharpton: senator cory ooker. that redefines what working the room means, right? one of the states that has really been marred with voter suppression is the state of orth carolina. and one that we have been in and out of federal court dealing with the ways they have tried to undermine voters there. one who has stood on that and serves on the committee of education and work force,
agriculture committee, small business committee, was the founder of the first ever bipartisan hbcu caucus, from the 12th district in north carolina, congresswoman alma adams. [applause] ms. adams: good afternoon. i am very pleased to be here with the national action network as we collectively turn from demonstration into legislation. i do bring you greetings from the marvelous 12th district in north carolina and to say from all of my people there how grateful we are for dr. sharpton and this network for the wonderful work that you continue to do.
i do want to thank and recognize all of our hosts and our guests and my colleagues as well from not only the legislative black caucus, but from the congress. you know, you were reminded a little while ago that the congressional black caucus is rightfully so considered and talked about and described as the conscience of the congress. i'm proud to be here today at the invitation of the national action network, the conscience of our nation. you know, we have a lot to discuss and a lot to get prepared for. we saw the results last tuesday. that blue wave came in and knocked the hell out of that red all. and for the first time since i have been in washington, the
democratic party and congress will now be able to lead and ageppeda that promotes education as the key tool to achieving social and economic mobility. we now have the opportunity and responsibility to increase access to quality education and ensure that neither race nor gender nor religion nor ethnicity, citizenship, criminal record, nor circumstances of birth act as an impediment. you are not your circumstance. you know, one of my favorite quotes by the great dubois for all the civil rights that the world has struggled and fought for for more than 500 years, the right to learn is the most fundamental. i love that quote because it first and foremost puts education in the context of a civil rights agenda. it lays out simple and plain that education is one of those rights that must be protected and promoted by lawmakers, by advocates such as you, by
administrators and anyone who believes in true equality and i believe in the sensible because i have seen it personal and up close. the impact of a first-class education has had in my life. i came from humble beginnings. my mom was not an educated woman. she did domestic work and cleaned other folks houses. so i wouldn't have to. but she was a smart woman and knew how important education would be for me and how far it would take me as far as my dreams would take. and even when i wasn't prepared for the rigors of a college curriculum, my school invested in me and molded me and shaped me into what they knew i could become. that is the true power of education. it's an investment that our society makes in its citizenry.
and as benjamin franklin said is the investment that pays the best interest. it's also often investment that we in government play in guaranteing that is available and affordable. and over the course of the 115th congress, we have seen an unwillingness to invest in our children and public schools. instead we have seen an agenda to roll back our progress and to place a quality education more and more out of reach. you know, we saw higher education re-authorization which eliminated the grant and lon -- and loan programs that our students depend on. and we saw a single-minded focus to provide for private school vouchers for our k-12 education system and even a willingness to take funding used to educate low-income students and allow school districts to buy guns.
his was not an agenda to see -- to seeing education be the ticket out of poverty and to the middle class. but january, it dawns a brand new day. you know, we will once again have a congress that will pay our teachers what they're worth. we will once again have a congress who will be concerned about not only education but seriously about the infrastructure and the needs of many of our older schools. a congress that keeps our students safe while they're in the classroom. a congress that keeps alive the promise that a quality education is given to every child. and so i want to close, you know, by saying after teaching 40 years at bennett college in greensboro, north carolina, people ask me, reverend harpton, do i miss teaching,
and i tell them, well, i miss my students. but i have an opportunity to teach here in the congress each and every day. because sometimes we don't know what we don't know and what we need to know. so i want to close to repeat a quote that i believe drives home the point of what we're fighting for and it says that slavery is one of the worst forms of violence as in the denial of education. and education is key to liberating children from slavery. and now we know throughout our shared history that this was literally true. but it also relates to a slavery we still fight for today more than ever. it's a slavery of poverty. poverty is one of our society's greatest deals in a nation of so much. it's a shame to have so many with so little. it's even more of a shame for some of our lawmakers to literally blame those in poverty for their circumstance. you are not your circumstance.
you know, poverty hinders progress and it destroys dreams. but however we know that this cycle of despair, we can shine a ray of light and a ray of hope and that promise of a quality education. education has the ability to make progress possible. it has the ability to make no dream seem too big. you know, saying pull yourself up by your own boot straps, well, education is that boot strap. even in poverty, education can provide hope, and no one -- i repeat -- no one, no one has the right to take that hope away from any child. so national action network, members of congress, all of the allies across the spectrum, let's once again, let's pledge ourselves to fulfilling our shared mission and let's make education not a privilege of the wealthy but a right of the whole because anything less is a
betrayal of our shared values and it's a betrayal of our future. thank you so very much. god bless you. [applause] reverend sharpton: congresswoman alma adams. she's a fighter for consumers, fighter against sexual assault, fighter for health care, first woman to represent new york's 12th district, first woman to chair the joint economic committee, senior member of both house financial services and the ranking member of the joint economic committee, let us welcome a woman that i know has stood and fought for civil rights, whether it was the second avenue subway or whether it was census, congresswoman from new york, congresswoman carolyn maloney.
mrs. maloney: thank you, reverend al. we are so proud to have reverend al sharpton in new york. he always speaks right, always fights for social justice, and what i like about him, he gets the job done. he doesn't just talk about it, he moves it off the table, into the ground, and makes it happen. so i want to thank him for everything he does. when we get back to washington where we are now and we have the majority, we're going to save that health care. we're going to get the minimum age up to $15. we are going to fight for infrastructure, integrity in government, but i want to interpret it down to what it means to harlem, the district he lives in and represents. we have built the second avenue subway up to 96th street. it now has to go up to 125th street. so that should be a priority of all of us to make sure that the second avenue provides the quality of life, the jobs, the infrastructure that harlem so justly deserves and needs.
so let's all join hands and support him in pushing this and making it happen. [applause] mrs. maloney: now, when we talk about shirley chisholm, i had the great honor of knowing him. when i worked with manfred orstein, he went against carter and we won so we went to the 1980 democratic convention and she was the co-chair with manfred orangestein. i was a staff member for that. i had the opportunity to be inspired by her. she was the first black woman to run for president. actually, she was the first woman who was elected to run for president. and just last week, along with yvette clarke and hakeem jeffries -- and you should know that hakeem jeffries from new york is running for one of the top positions in the democratic party which is caucus chairman.
so you know any members of congress, ask them to vote for him. i'm supporting him. we hope he wins. but we introduced a bill to give to shirley chisholm the highest award that this congress can give to anyone and that is the congressional gold medal. and she was an inspiration to me and there's also an effort to name a battle ship after her. i think it's appropriate. don't you think? let's have a battle ship named after shirley. but she was a great advocate for the equal rights amendment, and she was part of the reason why t passed congress in 1972. they worked for ratification. they never achieved it. they got 35 votes. recently nevada ratified it. illinois ratified it. the next state is going to be virginia. and i just want to share with you that last weekend, i joined the women members of the state legislature on a bus for the e.r.a. running around virginia. what's interesting, all three of
the major leaders of this initiative in virginia, which will mean so much to so many if we can get it through, are all african-american. you should really have them on your show. they are dynamic. they are strong, and they are bringing the message of equality that shirley gave us. we stand on her work. we should finish her work and pass and ratify this equal rights amendment. [applause] mrs. maloney: but when you talk about social justice, it's one thing -- it sounds boring, it sounds unglamerous but it is critical to social justice in this country and that is getting an accurate count in the 2020 census. it is one of the few responsibilities that are in our constitution, article 1, section 2, that everybody's got to be counted. now, let me tell you why that's important. that's important to our democracy.
if you're not counted, you're not represented. and it's the census numbers that determine how many members of congress you have. how many members of the state legislature you have. and when you draw those districts that many people on the other side of the aisle try to gerrymander and draw it away that you don't get a democratic majority, it's based on numbers. so getting an accurate count is absolutely critical to our democracy and it's also critical because 800 million dollars a year is divided up across this country based on census numbers. so it's important to the services that we get in our neighborhoods and i'd say more dramatic, more important, it's the representation that ends up representing you in congress. so it's absolutely critical. now, this current administration, i would say, is working for an undercount.
one of the first things they did is they added a question that the census professionals say that it will result in an undercount and that is, are you a citizen of the united states? well, a lot of people don't like this question, and they're not going to answer it. that's going to be an undercount. so i have a bill in to take that question off. and we have filed suit over it. it's going to the supreme court. new york is leading that, and i led the amicus brief, along with my sisters here that were up here with us, to really get this off the -- off the census there. so i like to see results and i know he gets results so i'm going to ask him to join me in some hearings i'm having in new york city on how to get everybody counted, how we can work with the mayor's office and others to make sure that we get the representation and the
funding that we so justly deserve. so it's going to be a hard fight but we got to do it, and every effort must be made to fight their thinly veiled attempts to sabotage the census and result in an downcount. our taxpayers deserve it. our democracy depends on it and with your help we will fight back against this president and the republicans and ensure a fair, free, and functional democracy for all americans, and it starts with getting an accurate count in the united states census. help us achieve that. it's part of social justice. thank you for helping -- allowing me to speak and be part of the social justice meeting today. thank you. [cheers and applause] reverend sharpton: carolyn maloney. before we go to lunch, our
cleanup speaker is someone who has always been the cleanup person in this country. every time we are in washington, she's been there. she called me and said her flight was getting in late yesterday, she was going to come today and she didn't know she was going to be the one to send us out of here as we go visit and follow-up on the legislation we've heard. you talking about a battle ship for shirley, she is a battle ship in texas. long before we had beto o'rourke, we had us a battler, and that's the congresswoman from houston, the one and only sheila jackson lee. cheers and applause]
ms. jackson lee: inaudible] my friend, the reverend al sharpton, who i will describe and he may not know i am one of his saturday morning fans. i am one of his radio fans. and i'm one of his msnbc fans. so i got a lot of knowledge. but what i will say about reverend sharpton of which i tried to define myself in honor of martin king and jesse jackson are two things. one, he is eager and keen to do what many say are the impossible. and if you're not willing to do what others say is the impossible, then you have failed our ancestors.
in addition, let me be very clear. none of us, though we admire many people, can be that erson. and as i heard his story over and over again by his godfather, his father, james brown, who said to him, don't worry about being liked those you admire, but be the very best al sharpton that you can be. i am asking you to let me be the best sheila jackson lee i you can be. [applause] i am going to take a moment to craft my presentation around the legislative agenda that is crucial that you imbed as you go out but then as you go back home and as you continue to hold us accountable in the 116th congress. first of all, let me pay tribute and acknowledge those who have uffered the direct
esponse. let me acknowledge april and abby and yamechi, and when i do that, those young women i honor the women and men who have gone on either in our ancestral slave history or during reconstruction that did not last or the early days of jim crow, it is in tribute and recognition that so many died so that young women that i just named could be in the highest places of the land. which would include the press office of the white house. that is the people's house as well. built by freed slaves. i want them to know that i am committed as a member of the judiciary committee to ensure that there is freedom of the
press so that you can speak and you can speak and whether or not reverend sharpton says in his position, utilizing the press, he also is protected. if we don't realize the nuances that come about when someone is ble to denounce you as you are practicing under the first amendment, i can assure you that those of us in judiciary, house and senate, recognize the crucialality of ensuring that the constitution is protected. they are protected by the rule of law. while they are tough, there is no reason for me to be silent for my dismay and distaste for the back and forth of rejecting their intelligent questions, not stupid questions. so i give you that assignment. you are the arbiters and the arriers of the
constitution. never let what has happened to us over this period ever deny us to be able to carry that constitution and carry it as it belongs to us. we're in there, the 13th amendment, 14th amendment, 15th amendment, first amendment. we are in there, sixth amendment, right to trial by ury of your peers. so that is your first assignment, that those who represent you, state, local and federal, are adhering to the rule of law. and what happens when we are here complaining about actions between law enforcement and community, you can be assure that the rule of law has been violated. the rule of law was violated when a security officer was shot. you see, we want to say a lot of different things and we can say it. we know there's racial profiling. but the rule of law, that means the person who shot that individual was not abiding by the rule of law. they were not in fear of their life. they did not bother to at least assess the situation. and so as a member of the judiciary committee, that is our responsibility, to have
oversight on why these are happening and to correct it. that's how you hold us accountable. so i want to make sure we do that. then, i want to be able to say that the mueller investigation must go forward. that is the rule of law. [applause] ms. jackson lee: i am not asking for any preference or bias. i think most of you have heard of mr. mueller, but in the time frame that he's received this appointment as head of this investigation, you have not heard from him. that is the appropriate role that mr. mueller is supposed to adhere to. if you go in the history books, you probably didn't hear a lot from leon jaworski, you might heard of barbara jordan and charlie rangel, not only because he represented you, he was on the committee, 1974 impeachment committees. the investigators do their work. and so to adhere to the rule of law, you need to be saying in
offices, i know you are supporting the completion of the mueller report. that is crucial for this congress. that is what the blue wave is. we must clarify what the blue wave is. the blue wave was the american people who rejected being iminished. they rejected the idea that they did not count because as you realize, there was a whole lot of analysis in the weeks before, maybe two, three weeks out that nothing was going to happen, that one cause was overriding our blue wave. it didn't look like we were going to do anything, but i always believe in the silent folk. the folk locked down in rural communities, in the corners of harlem and beyond, and then those that join with us in the suburbs and then young brothers and sisters of black and brown and white and south asian all came together and created a rejection of the misuse and abuse of the constitution and the rule of law. so we have to carry that forward. you go into an office and start talking about the rule of law, they might get up out of their
chair because most of us come in and we want to help with public housing. which is viable. we have a $70 billion funding for public housing. put that number in your ead. you get that on the docket and you'll be ok. trillion-plus dollars for infrastructure. that's an important number to realize as well. but in the course of your visiting that rule of law is crucial. now, let me get to some of the specific, and i will leave you, because i know you got to do your important work. do you not? i do want to say to you that we are blessed in the congressional black caucus to have elected at least six new c.b.c. members, many of whom represent majority, majority districts. meaning they are districts that are mostly caucasian and texas anglo. we're proud of that.
what we always said, the congressional black caucus is the conscience but we are representing america. don't diminish us. our constituents are a wide array of individuals, and we seek to find common ground to represent them in the appropriate manner. it does not mean because i am ancestrally connected to slaves that i cannot represent people from all backgrounds. i think you have had represented from all backgrounds before. you must insist on that. remember, we have 2020. we don't know who's going to wind up running but we must again say, it's all right to have another one. say that with me. it's all right to have another one. you know what i'm saying? it's all right to have another one. we will work for the best for the presidency of the united states. and so if you keep that going -- he's got it right. let me give you these three points and let you know, voting rights, you have got to continue to insist, and i won't call the bill names because you got
that. continue to insist restore section 5. once you do that you'll get all the bills. restore section 5. restore section 5, because we would not have had georgia and the purging would not have occurred because we had no armor because section 5 requires a preclearance. and so when tip decided to weed out, to dismantle, to insult, to eliminate your birthright by purging you off of a roll of which you were on. in the faith community, is your name written there? that's important. so that would not have happened if we had section 5, which is preclearance, which lawyers would have gone in and i can assure you the justice department, no matter who's in charge, could not -- could not
have affirmed the removal of 50,000-plus people in georgia. you know those folks. is that not correct? you know those votes. that's number one. number two, florida did it. e will hold hearings and i'd like to do it on judiciary is to restore federally the rights of ex-felons to vote across the nation. [applause] ms. jackson lee: those who have done their time -- we just did it in florida. that's a good sign. that means we can have hearings and you can be supportive to be -- we'll get -- let me be very clear. we are fact people. we are fact-based. we are legislators. those who are listening, let it be very clear. hearings, for people to come and testify on whether or not there is danger or whether or not there is empowerment, that's how we do our work. let it be very clear. so the restoration of rights -- does that sound all right? then i want to reform the juvenile justice system. you have all been mighty about
that. [applause] ms. jackson lee: you know, when i start doing this people say, well, you know, you don't need to do it. this state. we are the bully pulpit. i met caleb's mother before she passed. i think you all know who i'm talking about, the young man that lost his life because he was in solitary confinement. we introduced the legislation hen she was still alive. [inaudible] ms. jackson lee: and we want to eliminate -- if anybody's even thinking about putting a juvenile in solitary confinement, we want it eliminated. so that is federal legislation. we want to eliminate solitary confinement. we want to ban the box for juveniles so they are not wedded to what happened at a young person. ban the box, it doesn't -- you trying to go to college, you going to vocational, you don't have to do that.
and then lastly, find alternative placement for juveniles to go other than a place like reichers or a federal system. now, let me be clear. we know there are situations that involve violence in juveniles. we are recognizing that, and we will have a response to how you do that with one population versus another. i don't want anybody to hear us and say, you see what they're up there talking about. and so let me quickly go on. it is shameful that i am worshiping in my synagogue or worshiping at mother emanuel or in a prayer service in kentucky where the door was locked that i might be subjected to not only hatred but guns. i'm not here to take your guns away. might be hunters. you might be doing it for sport. i'm here to protect the second amendment. but to realistically deal with the question of massive gun violence in this nation, including those innocent young people shot in california.
we have got to be able to come together, and the numbers -- the polling numbers say they are ready for us to be smart about guns and about automatics and bump stocks. so listen out for us. you can say rule of law and ask the question, do you want this bloodshed to continue, and help us bring up the 70% and 65% who are supporting it across the nation dealing with gun violence. so let me come to a close, we are now looking at prison reform. i know you heard that. but we have been coming out of president obama's administration, many of you remember how he commuted a number of people. that was a miracle. he did it because we could not get the sentencing reduction legislation we wanted passed and it sat there. he didn't do it without the process. he had a team of lawyers, and they were signing them. he changed lives. we want to in this coming congress -- and i need to keep saying over and over again -- we
may have something buzzing right now but let me keep you focused on criminal justice reform will include a continuation of prison reform and sentencing reduction. that those who are on mandatory minimums and we're in for 20, 30, 40 years for nonviolent drug offenses, a need to come under a revised system that is not a pardon or you got to wait for a long process. you have a process to come out because your sentence. -- because of the excessiveness of your sentence. you remember the crack cocaine where we weren't treating it as a disease. we were just locking them up. we got to get families back together. don't you think so? families back together. i think that is important. [applause] ms. jackson lee: so let me say this last word on the re-authorization of the violence against women act, which impacts all of us. because we made it people. listen to me. we made it people that we want to protect homes, we want to protect people.
so in the violence against women act, if you've been abused in your home, we want you to be protected. we're not looking to look at any group versus another. we're protecting native american women who you may not know. you can perpetrate something there and run off and they have no jurisdiction on you. you run off of the reservation. how sad. immigrant women, are you could be a haitian and just come to town or like my heritage, come from jamaica, west indies, and you are not protected. come from south and central america, come from africa, you are not protected. so we want it to be those who dignify all people. they're in the boundaries of the united states, so help us pass 6545, the violence against women act, but more importantly, let me just cite these numbers. let me just cite these numbers. we would increase spending on the violence against women act $100 million. rape prevention, we give you another $150 million. creating hope through outreach,
options, services, education for children and youth, we give you another $25 million. grants to combat violent crime on campus, $16 million. saving money, reducing tragedies through prevention, smart, $45 million. i say this because we don't apply for these grants. this is money that you could apply for in your community. your churches and 501-c-3's, national action network can apply for this kind of funding. housing protection for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking so they don't get thrown out of their apartment. that would be $20 million. you could do a housing program. grant for national resource center on workforce responses, $2 million. and law enforcement, getting the d.n.a. kit, those moneys will be plused up. we are serious legislators here. but you are serious people. and so i'm standing before serious people to let you know that we expect to be held accountable but we need to work two and two together to make
sure we can pass legislation hat has an overwhelming impact on your lives. you voted, and we should now be in place to ensure that we rotect health care and fight against any eliminations that insurance would not cover pre-existing conditions. medicaid and social security, it sounds like a broken record, but it's important when others think it should not be passed. and infrastructure bill that will ensure if you flood in puerto rico and houston, you treated the same. and places beyond. if you need transportation, we give it to you. if you want a criminal justice system that dignifies you and law enforcement, of which many of you have relatives who are law enforcement persons, we want to do that with the law enforcement trust and integrity bill, giving funding for professional departments. there are 18,000 across the nation.
and what we see when a brother loses his life, racial profiling, is that it goes through the crux of training. so we're willing to extend the hand and olive branch and say we want to give you, police departments, funding to work with the community and to deal with professionalizing and training. what did i say? we mean business. we are professional legislators. only because you have made us so, not for anything that we've done on our own. i leave you simply with the fact that guns are going to have to be addressed, because i believe in stopping the bleeding and saving lives. i'm not afraid of doing what is the impossible. voting rights has been perceived as the impossible. i'm not afraid of doing what is the impossible. protecting women and men has been perceived as being impossible. i'm not afraid of doing the impossible. and giving dignity to those who come as immigrants to this land has been perceived as the impossible and to demonize, and i believe when we are serious, professional legislators working
with an organization, national action network, who comes to this place to be citizens living and walking amongst the buildings of which our ancestors built, standing on hallowed ground, then we are serious americans looking to do what is good for all of america. if we do what is good for all of america, we will stand in this bright sun. i said i was closing but i have to give you this one bill [laughter] ms. jackson lee: and i had to give it to you -- i had to give it to you after i said that about we're one america. we had a bill that has been introduced over the years, h.r. 40. young man that stopped me about it. and so i want to say that i am proud to take up that bill now. it is a bill that addresses the word reparation. whenever we have used that word, people fail to hear what we are saying, reverend. they immediately begin to say
we're on the nonprofessional side of legislating. but let me explain -- and i would not put the reverend on the spot, but i would love to hold a hearing in new york on h.r. 40. h.r. 40 is a commission, a commission. do we need facts? >> yes. ms. jackson lee: do we need to understand what's happened in slavery and the aftermath, what was the economic engine that was nvested by all of us and our ancestors, no matter whether you came from different places, you wound up here now? it is a historical effort to be able to work through many of the questions that have been raised. i believe that america will be a better land when all of us who've come from different places, whether you are the polish who are trying to understand your history or whether you are a people who came because of fleeing the holocaust, whether or not you have fled the murderous
conditions of south and central america, central america, or whether or not you have fled oppression and have come from warring communities in the mideast and syria, sometimes on the continent, you need to come and -- in europe during world war i and ii, we need to understand our history. and so i leave you with the idea that no one should shame anyone, shame anyone on the basis of wanting to ask the question of how we can be better in this nation. for this nation is looked upon as that shining nation on the hill. and we, you must hold us accountable in this hallowed place where we are entrusted to pass laws that will make america better. you are obviously my bosses across the nation and my commitment to you is that if you allow me to be sheila jackson lee, we will in fact do the job
of the america people, regardless of their region, regardless of their race and ethnicity and religion, regardless of their opposition or support, we will do what is best for america. thank you, all, very much. god bless all of you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. >> thank you. >> leaders of the 116th congress who were elected today talked to capitol hill reporters about their legislative agenda. the new hives minority leader kevin mccarthy who heads the republican caucus and elijah leaders, senate minority chuck schumer introduces the new democratic leadership and later, senate majority leader mcconnell. electedpublicans have kevin mccarthy to be minority leader in the next congress. the current house