Skip to main content

tv   Road to the White House 2020 We The People 2019 Summit - Julian Castro...  CSPAN  April 5, 2019 2:03pm-3:49pm EDT

2:03 pm
coming up in prime time on the c-span networks. 8:00 eastern c-span. road to the white house coverage. with remarks from joe biden. at a conference of the international brotherhood of electrical workers. c-span 1. members of the incoming congress. and on cspan 3, afghanistan reconstruction efforts. coming up, a forum with democratic presidential candidates new jersey secretary cory beerk and former hud secretary julian castro. they spoke at the we the people summit. >> hey! whoo! welcome, welcome. how we doing this morning? oh, come on, now. that's some noise like we're ready to fight for justice today, is that right?
2:04 pm
yes. well, welcome to we the people membership summit. we're so excited to be here with the people, for the people. i'm kelly robinson. the director of planned parenthood action fund. and good morning, buenos diaz. i'm anna maria. i'm the co-executive director for popular democracy action. i'm so excited to see you. all today. let me hear you one more time. >> yes, yes. >> i know many of you traveled from far away. some of you woke up really early this morning. who got up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. >> whoo, new york. >> so kelly and i will be your co--emcees today. we'll keep your energy up. and we'll make sure we all get to ask our questions of the presidential candidates. we have many people from amazing organizations that have made
2:05 pm
this event possible. we came here today because we know that we, together, with our power, with our dreams, with our stories, we, together, breathe life into our democracy. we make it real. make it come alive. and deliver what we need for all of us. today is all about democracy. this event would not have been possible without amazing organizations that have banded together to put it and to make sure that we center democracy on the conversation in the next presidential debate. i want to take a moment to thank and celebrate the organizations that are co-conveners of this event. if you hear the name of your organization, please shout. planned parenthood action fund. [ cheers and applause ] >> hey, hey. >> the sierra club. >> whoo, all right. >> communication workers of america. >> oh, all right.
2:06 pm
okay. [ applause ] >> 32 vj. >> oh, hey. yes. >> and, yeah, you family. >> all right. all right. >> and my people from the center for popular democracy action. >> okay. all right. it is so good to hear all your voices in this room today. at the end of the day, we knew we had to get a big group of people together for this membership summit. the folks in this room know that the only way we're going to get free is if we all get free together. you feel me on that. if you're here because you support immigrant rights, let me hear you. let me hear you. let me hear you. who is here because you support racial justice? where are my environmental justice folks at? who is here fighting for a living wage? [ cheers and applause ] yes, yes. and reproductive rights? and the right to organize and to
2:07 pm
unionize. yes. who's here because you're committed to getting free, no matter what? that's right. that's right. >> that's right. no matter what. there is a lot of people power in this room right now. we're all here because we know in our bones in our hearts, we know that these dark times require all of us to rise together. the work of justice. requires, demands of us that we see ourselves in each other's faces. that we hear our dreams in each other's story. and that we lift each other up. it requires that we learn to create spaces where all of us feel included. and so to that end, we have made sure we want to make sure that today is an event where everyone can participate. for folks who need translation and don't have equipment, see people at the registration desk. this event is for all of us. we will make sure that across
2:08 pm
difference and across our different histories and experiences we bring our dreams and aspirations for ourself rs and our country together today. >> just like anna marie said, today is about the work of justice. we have to put in the work to make sure we get everything that we deserve in this life. we're here to fund mentally save our democracy. seriously, y'all. when we talk about fighting for freedom, we gotta be specific. we can't be broad and general. then we don't get what we want. are you here because you want, no, no, no, you demand universal health care? [ cheers and applause ] and you demand reproductive rikts? and you demand a $15 minimum wage and a union? and we're going to demand gnat immigrant families always stay
2:09 pm
together. we're going demand real solutions to the climate crisis. we're going to demand this and so much more from the people that want to represent us. that's what we're here for. >> our people and our communities deserve it. our families derve it. and democracy is how we take care of each other. democracy is how we make sure all of us have clean air and water. good jobs and good schools. the ability to control our bodies and our destiny. so, democracy is how we take care of each other. and how we take care of the great grandchildren we may never meet but may already love. we're dedicating our day to the people that want to leave this country. the rules of our democracy and now make them better. we're going to talk and hear from eight presidential candidates. eight. that's right.
2:10 pm
[ cheers and applause ] and we are going to ask them very specific and pointed questions, about their plans to restore and perhaps instill for the first time fairness and integrity and legitimacy into our democracy. >> awesome. awesome. >> all eight of them are here, y'all. i got my hair done. i got fresh braids for today. we are ready. we are ready. our democracy is in peshl. the power is not with the people. we have to fight against voter suppression. gerrymandering and court cracking. and supreme court stealing. corporate purchasing of elections. >> and the exclusion of d.c. from all the rights of statehood. i hear you. the ant quated structure of the electoral college. the deeply undemocratic senate
2:11 pm
rules. all of these things have led us to a point where our e lebs are no longer free and no longer fair. our representatives are not truly elected by the people they represent. and it is not an exaggeration to say that the rules of our democracy today do not embody this spirit of a government for the people and by the people. so let's change that. today, we change that. >> that's right. that's right. yes, yes, today, we are going the change that. this is the beginning of something big, bold, powerful. because here's one thing i know for absolute sure. when the people are united, we can never be defeated. some people say divide. some defeated. either way, it ain't gonna happen when we're together in this. that's for sure. the people in the country, the room, outside of the walls, they represent the real power in this country. they represent the people that can and will fix this broken
2:12 pm
system. we have seen this happen time and time again. this quote always resonates by lucil lucille. every day, something has tried to kill me and failed. our people can. now we're going to hear from eight top tier candidates who want to represent us and our interests. sometimes these folks need a boost to be able to do all the things we need them to do. the people in the room, the organizations in this room, as we organize, and mobilize, we're going to give them a boost. that's the standard we're holding them up to today. >> let me see who participated in the training yesterday? incredible. we are going to not only ask questions today. and listen to the answers carefully and react to those answers. we're going the hit the ground running in our own states.
2:13 pm
we're in this room because we are the front lines of the people that are fighting to defend our democracy to make it come alive. to make it be real for all of us. the time is now. and we cannot wait any longer. so, let's get started. >> all right. look at your neighbor. yes, yes, yes. look at your neighbor and say, let's do this. >> let's do this. >> look at your other neighbor and say, we're gonna do this. >> we're gonna do this. >> to kick us off. the one and only bishop dwayne roiser. he is the national political director of faith in action. an ordained united church of christ minister and long-time social use tis leader. bishop roiser. >> thank you, thank you. come on, can we celebrate anna maria and kelly for their great leadership this morning. you all can do better than that.
2:14 pm
you can't make more noise than that, we won't win in 2020. thank you, to anna maria and kelly for the invitation to share this morning. i woke up this morning and realized it was april fool's day. for those of us gathered in this place, there's no fooling going on. our work is serious. every day since the election in november 2016, i have been waiting for somebody to make me up and say, april fool's. but the retort has never come. so, today, instead of playing and joking, we are pursuing. we are pursuing a way forward to redesign this nation so it works for everybody in this room. every family represented in this room. every organization represented in this room. that we would create an america that works for all.
2:15 pm
but not only are we creating a new america. we're contending for the soul of this nation. a soul right now that is dripping wet with the evil of lies and deceit and misdirection. we're contending for our vision of our collective tomorrow. a vision rooted in the deepest ideas of our many favorite traditions and our progressive ideology. it is a call to be architects of a new america. it is our call to come together one with the other to build something beautiful. and powerful. and wonderful that is a ledder in the world. we are called to create a vision that is created in the notion that we all have in trinsle value. from the returning citizen to the undocumented immigrant. it is rooted in our share caring
2:16 pm
and intending for the only planet that we can live on. this vision is rooted in the notions that workers have rights to determine that how their work place operates not just their bosses. this vision is rooted in the notion that women have the right to control the destinies of their own bodies. no one else! [ cheers and applause ] it is a vision that is rooted in the notion that capitalism is not a god but a system in a system that can and should and will eventually be replaced. so that even can thrive. the vision that we come here about today is one in which our children live in safety and joy. they can play and grow in peace unencumbered by the world.
2:17 pm
they can positively impact the way we live and treat each other. that our differences, our wonderful differences, our difference of race, whether we're black or white, indigenous, asian-pacific islanders, biracial. triracial. whether we choose not to define a race. our multiple faith traditions that we have. our wonderful ethnicities and genter identities are not meant to pull us apart. but instead to pique our curiosity so we know how to lean into each other and grow together as community. our differences are a blessing, not a curse. [ cheers and applause ] in this vision, the one that we are starding for today.
2:18 pm
we are measured by our commitment to a shared humanity and to a shared world. not the measure of our bank accounts or our ability to impress others. as we listen to the candidates, we should not just -- we should listen not just for the one issue. or for the one people. but for all the issues. and all the people. that are represented in this room. in the intersection of all of our demands that have been lifted out. women's rights, workers rights, racial justice. reproductive justice. we're coming in this place to be able to lift up the ability to have control and destiny over our commutes at the interception is our liberation. our freedom. our hope for a better tomorrow. when these politicians listen to
2:19 pm
we the people. and they implement the plan of we the people. then we will experience democracy at its best. because democracy has been lost. but democracy will be regained again. because of the work that you are doing this day. and the many days that are ahead of us. so together, we can design a new nation into a great democracy where we, the people, become the arbiters of the future. and elected representatives carry out our will. not their will. our will, not their will, our will, not their will, our will, not their will! when our political system works in this manner. then we will have truly safeguarded our democracy. so now in this moment, in this invocation, let us pray. pray that these political
2:20 pm
leaders lead with their values. pray that they heed the calls of the many groups here today. that they're guided by moral principles and lead us all into a bright future. pray we hold them accountable now. to respect all faith and moral traditions. we begin with the following statement. i will be praying out of the christian edition. i invite others who embrace different faiths or no faith to pray or meditate in their own tradition. let's pray. holy one who goes be many names in many different languages. we ask for your presence as we deliberate about the soul and future of this nation. open our minds and eyes. to embrace each other. see and hear each other, so our future can be bright and full. may we learn to carry our siblings' burdens. help us lay out a vision today that invites all of us to be
2:21 pm
co-creators of a new vision. may we, the people, honor the traditions in the space, in calling far moral, just, and ek tabl world. we thank you in the many names we call you. amen. god bless you. have a great day. we the people. we, the people. we the people! we, the people! god bless. >> we, the people. we the people. we, the people. we, the people. all right, y'all. let's give it up for bishop roister. all right, my friends. we're ready for a day today. we're going to take a moment to briefly recognize the leaders today. a couple of friends are on their way from the airport. later today, we'll hear from cwa president chris shelton. we'll also hear from michael bruin from the sierra club. >> but now, please, please help
2:22 pm
me give a warm welcome to gustavo. a proud member of my organizati organization, the center for popular democracy action. welcome. [ speaking spanish ] >> good morning. my name is gustavo torres. i'm so proud to represent the center for popular democracy action network. i'm the president of the mid-atlantic's largest organization fighting for immigrants' rights. we bring women, people of color, lgbq and transgender folks. to the center of the presidential conversation. >> that's right. >> but i want one moment to end jaerry commandering.
2:23 pm
and the restoration of the rights for people with felony convictions. we need a democracy where all people regardless of league status are counted and included. and when all people including our brothers and sisters from puerto rico have the ability to exercise our democracy in this country. we need to set our democracy free from the -- paid influence of those who profit our own family's pain. and you'll hear from our grass roots today. our members are warriors. for a justice not just to survive. we will win. and when we win, we won't leave anyone behind. thank you so much. [ speaking spanish ] >> thank you.
2:24 pm
thank you, gustavo. next -- [ chanting in spanish ] thank you, thank you. next up, we would like to welcome sebile ramen to the stage. >> thank you so much. i'm president of demos action. a thrill and privilege to be here. i'm a muslim american and the child of immigrants. very proudly so. this is an incredible time for us. all of our communities feel the urgency of this moment. this is really one in my view of reinvex. we're at the cusp of trying to build the democracy that we all aspire to. and these next two years will shape the next 20, 30, 40 years. now is our time to rye up and demand the kind of justice and
2:25 pm
freedom that we know we deserve. thank you all for being part of this fight with us. we're proud to be here. >> thank you. next, we would like to welcome mia greenberg. >> good morning, we, the people. it's an honor to be here with you today. i'm lea greenberg. i'm representing indivisible. we're trying to advantage professi progressive leaders. we got started after the 2016 election. trump is just a symptom of the problem. if we had a democracy that valued the lives, the dignity, and the voices of all our people, trump could never have risen to power in the first place. that's why we have to cure what ails us.
2:26 pm
we have to change the rules so our democracy is radically representative and reflective. so it works for all of us. we're so excited to be here at we the people. to talk about the bold ideas of our democracy to work with the people. that starts now. we have to power. we're excited to get started. >> thank you, lea. next, we would like to welcome rayna. the program director at move on political action to this stage. >> good morning. good morning. it's so amazing to see all of you in this room. i started my work in the labor movement with the sciu. now i'm at move on. i'm here representing all of the members throughout the country that take time every day out of their day to build their chunts
2:27 pm
and invest in a democracy that works for all of us. and who are move on members? all the phoenix out in the streets. we mobilize hundreds of thousands of folks. to protection en masse against this administration's dangerous attackses on immigrants. mud limbs on our democracy. we're going to continue the fight. but we also do the hard work. we also do the hard work to elect candidates that stand with us. that are building a vision. that is progressive. inclusive. visionary. i don't know about you. i am tired of the politics of fear and division. and what we're seeing. tell me if you see it with me. what we're seeing on the horizon is a new vision for progressive inclusive democracy. the candidates you'll hear from
2:28 pm
today and the kantds we have seen from the presidential primary, they're talking about child care for all. they're talking about democracy that works for not just the wealthy and well connected. we can make these dreams possible. put them into reality. if we stick together. in this primary. we hold strong and we fight in 2020 to get the candidate elected that comes out of this primary, no matter who it is. thank you for being here. look forward to seeing what everyone has to say today. >> all right. thank you. next, a big welcome to jamal watkins. vice president for civic engagement at the naacp. whoop! >> good morning, family. i'm going the say that again. good morning, family. >> good morning. >> i'm jamal watkins. i proudly serve as the vice
2:29 pm
president of civic engage for the naacp. i bring you greetings on behalf of our president and ceo, derek johnson. more importantly, our millions of members and advocates and activists and the country. who are standing for we the people in terms of fighting for democracy. advancing issues of racial justice. and making sure we're tearing down the sigh lolos as it relat building communities. it will be a long and powerful day today. i want you to participate with me in repeating some words from a leader by the name of asada secure. if cow can stand up with me. if you can't, it's okay. i want you to repeat after me. it is our duty to fight for our freedom. >> it is our duty to fight for our freedom. >> it is our duty to win. we must love each other and respect each other. >> we must love ooch other and
2:30 pm
respect each other. >> we have nothing to lose but our chains. >> nothing to lose but our chains. >> it is our duet to to fight for our freedom! it is our duty to win! >> it is our duty to win! >> we must love each other and respect each other. >> we must love each other and respect each other. >> we have nothing to lose but our chains! >> we have nothing to lose but our chains. >> we have nothing to lose but our chains! thank you. >> there you go. thank you, jamal. please help me welcome the amazing dr. leanne. >> good morning. where is my planned parenthood family? [ cheers and applause ]
2:31 pm
we are here at this forum because we must elect people who understand that sexual and reproductive health care is health care. we must elect people who understand that health care must be a human right gampb teed to all. not a privilege available only to some. we know that keeping people unhealthy is a tool of oppression. and that's why we, at planned parenthood, know that providing exceptional health care goes hand in hand withed ed advocatir our patients' rights. we want everyone to exercise their constitutional right to be counted. and we fight against this administration's unethical, illegal policies that target the most vulnerable including immigrants, working families, women, and lgbtq people.
2:32 pm
and we fight for the millions who walk through the doors at planned parenthood health centers. we will make sure that these doors stay open. and now we look forward to hearing from our candidates about how they will fix our democracy and ensure that they protect our health and our rights and our futures. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> all right. thank you, dr. wen. last and certainly not least. the international president of seiu. >> welcome. >> hello, sisters and brothers! say it with us. we -- we the people. we the people. we are demanding the right for everybody to be able to vote in this country. >> we are demanding the right
2:33 pm
for everybody to be be able to vote in this country. >> thank you. that was long. i want you to know that the 2 million members of seiu in health care and property services and public services and the fight for 15 and a union stand with you in all of your fights. and i'm so proud to be on this stage in solidarity with every national organization who is fighting for a better life no matter what our color, where we're from, or who we love. we're incredibly proud to be together here in this room. you can count own us to help alongside each and every one of your filgts. we know you'll join us in the fight to make sure that we end poverty wage work in america. so every working person has the right to join together and improve their lives through a
2:34 pm
union. when we fight. >> we win. >> when we vote. >> we win. >> we -- >> we -- >> we the people. >> we the people. >> we're not stopping until everybody has a good life in this country. thank you very much. >> yes, please help me give this huge round of applause to these incredible leaders. all right. thank you all so much. y'all can head over this way. get back to work, everybody. get right back to work. >> so -- so -- okay. we're going to do this. i'm telling you. we're going to do this. here's how we're going to do it. we have eight candidates. we all want to hear from them. we all want to ask them questions. so we're going to just come up with very few agreements. we would not be in a room of organizers if we didn't come up with community agreements. we know that.
2:35 pm
so, um -- this is what we're going to do. >> each candidate will come up to the stage. they're going to have a few minutes to introduce themselves and share their vision. some folks in the audience get to ask questions. a great opportunity to make sure our issues are front and center. >> then we'll thank them and move on after they have answered. >> we have a very, very packed day. so, we will have two candidate ats the beginning. we'll take 45 minutes for lunch. we'll have six after that. we will have some music in between. we maybe will get to move our bodies and dance a little bit. feel free to dance in your seats. >> all right. so tell us about the community agreements you mentioned earlier. >> okay. um, so -- um -- rule number -- agreement number one. one diva, one mike.
2:36 pm
that's it. one diva, one mike. don't talk when someone else is talking. the basic rule. whoever has the mic is the one talking. at some point, it will be one of us. at some point, one of the candidates. please let them finish and let's listen to each other. let's be present. >> this part of the revolution will be televised. msnbc is our streaming partner for the day. since they're going to be our streaming. we want you all to engage. we ask you not to treatment the event. everyone be mindful that there are press in the back of the room capturing this to make sure others can bear witness to what we're about to do today. >> people can witness from the
2:37 pm
live stream of msnbc. we can bring people into the conversation by tweeting and sharing stuff on social media. let's use the hashtag #we the people 19. >> all right. all right. so third axwreemt. this is like a glitter not shade environment. we want to make sure that we can lift up when somebody has given us an answer that will bring the freedom and justice we deserve. give them a hand clap. we fall out we get so excited. do whatever you have to do to show that enthusiasm. if you're getting something that doesn't quite work for you. engage with your aud innocence. we want to make sure this is a celebratory and friendly space. we're listening. and we'll make sure that we're following up with them after the fact. in the community. and also, you know, here in d.c.
2:38 pm
>> and then finally, we all came here because we want to bo here in the room where it happens. that means you have to stay in the room where it's happening. for a long time. but please take care of yourself. today is a long day. there's coffee and drinks outside in the lobby. the restrooms are on the mezzanine level. our power is our presence. we want the candidates to feel our presence. our stories. our dreams. our aspirations. and the people we bring with us. so, those are the agreements. can we get thumbs up for all of those. >> all right. all right. >> let's do this. >> are y'all ready to hear from our first candidate? whoo! okay. our first candidate is julian castro. i' i'm thrilled to welcome him to the stage. he served as secretary of the
2:39 pm
department of housing and urban development under president barack obama. he's here to tell us what he's here to advocate and fight for. we're so glad to have him. give us a warm welcome for julian castro. >> hi, y'all. ♪ go that have high high hopes for a living ♪ [ speaking spanish ] >> i want to thank all the organizations that helped put together this forum. thank you all very much. this is one of the first presidential candidate forums that we have had. and so i'm sure you're all going to have a very exciting day. i want to do two quick things. i want to start off today by telling you a little bit about myself and my vision. and then i want to tell you a quick story.
2:40 pm
i feel like i need a name tag these days. i have a twin brother, joaquin. some of y'all may have seen my twin brother. he tells people that i'm a minute uglier than he is. i'm a minute older. we grew up on the west side of san antonio with my mother and grandmother. my grandmother had come over from mexico when he was 7 with her a little sister because her parents died. she grew up on the west side of san antonio. never finished elementary school. worked as a maid, a cook, a baby sitter. raised my mom as a single parent. my mom raised my brother and me as a sing parent. joaquin and i are proud products of the public schools of san antonio, texas. i had the chance to go to college, go to law school. came back home with my brother. i couldn't get rid of him. became the first of my family to be a professional. a lawyer. and then -- eventually got
2:41 pm
elected to the city council at the age of 26. served for four years. four years after that, i was elected mayor of san antonio. until i got a call on april 16, 2014, from president barack obama. i had just driven through the drive-through at panda express. and, you know how the phone sometimes it says, unknown caller or blocked. it said private. if you get a call that says private, answer the phone. i did. and i ended up serving 2 1/2 years as the secretary of housing and urban development. i had a chance to travel to 100 communities across 39 states. and saw the challenges all our cities are dealing with. the environment. i'm running for president because i believe that we need new leadership. one that understands that we need to move guard as one
2:42 pm
nation. with one destiny. that destiny for us in the united states in the 21st century is to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest. the most prop prous nation oners. the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest, and the most prosperous nation on earth. basically, we need to invest in things like universal prek for 3 and 4-year-olds. improving our k-12 system by paying teachers what they deserve and reducing class sizes. making sure that no matter what the needs of a student are, they can find the needs met at the school that they attend. we need to make sure that higher education is universal, too. tuition-free. in a world that -- in a world where jobs require more knowledge and more skill than ever before, we're competing against countries around the
2:43 pm
world that are producing tons and tons of young people that are intelligent and well educated. talents. innovative. creative. we don't have a sing person to waste. we need to make an investment in higher education. if we want to be the healthiest nation on earth, we need a didn't health care system. i had a grandmother, who had diabetes. before she passed away in 1996, she had to have one of her feet amputated. she had medicare that whole time. i want to strengthen medicare and make sure it's available to all americans in this country. [ cheers and applause ] if we're going to be the fairest nation on earth, we need to reform our justice system so everybody is innocent until proven guilty, to matter the color of your skin or how much money you have. and so that police departments across the united states treat you the same. no matter if you're black, white, what neighborhood you live in. it means prosperity for
2:44 pm
everybody. we need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. we need to reform our immigration system. in a couple of days, i'm going to present a bold immigration plan for america. we need to do simple things like make sure that women are paid equal pay for eem wqual work ins country. and also, address issues like housing. i bet if we went through the transcripts of the debates for the last 40 years that not one single question has been asked of republicans or democrats about the issue of housing. even though we have an affordability crisis throughout our country. we need to invest in a big way in housing that is affordable for the middle class, the lower middle class, and the poor. and to tackle long-term existential threats to our country. my first executive order will be to reexcite the united states to the paris climate accord.
2:45 pm
so we can lead on sustainability. so i'll get to talk more about my vision for the country and where i stand on the issues. let me tell you a quick story. i got back home. from law school when i was 26, 25. i got elected to the city council at 26. in between, i got a job at the biggest law firm in town in san antonio. i was making $100,000 a year in the year 2000. i bought a house. i bought a car. got elected to the council. the council paid $20 a week at the time. the most you could make was, $1,040 a year. everybody had another job. i worked at that law firm. a few months after i got elected, they got a client that they had a land deal that they wanted approved by the city council. it was to put a golf course over the city's water supply.
2:46 pm
the most environmentally sensitive part of the city. there were one or two golf courses already. i had concerns this golf course didn't have a strong enough environmental plan. the chemicals they used might compromise the integrity of the drinking water. i wanted to vote against the deal. my constituents wanted me to vote against it. under the professional rules of conduct, you can't go against a client. i was kind of stuck. my constituents were saying, what's going on. my livelihood depended on me shutting up. one day in january of 2002, i walked into the law firm and quit my job. and then i went, and i voted against that land deal. and, you know, a lot of times, i know before i went into politics, i worried that i would somehow have to change who i was. to succeed in politics.
2:47 pm
you hear that politics can be dirty of corrupting. i worried that i would have to play the game in order to be successful. i was glad i passed the first test. my house went into the foreclosure process. i had bill collectors calling. little by little i was able to get back on my feet. there is no position where you get tested more than as president of the united states. i want you to know that if i'm elected president, that i'll fight every single day so that you and your family have can good health care when you need it. so your children and grandchildren can get a good education. so that you can have good job opportunities no matter who you are or where you live. i look forward to sharing my vision. i look forward to this campaign. i look forward to fighting for you. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] >> all right. thank you so much. thank you so much. you want to sit over here? okay. >> thank you so much, secretary
2:48 pm
castro. >> thank you. >> so now, you'll get to hear from the people who traveled all the way here to talk with you. i will introduce them. and you will have about six minutes. kelly will help you stay on time by tapping your shoulder. if you forget to look at the clock. and so the first person is danisa. a community organizer in sacramento, california. she is a persistent presence in the california state capital. advocating for criminal justice reform and police accountability. she's worked with free the vote to get eligible incarcerated people registered. and she has driven to per forcriminal justice reform work after seeing family members struggle. as a member of indivisible, she has helped organize any sfam
2:49 pm
families belong together. they brought over 4,000 people. so we know we're in the presence of a real warrior. she is also the mother of jordan, a 13-year-old boy with autism. living today. in sacramento. please, please help me welcome danisa. >> thank you, anna maria. and thank you former secretary castro for taking my question. i'm a puerto rico woman. voting rights are really contentious in my community. compounding the issue is that black and brown people are overpoliced. and that means i do have family members with felony convictions. taking away people's right to vote is rooted in jim crowe laws. meant to deny the vote for african-americans. today, roughly 1 in 40 adults can't vote.
2:50 pm
that's 1 in 13 for african-americans. the passage of amendment four to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people in florida. conversation voting rights on democracy and justice. this year, legislation was introduced to over a dozen states to restore the rights of those convicted of felonies after the completion of their release from prison and to end the practice of felony disenfranchisement all together. this summit is about democracy. our democracy will never be whole or healthy as long as some of our communities are kept from voting. as president, how will you be a leader to restore the rights of formerly incarcerated people and ensure everyone is able to cast a vote, regardless of past felony convictions? [ applause ] >> thank you very much for that question. which is a very timely one. i was very happy, like a lot of folks, to see florida pass that
2:51 pm
ballot initiative, proposition 4. i support the restoration of voting rights for people who have been incarcerated. i think with e need to do that all 50 states and any states that still have that kind of law on the books. i know what you're talking about, because i come from texas. and over the years, texas, like a lot of other states, has found different ways to try and undercut the ability, especially of communities of color, to exercise the franchise. that's nothing new. that's been going on for a long time. it's incumbent upon us as a new generation of leadership to go in the opposite direction. to make sure that we can expand the franchise, whether it's this, whether it's going to a commission form of redistricting so that the politicians don't get to select the people, but the people select politicians. whether it's getting big money out of politics so that people instead of special corporate interests can dominate in
2:52 pm
washington, d.c. i support all of those ways that we can empower people to have a stronger voice in washington, d.c., and in state legislatures and city halls across the united states. the other thing i would say is that we should build on the recent first steps act. i know that there was mixed feelings about it, right? but it's law now. and we have the opportunity to actually build on it to make sure that we can continue with criminal justice reform, with sentencing reform, with bail reform, making sure that people have more effective counsel. invest in our public defender system across the united states. because i'm not just concerned about the people who are already incarcerated. i am concerned about them. but i would rather that our young people not be incarcerated in the first place. right? i would rather -- you know, as somebody said to me, it's not that we want to give folks the second chance. it's that too often times in life the folks that we're talking about and a lot of us here grew up with family
2:53 pm
members, friends that have been incarcerated but a lot of them never had a first chance. we want to major suke sure theya first chance. so i would do that and i would combine that with an overall investment in improving all of the dots that are connected. education and health care and investment in our urban communities and everything that we can do to lift up the quality of life and the economic prospects of folks in our country. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you. so next up, we have a question from sciu members gayle rogers from tampa, florida, and tom aseen wilson from richmond, virginia. gayle joined the fight for 15 when she realized that in order to have a real shot at a decent
2:54 pm
living, she would have to speak out and demand $15 an hour and the right to form a union. and tomasine has been a home care provider for 17 years and has fought very, very hard for medicaid expansion in virginia, which, by the way -- by the way, we won. so thank you tomasina. so gayle and tomasina, take it away. >> hi, i'm the home care chapter chair and union member. and for the past 20 years, i have provided care for older citizens as well as people with disabilities to help them live a more active and productive life. >> hi. i'm gayle rogers. i'm a leader in a union. i didn't imagine i would still be working for a fast food industry today. but where i live, low-paying jobs are some of the only
2:55 pm
positions around. >> and so we both bravely stood up for our employees and demanded fair wages. respect in a safe workplace and a union. and to be clear, we are fighting for our very lives. >> corporations like the one i work for actively block workers from organizing, winning our union and having a say in our workplace. they jam through legislation that only benefits a wealthy few, while millions of us work for private wages, living paycheck to paycheck or payday loan to payday loan. and they do everything they can to keep us from having a voice at the ballot box. >> things need to change! we need more working people and more unions to put a check on corporate power. the chance to join a union, no matter where you work is the best way to make changes.
2:56 pm
is the best way to raise wages and create jobs that can raise -- we can raise our families on and start to rebalance the economy and create democracy. >> hard-working people in fast food, home care, higher education, retail and more jobs across america have struggled for too long. how would you stand with and rewrite the rules for workers like me and tomasine to win our union and build power? channels create power and make the government work for working people. >> yeah. thank you. thank you to tomasine and gayle for those questions. [ no audio ]
2:57 pm
i believe that we need to unrig the system and make sure that it benefits working people. let me just start by saying that over the last 40 years, we've had a tax code and an approach generally -- not in every instance, but generally, that has been asking more and more from people who are poor and people who are middle class working and less and less from people at the very top and from corporate interests. you all may have seen, for instance, a few weeks ago it was reported that amazon made more than $11 billion last year. and they paid nothing in federal tax. and at the same time, they were being offered a $3 billion incentive package to go and relocate a second headquarters in new york. including $500 million in direct incentives. those priorities are all wrong. we need a tax code that actually rewards people who work, allows for them to be able to save more
2:58 pm
to provide for their families. so i would look at ways in our tax code to make sure we deliver on the promise to benefit working people. i would also make sure that we appoint people to the national labor relations board and other offices that have an appreciation for the right to organize. i come from texas, which is a right to work state. and so i know all of the different ways that folks have tried to suppress the ability of people to organize. but when i was city councilman in san antonio and mayor and also hud secretary, i had the opportunity to work with labor and encourage people to be part of a union. ask just a week ago, i was in my alma mater at stanford, and i visited -- i took the time when i went out there to give a speech afterward to visit with workers who are part of the grounds crew, cafeteria workers,
2:59 pm
technicians, that belong to sciu and are about to enter their contract negotiations in may. and i was there to support them to say that the university should treat them fairly in negotiating good faith. i believe in raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. and i'm not just talking the talk. i'm also walking the walk. we're paying our interns on this campaign a minimum wage of $15 an hour. [ cheers and applause ] because we -- if we're going to say that other people should do it, we need to do it too, right? we're supporting the unionization of our campaign staff if they want to unionize. i was happy to see senator sanders. we made the same commitment back in january about that. because i support the right of workers to organize. i would also ensure that we make -- again, that we make all of
3:00 pm
those investments that connect these dots of opportunity and prosperity, because, you know, it's -- it's about the wage that we earn and how we're treated in the workplace. it's also about whether we can take our wages and be able to afford the rent anywhere. you all see in america right now a whole bunch of for instance luxury apartments and condos going up, right? and at the same time, you see unsheltered homelessness. more and more people sleeping under underpasses in communities in our country. that means that something is wrong. we need to invest in basic things for workers, like housing, that they can afford. and also make sure we invest in a different health care system so that they can get good health care, even if they make the minimum wage, even though we'll raise it. because let's also not pretend when we raise the minimum wage to $15 that everything is going to be fine for our workers. we still have a lot of work to do. it's the rest of the package
3:01 pm
connecting those dots. and i'm committed to doing that. and i want to thank you very much for your activism, for bringing that up. and we've entered this time in our country where it's sad to see that in other nations around the world, in this nation that used to be considered the land of opportunity, where if you start at the bottom you could rise, that there are a number of countries that actually have more upward mobility than we do today. and that's because -- that is in part because there's been this dominant philosophy of if you just invest at the top, things will take care of itself at the bottom. that's not true. first of all, people are not at the bottom. they have a worth, and we're going to invest in them. and we can all rise to the top. [ cheers and applause ] thank you for the question. >> thank you. so the last question comes
3:02 pm
from silver light, a former educator from buffalo, new york, who has spent years -- buffalo, new york, give it up. who spent years working in community programs and nonprofit organizations. silver has been formally organizing for two years. the last two years, lots of new people have joined the fight. and in the form of organizing. and let me tell you, she has hit the ground running in that time. she has spoken in front of hundreds of people. she's organized the citywide march for the women's march, and trained many, many organizers -- >> she's really building you up. >> moveon -- where are the people from moveon? [ cheers and applause ] and joined her regional and statewide communities for the poor people's campaign. and yesterday we heard from reverend barber. so silver light, take it away. >> okay. thank you so much. thank you for being here, mr. castro. so my question is, two of the
3:03 pm
last three presidents became president after losing the popular vote. including a president who bragged about violating women and demonized entire groups of people on the campaign trail. this rigged system has meant that twice in the last two decades alone, the will of the people was subverted with disastrous consequences. millions of us took to the streets in the two years since, but the damage has already been done. some possible solutions put forth include passing the national popular vote compact, or getting rid of the electoral college all together. [ cheers and applause ] as president, how do you plan to address this distortion of our democracy and ensure the will of the people is reflected in who serves as president in the
3:04 pm
future? >> yeah. [ applause ] is it silver line? thank you very much for the question. we should abolish the electoral college. [ cheers and applause ] i mean, you hit the nail on the head. we've had two people that were elected in the last 20 years that won the popular vote, a straight up vote of the people. and yet they didn't become president of the united states. and for hillary in the last election to win -- to lose the election, but win the popular vote by 2.8 million more votes to me just doesn't make sense and doesn't reflect the will of the people of the country. [ applause ] and it's also interesting to me that at different points, both donald trump and hillary clinton had called for the abolishment of the electoral college. so i would like to see us do that.
3:05 pm
sometimes people bring up the concern, for instance, that, well, you know, what is that going to do to some of the smaller states? the thing is that in the last election cycle, 94% of the presidential visits were in 12 states. even with this electoral college, you already have an issue of where people go, because those swing states are the places that they go. right? in this campaign, i've pledged -- and frankly, i think a couple of others have pledged wills, to visit all 50 states. [ applause ] so one of the things i'm going to do is i'm going to send a message that everybody counts in this country, right? right after i announce on january 12th, it's customary for folks to go to iowa or new hampshire. i went to san juan, puerto rico. [ cheers and applause ] and the reason that i did that was to highlight the total failure of this administration, but also to tell the people of the island that you're americans and we're thinking of you too.
3:06 pm
and not only will we not fail you in the future, we're going to be your partner to make sure that you can thrive like we're going to be a partner with every other american and every other community in this nation. and -- but let me -- with the bit of time i have left, also address a question related to that. because i get asked this a lot. people say, you know what? our country is so polarized. right? it feels like -- i mean, you turn on the tv or go on the internet -- does anybody listen to the radio any more? >> yes. >> in the car, maybe? but it feels like, you know, it's so polarized. i think we need to take several steps to change that. number one, we need a change in leadership and a president that is actually trying to bring people together instead of tear them apart like this president is. [ applause ] but in some ways -- in some ways, that's the easy part. in the long term, we need to change to a commission form of
3:07 pm
redistricting so that you encourage people in office to have to try and sometimes reach across and talk to people that think differently from them. i'm progressive, but i came up through local government. and in local government, it was nonpartisan. so i had to go knock on doors, and i did knock on doors of people that were conservative. and i talked to them about, you know, trying to do what we could to create economic opportunity in the city. streets, drainage, basic things. dogs that were barking too loud at night at the neighbors' house. but we need leadership that is actually willing again to try and work with the other side in a positive way. not to compromise our principles, but at least be willing to work with others. and changing the way we do redistricting. i believe one of the other things we should do, in addition to the menu of things that you all -- i know this group put together a document that the candidates got that had a whole list of wonderful proposals. and, you know, i agree with -- i
3:08 pm
think almost all of them. one that was not on there that i do think we have to do is to make congress subject to the freedom of information act. [ cheers and applause ] and i'll tell you why. if you go down to, you know, your state capitol or your local city hall and you want to see the e-mails -- the communication between your representative or your council member and their constituents or the interest groups they interact with, how they made a decision, you can get that information. and the media can get that information. but when you go up the food chain to congress, you can't get that information, because congress made itself largely exempt from the freedom of information act. that means that you can't actually get a look at the cozy relationships that too often times folks have with these big, powerful special interests that are contributing to their campaigns. we need to shine a light on what happens in congress and the executive branch. and work on also these bigger,
3:09 pm
longer-term solutions. and so for my part, i think we should do away with the electoral college. the interests of smaller states are still protected. idaho, where i was, three weeks ago has two united states senators. so does the state of california. and they have very different sizes, right? but i was in idaho three weeks ago. and i was in utah. two places that democrats don't usually go. they were very appreciative that i went. but i think that we can both reach out to everybody across the united states and also have a system that respects the one person, one vote. and whoever gets the most votes wins. [ cheers and applause ] >> all right. well, thank you, secretary castro, so much. thank you so much. >> yes. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you so much.
3:10 pm
>> please give him a huge round of applause! all right. so that was candidate number one! did we like that? was that fun? do we want to hear from more? all right. so we're going to do that. next up is senator cory booker. [ cheers and applause ] and just a little bit about him. senator booker, you may know this, because there was a documentary about him. you know. it's a good story. it's a great story. senator booker started his public service in newark, new jersey. [ cheers and applause ] where he founded -- he founded a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families. at the age of 29 -- come on -- 29. he was elected to the newark city council, and beginning in 2006, he served as newark's
3:11 pm
mayor for more than seven years. anyone from new jersey here? [ cheers and applause ] all right. senator booker is the first african-american elected to the u.s. senate in new jersey. [ cheers and applause ] and in the senate reformed the broken criminal justice system, increase wages and ensure hard work is fairly rewarded. so please help me welcome senator cory booker. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> hello, everybody! hello! i am so grateful to be here. and i want to start with a count count counterintuitive statement. there is this mistake people make about presidential elections and we've heard it from somebody who i won't mention who says only i can solve all the problems. we have to remember how change
3:12 pm
is made. it wasn't a whole bunch of fellas in the early 1900s to gathered together and said it's about time those women have the right to vote. that's not how it happened. it wasn't strom thurman coming to the senate floor and saying, i have seen the light, those negro people should have some civil rights. no! change does not come from washington. it comes to washington. by people who fight for it and struggle for it and organize for it. i began my career in the streets of newark, new jersey, as a 20-something organizing tenants who often felt isolated and separated by slum lords who were not providing safe, decent, sanitary housing. and we beat them because the power of the people. the power of the people is always greater than the people in power. and so you all are here not because of individual candidate in this election season can't be just about an individual office.
3:13 pm
we have to talk about the deeper dissatisfaction in our country, because of the anti democratic forces. you all are here because i know you join my feeling to be dissatisfied that we live in a nation as my friend brian stevenson says, that has a criminal justice system that treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. you all are dissatisfied, like me, that we live in a nation where millions of children find it easier to get unleaded gasoline than unleaded water. you all are like me that you're dissatisfied that in this great nation, we have millions of people who work full-time jobs, but dignity has been stripped of the work. attacks on union, and you have more and more americans now finding themselves with more month at the end of their money than money at the end of their month. you all are dissatisfied that we live in a nation with a growth of corporate power has gotten so much they are now finding ways as they have in the past to
3:14 pm
publicize the costs on society and privatize their profits. now, everything i just mentioned was going on before donald trump was elected. we have to be serious about what's happening. i'm traveling all over the country now, and i see from iowa to south carolina that it's not just about who is president. state legislators -- legislatures are attacking public education. state legislatures attacking the right to organize in states. this period in american history has to be about more than just one office and one person. it has to be that moral moment in our nation, like the civil rights movement, where you expand the consciousness of our country and return the power in this nation to the people. and power concedes nothing without a demand. we must organize. we must fight. and even after election day in 2020, whoever is president and whoever the democratic nominee,
3:15 pm
all of us must line up in solidarity behind them. and when we win that office back, that office-holder must lead the greatest grass roots organizing efforts we have ever seen to secure in this nation again a country where public education is fully funded to secure in this nation where we have a criminal justice system that is not known for jailing the mentally ill, jailing the addicted, jailing the poor. but is about restorative justice, about empowering people. we've got to return to a nation that favors unions and gives them the power they need to organize and to grow and not shrink and decrease. we need presidents that are going to organize for our rural brothers and sisters. living in communities that are being hollowed out and disinvested. this has got to be a different kind of election. because there's too many of our brothers and sisters that are hurting. i live in an amazing city, in an
3:16 pm
amazing community. i'm proud to be the only one in this election living in a black and brown inner city neighborhood. and right now the median income is below the poverty line. i see my neighbors who work full-time jobs, but still need food stamps at their local bodega. sha had smith, who i lived with in the projects for almost ten years, was murdered with an assault rifle at the top of my block. i live in a country where black men like me were 6% of the nation's population, but we make up over half of all the homicide victims in this country. we live in a nation right now that if you're born in communities like mine, the deck is stacked against you. we have got to make this a nation with a dream and the ideals of this country work for every american, where we live up to our ideals that all men and women are created equal. where the oath we pledge are not just words from our mouths, but a reality in america that we are a nation of liberty and justice for all.
3:17 pm
and so i'm looking forward to answering your questions. but for me, i'm not running for president because of an office or position. for me, life is always about purpose and not position. i got into politics as a central ward councilman because of communities like mine. too many people being left out. too many people being left aside. we must be about the purpose of this nation, the dream of this country. i am fighting to run for president, because i think we can reignite that dream again. bigger than any individual. and that's where i want to end. i want to challenge everyone, and i'm excited about answering your questions. but we are next week going to be at the 51st anniversary of the murder of martin luther king in memphis. and if you go there to memphis, tennessee, and you look down right there at the lorraine motel, you are going to see words from scripture that are a challenge to future generations. they're the words that joseph's
3:18 pm
brothers uttered when they saw him when his coat of many col s colors, that dream interpreter, and they grabbed him and threw him into the well to die. there are many americans now that feel isolated in a well. feel like the promises of this country ring hollow with their experiences. the question is, will we be like joseph who went from the pit to the palace? and so right there where martin luther king shot, some words that joseph's brothers uttered when they saw joseph in the desert. and the first time i read them, i took them as a challenge to us. right where king was slain, what are those words? it says, "behold, here cometh the dreamer. let us slay him and see what becomes of his dream." what will become of the dream of america? well, i tell you right now, it is time for this generation to dream again. it is time for us to reclaim and
3:19 pm
reinvigorate the dream. it's time for us to dream again of a nation that every child has a great public school to go to. it's time for us to dream again that every family has health care. that is universal for all. it's time for us to dream again that work has dignity and all can retire with security. it's time for us to dream again. bold dreams. and defiant dreams and daring dreams. and the humble dreams of america. and if we stand together and work together and dream together, i promise you that this election will be more than just taking one person out of office. this will be the beginning of the next era of america, where dreams are not just words or songs. but a reality for all. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> yes! all right. i've got to give you a high five on that one. thank you! come sit with us, senator booker. thank you, thank you, thank you. this is just the beginning. >> amen. >> all right. so we've got some questions from
3:20 pm
our people for you. just so you know, ana maria is on your left side. she may give you a little tap, because we know you have a gift for the word. if we're running out of time here. [ laughter ] so with that, senator, kicking us off with the first question of the day is joe mayhew, the secretary treasurer of cwa local 1103 in westchester, new york. >> my neighbor! >> yes, yes, yes! joe is a veteran of the united states air force, a former operating engineer. and he joined cwa when he went to work at verizon as a cable splicer 28 years ago. joe is a leader and a community builder in every sense of the word, working on campaigns all across the region. particularly most recently for new york's campaign for the fair elections program. joe, we're happy to have you and the floor is yours. >> great, thank you. >> joe, thank you very much, man. >> absolutely. i just want to first welcome you here and thank you for taking our questions today. and with that said, my union, cwa, is very politically active
3:21 pm
in new york and across the country. and the truth be told, we make a lot of campaign contributions. some of them are pretty sizeable. but we at cwa have no illusions about who really benefits from the current campaign finance system. we will never be able to compete dollar for dollar with the telecom giants, wall street, the real estate industry and all the other corporate interests who buy political power and influence with their huge donations. senator, i appreciate that you have pledged not to take corporate pac money. [ applause ] but large, individual donations, particularly from the employees of wall street and corporate law firms, have been a major source of campaign money for you in the past. for example, a large number of contributions have come from the law firm, sullivan and cromwell.
3:22 pm
they are the top leading adviser to wells fargo. senator, as you know, wells fargo has been guilty of massive fraud against consumers and has also fought cw a's efforts tooth and nail to stop us from organizing bank workers. the point is this. in the current system, money from these bad corporate actors and those that profit from their actions is drowning our democracy. there is only one real solution. ending the system of elections being financed primarily by large, private campaign contributions. so my question to you, senator. if elected president, will you support the creation of a small donor public financing system for all, for all federal elections? >> so first of all, joe, thank you for your --
3:23 pm
[ applause ] thank you for your question. we have a campaign finance system right now that is corruptive, citizens united especially. we are seeing dark money flood into our elections. even the money that candidates raise themselves is a small fraction of the overall billions of dollars that are being poured into elections. that's why i took well before i was running for president the end citizen's united pledge. that wasn't just about pledging to end citizens united as a senator, or should i be president, but also about my own individual habits. that's why i'm not only taking corporate pac money, i'm not taking phrma exec money, lobbyist money. we believe you can't campaign wrong and govern right. to your question. i pledge as president of the united states that not only will i work to tear daown and end tht citizens united decision, but i am going to set up and fight for a campaign finance system that
3:24 pm
favors small dollar contributions the same way that i'm running my campaign. but i want to go to some other issues you talked about. because the good thing about my record is, it wasn't just as a senator. my record goes all the way back to being a mayor of a low-income city that i fought through the worst recession there is. and folks have looked at my voting record, independent people. and when it comes to wall street, for example, as one independent observer looked, we have taken not only the stance to fight against the roll back of dodd/frank, but as one independent group says, zero times. i go home to newark, new jersey. life is about purpose, not position. my neighbors, work minimum wage jobs. they are struggling. my fight and my loyalty since the day i first ran for office in 1998 has been with the kind of folks that many of them are members of your union. the kind of folks that work at the airport in newark. who clean planes. the people who deliver meals. but don't get paid what they're
3:25 pm
deserved, a living wage. we are at a time of corporate profits in an 85-year high and wages are at a 60-year low. we have seen the stripping away of dignity as outsourced workers and others are having their wages and benefits pushed down as corporates pad their profits. and even when they try to pay folks, like american airlines did, the wall street down grades their stock. for making the decision to honor workers. so not only will i fight to change our campaign finance system, but i am going to do things that change the incentives to make sure we get back to an economy where corporations value workers. and even more than that, where corporations who violate workers' rights and workers' dignity, pay a price for that. let's use pharmaceutical companies, for example. right now, we have perverse incentives that give pharmaceutical companies all kinds of tax breaks and even periods of monopolistic control
3:26 pm
over drugs. we grant them that in this country. they call it exclusivity. well, i have legislation that i believe, if i become president, i can make law where if a pharmaceutical company raises their prices in our country higher than that in other countries, then we not only don't allow it, but if they do it, we take away their patent and let other generics come in and undercut the cost of their drugs. this is about righting the rules of the game that favor labor again because labor is under attack. and these are the rules that have allowed it. even things like stock buybacks used to be illegal in our country back in the 1980s. we need to get back to rules of the game that benefit workers and benefit struggling families just trying to afford the basics in their -- excuse me, the basics in their lives from child care all the way to the cost of prescription drugs. thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator.
3:27 pm
>> actually, the next question is a bit related to the one that you just discussed. so i want to take us back. >> sure. >> the question of how we make campaigns be rooted in the aspirations of people. you have a very strong record on criminal justice reform. but as you know, the private prison industry actually exercises a tremendous amount of pressure in our democracy for lobbying and campaign donations. >> campaign contributions. >> campaign contributions. the private prison industry has seen a boon under president trump with the increase in detentions and deportations, especially. major banks like jpmorgan chase, wells fargo, recently announced they were getting out of the business of financing the caging of humans. thanks to the organizing of people in this room. [ applause ] but so how would you -- what
3:28 pm
would you do to limit their influence in our democracy? >> so this is something that is so -- i forget what i'm running for. my life has been trying to tear down this system of mass incarceration. it is such a cancer on the soul of our country that since 1980, we have seen our prison population in america go up 500%. and you can tell a lot about a country by who they incarcerate. in russia, they incarcerate political opposition. in turkey, they incarcerate the free press. here in america, look at our prisons and jails. we incarcerate the mentally ill. we incarcerate the addicted. we incarcerate the poor. the women we incarcerate in america, let's be clear. over 80% are survivors of sexual trauma, rape and physical abuse.
3:29 pm
and we overwhelmingly incarcerate black and brown people. there is no difference in america between blacks and whites and using drugs or dealing drugs. in fact, there's not only no difference, but we are overwhelmingly driving incarceration on the drug war. in 2017 alone, there are more marijuana arrests -- marijuana possession arrests and convictions in america than all violent crimes combined. and so black and white, no difference between using marijuana or dealing marijuana. but blacks are almost four times more likely to be incarcerated for it. this has become as michelle alexander calls it in her book, the new jim crow. because we all know when you have a conviction for doing things that two of the last three presidents admitted to doing, that now you can't get a job, you can't get a business license, you can't get a loan from a bank, you can't get public housing. in many states, you can't vote. and so this system is something i have been fighting against since i was in college. my time as mayor was trying to
3:30 pm
dismantle the system. my time -- when i ran for senate, my pollster told me, hey, this is not a popular issue, don't talk about it. and i said, leaders don't follow consensus, they mold it. so i've been to private prisons to visit them and see what they're doing. their rates of security for inmates as well as even for the prison guards is lower. nobody should profit off of the incarceration of other people. i am against private prisons. i will not only fight to lower their quota, i will fight to end them in our country, because that should not happen. and i will continue my fight to end mass incarceration in america, which is a waste of taxpayer dollars. our infrastructure is crumbling. and all we seem to be doing is building prisons and jails to warehouse human potential. >> thank you. thank you, senator. [ applause ] clearly an urgent challenge that demands a concrete solution. next up, we have annette coast eto, a member of center for
3:31 pm
action and community leader and advocate for immigrant rights. she is a colombian immigrant. [ cheers and applause ] yes! and she lives and works in new jersey. she holds a masters degree -- >> jersey in the house. >> where in new jersey? elizabeth, you're my name. >> all right. yonette, the floor is yours. >> my name is jonnette casello. i came to the united states because i feared for my safety in my home country, colombia. i also think this is a place of justice. when i came, i had already my mba. i began working in a warehouse and with my hard work, now i'm the customer service and operation manager for a big company. [ applause ]
3:32 pm
my concern today is about corporations like google, facebook and amazon, because they hold too much political and economic power. not only do they not pay their fair share of taxes but the pow power stifles competition, weakens workers' power, ignores our environment. rigs our democracy. and allows for surveillance and abuse of information and data. the antitrust law created a century ago was meant to stop these kinds of corporations and to stop this dangerous power over our economy and our democracy. this has been not working, and because it's not working, our
3:33 pm
community, the people, the elected officials and we, the people, are fighting back against these powerful corporations. i want to ask you, what would you do to challenge monopolies so that we are protected from systemic corporate power that abuses our families and our communities? >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you. so this is something that i have been fighting on with legislation and determination across the board when it comes to the concentration of corporate power in this country and how it's hurting everybody from the farm industry to the phrma industry. this unchecked corporate power and monopolicy power to lower wages, is something that is unacceptable. so i fought from no poaching clauses and things that protect workers against monopolistic power. i've been calling for the department of justice and other
3:34 pm
agencies within the administration to begin to check monopolistic power, specifically about silicon valley's power that we're seeing. we have no rules. we need to have better regulations to protect our privacy and our security, because right now they are profiting off of our private data in ways that i think violate our basic fundamental frooeds a freedoms and rights. so if i'm president of the united states, i'm going to make sure that we start to use our antitrust laws and have judges be appointed that will go back to those wild and crazy days before 1980 when we used to do a lot better job of enforcing antitrust laws who broke up big companies during my childhood. right now we are seeing trends that are working against the average american. again, corporate profits are growing. suppression of wages. taking away -- in fact, profiting off of workers. and let me use an area we just don't talk about enough, which is what's going on in rural
3:35 pm
america amongst farmers. i've gone out and sat with farmers, and right now we see a disappearance of the independent family farm, because of this concentration of corporate power. these large, corporate agricultural institutions destroying our -- our environment, as well
3:36 pm
>> okay. i'm going to do a follow-up. thank you, senator. okay. we've got one more person we'd like you to hear from. next up we're going to hear from rachel moyora from north hampton, massachusetts. rachel is a lifelong social justice activist and community health organizer and really sh he is a force of nature. after the financial crisis of 2008 left her family with three young children financially devastated, she didn't just get mad, she got organized. she organized support campaigns for the dodd/frank act to reign in the predator system, now she is a director of her local women march, she was featured in glamour magazine. glamour magazine, y'all, for her organizing work around the fight to repeal the aca. she has organized airport protests against the muslim ban, organized her city to achieve sanctuary city status and most recently she organized for the fight for 15 and paid family
3:37 pm
leave. rachel, we are happy to have. >> you thank you, rachel. you said you were in glamour magazine you touched your hair, something i really can't do. i don't know if i have any chance of being in glamour. >> you're missing out. >> i save a lot of money on product, though. >> true. thank you for being here today. >> thank you for having me. >> i wanted to let you know that i am very much looking forward to the 2020 elections. >> yes. >> and beyond. >> yes. beyond is really important. >> yeah, there are some big beautiful progressive ideas being put forth from green new deal which addresses income equality while addressing climate change. that's something i think about every day with three young kiddos and they ask me about it, to medicare for all which for struggling families like mine gives us access affordable access to basic healthcare, to
3:38 pm
justice for immigrant families. they are just like me. they want a decent life for themselves and for their kids. and, you know, i and so many others have been fighting for these ideas for years. here is the thing, i need to see progress in my lifetime. [ applause ] >> the future of my children, the feature of everybody's children absolutely depends on it, but we know that these life or death policies will face a 60-vote threshold in the senate. a reality that allows for republican -- relentless republican obstruction. how will you overcome this obstacle to ensure that your
3:39 pm
bold reforms that you champion can actually become a reality? thank you. >> thank you very much. i want to -- i want to -- [ applause ] >> i want to say this because i feel the same way. first of all, i support medicare for all, i support the green new deal. these are issues that are the core of who i am because of, again, where i live and the urge ensees of my neighborhood which are obviously felt by your family. i support an immigration system that reflects our values and what's going on is moral vandalism right now, is violating human rights and making us less safe in communities like mine because you have i.c.e. agents raiding schools and raiding workplaces. so the question you have is how do you get things done, cory, in a 60-vote threshold? some people are saying let's get rid of the filibuster and i feel that same sense of urgency, but let me tell you what i worry about. in my community if mitch mcconnell, paul ryan and donald trump had two years like they
3:40 pm
just had without me in the senate and other noble progressives who fought them with you to prevent the taking away of healthcare, we would have lost that battle, obamacare would be gone and in my community what those three men could have done, they could have defunded planned parenthood, they could have taken away a woman's right to choose. you see what donald trump's budget is. they could have taken aware medicare, cut it by billions of dollars, cut medicaid by billions of dollars. so when i get up every day and see my communities, vulnerable communications what they could do without the filibuster. so let me tell you what i believe. as an african-american in this country i know as i said in my beginning remarks that we didn't get civil rights because of a senate that wanted it to happen. the longest filibuster in our country's history was a racist rant of a filibuster blocking civil rights reform by strom thurman who i talked about.
3:41 pm
but we overcame that by organizing all around america, no the only did we win civil rights but we ushered in a democratic majority that lasted for years and years and years because we got active and organized. what bothers me now and i've seen it, this is why i worry about making this election about one person and one office is because if donald trump is removed and we all go back to doing what we were doing in 2014 and 2012, we are going to lose the house of representatives. we could lose the senate and lose our ability to get a progressive agenda done. this is not about one person, it's about how much are we going to get off the sidelines and into the game like you did because i will tell you this, the opposite of justice is not injustice, it's apathy, inaction and indifference. so if i'm your president, like i said in my remarks is this is one of the most important points. you are going to see me pushing
3:42 pm
to do grassroots organizing because i know the facts. texas is a blue state already, all we've got to do is go out and organize folks. iowa, blue state. there are blue states all over. if we just get out and do the organizing and this is what makes me excited, i want to tell you a confessional here. because somebody mentioned about going out to airports like you did. when i went out to my airports to help people get lawyers who were being detained i was blown away to a see a packed concourse, people cheering and singing patriotic songs. that's who we are. cheering muslim families. i go back to tell joe donnelly about it from indiana, he said we do the same thing, indianapolis airport, packed concourse, except there are no international flights, we were just hugging people coming in from detroit. this has been the two most hopeful years of my life not because i'm happy about who is in office, because i was taught from a woman on the fifth floor of the projects that what hope
3:43 pm
is is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word. and so this is my confession to you, and why i know where the power is and it's not just in one guy running for office, this is my confession to you because i see you. when donald trump gave his inaugural address i was worried. i was slipping into the seduction of despair. i thought maybe his speech would call america together, but it wasn't. it was such a bad speech that george bush as he's leaving he turns to bill clinton it was reported and said, well, that was some strange shit. i go home that night -- i go home that night and i curl up in my bed because my mind is worrying about healthcare, my mind is worried about mercury and methane rules, my mind is worried about all these things. i'm curled up worrying, slipping into the seduction of despair, curled up on my bed and the next
3:44 pm
morning a whole bunch of women like that woman that was my tenant leader who said, hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word, a whole bunch of women coast to coast in this country came out and they marched and they were saying to me, cory, this is not a time to curl up, to shut up or to give up. this is america. we know our history. this is a time to stand up, to speak up, to rise up because when we stand as americans, when we join together and fight together and work together no filibuster can stop us. we ushered in civil rights, women's rights, workers rights and in this era if we organize again we are going to bring a progressive agenda to this country and move it forward for everyone no matter who is in the senate. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. >> thank you. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> give it up for cory booker, everybody. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. organize! organize!
3:45 pm
>> all right. >> whoo. >> all right. wow. thank you so much, senator booker for inspiring us and challenging us and reminding us that what we have to do is organize, organize, organize. >> that's right. >> so now i have a really great announcement for you all, it's time for lunch. so you should have grabbed your lunch when you came into the room and we're asking folks to eat in their seats, but relax, move your bodies, stand up, do what you need to do to take care of yourself and kind of regain some energy into your body. we have until -- we will start again at 1:25 sharp. 1:25. we have six candidates ahead of lunch so please use this time to
3:46 pm
refuel yourself and we will see you at 1:25. >> all right. dv spindeago. ♪ ♪ >> coming up in prime time on the c-span networks at 8:00 eastern on c-span, road to the white house coverage with remarks from former vice president joe biden at a conference of the international brotherhood of electrical workers. on c-span 2 interviews with new members of the 116th congress. and here on c-span 3, a house hearing examining afghanistan reconstruction efforts. >> this saturday book tv has live all day coverage of the annapolis book festival starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern featuring silicon valley investor roger mcnamee looking at the long term
3:47 pm
impact of facebook in his book "zucked." at 11 a.m. james and deborah fallows and their book "our towns." foegd by devay mckesson recalling his work with black lives matter. at 1:00 a.m. kathleen hall jameson examines russia's efforts to impact the 2016 presidential election. at 2:00 p.m. former independent counsel ken starr reflects on the clinton investigation. at 4:00 p.m. journalist and author evan thomas recounts the life of america ace first female supreme court justice sandra day o'connor. watch live coverage of the annapolis book festival saturday morning at 10:00 eastern on book tv on c-span 2. the speaker of the council of representatives of iraq visited washington, d.c.
3:48 pm
recently to meet with u.s. government officials. he also spoke at the u.s. institute of peace to lay out the new parliament's priorities. here is a portion of that event where he takes questions from the moderator and members of the audience. [ applause ] >> mr. speaker, thank you very much. thank you again for joining us and for those comments. you have had a very busy visit here in washington, d.c. so far. i understand you've had meetings with speaker pelosi, with secretary pompeo, vice president pence, members of congress, other m

47 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on