tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 27, 2016 12:30pm-2:31pm EDT
they already had a huge collection of the most demeaning -- i mean, demeaning even images of barack obama. so you're absolutely right. but, you know, ken, when i was growing up there were no excuses. we expected white people to be racist. i think that barack obama was shocked, just like you were, unlike i was, at the degree of racism. i think a little bit, maybe he let his guard down. i think maybe he believed the narrative that a new racial -- a day of racial harmony had come. i think they were caught offguard. i don't think that they -- i think -- i don't think they had anticipated the depth of american racism or -- and how much had not changed because a black man had been elected to president of the united states. michael: let me ask you this, skip.
henry: that's barbershop talk. michael: when you were arrested at cambridge, did you know immediately when he answered that question this was going to be a big deal? because it sounded to me like it was a very obvious point he made but did you see it immediately? henry: well, you know, my phones started ringing off the hook. i don't think you could use that metaphor anymore. did your phone ring off the hook? [laughter] ken: vibrated out of your pocket. henry: barack obama said it was stupid you got arrested. yeah. but immediately he was attacked for doing it. so i knew he was going to have to pull back so i didn't know what he was going to do. michael: i got you. henry: so the idea of the -- you know, having a beer came up. and he asked my opinion about that and he talked to the policeman before he talked to me
and i said, i think it's a great idea. at that point, all i wanted was for -- here's what happened. we were making "finding your roots," and my girlfriend and i flew out to l.a. on a friday. and we were at this hotel for the weekend. and, you know, people -- we were sitting around the swimming pool. it's very traumatic to be arrested. it kind of flipped me out. i was filming eva longoria on sunday at her house. and so i noticed there was a little bit of tension around the swimming pool. just a little bit. the people kind of do a double take. maybe i'm just -- i'm black. i'm paranoid. comes with the -- our d.n.a. so sunday we went up and we filmed eva longoria's fabulous interview and she was very moved. she said, i want to take you to
dinner at my restaurant. i said ok. so we went to her restaurant. we had this great meal. and right at the door. i said ok. i am going to quincy jones' house. opened that door, 10,000 photographers. and light bulbs. i had never experienced that before. we had to jump in the car. run away. we had to find escape routes to the hotel and all that. that continued until the day after the beer -- all i wanted was for all of that to go away and for my life to be returned. death threats, hate mail. my secretary, she's retired now. she's italian, married to an irish high school sweetheart. i call that a roman catholic interracial marriage. she is like my mother and sister rolled into one. she said she had no idea. even being my secretary -- i
chair black studies at harvard. she said, i never knew the depth of anti-black racism in this country because she was taking the phone calls and she was opening the mail. so i was surprised at how organized hate could be. because i never experienced it before. you don't just get anonymous letters. these are all cranked out of machines and calling campaigns. i don't know where they move to. i don't know who generates it, but it's a coordinated terrible, terrible, nasty thing. bill clinton called me and as i said, i have a much closer relationship with the and he -- clintons than with the obamas. he said, why don't you have a beer -- this is funny. why don't you have a beer with the cop? i said, which president? the other president said, i'm going to have a beer with the cop. i was like, didn't you get the message? did you watch cnn? and he said, no, no.
not that. he said, call the guy and meet in your favorite public. i thought, wow. we did it we met at the river gods cafe. and what he told me moved me so much. he said, all i want -- he calls me professor. he said, professor, all i wanted was to go home to my wife at the end of the day. and he thought there was another guy, black, upstairs, and we were in the kitchen and that guy was going to come down and blow him away. when he told me that, it brought tears to my eyes because i understand fear. after that we've become really good friends. i see him all the time. [applause] >> thank you, gentlemen. i think this has been the best discussion of race in 54 years since martin luther king held this stage. [applause] before michael asked the last question, we'll try to get one more in if we can. i have a few announcements.
the national press club is the number one leading organization for journalists and we fight for a free press worldwide. i would like to remind you about upcoming programs. is national press club honored to welcome the washington post journalist in iran as ajustly political hostage. tomorrow, allen gross will discuss his detainment and tomorrow night, as part of the focus on sunshine week, a press club will host the fifth annual ec government summit. brooks tocornell discuss some justice reform in the 2016 presidential lecture. on march 24, our commissioner
will be here to remind you to file your tax returns area did -- returns. i would like to present our guests with the monks. [applause] >> thank you. >> i will head it to you for the last question. of a new on because civil rights movement in this country? >> absolutely. >> something george will said in our roosevelt series, he said that fdr was armed with the christian faith that the history was a rising road at the knowledge that things will get better. and i believe that he was right, naive asotentially that may be. it is possible for these retrograde tendencies happening to be quelled.
they are born of fear and anxiety. can if we canf we move forward, i think history will link you always optimistic. it cannot possibly be the opposite. >> i think that we are on the verge of a major transformation in this country. when what has been historically perceived as race will come to be understood as having been a metaphor for class. it will beappens, like turning a light switch on. that will be the most indamental transformation the history of civil rights protests in the united states of america area did -- america.
[applause] >> thank you very much. thank you, we are adjourned. [indiscernible] >> the president and first family spent part of their easter sunday in virginia attending service at a baptist church in alexandria. the church dates back to when thomas jefferson was president area did 500 people were in attendance of today's service. here's a look at the scene outside of the church earlier. the easter holiday is part of a two-week district time when they return for legislative business on april 12, they are holding
short sessions to prevent a potential recess appointment i the white house. follow along here and on c-span.org. we have prime time this week. on c-span2 we have looked tv with politics. our lineup includes matt lewis and trent lott. on c-span3, american history tv at theetime with a look u.s. supreme court. focusing on the nomination of louis brandeis 100 years ago and bush.00 court case of again, that is tomorrow night on c-span3. >> i am a history buff. i do enjoy the fabric of our country and how things work and how they are made. >> i love american history tv.
a fantastic show. >> i had no idea. >> with american history tv a gives you that perspective. >> i am a c-span fan. broderick johnson is the white house cabinet secretary. he recently went back to his all matter, university of michigan it school to talk about what is like working for the president. he also talked about the task force of my brother's keeper which he chairs. this is an hour. >> good afternoon. welcome. i am susan collins. it is wonderful to have all of you to invest this afternoon. today, it is an honor to be introducing broderick johnson, who joins us as part of the university's month-long martin luther king jr. symposium.
it is a special pleasure to have all of you here with us for today's policy talks. broderick's assistant to houseent obama, the white cabinet secretary and chair of the president my brother's keeper task force. i suspect that some of you are curious to know about what a cabinet secretary does. briefly, thurgood marshall jr. was the first person to hold this position under president clinton. as you will hear more about later today, broderick johnson in that role is the primary liaison between barack obama and the cabinet apartments and agencies. during his lecture he will share more about that with us. interagencyut the policy process. much to look forward to. many in the audience may be familiar with my brother's keeper which is president
cities.challenge to detroit took that challenge head on and one of the four schools alumni was a huge part of setting up the response. i have heard that detroit is developing a strong program in that context. i wanted to invite you to stand so we can recognize you. [applause] before chairing the my brother's keeper task force, an administrator in the task force and he served in congress. he has been successful in the private sector. he was the vice president of at&t and a partner with a large international law firm andy cofounded a strategic consulting business. you mail me know parts of his
distinguished career but i suspect that all of you know .here he studied law go blue. i turn the floor over to him i want to say word about the format. will speak for 20 minutes and then we open up for questions. 10 minutes from now, our staff to collectculating your cards and if you are watching online, please tweet your questions. then, a professor with two students will facilitate our question and answer session. get started. please welcome me in joining broderick johnson to the podium. [applause] >> thank you. good afternoon.
set my book here without hitting a delete button on the screens. if i do, i am sorry. it is great to be here in ann arbor and back on this beautiful campus. to au get a chance to go campus like this one, you feel a ,ense of energy and excitement the usefulness and it warms the heart. know that, you should my west wing office is filled with michigan paraphernalia so that i can strike up conversations with people who come to visit. you went tolike oh, michigan and half an hour later, we stop talking about michigan. it's all over the place and i'm proud to have it. not onlyappreciate
having gone to the school and graduating but many important moments in my own life, which i will get you in a few minutes. this place has had an enormous impact on my life and career. running in my veins. when i hear the fight song i get teary-eyed depending on what the score is. when i think of michigan, i think of many things. andink about president ford how he stood up against segregation when he was on the football team here. i think about fellow alums and friends from the law school like ken salazar who was my first year mentor here. he kept encouraging me and telling me that just studying a -- ie bit harder, i could think about valerie jarrett who
is a graduate of the law school. the senior and longtime friend of the first lady. loss will friends of more than 30 decades and i also think about my first amendment professor in 1982. and he became dean of the law school and president of the university. as you know, he stood affirmative for action. and i think of my friends, a white dude from mississippi who navigated a largely white alumni association board today take an overwhelming position supporting affirmative action and opposing profiteering. then, personal moments for me. personal family moments which i will share in a bit because michigan has become a true legacy for my family. i think of my late mom, who
became a huge wolverine fan. she adopted university of michigan as her on the monitor. afternoons with phone calls back and forth about the michigan games. she would say, did you see that? game issay mom, the still on, call me in a few minutes. in 2011, i wason able to bring her here for the first time in her life with my youngest son at the time. and it was kohl's. -- it was cold but it was warm for us to be there and to share that moment. my mother was decked out head to toe. i also think about my late father who set foot on a law school campus for the first time in his life in 1983 for my graduation. toroudly that the movement
-- put that moment in context of the dreams of what my dad had. sonsee, when my youngest came to visit the law school, he was 10 years old. foot on a first that law school campus when he was 50 years old. that his grandson at 10 years old could go to my law school campus was really quite fulfilling with his dreams. and i remember my son asking me after i brought it on a tour of the law school, and at 10 years old, the idea of visiting a law school wasn't the coolest thing but he was intrigued and director he asked me, dad, if i decide to come to school at -- not, dof i decide you think i could qualify, it was clear in his mind, maybe
because of the investment in his education so far that he could come to school here if he decided to end it would be a choice and not some far-off many civilwould take rights movements to change. wife whonk about my was invited to give the commencement speech at this in 2014.y she received an honorary doctorate that day and she closed her inspiring remarks with poetry. she said, it is great to be a michigan wolverine and the crowd broke out in great applause and i'm glad she did that because it was the icing on the cake to what was a memorable day. thank you for having back here. michael barr is here. michael and i go back to the clinton administration. ushave a secret between
about a job he took that i didn't take. it helped save washington, d.c.. but i am really surprised that my friend sally is here. as between undergrad and i didn't know what i wanted to do and there was a program in , something called implied philosophy. have any of you apply for that program? the best thing about it is that velocity could be applied if we went to law school. it is so great to see you. we decided on ann arbor because we came appear when the football .eam was playing it is wonderful to see you. it is a privilege to be here to bring greetings on behalf of the
44th president of the united states. the president has visited the university of michigan more than any other sitting president. sometimes he pokes fun at me about the wolverine passion, i don't know why. of 2014, thepring -- the president visited. he had not picked michigan in the bracket. he had not picked the wolverine's new you to stand before a raucous crowd that included jordan morgan and glenn robinson, the president command up and admitted his misjudgment about the team and he admitted mess."s bracket was "a
about a president who makes very few mistakes but he said he learned his lesson and he said he would never choose against the university of michigan again. one of my jobs is to make sure that as long as i'm there, he will not make that mistake again. working in the white house is the hardest job, particularly at this time. some people would describe it as herding cats. there are great members of the president's cabinet throughout and it is great to work with them but we do have some real challenges with unexpected crises that come when we try to get things done. and often times that gives a lot of challenges. but i get to work with some of on hardest working people the planet. that being said there are many improbable moments for me.
to travel with the president when he went to selma last march and crossed the bridge with them. being in the white house a few weeks ago when the president announced executive actions on guns and watching him get as emotional as i've ever seen him that day. you look around and you say, i am in the oval office. and i have to say something intelligent. then, maybe two months ago , it was theths ago monday after the michigan state game and coach harbaugh had agreed to come to ann arbor to do something with the first lady but the president wanted to meet with coach harbaugh that day so watching the report was really something. he talked about the khakis.
i have to admit that the president did not ask coach harbaugh hey, where can i get some of those slacks. but it was really quite a conversation. simulators -- there are similarities between the two .f them let's talk about what i do for the president. and why it is so rewarding and consequential. was mentioned i have two primary roles. the cabinet secretary and the --ir of the my really super my brother's keeper task force. then i look forward to having a conversation with you and your questions and suggestions. i was asked to join the white house in 2014.
it has been my privilege to have known barack obama since 2003 when he was a senate candidate and to have helped advise him in that race ended his presidential race and in his reelection campaign, during his two successful terms as president. it has been my honor to get to know the president as a friend, he is quite a human being. call, it would have been the professional mistake of my life if i had said no thank you. i can't even imagine saying that the people do. but i did not. it is a good thing i didn't because it is hard but it is incredibly rewarding. cabinetitution of the is as old as our democracy. the constitution states that the president may require the opinion of the principal officer in each of the executive departments upon any subject
relating to the duties of their respective offices. today's cabinet includes the heads of 50 departments, from the secretary of state to the attorney general. and the department of homeland security. thecabinet also includes vacancies that have been extended. like the epa and the small business administration. wears many secretary hats, they serve as a senior advisor to the president. he or she serves as a liaison for members, being the eyes and ears of the president. he or she coordinates among various departments and agencies efforts around those departments. cabinetr she works with members on implementation and integration with respect to the president's agenda.
the president regularly engages with his cabinet. the team that i have in the white house coordinates much of that with me. we have four cabinet sessions that are held every quarter. ucb president in the cabinet we will have a video or a still press come through. the president will have remarks to talk about the subject of the day. and then members of the press asked the president questions. then they yell and they are ushered out of the room at that point. i recall my first cabinet meeting. may of 2014. i asked people who had been there throughout the administration, whether i should be prepared to answer any questions or to address any issues. they also know, it never has happened in the orpublic. you all know what happened. the present turned to me and said broderick, would you
this president digsyou would tht lost somewhere in all of this and has so much -- so much time to read. .e goes right to the subject this man is so unbelievably smart, i have seen it time and time again, he hates smalltalk and happy talk. don't come in and be the one that says everything is great if it is not, if it is, great, but it had better be. he does not believe in airbrushing over the challenges that we face. the is focused on the implementation of the presidents priorities.
policy priorities, but also management priorities and rulemakings. we don't expect to get a whole lot done with the congress, that is not the top of our list of expectations, although an exception for that will be around criminal justice reform and we are optimistic about being able to get that reform to the president before he leaves office. people believes that today's challenges require multifaceted, holistic solutions i the executive branch, so the embodies that approach any number of ways. let me show you a couple of cross collaboration examples. the president visited detroit to talk about the resurgence of that great american city. forgotten,one has when we inherited the office in 2009, a crisis on wall street had plunged this nation into a great recession and the effects were being felt in detroit and throughout communities deeply
connected to the auto industry. in addition to actions the president took to support american car manufacturers and that on the resurgence, he directed an entire cabinet to support the recovery of detroit. the question was whether or not detroit would survive. these are some of the examples. that department of treasury reached out to provide capital in state and local finance. the dependent -- the department of transportation awarded grants to support buses so that folks in detroit could get to and from work. the department of energy helped install or finance new led lights that bring security to a community where there were many people who were worried about their safety, while also saving money and reducing carbon footprints. as i said, i was was the present -- with the president on his trip to detroit. we know there are challenges that still remain in the city,
especially around education. andoit is on its way back the president has directed the cabinet to remain present in detroit and continue to make changes. , the end of 2015 so one of the most consequential moments of this president legacy and that being the historic agreement coming out of the u.n. and led document led cap 21 conversations in paris. many people said that was not going to happen. directed that his whole staff get involved in a tightly coordinated -- his whole cabinet get involved in a tightly coordinated approach. epa proper getting rules on clean power and water, the conservation of american lands and endangered species. standards and renewable energy standards.
departments of transportation in agriculture, incorporating climate considerations into policy and grantmaking. for hud, which recently announced $1 billion in grants to city and state to support resiliency planning so that we can mitigate the effects of climate change, at the state department, secretary kerry made climate a top priority in virtually all of his engagement with other nations, for example china and india, and then with regard to criminal justice reform, the attorney general and her team have continued to work that continued to do work that was done by the previous secretary, new policy looking at what we can do to perform criminal justice and provide reentry opportunities for many in our society who are looking for a second chance. there is a comprehensive approach and it is one of the hallmarks of this presidency and this administration. that is what leads me to talk about my brother's keeper, which
we also referred to as an bk -- mbk. -- trayvon martin case, the president spoke about the angst and anger that parents and families were feeling, about the challenges facing too many of this nation's young people, especially boys and young men of color. the president of served the trayvon martin could have been his own son or 35 years ago, he could have been trayvon martin. the president said there are a lot of kids out there who need help in a getting a lot of negative reinforcement. there has to be more we can give them and this country, a sense that the country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in that. not long after he gave those remarks, he and i talked about what he could do to really lift up the importance of this work and use the power of the presidency and he was clear that he wanted to go big.
he wanted to do something significant and use his power over the federal government and also has power to convene people from the private sector to get engaged. brother's keeper, six months after he had made the remarks about trayvon martin from a ceremony in the east room of the white house. that is significant because it demonstrated how this was a priority of this president just by where he held the ceremony the launch this great effort to address persistent opportunity gaps that boys and young men of color are confronted with. that was my ninth day in the white house, quite a way to start the work. during a speech, the president reflected on how personal the work was. quote, i could see myself in a lot of these young men, there were young men behind him on the stage and he went on to say that the only difference was that he grew up in an
environment that was more forgiving, so that when he made a mistake, the consequences were not as severe. he continued quote, the fact is there are some americans in the aggregate who are consistently doing worse in our society, groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions. groups who have seen fewer opportunities that spanned generations and by almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century, in this country, our boys and young men of color. here are just a few of those measures that the president was alluding to. i could go on and on with many negative statistics, but i just want to cite a few. --y are more than likely four-legged and there appears to be born into poverty, to live with one or no parent or to attend high poverty or poor performing schools.
courts,- in schools and voice and young men of color to often receive harsher punishments for the same infractions as similarly charged white men and are less likely to be given a second chance. iny are more likely to live communities with higher rates of crime, increasing the likelihood of conflict with police. more than half of the nations homicide victims. the president thinks about these issues in a very personal way. he talks about it as often has he can -- as he can. he said he met young people who had made mistakes and were not -- that were not different than the mistakes he and all of us make. the difference is the people he met at the present did not have the support structures and second chances and resources
that would allow them to survive or get beyond those mistakes. the president is clear about this. the challenges our youth-based and demand that we act with urgency, but also with a sense of the long haul. that only because they are jaw-dropping, the disparity is mindnumbing, but also because we have an economic obligation. we are compelled to act because there is an economic imperative that our country is to remain globally competitive, we cannot continue to have so many millions of young people missing from this society. a recent report from the president's own council of economic advisers showed that if we close the gap that exists in labor force participation between 16 to 54-year-old men of color and non-hispanic white men of the same age, total u.s. gdp would increase by 2%. there is an economic imperative
as much as there was a moral obligation. about holding stronger communities and stronger opportunities. in less than two years, we cannot be more excited about the education and enthusiasm we have seen across the country. out of the white house, we have adopted a three-pronged. approach first, review and reform of federal policy. second, in state and local engagement and third, supercharged private sector investment in collaboration. first, federal policy. past twocourse of the years, the task force which is an interagency working group of one dozen federal agencies has led to new and expanded grant thertunities out of department of labor, education, energy and so on. in july of last year, i joined secretary of education arne
duncan and attorney general loretta lynch at a correctional facility in maryland. they were there to announce a pilot program called second chance tell -- pell. it aloud incarcerate americans pellceive health grants -- grants towards secondary education and we have received hundreds of applications, nationwide. the roads to his -- the prison are paved in many instances by poor education. the way out, people need a good education and a good job when they get out. in november, the president visited new jersey which is one of the stronger mbk communities to highlight the reentry process of incarcerated individuals and discuss new aims to help americans reintegrate themselves back into their communities. during that visit, the president
announced a round of what we bk federal policy deliverables. first, banning the box for almost all federal jobs to delay inquiries into the little history until later in the hiring process so that once someone has paid their debt to society, they get a fair shot at a federal job. another was the department of housing and urban development and department of justice, working together now with the national bar association to seal and expense records for hundreds of young adults -- expunge records are hundreds of young adults who need a fresh start. the department of education has awarded millions in grants to help incarcerated youth and adults successfully reenter school and other educational programs. ifre are dozens and dozens not hundreds of new programs that have been launched as a result across all federal
agencies. let me talk about playspace which is what -- comprehensive community engagement because that is what has worked. there are now more than 200 communities that have accepted the my brother's keeper committee challenge, representing 49 state, 19 travel nations and the district of columbia. the 50th state is going to have a primary, next week. that is the hint. it has been remarkable, there are some states in this country that have as many as 12 mbk communities. publicbrought together and private sector, local government with the help of foundations and others w have been doing this work, to get career andd design
college action plans where we can have the greatest impact on their lives and this is evidence and data. is not something we imagine, it is hard data. that is the work being done in communities across the country. it is evidence-based and it is goal oriented and urgent and long-term. in detroit, the mayor announced their local action plan which was developed by more than 100 local leaders and youth from the detroit area. tritext five years, the plans to recruit and match 5000 -- tontors to imply employ 5000 more minute color, to reduce suspensions by 50% and to enroll 90% of its four-year-olds in preschool. they have matched the resources and the strategies to get that work done. in boston, the boston foundation has invested millions to expand outreach programs to youth at
risk of violent crime and they are doing this in coordination with the boston police department and the mayor's public safety initiative. -- school diversion program, two weeks ago, philadelphia announced it has seen more than $90 million in new investments and mbk programs. the district of columbia, d.c. has recruited 500 volunteers to serve as mentors and to help increase the percentage of students reading at grade level by the fourth grade. they have given more than 100 paid student internships for the summer. that is the second part. the third work stream is private sector action. in response to the president call to action, foundations and businesses and social enterprises have responded to his call to action by providing
a series of steps to provide additional funding. aus far, more than half-million dollars in grants and resources and $1 billion in financing from community development finance institutions have been independently committed to advance the mission including investments in safe and effective school mentoring programs, tunable -- judy -- juvenile justice reform. a group of private sector leaders started a new startup, which is working to advance the goals of the president's efforts out of the white house and begin to make sure that the work around this nation is sustained and lasting far beyond january 2017. this new mbk alliance startup was initiated with more than $80 million in private sector investments and an impressive board of directors featuring members from fortune 100
corporations. earlier this month, the nonprofit organization mentor and the national basketball association formally launched the real-life campaign as part of the nba's commitment to my brother's keeper. this campaign challenges americans across the franchises the nba is based in to mentor so that every young person who wants to be connected to a mentor has that opportunity. the nba uses stories about mentors and mentees and updates on grassroot activities shared across the country. rest of thise month, this is nba's all-star month, you will see a lot of attention around my brother's keeper and the nba throughout the course of this month. recently in usa today, bill op-ed thateased an
was published in the usa about mentoring and my brother's kendrickd last week, lamar released a video amplifying his story about the importance of mentoring and how it relates the presidents initiative -- president's initiative. there is a lot of effort and attention being brought to this from the private sector. to some all of this up, let me thishe following -- sum up, let me say the following. the president's economic during his remarks to speak directly to the youth who were gathered and i say these things in his own words because these are very personal issues to him. there is nothing, that a single thing more important to the future of america than whether or not you and young people all across this country can achieve your dreams. the president has been clear that this will be important work for him after he leaves the white house in his first
capacity will be among his priorities. my me, whether it is secretary had or to help lead mbk, everything i get to do is about disrupting the status low and working to recognize the president's vision for a more fair and equitable society where everyone has a fair shot and is in the game. while social transformation is complex and often measured over saydes, i can personally from the trips i take that we are getting closer and closer to that goal every day of a more fair and equitable society, but we have a long way to go. i could not be more excited about the future that we will be able to leave behind after we leave the white house and beyond. i want to close with an observation about where we are in the last parts of this presidency. the last 11 months. going back to the beginning of
what we call the fourth quarter. i would ask you not to ask questions about the iowa caucuses because i will not talk about those. it makes me to emotional because it is a reality that we are getting closer to the end of this administration. i don't gloat. let's just stipulate that. after the 2014 midterm elections sausage theocrats giving of losses across the political media and in washington was quick to assign labels to the president and his administration. pretty harshly minimizing the remainder of his time in office. for example, there were some commentators who were referring to him as the lamest lame duck in american history. that he was going to run the clock out. some even said he was tired and looking defeated, and i listened to some of that stuff and thought they just don't know. that has not been the case.
the president called all of the senior advisers into the meeting and about how we were entering the fourth quarter and a lot of interesting things happened in the fourth quarter. the president is a huge sports fan. in the fourth quarter, first part, 2015, under his leadership, the following things happened. 12 more months of job growth, adding to an unparalleled record of consecutive months of job growth. we reached a historic international agreement to combat climate change. we reached an agreement with iran with other countries around the world that verifiably cuts off all of its paths to a nuclear weapon. we advance relations with cuba. we achieve conclusion of a historic twelve-month trade agreement. we saw marriage equality upheld in 50 states and we also saw a bipartisan agreement to further improve k-12 education. that was all 2015.
the beginning of 2016, we saw his announcement of executive actions to better protect communities and children across this country from that violence. all those achievements in all that we will continue to do is not the result of an accident or lucky timing, it is the result of a president who has determination. he looks downfield, his vision is focused on the future and he make sure that all of us understand that and work with the same of roach -- same approach. we are halfway through the fourth quarter. the president and his cabinet is going to hustle on every play. analogy,a basketball maybe a football one, there is no prevent defense happening. say don't do this to us, we are looking for every opportunity to execute until the very end, just like they do in the big house. thank you for listening to me and i look forward to your
the single largest problem is facing people of color question mark -- color? >> there are certain problems that relate to poor schools, living in impoverished neighborhoods, violence, all things that we know to be true and that we have to address. there is also what i would call the perception set of problems that have to do with the importance of changing the narrative and by that, i mean the way they view themselves, the way they think people like us view them, the way we view much of what we do is based on the expectations that people have about us, so i think, as much as anything else, it is about changing the narrative in all those ways. did you say there were young people here from washington
county? that he worked with? or did i misunderstand? >> i was mentioning washington county committee members that were out here. >> thank you, thank you very .uch >> i am a senior in that the a program and my focus is on urban inequality and how we can cooperate social justice in urban development and my second question is, how do you expect things to change with a change of leadership and what will be your next step especially with the conclusion of the obama administration? caucus-y, but not too much. >> do i have to answer that second question?
your first question has to do with how we will continue to work after the end of the obama administration. , as ieral ways, one is mentioned, we have been working across the federal agencies around stem education and opportunities to make sure that we are able to the changes that people will be able to point to that have made a difference. the next 11 months are critical to that, because we would want whoever the next president is to look at a lot of the programs and the way we have focused those programs on where the greater disparities are and maintain those approaches. say that myt brother's keeper will be an initiative of the next president, i know that we are going to try to make sure we institutionalize change that whatever it is called things about what we believe to be important in terms of making
changes. as i mentioned, the president is committed to this work for the rest of his life. now there is my brother's keeper alliance which is a start up and hopefully it will continue to progress rapidly. it may be through that and other efforts that the president will continue his work and for me personally, i was engaged in this work for the rest of my life because it means that much to be as well, then i will find some other things to do after i get some rest. question comes to us from twitter. how does the president respond to criticism that mbk does not do enough or is misguided in scope? >> is that a softball question? [laughter] i know what difference we are
able to make enough the variance -- various heads of agencies address this issue and the fact that it is a clarion call from the president means that people pay attention to it and feel accountable are making changes in federal policy and also looking at how we've been able to get private sector partners involved in this work who either were involved in just could not figure out how to collaborate with other folks on the ground. to make a difference. -- third thing i would say on the ground to make a difference will stop the third thing i would say -- difference. -- you go to baltimore and talk to the young people who are being affected by my brother's keeper baltimore, and they are more hopeful that people would ever imagine. you see it -- then people would ever imagine. you see it all over. we have to be able to prove that it makes a difference. it is not about happy stories
with kids that feel like the country and the president loves them. we want to make sure they believed that it is true and prove that it is, but in tangible ways. i'm confident that it is making a big difference. we will have statistics to show that. >> that leads nicely to the next question. with mbk, what has been the most never get indicator of measuring success? the 200 plus communities that have agreed to do the work and are doing it under my for those keeper and in a way that is the frame of it where they look at specific milestones and they determined that depending on the circumstances in their city, for example, in some cities, youth unemployment, summer jobs is a bigger challenge or suspension/expulsion of three-year-olds and four-year-olds is a bigger issue in some communities. 4000 three-year-old suspended
from preschoolers in this country -- from priests -- from preschool in this country. sure thate to make communities have the flexibility of course, to do the work that's important to where they are. but the fact that so many communities have agreed to do this work, they are building sustaining work. it's not work that's like this will expire on january 20, 2017. three or four your plans in place already. to do the work going forward. >> this question is in regards to your position is cap -- as cabinet secretary. who are the most rewarding and difficult cabinet members to work with? mr. johnson: michael, do you want to answer that question for me? they are all great. [laughter] mr. johnson: it's no more sophisticated than that. i love my job. [laughter]
>> ok. our next question asks how can city -- cities like flint, michigan pursue all the reforms necessary to improve conditions for its necessary -- for its residents. in b k, private sector economic development. knowohnson: well, flint, i has some real emergency challenges that have applications for the health of the children and the education of the children as well. flint can no means do by itself what it needs to do across the board. i can just tell you as we've done in other cities, i don't know if we will fall this exact model in flint. in the case in baltimore, we actually sent federal teams, led
by a particular person in to provide as much federal assistance as possible. not thisnow whether or will be the case with flint. work that needs to be replicated, i think by the federal government, whoever is in charge. in january 2017. , itas to be comprehensive has to be based on a broader view of the needs of flint as in any other city. >> would have been some of the funding mechanisms used to push forward? initiatives mr. johnson: communities get together and develop action plans. they include not just an approach they rule take, , and howng milestones
they will go about getting the private sector to invest in collaboration with the public sector in those communities. philadelphia philadelphia being a great example for city, they got together with organizations that have a strong operation there and came up with that they investments relatedt into the mbk work. it's about people that weren't talking to each other, it's always been about franchises and where they were going to put their next restaurant or whatever as opposed to what kind freebs might be available on people, friendships, or whatever. question comes from twitter great was there any concern that the potus waited until late -- until two late in his room to implement mbk? mr. johnson: there's working we
have been doing across many issues, whether having to do with the american economy and jobs, having to do with health care, having to do with education opportunities and reforms that would lead to what we had seen in terms of increased tuition rates in attendance in college. that thebout mbk is president was profoundly affected by what happened in the trayvon martin situation, and decided it was an important thertunity, it given where company -- with the country was at, to pull is together in one issue, that's not to say we were avoiding those issues before. we weren't. >> what is the likelihood of mbk remaining a key program, and other better chances under a democratic president of united states? mr. johnson: i'm not going to talk about partisan political stuff.
we have found a lot of support among republicans for my brother's keeper, particularly -- ae communities republican mayor was one of the support andrs to decay. we've gotten a lot of expressions for support, not necessarily support for new would fundons that mbk programs, with the funding can come through a variety of other things throughout the department of education funding and the like. but we have seen tremendous amount of support from republicans for mbk and religious conservatives as well. it's viewed as one of the least partisan things that we have developed. by those who want to view what we do is partisan, which is not the case.
>> our next question asks how was the mbk task force encouraging cities that have enjoined, especially those with high percentages of boys and young men of color, to declare themselves and mbk city. mr. johnson: i don't think there are many of those left. there are still some. honestly, keeping up with the 200 or so that are already mbk communities and making sure that all those committees are doing their work effectively is a challenging mission for us. we really focused on that. -- this is something that has to be driven by the local communities largely. in that community leaders and folks have to decide they want to become an mbk community, or what kind of mbk community want to become. the need to make those determinations at a local level. >> how does indicate talk with boys on the ground about the planning and implementation of
mbk? other leadership roles for black and brown males in the decision-making? mr. johnson: it is mandated under the mbk construct that your action plan address how you make sure locally the you have young people involved in the planning of the work. that's one thing that goes through the quality of the indicate plans. that's baked into what community should do. secondly, i've got around to two dozen and bk communities over the past year, and always insist that the listening sessions, so to speak, or summits that they have included young people in both the planning and also in terms of who i can speak to. to solicit their ideas. i can't tell you how many times i've gone back to the white house having had a young peterson -- a young person saying tell president obama such and such. if i could figure out a way to tell him what they said, is that opportunity presented itself, i will. probably about a year after we
started mbk, the wall street journal had written some thing positive about mbk, and the "washington post," had as well. i had republican support, particularly in the case of "wall street journal." the president asked me not long after those editorials ran how we doing with mbk. i said we got this great editorial from the wall street journal, such and such. he kind of shocked me off and me offwanted -- shoved and said i want to know what the young people think of the work we're putting into it. he wants to know that. how do you think my brother's keeper works to address issues that face young man of color -- young men of color without the rations -- the erasure of problems that young women of color face? one of the things need to highlight more is that the federal government cannot
design programs that are race or gender exclusive. the u.s. constitution, first of all, and then there's just fairness. while we have had, of course, an emphasis on boys and young men of color, because as the president mentioned it his own voice, some of these disparities that really trouble the society, especially the case with them. everything we designed around mbk is gender or race neutral. it has to be. but if you are attacking issues where the disparities are gratis , then just as a matter of fact, it's going to have a greater impact on boys and young men of color, if that's where you are focusing on the disparities. what we are doing under mbk, especially from the federal task force work, exclusive of helping young girls, or even helping all children, quite frankly. >> i believe this is going to be our last question.
it's a two-part question, so that's ok. do have a one part question? >> what is your most rewarding experience while at the university of michigan and a -- as a student, and what experiences help prepare you for your current role with mbk? can i say something as frivolous as going to see what's his name --, my memory is fading. early ine saturday, the semester when you don't have to study as hard as you have to later in the semester. going to see a michigan notre dame game. there was a great thing, and then going to a jazz concert that night. it was terrible, because the name of that jazz musician, he's a trumpeter, somebody help me. he's deceased now.
yes, miles davis. thank you. that was a trick question, i knew who was. just earning my second year of law school, that was the most fun weekend i had when i was in school. i think the most rewarding thing was not as a student, it's been, quite friendly, as an alumni. some of the things i mentioned about my own father and children and my mom and stuff. this legacy, these family legacies are incredibly important. they really are. they provide from his opportunities, they also provide you with opportunities that are priceless. experiences that are priceless. i'm so drawn to that. i think in terms of my job now and what prepared me from having been in school here, just the rigor of the studies here at the law school. and also the sense that you should, if you are willing and able, commit yourself to do public service.
for me, i have been able to do public service and also private law firm another work, but just the commemorative public service but i left here with, i needed to go and make a difference and give back, that's all very true. a good way to end this, that question. [applause] >> my thanks of course to my special guest. i would also like to thank all of you for joining us for all of your questions. i hope you will stay for continuing the conversation at a inession -- a reception out the great hall. i hope you consider coming back next monday, we host u.s. secretary of labor thomas harris. i hope to see many of you back. he's one of my favorites. tell them that, please. tell them he is one of my favorites. yourfinal thank you for
thoughts and your perspective and all of your experiences, we have learned a lot. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] thehe need for horses on farm began to decline rapidly in the 1930's. it was not until the 1930's that they figured out how to make a rubber tire big enough to fit on a tractor. starting the 1930's and 1940's, you had almost a complete replacement of horses is the work animals on farms. i do believe one of my books on in the i read that decade after world war ii, we had something like a horse holocaust. the horses were no longer needed. we didn't get rid of them in a very pretty way. >> tonight on "q&a," robert
economics atsor of northwestern university discusses his book the rise and fall of american growth, which looks at the growth of the american standard of living between 1870 and 1970, and questions its future. grexit one thing that often one thingpeople -- >> that often interests people is the impact of superstorm sandy on the east coast back in 2012. that wiped out the 20th century for many people. the elevators no longer worked in new york. the electricity stopped. you couldn't charge your cell phone. you couldn't pump gas into your car because it required electricity to pump the gas. electricity and the internal combustion engine to make modern life possible is something that people take for granted. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> for this year student cam
contest, students produce documentaries about what issues they wanted candidates to discuss. students told us the economy, equality, education, and immigration were all top issues. thanks to all of the students and teachers who competed this year, and congratulations to all of our winners. every weekday in april, starting on the first, one of the top 21 winning entries will air at 6:50 a.m. eastern on c-span. all of the winning entries are available for viewing online at studentcam.org. >> the u.s. digital services a group of tax experts -- tech experts. a former google engineer heads that effort, and helped fix the health care website when it first launched. he had his team spoke about his work the federal government of the computer history museum in mountain view, california. this is one hour 30 minutes.
[applause] >> now for tonight's program. in october 2013, the obama administration faced a very large to mr. crisis. healthcare.gov, the portal the nation was supposed to use to sign up for health insurance under the affordable care act was in shambles. it was several months late, and more than 300% over budget. or didn'tand worked work like the internet of 1996. the consultants and experts who had built up for the government were warning that it would take millions more, and more weeks if not months to fix. amazing something quite happened, largely due to the creativity of the president and entrepreneurial team of young engineers and project managers from silicon valley, came to the rescue. fromng day and night maryland, they completely rebuilt healthcare.gov in a few short weeks.
the total cost was the single-digit millions. and the new site, version 2.0, was a complete success. 18 million americans have signed up for health care because of it. sort of like environment has emerged to remarkable digital efforts within government and what the 21st obama calls century equivalent of the peace corps. what is the u.s. digital service, the other is an organization called 18 f, and together they are calling on digital professionals to washington other places around the country to live the 21st century bureau -- to lift the 21st century bureaucracy and its technology into the digital century. the agencies who have experienced it now say they will never go back to the old way of doing things. tonight, we have three founders with us, along with u.s. digital services offices assigned to the department of education. you going to explore with them this quiet revolution from its roots in the dark days of healthcare.gov one. oh two the bipartisan victories is now
winning in washington today. please join me in welcoming mikey dickerson, hillary hartley, he leave and ike, and lisa. [applause] >> hi, guys. >> hello. >> they are not in t-shirts and they are not all guys. >> summer in skirts. -- some are in skirts. >> is the most unique panel we have had tonight for a number of reasons. really glad to have you here. rather than my trying to introduce what each of you does, and what you are doing now, when you introduce yourselves briefly. i would also like you to add what it was you were doing just
before you started doing what you are doing now. am mikey dickerson, right now i am the administrator of the u.s. digital service. as a government word that means right before i got there to do this, if you count this as the healthcare.gov story, right before that, i was here working just across the mco that google. i was a site reliability engineering manager there. hillary: i came to the federal government through the presidential service, and at the end of my fellowship, we launched atf. there it was a much more dramatic story there. i have been working with government for about 20 years, which is crazy to me.
it was always sort of from the outside. when i found out about the about where i saw government going and what i wanted to do and how i wanted to have an effect on the services that all of you use, the fellowship philly the right fit for me. for a shortvernment stint and have been there ever since. >> a short stint. >> it was supposed to be about six months. >> hello, good evening. i'm the chief digital services officer at the u.s. department of education. i have been in government a whopping eight months now, my birthdays april 6. before that, i had of zero civic stuff. right before this i was running digital for bt, black entertainment television network, a viacom network. >> money that he leave and ike
-- my name is haley vandyke. i was breaking a few bones trying to get usgs set up and created. >> thanks. what is the problem? [laughter] >> who is going to take that one? >> i'm hoping someone else will jump on that one. >> the problem is so multifaceted, it's hard to describe. the biggest issue is that the private sector over the last two decades has spent an incredible amount of time and energy improving itself and getting really, really great at building digital services that delight citizens and people across the world. all sorts of innovations that we don't think of as innovations in a more place in the last two decades. also to things. allbiggest problem is that
of those gigantic transitions have completely skipped over government. government is still sitting back in the early 90's, where cloud is illegal, where actual user needs are drawn from everything to how we do digital services and how we write and think about policy. that is the biggest issue. but there's another side of the problem, inside government. which is the government is really good at persisting. it has gotten incredibly good at developing processes that maintain the status quo. to the incredible detriment of government. there is such a pervasive a concern of failure, essentially. downwardeated this spiral where the status quo has become the riskiest option. government has a really hard time breaking itself out of those molds. what we are trying to do is come in and break that cycle and i shall he bring in the private
sector best practices that are very normal to original person in this room and transplant those into governments, where they are much less normal and very radical, to be honest. and actually try and shift or raise the bar and shift with the status quo is today. easy forld be really us, looking from the outside in, to say that so typical. this is the federal government. in, ossified, status quo. it would be a very simplistic way of looking at this. we rise have found it i shall he and working in these agencies is , it's a lot more subtle and complex then the simplest a few we might have. can you talk more about both of those things? >> i would like to talk a little bit about 2012. the group of people that started the presidential innovation fellowship. it really was the m.v.p. of this movement, in terms of saying we ,now there are amazing
brilliant people inside the agencies who live and breathe their job, and live and breathe this idea that all they want to do is do their job that's helping government be better. for whatever reason, many of them are stuck, or they don't have the in-house talent to get it done. they've tried to procure things, and maybe that has gone awry. folks thatnd other saw this need and said let's see if we can entice people from the tech sector, people from industry to come in for short tours of duty. six to 12 months, let's start there and see if we can attract this new time of technologist that has hearts the size of jupiter, that are very mission and impact oriented. get them partnering with these people who have amazing ideas, who are stuck for one reason or another. get them partnered, see what they can do. it worked. i think that is really what we are really building on today.
yes, you can take a survey and say that is blowing up and that is blowing up and we need to help out here, but there are people on the ground trying their hardest to get that done and are stuck. >> as someone who has partnered with an agency, that is 100% true. they are welcoming this change and embracing the change and asking for more. somebody said to me, i thought you would be wearing a cape. [laughter] they are inviting us to do more and talk about how to change, make culture change and shift. things like human centered design thinking about how to put the customer first and foremost. how do you extend it beyond tech and put it into policymaking and user centered government? any tools that i can add to fix things, they are all about it.
john: the name todd park has come up and for those of you who don't know, todd was one of the leaders who created the presidential fellowship and one of the cofounders. one of the real drivers behind the u.s. digital service. he is sitting right there. high-five. -- hi, todd. [applause] a shout out for todd. there is a team of people sitting over there waiting to recruit at the end of the night. if you are interested, make a beeline to those rows. you talked about what the vision is and you have defined it, but i will go back to healthcare.gov.
these things were not happening, the vision for today, and maybe the things that are most representative of the problem were really on display. talk a little bit about what you encountered when you came into clean this up. mikey: sure. [laughter] this is a little bit like reliving the drama of the past. my answer to this has changed over the last year and a half. there are many layers to what was going on there. at the surface, if you just walk in as an engineer and look at other engineers and see what they are doing and how they are doing it, it was total insanity when you first looked. there were 55 different companies contracted to work on different parts of healthcare.gov, which is a fairly complicated operation,
but it is not that complicated. there were -- this is another piece of insanity -- nobody knows how many people were engineers, developers -- hundreds. they were in dozens of different buildings. not only did they have any habit of working together, in most cases, they were for bid and to speaking with each other -- forbidden to talk to each other because of contracts in the government. the government did not do the job of coordinating of how this would go. they don't really have that skill set. [laughter] the government just not really equipped to do that job. so, what was going on made zero sense.
a lot of the things we did which was like battlefield medicine that helped in a short period of time was stuff that seems silly to explain now which is like having people meet together. like, come on. you mentioned in your introduction of the makeshift headquarters in maryland, there is an operation center still going full blast. we still have people there. we are not sure if they are there tonight because it is not a high-volume night. it is still there. installing monitoring, that was the thing that was not done. with these hundreds of people who are responsible for little pieces would have to collaborate together to make the system work, we didn't know if they were up or not except by cnn.
that is what our monitoring was for the first three or four weeks or so. john: you mentioned your view has changed. what has changed? mikey: all of that stuff i said is still true. it is just that if you want to know why it got to that point, there is a lot more to it. it goes to a very simplistic explanation would be that the government was stuck in the past. that is true enough. it is hard to figure out -- the government is not actually stuck. it does change. it moves forward, for whatever forward means at the time. it just is at a pace that is a lot slower. it was designed to be this way.
how many people -- forget people in jobs like ours -- politicians run for office and say their vision is to have government run like a business. we don't want the government to do that for the most part. we don't want social security to radically change behavior between this year and next year. that would be not popular, not good to people depending on those benefits. that is not really a business you want disrupted. the government was designed with values that everybody will get equal protection under the law. that is another strength businesses do not operate with. take whatever tech company or restaurant, take any of them, all of them have put thought into who is their target market and it is not the entire united states. everything from the declarations
on the walls, the prices and hours have been chosen targeting the customer, not the entire country. the government is trying to serve the entire country at once. john: one of you used the term plans to make a website. -- plan of scale websites. haley, you referred it to everybody uses websites every day, yet the government has not been ready to do that. it is only just now getting out. why has it taken so long? we are now, we are 20 years into the world wide web and probably 15 solid years for e-commerce. does it have to do with the way it is structured? as nobody been the quarterback until the president? what are your theories?
haley: there are a lot of factors. one large one is how we actually buy services. unfortunately, government is so simply a waterfall shop through and through. everything we do is through very, very long processes, particularly in procurement. that is what you see with how the private sector operates and how government does today and what we are trying to shift. we buy software the same way we buy battleships which is five-year long requirements gathering data before we ever build any sort of thing. it is usually anothefive years after that that we push it it into production. that simply does not work anymore as everybody here knows.
i think -- the processes are propped up through intricate, wetland tendon rules and regulations -- well intended rules and regulations. it is clashing as we look into modernizing in ways that are able to move quickly and adjust to services. even for the private sector, they wanted that. we kind of forget some of these innovations have happened rather fast and many systems are not designed to move that quickly. this is an incredibly new innovative way of looking at buying from services from the private sector. hillary: one of the things that came out was a proposal. it is really trying to disrupt how it is done.
maybe 1000 pages long and we will gather all the requirements and you are going to bid on this and come back to was in two years. so, they were trying to think of new ways to get procurement in the way government buys things. we are running two big experiments. one is the marketplace. it resides in this ecosystem and so it is a consultancy in federal government for the federal government. they work with agencies to make a build or buy decision for you.
we will help you figure out what it is you need or how we will get it built. one of our lines of businesses is around acquisition services. our two big experiments -- a blanket purchase agreement which is a vehicle for vendors and companies to get into a pool that has been precleared and can do business with the government easily. the concept of it is not terribly radical, but how we got vendors into it shook things up a little bit. instead of having give us a 300 page rfp, we said to compete into this, here is an application programming interface, a set of data.
here's the problem statement. build it. we want to see how you do it. we want you to understand that you know what we mean by fragile, doing research, making the design. it will be open sourced. we want to be able to see it and judge it. we give them two weeks to build something. i believe it was about 17 companies that are now in these pools of precleared vendors that use agile, lean methodologies. john: is anybody look at you and say two weeks? are you kidding me? hillary: that is the concept in our world. the main environment product.
that is all we wanted. -- the minimum viable product. that is all we wanted. it can be a prototype. we just want to see that officially you can build something and activate it and that you understand all the ways we work. some of the results surprises us -- there was one story. john: go ahead. hillary: there is one story and i will not tell you the name of the company but they sent us an e-mail during the questioning phase. we get these typical phases of this procurement. they were asking us for the data on a cd, because they didn't understand the requirement that there is this open data on the internet, an api. what is an api? so, there were some surprising moments.
by far, we now have 17 awesome teams that our inbox, our intake is exploding. we only say yes to about 10% of the products that come to us for many reasons. the main reason is we simply do not have the people to do it. this allows us to scale and partner with the business community in a way that is revolutionary with how software gets done. it is raising the bar, sitting that standard and having the business community come along with us to spread it out through all of the contracts. john: i think i heard the phrase more than any other which was modern software techniques. i ask people what they are doing and they say we are using modern software techniques. is that what you are talking about? a business practice. one more question and then we will dive into some real stories
about things you have been doing and working on. are you reading my notes? [laughter] somebody explain the difference between the relationship between usds and atf. haley: i think when we look at government overall -- it can feel like this monolithic institution. it is important to realize it is much less than a single company and more like an entire industry that needs instruction. in order to do that, we came up with a very interesting three layered technique on how we could actually insert agents at each level to help catalyze the change. the first layer is the united states digital service where we work at.
we deploy teams into agencies -- the most talented people -- to work on the most mission-critical important services across government. the second layer is also a part of the united states digital service. we felt like the important thing to institutionalize this is to disguise them and plug them into the agencies so they become part of their host environment. they can act working on that transformation and change from the inside. the third layer has an incredible superpower which they can operate and function like a business. they have this incredible model where they are fee for service. any agency that wants to work with them can. this brings in a huge
opportunity to scale in a way we can. they work really well together in terms of top-down, dropping into what the highest need is. 18f can work from the bottom up and scale some of the common services and functions. mikey: the business models are different. you need both of them. they are both a critical piece of the solution. being cost reimbursed, general services administration is the home agency for 18f. it is the agency whose purpose is to provided cost reimbursed services so they can scale as big as they can. they can build the products of
the shared service and maintain it for a long time. it has one disadvantage which like vampire rules, you have to be invited and do an agreement before you can go into a place that might need your help. at the white house, we are limited on the amount of money that they will appropriate to us so we can only do a small amount of things that cannot sustain something for decades. we can take on stuff in the scale of months or a few years. we are well-positioned for that. we have the kool-aid man who can just go through the wall. [laughter] why is it called 18f? haley: it is an homage to 30 rock. the headquarters are the corner of 18 and f.
there was a great scene with a were brainstorming the different names. a whiteboard full of things. we came up with about four that we sent to the lawyers. 18f was the only one that did not really pose any problems. it stuck. i really like it. john: i was really hoping it was like area 51. something dark about it. and there you are at the corner of 18 and f street. let's talk about serious things to develop and revise services. you're in an agency that touches everybody in the country -- education. you guys have done some very great things. talk about what you have been up to. lisa: my first project was
something called college scorecard which released december 12. it is actually a presidential initiative, partnering with the department of education. the premise was college education is the surest path to the middle class. unemployment rates with high school diplomas only is something like 12%. if you have a college degree, it is 3%. over the course of your lifetime, it is worth $1 million more over the course of your lifetime. getting a college degree is super important, but the people in most of need of it -- first generation college goers, people who are learning english -- they don't have access to great support systems, advisors. how do you actually get this kind of information of what
makes for a good school, what will give you the best value -- how do you get that in their hands? that is what we were charged with building. i showed up and there was a meeting with the president of week before i joined. they said that lisa will fix that. john: and there you went. lisa: it was a fascinating experience, coming straight from the private sector and understanding the manning to of how important -- magnitude and how important this is to shape the country. it is every person in the country had a bachelor's degree, imagine what it would do to the economy and the jobs. the magnitude of the problem is really awesome. it was an interesting experience. i got on the ground and had to understand how government works, but more importantly what this
looks like and what we needed to build because nobody really had a clear definition. so, we went around and talk about the stakeholders and the folks creating policy, review and the data and the white house. four days into the project, how do students look for colleges? i have to talk to some students. i was in d.c. for four days and i didn't know anybody. somebody on my team said you can go to the mall and that was genius. the mall where the kids hang out. or the mall outside the building? the washington mall. [laughter] that happens when you don't know d.c. mikey: it was school field trip season too. lisa: we got people from wisconsin, nebraska, minnesota. it was a brilliant idea.
we got to talk to a high school in anacostia. we talked to people who had written letters to the president. we talked to charter school folks. high school folks in iowa. we gathered all this information and figured out what we needed to do. and get the information into the hands of students so they will know what they will pay to go to college and that it is not the sticker price. it might be better going to a private school rather than a public school. understanding how the school is helping the needs of its students. looking at how much debt you might leave school with and looking at the earnings you will have after attending the school see can actually know you can pay off any loans.
these were the new data metrics we are trying to get out there and change the conversation. we want consumers to be able to get the information. we wanted to change the conversation systemically. the first thing we built was something, college scorecard. it was mobile first. it does exactly what we set out to do. a minimally viable product. i'm really proud of it. more importantly is we actually opened up the data. our password was actually set the data free. mikey: it is still the password. lisa: it is all completely in the open. we built an application programming interface that would enable other tools, other
organizations that might be creating for niche audiences. the idea is if we can actually get this out into the industry and make this the standard. right now, the products are being exclusive. is that the right metric? actually getting the data that we think is a board to look at out to students wherever they might be. you want to get the content out to your audience wherever they are at whatever time. that is exactly the idea behind creating this. we actually built the consumer facing tool on top of the api. i think we were one of the first organizations and government to actually use our own service to power the website. john: how is it going? lisa: we have one million users within the first week.
it was not just a consumer tool but we also had seven people who stood up with us at launch that incorporated the data into their own tools. mikey: one million in the first week. this is not the first time this was tried. in the previous year, the old version did 168,000. i got asked that question by the president in the meeting we had and i did not know, so i went and looked it up. john: how did the president react? mikey: he moved on.
[laughter] if i can add some more to lisa's story. she spoke to users, the user centric design, even policy decisions of what data we would release which was incredibly touching. this was the end of the three years that when the administration announced its intentions to do something like the college scorecard. the idea was incredibly controversial. the higher education people had issues. it was a massive policy issue by the time we got involved. at the meeting on april 1, we heard from the president, the vice president, secretary duncan -- all of them had impassioned views and the president made clear what he wanted to get
done. after that was over, we had some really frank conversations with policy decision-makers and said we can help you do this. we can make a website thing, whatever it is you want, we can do that on the timetable you are talking about, but it is going to have to be -- we will have to have a lot of say over the product decisions because it is not going to be possible to do your typical government christmas tree, waterfall plan with everybody hanging their pet project as an ornament on it somewhere. that cannot happen in six months. given we were up against the clock, people agreed to the terms and conditions that would not oftentimes agree to. after that, we were out on a limb and had to deliver it.
we made that promise a week before lisa started and i told her this is what we got and we have this much time to get it done. we sweated it until the end and it was a stressful launch. once that thing was actually released, it got very positive reviews. the agency is not accustomed to that happening. [laughter] it is true. lisa: it was really successful and had a lot of great reviews. that are spanish-language tools now. students can do side-by-side comparisons. it is really tremendous. there is still much more work to be done. part of what we are doing is continuing this. i think one of the incredible
things which is why the partnership worked so well with how the government can be effective -- development started on the project in the middle of june. the api, front and and all of that stuff went from the middle of june to the middle of september so three months. not for nothing. even private sector, that would be fantastic. this is a partnership. we actually partnered on this project together to bring it all to fruition and make it happen. we would not be able to do it if it weren't for the services and platform that was already being built. that is how we were able to get it done. hillary: a great partnership to talk about. we were able to do an agreement with them to put a development team together. the infrastructure that we had our e-mail.
18f playing that support structure for the other two layers came into play. the other one, talking about how we work and why it is different now. 18f has done this a couple of times, it obviously was never as important as the president. the president wanted a ranking. that kind of iterated and changed and it was due to this team saying that is great, mr. president. we should talk to high school kids, their parents and high school counselors and figure out what they need. do they want a ranking or do they want to be able to search and compare and contrast?
lisa: i was not at this meeting. we were going to have an unprecedented kind of thing. the thing that was important that we focus on was doing the right thing for the audience. we took into account what was important for policy, data. we took that into account and put the user first. john: there are two other not universally needed, necessarily, projects you have been working on, but big, gnarly areas with big policy implications. one is the veterans administration. the second is immigration and the whole green card system. you guys have taken both of those on. somebody describe those as really big hairballs. can you talk a little bit about those because those are even
more in some ways significant. mikey: that was when we talked last july. you can add other agencies to the list. v.a. and dhs -- you want me to do it? so, v.a. problem statement in a nutshell -- we are creating disabled veterans had a pace we cannot absorb into the rest of the system. you can probably guess the foreign-policy decisions. it has been overwhelming the rest of the system since then. backlog of disability claims at one point was 600,000 or so. the high water mark was hit around march 2014, just a few months before we came onto the scene. delayed disability claims in the case of the v.a. very often mean a last in treatment which could
be physical therapy for a new amputee because we create a large number of people with that problem. hearing loss is common and mental health issues are common. untreated post-traumatic stress and depression is not only a life-threatening situation for the veteran, it is for a lot of people around the veteran as well. if you follow this part of a news, 2014 to 2015 or so, the job was try to make the processing of those disability claims more efficient. and the appeals to the disability claims more efficient. we have to get better at exchanging, doing handoffs between department of defense when you separate from active duty and handed over to the v.a. there is a seem where your
medical records are supposed to leave the dod system and be picked up by the v.a. hospital network. that seems like something that could be done electronically. that was largely done and still is. that mandate for interoperable medical records is several years old. it was met so far by the dod that mandate for interoperable medical records is several years old. it was met so far by the dod taking their one file box average paper records per veteran, having a contractor scanned them and sending them as a pdf. it is still mostly that way. we have made it somewhat better but there is a long way to go on medical records.