tv Henry Cisneros Building Equitable Cities CSPAN June 1, 2018 1:07am-1:59am EDT
i cannot tell if i am coming or going i am the ceo of the texas tribune i glad to be back at the san antonio book festival and pleased to be joined by henry cisneros author of the book "building equitable cities" it is an exciting title. that is a joke. [laughter] because they legitimately are where the action is with the day-to-day public policy changes like transportation public health and public safety with those opportunities that impact every family and every household the true laboratories of innovation to a future with endless possibilities for the state in the federal government to have changes to our population including the demographic change to affect democracy.
for our distinguished guests in the modern era with a broad conversation for urban governance with a four term mayor of san antonio the first spanish-american in the former secretary housing and urban development. also the president of the national league of cities and then became the president of univision communications today chairman and cofounder of cityview that invested in urban real estate projects and chairman of the executive committee national public finance firm. to have the undergraduate degree from texas a&m. and then from george washington university please
join me to welcome the wonderful henry cisneros. [applause] mr. secretary mr. mayor can i pick? okay henry. you did a good introduction he only mentioned he was head of the texas tribune but also the editor of the texas monthly before that. >> i had the job for a while. and in that particular moment cities have a lot of power and .mpact >> so this kind lady has suggested that i take this off of me.
>> not a man first. it was manufactured here in san antonio. this is a wound not a bad thing but they think it i might've been a brown recluse spider bite that killed tissue on my leg so not only is this a very difficult time but with a spider strike. maybe it is the trumpmp effect. [laughter] so why are cities so important? they were doing better than they had for very long time.
but it really was the transformation of the economy the jobs went away the buildings went away the capital went away but most had 30% of their jobs were manufactured. and in those intervening years american economy has changed the more urban friendly economy. higher education if you need me a city i will give you a higher education or the big employer big medical centers or international trade subsidies all over america so namely a city i will cite you the neighborhoods or like soho
in new york but the citiesst are strong can they play a version on steroids of the role traditionally played which is the staging areas? where people build businesses and wealth is created so i made the case in the previous book this is a time when cities are prospering. given the federal government is out of money and cannot decide the responsibilities what is the role of government? >> traditionally to safeguard people's rights when they needed protection it was the federal government to do the civil rights act and voting rights act we are not playing that role today. not to be strong and that equity agenda so with the
inequality of income doesn't that fall to the places they need to help the most? >> the part of the nature of politics the polarization means where it plays out it is difficult to find common ground. almost already by nonpartisan mayors run for office and have to put politics to the side and to get things done in cities. there is the issue you cannot escape from the problems that people who have a history since before america was created that is where they went and in her own country with the various stages like
the immigrants first came with the new deal improvements to play out so you take all that history and capability and that deals with the inequality issue with the more money concentrated to get a good start in education or toehold on upward mobility by consciously playing that role. but do it with a conscious intentional strategy to say we will re-create opportunity that is phenomenal. >> on the one hand the populations are the 20 largest cities in the country. not since 1860 have they had
three cities among the top ten houston, dallas, san antonio and austin. >> talking about the big cities they cannot believe san antonio is bigger than dallas houston is number four and number ones in texas dallas is number nine austin number 11. el paso back and forth. >> also they don't realize texas they feel is why -- wide open spaces right now it is east of i35. 75% is in the texas triangle with those fortune 500 headquarters. and the tech center in austin with bioscience.
>> but that inconsistency. and with the policy stance. >> and then to be in the crosshairs but that is a whole other conversation. and then to have this rapid growth with wealth creation and business the one persistent problem is one that is so progressive politically also one of the most economically segregated cities you can imagine that affordability to the point that are forced out of the urban core because they cannot allowed to live there. >> we have not disaggregated what we would do to make a more equitable city.
and amazon looks at places to go taking 50000 jobs and then they don't have the same problem of seattle all the young professionals take every slight housing available and run up the price. and the new housing that is created to accommodate the influx pushes out those from gentrification the now you have a housing issue is not the most significant place is education. not investing in public schools to do creative things at the rate that it takes to produce the workforce for those that were created. so what is missing is
intentionality and a strategy that e says equity is the dimension of what we should be doing as a city and the time has come to do that. i am very proud of the mayor in san antonio who is the only mayor in the country who is utter the words part of the template or the prism looking at policies and priorities is the equity strategy. it doesn't makes a to take resources spread them across ten council district equally so the one that needs it the worst or those that don't need it at all. it's called recapture it is not very popular so how do you prioritize that you create upward movement? so does the mayor start in that direction?
this is not an idea that is unique to the united states with a whole urban phenomenon is truly global the world is now a series of urban trading places like singapore or tokyo, london, frankfurt. and to address in the global framework in the same way there is one who is no longer the mayor but the icon of urban circles. but to think through the purpose of the city and something that sounds silly but we need to think of our cities as places where people can be happy. nobody ever thinks about public policy.
substitute the words like fulfilled or reaching their potential or satisfied. there is a lot to that idea if we could create the kinds of places intentionally we say had we make life better foreo people? >> it often begins with economic security and the degree to which they live into the idea and then to encourage private businesses but then the two cities that have been engaged with two of the 20. i have asked both of those mayors did you add something back from amazon? did you require of them if they dohe locate this 50,000 jobs jobs they will pay a livable wage to their
employees? you cannot force a private business but the city of dallas also pays a higher minimum wage than they are obligated. what obligation do you think they have that there is a livable wage paid? >> i think more and more cities are realizing they need a livable wage and a lot of people in the private sector as well. like j.p. morgan have a major commitment in detroit doing it in the form of banking branches for financial literacy. those in the private sector realize we create a better society a better market and a better set of consumers if income and wealth more broadly no shared.
so a quick point between income and wealth. that is what they make or send in and out every day. but on that score minorities in the united states make something like 70% of what the average american makes but well is a different thing. but that is what you invest in what yout own. both african-american and latino make 10%. there is an understandable reason because the families tend toge be younger and have not infested in the pension
systems but they don't have the money to find things. they are not the owners of stocks and bonds or annuities. working with those industries that don't have coverage that makes the retirement system, it is predictable and obvious to be that different but 10%, minorities own 10% on average ofnd what other americans own so you don't have the ability so communities of color have a hard time of advancing so this needs to be talked about.
>> again policy versus cities or versus the state who don't know what the municipalities owed their residence. and then to require sick leave. and then that would have the next battle of local control. and the battles we just waged over the last couple of years. i am old enough when local control mental locals controlol things. and then it goes back to the old jeffersonian idea the best government is what governs closest to the people and then something changed henry. and then to become obviously more blue with a map of elections in texas all across the state state you see red
except those some that are blue but except in harris county.d, >> so people said if you attack them then attack them where they are which is in thehe city. >> nuremberg was elected as a nonpartisan mayor those that had opponents of local control the problem with texas is democratic mayors. i will give you a sense but san antonio is held to those boundaries that we have would be one of the poorest cities in america but it didn't because it had annexation laws. to have hundred square miles of city that is a problem but also generated with a aaa bond
rating every time they move from downtown and they were still within the city's revenue base so annexation has been very important for the governor and the legislature to question annexation and making it virtually impossible for cities to annex so the tea party advanced the idea to vote on annexation from those communities but nobody will vote a that means it is badly damaged and the goose that lays -- lays the golden eggs so it doesn't make sense as a business proposition. >> that is one thing that the legislature. at the other thing not resolved but voting on increasing property taxes we
can probably say with certainty with public education to push that down onto taxpayers as the local entity to create access to healthcare. >> with those years i was mayor here we had a spending cap you cannot spend more than a specific level year-to-year and what that means we could not do capital programs so that it makes sense from a populist standpoint but it did not make sense as the practical business decisions the city means one -- needs. >> and then to suspend those services. >> it sounds like i'm talking against myself with these businesssu issues and the subject of equity abilities so
you can't get there except through a growing economy. so my approach always was the two-fisteded punch. we want to do the things that make the city grow and prosper but second, and then to harness the growth through social programs and throughgh training programs in order to help them take advantage of the growth. then to say to do massive welfare programs. in those practical things that create a more equitable society. and for example the country is right on the edge of a major commitment to infrastructure.
whether the trump administration pushes their model or because we find new ways for private capital into the airport and the schools and broadband and the power systems to continue the country's growth a lot of those could be done with the credibility. for example if you build renewables in the energy sector with a grid that is more distributed. then you can do broadband truly accessiblele to everybody, then you can do things like infrastructure programs that have a lot of training or those that get jobs that last for a lifetime so this for equitable doesn't mean and
then to do with the distribution of income but it means thoughtfully making decisions that utilize the american system if you run any government but just to get these budgets to do these things alone. whether itth was something like the devil to the freeway system but even this nuclear projectnd but my agenda is different. we want to end up with the project your objective is to make that for the american way of life to do that mine is in
terms of jobs. but the key word what you are intending to do. and those that people never would have imagined but one is climate as one draws from us they become very involved and specifically in texas it was one of many municipalities. >> but just let me set that for two seconds to revert back. to be done with a more equitable e focus. what are they responsible for?
but the things they have for have huge equity potential. public school financing. healthcare. corrections system, because you are making it harder to get outreach to the higher education system. looking the other way for thosele responsibilities and pushing concepts i am not opposed to charter schools but that the average daily attendancegh declin decline. >> but you don't think that is
pandering to that segment? and with a political game. >> you can see that so we pay a price long term for those kinds of decisions so now with those issues thatt you raised. climate change is real and we see the sea level rising it will affect everywhere there is a coast the most vulnerable cities in america? it is houston and new orleans. the two most foldable places in america and that was faced with hurricane harvey that was just a taste like waterboarding but if you breathing a big hurricane up
the goal from the bottom up then it gets serious so climate change is real and we need to be thinking about the things that prevent maximum damage like the houston channel 22 when we were really investigated so then there are things we should be doing to mitigate the damage. >> it falls to the mayors to figureil out how they should but then to do that on a coordinated basis with multiple cities but with those acting independently but to
keep the records that you need to know what is happening it isn't at the federal level. immigration and what we have been hearing for years to know the immigration matters in a positive way the words of the immigrant society more than an extraction and they are real to document that impact that is disproportionately created as well as the work that immigrants do to work in the communities at all levels. and the -- conversation about dock boggles my mind.
and that he was recognized for his skill at a community college in east texas and engineering student no pathway or bridge to the engineering program he managed himself to get him in a helped him raise money for tuition and got straight a's. the happiest day of his life was one he was walked through the daca system and came home with a green t card and allowed him to go to school legally so to say we give up on daca that young man at 800,000 others many have excelled in school have no relationship to their home country will be deported and we have the second highest
population of daca kids second to california but right now anybody who thinks we will not rebuild the part of the state that was impacted by the hurricane is crazy but yet exactly at that time as significant contributors push people into the shadows. >> the immigration task force in washington bipartisan and no less a partisan republican from the former chairman governor of mississippi says after katrina he could never have rebuilt mississippi without those latinos workers. >> that is an emblem of the city to say this isn't right for the life we want to lead and live.
it is simply a matter of law thatat the culture and economic. >> absolutely. i am not naïve but iom understand some immigrants do bad things. we have had crimes or demanding rights they have. but but taking the easy thousand kids when they came with their parents and have worked but to take that we will go to questions from the i mom -- audience.
but as we approach the presidential campaign for the first time that i can remember there are four mayors at least talking about candidates los angeles, new orleans and also bath the metropolis in indiana. and formerr mayor. >> so is it possible mayor could leapfrog the traditional ways and to be elected mayor given everything we talked about? >> i think not but i was completely wrong about the last election. [laughter] >> you and everybody else buddy. [laughter]
but this equity issue that you're discussing is in need of repair or demolition. [laughter] >> no no no. i think we would be precluded and all of the indications are they love being here and it goes beyond the sheer numbers have the biggest final fours we had 60000 elsewhere it was 78 but is is such that i
predict we will be at another round. down the road you never know what happens. it was a knockdown drag out and people still call it the armadillo and all kinds of things. but what finally decided against us but we could not make that pledge there is no way to guarantee to doo that. finall point sports does matter in the city a lot and it raises the profile the fact we
have 15 nba championships with the spurs every single night with sports cast it is a positive thing and if you look at cities our strength most have one professional sport with major-league soccer or baseball team for the hockey team we will go in that direction eventually over time i think san antonio's greatest dynamic or impetus for his future so we will be a part of that.
>> now we have another question over here microphone but it has become a huge problem the center for healthcare services is small and then there is a push to recruit to be bona fide or certified therapist we need to do a much better job as a society with the dysfunctions that come from a mental illness and receive it we
experience across the country it is inexplicable for any reason beyond overt terrorist acts or it really so i also have those memory diseases from the cte from the football playersfe on february 24 doctor and phd we lost her after a five-year run called progressive but the longer people but so when you get
that up toward the machine and now is increasingly common we have not advanced the brain science as fast as other sciences. >> we have a big lead number of families has a degenerative brain disease that still living d in a healthy body we have housing, but very often this puts togetherce the committee that did invest more heavily at the state level for
mental health that was catch-up but a little bit of good news. >> but we need more. >> and to be very sober of republicans and the mcgrath if you could use those low taxax incentives so the nature that we have to spend on. >> and so for the record for the ncaa one of the actual riders. [laughter] but the question goes to how
you see the gentrification but had you double that? good but in san antonio we have not because we have grown so rapidly in the neighborhood where it would occur but if you look to the north of the downtown and what is growing people are pushed out into the area for example if you go easte the federal building the russian in the sailors and be careful of but beyond that the very attentive to the people who lived there literally for
generations the one that hasn't benefited is the jail serving as a haven for hope so i live there and we are not in danger of gentrification but as soon as they discover we are four minutes from downtown with very nice housing stock i think we will be in real danger of gentrification one of the mayors we highlighted the book confronts this issue because of the -- atlanta really was with more population than it had in 50 years and a lot of young millennial's coming to the business and they are experimenting with interesting things. they put yes but those where
the prices are going up. why? the elderly woman for example the mortgage was paid beforee her husband passed but company taxes are going up because properties are rising into point she cannot pay property taxes.ha >> we have time for one more question. >> i appreciate it and i hope this connects to what you were speaking about, but i have been wondering is the equity strategies trying to be intentional those areas but i
don't hear being discussed or what i don't read a lot is the idea the issue around wage equality.ry but they will increase the not the way the low wages have so if you want to wage at the low and how do you prevent those to jump higher ill same if not more income gaps. >> ass a society with the president or any ability to govern wages at the upper end. e
progressive taxes were a strategy in the roosevelt era to get some of the money to spend in the system at large we still have a progressive income tax system in recent years but i still hold to the strategy the way you create a greater equity first of all is through growth because you cannot do it with contractions. you have to have growth with jobs that really give people a ladder but one thing that we talk about is there is only low-paying jobs with a dead-end and upper end jobs so
finding ways to bridge those with training shoes dipole this is not easy stuff but it is what we can do but then i will and the session. it a very difficult thing to talk about inequality because people say what you want is equality. no. that's not correct you want one to rise to their ability with thatie opportunity that is what we are after but to the degree with that intentional policy that is what we are trying to do and recognize it
as a society people driving up words and striping is a better society than dramatically separated with the house and have not and where the alternative with the violence and alienation so intentional working on the equity agenda is the right thing to do the cities are prospering. >> thank you for this great time together he will see when the signing tent. thank you very much. [inaudible conversations]
everything seemed possible where leadership was important. that half of the day is important to remember >> if you don't know the name he has written a couple of books with his detective series novels turning right at hollywood and vine and here is his most recent book called i am the best how narcissism is destroying the public if not