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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 14, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST

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>> i will start with myself. my husband and i are thrilled to be here. we are all in here in washington for our tenure here. of the at the pleasure president. i will be here as long as he wants. we have livedre for 27 years. i have every intention at this point of going back to chicago and being a part of that great community. i really love chicago. it is a great honor to be here and do this job. the president and the first lady -- i am a mother. i appreciate the stresses that come when you have a busy life. you love your children. you are trying to balance what is in the best interest of your own activities and your children's. i respect the fact that they see their daughters -- they want to
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make sure they get through high school. understand the calculus that they are going through. second, i will ask about something that is on the front page of your hometown paper, the chicago tribune. gm named its first female ceo. what is the important symbolism of that? >> she is obviously very qualified. she came up through the company, 33 years. she knows the company inside and out. for any business to promote from within is an incredible statement about the strength within the corporation. you are able to grow your own leadership.
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i think that is wonderful. it is not just a statement about her, but about where the company is at. they were in serious trouble five years ago. this is good news. judy woodruff said something that rings true to me. we have an extraordinary country with great talent. we need to use 100% of our talent. we have to make more women all different fields, particularly in the business community. that is something that is really important. >> 23 fortune 500 companies have women ceos. is that a lot or a little? >> that is too few. greater than 50% of college graduates today. we are at least half the population. we are less than 5.0% of the
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leadership that the fortune 500 come knees. what is wrong -- companies. what is wrong? >> there was a study that came out from pew. it was about closing the wage gap for women. younger women, millennial's, make 93% of what men make. it is much closer to closing that gap. what accounts for this? how will we make it 100%? exit should be 100%. let's go to fairness. it absolutely needs to be that way. i do not understand how you can run any kind of business and not pay equal wage for an equal job. certainly i have done that throughout my lifetime. it is extremely important. women are just as capable of , ofing, if not more capable
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leading and running any kind of organization. -- in business, we are not getting enough women into the senior leadership positions of our largest companies. why is that? i women given the opportunities to run divisions that have serious responsibilities? are they being channeled into that is not a path to ceo-ship? there are many organizations that have taken a look at this. the other issue is mentorship. frankly, i was very fortunate. i was mentored by members of my family. a were very successful. they held leadership positions of their own. as you might imagine, i was a bit persistent and tenacious about it. i wanted them to help me.
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i sought out there mentorship. that is a big part of it. opportunities, mentorship, equal pay, all are important to achieving our goals. >> some twitter questions that are coming in. let's hear from you. this is from eric, will be aeting with china lead to timetable for the bilateral treaty talks? >> it is an upcoming meeting we have next week. thes between the u.s. and u.s. trade. we have a very robust agenda. the bilateral trade agreement is on that agenda. push manyking to different issues forward. >> what is the biggest thing that you hope the joint commission will, was? -- will accomplish?
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>> we have many issues back and forth. it is a negotiation. i am not going to pick one thing that we will try to get done. >> when will you be nominating someone is permanent rector of the u.s. patent and trademark office? >> very soon. >> i do not nominate, the president nominates. sure.ot let me just say, we are in the process with the white house. i am hoping very shortly. >> have you recommended someone? >> we are in that process. >> [inaudible] >> good morning. i want to follow-up on the question before to clarify, the question of the chicago homecoming came up.
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the talk about the president and your answer was in the very short-term calculus. what do you see in the long-term future if there is a homecoming? agree with a lot of people in chicago who think that an obama presidential library should be in that city? where should it be? >> all politics is local. i am very hopeful. i have no inside information on this. i am hopeful that the presidential library will be in chicago. i think it is very important. i know that the leadership in chicago, both political and late leadership would very much like that. it would be a tremendous asset. it would be a wonderful legacy for the city. i am hopeful that will happen.
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thespect the president and first lady as they decide where they want to live. all,are young -- first of i would not focus so much on where they will live afterwards. i am focused on, we have three more years. that is a long time. i am not thinking that much about everyone's future after the three years. we have a lot to do in the meantime. >> another twitter question. it says that it is good that infrastructure is a priority. the commerce department encourage that? >> we have been part of a proposal for corporate tax reform where there would be increased resources put toward infrastructure. of dollars ofons
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what i call deferred maintenance in this country. we have to be investing from broadband to bridges. put in about 100,000 miles of broadband over the last several years. play a very functional role. i am working closely with the secretary on that. it is necessary for our country to stay competitive. magenta --our is a agenda -- a tour is him agenda -- tourism agenda. we want to have 100,000 visitors -- 100 million visitors to the u.s. each year. we are doing a lot of things
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that do not require investments. but in order to accommodate people in the fashion they are used to, we need to invest in our airports, broadband, bridges. it is very important. >> i will come to a reporter from the chicago tribune. this question comes from twitter. help grow thefits economy and create opportunities? >> there is a great opportunity in the skills area. we created a nonprofit in chicago called deals for chicago's future. skills for chicago's future. they are working with local companies, everyone from jpmorgan to smaller businesses to help the unemployed get the skills they need in order to move into jobs at local companies. that is a great opportunity for nonprofits to play around skills
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training. job opportunities through business leaders and find the individuals with the right skills. helping them get into those jobs. >> another twitter question. what role does the usc india playing? seeoes the united states india playing? >> it is playing a very important role. there is an effort where we are to identify regions regions of the country that have the best strategic plan to attract manufacturing. this would be manufacturing community partnerships. a cityr to be designated or a region as a manufacturing community partnership, you have to apply. we're going through that process now. you are judged on your regional strategy about whether the
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structure of the workforce is working. there are six different criteria you will be judged on. that applies to 12 different regions. that designation gives you a preference for federal dollars, whether they come from the transportation, labor, or across 13 different agencies. it makes you eligible for about $1.3 million -- $1.3 billion. >> one more twitter question here. you have been a proponent of public education. will you be working your connections and education to help? >> it goes back to our secretary of education. we are working together. in order to have a skilled a k-orce, you have to have 12 education.
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he does a good job of promoting. they have been unbelievably influential in getting us to a common core standards and raise the level of art k-12 aspirations. >> yesterday we learned that another chicago president is coming to washington. the president of the chicago symphony will be taking the helm at the kennedy center. you are a former trustee of the kennedy center. what do you think of that appointment and mark -- appointment? the appointment is fantastic and i am so excited about it. hereer person from chicago is always appreciated. she is a great leader. it is a complex organization. it is a $180 -- $180 million budget. theater,verything from
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opera, symphony. a big part of the agenda is also making more available to the public. there is a redevelopment of the site that will include the addition of more space that will allow performances to be shared by the public. david rubenstein, who was head of the kennedy center, is taking the lead as the lead donor to the campaign. the campaign will obviously be the number one pick priority there. it is very exciting to have another leader from chicago. >> david rubenstein's involvement in his community is amazing. what you make of the world role that he played now? the fact that he is focused on helping washington, whether it is the washington monument or the kennedy center, these are
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iconic assets of our country. they need to be presented in absolute best fashion. the fact that he is willing to underwrite our support these efforts is something not just to the benefit of washington, but to the nation. >> you mentioned mentor in earlier. when you talk with young people who think of going into business, what you tell them about how to succeed? there are a lot of people who want to be you. the first thing to think about is -- i grew up in a household where my dad was starting a business, a hotel business. i thought a couple of things. one was the excitement of building something. was aher thing that i saw real recognition, you do not do
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anything alone. you have to surround yourself with the best people. the thing that i would advise any person going into business is that it is fun to build a business. it is exciting and you are contributing to the economy. it is a very positive thing to do. you cannot do it alone. i do not care how good you are or how smart you are. surround yourself with really good people and aim higher than you think. you will get there faster than you think. make sure you really plan for that. greg that is good advice. what if you are on the bottom? what if you are an intern? do to getthat person ahead? >> i have had a lot of interns in my own shop. my kids have been interns. i am a huge proponent of internships and apprenticeships.
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yourselves in the shoes of an intern, and this is what i have said, what is the experience you want for the intern to have? look as an see and intern and wonder if it is a place you can envision yourself growing and expanding and becoming part of? whether you will want to be in manufacturing, media, whatever. bethis is what you want to -- see if it feels right you as a young person. you will spend a lot of energy and your life trying to get ahead. patty get ahead? education. as her parents said to us, and as my father said, the only things you have in life are your education and your reputation. get yourself the best education that you can.
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get ahead, it is hard work. it is a lot of work. look for people who are willing to open themselves up and mentor you. ask a lot of questions. the inquisitive and work overtime. you don't get ahead -- it is not easy. my penultimate question for you, you have a known be president and the first lady for a long time. tell us something about the president that we do not know? >> that is probably impossible. he is under the microscope, certainly throughout his presidency and far before that. here is what i would say. mind back to in my what i do -- he has a very ambitious agenda, a growth agenda. >> what are they like his people?
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in a plane, in a restaurant, behind-the-scenes? >> to me, my experience is that the president and the first lady have been warm and supportive and they care about my kids. they have been appreciative of the efforts that we have put forward to help them. to, in his job he has been very supportive of what i do. >> someone that every single person you talk to, wherever they are on the political spectrum, they will say that every indication is that they are remarkable parents under very difficult circumstances. they are raising these daughters at this age in this crazy time
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-- >> i think they have a commitment to each other. we talk aboutthat the president, but the first lady is just as important to the of the presidency as the president is. she plays an extraordinarily important role. they have a really amazing commitment to each other in the way that they work. they also have a commitment to their families. and they have support that they have gotten from the first lady's mother, as well as the brothers, and the fact that they cherish their families such that they vacationed together. they see their extended family. they have found a way to protect that from everybody's inquiries. i respect that. i respect what they are trying to accomplish. i respect the values that they
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are trying to instill in their children. with the kindard of public either they are in. i think that is something that we should respect. we should give them the space to be able to do it. that yous is something and your husband did together. children, whatwo would you say to people who want to integrate fitness more into their family life? >> i believe that you have to take care of your body and your -- it is the to be foundation of building a successful life. timequires creating everyday to be able to do that. it is not easy. job andt easy in your it is not easy and my job, and
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it is not easy in many people lost jobs where they're working two jobs and trying to do that that.ust trying to do with our children as well, we for that is the foundation life. >> i mention the iron person before. what is the longest race you have done? >> the iron man. >> how long the run in that? >> it is a long race. i did 27 years ago, so it is not something i would do now full up i hope to do some running races that some of the folks at the commerce department and i are going to run. we signed up for a 10 mile race. we hope to do the cherry blossom race. we are aspirational right now. , it is december, not
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mark. not march. >> you have been traveling a time. when do you run on the road? >> first thing in the morning. however early it needs to be to do whatever we have to do. it tends to be very early. it tends to be on a treadmill for security reasons or whatever. >> ura washingtonian now. what do you like about washington? >> i like the national archives. i went there on saturday and i think it is one of the most exciting places that we have in this the. city.-- in this i have lots of fun there. they are just opening the magna carta today. i would go see the magna carta,
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the foundation of democracy. >> what is your favorite place here? isprobably my favorite place -- >> just name a place that you like. >> sweet dreams. that's what you get there? >> i like the kale salad with chicken. that is too much information, right? [laughter] like to thank c- span, our viewers around the world, and those of you who are watching. i would like to thank my politico colleagues and i would like to thank america for making this a serious conversation possible. thank you for a fantastic conversation. [applause] >> think you so much. -- thank you so much.
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>> on the next washington journal, the budget deal and the 2014 defense or grams will be the topics of discussion. will be at the harvard institute for politics to talk about a recent poll they conducted regarding millennial's views on politics and public service. then a discussion of the future of guantanamo bay with a law professor from american university. he will talk about provisions within the national defense act of stop -- national defense act. washington journal is live every day on c-span. constant inare american political life. if you look at congress in 1901, less than 2.0% of members came from working-class backgrounds and got into politics. flash forward to the present
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day, and the average member of ofgress spent less than 2.0% their career doing manual labor or service industry jobs. this is one thing that has not changed. broadcast television, cable news, they have spent big money in politics. , and ithis is happening is one of the constants in the last 100 years or so. working-class people are not getting elected to political office. there ist matter that a socioeconomic disparity between elected officials and the citizens they represent? we will look at that sunday night at 9:00 p.m.. in january, mark levine will take your questions. this is part of the tv's weekend
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on c-span two. yournt to know what favorite books were of 2013? throughout the month, join us to discuss notable books that were published this year. to booktv.org -- go .org marking one year anniversary of these sandy hook shootings in newtown connecticut. and first lady michelle obama lit 26 candles at the white house. each candle represents a victim who was killed at the school, followed by a brief moment of silence.
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>> c-span. we bring public affairs of men from washington direct the to you. we put you in the room at congressional events and white house events.
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we offer complete coverage of the u.s. house. c-span, created by the cable tv industry. now you can watch is in hd. >> houston mayor annise parker speaking at the washington -- at the national press club in washington, d.c.. she answered questions about a number of topics ranging from energy policy to the role texas might have in future elections. this is one our full top -- this is one hour. today won her third and final term as houston mayor in november. she has been described by the houston chronicle as risk- averse, competent, and scandal- free. annise parker has
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proven to be an interesting person. she has a degree in anthropology, sociology, and psychology, room houston's rice university. she worked for texas oil and gas. she was also a prominent gay rights advocate in houston. she served as the city controller and councilwoman for three terms before securing the city's top job. the chronicle describes the city she leaves as stuck in a drought and a global economic downturn during her first term. they describe it as supercharged with energy revenue and jobs during her second term. in the third term, the newspaper sees the mirror focusing on employment and rebuilding streets and drainage. she is the first openly gay -- of a in dash of an major american city.
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i am notthe chronicle, gay marriage houston, i am the mayor of houston. i support my community, but the city always comes first. well the unemployment rate has declined to 6.1% in august, it is higher than in other metropolitan areas. parker has helped houston become the largest municipal --chaser recognizing that effort, president obama picked mayor parker for his task force on climate preparedness. she will advise the administration on how to curb pollution and prepare communities work stream weather. this panel met in washington, d.c. today, giving us a chance to hear first-hand from mayor parker. please help me give a warm
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national press club welcome to houston mayor annie's parker -- annise parker. [applause] >> i appreciate the chance to be here and visit with everyone. it is nice to see some friends in the room as well. are expecting a heavy policy speech, you will not get that today. so hard to why is it get things done politically? if you thought i was going to talk about partisanship or egos or corruption, i am not going to talk about that either. although they all have their place in politics. or not. the problem is that you can do away with partisanship, you can do away with huge egos, and you can do away with what i think is a relatively small amount of corruption in public office and
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politics of the united states, and you would still have challenges getting things done. braved thef you who weather today, i want to talk to difficultwhy it is so to make things happen. we will speak about the true nature of the jobs that we hold. recentlycome popular to spend a lot of time and energy on candidates' religious affiliation. there are groups that want to make things like that a litmus test. there are too many religious credence toive much that as a way of judging candidates. it is along the right tracks, but for the wrong reasons. we should be asking our candidates, or we should be finding out, what are their core beliefs and will they defend them?
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what do they value? how do they show it? how do they make decisions? will they stand by those decisions? are they anchored in community? important? i will give you 10 reasons why the job of an elected official is almost impossible. the first reason is that it requires a distinct skill set to win the job. win -- to win the job and to hold the job. we make decisions in areas where we have no expertise. we depend on information provided by others. it is hard to know who our constituents are. many of our most important decisions have no right answer. result ins may unintended consequences.
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some things are beyond our control. they may be in our control, but impact others in ways we do not expect. many of us will not see the results of most of our important actions. starting with the first, though skill sets. campaigning, running for office, and governing are very different activities. candidates have to be disciplined with message, they have to be disciplined and focused on raising money, they have to be outgoing, engaging, able to connect with voters.
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they have to be willing to take a position and ride deposition all the way through the election, even if a change their mind about that position. obvious,r you get is that you get into office, it is collegiality,se, andit is about flexibility working with others. oftentimes, really great candidate make terrible officeholders. there are a lot of folks out there who are not great candidate but are excellent officeholders. reason, there is no instruction manual. this isn't a job one can learn or really prepare for. it is constantly changing and there isn't an endpoint. how do you prioritize your time? function 20 47 --
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24-7. they grow or they shrinking population, new technologies come along, laws change, disaster strikes, and i have to be ready for all of that. who would i learned that from? who would i talk to to find out how to organize my time and with the priority should be? of course, if i am still campaigning for office, i have to spend so much on that other persona that has to run. we have to decide things about which we have no expertise. when i first became a council member, i had a line item for the purchase of fresh, whole
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bovine blood. it thing you have finished eating. thing you have finished eating. [laughter] we always do, and that council member, i had to vote on the supplier of those objects. -- need a new paddle at the sewage treatment plant? what should it cost? how long will it last? who are the best suppliers? we are constantly asked to make those kinds of decisions. depending on information supplied by others, how do i make that information -- decision? i have to depend on those who , those the information
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who work for me, with me, and come in the door. the higher you are in the food chain, the less direct information you have on which to base your decisions. the less real experience you have. you fall back on your personal experiences and your own character traits. if you are lucky enough, you depend on your team. lobbyistsly easy for to become sources of information. they are there and they have answers. who are my constituents? what do they want? well you are thinking that is not very hard -- they are people you represent. they are the people in your district. constituents regularly confront me with statements along the lines of, i supported you say you must do x or i will vote against you.
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annoying, thatg is not really what makes it hard to decide who your constituents are. what often happens is that your constituents do not know what they want. they are divided. how do you know who the individual stakeholders are in this particular situation? how do you find them? what if they do not know that they are stakeholders. how do you include them? who contactople you? they write or call or send e- mails? happy people do not come down to a city council meeting to tell us how happy they are. only the angle -- only the angry people show up.
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messaged byarly those who particularly want something and they are passionate about it. or they are avery about something and they are passionate about it. it is easy to think that those are the only voices out there. there are often situations where there are no right answers. houston is the largest unzen city in america. it has to deal with, where should we put small motels. i will not let you think too much about that one either. [laughter] cantilever, -- as a council member, i decided to wait in on the issue. the small motels use prostitutes and drug dealers and they are in minority neighborhoods.
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i gathered the stakeholders and we put a package together and i discovered that the most common hotel.r hotel owners is most of them are owned by foreign nationals and that is their piece of the american trait. wherecreated a situation i had minority stakeholders in those neighborhoods who did not want them to go and minority business owners for whom that was their livelihood and children lived in those hotels and the whole family worked to build their dream. what is the right answer? i will just say that more complicated. i said, what would you rent for by the hour? then i was told what a bad idea
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that was. me anduckers contacted said the truckers have to stand down after sony runs. we have to be able to do multiple turns if we are to accommodate all the truckers who come through. that was fun. [laughter] i will go on. the next issue. action, butre our beyond our control -- let me give you a great example. air quality. i am constantly asked about the on theof air quality ability of houston to grow into the future. we are home to much of the refining capacity here in the united aids. this is critical to us. .- united states this is critical to us. how are air is received and how we clean it up is important. aesthetically, commercially, and legally.
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most of the refineries are outside of the city borders. the state controls our implementation plan. the federal government controls the standard we have to meet. the private sector as was possible for a significant amount of the output. nobody wants to pay for any of it. but we have to do something. issue number eight. unintended consequences. small thingsis the that cause the most grief. pass an exotic animal ordinance for the city of houston. for a while, we had a proliferation where everyone wanted to pass a big -- own a big cat. a reallyne coon, but big cat. i wanted to pass an ordinance banning dangerous big animals. they healthy work it out. we did a laundry list of lions,
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tigers, bears, guerrillas, things that you could have. the last item on the list was fair. they were going to ban ferrets. i don't know if your member when york city bans ferrets, and people took to the street, marching with their pets. ferrets on this list? and snakes that are five feet too long. [laughter] there was a legitimate reason. they said there was no right -- no rabies vaccine for ferrets. it is not appropriate for people to have ferrets. i look up in an ordinance that bans ferrets and puts ferrets in the same category as tigers. we were going back and forth and back and forth. they got they found a rabies vaccine for ferrets before i had to do that.
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it is often hard to know. things that we do better in our , but may impact others in ways that we don't expect. the unintended consequences. prohibition. not something that affects the city of houston, but when we put prohibition in, we jumpstarted organized crime in the united states. talk about one of the ultimate unintended consequences. before this luncheon started, one of the things that is in my control and i am trying to add a wetle piece to it, how do prevent storm damage to the
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infrastructure in houston? we were having a robust conversation about floodgates. where do we put them? i can place them to preserve the refining capacity, but now we are trying to figure out how many residential areas will flood when i do that? what is the trade-off? the results may not be known for several years, but sometimes the trade-off can be positive. what if you are the government official who permit it the fukushima power plant in japan? it met every environmental standard when it passed. finally, i did not list this as one of the 10 reasons, but cut me a little slack.
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not one of the top 10 list, but it is important. each one of us wants to be liked. everyone wants to be the popular kid in school. that is why some folks run for office. it takes a certain amount of character to know that you can perform perfectly. things.can do great 20% of your constituents will hate you no matter what. they are willing to vilify you with the rise of electronic media and the anonymity. , it is hardg posts for many public officials to , andit out to turn it off you recognize that even when we
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make a decision that we know is , but that a compromise is necessary to move the agenda forward, he have to be able to live with ourselves afterwards. us, that is absolutely paralyzing. that iclose by saying was in a talking a while back and someone stood up and talked about the cowboy way. why couldn't government be more like the cowboy way? that is defined as, if it is not true, don't say it. it is not yours, don't take it. if it is not right, don't do it. unfortunately, there really are you cannot know what is true and what is yours. and you cannot know what is right.
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it matters who you play in the decision-making see in those circumstances. seat in the-- circumstances. their standards of decency and morality to which ms. all subscribed. to coax in these types of jobs, you must have faith that if you always strive to do the right , even if will work out your decisions are wrong. you need to know who you can trust and when to place that trust and you must have faith that there will be another person willing to stand up and put themselves in the arena to try to improve on what you have done. thank you for the opportunity to address you. i appreciate it.
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[applause] and now for the questions. remember what i just said. >> this is the best part of the job. we have a lot of questions on a lot of topics. given the diversity of issues that you represent. i will start with energy. part in the climate strategy talks with the white house. this questioner says, the mayor of the city is considered to be the head of the city. what do you bring to that discussion on how to prepare the country for climate change. >> houston is the energy capital of the world. it is becoming the energy capital. fossil fuel will fuel america for a very long time in the future. but americans have to recognize
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that how we use those fuels and water consumption patterns are makes a difference, not just to the united states, but to the world. it surprises people to know that even the headquarters of oil and gas are the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in america. we believe in leading by example. we do not believe it is incompatible to focus on renewable. we also strongly support our oil and gas industry. we are one of the most overt air-conditioned cities in the world as well. unbelieverse the are, we have a lot of souls to save in houston. we have focused on efficiencies and how we can drive consumption -- holdto hold and use on energy use and preserve the fossil fuels that we have. we are trying to limit our carbon footprint.
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this group is new. it was appointed a little over a month ago. >> we had our first meeting monday. i cannot fully characterize the group. citiesrefreshing to have large and small, different states, represented. we had different counties from all across the united egg. you will have a diversity of perspectives. concerne major areas of about climate preparedness and resiliency. there are things that we need to be doing long-term. we are trying to change our -- weonship with energy are trying to reduce our carbon footprint and recognize that
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weather patterns change and sea level rises. there is an immediate impact that we have to address. we are dividing into four major categories. -- i don't want to have a rick perry moment here. [laughter] the natural resource aspect, the natural disaster aspect, the like on infrastructure water and sewer and other types of infrastructure, and the resiliency of our communities. recognizing that all of those are interrelated. it is not about a certain type of way of fueling americans being bad or good. -- the city ofnd houston, as i say, we purchase
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renewable energy and most of it comes from wind. windmills kill birds. there is a trade-off to everything. -- we have toide have real science and real answers and then have adult conversations about what those trade-offs are and what we are willing to give up to get where we need to go? >> you focused a lot on infrastructure as a part of the solution. do you see that being a part of a federal solution? is one of theure most important things we can fund. infrastructure a hallmark of my administration. we are in the process of completely overhauling our water sewer system over the next 20 years. we will completely overhaul our street and drainage system over the next 20 years. one of the problems here is that i have launched projects in houston that i will never see
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the end of as a public official. that is one of the challenges. america would not be the economic powerhouse that it would be if we did not decide to invest in the interstate highway system. we would not have grown as a country. we invested in the railway system. infrastructure moves goods. infrastructure allows businesses to operate and the federal government needs to invest in infrastructure in the same way that local and state governments do. we are not doing enough of it at the federal level. we are not doing enough at the state level. everything rolls downhill and a lot of is that the local level are spending local tax dollars to take on federal and state burdens. >> what has houston done specifically to take into ' warningsientists
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that texas and coastal areas are threatened by rising waters and drought in the future? 2011, texas and houston experienced the worst drought in recorded history. the majority of the state has just crawled out of that drought. at the same time, we are experiencing more and more hurricane impacts. there is no one solution to those types of problems. houston and the coastal regions are very low lying. we are about two feet above sea level. we are concerned with rising water levels. we are a coastal community. the more and more powerful storms are coming out -- we have just gone through a drought, so we are focused on the long-term water supply.
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level, noting water only am i serving on the presidential tax force -- task believer that there are things we can do by working together on the production side and the end point of consumption. we must change our relationship to fossil fuels. there is not any one answer. we are working to see if we can protect the refining infrastructure in houston by installing storm gates. but we do it with the knowledge that we will -- water has to go someplace. we will have an impact on other communities. what is critical is that we do rhetoric or in the soundbites, but we actually have
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real science to start from. then we make the hard decisions. my father is the increasing oil production in the u.s., especially texas, affect the city and its environment? >> all good. [laughter] >> really? >> we are not a production area. refining and shipment area. we are a city of this this. while shale gas and fracking operations have opportunities,ic they have enhanced america's security a buddhist in a
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position of being an energy exporting country. there are environmental impacts that have to be weighed. to figure out quickly how to do a better job in recapturing the fracking operations. it is uncomfortable to use amount of water we are using in the middle of a drought area with the different needs placed on those water supplies. my area.ot in fracking, how do you see the fracking revolution affect in houston? revenue gainbs and being sustainable long-term? >> houston has gone through booms and busts. i spent years in that industry
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before going into politics. we have seen an uptick because of the fracking that shell gas place. those operations are not in the houston area. the brain trust is and where the engineering place is. we have the technical expertise. of our long-s part term sustainable growth for houston. see about the possibility of the u.s. becoming an oil exporter? will that happen any time soon? we are primarily talking about natural gas rather than oil. i do not see us changing in terms of oil. if i had spoken longer, i would have fewer questions. [laughter] do you support further --
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infrastructure and changers such as the keystone pipeline or having more export terminals? >> yesterday keystone pipeline and yes to more energy export terminals. although the export terminals would probably not begin in my .urisdiction it would benefit greatly from that. >> you have a lot questions, but a lot of topics. this questionnaire quotes your line from your speech that it matters who the decision-maker is. the question asked for your andtion to governor perry his position on gay rights and what your plans are to go up against the republican party in 2016? to be mayor houston for as long as i can be. . will be going out of office i'm in a nonpartisan position. i enjoy that and i do the fact
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that i can draw support from across the aisle. anything beyond my current position, i would have to talk -- tight a partisan leave. i'm a democrat. i'm not shy about that. but mayors have to make things happen. the idea of a city stopping and a government shutdown at the city level is unthinkable. water has to flow. trash has to be picked up. thingsabout making happen. i would have to think long and hard about anything i might do to stay in politics. there's no better political job in america than being a big city mayor. as to governor parise position on -- perry's position on gay rights -- >> you are a democrat in a red state. texas is a red state that has a
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lively race for governor. what is wendy davis's prospect for what winning the government's race? support senator davis in her run for governor. i went to be clear that i have a good working relationship with .tate government in the event of an emergency or disaster, i have no hesitation calling perry and expecting him to respectfully respond, as with other senior state officials. again, that is one of the differences between what happens at the local level and what happens in washington. do are things where partisanship takes over. for the goodether of the states. it is still a very red state. even though big cities in texas
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c, blue islands in a big red -- red sea, it is possible for senator davis to win. she has got a great team in place around her. the republican party in texas leans more and more to the right. at some point, trend lines will cross. i do not know if that will happen next year. i certainly hope it does. >> looking nationally, do you expect texas to -- not know at 2016 will be there yet. , no question it will be a battleground state. >> you talked about congressional gridlock.
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some of that -- if some of that gridlock could be believed, what legislation would you like to see come out of washington that would benefit houston before the 2014 election? >> i might have to hunt on that one. -- punt on that one. the most important thing washington to do is engage in comprehensive reform. i do not think it will happen. the fourth largest city in the united states. we are an amazingly diverse, international city. when i was elected mayor, we made worldwide media coverage because demeter coverage fell into two categories -- there was houston? how did this happen in houston? the reason it happened in houston is that houston is not
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the city that most people think it is. houstonians is foreign-born. much about global aspect of houston is driven by our international oil and gas industry. to dubais that rotate and the factlondon that we have had tremendous growth in houston over the last 20 years from all over the world -- we have a young population and an educated population. we have a very international population. however, as part of that international flavor, we have a large number of undocumented residents. it is an economic imperative for , especiallytates
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border cities for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. these people are living in our communities in building our economy today. at houston, it is one of many cities in the u.s. that has major challenges with pension underfunding. how do you tackle that problem of underfunded retirement plans, especially with the wave of public-sector retirements coming with the baby boomers? >> you need to retire in a hurry. [laughter] government entity across the u.s. has cities, counties, states have challenges with of except her pension. -- public set -- public-sector pension.
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the annual budget is about $5 million. me, i have oneor pension that is almost completely funded. it is under the ritual of the state of texas. you would think it is funded. we don't have to worry about it. it is the pension that has all of the bad government things you don't want in a pension. the reason it is fund is as the state won't let me do anything but send them a check every year. i have two other pensions that i have the ability to negotiate with. those have funding challenges. we have negotiated changes. i give full credit to my predecessor. he negotiated a package of that over time will bring us into funding and alignment.
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where working to get the same thing. our pension is out of control. it is not so much to focus on what the underfunding is. it is what is in the pension today and what the trend lines are doing in the future. we will continue to chip away at it. you talked about the challenges are regulating as a city leader. a questioner says after a 16 year fight over regulating the cities top clubs, recent lee houston agreed to a preferred separation rule in exchange for payments that would fund a new department.ce how do you respond to critics that this is in exchange for strip club money? we made the right decision for a higher priority issue in the city of houston. thecurrent regulations on
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-- it was instituted about 17 years ago. we have had litigation since. in an uncertain and city, there certain things. we focus on where adult clubs are and how their parents is outside. i think that is appropriate. -- and how their appearances outside. i think that is up there -- appropriate. we have had unproductive litigation for 16 years. that is the definition of insanity. doing something the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. we know that the city of houston
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has a huge problem with human trafficking. we see a lot of that. that some ofvered the and all injured him industry is reeling to work with the city eliminate to try to human trafficking in the clubs -- reset done together a tape measure to determine how far with a dancer is from the patron and what they are wearing, the adult clubs agreed to take down all of their private rooms and have line of sight and to allow free access and cooperate with the police department and educate their dancers so that we can eliminate
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human trafficking. >> along similar financial lines, do you plan to replace the aging court and jail complex? a questioner says it looks like the city looks to get it done with some grated partnership. what options do you have for that? what advice would you give to other cities trying to find solutions? proud of say that i am my city council and the city that we have based our funding issues head on. the first three months in office as mayor, they had a package of could create -- we
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have launched a major infrastructure project. people's water rates went up. end of my first year in office, we took to the voters and package reforms that included the imposition for the creation of a dedicated source if i was rather anti- incumbent. no new taxes. the city of euston put the drainage fee on themselves because labeled a productive adult mercedes shouldn't. this is how we're going to fund a post of these are the projects were going to do. these are the oversights. -- we will handle the money we made a commitment to the voters and said that we will no
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longer do debt financing for stringent inch project. i think we're the only major city in america we can get per capita has gone down instead of up. we have invested in infrastructure and we are investing and even willing to pay for it. i still need a new police complex. payers and the sewer system on the voters for our drainage system have stepped up. i'm tried to use every tool in the toolbox. yes, i think i will need this time to use a public-private .artnership to design and build we are deep into the exploration of that.
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and our due diligence, thing we can avoid pitfalls. >> looking back to texas politics, what are your immediate plans in advancing lgbt writes in the state of texas? in the state of texas? >> i do have some in the state -- city of houston. i'm a strong mayor. there certain things i have been able to do by executive order. we have a nondiscrimination policy for employment. we recognize now that all legally married spouses -- we recognize all married legal spouses. i fully expect before i leave office in the next two years to
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pass a comprehensive, nondiscrimination ordinance in the city of houston for housing and public accommodations. -- it is something that i think the city needs to do. on theneed to compete .undamentals considering our future is what i city, thatthe great is something i need to take care of. >> given that same-sex marriage is not yet allowed in texas -- >> i thought your name was over. -- ipad q&a was over. over.hought q&a was
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[laughter] inthere was a referendum 2001. it added to our charter provision at the city could not offer domestic partner benefits was that the reason i am able to recognize spousal benefits is the language in the charter is specific. unknownte it at a time anticipated that there would ever be legal marriage for same- sex couples. the language says they can only offer help and other benefits to legal spouses. we are recognizing spouses. not a lot of them, but we will see more. we are operating in a state with its own doma. the defense of marriage act
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review the recognition of same- sex marriage in texas or the granting of same-sex marriage in texas. until the supreme court sorts this out, we will nibble around the edges on it. domestic -- i am in a 23 year domestic partnership. i've been looking forward toward the opportunity in the state of texas to mirror. i might get tired of waiting. i want to be young enough to know who i am marrying when i do it. [laughter] do you foresee same-sex marriage legal in texas? will that come through action and texas are will have to be sorted out nationally at the supreme court for that to happen? >> i think i answer that. it will have to be sorted out nationally. it is the tipping point on that. than 16 or 17 states that recognize same-sex marriage.
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we have -- we can't have a situation where there are folks in limbo where are marriages recognized in some states and they drive across the border and it is not recognized. he had been there before. there is only one way that this ends. -- we have been there before. there is only one way that this ends. i think the best thing i can foror the lgbt community, my community, is to be the best mayor i can possibly be and conduct myself with dignity and and be as a aspects houston chronicle describe me as scandal free. much more exciting,
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but i think i can live with that -- confident and scandal free. [laughter] iere are certain areas where think it is up to real to do so. i am one of the many years for equal marriage -- mayors for equal marriage. that has nothing to do with my normal day-to-day duties. one of the blessings of my i haven for me is that gayuch media attention as a or lesbian houston mayor. i was able to use that to talk about my city and to use it to their advantage of houston. i do not have to answer the big questions. -- gay questions. for thea spokesperson
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lgbt community. a spokesperson for the city of houston. i advocate for houston. with that said, i was an activist for a long time. i have a clear public track record in support of equal marriage and in support of employment and nondiscrimination and in the passage of nondiscriminating ordinances. it is on my list that i want to check off. up, we have arap couple of questions on social media. the questioner wants to know how you have used social media to connect with supporters whether they are near or far? not much of a social media person. .on't tell anybody
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the staff handles the facebook page. et.o twe the first rule is to never attend national never pretend or let someone else -- the first rule is to never pretend or let someone else tweet for you. i put my initial there so people know it's mean. one of the challenges is that it is right there in your hand in the moment whether you're happy or angry. you hit that send button and it is always dangerous. mayor, they want the real you. they want to be connected to you and get a sense of what you're feeling. every time i tell them what i am really feeling, they yell at me and say, don't do that anymore. it is hard to find the right balance and to be mayoral and have that darn gadget in your hand that you want to hit send.
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we have been there successful. the gold standard for the use of -- as a campaign tool, we are very successful use social media to reach out to young people and engage them and convey messages. we have worked mostly with a rational journalists and with the blogging community. sometimes if you want to go into the mainstream media, if you're out there not been the baucas peer, it ends up where we want it to be. we have use that to our advantage. , im a constituent standpoint tweeto tell people to about potholes and stuff. -- if you want that
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pothole fixed right away, you need to use a regular system. we are trying to catch up to this technology that is out there. i enjoy it. i'm wary of it as well. we're almost out of time. a couple of housekeeping matters. i want to remind you about our upcoming national press club speakers. december 16, we have den ackerson, chairman and ceo of general motors. -- dan ackerson, chairman and ceo of general motors. we also have a u.s. army chief of staff. secondly, i would like to present our guest with the national press club coffee mug. [applause] >> thank you. yound one last question --
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talked about the challenges and the work that goes along with governing a major city. tell us what is the best part of being in your job? >> the best part about being a mayor is that you can make things happen immediately and directly for people. most of the levels of government and you have to -- you can talk about things and maybe put some language in a bill that might take effect at year or two from now. i can get some and water turned down -- turn on the caps on spot someone's can get water turned on or there pothole filled. >> thank you for coming. how about a round of applause? [applause] i would also like to say thank you to the national press club
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staff, including the nl is an institute and the broadcast center for helping organize the event. you can find more information about the national best club and a transcript and recording -- national press club and a transcript and recording at www.press.org. thank you. we are entered. -- we are adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> i wish you both a merry christmas and a happy new year. >> would you mind autographing as a special favor? >> i would be delighted. it is one of the things i do best. [laughter] tone you have got
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there, santa claus. my father, santa claus, gave it to me. [laughter] 2."first ladies" season next week, edith roosevelt. weeknights at 9 p.m. on c-span. span,night and c- highlights from the memorial service honoring the late nelson mandela. , penny pritzker talking about jobs and the economy. she talks about some of the challenges that elected officials face. >> thousands gathered at an open air stadium in johannesburg to honor the life and legacy of former south african president nelson mandela who died earlier at the age of 95. several heads of state attended
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the event. you'll hear some of the remarks, beginning with president obama. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. on behalf of myself and the family and president and members of the government, the heads of state and government past and present, distinguished guests,
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it is a singular honor to be with you today celebrate a life like no other. for the people of south africa, people of every race and every walk of life, the world thanks you for sharing nelson mandela with us. his struggle was your struggle. his triumph was your triumph. your dignity and your hope found expression in his life and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.
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it is hard to you'llgize any man, to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life but the essential truth of a person, their private joys and sorrows, the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone. he moved the nation towards justice and in the process moved billions around the world. born during world war i, a boy raised herding cattle. he would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th
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century. like gandhi he would lead a resistance movement, a movement that had little prospects for success. like dr. king, he would give a voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. he would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of kennedy and cruise chef and reached the final days the cold war. emerging from prison he would like abraham lincoln hold his country together when it was breaking apart and like america's founding fathers he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for
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future generations. a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term. given his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration he so rightly earned, it's temptin tempting, i think, to remember nelson mandela as an icon smiling detached from the affairs. but he strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. [applause]
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instead, he insisted sharing with us his doubts and his fears, his miscalculations along with his victories. i am not a saint, he said, unless you think of a saint as sinner who keeps on trying. it was precisely because he could admit the imperfection, because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief despite the heavy burdens that he carried. that we loved him so. he was a man of flesh and blood, a son and a husband, a father and a friend. and that's why we learned so much from him and that's why we can learn from him still. for nothing he achieved was inevitable in the arc of his life we see a man who earned his
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place in history through struggles and shrewdness and persistence and faith. he tells us what is possible not just in the pages of history books but in our own lives as well. mandela showed us the power of action of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. perhaps mandela was right that he inherited a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness from his father and we know he shared with millions of black and colored south africans the anger born of a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people, he said.
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but like other giants, he disciplined his anger channelled his desire to fight in the organization and platform and strategies for action so men and women could stand up for their god given dignity. moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carried the price. i have fought against white domination and i have fought against black domination. i've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and equal
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opportunities. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and to achieve, but it need be it is an ideal for which i'm prepared to die. mandela taught us the power of action but also taught us the power of ideas, the importance of reason and argument, the need to study not only those who you agree with but also those who you don't agree with. he understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls or extinguished by a sniper's bullet. he turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquent and his passion but also because of his training as an advocate. he used decades of prison to sharpen his arguments but also
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to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. and he learned the language and the customs of his oppressors so one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depen his.pended upon mandela demonstrated that action that ideas are not enough no matter how right they must also be chiselled in the wall and institution. he was practical, testing his belief against the hard surface of circumstance in history. on core principals he was unyielding whiches why he could rebuck offers of relief reminding the regime that prisoners cannot enter into contracts. but as he showed in pain-staking negotiations the transfer of
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power and draft through law he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. and because he was not only a leader of a movement but a skillful politician, the constitution that emerged was worthy of this multi-racial democracy, true to his visions of law that protect mine kwrorlt as well as majority rights and the precious freedom of every south african. and finally, mandela understood the tie that's bind the human spirit. there's a word in south africa, a word that captures mandela's greatest gift, his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to
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the eye that there's a 1ness to -- oneness to humanity that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others and caring for those around us. we can never know how much of this sense was innate in him or how much was shaped in a dark and solitary self. but we remember the chapters large and small introducing his jailers as honored guests at his inauguration and taking a pitch in a uniform and turning his family's heartbreak that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding. he not only embodied it but taught millions to find that
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truth within themselves. it took a man like mandela to preach not just the prisoner but the jailer as well. to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you and teach that recollect -- that changed laws but also changed hearts. for the people of south africa, for those he inspired around the globe, his passing is a time of mourning and a time celebrate a heroic life. but i believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection with honesty
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regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask how well have i applied his lessons in my own life? it's a question i ask myself. as a man and as a president, we know that like out africa, the united states had to overcome centuries of racial segregation. as was true here, it took sacrifice, the sacrifice of countless people known and unknown to see the dawn of a new day. michelle and i are beneficiaries of that struggle. but in america and in south
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africa and in countries all around the globe we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done. the struggles that follow the victory of formal equality for universal franchise may not be filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before but they're no less important. for around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. we still see rundown schools. we still see young people without prospects for the future. around the world today, men and woman are still imprisoned for their political beliefs and still persecuted for what they look like and how they worship and who they love. that is happening today. and so, we too, must act on
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behalf of justice. we must act on behalf of peace. there are too many people who happily embrace mandela's legacy of recollect sill layings but passionately resist modest reform that challenge poverty and growing inequality. there are too many leaders who claim solidarity with his struggle for freedom but do not tolerate it from their own people. and there are too many of us, too many of us on the sidelines comfortable in complacency when our voices must be heard. the questions we face today, how to promote equality and justice, how to oppose freedom and human rights, how to end conflicts and
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secretaryian war, these things do not have easy answers. but there were no easy answers in front of that child born in world war i. nelson mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. south africa shows that it's true. south africa shows we can change that we can choose a world defined not by our differences but our common hope. we can choose a world defined by peace and justice and opportunity. we will never see the likes of nelson mandela again. but let me say that the people of africa and the young people around the world, you too can
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make his life work your own. over 30 years ago while still a student, i learned of nelson mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land. and it stirred something in me. it woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself and it set me on a journey that finds me here today. while i will always fall short of his example, he makes me want to be a better man. he speaks to what's best inside of me. after this great liberator is laid to rest and when we return
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to our cities and villages and rejoin our daily routine, let us search for his strength. let us search for his largeness of spirit somewhere inside of ourselves. when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts and when our best laid plans seem beyond reach, let us think of mandela and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of his cell, "it matters not how straight the gate how charged the punishment, the scroll, i am the master of my faith. i am the captain of my soul." what a magnificent soul it was. we will miss him deeply.
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may god bless the memory of nelson mandela. may god bless the people of south africa. [cheers and applause] >> we'd like to thank president barack obama for his comforting words. we now move on with our program and acknowledge the presence of a number of other world leaders who have graced our land to come and pay tribute to nelson mandela, his excellencesy
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president silva of portugal is here, his excellency, president and count princess victoria of sweden is here. his excellentsy, the president of the democratic republic of the congo is here. his excellency and president
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of israel, president perez and head of the delegation, the prime minister netanyahu is here. his excellency, president of [indiscernible] is here. prime minister of canada is here.
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his excellency, the president of the united states, mr. barack obama is here. the president, his excellency prime minister of denmark and the conference frederick is here. his excellency, of the european counsel is here. the president of croatia, his excellency, the president of nigeria is here.
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the honorable prime minister david cameron of the united kingdom of great britain is also here. his excellency, the president of guinea is here. and the president of brazil is here. it is at this point that i'd like to call upon president of
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brazil all the way from latin america to come and address us. >> [speaking in portuguese] translator: family members of nelson
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mandela and presidents and the people of south africa to whom i'd like to convey my condolences for the loss of nelson mandela. portugese]g in translator: ladies and gentlemen, heads of state and the government, dear friends, i bring you hear today, -- here today, the feelings of deep sorrow as the brazilian government and people of brazil and i'm sure of all south america for the passing away of this great leader nelson mandela. portugese]g in
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translator: the most outstanding personality of the 20th century, nelson mandela lived with passion and intelligence, one of the most important processes of human emancipation in modern history, the end of apartheid in south africa. mandela's fight and that of the south african people as a whole became a paradigm, a model not
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only for this continent but for all those who fight for justice, freedom and equality. portugese]g in translator: apartheid defeated by mandela and the south african people was the most elaborate and cruel form of social and political inequality of modern times. this great leader had his eyes focused on the future of his country of his people and of all africa. portugese]g in
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translator: he also was the source of inspiration for similar struggles in brazil and throughout south america. portugese]g in translator: as you affectionately call him is a key reference for all of us. for the stoic, firm and patient enduring prison and suffering. portugese]g in translator: for the strength and
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determination that he showed in his fight. for his deep commitment to justice and peace. above all for his moral and ethical superiority. he was able to turn the quest for truth and forgiveness into the pillars of national reconciliation and the building of a new south africa.
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we must pay homage to this great humanism with nelson man legal da. his phraoeutsdz was way beyond his national boshederder and inspired to fight for independence and social justice. [speaking in portugese] he left many lessons not only for his beloved african continent but for all who seek freedom, social justice and world peace.

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