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tv   Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Remarks at the National Press Club  CSPAN  August 13, 2015 1:00pm-2:09pm EDT

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but i'm glad you told about bernie sanders in iowa. i think i'm going to get there and go up there. >> he'll be speaking at about 3:00. so f you're in des moines, 2:00 local time, at iowa state fair, that takes place on saturday. again, we're covering all of the speeches. there are more than 20 candidates. so far hillary clinton is expected to be at the iowa state fair on saturday, but she has not confirmed she'll speak at "the des moines register" soap box. if she's there, we'll cover it. otherwise, we'll try to cover her in other ways at the state fair. next we'll go to donna, columbus, ohio, independent line. good morning. >> caller: yeah. i just -- i have a problem because i do think that in the late '60s the liberals talk over and i became one of them. and there is kind of a silencing because they operate purely on
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emotion. i would just like to see people like carson, who get into the -- get into the health professions or the social programs be conservative so there would be more balance in people's thoughts. >> you agree with kirstin powers? >> caller: yeah, i do. >> thank you. front page of "the washington post" also focusing on china and its currency as the country putting its credibility on the line with its move of the chinese currency. donna is the last call from columbus, ohio. quick comment from you, donna? >> caller: yeah. there's -- -- i really haven't been -- i'm not knowledgeable on that. >> thanks for being with us. >> today on c-span3, programs about immigration policy. next, los angeles mayor eric garcetti talks about how mayors can address national issues such as immigration and a minimum wage increase with local initiatives.
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after that, fill an throw pistol mike bazos talks about his experiences immigrating from cuba as a boy and finding american freedom. then a look at a report released by ucla earlier this year about challenges facing undocumented, undergraduate students in the u.s. the iowa state fair is hearing from 2016 presidential candidates over the next week. former virginia senator and democratic hopeful jim webb is scheduled to speak today at 2:00 p.m. c-span will have live coverage. and former maryland governor martin o'malley is also at the fair and also a part "the des moines register's" candidate soapbox. live coverage on c-span. that's coming up at 5:00 p.m. eastern. ahead of his remarks, governor o'malley was on msnbc's "morning
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joe" program called hillary clinton's server problems a distraction. he says, these are not ideas that excite the electorate. shame on us as a democratic party if we don't step forward and start offering up ideas to help our country, he added. we face a lot of challenges as a country and our party actually has solutions to those challenges. earlier today, gop presidential candidate mike huckabee was the first of the republican candidates to be on the soapbox in iowa. and he also commented on hillary clinton's e-mails. >> this time 17 republicans are coming to iowa to ask for your vote and support in the caucuses. there will be a handful of democrats who will come as well. hillary probably is not going to come. she'll e-mail in her appearances. >> you see, i know the clintons very well.
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i was born in hope, arkansas, the same town bill clinton was born in. people sometimes wonder, how is it possible so many politicians would come from one small town? the answer is, i don't know. but here's what i do know. that for the republicans who are deciding how to vote, who to vote for, a lot of questions are, is there anybody on our side that has a good opportunity to take on the clinton political machine? folks, i'm the only one who has ever done it because every election i ever ran in arkansas, every time, i didn't just run against an pope. i ran against the entire political apparatus the clintons had built over a 25-year period. it's formidable. most of you think the most democratic state in the country is massachusetts. maybe you think it's vermont, maine, new jersey. you'd be wrong. since the 1990s the most democratic state in all of america was arkansas. when i was elected lieutenant
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governor i was only the fourth republican elected in 150 years. when i was elected lieutenant governor, i got to the state capitol, they were so happy to see me being the only republican in the state capitol that my door was nailed shut from the inside. literally nailed shut. by the way, it stayed that way for my first 59 days as elected lieutenant governor of the state. that was my introduction to the hard ball politics that the clinton machine knows how to play. every time i was ever on the ballot, both bill and hillary came and campaigned for my opponent. i've never been bitter about it. it made me a better candidate. here's the fact. i not only took them on, but i repeatedly beat them and i lived to tell about it. that's why i'm here today. >> republican presidential candidate donald trump will be
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in new hampshire tomorrow and we'll have live coverage of a town hall he's holding at 7:10 p.m. eastern time in hampton. this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books and american history. on c-span live from the iowa state fair, presidential candidates speak at "the des moines register's" candidate soapbox beginning saturday at noon. we'll hear from republican rick santorum and democrats lincoln chafee and bernie sanders. sunday more live coverage from iowa state fair with ben carson followed by george pa attackty. c-span2 at 10:00 p.m. eastern, senator claire mccaskill on her life and political career. sunday we talk about problems with campaign finance laws. on american history tv on c-span3 sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern with many presidential candidates visiting the iowa state fair, we'll learn
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about the fair's history and its tradition as a stop on the road to the white house. as we look back at the 2008 presidential race. and saturday evening at 6:00, on the civil war, historian and author jon corstin on the 1816 battle of mobile bay, the closing of one of the confederacy's last major ports. get our complete schedule at los angeles meryl eric garcetti talks about how mayors can address national issues such as immigration and a minimum wage increase with local initiatives. this took place at the national press club. >> i see some chairs still. >> hi, everybody. especially you, mayor.
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welcome to the national press club. i'm bob weiner and i'm the host of today's event, moderator and this is a newsmakers committee event. we're very happy to have you all here. we're especially happy to have today los angeles mayor eric garcetti, who will discuss the nation's broken immigration system and his plans to address immigration reform through his local auspices, while congress remains in gridlock. he will also -- this year he launched the step forward l.a. campaign which raised nearly $4 million to help 100,000 angelinos work legally by the time his first term ends. mayor garcetti will also make the case for the $15 minimum wage that was recently adopted by the city of los angeles. the nation's second largest city. on june 13th, it was signed. mayor garcetti's plan calls for incremental increases in the minimum wage over the next five years.
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mayor garcetti will also highlight los angeles's leadership in water conservation as california battles the historic west coast drought. this is mayor garcetti's first national press club event since he took office. he was elected may 21, 2013. following 20 to 30 minutes of remarks, the mayor will take questions from the media and club members. the event will be in a news conference format. we will moderate the questions and it will work pretty well. and, autumn kelly, if you would raise your hand, our on-site coordinate, will play vanna white and pass around the microphone, that way everybody can be on c-span which is covering the entire event with a back to basics agenda, mayor garcetti has focused on job creation. since he took office, los angeles has added more than 85,000 new jobs and registered almost 60,000 new businesses, reducing the city's unemployment rate by 3.2%.
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mayor garcetti was sworn in as the 42nd mayor of los angeles after being elected four times by his peers to serve as president of the city council from 2006 to 2012. city council from 2006 to 2012. from 2001 until taking office as mayor, he served as council member representing hollywood, echo park, silver lake, and atwater village. he was one of the first major public officials to endorse barack obama for president. in full disclosure, that's actually -- the democratic convention is where we actually met. i put the mayor on the phone with his friend, chuck levin, who holds the national and los angeles record with his mother for voter registration anywhere in the country, having registered 100,000 voters. congratulations, chuck o that incredible performance. so, the mayor earned his bachelors and masters from
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columbia university. as a rhodes scholar, he studied at oxford and the london school of economics and later taught at occidental college and university of southern california. he and his wife, amy elaine wakeland, have a young daughter. he's a lieutenant in the u.s. navy reserve and is an aindividual jazz pianist and photographer. and is very much in shape and an advocate of physical fitness. i want to thank joann booze, the national press club staffer, who lee say lee say zons with making sure newsmakers events happen. crouching in the corner is the service winner of the year, noel st. john, the photographer for the national press club, who will be shooting. i mentioned autumn kelly. is naomi, where are you? raise your hand. was invaluable, the mayor's staff, the communications director for mayor garcetti, and your whole team, naomi. thank you very much for making this happen. our team, chris anthony, where
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are you? right here. who is a super clemson student. just had a piece two days ago on the front page of the washington times for us. and from clemson, sylvain staines who has had pieces in the buffalo news, from the university of oklahoma, if you'd raise your hand. great. and i want to introduce my wife, dr. patricia berg, who suffered through all of this and actually kind of enjoys it, i think. and chuck has said that mayor garcetti is the smartest mayor in los angeles history. and i want to say my wife is the smartest in the whole country. she runs the lab at geoe washington medical center, discovered a gene activated in 80% of women with breast cancer, 70% of men with prostate cancer, had more cameras at her news conference than dick cheney had when he was sick at george washington medical center, so -- so congratulations. so i think that covers everyone.
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now, mayor garcetti, on immigration, minimum wage and the drought. and we are so proud to have you. and thank you for coming. >> thank you so much, bob. thank you. thank you so much, bob, and a very good morning, everybody. thank you for coming out here. it's a little earlier for me on west coast time than for you, but it's certainly a great joy to be here. i appreciate you coming here for my analysis of the historic ran u.s. agreement and review of donald trump's golf courses. we have, i think, a very exciting moment, and i do appreciate everybody being here in the midst of a very busy newsweek. because what i want to talk to you about is as important as anything in the headlines today. i would offer to you it's as important for the future of our country and certainly for the cities of america as anything we're talking about in the presidential election and in the coming weeks. it is a very exciting time to be a mayor in america's cities.
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i am the mayor of the largest city and the largest state in the union, the second largest city in america, i place that is arguably the western capital of the united states and one of the great global citizens of the world today. in many ways, i embody that city. i have an italian last name, i'm half mexican, half jewish. if that doesn't get you elected, nothing will. i've been referred to as a kosher burrito. it's confusing, but it's what this country is about. that we don't really care where you've come from, who you are. we don't judge you by the zip code that you're born in. but at least the rhetoric of this nation is that we are a nation that really is about opportunity for all people around the world and around this country. it's an exciting moment for america's cities because if you rewind the clock, it hasn't always been that way. the last half century for america's cities have been tough ones. in the '60s, america's cities were burning.
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in the '70s they were threatened with bankruptcies. in the '80s, more unrest. and the last decade, the most crippling recession of my lifetime. and if yet if you look at america cities today, it's a very different narrative. new york w a synonymous mugging, is now a place with abundant investment. a place like detroit, which saw its population cut more than in half s a place where we see manufacturing and investment coming back. and los angeles, which was synonymous with the dissolution of our diversity is now seen as a model, a place that embodies in many ways what the world looks like today and what this country will look like tomorrow. and i think that we're seeing an economic resurgence in this country that really is fueled by america's cities. very different than the fight and the fright that america's cities represented over these past decades. in some ways this was most embodied when i came here to this city as part of the class of 2013 mayors n towns from
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pittsburgh to seattle to new york to los angeles, new mayors were elected that year. and the president and vice president very graciously invited to us have a roundtable in the roosevelt room for almost two hours, as we went around, democrat, republican, man, wochl, black, brown, white, gay, straight, from this country, who represented america's cities. we we had a lot of commonty in the issues we talked about. the same ones that i want to talk to you about today. the three big is. inequality, lack of investment and integration around immigration. what was interesting, too, when the president asked me to kick off the comments. i said, you know, if this was the '60s or the '70s, mr. president, i think we all would be here, coming as america's cities, as they were burning to washington, asking washington to save america's cities. but given what we all see as americans right now, that washington feels broken, that there's inaction, i said, the formula has been reversed, mr. president. america's cities are here to save washington.
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i do think that innovation, i do think that investment, i do think that policy work and the american dream in many ways is best embodied and most alive in america's cities. part of that is just part of the job description. we as mayors don't have the luxury of being able to decide which issues are partisan. i was elected two years ago as was mentioned by an interesting coalition where i did as well with republicans, independents and democrats alike. maybe i was elected because i didn't have the support of both the chamber of commerce and organized labor, but allowed me to come in an independent way. we're elected not in partisan elections in los angeles, and allowed a republican in a conservative part of my city to feel ownership of me as much as a liberal in a very progressive part of town. in some ways, it's the formula that mayors, whether they're elected in a partisan environment or not, must do.
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we're ceos. we have to fix immediate problems. we have to address ongoing concerns that people have and present a vision that will long last after us of infrastructure. ribbon cuttings we'll never be at, but things that we start and launch and hopefully will be able to live as private citizens and enjoy in our own towns. it transcends geography and transcends ethnicity. if a water main breaks, we don't ask people what ethnicity they are in the area. we have to fix it. when someone calls 911, we don't ask them what their income is. we have to go and make sure an ambulance or fire truck or police officer arrives. but in los angeles, like many american cities, i inherited a city and a city government that was very old. i used to say that he we had cutting-edge technology from the 1980s. we had systems that dated back to the good government air raf the 1920s and '30s. progressive back then, but never updated since. we had systems that were outdated.
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we had a culture, bureaucratic culture that was ossie fied and overall lack of enthusiasm and accountability from our city employees. people at the bottom didn't feel empowered. people at the top didn't feel like they had to be very accountable. the first thing i did was reinterviewed all of my general managers and said, i want you to start counting, measuring and sharing the goals and data that we have in our city in the kind of hickenlooper, o'malley, bloomberg model of what the modern mayor is supposed to do. we're supposed to measure those things, set those goals and then have people hold us accountable. not run away from bad news. not cherry-pick for the press, hey, i reduced crime by 1%. isn't that amazing? it's better than zero. but instead, own the bad news, fix it and also share the good things that are happening together. and in los angeles, my philosophy has been a very simple one. to get back to the basics. to do those things that people depend on government to do. to pave streets, to help businesses create jobs. to make sure that city hall
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works for you and not against you. to show up when we're usually missing and to get out of the way when we're an impediment and rebuild the public trust and to kind of breathe some life back into american democracy from the local level back up. and why shouldn't people expect that from government? nobody does, but why shouldn't they? our customers, our constituents are the same folks that get ooblgt two-day shipping from amazon, can get uber in three minutes on their smartphone, they expect groceries on their door step. why shouldn't city government be held to the same level of accountability? when i came in our 311 system, when people called in, actually had a need or wanted to volunteer to say, there's graffiti that needs painted out or a couch that needs picking up. we reduced that call time by 82% my first year because i wanted to make sure that call was picked up quickly. that first interaction led to a second interaction, led to a third interaction, led to an engaged citizen. and in two years we've seen a tremendous turn-around in los angeles.
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85,000-plus jobs. the most we've seen in a pace in a decade. as was mentioned, unemployment cut by more than 3%. cut our city's business tax, and seen the city's bond rating go from good to great. we've focused on core industries like hollywood, to bring jobs back to california, manufacturing in the aerospace industry. we've looked at new resurgent -- i'm sorry, new emergent industries from green jobs to tech. a lot of people don't know that los angeles is now the digital tech jobs capital of the country. we have more in l.a. county than even is santa claire county in the heart of silicon valley. more than in washington, more than in new york, more than in boston. we've seen a huge investment in infrastructure. we haven't waited for washington. we haven't brought an empty hat here for washington to fill. we come with a hat that's half-filled. we taxed ourselves first and we have the largest public works program of any local government in the country with $36 billion alone for five new rail lines, $10 billion redo of l.a.x.,
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which if you've flown into, you know needs it. we've seen a million dollars a day spent in the port of los angeles where one out of 50 american jobs can be traced to the ports of los angeles and long beach. 43% of our nation's goods come via sea into is that port. it is critical for america's success. so, whether it's hollywood, which is our calling card to the world, whether it's international trade which comes through los angeles, it isn't just a great american city, it's a greatway for this kurngts both in and out of this country for our products and for our economy. we've seen a record amount of streets be paved in my city. we've gotten back to the basics of fixing every single sidewalk. but we haven't just done old analog things, we've done new digital things. we ranked the number one digital city in america last year. we're the city with open data, something we hold with journalists because they can hold us accountable. because they like me can go to a dashboard on my smartphone and look at where the building permits are in the city by
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geography or response times for 911 broken down by how long it takes us to transfer that call, how long it takes for a fire truck to roll out, and how long that travel time is. so that we can have accountability together. and we went from unranked to number one in the country. so we're seeing a lot of positive momentum coming out of america's second city. we also most importantly are addressing the issue of inequality. if i averaged our city's prosperity, i could say l.a.'s doing amazing. we're seeing more foreign investment there. we're seeing a record amount of real estate investment. but we have to look for pockets where i can say los angeles is the safest of the five big cities in america. but if you're in an area where there's high crime, who cares? i can say our unemployment is down by 3%, but if you don't have a job or underemployed, you don't feel that. so, we look towards those places and those neighborhoods where inequality and those households where inequality has been felt so sharnly. something that's not unique to los angeles. not even unique to america anymore. but in a new economy, try to figure out creative ways to
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boost investment and raise wages, which is why i'm so proud we're now the largest city to have raised the minimum wage. a pathway to $15 an hour, lifting 600,000 earners out of poverty, and with their family members, more than a million people. you see, my city, we're one out of four people live in poverty, we have a shot of putting that money back on main street. helping small businesses as people spend that because that's not going to be put away, squirreled away, it's going to be spent. and making sure that people can return to the american idea that if you work hard, you should be rewarded. on inequality, we haven't just looked at minimum wage, though. we're looking at the housing crisis. building more than 100,000 new units of housing, a quarter of which are already under way in the pipeline. we're targeting homelessness, accepting the white house challenge first to end veterans' homelessness. we believe we're housing more homeless veterans in los angeles each month than any other city that took that pledge combined. over 240 vets a month.
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we doubled the number of summer youth jobs because we i know it's a pathway to make sure they have one, two three years of jobs that connect them to the employers that love the hires they're making and also make sure they're not stuck in a rut of poverty generation after generation. we're tracking, because we're selected as one of the three cities as the promise zone by the obama administration, many sixth and seventh graders and showering them with all of the resources they and their families need to escape poverty, to graduate, go to college and get good jobs. and finally, the reflection of inequality. so much of the national debate, whether it's policing and the gulf between many police departments and community, which in many ways is a reflection of inequality. in los angeles, the first big city to put cameras on every
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single officer. long before staten island, we were testing that my first two months in office. we're positioning to make sure every officer has a camera. a new relationship-based policing division to look at the ways we can strengthen that. and because of the pain we went through in the '90s with rodney king and other thing, we have independent investigations. we do have an inspector general. we have a faith and resilience that doesn't make us immune from that conversation, but helps us address those feelings of inequality, too. so i said that in los angeles, we're getting back to the basics. but there's one thing of those three is, of investment, inequality and integration, there's one thing held back, that's our immigrants. los angeles is an amazing community. it's the most diverse collection not just of people in america, not just people in the world, but i would offer to you and this has been researched, that los angeles is the most diverse city in human history. we have in los angeles over 224 languages and dialects spoken. we have people from more than
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115 countries of origin. one of my favorite statistics, los angeles has 39 countries where the largest population outside of that home country resides in l.a. so, it's the largest collections of armenians outside of armenia. thais outside of thailand. guatemalans outside of gall ma la. the list goes on. people of mexican descent, mexico city is number one, l.a. is number two, and you return to mexico for number three. what's remarkable about that, is if you rewind the clock again and go back 25 years ago, as los angeles was burning in the unrest in the wake of the rodney king verdict, people and the national media talked about a race war and race riots. they wondered whether african-americans and latinos and koreans would ever get along. and it was seen as a weakness in los angeles, our diversity. cut forward to last year in november, i was traveling in seoul, korea, and the mayor
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of seoul, who's a friend, mayor park, said, how do we get to be more like los angeles? we need more diversity just like what you have? there was a recognition that a declining population in korea, a lack of diversity was making them uncompetitive. and that los angeles was suddenly seen as the model. it was a remarkable turnaround in just over two decades to what people in the narrative was about los angeles and even about america. back then. so th so this diversity which, you know, i love the expression people say, you can see the face of the world on the streets of l.a. as a side note, i've always found the opposite to be true too. i'm a fourth generation angelino, growing up and embodying that diversity, i could be on the streets of cairo, tel aviv, mumbai, or mexico city, and feel at home because it looked like the face of los angeles. for us to be able to compete as americans, and it's always been our great strength, even when perhaps our diversity didn't look as diverse as it does today, whether it's puritans and quakers, this is the place that
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has always been a country of chances where the boldest people cross rivers and oceans to come here. so i want to reserve the bulk of my remaining time to speak to you about what we must do to make sure that integration continues here in america. it's the primary driver, i believe, of our success and will be in the future. let me give you one other example. recently riot games -- anybody heard of riot games in anybody play league of legends? if you vant it's a video game, a multiplayer role-playing game that is responsible, according to them, for 3% of the global internet time spent by human beings. so maybe the reduction of 2% of our global productivity. but this company didn't exist five years ago and we moved them into the city of los angeles recently. part of our reducing taxes, helping people with white glove service. and often people say the old playbook for mayors is get a fortune 500 companies. they often has a couple hundred
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employees. this company didn't exist and we helped bring them into los angeles. i asked brandon beck, one of the co-founders, i said, why are you in los angeles? he said, a lot of reasons. i graduated from the university of southern california and there's a lot of great engineers. los angeles has great universities. we have so many engineers but they used to leave l.a. and go to silicon valley and elsewhere. we're retaining more of them because of the excitement what's happening in our tech sector. he said that was one. he said, two, i need a jumping-off point to go to the world because our customers are literally in every world. and l.a.x. is now the number one airport in the world. we're ranked number five in overall traffic but the four above us are hubs. and it's people flying through that get their numbers up. but if you get on a plane or step off the plane and go into the city, we're actually the busiest airport in the world. this year what has been the dominant air traffic -- air traffic corridor in the world, which is the east coast of the united states to london, will be displaced by the west coast of the united states to china as the most important, busiest hub.
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i remember when there was one flight a week to china when i was a boy, 12 years old in 1983. there were 44 flights a week nonstop to china from los angeles now each week. and so he said, we understood a jumping-off point and l.a. is perfect. the last thing he said is we need a diverse population. i need engineers and salesmen and women who speak every language of the world. and there is no place like los angeles. this was easy. it was a no-brainer. so, when we look at that as a piece of what america can be, we need to re-embrace our nation. diversity as a strength of this nation, something we have to figure out a path way of integration that will be the core of who we are. i want to be clear. what i offer today is not some sort of brave, new policy era. or uncharted territory. this is a return to who we are as americans, to a core value. in some ways, a very conservative return to what we are about, and what we need to be about. the investment in our people,
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the eradication of inequality, and lastly, the integration of our immigrant communities. this has always been our formula for success. and it must be once again. so first and foremost, we need comprehensive immigration reform. you'll hear it a million times, but it bears repeating again. washington is failing us. i feel that as a mayor. my fellow mayors feel that and i believe americans feel that. even as the rhetoric has shifted in a positive ways and i want to thank those in both parties who are saying the right thing. and it is a very ripe moment. when i came here a couple trips ago, i met with tom donahue in the u.s. chamber of commerce and richard trumka at the afl-cio. both of them mentioned it as one of the top issues for them. how often do we get that coalition together? not very often. when i met with republican leadership on the house, with speaker boehner, with majority leader mccarthy, they both talked about how important integration was. in many ways, this reminds me of
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the shift in marriage equality. that there was a day that suddenly the rhetoric shifted and people talked about how we can achieve some measure of inequality -- i mean equality. there might have been disagreements is it civil unions, is it marriage? but there is a shift that is happening, but it's happening and that is a positive thing. but at the same time as the rhetoric has shifted, we haven't seen any actions come along with it. and this bipartisan rhetoric, i think, is something that has transcended at the city level. and we as mayors and cities are now leading because we must. we have to fill this vacuum. it's a practical necessity for our communities just as much as fixing that water break of a water main, filling a pothole. it's a problem that demands solving. there is 9 million legal permanent residents in america. an estimated 11 million undocumented residents in america. of which there's 1.2 million dreamers, young americans who really only know the united
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states of america, folks who remind me of my own grandfather, who came here without documentation, i'm sure in the day, across a border. he fled a war when his father was assassinated in the mexican revolution, and my great grandmother carried him in her arms across the border to texas and then to los angeles. and here in los angeles, or there in los angeles, he was given an opportunity. he was not drafted for world war ii because he wasn't a citizen, but he volunteered and fought as a sergeant in the united states army in the pacific theater and earned his citizenship. came back, learned a trade, became a barber, and now as his grandson, i'm the mayor of los angeles. the integration of his story is like the stories that we hear every single day in los angeles. folks who have graduated from ucla, who have gotten their master's in architecture, but who are working under the table in less than minimum wage jobs. who the moment they went through
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daca in this first round of deferred action were able to go not only go to work at that architecture firm, help america, buy their father their first car and save up for a home, it strengthened the economy, the social fabric and at the end, this country itself 37 we need to figure out a way to get people like that on a path to citizenship. we need to figure out a way not to just give them a legal status, but to engage them, involve them, hire them, and make sure they're part of the core of this country. now, cities have played this role historically. think about new york in the turn of the 19th to 20th century. as people streamed off of boats from places like italy and ireland and greece. the city set up these citizenship integration centers where they would teach people english, where they would train them on what it meant to take participate in a local government, where they helped them enroll in public schools. that's one of the reasons i
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re-established something that i as a council member had established but it had fallen to the wayside. an office of immigrant affairs in the city of los angeles. we now know about 12 of these that mayors have launched or who oversee around the united states. and i want to be cheer. i want to be clear. it's not an issue area, it's a value we're putting throughout government. it's not like, okay, this is the area we deal with immigrants. for me to be successful with rec and parks policy, we have to make sure we're talking to immigrants. for our libraries to do well, we have to make sure the value of immigrant immigration is part of what we do. so it's because something, dr. linda lopez who is with me today, is pushing forward a different way of looking at how we serve the people who are residents of los angeles. the cities for citizenship initiative is something i started with the big three mayors. with mayor emanuel and de blasio, where we started an initiative that looked at trying to integrate those folks who are legal permanent residents and to get them to become citizens. so, that first group that i
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mentioned, the 9 million people, that no matter what happens in the midst of the fights that i'll get to in a moment over daca and executive action, we have an obligation to try to help become citizens in the united states. this is a program that reaches across state lines. the best way to strengthen our city is to strengthen all cities. it's a collaboration of 18 cities now, not just three, we pledge naturalization resources, share best practices. in los angeles we've targeted 3,000 ang leinos for residency. we were recently honored by the white house for the national medal for libraries because we turned our libraries into citizenship centers. with a grant from citibank and others, we raised money, we have in every single branch library, all 72 of them in los angeles, both library yans who are trained on information available to help folks come to their local library and to get the pathway to legal status and to citizenship.
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that's been tremendous. there's 150-plus libraries who applied for this medal. we're one of five in the country who won it. honored also for helping people with the affordable care act. libraries have always been a place for information. there's no reason they can't be a place where people find jobs, health care and citizens as well. second, we've launched a campaign called step forward l.a., which aims to engage 750,000 legal permanent residents in l.a. and as i mentioned, the centerpiece of this is citizenship corners in our libraries. but we've linked 10,000 angelinos to either legal status and/or citizenship and the best part, it's free. we're exporting it now to atlanta, to boston, we hope the model continues to go across the country. then finally the third initiative is cities united for immigration action, now more than 70 cities that have gotten involved in hard action between texas versus the united states. it's simply disheartening. the executive action was a small step forward, i don't want to
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overstate it, but an important one. it was incremental, but it reminded me of civil unions during the marriage equality debate, something we thought would get momentum, not the promise land, but an important step forward. but even that was met by intolerance and hostility. and that hostility is something that i think is unamerican. not only because of my own family experience, but because los angeles is the epicenter of immigration reform. the county has 500,000 residents that are eligible for relief. the city has 220,000 of those. let me be clear, it's not just -- i'm not trying to preach from an ethical issue. this is a practical issue. citizenship increases someone's earnings 8 to 11%. we have increased if we got folks through executive action, the earnings of this country by $124 billion. a $230 billion increase in our gdp. tell me what other program can
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do that with a stroke of a pen. in my city, it was $3 billion that we're leaving on the table for the economy. like miss lopez, the woman from ucla that i mentioned a moment ago. and it increases the income of nonimmigrants. for those of us who are legal citizens here, we would see our incomes go up as well. but courts stepped in and put a stop to that. one of the reasons i'm advocated on behalf of the president's executive action, we brought 70 mayors together for this action, to file a brief. we launched online action that was signed by rahm emanuel, the mayor of atlanta, among others, and a majority of americans, 62% support a pathway to citizenship. we can agree to disagree on how, but let's keep that core value we need to do that. opposition to reform is in decline. i think in 204, when we look back at this moment, we'll look at today's republican primaries, shocked and embarrassed that immigration reform was so hotly
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contested. just like we look back in 2004 presidential debates and wonder how marriage equality was taboo in both parties. we look although 2008 and we think it's -- and the pace with which that happened. and i want to add to a list of folks, if we look at these historic moments in american history. seneca falls in the 1840s and selma, alabama, in 1965, delano, california, that same year with farm workers, massachusetts, 2004 when marriage equality started to move forward. i would add to that list, los angeles, 2015. it is the place and the date where it's ground zero for this issue. it's a movement that looks to differing ideas to spawn new solutions, but it returns to very old american values. it's a movement that calls on our politics to be a means of change, not a tool to halt progress. it's a movement that manifests the sweeping advancement by harnessing the power of our cities to integrate our
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immigrants. use us, use the cities as engines not just as of economic prosperity, but of american integration. at the same time, figure out how we can erase and eradicate income inequality and get america back to our basics. as i mentioned, in many ways my story is the american story. we're a country full of people who make mistake, who takes risks, who cross rivers, who cross oceans, who might hit bumps on the road, but who are the bravest, most innovative, most hardest working people on the face of the earth. we're an imperfect country, but as often is said, we are the least bad, which makes us the best. and we embrace those things, admit our imperfections on the road to becoming a more perfect union. this is one of those moments where we dig into our hearts, we look at our heads, we do a gut check, and we realize that we are a country that does believe there should be some measure of equality, that we should invest in our infrastructure, both human and physical.
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at the end of the day that the american story is the story of the integration of a diverse population and america's cities are leading the way. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> all right. >> i'm happy to talk about the drought, which i know i didn't mention. i'm just going to enjoy this water in the meantime. >> there you go. let me just lead this off, because it's a challenge, this immigration issue, when you have donald trump and others using the kind of rhetoric they do, and you said that that would be -- it's embarrassing. what do you do about that? because, what do you do about the nativist chord that he struck that has now in the latest pulls put him, for example, at the top of the republican field? and when you talk with boehner and mccarthy and they tell you they agree with you on integration, it's important, except they're blocking the bill that the senate has passed and is languishing in the house, so how do you get past f you have
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any great idea on this, how do you get past the gridlock that we're at in the congress now? >> well, a couple things. one is when somebody polls at 15% of -- you know, and this could be said about democrats, too, a party which is a minority of americans, democrats are as well. but you do the statistics, you're talking about, you know, 6% or 7% of americans who are saying, absolutely. that's always been a part of american history. we have nativist chords throughout, the know-nothings, we've had many parties throughout the years and individuals who have said that, but that doesn't mean it represents america. it's certainly been more than 50% of the talk on the news these days, but it's not necessarily 50% of the perspectives of americans. so i return to the poll, the everyday polling that's done consistently, that shows a constant evolution. and i would also say that not just as a word of warning but a statement of fact. in 1994, it was interesting
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during our gubernatorial race between kathleen brown and pete wilson. pete wilson began that campaign and his campaign looked at the top ten concerns of californians. death penalty and immigration were, i think, nine and ten. by the end of it they were number one and two. what he found that even though it was ninth and tenth in importance, people at that point were very aligned against what was seen as illegal immigration. as he pumped that up, it became number one. he won that race. but today there's not a single republican in the state -- richard nixon, ronald reagan, in any of our constitutional statewide offices. i don't think that was a punishment. people felt it was out of line with their values, who we are. it's like, again, marriage equality, when it was gay people who folks didn't know, that was one thing. when it was your brother, your sister, your coworker, your neighbor, it's another thing. i think the same thing is happening with immigration. it isn't just this caricature of folks who break the law, come in here, doing terrible things but
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it's that young woman who's here at 5 years eeld and who suddenly graduates with honors from a great university, whose potential we're holding back, not just for her, which is the right thing to do, but also for the nation. how do we break the gridlock in washington? i think it's exactly what i said. we try to start modeling those things at the local level and build that movement up. as governors sued the president on his executive action, the reason the mayors did, some of us are mayors of cities with a population larger than the states that were suing against the governor. so it's important to remind people that americans aren't of a singular mind on this, and if you look at the polling, a majority of them want to see that. and even in the republican party, people like john kasich, who is saying, we have to figure out a way to deal with the problem. i want to be really clear that i respect you if you have a different perspective on immigration from me, but offer something constructive to deal with folks that are here, because they're not going away. and don't leave money on the table for our economy. don't leave human potential untapped.
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so it's an opportunity to engage with congressional leaders. they themselves want to. i hope the timing will be sooner rather than later. they often talk about that, but we can add the support and the pressure from the cities. that's the main part of my message today. >> well, and other part is, you apparently and are you willing to take that mantel, are leading a national effort to get cities to do their own thing with your libraries program, with your education program, with your jobs enhancement, with your citizens program? you're leading a national movement to have the cities end run the congress if they remain gridlocked, is that true? >> absolutely. i always say, don't see the power you have before you try to exercise it. i respect the constitution. it's an amazing document. and the power for federal immigration policy is with the federal government. but that doesn't mean we're powerless at the local level to do something for and with immigrants. i think integration, regardless of legal status s something we can continue to work on. we all have something to gain from that.
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we've seen that in los angeles. the more integrated people are, the more we gain. it is a very straight, linear formula. >> you mentioned the drought. so what are you going to do when california goes try in two years? >> well, you know, people ask me all the time whether i'm stressed out about the drought. i'm truly not. i'm very focused on it, but i'm not stressed. we actually have plenty of water. i know that shocks people to hear. in los angeles my favorite statistic is we've added a million people to the population in the last 45 years and we've consumed not one more drop of water collectively than we did 45 years ago. how did we do that? we changed our faucets, our appliances, we got smarter about our landscaping. there's so much water still wasted even in a place like california, that if we are smarter about our water, we can do better. so what are we doing in los angeles? we, we have already -- i set a goal of reducing our water usage just in the city by 20%. and we are hitting that goal a
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year early because what we did, we incentivized 50% of our usage, for instance, is people's landscaping. when we told people we'd pay people $4 a square foot to change their grass out to beautiful -- it's not like rocks and cactuses. it's nice, beautiful, flowering drought-tolerant plants. if you use your lawn, i say, go ahead, keep it. but 90% of grass never gets walked on anywhere and so that is something that has immediately been able to reduce our waterout put. we import 85% of our water into los angeles. i've said the boldest goal of any mayor since whoever was mayor during the mulholland years, if you watched chinatown, the incredible engineering that was sdon to bring every drop of water from north of los angeles. we've set a goal by 2035 to have 50% of our water produced locally, or obtained locally. by putting back water into our wells, by recycling water, by reusing water and by conserving water. and the last stat i'll give you,
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6-h 60% of the water we use every day, or the equivalent of, which goes through a drain, we treat to an almost drinkable standard and then we wash it out to the ocean. imagine if we were piping that israel. we can look to australia. we're implementing those sorts of poll sus. and a massive public awareness campaign, steve ka riel, it's save the drop. he's not angry but disappointed you're taking a shower that's too long. things like that have turned the tide. i know there are larger state issues, agricultural center needs to be more efficient. i'm confident we'll be able to meet this challenge. >> okay. i guess my last question then we'll turn it over and everybody can have at it is the city of los angeles and you just signed it raised in phases the minimum wage to $15 an hour. that will help end inequality, but what is your counter?
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and make the case that it isn't going to cost jobs. >> absolutely. well, it's interesting. we passed that in the county of los angeles, which is encompasses 10 million people. and areas where there's no city incorporate incorporated it's the second biggest city in l.a. is debating that right now as well. i believe they'll pass a minimum wage similar to ours. they did a study and asked los angeles economic development corporation to pull a thousand businesses about minimum wage and the impact. and i was even blown away. because i know it will have a positive impact. we've seen the studies, we've seen the actual work in the past. zero said they would pack up and leave an impact ot not even
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negative that they do those things. it blew me away. let me see i have two-thirds of businesses said it was likely they'd save money by reducing the cost of employee turnover. in fast food for instance you know what the employee turnover is on average? 150% a year. which is like having a permanent help wanted sign. that's expensive to train people. it's expensive to have sick days when they can't live off their wages. i think a lot of companies are doing this. an article i read said more and more companies are seeing it's good to bottom line to pay more. they're recognizing the henry ford thing if you create customers it's a good thing. so it was one thing for politicians to say trust us it's going to be okay. but businesses did not expect to reduce staff. 6% it was likely, zero said it was likely to reduce staff. 0% said very likely to reduce hours or replace workers with
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machine. 2% said it was likely, 72% of businesses feltd the workers would be happier, better at their jobs. 45% take on additional duties and raise prices. we'll feel that, but much more of a virtuous cycle. when a billion dollars is put in the pocket of low income angelinos, that i mean thing can be said about americans. they have things they've been choosing between the phone bill and buying shoes for kids for school. you'll see that money hit main street in a big way. i think that will help businesses. >> okay. questions. start right there. identify yourself and then ask the question. and make sure the switch part of the mic faces out. that's how you get the best volume. >> okay. welcome to washington. >> thank you. i'm with the "the wall street journal." on the minimum wage you mentioned you don't have overly
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close ties with unions or chambers and those types of places. with the hotel workers minimum wage law from last year that included a carve out for collective bargaining agreements, the city wide law does not. can you explain to us if those carve outs are important? and as you are serving as a model for other cities to follow, should those cities look at having such carve outs in their laws? >> okay. we're all friends now. i was very proud we had labor support and business support, republican businessmen like rick ka rus so who is one of our biggest shopping mall owners who would probably be hardest hit in a lot of the rhetoric by a minimum wage. people like eli broed founded not just one but two fortune 500 companies. sometimes even pushing to go faster. so in terms of a carve out, for hours i don't support that. i understand the logic of it, but i think a minimum wage
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should be a minimum wage. there should be nobody who earns underneath that. and i understand how it can be an organizing tool actually. understood for at the hotel level sign that even though that was a part of it. but i think in general for the average person this isn't about just labor, organized labor. most people are not part of a union. i think it would be a positive thing if more were. minimum wage workers almost never are. what can we do to make sure that's raised for everybody? that's the pathway we're taking in los angeles. i respect folks who put that in there. i think it's a small -- it's been overblown. it's a smaller issue than people think it will hit low single digit percentage of workers. i'm interested in hitting the most people in the most aggressive way we can. >> i'm the congressional correspondent with the hispanic outlook. lived 50 years of my wonderful
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hispanic town of santa barbara. >> nice. >> at the airport in the '70s it was the newest airport -- >> we'll get it back. >> hope so. i've been covering immigration and written two books about it actually. and i have two questions. >> sure. >> one is popular to say that congress is gridlocked over immigration reform, but really the big issue is between comprehensive and piecemeal as you pointed oult there were many, many issues republicans agree with. including many want to localize. the other thing i want to remark about it's sanctuary cities, the issue was brought up yesterday in a hearing that with much exasperation why do we even have immigration laws if the cities are going to say we don't believe in that. and isn't that opening a
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pandora's box. are we going to have sanctuaries for these he tro sexual marriages? >> well, thank you. first question i'll take whatever piecemeal i can get. i'm not opposed to piecemeal. if somebody said we'll legalize dreamers tomorrow, i'd absolutely embrace that. reason i push for comprehensive is i think it's kind of like addressing homelessness. i'm right now trying to end homelessness among homeless veterans. that's where i'm focused on. but i want to make sure we address everybody on the street at some point. i think comprehensive immigration reform doesn't leave anybody behind. we need to solve the problem one way or another. second, sanctuary cities, it's funny. the term is morphed. a lot of cities have been thrown in that technically aren't sanctuary cities. cities like san francisco who during primarily the civil war in central america whether or not when the united states wasn't letting in certain folks who were fleeing the violence
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say okay we're sanctuary city if you're experiencing violence in guatemala, et cetera. now sanctuary's been morphed like sanctuary for criminals. which is not historically accurate. it's kind of a perverting of the words. in los angeles we do coordinate with i.c.e. all the time. any locality should. when we find a violent criminal and we check the immigration status, if deportation can be a part of it, that happens all the time. and it should happen. but what we do demand is there be a judicial order if we have somebody who is not at that level and i.c.e. wants us to have a detainer. we also will do detainers from i.c.e. but we want to make sure there's a judge who says there is something there. to me that is about establishing trust. making sure of that 550,000 people i said that people who are just like most americans who are citizens are law-abiding participate in the public safety
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of our city don't think that a local law enforcement official in a traffic stop is going to say, and by the way can i see your immigration papers. by the way, if we were doing that, i'd have to stop going and solving murders, rapes, the violent crime, the amount of work it would take for my los angeles police officers, i couldn't do my core job which is to keep the city safe. >> gentleman with his hand raised. >> the national association of beverage importers. >> how are you? >> this past year we experienced a debilitating west coast port -- >> yes. >> -- slowdown. many companies lost their entire holiday season because they couldn't ship into west coast ports. what do you recommend to east coast mayors who will experience this in a year or so? same kind of contract negotiations. >> as you know i got very involved in that port dispute. i asked the federal government, the white house to bring in federal mediation. when we closed the deal myself secretary of labor and secretary
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of commerce were in san francisco and i was pleased that we were able to resolve that strike but it was debilitating. i got ceos of the gap, i was here right afterwards talking to the biggest importers and exporters in every industry association telling them the positive news of what we're trying to do to modernize and to not just the physical infrastructure but also the negotiations. but i think the east coast is different than the west coast a little bit partially because some of the folks who work in the unions here are more affiliated with the actual companies. there's a different model. so it's traditionally been a little bit more harmonious. but that doesn't mean there can't be strikes and unrest. what i would say to everybody and what got us through the log jam is this isn't just a union. and this isn't just a ministry issue. this is an american one. when we look at that one out of 50 jobs that depended on the ports of l.a. in long beach, whether it was a small retailer who couldn't get their gifts in from asia or whether it was a huge retailer like home depot or
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gap, the impact that it had was debilitating on the american economy. so first i would tell the mayors of the east coast elevate this up to more than, hey, you're dealing with the teamsters and sanitation department who might be striking. this is a real american issue. second, i would do what we're doing for this next round, which is get in there early. and really establish early on that we're not going to back this up to the eleventh hour and get an agreement early onto make sure both sides have an agreement that there can't be any work slowdowns. work never stopped on the west coast. it just slowed down. at one point i think we had 24 ships off the coast. we had bananas spoiling. like you said, whole seasons missed in the retail sector. and i can guarantee you this next round for the west coast is going to start very early. we're going to make sure to bring in the big guys and gals, the ceos of the multinationals, not just the reps here. and similarly with the unions to make sure they understand that we're all breathing down their necks. we're friends with both sides,
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but the end actually had i won't say which side but somebody said america right now is looking at this and sees you as incompetent. said who's looking at us that way? i said i think you've been so much in your own negotiations that you don't realize the west coast economy is falling apart and it's impacting the entire united states and that's finally how we broke the log jam. >> okay. want to give priority to media who have questions. if you're with a media outlet raise your hand. okay. in the back with hand up. >> i'm sorry, sean higgins with the washington examiner. if l.a. county doesn't come up with a minimum wage that's close to or matching the city's, is that going to be disruptive for the metro area economy? because there would then essentially be a two-tiered system in the area. >> i think it will be but not in the way most imagine. i think if they say you have a higher minimum wage it's a negative effect on you because it creates a wage island. i would say the opposite is probably what happens is you
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create poverty pockets. if you have a lower minimum wage right across the border, the best workers come into the city of l.a. the most motivated workers come into the city of l.a. the best trained workers come into the city of l.a. our businesses will continue to benefit from that. we looked at some really good m impir kal data. people thought, well, those restaurants must be going out of business, et cetera. that didn't happen. in fact, whether it was a poor community like we saw some poorer cities in the bay area start a minimum wage rise or it was a rich city like san francisco we saw the opposite effect. so i tell other cities don't do this because i'm asking a favor from you to make sure it doesn't hurt us, but do it for yourselves because workers can cross city borders. and in the city of los angeles they can live in another city and come into the city of l.a. and i think, you know, who wouldn't want to work at mcdonald's for $15 an hour when another place is stuck at $10? those are going -- and when the employer of a mcdonald's in los
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angeles can pick the very best, they will get the very best. >> okay. media or club members. great. >> hi. my name's jordan. i'm with the german press agency. >> hi, jordan. >> so with the minimum wage at $15, do you encourage all cities, all states even in the u.s. to raise to $15, or do you think l.a.'s in a unique position with population, cost of living? >> i don't. i think that $15 is a good goal -- i guess i would, but different years. $15 is a fine number to organize towards. but i do think it would be great to raise the basement nationally, but we're not seeing that happen in congress any time soon. i hope it will. and it has very strong bipartisan support again in polling. a majority of republicans as well as overwhelming majority of democrats support raising minimum wage. but i think different economies are different. the cost of living is different different places and you need to cater towards what is right for
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your own city. >> we'll take one or two more and then we'll be done. >> kevin, with the associated press. >> how are you? >> since you required judicial order before for these detainer requests. >> yep. >> what has the impact been? and have you seen a decline in requests since then? >> no. we've seen it be pretty const t constant. we've talked to i.c.e. they say do you want to have a few crimes that are in a different category? that's part of the new p.e.p. discussions. and we've engaged dhs and some of our immigrant groups in los angeles to see whether that's something in the future. but we haven't seen a decline or increase. it's been pretty constant because that's something that we've had before. obviously the overall -- we had that policy in place long before we kind of made it official that informally we just -- we don't have the time to do it, quite frankly, too is one of the other issues. if the federal government wants
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to have that mandate and we do agree in certain areas, we also want to remind the federal government give us the resources to help us do it. we are already overtaxed, overburdened to deal with everyday street crimes, property crimes. if you want us to take on some of these responsibilities, give us the resources to do it. >> go ahead in the back. and then maybe we'll conclude. >> hi. anna isaacson with moment magazine. so you've said that your commitment to social justice comes from judaism. what do you say raising the minimum wage also informed by jewish values? >> absolutely. it's funny. i'm not the first guy to be jewish in the city of los angeles. but i'm the first-elected jewish mayor in los angeles. proud of that. i think not just because of the cultural ties but whether it's the immigrant experience of both my jewish and mexican sides or
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the values i think of growing up jewish and understanding that we have a responsibility. it's not charity, but it is a responsibility of kind of our covenant to make sure that we take care of those who need us and to heal a broken world. there's no question these things come from that. and i think, you know, my grandfather on my mom's side, harry roth, is an interesting american success story. he was the son of immigrants from russia and poland who were fleeing the pilgrims in the time of the early 20th century. he came to -- his father came to los angeles and was a tailor. he took up his profession. and decided to take his father's name, lewis roth and turn it into a suit company. and lewis roth clothes was the nicest of its time. and tapped after the kennedy assassination to work for
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president johnson and the first thing he did is came to d.c. and said you look like a shlub, let's get you a suit. the tailor of the united states of america. the story could end there and it would be nice, but then he was personally opposed to the vietnam war. and he was very active in progressive politics. and as a businessman he had a union shop, aclu man of the year. and it wore on him more and more. and he had a crossroads speak out and say something about this but lose my most important and famous client, or remain silent and keep him. and it wasn't a tough choice for him. he took out full page ads in the "new york times" with my grandmother telling president johnson in 1968 not to run for re-election and get out of vietnam and offering to pay him in his retirement a little money. and it made national news. it was in "time" magazine, et cetera. i grew up with that story. my grandfather died when i was about 5 years old, but it showed you stand up for what


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