tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 3, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
on. >> jobs. >> jobs. >> justice. >> justice. >> good morning. i am so proud to see all of you are a wonderful audience. we want to thank everyone here at the ft. lauderdale broward county convention and i want to thank all who may be watching from home, their office o, on mobile devices all over the world, all over the nation. the national urban league is center stage on this morning july 31st, 2015. now, on behalf of the national urban league, the urban league movement and our host, i am proud to welcome you to the 2016 presidential candidates plen ari. now, this is a very special event. because it is the first time in this election cycle that candidates from both the democratic and republican parties have come together on
one stage. the presence here today of these candidates represents an outreach hand, an important signal that they take our outreach and communities and each and every one of you very seriously. as the nation's largest civil rights urban advocacy and social justice conference i also believe that their presence here speaks volumes. i would like to declare that they welcome all the candidates to come and address us and share their plans for saving our cities. as each of you know the national urban league is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate. as a nonpartisan 501 c 3 organization, the national urban league extended an invitation to
any 2016 presidential candidate who either appeared in a reputable public opinion poll such as gallo rasmussen or others or reached out and contacted us before july 1st. you might be surprised but according to the federal election commission there are so far at least 484 individuals who are vying for the presidential election. you can run for president too. >> the national urban league conference is not big enough to provide a stage for 484 candidates to have a fair opportunity to speak. if we could, what could we possibly learn from such a
circus? >> all we ask is that they work with us in a timely fashion to coordinate their appearance at this private event. we are grateful to them that they did just that. it made our community and our concerns a priority in addition to the candidates who will address us today, the following candidates were invited but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts. senator rand paul of kentucky. senator marco rubio of florida former senator jim webb of virginia former arkansas governor, mike huckabee senator lindsey graham of south carolina, louisiana governor bobby jindal ohio governor, john kasich and the following candidate it's were invited but never responded in any way to our invitation.
we believe in transparency. >> those candidates are former hewlett-packard ceo carly fiorina, george pataki rick santorum new jersey governor, chris christie and new york real estate tycoon, donald trump. perhaps we will hear from them in the future. we are here because we want to listen to the canned dates plans plans to save our city. we gave the candidates a little homework. we shared with them some of our very best ideas for saving american cities. each of the candidates has received the 21st century agenda for jobs and freedom, which is
endorsed by 60 civil rights and social justice organizations. put together in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. that dockument and agenda identifies five urgent domestic goals for the nation, economic parity for african-americans, equity in educational opportunity, protection and defense of voting rights, elimination of health care disparities and comprehensive criminal justice system reform. we also shared with the candidates our ten-point plan for police accountability and includes recommendations for body cameras and dashboard cameras and a comprehensive overhaul of police hiring and training practices. we are here to save our cities and not just ourselves. in memory of our brothers and
sisters, such as michael brown, eric garner, tamir rice, sandra bland and so many others we will say their names because their lives matter. we say black lives matter, because every life matters. you know that while police tactics may have been the spark that ignited explosions in places like ferguson and baltimore, poverty, hopelessness and joblessness, they are the tinder, they are the kerosene. it is time we come together as a nation and demand reform not only in criminal justice but in policing and economics and
education. these issues are inex trickablely intertwined. the national urban league movement will be working with the next president to implement reform that is meaningful, that can help us all create a, stronger, more equitable and more inclusive america. we look forward to hearing from each candidate and after a few words from our chairman, we will be off to the races and our program will be underway. thank you once again. i ask you to please join me in welcoming, michael naidor chairman of the board of trustees of the national urban league. >> good morning. i am not a candidate.
i want to thank you for continuing to welcome he so warmly in this organization. as mark has so eloquently stated today's plenary is one of the most important sessions. 22 major candidates that have officially declared their candidacy, 21 of whom were invited here. yet only five are here to share the tenets of their platforms. let's say the others were busy campaigning. as a ceo of an organization that largely shares a constituency with the urban league movement i am specially interested in hearing what these candidates have to say. to me, it is okay for republicans and democrats to stand across the aisle and have
differing perspectives on how to accomplish the goals that are best for all americans. it is not okay to ignore a disenfran choiced community for any reason. urban leaguers represents the hard-working families like the ones that built this country. they are mostly the background and the next president would do well to remember that. so let's all listen with open minds and ears. i know that's what i'll be doing and hope you will as well. thank you and bring back mark. >> well said, michael. we are fortunate to have you as the leader of our team. at this time i would like to acknowledge pepsico, our session sponsor for this plenary. to deliver a brief welcome, please join me in greeting tony west executive vice-president
of governing affairs and corporate secretary for pepsico. as he comes out let's take a look at what pepsi is doing. >> pepsico, with $22 billion brands that are global icons and 50 years of delighting consumers when it matters most, celebrations with family, fun times with friends moments that bring communities together a pioneering company that has repeatedly adapted and retooled always with an eye towards the future. healthy nourishment or a simple pleasure. products you love and trust. committed to performance with purpose. ranked among the world's most ethical and diverse companies. more than a company, a community of families. this is pepsico. thank you. good morning, national urban league. thank you national urban league on behalf of our ceo and on
behalf of pepsico. thank you, mike moreal for inviting us to participate in this remarkable form. we are here to talk about an important and timely topic the future of our cities and how we will work together to build a better stronger more equitable america for our children and for each other. every four years we have this great opportunity to engage in a national conversation with those who would be our leaders about where this nation is and where we are going, about how we will prepare our young people to compete and win in a global marketplace. about how we will help a disproportionately high unemployment among people of color, young african-american people and how we can harness
the diversity to propel ourselves into a future better than our past. for the national urban league, this is not a new conversation. you have been putting these issues front and center for more than a century. the country listens. that's why when you call on presidential candidates thisey show up or they should show up. it is no surprise the national urban league is pressing this agenda. why pepsico? why us? we are located in cities and countries and cities and towns throughout this country. we are an integral part of the community. what we know as pepsico is if the communities in which we operate don't succeed we don't succeed. we are all in this together, all of us, teachers, parents
activists and policy makers, business and labor. all of us are in this together. each one of us will rise when all of us are lifted. at pepsico, we call this corporate philosophy, performance with purpose. it is a corporate philosophy that says we must be a value added not just to our share holders in the short-term but to all stakeholders who are in the societal ecosystem of which we are a part. that's why we have for the last seven years invested in young people. over $16 million in something called diplomas now. it is a program that boosts high school graduation and college matt tri cue lation rates among african-americans and young latino youth. we will have served over 100,000 students. that's why we have invested about $1.3 billion every single
year in women and minority-owned businesses as part of our diversity supply chain program. it is why we stepped up to answer president obama's call by being a founding member of the my brother's keeper alliance. something that we know will make a difference because of the investment we make in our young people. each of us rises when all of us are lifted. so on behalf of pepsico i want to thank all of you for being a part of this important, important national conversation. thank you. >> thank you, tony. we are off to the races. time to get to the reason we are here. ladies and gentlemen, our first speaker and presidential candidate is an author and
retired neurosurgeon. a little more than ten years ago, the national urban league honored dr. ben carson for his incredibly important work in the field of neurosurgery. urban leaguers and guests please welcome presidential candidate, dr. ben carson! ♪ >> thank you very much. candy and i are delighted to be here. urban league is so important, what it has done historically. i am very, very cognizant of the many people that worked so hard, including whitney young i'm delighted the whitney young award is going to benjamin crump. i have had a chance to know him. enormously proud of him.
individuals like him and myself would never have been able to accomplish what we did without the blood, sweat and tears of so many people that sacrificed and no one will ever know who they are. it was their foundation that provided the freedom for us to do what we do. that's something that i think everybody always needs to keep in mind. i remember as a 9-year-old. sitting on the steps in the ghetto in boston, having moved from detroit after my mother, who was one of 24 children, hadn't gotten married at age 13. they had moved to detroit from rural tennessee. she discovered that my father was a bigamist and that led to a divorce and we went to boston to live in dire poverty with her sister and brother-in-law. i was looking at the building
across the street of which all the windows had been broken and the sun was shining through and there was a sun beam and it made me think about my future. i remember thinking i would probably never live to be beyond 25 years of age. that's what i saw beyond me. both of my older cousins who we adored had been killed. i had seen people lying on the street with bullet wounds and stab wounds. it seemed like a pretty dismal place but, you know, the fact of the matter is with all of that going on america is a place of dreams. my mother had a dream of education. she had never been able to get much education herself. she worked very hard two, three jobs at a time leaving at 5:00 in the morning and getting back after midnight scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets.
she didn't want to be on welfare. she didn't like the concept of being dependant on other people. she worked long and hard and occasionally accepted some aid but for the most part, was able to stay off. that's not to say that i dislike people on welfare. there is a nasty rumor going around that carson wants to get rid of all welfare programs and all safety nets for people even though he must have benefiteded from him. the people that say that kind of stuff, they have an agenda. they are trying to undermine and divide people. i have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them. i have a strong desire, however to provide a ladder to get people out of dependency so they become part of the fabric of america. that is really what we need to be talking about. we don't need necessarily to be dependant. we have to understand what true compassion is really about.
there are those that came along claiming to be very, very compassionate. they are going to eradicate poverty. there is a war on poverty. we have spent a lot of money since that started in the '60s. over 19 trillion dollars. what has been the result of that? ten times more people on food stamps, more welfare, more poverty, more incarceration, out of wedlock births, everything that was supposed to get better is not only worse, it's much worse. and i think there is a reason that god actually gave us brains, so we could actually analyze things. we have two choices. when we maeblg a decision to do something and it doesn't work, you can say, maybe we should try something else? or you can say, dleets more of
it. i think, quite frankly, it is better to use that brain to think about what things do work the other way around. we need to be looking at the economic situation of this country and how do we get it jump-started so that we can give people courage and hope again. there has been a lot of change. there is not a lot of hope. we have to bring real hope here. one thing i've noticed spending decades in corporate america is we have a lot of corporate money overseas. some people take that to mean american corporations are horrible greedy and unpatriotic. our secretary of treasury said american companies that do business overseas to escape the
high taxes here are unpatriotic. you know what that indicates? a basic fundamental misunderstanding of our system. people don't go into business to support the government. they go into business to make money. if you're smart, you create an atmosphere that is conducive to them making money here. of course you do much better if they are making money here, because you get more revenue and you are able to do more things. that's the way it works. we have this strange mentality that has taken root where let's just say you have a tax system where you have a 10% tax rate based on the bible, tithing. the guy makes $10 billion. he pays $1 billion. he makes $10, he ways $1. now, some people say, well, that's not fair. because the guy who makes $10 billion, he still has $9 billion
left. we can't let him still have $9 billion left. we have to take more of his money. you know, the problem with that kind of thinking, i with is called socialism by the way, is that you now don't have as much money as that guy with $10 billion. so next year he is going to put in less than $1 billion. more importantly he is going to take what he does have and try to hide it somewhere. now, the american system that made us a great nation and catapulted us to the pinnacle of the world in record time had a different philosophy. it said, that guy just put in $1 billion. let's create a system that encourages entrepreneurial risk taking and capital investment so that next year, he can make $20 billion and he can put $2 billion in. that's what expands the pot. that's what causes real growth to occur. there are people who try to demonize that and they try to say, no that's the wrong idea.
the ideal is utopia, where nobody has to worry about anything from cradle to grave. we'll take care of all their needs. it always ends up looking the same way. small group of elites at the top, a rapidly diminishing middle class and a vastly expanded dependant class. that's not what we need to do. what we need to be thinking about is those corporations over there they have $2 trillion of assets of money over there which they don't bring back, because they don't want to pay a 35% tax rate. they are asking what can they do with it over there. what if we were smart enough to say, we are going to declare a six-month hiatus where they can bring that money back without paying any taxes and 10% of it has to be used to create jobs
for unemployed people and people on welfare. you want to talk about a stimulus that doesn't cost american tax payers a penny and has an enormous effect, there you have it. those are the kind of things that we need to be thinking about. now, a lot of people when i was growing up concentrated on racism. a lot of racism. it is going to keep you from being able to do things. there was racism. no question about it. there still is. there always will be. there was yesterday and there is today and there will be tomorrow. as long as there are people with small brains and evil forces to stimulate them, it will be there. what do you do about it? i remember when i was in the eighth grade having turned things around tremendously because i was a horrible student before and my mother made us read books and we were not happy about that. back in those days, you had to do what your parents told you.
i was reading these books and as i read about people, particularly people of enormous accomplishment. i remember one of the first books i read, "up from slavery" by booker t. washington, i began to recognize that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you. it is not somebody else. it is not the environment. they can't stop you. once i developed that mind-set, i stopped listening to all the naysayers and the people that were telling me that i was a victim. as an eighth grader i was the only black student in the eighth grade at wilson junior high school. they had a ceremony at the end of the year. the person with the highest academic performance. it was me. one of the teachers got up and chastised the other kids because they obviously weren't trying hard enough if a black kid was number one. was she an evil person? no. she was an ignorant person.
some people are ignorant. when i first went to johns hopkins and i would go in the wards and i would have on my scrubs, invariably some nurse would say, i'm sorry but mr. brown is not ready to be taken to the o.r. yet assuming i was an orderly. there is nothing wrong with the orderly. i would say excuse me eem dr. carson. i'm sorry he is not ready. they would turn 18 shades of red. i would say, you didn't know. i would be so nice to them. i had a friend for life. they would do anything for me after that. you have to kind of understand where people are coming from and be able to react in the appropriate way. i was doing an npr interview once. the interviewist said, dr. carson i notice you don't talk about race very often. why is that? i said, it is because i'm a neurosurgeon. when i take someone to the operating room and open up their head, i'm operating on a thing that makes that person who they
are. it is not the skin and the hair that makes then who they are. it is the brain that makes them who they are. once we begin to understand that as a society and we stop being so supervision, i think we begin to make an enormous amount of progress. the other thing i think is incredibly important is we need to start thinking about economics, particularly in the inner cities. in the black community, and america, there is over $1 trillion worth of assets. that's more assets than the vast majority of countries in the world. we have to learn how to use that appropriately. you have to turn your own dollars over in your own community two or three times before you send it out. that is how wealth is created. you can't take that wealth and flee with it. you have to reach back and pull other people along. if you do that, you have the ability, we have the ability
within the black community to do enormous things on our own. we don't have to wait for somebody else. we don't have to be at the mercy of anybody else. people that have tried to convince us that we need to be sub subservient to them, there there, you poor little thing i am going to take care of you. guess what? we can take care of ourselves but we have to learn how to utilize our resources in the right way. the other thing that is vitally important is that we need to be able to work together. stop listening to the purveyers of division who tell you that just because you think differently about something than this person they are your enemy. divide and conquer and control. we don't need people who divide and conquer and control. we need the people who learn how to use their various talents and energies together in an effective way. that's what's going to work.
for our young people we need to begin to put out the appropriate types of models. we need when you look up at that light there don't just talk about thomas edison talk about his right-hand man, lewis latimer, a black man who came up with the fillament that made that light bulb work for more than two or three days who invented the electric lamp. who elijah mccoy who invented the automatic lubrication system. when something would come up he had so many inventions they would say is that a mccoy? is that the real mccoy? you could go on and on talking about the tremendous contributions of black people to this nation. we need to give those young men a very different vision of what success is for them. we have to start holding up the right kind of models. we have to talk to them about how to conduct themselves. is there injustice out there?
of course there is. if you conduct yourself in certain ways you are going to run into trouble. not only with law enforcement but with that other guy down the block. you run into somebody who is badder than you are, all of the sudden, guns start flairing knives start flairing. we don't need that. lastly, in wrapping up, let me just say how important it is for us to think about the family. the thing that got us through slavery, jim crowism segregation and all the prejudices is that we have faith in god. there are so many people now that want to throw god out of our society and they want to throw that relationship out but there is such a thing as right and wrong. there are morals. there are values. there are principles.
if we hold on to those things, it will make all the difference in the world because if god be for you who can be against you? thank you. god bless you. amen. >> one question. >> okay. >> let's give dr. carson a big round of applause. thank you, doctor carson. this is the beginning of the process. i wanted to pose this. the national urban league plans to share with the candidate that is come here a short questionnaire that will ask you for your position on issues that are contained in our 21st century agenda. the crowd is very interested in knowing if you can commit to respond to the questionnaire on a timely basis. >> i would be extremely happy to. as i travel around the country
i do lots of town halls and i don't screen any question. i am happy to answer any questions. the things you have outlined as important, i would love to have gotten into. i would be happy to get into them in some detail. >> we appreciate it. let's give dr. carson another big round of applause. thank you for your work. thank you for being here with us today. >> thank you very much. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are going to stand at ease for five minutes as we prepare for our next candidate. sfoet ♪ ♪ ♪
ladies and gentleman, our next candidate absolutely needs no introduction. she is the only person in history to have held the positions of first lady of the united states u.s. senator and u.s. secretary of state. the national urban league is proud to welcome back secretary, hillary rodham clinton. good morning, good morning. good morning. wow, this is a great way to start my day.
i'm delighted to be here with you. i want to thank mark for not only the introduction but all of his work over the years. i have been a fan of mark's since he was mayor of new orleans. he did great work there. he is doing great work at the national urban league. so thank you, mark. we're all thinking as i hope we do every year, about new orleans as we near the tenth anniversary of katrina. something like that should never be allowed to happen in the united states of america again. so we have to keep learning the lessons and repledging our commitment. i want to thank everyone for welcoming me here today. i want to give a shoutout to your national chairman of the board, michael neidorff. also, backstage, i saw a long-time friend of mine,
congressman, elsie hastings and alexis herman, who served in my husband's administration and tony west who served in president obama's administration. there is a veritable hall of fame here for this event. i can never come to a national urban league gathering without mentioning my lifelong friend vernon jordan. he may not be here today but he is with us in spirit because of his deep love and commitment to this organization. it is also close to my heart over the years. i've gotten the chance to work with you, learn from you. i've poured over your state of black america reports. i've spoken at your conferences. but, most importantly i have seen how you've changed people's lives. the theme of this conference, saving our sit citis, education, jobs and justice, speaks to the important work that you have been doing for decades.
i know that you help black entrepreneurs get start-up capital. i know you help people find jobs. i know you give families financial counseling so she can achieve their dreams of buying a home or sending their kids to college. you make sure parents have the tools to take care of their kids health. that's the kind of day to day commitment that makes such a difference. as you help prepare young people for college and work in a worldmes make them feel that they are not very important, you make sure they know just how precious and powerful they really are. this vital work has been my work too. my first job out of law school wasn't at some big law firm. it was with the children's defense fund. started by marianne wright
edelman that first summer after i graduated. i went door to door for kids shut out of school and denied the education they deserve. i also began a lifelong concern by working with the cdf to try to figure out what we did with kids caught up in the juvenile and adult prison systems. as first lady i helped create the children's health insurance program. you were an all lieie in doing that. i championed small businesses owned by women and people of color. that's where a lot of the jobs in america come from. i fought to raise the minimum wage, because no one who works hard in america should have to raise their kids in poverty. these issues, your issues are deeply personal to me. so i'm here early on this morning first and foremost to say thank you. but i'm also here to talk about the future. because the work you have been
doing is more important than ever. i'm going to keep doing that work right alongside you. i would love nothing more than to stay and have a conversation for hours going into depth about every single issue that we are worried about but you have a full slate of speakers that will follow me. let me make three points about the work we need to do together. first, the opportunity gap that america is facing is not just about economic inequality. it is about racial inequality. that may seem obvious to you but it bears underscoring because some of the evidence that backs it up would come as a shock to
many americans. like how african-americans are nearly three times as likely as whites to be denied a mortgage or how in 2013 the median wealth for white families was more than $134,000 but for african-american families it was just $11,000. a lot of people don't realize that our schools are more segregated today than they were in 1968. or even that african-americans are sentenced to longer prison terms than white people for the same crimes. or that political operatives are trying every trick in the book to prevent african-americans from voting. listen to this one, because as
somebody who started with the children's defense fund and who now is the proud and delighted grandmother of a ten-month-old granddaughter, african-american children are 500% 500% more likely to die from asthma than white kids. now, i studied and advocated and introduced legislation to close health disparities. i knew how severe they were but 500%. so all of this points to an unavoidable conclusion. race. race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in america and who gets left behind. yes, while that's partly a legacy of discrimination that stretches back to the start of
our nation. it is also because of discrimination that is still ongoing. i'm not saying anything you don't already know. you understand this better than i do, better than anyone. but i want to say it anyway. i'm planning to be president and anyone who seeks that office has a responsibility to say it and more than that to grapple with the systemic inequities that so many americans face. anyone who asks for your vote should try their hardest to see things as they actually are fot just as we want them to be. i want you to know, i see it and i hear you. the racial disparities you work hard every day to overcome go against everything i believe in
and everything i want to help america achieve. the second point is this. this is not just about statistics as damming as they can be. this is about americans doing some soul searching and holding ourselves to account. this is about all of us looking into our hearts examining our assumptions and fears and asking ourselves, what more can i do in my life to counter hate and injustice? how can i make our country a better fairer place? let me be clear. i think all of us need to do that kind of intro specks. those of us who have not experienced systemic racial
inequities, we need to do a better job of listening what people talk about the scene and unseen barriers they face every day. we need to humility, rather than assume that our experiences are everyone's experiences. and yes, we need to try as best we can to walk in one another's shoes, to imagine what it would be like to sit our son down and have the talk. or if people followed us around stores or locked their car doors when we walked past. that empathy that's what makes it possible for people from every background, every race every religion to come together as one nation.
that's the kind of generosity of spirit that makes a country like america endure. and given what we've seen and experienced over the last two years, this is an urgent call for people to search their own hearts and minds. here's my third point. we've arrived at a moment when all these challenges are in sharp relief, and we have to seize it. too many times now americans have come together in shock and horror to process a violent, senseless tragedy. like trayvon martin, shot to death, not in some empty desolate street somewhere, but in a gated community. he wasn't a stranger. he had family there.
or sandra bland a college educated young woman who knew her rights, who didn't do anything wrong, but still ended up dying in a jail cell. together we've mourned tamir rice and eric garner walter scott and freddie gray and most recently sam dubose. these names are emblazened on our hearts. we've seen their faces we've heard their grieving families we've seen a massacre in charleston and black churches set on fire today in 2015. but thankfully tragedy is not all we have seen. yes, the confederate battle flag came down finally, in south carolina.
the families of the charleston victims reached out with extraordinary grace to the man who killed their loved ones. and president obama delivered a eulogy that sounded as though it had come straight from angels, ending with "amazing grace." young people have taken to the streets dignified and determined urging us to affirm the basic fact that black lives matter. and because of people across this country sharing their stories with courage and strength a growing number of americans are realizing what many of you have been saying for a long time. we can't go on like this. we are better than this.
things must change. now, it's up to us to build on that momentum, and we all have to do our part. but those of us who strive to lead have a special responsibility. i'm very pleased that many presidential candidates will be here today to address you. it is a signal that the work you've been doing laboring in the vineyards for decades is getting the political attention it deserves. but the real test of a candidate's commitment is not whether we come to speak at your national conference, as important as that is it's whether we're still around after the cameras are gone and the votes are counted. it's whether our positions live up to our rhetoric. and too often we see a mismatch between what some candidates say
in venues like this and what they actually do when they're elected. i don't think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise and then say you're for phasing out medicare or repealing obamacare. people can't rise if they can't afford health care. they can't rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. they can't rise if governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. and you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote. so yes, what people say matters but what they do matters more. americans, especially today deserve leaders who will face
inequity, race and justice issues in all their complexity head on, who won't just concede that there are barriers holding people back who will do instead what it takes to tear those barriers down once and for all. i will never stop working on issues of equality and opportunity, race and justice. that is a promise. i've done it my entire adult life. i will always be in your corner because issues like these they are why i'm running for president. they are why i got involved in public service in the first place. to tear down the barriers that hold people back from developing their talents and achieving their dreams. i'm asking you to hold me accountable, to hold all of us accountable, because the work that you're doing must lead to
action, and you deserve leaders who not only get that, but who will work hard every day to make our country a better place, to make it live up to its potential and to provide the opportunities for every single child in this country to live up to his or her god-given potential. yes, i do have this 10-month-old grandchild now, and i've got to tell you, those of you who have already reached this incredible transformational point in your lives understand this there is nothing like it to focus you on the present. you know when bill and i are with charlotte doing our best to baby-sit, the phones are off, the tv is off. we're just focused on this miracle of life. and we're the kind of grandparents, i'll confess that, you know when she learns
to clap her hands we give her a standing ovation. but you see it's not just about our granddaughter, is it. we, of course, will do everything we can to make sure she has all the opportunities she should as a citizen of this country, as a child of god as a person who has the right to go as far as her hard work and talent will take her. but that's not enough. i don't want that just for my granddaughter. i'm the granddaughter of a factory worker who worked from the time he was a teenager till the time he retired in the scranton lace mills. i know how blessed i've been, and opportunities that i had that others with just as much talent did not.
so let us tear down the barriers so no matter whose child you are or grandchild you are you too will have the same chance. i'm proud to be your ally i'm committed to being your partner, i will keep fighting right alongside you today and always to make the united states of america a country where all men and women all boys and girls are treated as they deserve to be, as equals. i know we can do this. i know the path ahead is not easy. but i'm absolutely convinced that we will once again join hands and make a difference for those young people who not only need a path but need the love and embrace of a grateful nation for the contributions they each will make to a better future for
us all. thank you and god bless you. >> ladies and gentlemen, secretary hillary rodham clinton, i've got three short questions. first, we are, as a part of this process, going to be sharing with you a questionnaire which asks for your positions on issues contained in the 21st century agenda for jobs and freedom. i want to know if you can commit to respond to that questionnaire. we will make it public. >> yes. >> second question is we have within the urban league movement an exciting generation of new generation leaders who are coming of age. could you talk to them a little
bit about the role they would play -- you plan for them to play both in your campaign but also in the issues and in your administration. some people refer to them as the millennials. they are part of our young professionals. some have emerged as leaders of our affiliates. but they are represented in large number here. could you talk to them for a minute. >> i'd be happy to marc. let me just make a couple of quick points because i think this is one of the most important questions you or anybody could ask. i have been so blessed over the years to have had a lot of wonderful people working for me, and now i have the next generation, the millennials, the young activists who themselves have been successful. and i see a difference between this generation and maybe some prior generations where for african-americans, for women
for others who felt like they had to struggle to be successful there was a sense that thank goodness i made it and i'm going to do the best i can in my life i will make contributions but the days of activism are behind me. this new generation is in a very important way combining personal success with continuing activism and even agitation. and i think we need that. i not only welcome it i hope that we can together harness it. because like i said about my granddaughter, it is not enough that some of us are successful. it is not enough when we see growing inequality economic and racial and social. therefore, i enlist and ask for the help of this active committed young generation. you know there's that great old
saying, what are you to do? well, you can comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. that is part of your role and even though i sometimes may be on the receiving end, that's okay because as i said in my remarks, i want you to hold me accountable and i particularly want to be held accountable by young people who know the kind of future they want us to help to create. >> thank you very much. and my final question, in the discussion around income inequality, the racial wealth gap, one part of the conversation that's been missing and not really addressed is the role of small businesses, african-american owned businesses. many of them face frozen credit markets, difficulty in building their business. what would you say to the entrepreneurs about how you would address those concerns, because they are indeed job
creators, many of them are women-owned businesses. we serve 12,000 small businesses across the nation. about 70% of them are women owned. and they are so crucial to closing the racial wealth gap. how would you address their concerns. >> oh, marc, we could be here all day but let me quickly say i want to be the small business president. my dad was a small businessman and i saw i hardhow hard he worked and how he provided a middle class life for my family. marc is absolutely right, 60% of the net jobs created in america are created by small businesses. but right now we have tax burdens, regulatory burdens, licensing burdens and credit barriers that are preventing both the starting of small businesses and their growth and expansion. and it is particularly a problem for people of color and women. and women of color especially. so part of what i want to do and
am starting to talk about this all across the country is to really zero in on tearing down those barriers. one of the problems, as marc said, is frozen credit lack of credit. for 30 40 years i have worked on how you get more credit to small businesses and particularly in underserved areas. i helped to start a development bank in arkansas which is still operating and still funding a lot of small businesses. somebody here from arkansas, thank you. i want to take that model across the country. i want to expand the small business administration. i want to make sure that we have online lending that is especially attuned to the needs of small business, so i have a whole small business agenda because this is one of the keys to not only creating wealth and creating jobs, but getting our economy back moving as quickly and fast as it can to get back to where we were before the big crash. now, there's a lot more to talk about and just two quick points
because i don't want to overstay my welcome. but two quick points. in my economic plans, i talk about strong growth, fair growth and long-term growth. we cannot have any of that unless we do more to get women into the workforce and have them paid fairly and take into account their particular challenges. secondly, we have to get off the load of student debt, because that is stopping a lot of young people from starting businesses. and so this is about the whole economy, but in particular what do we need to do to clear the way for small businesses to start and grow. i'm going to be the small business president. >> secretary hillary rodham clinton, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for being at the urban league. let's go.
♪ we were born to be fighters ♪ ♪ we've shown we're survivors ♪ ♪ they can knock you up and make you fall ♪ ♪ we'll get back up because after all we're born to be fighters ♪ ♪ and we're fighting for our lives ♪ ♪ been truhrough a war, put up a fight ♪ ♪ and your heart has taken a beating ♪ ♪ i can see it in your eyes ♪ ♪ but i see the fire, i feel the flame ♪ ♪ and it's burning inside you ♪ ♪ i can see it in your eyes ♪ ♪ so raise your hands and don't forget ♪ ♪ we were born to be fighters ♪ ♪ we've shown we're survivors ♪ ♪ they can knock you down and make you fall ♪
♪ we'll get back up because after all ♪ ♪ we're born to be fighters ♪ ♪ and we're fighting for our lives ♪ ♪ so raise your fears and don't forget ♪ ♪ raise your fears and don't forget ♪ ♪ we were born to be fighters ♪ ♪ we have shown we're survivors ♪ ♪ they can knock you down and make you fall ♪ ♪ we'll get back up because after all ♪ ♪ we're born to be fighters ♪ ♪ we were born to be fighters ♪ ♪ we have shown we're survivors ♪
♪ they can knock you down and make you fall ♪ ♪ we'll get back up because after all ♪ ♪ we're born to be fighters ♪ ♪ and we're fighting for our lives ♪ ♪ and we're fighting for our lives ♪ ♪ yeah we're fighting for our lives ♪ ♪ i used to bite my tongue and hold my breath ♪ ♪ scared to rock the boat and make a mess ♪ ♪ so i'd sit quietly ♪ ♪ i guess i forgot that i had a choice ♪ ♪ i let you push me past the breaking point ♪ ♪ i stood for not a thing so i fell for everything ♪ ♪ you held me down, but i got up ♪ ♪ already brushing off the dust ♪ ♪ you hear my voice, you hear
that sound ♪ ♪ like thunder going to shake the ground ♪ ♪ you held me down but i got up ♪ ♪ get ready because i've had enough ♪ ♪ i see it all, i see it now ♪ ♪ i've got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire ♪ ♪ because i am a champion and you're going to hear me roar ♪ ♪ louder, louder than the lion because i am a champion and you're going to hear me roar ♪ ♪ oh oh oh oh you're going to hear me roar ♪ ♪ now like a butterfly stinging like a bee i earned my stripes ♪ ♪ i went from zero to my own hero ♪ ♪ you held me down but i got
up ♪ ♪ already brushing off the dust ♪ ♪ you hear my voice, you hear that sound ♪ ♪ like thunder going to shake the ground ♪ ♪ you held me down but i got up ♪ ♪ get ready because i've had enough ♪ ♪ i see it all i see it now ♪ ♪ i've got the eye of the tiger, a fighter dancing through the fire ♪ ♪ because i am a champion and you're going to hear me roar ♪ ♪ louder, louder than a lion because i am a champion and you're going to hear me roar ♪ ♪ oh oh oh you're gonna hear me roar ♪ ♪ oh oh oh you'll hear me roar ♪ ♪ you're gonna hear me roar ♪
♪ i've got the eye of the tiger, the fighter ♪ ♪ dancing through the fire because i am a champion ♪ ladies and gentlemen please take your seats as we're about to resume with our program. once again, please take your seats. ladies and gentlemen, please please, we are running slightly behind. we want to catch up.
he is a former mayor of baltimore, former governor of maryland and the front man for the celtic rock band o'malley's march. i heard he can sing. ladies and gentlemen, please greet presidential candidate governor martin o'malley. [ applause ] good morning. it is wonderful to be here with all of you, and i want to thank the urban league and marc morial, your ceo. let's give it up for mayor morial. [ applause ] highest title in the land, mayor. i want to thank you, ceo, for inviting me to be here with all of you today. my name is martin o'malley.
i am the former mayor of baltimore, former governor of maryland, and i'm a democrat and i'm running for president of the united states. [ applause ] mayor morial and i will always share a certain bond of having served as mayors together of two of america's oldest and greatest cities. the revolutionary cities of new orleans and baltimore. mayor morial and i have discussed many issues over the years. some people are called to work in the gap between justice and injustice. how do rebuild our cities. baltimore is now growing rather than shrinking. how to improve our schools. in the middle of a recession, we invested more, not less to make our schools number one in
america and to make college more affordable for families by freezing college tuition four years in a row. how to create jobs and opportunity for all. in our state we have the second highest percentage of african-american owned businesses and we have the second highest median income for african-americans of any state in the country. and then the topics that i would like to speak with you about today. how can we save lives, how can we improve and reform our criminal justice system and how together can we make real the promise of equal protection under the law. when i ran for mayor of baltimore as a long shot candidate way back in 1999 it was not because our city was doing well. despite many well-intentioned efforts, our city had become the most violent the most addicted and the most abandoned city in
america. and every year we buried 300 young black men who died violent deaths on our streets and black lives matter. i'd like to share with you a true story from my time in service in those turn-around years of baltimore. difficult but important years. it was october 16th, 2002, and the phone by our bed rang at 3:00 a.m. it was loud and insistent. and i suppose one can get phone calls with good news at 3:00 a.m., but as a mayor calls at that hour never have good news behind them. on this night deputy mayor jean hitchcock had the rotating duty of screening emergency calls.
mayor, jean said, there's been a fire. a really bad fire. in a house with a mother and we think five children. and the father's real bad too. he's in intensive care. very badly burned. awful, i said. but there was something in jean's voice that night that told me the story was not over. mayor, she said police and fire are here and they believe it was intentional. and they are very shaken up. i'm here neighbors are here and they're very angry and they say it was retaliation. i said retaliation? by whom, for what? jean said for calling the police about drug dealers. this is so terrible. and indeed it was. in my 23 years of public service
as a baltimore city councilman, two terms as governor two terms as mayor the tragic events of that early morning are forever severe seared into my memory. cornell and angela dawson lived with their five children at a row house at the corner of preston and eden streets on the east side of baltimore. mom and dad both worked, loved their children provided for them revelled in their individual talents and ways. but like so many families in so many neighborhoods in our city those days they were threatened, they were harassed and they had life in their own neighborhood made miserable by open air drug dealing. they would call the police to complain. mrs. dawson would dutifully go to court to testify. two weeks later someone had -- rather two weeks earlier to this incident, someone had thrown a molotov cocktail through the
dawson's living room window. the bottle failed to explode. police responded. there were no witnesses. state's attorney's office and housing offered to move the family. eastern district police put on extra protection and on this morning the district major even rode by. like many families in humble neighborhoods who have a hard time making ends meet, the dawsons were keeping their home heated that night by leaving the gas oven open and on. and at 2:20 a.m. a 21-year-old young man from the neighborhood more of a lookout than a dealer lit the rag that topped a full glass bottle of gasoline, kicked in the dawsons door as the family slept and tossed the bottle inside where it smashed on the stardsirs.
the row house was engulfed in seconds. everyone in the house died quickly and painfully except for mr. dawson who clung to life a couple of more days. i stood in line a couple of days later as we filed past the tiny little caskets the kids' school portraits atop them. as the perpetrator was brought to federal trial get this angela dawson's mother and other relatives made clear to the federal prosecutor that they did not want to see the death penalty pursued. they did not want to see these deaths lead to one more death. life without parole was imposed. to this day, it is impossible for me to think about the dawsons without becoming very sad and emotional. and i suppose it always will be. their little house became our alamo. it would be our beginning and our end. the dawsons are buried together at delaney valley cemetery, the
resting place of so many of baltimore's fallen, black and white, heroes who have given their life in the line of duty. every time i visit that cemetery on fallen heroes day or other occasions, i walk just over the hill to the dawsons grave and i still wait and hope for love and peace and justice to have the final word. you and i are part of a living, self-creating mystery called the united states of america. our country was not born in perfection or without original sin. because of the sacrifices and perseverance of so many in generation after generation, we have moved toward a fuller respect for one another. we have moved toward more equal justice and more equal protection under the law. but we are not there yet.
every headline or video of official abuse, injustice and difference, killing or murder reminds us of how far we still have to go. every story reminds us that americans of color must endure a constant state of random vulnerability even when they're just driving to work. and all of us must ask how many individuals like sandra bland have been subject to abusive arrests when the cameras were not rolling. how many names will we never know. how many walter scotts have been savagely shot down and then set up to take the blame for it when cameras and cell phone technology were not in the on position. how many names do we not know? there are certain beliefs we share as americans. a belief in the dignity of every individual. a belief in our own
responsibility to advance the common good and an understanding that we are all in this together. in our idea of country, there is no such thing as a spare american. we do not believe you surrender your human dignity when you change lanes without signaling. as americans we believe you do not surrender your human dignity when your taillight on your car happens to burn out. and no american surrenders their dignity, whatever the emergency, because of the color of their skin. and if you do not believe that, you are not qualified to run a city. and if you do not believe that, you are not qualified to wear a badge or carry a gun. leading my own city and my state
forward to achieve the largest reductions in violent crime in modern history, we strived and searched every day to become smarter about public safety and the actions that actually work to save lives and to redeem lives. the constant search for better prisons, to increased drug treatment, to policing, to policing the police and everything we did. from 1999 forward a thousand fewer black men died violent deaths in baltimore thanks to the biggest ten-year improvement in public safety than any city in america. in my first 52 days in office i closed the largest and most notorious and violent prison in the state of maryland called the maryland house of corrections. by the time i left office as governor in january we had not only reduced violent crime to a 35-year low in maryland, but we took actions that reduced
recidivism by 50%, we reduced our incarceration rate to a 20-year low and reduced new prison admissions to 19% compared to ten years before. how? by doing the things that work, like expanding re-entry programs, not cutting them. like dramatically increasing drug treatment and mental health treatment. like expanding education and workforce training inside the wall. like giving ex-offenders an i.d. card before they are released from prison so they can apply for jobs and housing and benefits afterwards. we also did this by doing away with the things that clearly do not work and clearly do not serve. for example we decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. we restored voting rights to 52,000 citizens with old felony records.
and not on our first try and not on our second try, but with perseverance and on our third try, we repealed the death penalty in the state of maryland. in our party, we have lots of good candidates who will make progressive promises lots of people that can talk about criminal justice reform but i have actually done it. today i want to talk with you about a new agenda for criminal justice reform for our entire nation. policing will always be locally controlled and locally directed. but there is a vital role our federal government must fulfill in setting standards, funding programs to serve the larger cause of justice and the common good that we share. we can reduce racial disparities, we can reduce and redirect dollars that we're currently spending on incarceration and we can give more of our people opportunities to turn their lives around. first, our laws must allow
punishment to suit the crime. and congress appears to be making progress to reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent crimes and i support this important bipartisan and long overdue effort at the federal level. as president, i will rout out the mindless sentencing disparities like the one that still exists between the possession of crack and powder cocaine. and as president i will work with all to forge a consensus that leads to the repeal of the death penalty in america and removes the united states from that small group of nations responsible for a majority of the world's public executions. second, second i will take actions to put the work of rehabilitation at the center of our justice agenda for the sake of employment. there is no progress without a job. our nation currently has the highest incarceration rate of
any nation in the free world. we must recognize that investments that we make for re-entry pay for themselves by reducing recidivism. our federal government must expand investments and re-entry programs, job training, help in securing employment and we must support community services that help people return to their families and make the transition back to productive life. to that end, our federal government must lead by example in banning the box a past criminal record does not prevent a person who's paid their debt to society from gaining employment. third, we must recognize that many people who fall into our criminal justice system would be far more effectively helped by our public health system. and yet police are often our first responders to people in
crisis. so as president i will invest in training and equipping law enforcement to better prepare our officers for encounters with our neighbors who are suffering a mental illness. i will dramatically expand our commitment to drug treatment and community health services. fourth, and finally, we must improve policing and the way we police our police in order to rebuild trust. when i ran for mayor of baltimore in 1999, i was not endorsed by the fraternal order of police. in that election i promised for the protection of both our neighbors and our police officers that we together as a people would do a much better job of policing our police. with better recruitment, better training, better pay. that is exactly what we did. there are things every police department should do every day
to improve the trust necessary between citizens and the police officers who are sworn to serve and protect us all. all of us. among those things an adequately staffed internal affairs division an independently staffed civilian review board reverse integrity stings to safeguard professional integrity of every police force and our federal government can play a vital role in lifting up these practices and advancing their adoption across the country. today every police department in the nation reports the seven federally measured you see you are crimes. among them murder rape robbery, reports them timely, accurately and in a public, open way. as president, i will require every police department to report all custodial deaths, all incidents involving use of lethal force and all complaints involving discourtesy and excessive force.
it is a fact of human nature, we cannot understand what we do not see. we cannot improve what we do not measure. but once we measure and once we see and once we understand we can certainly improve. the reality is that racial injustice and law enforcement in america have been painfully intertwined since the very first days of our nation. and if we are to have any hope of improving police and community relations in america for our sakes and the sakes of our children and grandchildren, these measures of professional policing must be open and visible for all to see. we must also advance the deployment of new technology like body cameras, cruiser cameras that promise openness, transparency and accountability. and technology we know will not fix everything but it is a vital step forward to achieving accountable, respectful and professional policing. we must free ourselves from the
tyranny of that's the way we've always done it. every police department must pass the test of whether it saves lives and every policy that we adopt and public safety must pass the same test. are we saving lives are we redeeming lives. and this really is the ongoing work we share as a nation, isn't it, to do more of what works and less of what does not. to create an america where there is truly liberty and justice for all. final thoughts. the great barbara jordan once said the gap between the promise and the reality of america can one day we finally closed. we believe that. barbara jordan grew up amidst some of the harshest segregation in our country. denied everything from the use of a water fountain to admission to her state university.
but she never stopped believing that we could make the promise of america a reality. she became the first african-american in the texas senate since the days of reconstruction. first african-american ever sent from texas to congress. and there, she fought for voting rights and human rights and what was right. one of her very first acts in congress was to advance a funding and reform effort to strengthen prairie view a&m which happened to be the school where sandra bland was to work. the school where sandra bland never made it to work on july 10th. barbara jordan was fond of saying that when it came to justice, people who are right must do battle with people who have the might. barbara jordan passed away, not
yet even 60 years old at the time, the "houston chronicle" headline read "a voice for justice dies." i don't believe that's true, because voices for justice never die. voices for justice will always resonate. sandra bland told the police officer she couldn't wait to get to court so that her voice would be heard. and we are hearing her voice right now. we can make ourselves a more just nation, a more compassionate nation a more just people. we can teach all of our children a more generous compassionate and caring way forward. there is more that unites us than divides us. we must help each other if we are to succeed, and love peace and justice will have the final word. thank you all very, very much. [ applause ]
>> governor martin o'malley. governor very quickly, same three questions. and i'll ask you all three and you can respond to all three at once. we will be sending you a questionnaire and i want you to commit to responding to the questionnaire on a timely basis. second talk about the role of young leaders an emerging generation as to what role they'll play in your campaign, in your administration and the future of the country and the third is an element of income inequality and the racial wealth gap are what happens with the frozen markets and small businesses and african-american businesses facing and what you've done to expand opportunity there. >> great, mayor, thank you. first of all, yes i will absolutely with zeal and speed fill out the questionnaire and i
look forward to having a larger discussion in the course of this presidential campaign about the new agenda for america's cities. the investments and workforce affordable housing, mass transit as well as making our cities leaders in this new clean, green future. secondly on young people our headquarters in baltimore is packed every day with a very cool group of young men and women representing the great strength of our country, our diversity, and they keep me going. as i've traveled around the country and you talk to young americans, i rarely meet people under 30 who deny that climate change is real or think that we should do something about it. i rarely ever meet people under 30 who want to discriminate against gay couples or want to bash immigrants. so that tells me we are moving to a much better place as a country, and i am going to speak to that better america that better america that we're headed to and i think you're going to
see a tremendous response and a lot of leaders come forward in the course of this campaign. the final point, as mayor, as soon as i was elected they struck down our mbe and wbe case, so i had to put it back into place right away and i did it with an executive order that actually raised it higher while we did the study. we put in place a way to measure our outcomes and actually as governor we raised our goal kind of a legacy. maryland has the highest mbe/wbe in the country and we exceeded it in the middle of a recession. so we as a people have to walk the walk when it comes to understanding that the genius of our nation that in every generation we take actions to include more of our people more fully in the economic, social and political life of our nation. so when we actually make opportunities, loans, business startups, you know our state has the second biggest percentage of black-owned
broken hearted ♪ ♪ this train the sweet souls departed ♪ ♪ this train carries fools and kings ♪ ♪ this train aboard i said, yeah, this train ♪ ♪ dreams will not be thwarted ♪ ♪ this train things will be rewarded ♪ ♪ this train the steel wheels singing ♪ ladies and gentlemen, let me ask you to again take your seats. move very quickly as we thank governor martin o'malley again. let's give him a round of applause. thank you, governor, for being at the national urban league. very quickly ladies and gentlemen, i'd like you to get seated as i briefly introduce our next speaker. our next speaker has been active
in the civil rights movement since his days as a student at the university of chicago in the early 1960s. there he was arrested for protesting segregated student housing. he participated in the 1963 march on washington. he's another former mayor, having served as mayor of burlington, vermont, in the 1980s. he went on to congress and now serves in the united states senate. let's hear from him now. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the urban league, senator bernie sanders. >> thank you all very much for inviting me. i'm looking at the teleprompter. unfortunately there's nothing there because my speech is here.
i ain't a teleprompter guy. let me congratulate the national urban league and marc and all of you for the enormous role that you are playing in this country, fighting for social justice and not only the ideas that you are bringing forth but the day-to-day work that you are doing in terms of job training, in terms of helping small businesses secure financing and contracts and the help that you are provided families with counseling when they are trying to realize the american dream of homeownership. and that's just a few of the areas that you have excelled in. my views are a little bit different than others. i am the longest serving independent in the history of the united states congress. and i am running for president of the united states today within the democratic primary
and caucus process. it is my belief from the bottom of my heart that i would not be running for president if i thought otherwise. that given the enormous crises that this country faces today crises that may be more severe than in any time since the great depression of the 1930s, that frankly it is too late for establishment policies. it is too late for establishment politics. it is too late for establishment economics. we need some new thinking, some bold thinking. and most importantly and this may make some people nervous and that's the way it is.
i think when we have a nation today where a handful of billionaires have unbelievable influence over the economic and political life of this country there is nothing significant that we will accomplish unless we have the courage to take them on, and that is what this campaign is about. the themes that you have outlined for this conference are exactly right. save our cities, education, jobs and justice. as i get into those themes the first point that i want to make is perhaps the most important, and i do understand that for some people this is
uncomfortable. but i believe it has to be addressed. and that is that the united states of america today is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. but most people don't know that because much of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. today in america, we have more wealth and income inequality than any other major country on earth, and it is worse today than at any time since 1928. to me it is not acceptable that the top 0.1 of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. it is not acceptable that one
family, a family that owns walmart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of the american people. people. it is not acceptable that in the last two years the 14 wealthiest people saw their wealth increase by $157 billion. more wealth than is owned by the bottom 130 million americans. the truth of the matter is that we cannot run away from that reality. income and wealth inequality is the great moral issue of our time. it is the great economic issue of our time. it is the great social and political issue of our time and together we must address that issue.
[ applause ] let me touch on another issue before i get to your theme of equal consequence. maybe some of you may have heard, some of you didn't. it didn't get a lot of press. former president jimmy carter described the american political system as corrupt. he described the united states as an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nomination for president or to elect the president. what he was talking about is the disastrous supreme court decision on citizens united. a decision that says to the wealthiest people in this country you already own much of the economy. now we'll give you the opportunity to buy the united
states government. that decision is undermining the very foundations of american democracy, what many women have fought and given their lives to defend. you tell me what it means when one family, the coke brothers family will spend more money on this election cycle than either the democratic party or the republican party spend almost $1 billion to buy candidates that will make the rich richer or everyone else poorer. that, to me, is not democracy. that is oligarchy. that's why we've got to overturn this disastrous citizens united decision. [ applause ] >> and i guarantee you that all of the issues that candidates have talked about, that you believe in will not take place when a handful of wealthy people are able to control our
political system. when we talk about education, i trust that all of you know, as you do, that we live in a highly competitive, global economy. to my mind, it is insane and i use that word advisedly that we have hundreds of thousands of bright young people, often minorities who have the desire who have the ability to get a higher education and go to college, but they can't go to college for the simple reason their families cannot afford the tuition. that is absurd. we need to have the best educated workforce in the world and not tell hundreds of thousands of young people that they cannot make it into the
middle class and that they cannot contribute as engineers and doctors and scientists. [ applause ] >> and that is why i have introduced legislation and will fight for as president to make every public college and university in america tuition-free. [ applause ] and what that means is that kids in the fourth grade and in the sixth grade will know that if they study hard, pay attention, do their school work, even if their parents like my parents didn't go to college, even if kids in the neighborhood did not go to college, they will be able to go to college because the incomes of their families will not be a determining factor. this will revolutionize education education, i think. and when we talk about
education, what we also have to understand and be frank is the world has changed since the 1940s and 50s. mom is in the workplace. dad is in the workplace. we need a first-class child care pre-k system in this country. [ applause ] in my state and all over this country open-class families struggling to find affordable quality child care workers are paid minimum wage. that is not how we should treat the most vulnerable children in america universal, well paid pre-k teachers. >> let me say a word about jobs. you read every month that unemployment is 5.3% and the government comes out with the statistic. please know that that statistic is only one of many statistics
the government releases on jobs. that statistic does not include those people looking for work and those people working part-time, millions when they want to work full time. real unemployment is not 5.3% it is 10.5%. it is a crisis and now let me tell you what very few people are talking about which is an even greater crisis, and that is youth unemployment which we don't talk about at all. i asked for, last month a study on the economic policy institute and they came up with the results that nobody is questioning. listen to this. if you are a white kid between 17 and 20 who graduates high school you have a 33% unemployment rate. if you are an hispanic kid you
have a 36% unemployment rate. if you are an african-american kid, 17 to 20 high school graduate you have a 51% unemployment rate. that is unacceptable. that is turning our backs on an entire generation and we must not allow that to continue. now when people talk about the tragedy of the united states having more people in jail than any other country including china china. one of the contributing factors is that we have 5.5 million young people in america in my state, in your states, without jobs, without education hanging
around on streetcorners doing bad things. it is my very strong opinion that it makes a lot more sense for us to be investing in jobs and education rather than jails and en karsincarceration. [ applause ] >> that is why along with representative john conyers of michigan i introduce legislation that would create 1 million jobs over the next several years for unemployed kids, and that is why i have introduced legislation that calls for a trillion-dollar investment in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and creating 13 million decent-paying jobs. and when we talk about jobs and income, let me be very clear. the $7.25 minimum wage that
exists nationally is in my view a starvation wage. and that is why last week, alongside young people in the fast food industry bhor standing up and fighting for dignity i introduced the legislation that will move us through $15 an hour minimum wage over the next few years. [ applause ] i strongly supported the affordable care act. it has done a lot of good things, but we should understand that the united states today remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right and that is why i will continue fighting and introduce legislation for a medicare for all single payer program guaranteeing healthcare for every man, woman and child.
>> when we talk about justice. when we talk about the need for all people in america to be treated equally and with dignity we have to deal with some hard realities. and those realities include the fact that today, if you can believe it and i know you can. one in four black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during their life time unless we change that dynamic. this is an unspeakable tragedy and this country can no longer ignore that. blacks are in prison at six times the rate of whites and a report by the department of justice found that blacks were three