tv Henry Cisneros Building Equitable Cities CSPAN April 14, 2018 3:55pm-4:45pm EDT
this up. we are out of time. a big round of applause for our authors. j.r. hilton, bad jobs, house decisions, josé antonio rodríguez and crime miller, the kings of big street. they will be signing, get them while they're hot. [inaudible conversations] >> good job. >> good to have you. [inaudible conversations] >> great to have you. >> everybody warm enough to be sitting outside? >> i'm actually hot. >> former san antonio mayor henry cisneros is next, he shares thoughts on growth and development of the cities. [inaudible conversations]
>> ready to go? good morning. >> i can't tell if i'm coming or going. i'm evan smith, texas ceo of texas tribune. i'm happy to be back at book festival and joined by henry cisneros, coauthor of new book, how to drive economic mobility and reasonable growth. it's an exciting title. it's a joke. [laughter] >> and it's an exciting book. serious i will go with me. cities today are legitimately where all the action is. cities is where we confront the day-to-day policy challenges we face around public health and public safety, cities is where we leverage economic opportunities, cities are the true laboratories of innovation and experimentation in pointing the way forward to future with endless possibilities. cities are the blocking backs for the state and the federal
government and better understanding how changes to our population including especially demographic change affect our democracy. for our distinguished guest this is familiar territory. a few texans in modern era or ever have been closely associated with the broad conversation around urban economics and urban governance. as former four-term mayor of san antonio, first hispanic american to lead a major u.s. city and the former secretary of the u.s. department of housing and urban development. mr. cisneros has been president of national league of cities, after exiting the federal government a little more than 20 years ago he became the president of univision communication hispanic broadcast and today chairman and cofounder of city view which invest in urban real estate projects and chairman of the executive committee of cisneors, national public and corporate market finance firm. born and raised in san antonio,
mr. cisneors has undergraduate from university and ph.d from george washington university, please join me in welcoming the honorable henry cisneros. good to be with you, mr. mayor, mr. secretary, do we get to pick. >> henry is good. >> my mother raised me good. henry. >> he did an ample introduction, he only mentioned that he was head of the texas tribune, evan was editor of texas monthly before that. >> i've had a job for a while, let's just say that. i've been working -- henry, this is a great topic as i said and the reason it's a great topic is in this particular moment in our democracy n this particular moment in the history of the relationship with the federal government and the states and cities, cities have a lot of power and cities have a lot of impact, talk about that from your perspective? >> well, first of all, the kind lady over here suggested that i
take this belt off of me but i have to tell you there's a story -- why i can't take it off. >> i have to talk about what this is not a man purse. >> it's not a man purse. what it is it's a medical device that was manufactured here in san antonio but i can't take it off balk it's hooked up by vacuum to my leg, this is a wound that is not any bad thing, not all the thicks that you might imagine with a wound of this size, they think it might have been a brown recluse spider bite that killed a bunch of tissue on my leg, they have unlearned the spiders. i don't know that the spiders is a trump effect, i will say -- [laughter] >> i will say henry that your story is peak c-span content. why are cities so important in this conversation at the moment, what about this moment? >> right at this moment the cities have doing better than they have in a very long time and the opportunitimental
dynamic is we thought we had an urban crisis and we called it an urban crisis but it really was the transformation of the american economy, the beginning of 1960's, we lost all kinds of manufacturing and the jobs went away. the jobs went away, the capital went away, residue remained in the cities. >> yeah. .. .. cities off over america, name the me a city and i al side you
a neighborhood that is rising, like west dallas and soho in new york. so while the cities are strong, the question is, can they play a kind of a version on steroids of the role they have traditionally played in american life, which is to be the staging areas for social progress. where immigrants come and advance, where people build businesses and wealth is created. i made the case in a previous book for the urban land institute, this is a time where cities are prospering. now, given that, the federal government is out of money and can't decide what its responsibilities are. there's the basic debate in washington is what this role of government. >> what business are we in and what business are we not in. >> the federal government had been traditionally the place that safeguarded recents rights, the voting rights act and
education act but it's not plague that role today and the states have never been strong on this equity agenda. so with inequality of income. shouldn't it fall to the places where the people need the help most whether there's economic just today to play the role. >> the partisan nature of politics, means that in places look the government and state houses where partisan politics play out, it's difficult no find common ground. the cities are almost all -- not all -- run by nonpartisan mayors. people who run for office to lead their cities and have to put politics to the side. people have to get things down in cities or they come to your house. >> there's the governance question, the issue you can't escape from the problems and the reality that's where the people who need the help are, there's a history that say cities have played this role since time and
in our own country we have begun through stages, the cities are the places where immigrants came, where the new deal improvements played out and all the jobs programs. the cities where the great society of lyndon johnson played out. you take that history and capability, and the question becomes, if we're going to deal with this inequality issue which is real, the more money being didn't send traited at the high and people at the low end not getting a good start in education, not getting a good toe hole on the ladder of up ward mobility. if cities consciously played the role north because they've done it history by but with a conscience intentional strategy of saying we'll be the place where we create opportunity for people, that would be a pretty phenomenon thing. >> is there inconsistent but the idea on the one hand populations of cities are growing, texas has six of the 20 largest cities in
the country. six of the top ten. >> not since 1860 has one state in america had three cities among the top ten and we have houston, dallas, san antonio, and austin right on the cusp of being the fourth. >> people in the state, if i talk to people in the state but the by cities in texas, they can't believe it's san antonio is bigger than dallas. houston is number fewer in the country, one in texas, dale is number nine, austin number 11,ing for worth, 16, el paso between 19 and 20. >> the other thing that people don't realize, while the think of texas as the land of great wide open spaces and oil fields -- >> we're an un're state. >> 70 parse of the population is east of i-35. in the texas triangle, and it has got, like, 54 corporate fortune 500 headquarters, and the big shipping center that is houston, the big aways that are houston and dallas.
tech center in austin. >> at the tech center in austin. >> biosciences -- all four place. it's pretty phenomenal and its suggests we ought to have a dispolitics and policy stance with respect to how we treat cities in texas. >> we'll come back to that. the cities have been in cross-hairs of the legislature but we taught have better aways but that's another conversation. the inconsistency is on the one hand we have rapid growth, and talk about the wealth creation, and business, and one persistent problem, imagine austin -- austin emergencies it to be progressive and one over most economically segregated cities. affordability in the cities is becoming a problem to point that many immigrants are being forced out of the urban core because they can no longer afford to live there. >> a per tis extent problem but a problem because we have not
really disaggregated what we could do to try make a more equitable city. >> talk about that. >> you do have the issue of housing and affordability, big part of this and gets only worse as people -- amazon is looking at where to go and going to take 50,000 jobs. wherever they go has the problem that seattle does which is all the young professionals take every slice of housing available and run up the price. >> when they -- >> the homeless problem is immense. >> the new housing created to accommodate the influence of young people push out the people who have been there a long time. gentrification, so the most significant place where we're not running astride is the education. not invest in public schools, he t -- and doing creative things in public schools at the rate it takes to produce the work force that can avail itself of these new jobs that are being created.
so, what is missing is intentionality. what is missing i a strategy that says equity is a dimension of what we tooth be doing as a city -- we ought to be doing as a city and the time has come two points, i'm very proud of mayor ron nuremberg in san antonio, the only mayor who has said, part of the temp plat, part of the prism through which we'll look at policies is equity strategy. we spread resource equally so the ones that need it the worth get the same as the ones that don't need it at all. >> ' public ed we call it recapture. not very popular. >> how do you prioritize in athat you'll creating upward opportunity and opening up
opportunity and the city government did that because the mayor, backed by the city manager, sheryl scully, started in that direction. this is not at idea unique to the united states. the whole urban phenomenon is truly global. the world is now becoming a series of urban trading places, like singapore and tokyo and london and frankfurt, all over the world. and this whole inequality issue is going to address itself in a global framework in the same way. there's some very foresighted mayors, a mayor in colombia, who is no long their mayor but an icon in urban circles, because he said, we need to think through the purpose of a city. and he said something that sounds silly when you think of it but he said we need to think of thundershower cities as places where people can be
happy. nobody ever thinks about public policy for feeling happen but substitute fulfilled or reaching their potential or satisfied, and there's a whole lot to that idea. if we could create the kinds of places where we really intentionally say, how do we make life better for people? our choices would be different. >> happiness in your life or the live's people often begin this economic security and i want to say on the question of he can bit and how the cities are living interest the idea where they should be paying residents liveable was and should be encouraging private businesses to play liveable wages. you talk amazon -- >> two of the 20. >> i've asked both of the mayor of those cities, when you made the offer to amazon to come here or made mix, did you ask something back from amazon?
did you require of amazon if amazon does locate the 50,000 jobs, that they will pay a liveable wage to their employees? because you cannot force a private business to do that, although you might like to. the city of austin and the city of dallas pay a higher minimum waning that private businesses in the community are obligated to by the federal government. what obligation does cities have to monkey with the degree to which there's a liveable wage paid to residents on the road to this equity discussion. >> i think more and more cities are realizing they need to have something like a liveable wage, and the truth of the matter is a lot of people in the private sector are realizing it as well. companies like jp jp morgan, have a major commit independent detroit and doing it in he form of banking branches and opening up opportunities for financial literacy, and so a lot of folks in the private sector realize, we create a better society, better market, a better set of
consumers if income and wealth are more broadly shared in the society. now, let me make a quick point. on the difference between income and wealth. it's pretty interesting. income is what people make and spend and then whatever is left, and so income is in and out every day of our lives, every month, every paycheck, and on that score, minorities in the united states make something like 70% or so of what the average american makes in income, in income. right? but wealth is a different thing. wealth is what you get to save. wealth is what you invest. way. it what you own. we is your net work. on that store minorities in united states, african-american and latino, make -- what would you guess? about 10%. much less. in wealth comparisons.
there's some understandable reasons why that is the case, because the families tend to be ongoinger and have not invested in things like pension systems or insurance for lifetime, but -- they don't have the now buy things so they're not owners of rental property, not owns over stocks and bonds, don't have annuities they can act on. they work in industries that don't have coverage for them in the sense of pension systems, retirement systems, 401(k). so it's kind of like predictable. it's obvious, that there would be that difference, but 10% is a huge -- to have minorities own 10% on average of what other americans own, and that means you don't have the ability to get a loan to send kids to college or a loan to start a business because you don't own anything. so, communities of color have a hard time advancing as the generations progress. >> exactly.
so, for all of these reasons thinks subjects are need to be talked about. >> i think about, again, policies of the cities versus policies of the state and the federal government in terms of what the moon humanities think they owe resident. the city of austin council voted to require paid sick leave. not just of public entities but also private entities, and that it is going to trigger the next battle over local control another our legislature. don't want to ask you about the battle, the battle we just wages. i'm old enough to mean local control meant locals controlled things. >> a conservative idea. >> conservative idea. >> back to the old jeffersonian idea that the best government is love. what happened? >> what changed in texas recently was that the cities
became more obviously blue. in elections you see red cross the state except for the line of counties south of i-10, which i blues, and the then central cities of houston and dallas. so what changed is people said, if you are going attack them, attack them where they are which the cities. >> you are we leaked as a nonpartisan mayor. when dan patrick, our lieutenant governor, big proponent of the new view of local control, says the problem with texas is democrat mayors -- >> let me give you an idea, sense. san antonio, if i were held to boundaries we had, at the end of world war ii, would be one of the poorest cities in america but it didn't hold to those boundaries because texas had very permissive annexation laws so now we have 600 square miles
of city. some people would say, that is a problem, but it is also generated a budget that balances, a triple-a boston -- bond rating because businesses were within the city's refer knew base in malls. so annexation has been important them governor and the legislature attacked the question of annexation and have made it virtually impossible for cities to annex. the tea party crowd has had vaned the idea that they need to actually vote on annexation within those communities. nobody is going to vote to annex themselves interest a city. so i means annexation is badly damaged and the goose that laid the golden egg and keeps texas cities strong is damaged. so it doesn't make sense as a business proposition. >> the voting on annexation is one thing the legislature discussed and another thing that's yet unresolved by
continues to be discussed is voting on increasing property taxes. a concern that property taxes in cities are too high. we can probably say with certainty that by getting out of the business of funding public education, and pushing that down on to taxpayers, the state is as upon for property tacks being high or not creating access to health care and uncompensated care cost are passed along. a lot of reason -- >> the precursor of that when i was mayor of san antonio with a spending cap. said you cannot spend more than a specific level year to year, and that would have meant we would not have been able to do capital problems because we would have a big bump in those years. kind of made sense from a pop pop populist standpoint but no -- >> differabled your ability to budget and spend on services your community needs. >> sounds like i might be talking against myself when i talk about these business issues
of city progress, and the subject of he equitablity. you can't get to equityability sent through a growing economy and i thought of the two-fisted bunch. do the things that make the city grow and prosper and create more jobs and raise incomes but certainly, hiking with equal power, is harnessing the going through education, throw social programs, throw training programs, through empowerment of people, in order to help them take advantage of the growing. that's a different way of thinking than, say, we want to do massive welfare program offered giveaway programs. this is about doing the practical things that create a more equitable society, and there's some moments coming where we'll have the real opportunity to do this. for example, the country is right on the knowledge of a
major commitment to infrastructure. whether it happens because the trump administration pushes their model or whether it happens because we find new ways to bring private capat but we need to be building the read, ports, aways, schools, broadband, the water, and the power systems to continue the country's growth. a lot of those things can be done with an eye on equitablity. you can build renewables in the energy sector on a grid that is more what they call distributive, where people are participating and sell power back to the grid. you can do things like broadband where it's truly accessible to everybody and gets high-speed broadband. you can do things like truck infrastructure programs with training so people come out of the neighborhoods to get jobs that last for a lifetime. so this prism of equitable
doesn't mean give away programs. doesn't mean onerously dealing with the distribution of income. it means that thoughtfully, making decisions that utilize the american system to give people opportunities. opportunity and with it comes equity. >> you referred to public-private partnerships them arrest -- the -- the resource does not exist in state budgets or federal or city budgets to do these things alone. nothing wrong with that. >> absolutely not. as practical matter. when i was mayor, said to builders i want this to do this project, whether it's something like the double deck offering the freeway system or like the south texas nuclear project or other things. my agenda is a different one than yours. we want to end up with the
project, your objective is to make money. that's laudible and the american way of life. my objective is to make it work in terms of jobs, and increasing incomes and move the equity agenda. so just, again, the key word, intentionality. what are you intending to do with this. the federal government, part of this, henry, is interesting because in a couple of instances, issues that you would never have managed fall the mayors have become the mayor's purview to push or deferred on. what is climate, the federal government intends to withdraw or hat withtran from the paris accords. cities getting heavily involved in the issue of climate. the second is immigration issues, sanctuary city us and san antonio is one of many municipalities who sued against the state law passed bat banning sanctuary cities. can you talk those two issues.
>> met me set them aside and re variety back to traditional things the state could have done with a more equitable focus. what is the state responsible for? they don't speak about equity but the things they actually have responsibility for have huge equity potential. state university system. public school financing. health care financing. corrections. the four biggest area of the the stay budget. >> absolutely. >> but when a state is trying to make points on the right by making it harder for -- to get outreach to the public school -- to the high school to the higher education system, or looking the other way at the responsibility to provide equitable funding to public schools, or pushing concept -- i'm not opposed to charter schools but as an alternate to hurt the public schools, so that their average daily attendance declines, we
have to think that through. >> you say this is because the party in power is pandering to the right most segment of its electorate. >> i think that's very clear. >> mortgaging the future of the state for political gain. >> i think you seena that -- see that in case after case. so we'll pay a price long run for those kinds of decisions. so, now let's go to the issues you raised, climate change. >> sanctuary cities and immigration. >> the climate change is real. and we see the sea level rising and it's going to affect wherever there's a coast. do you know what the most vulnerable cities in america to climate change center is it miami? is it norfolk? new york? west coast, california? no. it's houston and new orleans. two most vulnerable places in america. and you get a taste of it with hurricane harvey this last year. >> that was only a taste. >> that was a taste.
>> seemed like waterboarding. >> it was taste because it was a hurricane thatas over land you bring a big hurricane up the gulf and through houston from the bottom up and i think it gets a good deal more serious. you have the -- climate change is real, and we need to be thinking about the thing that will prevent the maximum damage. talking about gates on the houston channel, for example. things you can do realistically and would have done in the old days, when we were really invested in infrastructure on a big scale. so climate change in texas. then there's also things we should do to mitigate the damage of climate change, and there are things we can do. >> it falls in the absence of the federal government, it falls to mayors to figure out how cities can take responsibility for that issue. >> it shouldn't and it's not the most effective way to do it. >> bit happened. >> the most effective dui do is it coordinated basis with multiple cityes, but it does
fall to cities acting independently and in a network with each other, if the federal government is not going to take the lead and the federal government clearly is not. when they are defunding the research capables at epa that keep the records you need to know what is happening, then it's not appearing at the federal level. immigration. sensitive question. very, very difficult. >> responsibility of the federal government we have been hearing for years in texas. >> we know that immigration actually matters in a positive way. the words we're an immigrant society are more just an abstraction, they're real. you can document the impact of immigrants, everything from the founders of the great technology companies, which are disproportionately created by people who are from other countries, as well as the work that immigrants do to earn wages and work in the community at all leveles. we just need a more thoughtful approach to immigration than the one we are confronting today.
the latest decision on daca just boggles the mine because i have personal experience with a young man that mary alice and i recognized for his skill. he was at community college in east texas. he wanted to be an engineering student. no pathway no bridge from east texas community college to an engineering program. he managed to get himself other into utsa. helped him get a place to live and raise the money for tuition go to college and he got straight as. the happiest day of his life was when mary alice walked him through the daca system and hi had a green card that said u.s. government and allowed him to go to school legally. on the basis of the decision made last week, which athey were giving on daca, that young man and 8 on thousand others, many of whom have excelled in school, contributing to society, have no relationship to their home country could be in fact
probably will be deported. >> texas has the second highest population of daca kids as we call. the knowledge second only to california. the reality is harris county right now has the second highest undocumented population of any county in country. anybody who thinks we're not going rebuilds the 2% of the state impacted by the, on the backs of undocumented labor is crazy. yet exactly at the moment that we need undocumented folks in the state as significant contributors to the present and the future of texas, we're pushing people out of -- into the shadows or out of the country. >> i serve as the cochairman on an immigration task force. bipartisanment democrats and republicans. no less a partisan republican than haley barber, governor of mississippi says, after katrina, we could never have rebuilt mississippi without the latino workers, construction workers. >> the city is pushing back on sanctuary cities is the city
saying this is not right for the lives we want to leave and live here. it's not simple play matter of law. also a matter of the culture of the cities and the economics. >> absolutely. would say i'm not naive and i understand that some immigrants do bad things. we have had murders, crimes, had one-off incidents and don't want people taking advantage of things, showing up and demanding rights they don't have. so there's laws. but you don't create culture to use your word, that is anti-immigrant, and throws everybody into the same pot. taking these 800,000 kids, daca, right? who came with their parents, when they were too young to make their own decision and who worked very hard and have many important things to show that they've contributed, taking that 800,000 and saying, now you're subject to deportation, just doesn't make any sense.
>> we're going to question from the audience. there are two microphones and those will come around. one thing that interested me, as we approach a presidential campaign in 2020 that arguably has already begun, for the first time i can a while there are four mayors at least who are talking about running and being talked about as potential candidate, garcetti in los angeles, landrieu in new orleans, deblastow in new york, and pete from south bend, indiana, and castro. >> aim talk about current returns. is its possible a mayor could leapfrog the to additional ways to be elected mayor, given everything we have been talking about. >> i think not. but then i was completely wrong about he the last e. >> you and everybody else.
>> it shake mist confidence in my political prognostication ability. >> it's not you, it's us. don't worry. >> i thought i knew the country. i thought i knew its sensibilities and knew what you could say and get away with or not. the things that would absolutely sort of wall you off. and i was just dead wrong about everything. >> so who knows. >> who knows. >> it's possible, lightning too strike. i know eric garcetti, very smart guy and very charming and articulate. >> los angeles is bigger than some states. kind our like a governor. >> just on the merits, someone like that, someone like julean could break through. is the country going to apply the standard testifies anymore? which is you need to know something about international affairs and need to know -- but maybe not. >> seriously? >> doesn't matter. main we're down to donald trump pump and oprah winfrey.
>> mayor, i want to ask but the projects. in light of the final four that we just had here, there's concern and talk that that may be the last found four that san antonio gets to host until and unless we upgrade or expand or tear down and rebuild the alamodome, and i wanted to get your sense on how sports figures into the equity issue that you're discussing and if the alamodome, which i think you helped create, is in need of repair or demolition. >> most controversial think you can answer. use your words careful. >> he don't the will re precluded and all the indications are that they love being here, and it goes beyond the sheer numbers. we don't have the biggest final fours. we had 68,000 people and where they've had 78 and bigger numbers elsewhere. but the experience is such
between the river walk and the hotels and all the's of it, that the ncaa literally said this is like our best venue. so i predict we'll be in another round even with the dome as it is. and then down the road you never know what happens. it was an a knockdown, dragout to get the alamodome build. people sill stihl call it the armadillo, the henry dome. but we probably not going 0 build another facility, is my guess, but we came close on the raiders, closer than people think, and that would have been a great boon. but what finally decided against us was they wanted a pledge that there would be a new facility within x number of years and we were not able to make that
plench there's no guarantee we have the dui do that. national point. sports does matter in a city a lot. it raises the profile. the fact we won five nba championships with the spurs and we're on television every single night on every newscast in america where the sportscasts occur. >> not u.s. and when popovich attacks trump. >> is a positive thing. and you look at cities our size and our strength, most of them have more than one professional sport. they've got major league soccer or baseball or hockey or football team. we'll be going in that direction eventually over time. i think san antonio's greatest dynamic, great emimpetus for the future, frankly, is that we're part of this network we were discussing earlier, which is the texas try triangle. it's a real, globally
significant urbanning me -- mega lopolis. >> go ahead. >> you were talking but empowering people with jobs and education. what on the local or state level is the state or the city doing about mental health? it's become a huge problem in san antonio. >> right. >> the center for healthcare services is completely swamped with clients, and is there a push to recruit from other states, other countries, certified, bona fide, psychiatrists and therapists. >> we need do a much better job as a society. not just city or state but as a
society on the dysfunction that comes from meant illness and we see the effects of that in the violence that we're experiencing across the country. that's just inexplicable for any reason beyond either overt terrorist acts or just really confused people. people really disturbed. but the worst of the mental halve problem is yet to come and that is mental health issues related to aging. he incidents of alzheimer's and other so-called memory diseases, there's a whole syndrome of things from the cte that the football players have, i just lost my sister on february 24th. she was doctor. a ph.d in houston and we lost her after a five-year run of something called psp, progressive super new clack palsy, there's another one like
it, frontal temporal lobe dementia, because we eave eliminate tuberculosis, fewer people die from cancer early, heart disease, antismoking campaigns 'whenout get the genetic makeup, toward the 85 and 90 years of age, which is now increasingly common, a companying it -- we haven't advanced the brain science as fast as some of these other sciences. so, we have big, big needs. the number of families that are going to be dealing with someone in their family who has a degenerative brain disease but still living with an otherwise healthy body, we don't have housing for them, we don't have the services for. the, don't have their workers for them. big problem. >> speakers through the session, interim prior to this interim,
put together a committee led by four joe price of -- who did invest more heavily at the state level in mental health, let's say there's little bit of good news. >> good. >> but we need more. >> you also need to be very so-er as a republicans and democrats as to whether you could use kind of low tax incentives and hold down the government when we have real pressing needs of this nature, that we have to spend on. we have to spend on. >> you have a question over here. i choose. >> thank you. just for the record, for those that read the ncaa critique about one of the actual writers was a graduate from michigan university so that may have a
little bit of -- but my question really goes towards how do you see the gentrification issue here in san antonio and what is the more human approach to that, knowing that, of course, economic development matters but how do you juggle those two issues. >> a good question. fortunately in san antonio, we have not yet felt the full brunt of gentrification because we have not grown so rapidly any neighborhoods where gentrification would occur, but it's coming. if you look to the north of the downtown and what is growing there around the pearl, prices are rising and people are getting pushed out. going east, we have the frederick building coming next, the merchants building next, beyond st. spall square. st. paul square, something to watch. to the south is king william and then south town and the lofts
and next is the pearl and beyond that, the mission district. need to be very attentive to people who have lived for generations the only area that has not benefit it is the west side, because of the jail, the railroad tracks and haven for hope. so i live there in what is called the poorest census track in san antonio and we're not in danger of gentrification bus as soon as the discover with four minutes from. downtown and tech boom and housing stock, thick think we'll be in real danger of gentrification. one of the mayors we high flowing the book confronts this issue in atlanta, former -- reed, the mayor of atlanta, bus atlanta was gentrifying. the downtown had more population than it had in 50 years, and i a lot of young millenials coming
to human beinged there. they put a fund together to help elderly people particularly but others who have lived for a long time in some of these neighborhoods, where the prices are going up, to be able to help pay their property taxes. why? because you take an elderly woman, for example, widow, who has no mortgage, the mortgage was paid out before her husband passed, but property taxes are going up around here because everybody else's property is rising, and there's a point where she can't pay her property taxes. so that kind of really gentling are thoughtle way of dealing with general tri-ification is what we have to do here and i think these four points of the compass, it makes sense. >> time for one more question. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. i hope this can connect to what you were just speaking about, is what i've been wondering about
in terms of thinking about those equity strategies and trying to be intentional in the areas you mentioned. what i don't hear being discussed much or i don't read a lot in the literature is this idea or the issue around wage equality. when we don't confront that -- i'm just trying to think through the assumptions. if we just assume that creating opportunity and access increased into higher wage jobs and increase people's disposable income, note even talking about wealth which you mentioned, the assets, then how is it that if the wages at the top -- they won't stagnate the way low wages have. so if you want to raise the low end, how do you prevent those to just jump even higher and still have the same, if not more, income gap.
>> i don't know as a society where whether we have any precedent or ability to governor what wages are at the upper end. progressive taxes were aing extra employed in the roosevelt era for trying to get some of the money that was going to the top to be able to spend -- be spent in the system. basically we still have progressive income tax system, though that -- we have done some things to fool with that recently and reduce it, but i still hold to thing extra that the way you create a greater equity, first of all, is through growing because you can't do it with contraction, so you have to have growth. then you have to have growth that is jobs that really give people a ladder from lower paying jobs to better paying jobs. one thing that economists talk
about is the segmented labor market where there is no more ladder. on low paying jobs that dead expend upper end jobs and the same people cannot get those jobs. finding ways to bridge those things with training, with stipendses to go to community knowledge, with technical education, with encouraging companies to create those bridges to bedder jobs, is ponders. this is not easy stuff. but it is the kind of thing we can do. let me close on this point. again, it's a very difficult thing to talk about inequality because people say, then, what you want is equal. you want to create a system where everybody is equal. no that's not create. create system where people can rise to their abilities, create a system where there is opportunity to rise to your abilities. that's what we're after. and -- but again, to the degree
you can bring that as intentional policy, that's what we're actually trying to do. we openly talk about it and recognize that in a society where people who are driving upwards, striving, getting themselves educated, to improve themselves, is a better society than one that is dramatically separated and one in which we haves and have notes and never the twain shall meet and one in which the alternative is violence and alienation. to me, intentional working on the equity agenda is the right thing to do and if the federal government and state government won't dow and i the cities are prosper, let's put our prosperity to work. >> thank you, henry, let's give henry cisneros a hand. are you signing now? >> thick. so thank you very minute. up.