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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 23, 2016 9:00pm-12:01am EDT

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it in a bipartisan manner that we protect the right. and i thank i and the congresswoman from ohio on your work and passion on issue. . . mr. jeffries: i thank the gentleman for the work you've done herened in texas as the lawsuit toiff on the challenge the draconian requirements imposed by the state of texas. it should shock the conscience of every american that a state would impose a restriction that allows licensed gun owners to vote who disproportionately happen to be of a certain demographic, white male, but would deny the legitimacy of i.d.'s that the state of texas
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itself issues. texas a quand m, university of texas at austin, the university of houston, other institutions, these arell public universities. and these individuals, these students, pay tuition to go to these public universities. and in response, they're issued identification vehicles. identification cards. but the state of texas has seen fit to say, that's not valid in order to vote. and i think that one example, and we've heard several others, basically exposes the fact that the movement to impose voter identification requirements is a fraud itself. it's a sham. the whole argument behind it is that we're trying to protect the integrity of the voting system. here's the problem.
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you're protecting the integrity of the voting system by imposing a solution in search of a problem. because none of these individuals in any of these states has been able to produce a scintilla of evidence of fraud. in fact, there are studies that have shown that there have been over a billion instances of americans exercisings -- exercising the right to vote without any evidence of misrepresentation. over a billion times. and the number of instances of questionable voting -- less than 50. and yet, in state after state, we see voter identification laws being imposed on the people. it's not designed to protect the integrity of anything. designed to protect certain
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individuals and maintain their power in the face of troubling demographic changes that are occurring in america. let's call it like it is. in the few moments remain, let me yield -- let me ask the chairman how much time do we have remaining in the special order? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has four minutes remaining. mr. jeffries: ok, let me now yield a few moments to someone who has been a tremendous champion from the great state of texas in representing her people and -- in houston and phenomenal member of the judiciary committee, representative sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the distinguished gentleman from new york, which shows that the issues of voter empowerment are nationwide and the gentlelady from ohio, who has been steadfast on important issues that deal with the empowerment of all americans. i note that my colleague from
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texas made his presentation, congressman veasey who everyone knows was the plaintiff in texas for the voter i.d. law. i wanted to come this evening ry briefly to one, one sit a -- to, one, submit a full statement into the record and, two, let me read the headline or topic again, democracy in crisis, reckless republican assault on the right to vote in america. it did not have to be for it is ode that we have dealt with voter empowerment in a bipartisan way. the very difficult journey that lyndon baines johnson took in 1965 after the foot sole scrers and dr. martin luther king and others made their momentous march and statement, including a letter from a birmingham jail that captured the history or the sentiment and movement of the civil rights movement in the very base exwords, injustice
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anywhere is injustice everywhere, with that power behind him he was able to frame the voting rights act in a bipartisan manner with republicans from the north and what we used to call dixiecrats from the south. it can be done. then in 2006 and 2007, i was privileged to have another texan, george w. bush, a member of the house judiciary committee, after 15,000 pages of testimony with the republican chairman that we went and passed 65 ter re-authorization, 19 voting rights act. let me close with these points about the pointedness, mr. jeffries, of what voting power actually means. what it means is that we would not have the north carolina set of vetting laws, you will that cut sunday voting or early voting, had one of the most horrific voter i.d. laws, we
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would not have the texas voter i.d. law that disenfranchised thousands upon thousands of his pan exs because of no d.p.s. officers, department of public safety officers, in their location. finally, we would not have an attempt to cut billions of dollars from food stamps and an attempt to cut trillions of dollars from education for our children, the status that we're in right now trying to seek full funding of the president's mverage funding of $1.9 billion for the zika virus. this is what voting power means. finally, finally, after the supreme court instructed the congress or told the congress that we needed to have a new bill, we would not have the predicament we're in now, i yield back to the gentleman, we need voting power. mr. jeffries: as lyndon baines
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johnson said from this very chamber shortly before the voting rights act was passed into law, we shall overcome. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from texas, mr. poe is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. the gentleman is recognized until 10:00 p.m. mr. poe: i thank the speaker, ask unanimous consent that all members be allowed five days to file remarks, revise and extend those remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, this sunday, may 29, marks the one-year anniversary for the justice for victims of trafficking act being signed as we refer fvta to it. this is a vital piece of legislation that the house and senate passed, sign by the president a year ago, that takes this scourge of human slavery that's taking place
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internationally but also here in the united states and congress weighs in on this to deal with this issue. i think in a very good way. and it's impressive to me as a member of the house how many members of congress on both sides were involved in drafting legislation over a year ago that came to the house and passed. in the house itself, there were 11 pieces of legislation dealing with trafficking, sex trafficking, and all of those bills came up to the house floor the same week, all of them passed with overwhelming numbers, went down the hallway to the u.s. senate, the senate combined those bills into one bill, passed that legislation, it came back to the house, we passed that, signed by the president. and i want to thank all those members of congress, republicans and democrats, who worked on this. just by way of background, i got
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involved in this issue several ways. one way was when i was in eastern europe several years ago and found out about human trafficking, sex trafficking and labor trafficking that was taking place in eastern europe and how young women were lured into thinking they were ing to get a better job or have a job in africa and next thing they knew they were in sex slavery in northern africa. most of those women just disappeared over the years. then back here in the united states, we have the problem of the crime and the scourge of trafficking and it happens in two areas. there's international sex trafficing into the united states, about 20% of the trafficking here in america is international. primarily coming from the southern border. yosee the drug traffickers, drug dealers that come across the southern border, texas, they
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bring anybody into the united states. they do anything for money. and they will bring young girls, young women, traffic them into the united states, turn them over to criminal gangs like the ms-13 gang and then they're trafficked throughout the united states. that's about 20% of the trafficking. trafficked r 80% is by domestic, where young girl, young women are trafficked throughout the united states, the same ime. sex slavery,ex trafficking. i had the opportunity to meet a lot of these trafficking victims in my work as chairman, co-chairman with jim costa, of the crim vims' caucus. i'll tell you about three of those. those three women helped get the mind straight of members of congress on this issue that's aking place.
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teeher nickname is, was in foster care. she spent 18 yearof her life in foster care. in foster care she was abused, treated like an animal, hardly fed by some of the individuals that were in the foster care system. all she wanted was a family, someone to love and care for her she met an older boy and that individual me her feel special, loved, promised he loved her, would take kear of her. as soon as she left with him, she became a sex slave. her innocence was crushed, she was sold around the country in masse parlor, strip clubs, hotels, on the internet. she was treated like propey for seven years. i mentioned she wain foster care. we now understand that about 2/3 of trafficking victims, sex trafficking victims in the united states, sw in their life were in foster care. that's an issue we have to deal with. congress has to deal with that. but finally, tee was rescued and
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new tells her story wherever she can aeven "time" magazine featur her and her life and her story and her recovery. brook axtell i met in texas. her mother was extremely ill when she was about 7 years of age. the mother turnedrook over t nanny but the nanny did not protect her. in fact, the nanny did just the opposite. the nanny sexually abused brooke d then trafficked her. and it's common with trafficking victims, broo was also a victi of child pornography. after mom gets out of e hospital, brooke was slow to tell mom what happened but she finally did and woing with her mother she w able to be rescued and get out of this scourge of sex trafficking. now she works with allies against slavery in texas. third person i want to mention, very briefly, is sheryl briggs who grew up in an abusive home.
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she was sexually abused by her father, things were so bad in the home th mama left when shel was very young to escape the abuse. but at the age of 2, sheryl didn't know what else to do except get away from her father so she ran away. she began hitchhikg with truck drivers, anybody who would take her. let -- led her to get involved with a motorcycle group and she started a career, unfortunately, in sex trafficking hell,. this individual took or the a biker club filled with men who sexually ais ald her, raped her. she became traffickinvictim. she was forced to do all kinds of just aul, horrible things. she wa trapped in this ourge of human trafficking and didn't knowow to get help. she w finally ablto get help when a patron of the strip cub figured out on his own that she was too young and helped her get rescued and now sheryl works with helping ose who are in
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this trafficking -- sex trafficking in the uted states. those are just three stories, mr. speaker. so what we did, let me tell you about one bill. i want oer members of congress who are here at this late hour to make comments as well. carolyn maloney and i worked on justice for victims of trafficng act. now you know carolyn maroney. she is a new york -- maloney. she's new york liberal democrat that talks a little funny. and she teamed up with me a texas conservative that talks a little funny, according to her. and the two o us got together and started working on this with lots of members of congress and the justice for victims of trafficking act, thanks to the hard work of mrs. maloney and others, espially th women in the u.s. hse of
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representatives, passed the house, it does three things. its after the trafficker, the slave master. and makes sure that when prosecors, mr. speaker, as you know about prosecutors, when ey get -- prosecute those cases, that pson goes ay to the penitentiary, the do right hotel, for as longs the judge can sentence him. thent goes thent looks at the trafficking victim. for years society looked at thisvictim as a criminal. a child prostitute. children cannot be prostitutes. it's impossie. legally impossible. so rather thatreat them like criminals and put them in the criminal justice system, it rescues those victims and treats them like victims of crime rather than criminals. a major change in society's thought process about these
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children and young women. alsit goes after the the consumer. the buyer. in the middle. too long these buyers, buyers of trafficking victims to pay money to do these awful things to children, have kind of skated under the criminal justice system. not anymore. those days are over. the days of boys being boys are over. and these buyers can be prosecuted to the same extent of the law as the trafficker. so the bill does three things. goes after the trafficker, goes after the demand, the money, rescues the victims. how do we pay for this? kind of a novel approach. federal judges now can impose fines and fees on the trafficker and the buyer, because a lot of them have a lot of money, and that money goes into a fund and that fund is used and given as grants for different organizations, nonprofits, throughout the country, and states, to help trafficking victims and also to
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educate police and educate the public. so a good piece of legislation. and that was just one of several pieces of legislation that came to the house floor. i do want to recognize, as i told you this was bipartisan, ms. joyce beatty is here from ohio, she filed legislation called improving the response for victims of child sex trafficking, all of that legislation was included in the senate bill and came back to the house and then passed. and what it does is decriminalize child sex and make it easier for people to report potential incidences of crimes against children. so i'd like to yield to her five minutes, on this issue, a great advocate on behalf of crime victims and trafficking victims. i yield to the gentlelady. mrs. beatty: thank you so much, judge poe. to my colleague, mr. speaker, i would like to thank judge poe, chairman of the victims' rights caucus, and representative of
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texas' second congressional district, for organizing this evening's important special order hour, and for all of his hard work on behalf of the victims of human trafficking. i'm also very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with my good friend, congresswoman wagner, of missouri, and my classmate. and a friend who we share the same priority of eradicating human trafficking. kind of odd, as judge poe talked about his relationship lynn maloney, two people who seem -- carolyn maloney, two people who seem on paper very different. one might say the same about mrs. wagner and i. but, mr. speaker, there is that common thread that puts us together to not only advocate and fight for something that we need to fight for, but we've
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been able to make a difference. and that is why i come to the house floor this evening to recognize and celebrate a very important anniversary. the one-year anniversary of bipartisan, comprehensive legislation, justice for victims trafficking act, that was signed into law. the justice for victims of trafficking act, or jvta, was a updates ill that america's effort to combat the scourge of human trafficking. and provided essential resources to survivors and law enforcement officials. i am so proud to have had my bill be included in this legislation. and to have been able to take part in its drafting, passage and enactment.
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mr. speaker, in the year since jvta's enactment, we have witnessed important achievements. for example, the jvta has reinvigorated america's commitment to protecting our children from cruel ex employeetation. mr. speaker, -- cruel exploitation. mr. speaker, these children still need our protection. human trafficking, as we've heard, is an estimated multibillion-dollar a year international enterprise that forces the most at-risk among us, both here at home and abroad, into modern day slavery. it is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. according to the united states partment of -- state department, human traffic something amongst the world's top three criminal enterprises. it is forced prostitution, domestic slavery and forced labor.
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which is why enactment and now the implementation of the jvta is so important. we must continue to work to eradicate human trafficking and support the victims. in the year since the jvta's enactment, we have seen educators, law enforcement officials, service providers, working together, democrats and republicans, mr. speaker, raising awareness in our communities that human trafficking is not merely an international phenomena. it unfortunately happens all too often in our backyards. just as we have heard judge poe and talk about brook, and the stories could go on and on. in my home state of ohio, for example, each year an estimated 1,000 children become victims of human trafficking. and over 3,000 more are at
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risk. ohio is the fifth leading state for human trafficking because of its proximity to waterways that lead to an international border and i-75 interstate that allows anyone to exit the state within two hours to almost anywhere. lastly, i am very thankful for having amazing advocates in ohio for victims of human trafficking. like theresa flores, the founder of soap, save oured a less enlts from prostitution, -- save oured a less enlts from profit -- our adolescents from prostitution, and a member of the ohio house of representatives, who has made a lifetime commitment working to protect our victims. we must remain vigilant in the implementation of jvta, as we were when we passed it, so every child, every woman and man is free from this form of
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modern day slavery, which is why i am proud to have joined judge poe and congresswoman wagner and maloney of new york in leading a letter to the united states attorney general loretta lynch supporting the department of justice's implementation thus far of the jvta and requesting needed information on what more can be done within the confines of the current law. mr. speaker, this is what happens when we work together. this is a great example of what we can do when democrats and republicans come together to change lives. and that's just the way it is. mr. poe: i thank the gentlelady. i like your tag line. i might use it myself. you point out several good things. i think everybody listening can understand why legislation like
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this got passed. because of your passion. and i'll say again, because of the women in the u.s. house that pushed this last year and were relentless until all this legislation came up. you point out many good things. there's two things, though, that i want to point out myself, that you menged. about the money -- mentioned. about the money. people may ask, mr. speaker, why is this -- there's so much money involved in this? well, drug dealers, when they sell drugs, you sell drugs one time. and the cost of apprehension, the consequences are great. and the chances of getting caught are great. on the other end, you have sex trafficking, and unfortunately these children are sold multiple times a day. sometimes 20, 25 times a day. and the risk of getting caught is very low. and the punishment up until now has been very low.
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so that is why it is the second or third biggest monetary system of criminal enterprises anywhere. to is in itself a disgrace us as a people, to allow this happen where slavery is second or third money maker for the criminal gangs out there that primarily run all of these enterprises. i want to yield five minutes to another gentleman from texas, mr. weber. he's been in the anti-trafficking movement a long time. he worked in the texas legislature and helped texas get ahead of the curve on the movement before we actually did here in the house, and so i want to yield to the gentleman from southeast texas, mr. weber, five minutes. mr. webster: -- mr. weber: thank you, judge. mr. speaker, it's a pleasure to be here and to work in a bipartisan fashion across the aisle for this very worthwhile
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cause. i will tell you, the judge is exactly correct. in texas, you know, we like to say that things are bigger in texas. unfortunately texas has one record that we really don't -- didn't want, and that is that we have 25% of the sex trafficking in the country. we're one of 50 states and yet we had 25% of that -- the victims of sex trafficking going on right there in texas. we were able to pass house bill 4009, which did a number of things. it actually instructed police, enforcement officials, to take a look at some of these young girls that are being picked up and i guess for that matter, young men as well. and to not just assume that they were willfully participating in the sex trade, t to look deeper into that background there and some of these children, some of these girls we found out were actually held against their will and were drugged and
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beaten into submission. some as young as 12 that were dancing in some of these strip clubs, like you said, some of the patrons would take notice of that and would get them help. so in texas, we did identify that pretty early on, about five or six years ago now. and were able to pass legislation to get to h.h. -- hhsc, to put law enforcement together, to get some training for these officers, to get these n.g.o.'s together, to say, look, we need to get some programs for these young girls, to rehabilitate them. how in the world do you ever get them back to normal life after something like this? we needed more facilities, more beds, more training. i'm proud to say in a thank in ly did take -- i'm proud to say that in texas we actually did take the lead on that. one of my favorites was in the town of waco. waco had, you mentioned three things, going after the perpetrators, the demand, the
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money, and of course helping the victims. in the town of waco, they had a way of dealing with the johns. what they did was, when someone was arrested in waco, they would put that john's picture on the billboard in the city. with the headline, arrested for solicitation of prostitution. now, that will ruin your family life. at home. and in a little town like whale waco. so we took some lessons from that and said, we're going after the demand, after the johns, and try to dry up that money stream. judge, you ought to be commended, it's been almost a year since the justice for victims of trafficking act was mind? law. this comprehensive legislation tackled a number of issues to combat human trafficking. it took a stand against the seller, we've been talking about, and the buyer, by criminally pressing charges on both for the first time. and it also provided smart solutions to help victims of trafficking get back on their feet. that's what i said from the -- from my days in the texas legislature. they need a program, they need people to understand, they need counseling, good, lord, how do
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those young girls ever get back to some semblance of normalcy after something like that? thanks to the jvta, states are now incentivized to draft and pass what we call safe harbor legislation. which helps victims of trafficking expunge their criminal records in an effort to start fresh without the ghosts of their past haunting them. legislation like this also addresses the need for shelter, for more beds, for facilities, for those n.g.o.'s. a place for rehabilitation. as you know, judge, currently 34 out of the 50 states have versions of safe harbor legislation. which is an increase of 14 states just since the passage of the act. training on the identification of trafficking victims has also increased within the airline, the hotel, and even in the medical industries. mr. speaker, victims of human trafficking are men, women and
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children. this is not a victimless crime, i might add. we all have undoubtedly passed these victims in an airport, at a hotel, or maybe even at the fuel station. until society at large stops sexualizing our children, we will be unable to prevent the predators' interest in our minors. we've made crucial steps in combating human trafficking as evidenced by the very success of the justice for victims of trafficking act here tonight. yet we still have a long way to of eradicate the scourge human slavery but we got a good start on it and we're committed to seeing it through to the end. mr. speaker, you know i'm right, i yield back. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman
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from texas and his comments. several important comments you made about facilities to take the victims once they are rescued by law enforcement or by nonprofit ornyizations. mr. speaker, there's tissue organizations. mr. speaker, there's no place to put them. sometimes that's why police arrest these young girls and put them in juvenile detention. because there's no facility to take them. not blaming the police, they have no other place for them to go. there's been studies done on how many beds are available for trafficking victims. the latest comes out of the state of illinois did some research, and there are about 600 to 700 beds nationwide for trafficking victims. 600 to 700 beds. that's it. in a country of 350 million people. you know, compare that to animal
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shelters. i love animal shelters. i've got three dalmations, i call them the weapons of mass destruction. i got one from a dalmation rescue in dallas. but there are 5,000 animal shelters in the united states, and that's good, we need every one of them. 600 to 700 beds for trafficking victims. that's not near enough. that's one thing this legislation does. it provides resources so that we can have places to take these crime victims. that's what they are, they're -- they are victims of crime, not criminals. and they're hard to deal with. they're not easy people to help. they've had their whole live destroyed in front of them so it takes time. takes facilities, takes resources. one other comment you made ability the sign, i'm a big fan of criminals carrying signs in front of businesses they did crimes in, i did that as a judge. you're exactly right, we could
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add an amendment to this legislation, i think we should, give federal judges the option to allow the posting in the county in which the crime was committed on a billboard or sign of a photograph of the child molester who has been convicted of trafficking children. that would get the attention of some of those folks out there who are trying to hide their criminal conduct. maybe those billboards ought to pop up right before some big sporting event that the city has as well. just a thought, mr. speaker. i think we ought to work on that. we also have with us another person who has worked on this whole issue of victims of trafficking victims and justice for them. mr. yoho is one of our newer members of congress. ted yoho from the third district of the state of florida. i yield to the gentleman five minutes.
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mr. yoho: i'd like to thank my colleague from texas. you wouldn't hurt my feelings if you said one of the youngest members from florida, but that wouldn't have been true. i stand today with the growing army fighting human trafficking worldwide. i rise to speak out against this heinous crime known as human trafficking. the scourge of our time in the 21st century, a $32 billion industry. the statistics are overwhelming as we've heard all the estimates of over 22 million peopling with being trafficked worldwide. sometimes, though, they seem far away. it's estimated that the individuals in the adult entertainment are often victims of human trafficking. people in farm camps, people in domestic servitude. there are people being trafficked for human body parts. and it goes on every day. people often say, that kind of
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stuff happens overseas. or that doesn't happen here. there's an acronym nimby, not in my backyard. people think it doesn't happen. no, it happens in our own backyard. it happens here at home. it happens in your state, in your county and more than likely it happens in your town. human trafficking happens as we speak, human trafficking knows no skin color new york gender, no sose yo economic background. it only knows how to exploit, abuse, and victimize. who is guilty of this? nation states are guilty of this. criminal gangs, drug cartels, people needing labor and terrorist organizations. people are doing this for greed, profit, and power, and they're the sum of hue -- the scum of humanity, the people involved in this. isis, as we all know today, they traffic people for terrorist
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reasons. they sell children from 1 to 9 years of age. 1 to 9 years of age bring the most prices. $16 5. -- $168. yuck women between 9 and 18 have dropped in value, only worth $109. isis even gives away slaves for deeds we deem as bad deeds. the estimate is that over one million teenagers run away every year in the united states. runaways are the most at-risk youth, susceptible to trafficking. they're most at risk when they leave. they're typically picked up by pimps or traffickers in the first 48 hours. who does this sort of thing? the perpetrators aren't of a certain stereotype. they're of all backgrounds. i don't want to name any backgrounds but they're people of low, no, and high profiles. this year, my hometown of
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gainesville, a trafficking ring was discovered and six people were arrested. last week, a person of high profile, one of the leads of the black life movement, was arrested for sexually trafficing a minor in new york. last year, a a 15-year-old girl was discovered in a hotel room being sexually abused and trafficking -- trafficked several times a day. when i say several times a day, 15 to 20 times a day. their body is being sold. like an amusement ride. her parents had been handing out missing child flyers in the neighborhood when somebody recognized her picture from an online ad. she went from being a runaway to a trafficking victim in less than a month that 15-year-old girl could be a son or daughter of yours, your friends, your niece, nephew, your brother or sister. however it's not just runaways that become victims of trafficking. traffickers don't discriminate based on economic class, race, gender or age.
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traffickers are motivated by profits. the average cost of the slave worldwide, worldwide is less than $90. that's the value the scum of the earth puts on the value of a human's life. as the world's fastest growing and third largest criminal enterprising it's shocking how little people no, i about this horrendous practice. further, it's appalling how little it puts toward the effort to stop it. in my district, we created the north central florida human trafficking task force which is aimed at bringing together community partners from the federal, state, and local levels to combat trafficking. for many, education, awareness is half the battle. we teamed up with the department of homeland security and used their blue campaign to raise awareness. this week here on capitol hill, we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the justice for
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victims trafficking act sponsored by judge ted poe, out of texas, and i'm a proud co-sponsor of this important legislation, and thank my colleagues for their support of this bill as well. this issue, the issue of human trafficking, is not a republican or democratic issue. back in january, several of us took to this very house floor to speak of the horrors of this crime. but taking a stand on one particular day or highlighting the issue once a month doesn't even begin to cover what the victims experience on a daily basis or the horrors and nightmares they have for a lifetime. we must always, always be vigilant and active in our fight because awareness and education, just one other person to know what the signs are, we can help end this horrific tragedy.
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mr. speaker, no neighborhood is immune, no city is exempt. these slaves or victims are part of our daily lives, quietly suffering but being traded like livestock and treated beyond comprehension. we cannot in good conscience continue our daily lives without making every eeffort to stamp out forced labor, sex trafficking or the selling of body parts. whether you're a college student, business owner or stay-at 46 home parent, we all play a role. first i ask my colleagues to stand with me as we take another step in take do you think trafficking. thank you to all those both here at home and abroad that are fighting every day to make this modern tai slavery a thing of the past. all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men, women, or people to do nothing. finally, thank you to my colleague, mr. poe of texas, for hosting this special order and i yield back. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman from florida.
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i appreciate your comments. several excellent points that you made. the nimby attitude that some people have, not in my backyard. i met with a father last week he came to my office. and he told me the story of how his daughter had been trafficked. he went to the local sheriff in another part of the state and told the sheriff what had happened and the sheriff said, it doesn't happen here. it does. it happens everywhere. it is in our backyard. it is everywhere. and we need to recognize that. the gentleman was -- worked on his own then to find his daughter and take her back home. and the gentleman from florida makes another good comment about how these young kids are prey. a trafficked child like this one i've just mentioned, they had been working on her for 18
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months, seducing her, talking to her, using the internet. and people that she thought were her friends were not her friends. they were all involved in the trafficking process. and we need to understand that traffickers are not old guys in trench coats wandering around snatching kids. they're not. many times they're young people. young, good-looking guys that will strike up a conversation with a middle schooler at the mall. and then talk to them again later. then later. and then finally that individual gets in the vehicle or meets the individual, the trafficker someplace and then she's gone this father that i talked to, he knew the statistics, if you have a child that's trafficking you have about three weeks to find her. or she's gone. because those traffickers move those kids all over the country. selling them every day. it's in our backyard. unfortunately. and i also want to recognize
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another texan, the gentlelady from houston, texas, ms. sheila jackson lee, who is -- who has worked on this issue of trafficking here and also back home in our hometown of houston. so i'll yield to the gentlelady five minutes. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentleman from texas for his persistence, determination, and for this exciting commemoration of the justice for all re-authorization act of 2016, and let the thank the victims' rights caucus and co-chair jim costa along with congressman poe, judge poe, who famously has said, and that's the way it is, i see all of us seemingly adopting those words, so you have now put the english language in the form we just can't help ourselves. so judge poe, thank you so very much. i remember his beginning and i want to thank him for a year or
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two ago when he joined me and chairman mccal for a homeland security -- mccall for a homeland security human trafficking meeting in houston, texas. i believe we have had other hearings since then, because we know that houston, texas, harris county, and in texas has been called one of the center points of human trafficking to our dismay. and so many stories have come to our attention, i think it was about two years ago, judge poe, when they found a stash house out in the county, i actually went to that site where teams of -- when i say teams, tens upon tens of individuals, including children, were in that particular place. we had to shut down an cantina in and around the inner city that had been used for human trafficking.
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one other comment i'll make and comment on other aspects in this bill, human trafficking is profitable. human trafficking is profitable. that means that slavery is not dead. human trafficking is profitable. the reason is because tragically, the young child, the young teenager, the preteen, the young woman, or maybe the young man, the boy, is recycled, tragically, other and over again, which makes the human trafficker more than profitable. and vicious and vile. because they have to keep that human being who they have to keep that human being, keep them from being a child, the special things of being a child, being loved and nurtured, they have to keep that child, that young woman, that young man in bondage that's what this bill, as spoken to previously, and certainly among other things, that's what it speaks to today. and the many bills that were
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incorporated in this bill, it was to eliminate, if you will, eliminate the pain and viciousness of human trafficking. let me quickly say that i want to congratulate the fact that this bill has the reduces rape kit backlog and provides resources for forensic labs. in cities all over america, as a member of the judiciary committee, we were hearing the stories about backlog rape kits, and so this bill requires at least 75% of amounts made available to the d.o.j. for forensic testing to be used for direct testing of crime scene evidence, including rape kits. improves the sexual assault nurse examiner program, by incentivizing the hiring of full time nurses, particularly in rural and underserved areas. and re-authorizes and improves the forensic sciences improvement grants which awards grants to states and local governments to improve the quality of forensic science services, so very important. i also say that this justice
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for all acknowledges or i acknowledge that in numerous studies have shown that 75% of youth involved in the justice system have experienced traumatic victimization. making them vulnerable to mental health disorders and verbal noncompliance and misconduct. so this legislation deals with best evidence research to be able to help our youth as well and to ensure that they get the kind of treatment they need, particularly after sexual assault, which is what human trafficking mostly is. besides the heinousness of being held by another human being. so i'm very glad that we're moving forward on the re-authorization, justice for all, for 2016, so many things have been made better. i want to cite one example, as i close. i'm reminded of this, because of the floods that we dealt with recently. and there were incidents of women living in places where their name was not on the lease
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and so, for example, if a man gets evicted for abusing his live-in girlfriend, the girlfriend who is not a named tenant on the lease but is a resident would not automatically be evicted. that's so very important. many times that girlfriend is living there with her children. she will be permitted to say it for a reasonable time to -- stay for a reasonable time to establish her own eligibility. let me say this, this is not a one-size-fits-all but it's not a one community, it's not any race or people, it's not any economic level of people, it is people who are egregiously abusing and violating another human being. in many instances, judge poe, it is a child. so i want to thank you for this legislation, let us continue to walk this pathway together in a bipartisan manner, certainly as a very valued member of the judiciary committee, a lot of your work is a part of that legislative agenda, i'm very glad to join in. and a lot of your work is on the foreign affairs committee.
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thank you so very much. let us work together to save lives and to protect our children. and with that i yield back to the gentleman. mr. poe: i thank the gentlelady for her comments. as the gentlelady knows and it's been mentioned on the house floor, i think by mr. weber, houston, texas, is a hub for child sex trafficking in the united states. it's because of our location. we're using that, though, to change the dynamics of the city. working with our new mayor, civil vester turner, who was -- sylvester turner, who was in the state legislature for a long time, our new mayor has come up with a prote toll for -- protocol for the city of houston to work to eliminate this scourge. and i think it's a protocol that now cities throughout the country will be able to use themselves to address the issue, admit the problem, and then deal with it on a multilayer basis. working with all the nonprofits and all the government agencies and different types of law enforcement.
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i know that you're working with the mayor on this project and i want to congratulate you and the mayor for taking this issue and solving it so houston now will be an example of what to do in solving this scourge. i also want to thank you for being the vic -- being on the victims' rights caucus. there are 80 members. 40 republicans, 40 democrats. victims' rights caucus, mr. speaker, promotes victims of crime before congress. ms. jackson lee: if you would yield just for a moment so i could add my voice. mr. poe: i yield a moment. ms. jackson lee: express my appreciation to be a part of the victims rights caucus. it is bipartisan and i should say it's multicommunity. all different people. let me thank the chairman for mentioning mayor turner. this is an exciting effort. if you don't take notice, you're not going to be able to solve the problem.
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that's what the city is doing, taking notice, putting in infrastructure to be helpful. but let me close by simply saying, judge poe, as you well know, over the last couple of days in houston, we have been mourning the killing of an 11-year-old child on his way home from school. now, we have not determined who it is. but all i can say to you is, our children are vulnerable. hether by a heinous individual that maybe was trying to use this child, maybe was trying to pick the child up, we don't know, but the child is now deceased. my sympathy to his family. they're in my congressional district. the flores family. and all i can say is that it is our responsibility to protect these children and not allow him to have died in vain in this tragic way he lost his life. thank you for allowing me to offer sympathy to his family and community and saying we're doing the right thing by trying to protect those most vulnerable. mr. poe: that's exactly correct. that's what we're supposed to
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be doing. is helping those that are the least fortunate, the most vulnerable in our community. there's no more vulnerable people than kids. than children. so i thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, i also want to recognize numerous members of congress who have worked on all this legislation. before i do that, though, i want to recognize a person on my staff, blair, who is leaving the hill and going to work for one of these groups that's trying to save the world, which is great, they are. victims group. that's worked for me for almost six years. she's my victim advocate. i think i'm the only member of congress that has a victim advocate that that's what they do. is work on victims issues. she was a large part responsible for drafting this legislation, justice for victims of trafficking act. i want to thank her publicly for the work she's done on the victims movement.
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working on the victims rights caucus. this legislation, the other victims issues as well. fortunate to have a person like that who is so passionate to work and trying to, you know, help those that are most vulnerable in our community and that's victims of crime. i want to thank her for doing that. i want to mention some other members of congress and just put in the record some of the things they have been doing. not all of them. but limited time, i'm going to mention the ones i can. two members, bipartisan, one republican, one democrat, mrs. ellmers and ms. wasserman schultz. they introduced the trafficking health care act. all these bills were combhined, passed the house, go to the senate, the senate, senatoren and senator widen, came back to the house after it passed the senate, and then signed by the president. also erik paulsen, republican, and representative moore, a democrat, introduced the stop exploitation through trafficking act. joe heck, who is going to be here tonight to testify, speak,
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from nevada, introduced enhancing services for runaway and homeless youth victims of trafficking. ann wagner, that has been mentioned already, she introduced the save act, mark walker, human trafficking detection act, christie noem, human trafficking prevention, intervention and recovery act, tom marino and karen bass, one republican, one democrat, strengthening child welfare response for human trafficking. joyce beatty, who has spoken here tonight, also worked with ann wagner and also introduced improving response for victims of child sex trafficking act. and sean maloney, introduced the human trafficking prevention act. lots of individuals, lots of folks who helped in the house and then we had support from over 200 organizations throughout the country trying to get this legislation passed. some of those rights for girls, coalition against trafficking of women, shared hope international, end child prostitution and trafficking in
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the u.s.a., national children's alliance, national association to protect children, quality now, national conference of state legislatures, and the national criminal justice association, we're all on the same page in the hymnal, singing the same song. mr. speaker, that song is that we are going to do everything we can to stop this scourge of human trafficking. we want those folks to know that trafficking young children , they have no place to hide. and those customers that buy those kids, they have no place to hide. there is no safe place for them. and we want victims to know, there is a safe place. that we will help them and help them to recover from what has happened to them. and hold people accountable for what they do, especially when they commit crimes against the most vulnerable people in our culture. and if we're not to help kids, why are we here? i want to thank members of
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congress for passing this legislation, overwhelming, many of these bills passed the house unanimously, that doesn't happen a lot over here. we all are working on this, we're not through, but we want to know, we want people to know, victims of crime, there's hope and there's rescue and that's just the way it is, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does the gentleman have a motion? mr. poe: i motion we do adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for morning hour debate.
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announcer: in amy lee released -- ast, paul ryan is saying in's --hear an excerpt in just a minute. but how was he approaching the general election? ago, paul ryanks
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told cnn he was developing a way to and see attitude. i have seen no shift in this even after the summit last week. it is funny. the word ryan keeps using is party unity and trump keeps using it to. we had a 45 minute sit down for the podcast. his definition is different then donald trump's. for him toion is stand behind him and smile next to chris christie. paul ryan's is different. he wants donald trump to stop speaking as harshly about immigrants. has issues with other policy, especially the temporary ban on muslims. and was, prior to trump, the newed to be
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standard for the republican party and he was the guy drafted by his own people to take over for john boehner after tom mccarthy's candidacy fell apart. he is the ultimate younger gun but events have passed him. ryan is a sense what paul will be and when he articulated was to be the keeper of the conservative flame while the trump storm either blows over or changes into a full-blown hurricane. >> where did the interview take place? glenn: it took place in the speaker's conference room at a highly polished oak table, in a grand group. what you would imagine the capital building looks like. paul ryan says to me, see the carpet? brand-new. see the drapes?
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brand-new. we had to rip everything out after john boehner left to get the smell of smoke out. wall therezed on one were no paintings, just cardboard images of presidents and he said, the librarian of congress refuse to allow john boehner to hang oil paintings because the nicotine from the smoke would get all over them. >> this is available online at could really win? >> yes, of course. >> if you are betting would you bet he would win? >> i am not a betting man. i think if we get our party unified and we do the work we need to do to get ourselves that. and we offer a clear and compelling agenda that is inspiring and inclusive, that fixes problems and his solutions-based at based on the
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principles, then yes i think we can win. just one person. this is a we effort. i am a jack cap guy. i believe in a type of politics that may not be invoked today but nevertheless is the right kind of politics. by jack kemp, be optimistic, inclusive, principled, and evangelize your ideas and principles to everyone but especially to those are not familiar with them. that to me is important. i think we should spend our time talking to people who may have never listen to us in the past. to compete for their hearts and their minds. >> i know you do not look in the rearview mirror and i think that is admirable but we have seen a campaign where that has not happened and it has been the opposite. paul ryan: that is not just this process.
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the republican primary process, the democrats are doing the same thing. bernie sanders and hillary clinton are at each other's throats competing over democratic voters. republicans did the same ring for republican primaries. the question going forward is, appealnow move and across the scale into cross broad-spectrum's of voters and do so in a way that is inviting, interesting, principled, and has good solutions? i believe we have an opportunity because seven out of 10 americans do not like the path we are on. other party, the whatnot of the white house, has an obligation and opportunity to offer a better way. 45-minuteon of a podcast interview conducted by glenn thrush of politico with house speaker paul ryan. you said he also took 2012 too seriously, that was one of his mistakes four years ago.
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can you elaborate? >> yes. asked him about joe biden he said joe biden had been a more difficult challenger then hillary clinton and they had an energetic debate in kentucky and 2012. where biden came out of the box almost shouting at ryan and i thought ryan's it answer was the most interesting in our conversation. he said, and i paraphrase, i won that debate because i did what i needed to do and that is i kept my cool when i was being attacked. he said, it is one thing to have --intemperate 68-year-old referring to biden's age at the time -- it is another thing to untestedntemperate 43-year-old. incredibly emblematic statement.
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this is a guy -- and it puts him stylistically and spiritually in opposition to the approach of donald trump. a guy who believes in discipline and self-containment. >> what you think house speaker all right once from donald trump and republicans in the house, senate, and gop leadership? take previous out of this. priebus out me take of this. i think what paul ryan once from donald trump is the same thing he once from his own tea party caucus. that is to shut up. [laughter] >> he wants them to tone it down. come to consensus on policies and present the republican party toa substantive alternative
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the obama era and to what hillary clinton is presenting. it raises the question as to whether or not paul ryan the threshold of unity he said for donald trump or will he as so many others have done, he caved to the inevitable. >> do you think the house speaker will serve as the conservative speaker? >> he can withdraw if trump suggests he does. it will be an interesting dynamic. really, anybody who disagrees --h them, if trump wants to if ryan does not enter the convention having already endorsed trump, it would be difficult optically for the republican. guy with the gavel does not support the guy with the megaphone. >> this is the headline. speaker ryan saying, trump could
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wind up but i am not betting on it. for available at commentary by glenn thrush. thank you for being with us. announcer: in 1965, ralph nader published a book called "unsafe at any speed". up next, he talks about community organizing. in june, a vote on a referendum on whether to remain part of the european union. we will talk more about that vote later. then senator carl levin talks about tax evasion. c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, presidential candidate bernie sanders declaration of pursuing the .omination
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and congressman rick nolan of minnesota talks about the 2016 campaign, the future of the bernie sanders candidacy and political reform. then the ongoing concerns about tsa wait times at airports and the agency's efficiency and effectiveness. and the executive director dirk of the presidential committee on arts and humanities. a discussion on public schools. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern tuesday morning. during the discussion. >> consumer advocate and former presidential candidate ralph nader was among the speakers at a forum on community organizing. from the executive director for the atlanta innocence project. this event was hosted by the center for study of responsible law. author and political activist
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jim hightower helps moderate the discussion. >> ralph nader is the author. it has been 50 years now of unsafe at any speed and numerous consumer protection, environmental, worker protection laws in our country that is made it altogether a better place to live. the late great southern humorist said something some years ago that we in the south have always known to be true, that is there's a great big difference between being naked and being nekkid. being naked means you have no clothes on.
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being nekkid means you have no clothes on and you're up to something. well, i believe in the image of ralph nader nakedly own imagination but the naked truth is that ralph is always coming up with something, including this great democracy rally. ralph nader. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you, jim hightower, greetings to all of you here and those watching all around the country to live streaming, thanks to the real news network out of baltimore, maryland. this is indeed the largest gathering of a conference of the citizen advocacy groups covering
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more issues and reforms than ever brought together under one roof. most conferences are focused on single important issues, but we thought that it would be important to demonstrate one speaker after another, what is involved in building the civic community, the civil society. it was in many ways a demonstration the whole is greater than the sum of its partner we all know problems and injustice in society are all connected to one another even though they may be treated in a specialized way. but what's important to focus on is how did these groups accomplish what they accomplished? that's why we asked them to talk about their accomplishments. citizen groups are not very good at celebrations. they will celebrate the 20, 30 or 4450th anniversary, but they are so busy doing their work that they can't compare to the celebrations in the sports arena, in the entertainment arena, and the political arena. many of which are always covered by the mass media. but this is more than a
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celebration. it's an elaboration forward to the next 50 years, and to shape the kind of much, much stronger civil society that's needed in terms of resources, terms of education, in terms of grassroots mobilization, in terms of redefining leadership so that it becomes a force that produces more leaders and not just more followers. but the occasion, this is the 50th anniversary year of unsafe at any speed, and the occasion as an opportunity to very briefly look backwards and see what it was like in the early 60s here in washington, d.c. it was pretty barren territory for citizen groups.
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the lobbies were here. they were not as great as they are now in terms of numbers and staff, but they were pretty much all over capitol hill and all over the various agencies. i remember when i was going up to one office after another in the senate and in the house, i could see that there was a pall over anything that was called consumer protection or environmental protection or worker protection. senator magnuson, the chair of the powerful senate commerce committee, was considered the business age on capitol hill for all kinds of industries and commerce. i remember trying to call the senate office building offices, and they would always ask him -- always ask, "who are you
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with?" i would call agencies and they would all say, who are you with? i would sort of look around, you know? who am i with? i'm a citizen. one time i was in a parking lot and i made a call to senator's office to talk to the staff are, and the receptionist said, who are you with? luckily, there was a dog that yapped right into the phone and i heard a click. i guess they were not amused. but we persisted and we develop the critical quadrangle of civic success in washington, d.c. the first is full-time advocates pressing for the change. the second is a reception to public hearings in the house and the senate by the critical chairs. the third is open-mindedness in the white house, not knee-jerk
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vetoes. and the fourth is the mass media. the mass media, not just reporting, but reflecting and communicating the public sentiment, or to use abraham lincoln's words, the public sentiment what we see today is majority opinion. so when you have the majority opinion and you have a receptive congress and you have an open-minded white house and you have a media that looks at this issue as regular beats, not just occasional features seeking pulitzer prizes or other prizes, you have the critical quadrangle for success. and after the passage in 1966 of the highway and motor vehicle safety laws signed into law by lyndon johnson in september 1966, a little over nine months
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after "unsafe at any speed" came out, imagine that kind of speed that occurred those days in congress compared to now. after that there was a profusion of civic activity, citizens groups were started. others were expanded in the environmental consumer worker area, open government, whole variety of citizen groups open their doors, brought in young people, interns, brought in people, activity going back to the 1930s as well as people who honed their skills for the first time in the critical task of seeking justice. i remember in particular the establishment of one agency after another, the occupational safety and health administration, the environmental protection agency, consumer product safety commission, the establishing the air and water pollution laws,
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critical umbrella air and water pollution laws continue to this day and other laws. guess who signed them? richard nixon. why did richard nixon sign? he didn't believe in them. he had flourishing introductions to them that were really terrific, and decide one after after he signed one
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another because he feared the rumble from the people coming out of the '60s. i might say it's the last republican president to be afraid of liberals, i might add. and it was a rumble of the people reflecting majority sentiment that radiated toward this national capital and made him sign legislation, given his ideological recollections would have been very, very improbable otherwise. so the sequence was, an aroused public directing its attention to the commercial interests telling them they better restrain themselves, focusing on existing law to elaborate it on political and government institutions, and getting through the media here the importance of the civil society is hard to exaggerate. looking over american history, it's hard to see any major social justice movement that started from within government or from within business or from within any institution. it started in the hearts and minds of very few people, the people who started the abolition movement against slavery in the
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late 18th century, early 19th century. the people who started the women's suffrage movement. six women meeting in a farmhouse in upstate new york in the 1840s. to sit down strike by workers in flint, michigan, and warren michigan to start the united auto workers. rosa parks refusing to go to the rear of the bus in montgomery, alabama. this flash, the latest stage of the civil rights movement. it all starts with a few people. we should never be demoralized by forgetting that historical principle. it all starts with small communities, small groups. what's happened today is the commercialization of our elections, from the profit centers that the presidential
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debates have offered to the commercial media like fox and cnn and others who put on these debates, decide who's going to be in tier one and tier two, imagine that, to the super pacs and the business of raising money in order to advance to through our electoral process commercial values over civil values. the commercialization of these elections have reached a point in american history where they are off limits to democracy itself. they are off limits to democracies in several communities. the people who are the experts, movers and shakers in our country indeed is civil communities come in the citizen groups from some of which you will see today. they are not asked for their participation. they are not asked for their expertise by the media or by the political consultants.
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wins elections are off limits to democracy, this society is in real trouble. the importance of these groups reflect what can be called a civic personality. we've heard of an athletic personality, that athlete who has the in degree to win. records of the entrepreneurial personality to start new businesses where no one has tried before, but we don't often talk about the civic personality -- people who you will see on this stage throughout the day and day two, three and four of this week, which we have called "breaking through power," which also can be called a civic marathon. they have the features of a civic personality. they know how to separate truth
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from fiction. they know how to be resilient. know how tothey repel discouragement. they know how to share credit. and now to keep up-to-date on the information. they know how to a patient and long attention spans. they know how to the short view and the longview. they know how, and like to teach young people who will be their successors. these and others, including an ever more refined strategic and tactical sense represent a civic personality that no one is really born with. it's something that is learned. it can be taught in our schools, but it is not. it can be taught in terms of on the job training. it can be heralded as well. if we had a more rational society in terms of our definition of heroism, we would
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not only have a hollywood academy awards, we would have a national civic achievement academy awards. and a lot of the people you will see on this stage would be nominees for those awards. these are people who could have minimized themselves and continued successfully through life, materially. instead, they chose to maximize themselves in the great quest for justice in which senator daniel webster once called the great work of human beings on earth. what we have found in terms of the experience of these groups and others around the country is that 1% or less of the population in any congressional district or state legislative
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district, organized and engaged in pursuing a change a redirection or a reform, and reflecting majority opinion is unstoppable. it doesn't matter how powerful corporations think they are, how and ginger politicians think they are. it's a unstoppable force. many other groups today have far less than 1% organized throughout the country, supporting their efforts on capitol hill. that is something to think about it because we hear a lot about the other 1% that rules us. populace by occupy wall street. but i think it's time to talk about this 1%, that throughout history it has taken less than 1%, in terms of people rolling
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up their civic sleeves, spending a few hundred hours a year, raising necessary money for full-time staff, and pursuing the strategies for victory. when you look at what these groups have accomplished, i want to compare at the right time paid.hese ceo's have been the entire cumulative budget to all these groups that were present their life's work before you today, you only get a glimmer of their quality and the quality of their colleagues and what they are up against, the lesse cumulative budget is
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than the budget, excuse me, is less than the executive compensation of the ceo of discovery communications, jim coinvestors, microsoft corporation, oracle corporation, lions gate entertainment corporation. what's the lesson from that? the lesson is that there needs to be more investment and justice. there needs to be more investment in these groups and starting new citizen groups and planting the seeds for a more intense forest of democracy. mr. nader: justice needs money. the abolition movement was funded significantly by rich bostonians and new yorkers. the women's suffrage movement
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drew on rich philadelphians, among others. in the 1950s the civil rights and environmental movements, in the '60s, due on families such as the stern family from louisiana, and the curry family from virginia. we would like to have some enlightened very wealthy people recognized. -- very wealthy people recognize that their legacy to america is not in their material accomplishments. their respect for posterity as to what they bequeathed to their descendents, that the legacy to america is to unfurl a civic and political energies of the american people, to turn our country into what it can be, and what it can be overseas as well.
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finally, finally i want to conclude by urging all of you to spread the word, by your appearance today and watching it on live stream. you have preselected yourselves in terms of interests and commitment, reflecting your own civic energies. it's important for us to have a resurgence of civic activism. after years of powerful corporate forces turning washington, d.c., into corporate occupied territory, and throwing so many of the citizen groups on the defensive. it's important for you to spread the word, not just in the following days here. on day two, breaking through the media. day three, breaking through war,
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waging peace over waging war. peace is powerful, war is week. powerful, war is weak. and day four on thursday, may 26, breaking through congress. the single most important branch of government by far, and the one that only has life hundred 35 men and women who put their -- 535 men and women who put their shoes on like you and i do everyday i have to understand that the power comes from we the people, the preamble to our constitution which does not read corporations" or "we reads "we the it
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people." [applause] nader: turning that institutions around with less than 1% organized back home, reflecting public sentiment and long overdue changes in our country and its impact on the world will revolutionize the aspirations for the urgent development of a deep democracy. thank you. i turn you over to jim hightower. [applause] hightower: all right. and away they go. thank you, ralph. let's bring on one of these democracy fighters right now. shawn armbrust is engaged in the life and death sight of public interest work for more than a decade he has been executive director of the mid-atlantic innocence project. literally trying to do with folks who have been wrongly jailed, imprisoned for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, even more. she's a board member of the innocence network all across our country as well.
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you have to be tenacious and you have to be creative to this kind of law. my momma taught me years ago that two wrongs don't make a right, but i soon figured out that three left turns do, that's the kind of creativity that shawn armbrust has been practicing for many, many years. shawn armbrust. [applause] shawn armbrust: good morning. thank you so much or including me in such a terrific event with such terrific organizations. it's an honor to be here today. and i hope i'm able to give all of you a sense of how the innocence of movement collectively has broken through power, to not only free hundreds of innocent people but also to begin the process of achieving real systemic change. i'm the executive director of the mid-atlantic innocence project which works to prevent and correct the conviction of innocent people in d.c.,
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maryland, and virginia, using dna and other evidence of innocence. we have 321 innocent people and helped pass 11 laws that would help prevent or make it easier to correct wrongful convictions. is one of the high success rates in the nation, and we're doing it with a fraction of the resources we need. at a fraction of the resources is with some of our peer organizations but we are part of a larger innocence network. with, which has more than 60 separate organizations that all work to get innocent people out of prison. and together we are freeing innocent people and changing laws all over the country that are making the criminal justice system a little bit more just. since 1989 there have been 347 dna exonerations, at almost 1800 non-dnalmost 1800
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exonerations. from both network projects under the terrific lawyers all over the country. and i want to tell you the story of the innocence movement today. why it started, how it started, what it has accomplished and what we still have left to accomplish. and strength lies in the stories of the wrongfully convicted themselves, that's how i want to tell you the story today. i want to do that by taking you back to 1986, and aboard your. it was the first time dna was used in court, in a criminal case in the uk. year later dna first appeared in the u.s. courtroom. dna was revolutionary because it allowed us to take physical evidence from the crime scene, other than fingerprints, and use it to compare to a specific person. either identifying them or excluding them.
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it's about volumes about the types of evidence we relied on before 1986, things we didn't know about them. and it is in the context advocates of want to talk to you about today occurred. on february 23, 1986, a woman was alone in the laundry room of her south richmond apartment building, a little before 10 p.m. a man walked in carrying a knife and wearing a stocking mask that covered his face. he told her to be quiet, got behind her and shoved her toward the door. he began undressing her. when they got outside, she started fighting back. she screamed and was able to lift a stocking mask to see a little bit more of his face. he eventually got spooked and ran away. the victim did her best to describe the attacker. she had only seen the bottom half of his face, but she described a white man he was about six feet tall, 175 pounds, wore a red and white plaid
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shirt, had light colored shoulder length hair, a beard and high cheek bones. because this was an atmpted rape and not a rape, they couldn't even use the limited forensic science they had in 1986. all they had was the victim who did a composite sketch. a composite was circulated to other police officers, and one of them thought it looked like a man named mike mcalister. he was 29, a little over six feet tall, have light colored shoulder length hair, a beard and high cheek bones. he had no history of violence but did have a history of alcohol abuse and a few isolated
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incidents of indecent exposure. his apartment was a few miles from the crime scene. when police got to his house, he was wearing a red, white and blue plaid shirt. police wanted to take a photo of him and told him he should change his shirt but mike said no, he didn't have anything to hide so why would he change it? police included that photo as one of nine they showed the victim. mike was only one wearing a plaid shirt and the only one whose features closely matched the description of the perpetrator, so mike was arrested. mike's trial lasted four and a half hours and the only evidence linking him to the crime was the victim's testimony. mike was convicted of abduction and attempted rape. that could've been the end of the story but a little bit before trial the lead detective heard about a man named norman bruce derr. he was a white man about six feet tall with light colored hair and a beard. he tended to wear plaid shirts and he was a serial rapist.
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he was even followed by police officers in other counties but he avoided detection because he usually wore stocking masks during his crimes. mike didn't notice until 2015, but many of his 1985 and 1986 attacks were in laundry rooms just a couple of miles from the crime that mike was charged with. when the detective saw derr photo he thought it looked a lot like the description of the attacker in mike's case you can go to tell you what i saw those two photos side-by-side for the first time, i couldn't tell them apart. but after the victim saw derr's photo she was still sure that mike was her attacker and trial went forward. and even after mike was convicted, the prosecutor started having doubts about mike's guild. he talked to the judge and they gave mike a polygraph, but it was inconclusive. he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. he lost his appeal because his trial was considered fair. and there was nothing anyone could do.
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at that time people who were not in the criminal defense world were not all that aware of the problem of wrongful convictions. a few academics had written articles about wrongful convictions in capital cases, but those just evolve into debates about whether those particular people were innocent, not conversations about what could cause of those wrongful convictions and what could be done to prevent them. but that started to change in 1989 when gary dobson became the first man in the u.s. to be exonerated by dna testing. from 1989-1992, 10 people were exonerated based on dna evidence proving their innocence. and this was a game changer. these exonerations did not hinge on the reliability of witnesses -- they were scientific proof that innocent people are convicted.
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two men knew we are convicted too many innocent people in this country. they also knew that as long as the fight was about the credit of witnesses we couldn't have that conversation. so in 1992, they founded the innocence project in new york litigating cases all over the country in which dna testing could prove innocence. shortly after that mike mcallister got a new lawyer. the lawyer learned that norman derr's attacks looked a lot like the attack mike was convicted of. he attacked women alone using a knife. he was easily spooked and even said some of the exact same things but more importantly, the lead detective and prosecutor in the case had come to believe that they had arrested and convicted the wrong man. and in some places that would've allowed mike to be released from prison. but in virginia the trial court is not allowed to do anything in a case more than 21 days after a person is convicted. and there was no other way in virginia to bring new evidence of innocence before a court. no exceptions.
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mike had a parole date coming and the detective and prosecutor wrote letters supporting his parole. to even appear before the parole board on his behalf, but it didn't matter. his parole was denied. and as that was happening the innocence movement was getting started. in 2000 the first innocence network conference with 10 mostly new innocence organizations, including my own, was held in chicago. each we 1993-2001, 91 more people were exonerated based on dna testing. and that was true even though our system isn't set up to deal with the problem of innocent with the problem of innocent people in prison. and that's because our system prices of finality. it's hard to raise claims of newly discovered evidence of innocence, it's hard to prove
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constitutional violations and it's hard to get around all of the procedural barriers designed to keep people from trying to do those things. and so it became clear very early that the innocence movement needed to address not just the disturbing number of innocent people in prison, but also the system's inability to correct that problem after the fact and the things that caused wrongful convictions in the first place. and during this time some people in power begin to notice that there was a problem. they started passing laws allowing for dna testing, raise questions about the death penalty and started talking about the things that caused wrongful convictions. but the prevailing norm was still to be tough on crime. that period of time some democrats take the crime issue away from republicans by issuing their own tough on crime policies from the 1994 crime bill to the 1996 antiterrorism and effective death penalty
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reform act which made it nearly impossible to use habeas corpus to free innocent prisoners. despite all of the setbacks come 2002 was a blockbuster year for the innocence movement. 25 people were exonerated by dna testing. still the highest number of dna exonerations in any one year to date. dna exonerations became part of the public consciousness and people started are starting to understand that the system made mistakes. it also is a big year for mike mcalister. people had forgotten about him, but his mom wrote to frank green, reporter at the richmond times dispatch who began writing about his case. a new lawyer also signed on to help mike and he filed a partner's petition within virginia governor mike warner. virginia was no stranger to the problem of wrongful convictions and had seen its share of eyewitnesses but in 2003, mike's petition was denied.
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the governor's staff said it would be one thing if mike had dna evidence, but he didn't. from 2003-2013, 187 people were exonerated by dna testing. that decade also saw a real change in the conversation about the criminal justice system. with even more states passing laws that allow dna testing and some even starting to pass laws that would help improve eyewitness id procedures, prevent false convictions and regulate state crime labs. even virginia passed a law in part because of mike's case that allowed people with newly discovered evidence of innocence to get back in court in very limited circumstances. mike eventually made parole but he had to register as a sex offender that had never gotten treatment for alcohol abuse. so we did a lousy job complying, begin drinking again and was sent back to prison. norman bruce derr was convicted of two crimes during that decade. in 2006 and 2012, he was
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convicted of two 1984 rapes, one in virginia and one in charles county maryland based on dna cold hits. i learned about the charles county case because of a man named jerry jenkins. jerry had been convicted of a similar charles county rape based on the testimony of the victim who said he looked like the perpetrator, and jerry had always been adamant that he was innocent. now he believes derr was the perpetrator. we began representing jerry, found the dna evidence and did the testing approved that jerry was right. he was innocent and derr was guilty. jerry was exonerated in 2013. a few weeks later i got a call from that reporter, frank green, who had never forgotten about mike. he asked me what we're going to do to get mike out how to we begin to represent him. mike's innocence only became
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more clear the more we dug into the case and the more documents we received. but once again virginia's criminal justice system fell short. we had no remedy for mike. we couldn't prove how much police and prosecutors knew about derr because it'd been so long and memories faded so we could not argue that evidence had been withheld. we couldn't prove that mike's trial lawyer was ineffective. we thought he knew something about derr but we didn't know what or when. and we also couldn't prove the evidence newly discovered because it's possible that everyone knew about it, but just could not use it. so we were stuck. to make matters worse, in early 2015 the virginia attorney general's office decided that is going to try to simply commit civilly commit mike
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as a sexually violent predator, send him to prison for the rest of his life for a crime that no would involve in the arrest or prosecution believed he had committed. defendants almost never win these cases. guilt or innocence is irrelevant your time doing it is next to impossible, and normal remedies don't apply. so that meant our only remedy was an absolute pardon from the governor, which we had to file three weeks before mike's civil commitment hearing. didn't look good. pardon investigations usually take months. we had weeks. we still had no dna. governor mcauliffe was a clinton democrat who had not been interested in criminal justice reform. mike was a convicted sex offender with substance abuse problems, a history of indecent exposure, and history of poor a adjustment during his
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brief stint on parole. elsewhere already been denied a pardon by another democratic governor, and the rules say you can't file two petitions. so we were in a bind. but it quickly became clear that things had have changed between 2003-2015. we filed our petition jointly with the elected prosecutor in richmond who we had convinced of mike's innocence. we had several legislators on our side from both parties. we also got to work hand in hand with the investigator for the parole board, and derr eventually confessed to her that he committed the crime. so on may 13, 2005, just a few days before mike's civil commitment hearing, the governor granted the pardon. [cheers and applause] >> his first call was from
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governor mcauliffe who apologized to him on behalf of virginia, and welcomed him home. thanks to the governor, mike got transitional funds and legislative compensation for his time in prison. he is with his family for the first time in decades. and i focused on this case today because i think it makes clear why the innocence movement was so necessary, how far the movement has come, but also how far it has to go. there's no question in my mind that without the innocence movement ability to free hundreds of innocent people based on dna, no one would've understood that an eyewitness could have made a mistake in mike's case. we would not have been working jointly with the prosecutor if it had not been for that work. and we would never been in a universe where it was politically palatable, and i think in this case, even politically necessary for the governor to do the right thing. progress.en
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compensated the then.ully convicted back 30 do so today. syste are now aware the is not perfect. but the work is not done. it is not clear to me that differental would be today. prizeds in a system that finality over justice. itt was as true in 1996 as is in 2016.
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peoplefreed because of who came together to do the right thing. the conversation has changed because the innocence movement has helped us get there. but it is also a call to action. i hope you will join me and working to create a more just convictsat not only fewer innocent people but corrected before they are forced to spend it decades in prison. the past 24 years have shown it is possible and with the people in this room i want to help finish that job. thank you very much. >> thank you. a special surprise
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for you. sharon friedman, the longtime policy director executive vice president of the pension rights center, is also a standup comedian. that is pretty rare and the public interest world. dealing with these thieving corporate pension people you have to have an outlet at the end of the day. for 25 years she has been fighting for consumers, retirees, and particularly low and moderate wage folks who are either shut out from pensions or have their pensions take from them. i think of that song woody guthrie had about outlaws, since this world i've traveled, i have seen many funny men. some was six guns and some with fountain pen. it is the fountain pen doing some serious stealing today. but luckily we have people like sharon friedman standing up for us today.
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sharon friedman. sharon: hello, everybody. how are you doing today? i wanted to go back to something jim said earlier about naked vs. nekkid. . certainly want to be nekkid how about you? but now i'm going to talk about the make it truth. i want to thank ralph nader and all of the staff from the center of responsive law who put this together. this is a really impressive event. i am here to tell you about how the pension rights center has been breaking through power for 40 years and how it has paid off. rumbling.ed about
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we have to some rumbling here today. what is the pension rights center? so, we are a national consumer rights organization that has been working since 1976 to promote and protect retirement security for workers, retirees, and their families. we have a vision that when people leave the workforce they have enough money to pay their bills, pay their medical expenses, and continued to be productive citizens. because of people have adequate income they are more likely to be able to continue fighting for justice throughout their lives. so, the pension rights center really has not changed in our 40 in somet the challenges of our strategies have a hand that is what i am talking about
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today. the pension rights center was started 40 years ago by the amazing pension attorney karen ferguson when the visionary ralph nader said, karen it go make pensions and issue and here is a check to do it. karen ferguson is actually still working today. she still the director, has been working for years. so i am karen friedman and the vice president and i am known as karen number two. when people talk about the pension rights center they particularly talk about the karens. we've been working roughly together 25 after the 40 years and i think passion for pensions, and i hope you will by the time i finished his speech. so many of you in this room may have seen the new movie out, : -- "supe bad man
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rman, batman: dawn of justice." which is pretty awful. but the reason i bring it up is because we in this country are obsessed with superheroes who fly in, conquered evil and solve our problems. but here's the truth, folks. there's never one person who does everything. leaders inspire, but all of us are needed in the fight. so i'm here to say today that we are the superwomen. we are the superman who, together, can solve this countries problems. and after this conference, i propose that we write and produce our own movie super activists, dawn of justice, how ordinary people saved the world. and that could be part of ralph's civil justice academy award. what do you think about that ? [applause] and that is exactly what this conference is about. so right now i'm going to tell you how the pension rights center, with a strong mission, a
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small budget but tons of passion has helped change laws and regulations, and even in some cases we've changed how both companies and pension plans operate. so why was the pension rights center started? so, put under time travel glasses and lets fly back to the year 1976. that was the year disco music was filling the airwaves, president carter was elected president and to put all in perspective, angelina jolie was still in diapers. most important albums from our perspective it was two years after the passage of the new federal private pension welcome the employer retirement incomes security act, better known as erisa, which protects the reason the pension expectations of workers and retirees. the landmark law, erisa, was developed by a bipartisan
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congress and signed into law by republican president gerald ford, and was called by republican senator, senator javits, who is one of the lead sponsors of erisa, one of the most important pieces of social legislation since social security. before erisa, tens of thousands of people were losing their pensions every day because there were few laws regulating pension plans, and companies could do pretty much whatever they wanted. they could require people to work into retirement age to get their attention, and then fire them two days before their 65th birthday. bye-bye pensions. employers could invest the money in those days in bogus casinos in vegas, facing the -- facing no consequences. and if a company in those days, just prior to 1974, went bankrupt, workers could lose everything. so erisa created basic standards to protect pension promises
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including creating a pension interest program to protect people in bankruptcy, developing investment and funding rules, and setting minimum minimal on how long people need to work to earn the right to a pension. but like all laws that are duped out between different parties and stakeholders, erisa wasn't perfect at the remaining gaps, and congress could not envision all the problems that could occur. so step in that pension rights center. the pension rights center from its earlier, the earliest days help people understand their rights under the law, and we began hearing from people as soon as we started who were left out of the law. and overtime we documented those issues. their widows and divorced spouses learned they were not eligible to get their husbands
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pensions, even if they had been married for decades. there were corporate raiders. some of you may remember carl icahn in the 1980's who thought about ways of losing the so-called surplus pension assets to finance takeover schemes. there were folks who worked nine years and eight months but lost their jobs before the 10 years they needed to earn the right to a pension. so to solve these and other problems come the pension rights center did what we now consider our stock in trade. we did then, we do it now. we identified and documented problems. we use our technical know-how to develop workable solutions. and then we mobilize effective citizens and women's organizations, labor unions, retiree groups in coalition for the passage of laws. we were and consider ourselves now to be the great catalyst for retirement income reform. so over our history, the pension
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rights center, and i will not go through all of these, we were instrumental in passing six federal laws in helping to of the numerous regulations to expand benefits and rights for widows, responsive, low-income earners, short service workers, stop pension rating and help create a legal health network here at but this is what i really want to talk about today. what are the strategies for change? how did we pass these laws? well, want to start by saying you have to have the know-how but you need to get creative, especially when you are small and underresourced, which i think every organization you hearing from today is. so i thought i would share a few stories of how we got laws passed in our few first decades. back in the 1980s we got the widows and divorced spouses were left out of erisa featured on the phil donahue show, which in those days was the hottest talk
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show and generated all kinds of buzz. man to testify a before the ways and means committee about how women would lose their survivors pension if wronghas been died at the time. she came in she talked in a soft voice and she said, i came today because i thought i could be with the legislation to protect widows but it is too late for me. this morning.d i showed up today to help others. can you imagine this? you could have heard a pin drop. suffice it to say, the congress did not pass the act. we delivered cookies to all of the members of congress saying stop companies from stealing from the pension cookie jar. and one of my favorites in the
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1990s when ibm tried to cut its older workers benefits, employee little a blimp over a football stadium saying "they stole my -- isn, is your save yours safe?" faced with a bad campaign, ibm actually changed its practice for a lot of those employees and congress ended up changing the law. think the facts, the solutions, but think creativity. today especially in this market it's more important than ever. so now let's move to the present time and see what we are doing now. as you can imagine 40 years later, the retirement landscape has changed and there are more challenges than ever. at $16.5 trillion -- oh sorry , about that i went the wrong way. trillion, pensions are
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one of the largest sources of -pension capital. as taxpayers, we subsidize the private system of pensions and 401k to the tune of $240 billion so you are sitting here and listening to us and saying with that much in the system it must be doing a great job for people. well it isn't. while policymakers talk about the budget deficit in this country, there's little talk about a huge and growing retirement income deficit which is now standing at $7.7 trillion . $7.7 trillion. the deficit that was calculated by the center for retirement research is the gap between what people saved today and what they should have saved as of today to meet their basic retirement needs. so what has caused this retirement deficit?
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there is no savings to supplement social security which is averaging about $16,000 a year for the retiree in the bus for the workers. employers are dropping and cutting back or freezing good old-fashioned pension plans but really haven't cracked it for most americans. half of all households have only $59,000 accumulated in their account and for people approaching it is closer to $103,000 -- which gives it enough to make it to retirement. for all households not just those with the retirement accounts they've saved about $2500, it and it's worse for workers of color. now, the national opinion polls
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reflect americans anxiety. a recent poll shows americans are more worried about not having money for retirement than any other economic issues including paying for healthcare, their mortgage or their kids education. the pension system is working to address this retirement deficit and protect against broken pension promises. the pension rights center called for a national secure system on top of social security and we strongly support the expansion of social security and we are also working for new creative solutions put in the state and national level. we are also ensuring that retirees and workers already earned pensions are protected. we are seeing new trends every day where consulting consulting firms advise corporations on how to cut the pensions and other benefits by taking advantage of the loopholes in the law by offloading pensions to ensure the companies and we are even seeing something in recent years where nonprofit hospitals with a loose connection with say a church or synagogue have worked to convert their federally protected pension plans into unprotected church plans
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endangering the pensions of millions of workers and retirees and on this last issue was of the research done by the pension rights center, there is now 12 lawsuits many of which have been decided by the workers and retirees pay for. i'm going to spend the last part of my speech talking about two victories in 2016 where the center and our allies stood up to power and we won.
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and this is important, the winning part. so, these are all of the activists. this is about winning. lots of people now say come on, it's impossible to have victories now in this divided congress. with grassroots support and enough diverse stakeholders, we be certain legislative victories today are possible have seen also great things happen in the regulatory arena. we had two big successes this year i want to share. the first is about stopping predatory practices in the financial advice industry. the pension rights center and the consumer federation of america, they afl-cio joined together in a coalition called save our retirement to stand up against the multimillion dollar lobby of the financial industry, and he won a great victory for american consumers. for the last five years, brokers and financial institutions
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fought vigorously to stop the department of labor from releasing a common ground rule that ensures the brokers and the financial advisers who give advice on your retirement account have to do so in your interest not only to line their pockets. pretty reasonable, right? [applause] karen: this would cost to the american consumer $17 billion in here. but of course the industry fought this because they are making big bucks off of getting conflicting advice. but here's the thing, we fought the industrythoughtthe industry
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-- we fought the industry and qe won. and how? by bringing together a question, coordinating technical comments for the agencies come the meeting with educational boards, doing twitter campaigns and being persistent. but that wasn't over because of course, the financial industry is lobbying congress to try to weaken the law. but we are confident we can overcome because this is the right result. another huge victory for the retirees into the center in 2016 was to protect 270,000 retired truck drivers and workers in the state's pension plan that faced pension cuts, ready for this, 40 to 70% because of a terrible law that was passed in the ending days of 2014. you probably don't even know
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about this. congress and in the dead of the night in 2014 had a go kart at the multi-employer pension reform act to the end of year spending bill that allowed certain underfunded pension plans to/the benefits in order to fit the underfunded plans. this was unprecedented and torpedoed the most fundamental protections of erisa. suddenly the retirees who've done everything right had given a pay in exchange for a lifetime pension that these un- breakable pensions that they earned were about to be broken into their lives devastated. we knew that these cuts had to be stopped. so working with thousands of truck drivers and thousands of widows and warehouse workers and others, certain unions, we developed a campaign to try to change the law and also to influence the treasury department which was given authority to review the cuts. we used the tactics i talked about earlier that we've always used but updated. we analyzed the law in the summaries on the website and the retiree agrees contacted us and we helped provide them with information and they put it on their own facebook page and
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guess what, now all of these have organized themselves into 60 powerful committees in the states. in april the retirees themselves organized a rally outside of the capital 2,000 with 2,000 spouses and for those calling to reject the application and for congress to pass a bill that would repeal the bill that passed in 2014 to stop these cuts and an amazing victory for consumers, the treasury department after receiving thousands of comments from the retirees and the pension rights center rejected the application for sound legal reasons. so while congress passed the law in 2014 behind closed doors, the regulatory process protected them. this is democracy at work. [applause] karen: and now we are pushing to repeal that terrible 2014 bill, and we are pushing for the bill
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was introduced coda to keep up promises act by senator sanders and congresswoman marcy captor from stopping these cuts. this is the thing that i think is really critical for this conference. the thousands of former truck drivers are now effective citizen activists. this is what they do every day they e-mail me 100 times a day and they've become the best lobbyists i've ever seen and they've inspired the pension rights center to work even harder so i i want to say remember my story from 1984. 32 years later a widow from ohio testified before the senate finance committee and changed the hearts and minds. her late husband was injured in vietnam and then drove a truck for 40 years and testified how 40% of the proposed cuts of the survivors pension would force her to sell her house and stop her from taking care of her dad that had stage four cancer.
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she was so effective again, you could hear a pin drop. her testimony was called the most powerful members had heard in the committee and led to a commitment from senators of both parties to work towards bipartisan legislation and the democrats all wrote a letter asking for a bill. so this is democracy in action. and i want to end by saying htis. go back to my first point. we are the superman, we are the superwomen of the citizen action movement. so please come and join the pension rights center for the retirement security for all for today's and future retirees to protect pensions made it to people in all pension plans, protect increased social
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security and work to repeal the multi-employer pension reform act, work, work with us to help create a universal at the pension system for all people let's keep fighting. thank you very, very much. [applause] jim: thank you, superwoman. great job. who, we both started in the public interest movement roughly the same time in the 1970s he stuck with it and of course i fell off in the central world of politics. but he has been a giant in the public interest as the head of the center for science in the public interest where he has done health advocacy and 700,000 subscribers to his health and nutrition newsletter. he has engaged in obesity fight
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and he's taken on coke and kellogg and all the rest of them and he drives an absolutely crazy, of course it is a short ride for a number of them if you think about it, but he does it through education, legislation, litigation, and agitation also. remember the agitator is the central part of the washing machine that gets the dirt out. we need more and he is one of the best in the country. [applause] well, thank you very much, it jim. congratulations to ralph nader for organizing this party. [applause] >> you know, i came to washington and volunteered with ralph nader and my first day on the job i sat around with him and a few of his aides and he says ok, what are we going to do with this guy he has a phd from
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mit, is that a good enough imitation? one of the people sitting there was jim turner who just just that week was is publishing a book called "chemical feast" about the food and drug administration and its various failures and inadequacies. so he said ok, why don't you write a book about food additives? so, i had just come out of graduate school studying a virus and i knew nothing about writing books and no idea even about a food additive was. i said, well, ok. how doad to do it but you write a book and what is a food additive? they said just go and do it. it seemed like everybody on the staff was writing a book of the year. so i scurried into the library,
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looked up what a food additive was. i don't think there was a book on how you write a book, but i put my nose to the grindstone and wrote that book, which was novel back then because there were other books on food additives but it's like they came out of the 1930's or something. they had to prove every food additive was dangerous. so i wrote what i thought was an intellectually honest book and my conclusion was that food additives like the sodium nitrate and the artificial flavorings were not nearly as big a problem as the food themselves. all the sugar and fat and salt. my grandmother, unlike jim's
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grandmother, would say, it is all in the food. book "eaterse and meanwhile a myth to other scientists, jill sullivan and al finch and you hear him talk this afternoon. we decided to split off and start our own organization, the center for science in the public interest. we had no connections, no money, and yet somehow it worked out. al was a priest said he had free rent from the church and jim and i lived in group houses and managed ok. we gradually wrote a book and articles and pamphlets and got little grants that kept us going going. as the previous speaker karen mentioned, the idea of using mass media, and is different from now, phil donahue who might
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be on the program later in the week, was just an an angel inviting public interest people into the show and letting them advertise their products, their memberships and newsletters. we had posters back then on food additives in nutrition and we would be on a show and sell thousands and thousands of posters and newspaper columnists would write articles talking about the issue and then saying get this pamphlet for $1.50 or whatever. and we would sell thousands and thousands. another speaker in the series power" wrote agh column about one of the things we wrote and we literally had a mail sacks of orders for publications sitting outside our front door.
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so we lived on that sort of thing. then we started the nutrition health action letter as a giveaway little newsletter for nutritionists who were somewhat progressive. then after a year, we decided we couldn't afford to give it away for free anymore, so we started charging and gradually built that up into a powerhouse of a newsletter, the largest circulation health newsletter in the country now with about 700,000 subscribers. and that's been the basis of our existence. and we've been so fortunate because we are lousy grant getters, but we write a pretty good newsletter. and so subscribers donate extra money and that's been the backbone of the financial support and it's very satisfying to have it under our control rather than having to beg the foundations but if any of you
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are here we would love to have your money all so and you have a -- your money also and you get a free newsletter subscription if you donate. have some hundred thousand subscribers a end and the income of about $16 million a year, much of which goes to the post office and printer. but as i was thinking, you solve ralph nader's side of executive salaries. $15 million is what the president of coca-cola got last year, and that was after a 40% pay cut. he was making 25 million dollars, but he is down to $15 million. and the president of pepsi makes $26 million. but getting back to the substance, one of my conclusions is nutrition is
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more important than the food additives. though they are significant and very interesting, and we kept working on those ever since. back then, the mantra of the nutrition establishment, the department of agriculture, the american dietetic association, the food industry and others was a very self-serving, all food is good food, just eat a variety of food and you'll be ok. so, when i began looking into this and i really knew almost nothing about nutrition, i began looking into it and that clearly wasn't the case. there was a shift going on from some professors, the american heart association a little bit, recognizing that the saturated fat and cholesterol and salt and other things in food are major causes of heart disease, stroke,
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high blood pressure, diabetes, and there was controversy but the whole conversation was shifting. as it shifted in many other fields. you will hear during the conference series, from the deficiencies of micronutrients to access of certain nutrients in our food. and that's what he has been workingwe have beenworking on ever since to try to improve quality of the american diet. partly by educating the public which i think is essential but more by focusing on the kind of garbage that companies were producing into the government and the government was defending. i remember when we used to give vivant award it to
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the biggest junk food producer of the year and he would give it out at the convention at the institute of the technologists who put out all this junk and so i'm outside the convention and the award was a beat-up old garbage can so i had been interviewing me and i'm saying "all processed food is junk food" as only a committed young man can say with such fervor so right after i'm doing the interview, somebody from general foods rushes up to the reporter and says that's not true, that's not true. the reporter gives him the " tellone, it and says us about the good healthy foods that general mills is marketing.
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said, "we're working on one right now." [laughter] michael: that made it easy to end the debate. a couple years later i had the idea that too much salt is harmful because there is a lot of evidence. a young woman who had just 1977 wasork for us in there in and i said, let's write a petition to the food and drug administration about salt and how the government should lower the sodium levels and put warning notices on canisters of salt and a couple other things. back then and now, salt is considered generally recognized as safe. companies can use as much as they want. so bonnie and i and georgetown law school wrote the petition and we have been working on salt
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ever since. the government has done virtually nothing on salt. researchers have been busy discovering that if we could cut sodiumthe sodium from salt and other food additives by 50% that could save as many as 100,000 lives at year end $20 billion or so every year in medical costs. it is an issue of enormous importance and meanwhile, salt is generally recognized as safe and it's one of those issues everybody here, all americans know it's safe. it is on our tables. you know we wouldn't have anything dangerous on the table if it wasn't safe. so, we've been working on it and we petitioned the fda in 1978. we sued them in 1982 for not taking any action. we lost in 1983 and went on to other things like getting the nutrition facts label and then we thought maybe sodium would be listed on the label.
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maybe that would get companies to lower the levels and cause consumers to choose less. but in 2005, we discovered that people were consuming as much in 2005 as they were in 1978 when we started this campaign. so we went back to court and they said you have to petition the fda again, which we did and we waited for a response and got the institute of medicine to do a study that said -- the report said that the food industry said it would reduce sodium levels voluntarily. the government urged the reduction in 1969 and for the past 40 years, there was no progress whatsoever and the food and drug administration should set formal limits.
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so that was 2011. the fda said immediately they would not set limits, basically because the food industry would have let it but it would set of voluntary targets. so since 2011, we've been waiting for these voluntary targets and we finally sued the fda again to respond to the petition and that was last october. and we expect a response in about ten days so keep your eye on that and i think the food and drug administration will probably announce, will probably propose voluntary targets, not mandatory and then we will go through a long phase. that it is the first time the fda has taken any action to lower the sodium levels and hopefully the food industry will go along with them and that's typical. big things. every food company uses salt. every restaurant has salty foods. these issues take a long, long
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time. there's a tremendous industry resistance. one of the things that happened quickly in the scheme of things is trans fat. back in 1990, there was almost trans fat wasat harmful and then careful research showed that it raised the bad cholesterol and in our blood and liver to the good cholesterol, and that was the first human study done by the department of agriculture and it comes from partially hydrogenated oil which like salt has been considered generally recognized as safe. and that has been an interesting issue. it went on for, we petition the at ea in 1994. -- the fda in 1990 four. we went through the usual public meetings and hearings and , andes, then lawsuits
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finally in 2006, the fda required trans fats on labels, which spurred companies to remove it. finally, last year, the fda banned partially hydrogenated oil and trans fats. 2018. deadline of 90% of trans fats -- [applause] >> thank you. 90% of trans fats is out of the food supply. more than 7 billion pounds of partially hydrogenated oil has been removed. i think everybody, from food manufacturers, the seat developers, farmers, everybody deserves some credit for that in norm is change in our food supply. and the next one is sugar. or i should say, trans fats were causing upwards of 50,000 apps, premature deaths per year. none of the heart attacks had a label that said trans fats,
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which makes it difficult to deal with, hard to get the victims to be spokespersons. sugar is another big one. just soda pop is killing 25,000 americans each year. and it's something that the battle lines have been drawn. soda consumption is down by 27% since 1998, when we first really started working on this. in or miss, enormous change -- in our miss, enormous change. $25president of pepsi, million per year, pepsi sales declined by 50% since 1998. [applause] i would pay her a lot of money to drive sales down further. we will see what happens. my time is running out. i wanted to mention, a couple the challenges, we are not eating more fruits and vegetables. despite all of the farmers markets and michael collins and
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propaganda, it is ridiculous. we need to develop effective campaigns to improve the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are protective of health. more broadly, the citizens movement in the food area needs to do what it is doing in many other areas, keep the pressure on industry. they will respond to public pressure, whether it is over the web, in newspapers, or with your shopping dollars, at supermarkets. i think they deserve applause from time to time for doing the right thing. so that's kind of the challenge, and all of these environmental other workers rights, and issues. we have to use diverse from creative
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publicity to lawsuits to legislation. the greatest strength of that the citizens movement is facts and credibility, and persistence. forever.o keep it up the opponents will come back. it is kind of like the ocean, constantly building sent castles. the ocean will continue trying to come back and remove what you have done. it is very gratifying to work on public interest issues, because you can have an impact. you are really protecting the public. and not only is it gratifying to do that, but it is also a lot of fun. thank you very much. i really appreciate it. [applause] >> thank you, mike. jamie love,aker is
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who is the director of knowledge ecology international. that is a fancy phrase for saying making pharmaceuticals among other internet -- intellectual property subject, affordable to people. if anybody thinks that citizen action may be imported but doesn't have much drama, listen to this story. in alaska in his early 20's, he was producing policy papers on the oil industry. comes to our attention, and my colleague john said, who is putting this out? it is brilliant. some high school graduate. who moved him seattle to alaska. that he wasilliant admitted to the kennedy school, harvard university, skipping four years of undergraduate. he went to get a phd in economics from princeton. but he was always too busy, seeing how he could save lives.
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here is the key story i want to relate quickly. thousands of people dying of aids in africa, every week. the price of the cocktail drugs by u.s. drug companies, $10,000 per patient, per year. in other words, pay or die, and they died. jamie love went all over the world. he met with who people, ministers of health, aggregations of patients, advocates for patients. he was in the air half the time. he had help, he had help from people at our center, rob, john, richard. bill, who experienced drug companies abroad. he was a singular dynamo that connected with a drug company in india, and showed the drug companies here, that were backed by the clinton administration, that that drug cocktail could be
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brought down to $300 per year, per patient in africa. [applause] >> he continued, and it continued to go down. this is a huge drama. he never got any press coverage. to speak out. he never got any awards. it didn't matter to him. driven. the combination of powerful knowledge and being at the right place at the right time, everywhere in the world, he is heading for geneva tonight. needless to say, he was helped , whichps like act up stands for aids coalition unleashed power. they demonstrated the announcement running for president in tennessee. they demonstrated everywhere to begin changing the federal government's attitude towards ignoring necessary research and the price controls that were necessary to avoid a pay or die
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monstrosity system of health care. anybody wants drama, i introduce to you the very modest jamie love. [applause] jamie: well, thank you very much. i would like to thank ralph for inviting me to this event. i'm going to talk today about this issue of, pharmaceutical drugs. i will talk about the way that things, that ralph had talked about i was involved in early on in this debate, and also the current state of play, where people are interested in changing the relationship between people and medicine around the world. , trying to seeo
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that, all of the technology, getting it to work here. ralph already talked about some of the early issues. i was asked by ralph nader in 1990 -- 1991, to look at the , acing of a drug for cancer breast cancer drug. it was a drug invented at the nih, and it was being licensed to bristol-myers squibb, and there was a clause in the agreement that said that the drug should be priced at a reasonable price. i was brought into a valuate the claim. -- to evaluate the claim. a congressman was interested in the issue. i worked on this drug, then that led to taking a look at the role of the federal government and funding all cancer drugs on the market since 1955. other types of drugs for hiv and
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for severe illnesses, such as rare diseases. as a result of this work that i was doing on drug pricing in the united states, and looking at these issues, i eventually began of the role ofre international agreements and international discussions about what the u.s. could do, but also, was happening in foreign countries. in 1994, i was invited to argentina and brazil by people that had picked a my name as someone that was working on these issues of drug pricing. for the became aware, first time, the extent to which the united states and the state department, and through the trade-off -- the trade office and foreign policy, was putting pressure on developing countries and put in place monopolies on pharmaceutical drugs. a lot of developing countries were at that point. they had excluded pharmaceutical
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drugs from the patent system. you could buy an expensive drugs from india or argentina -- inexpensive drugs from argentina or india or brazil. the u.s. was pushing the countries to put patents in place. to go beyond that, i remove her when i was -- remember when i argentina the first time. the united states was putting pressure on argentina. the congress wouldn't pass, in argentina, a patent law that the u.s. government wanted. argentina signed the world trade agreement and they agreed to put into effect a system of patents on pharmaceutical drugs by the of the wtoperiod agreement. the battle was already over and away. way. a argentina agreed that they would onrt creating a monopoly pharmaceutical drugs. it was a question of when they -- that would take place.
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the u.s. wanted it to happen 10 years before they were acquired -- required according to wto rules. the congress wouldn't pass the law, because the domestic drug manufacturers were influential in argentina. the white house was pressing the president of argentina to invoke anatent law through executive order. argentina had just been a democracy a short time. politicalsing a crisis in argentina, because the idea that the president could just dictate laws through executive orders and things like that was considered to be a step backwards, a dictatorship, away from the democracy which was new. i was struck at the time, just in the equation of looking at democracy on the one hand, and of the price of drugs on the other hand, the u.s. was jumping right into the price of drugs but there was a
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more important issue. fast-forward to today. week,now, this week, last there was a dispute we were involved in in columbia. they are trying to deal with a very expensive cancer -- cancer drugs for leukemia that has generated $47 billion through a swiss drug company. drug invented on charitable grants in the united states in terms of the early development, but then, the patent rights are owned by a swiss company. had his staff me with the columbia embassy recently and the report from the colombia embassy was that if they broke the monopoly on the cancer drugs, because the drug is priced twice the per capita income in colombia, if they do that, if they -- it would have negative consequences for the
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peace process. if you think about it, i mean, it's sort of an astonishing linkage between peace in colombia and that. when i work on these issues, i do a lot of work, i will not go everything we have been working on, but i will say that, too early understand the nature of the power that is involved in trying to deal with the issue of access to life-saving drugs, what ralph talked about is true. when i started working about -- on hiv drugs, there were thousands dying for lack of access to aids treatment drugs. there were somewhere between 10,000-15,000 people in sub-saharan africa receiving hiv drugs. many of them white people from south africa. today, there are more than 10 million people that are on treatment in developing worlds as a result of all of these
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not just meot just, and my colleagues worked on, the people that ralph talked about, the all nongovernment -- the other nongovernment organizations, doctors without borders, all these organizations, drug study group in thailand, there was a wide range of groups that really were involved in this thing. thiss been a big success, story. at the root of all of these disputes, just to understand, as i mentioned, the power that is involved, for several years, my wife took a drug that is a cancer drug for women who are 1/5 of breast cancer patients have the type of cancer this is useful for. the drug was generating about for thelion a month
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swiss company that, it was developed initially by a u.s. companyry, and the didn't want to develop the drug at first, but they were pushed by an academic and ucla. they finally did. , that is oneagine drug for one company. it is not even the biggest selling drugs nowadays. there are lots of drugs that generate more cash. what political problems you think you could imagine, that you couldn't solve with $500 per entirely super high profit margin, to address like that? when you are dealing with these issues, the profits are so large on companies, it costs them nothing. my wife is taking a drug that cost $150,000 per year. instead of $5,000 per week, it $3000, if i can
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remember between the sticker price and the negotiated price, five dollars per week to make the drugs. that is the kind of margins we are talking about. everybody -- every time somebody tries to fix things, every time there is an effort to reform, i will skip the slides. i am confused on the slides. i will just talk. every time you try and argue that a price is too high for a example, a drug for prostate cancer invented at ucla on grants from the nih and the u.s. army, license to a japanese company. in the $129,000 per year united states. europe, countries, in like switzerland or norway or countries with higher incomes than we have, or sweden, the
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price is less than half. in some countries, it is a quarter of the u.s. price, although this drug was invented on u.s. dollars. when we try and, the nih has writes on this drug, when we try to put -- change the price of this drug, people will say that you're going to hurt research and development, the willingness of companies to collaborate with the nih. every effort to reform abuses in the pharmaceutical area that relate to price, every single effort, whether it is africa, in terms oferror sales, or it is a big-ticket item like a prostate cancer drug in the united states, every single time, every drug, every disease, the answer is always, if you do anything to move the price of the drug down, you will anermine research and element. because people care about innovation, because they know somebody that doesn't have a drug that would address them, they recognize the value of having a pipeline of new drugs, they feel powerless to address
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this issue. they accept anything. you are asked about whether or not, what price you are willing to pay to keep your wife alive, keep your son alive, to cure husband alive, keep yourself alive or your neighbor alive. often, that is a big number. people who are poor are priced out. 80% of the worlds population is priced out of the market for new cancer drugs. it will be a long time before those drugs are available in developing countries. almost no woman who got breast cancer got a drug that cap my wife alive for the past six years. people think it is necessary to get innovation. so the important thing that we are working on right now, that i think is forward-looking, is to change this dilemma we are in,
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the situation. what are we -- we are trying to de-link the cost of pharmaceutical drugs from the of research and development. granted monopoly on a life-saving drug, that is for you fund research and development. and people are consistently shocked when a for-profit drug company charges a high price on a drug that you will die if you don't get. they year, every month, are surprised this happens. year in, year out. a learning curve that goes along with this worry you realize that it is predictable -- where you realize it is predictable. monopoly, you can charge a high price of the drug is effective and important medically. theidea is to get rid of idea of the monopoly altogether. make every drug a generic rum day one.
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-- from day one. the -- theregulate monopolies and the public interest in this case. they have too much money. they have too much power. they completely gamed the system . we don't regulate them, they regulate us. that is what is going on right now with the monopoly. if you get rid of the monopoly, you will have to replace it with something that also provides robust funding for research and development. one element of this would be to have the trade agreements, which are now ramming patent extensions, intellectual property extensions, and a million other things down people's throats, and trade agreements, designed to raise the price of drugs. instead of that, have a trade agreement focused on national obligations to fund research and development. things like the nih does. to focus on this, to put into
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place measures, different measures like innovation in ment, getnt, -- induce them to focus on funding r&d. focus of the agreements. that is one step. another step is to reinvent the idea of the incentives that a company would do. instead of granting a monopoly, you give them money, but you design the money in such a way that the system works in an efficient way, with an efficient set of rewards. sen. sanders:'s introduced several bills we have worked on. i have time for just this one example. billion perw to $14 year in the united states market for hiv drugs. years, we had30 about one new hiv drug develop per year. on average. if you think about it, $14 billion is a lot of money to pay
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for one new drug per year. these are drugs you can buy for less than 1% of the u.s. price by fda approved suppliers outside the united states. so you are throwing your money at these guys, $14 billion per year. sen. sanders: pose that we put fore $3 billion per year people to develop new chemical entities for hiv drugs. that is a big reward system. and that eliminate the monopoly. what you were looking at is a $10 billion per year prenup of resources, which is based on what you are currently doing. we are treating a lower number of hiv patients today than some african countries do. because the prices are high. sometimes, patients are not tested in jails. to authority doesn't want have the obligation of paying for the expensive treatments.
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we have higher infection rates than we should because lower rates of utilization of the drugs. if you can do that, we can do it for cancer. the good part, i have 45 seconds. i will not be able to go through my whole, much of my talk here. but we are committed to this. recently, the ceo of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, glaxosmithkline, endorse the idea that we look forward to finding ways to implement dealing bench. a number of countries proposed developing countries proposed that a fraction of their budget for cancer treatments we set aside to reward developers of new drugs. but they get the drugs as generics. they don't pay $3000 per week for a cancer drug, they pay five. up -- five dollars per week and make it more equal and fair. they recognize the importance of information.
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they set aside, it is a different way, it is a change in business bottle, like how the business model for telecommunications was radically transformed by the way that internet pricing is done. so you are not yelling at somebody to hang up the phone every time they are talking to their mother or their friend or something like that because the lock is, you cannot rate to send an e-mail or look at a webpage because it is a unfit. on the margin, that is free. although you pay to have the service, you don't pay to serve -- to use the service. the price of a drug, we want that to be almost free on the margin, like aspirin. but we are willing to pay to get the first copy out the door. the businesse in model. it will make the world better place. it will become the most transformative thing you can imagine party quality when it comes to access to care. it is a very important campaign, and i am fully committed. thank you for the opportunity to be here today. [applause]
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>> just a minute. my cause raynaud's getting the republicans who are running the cooling system to turn it off. >> it is a little cold here. >> coming up to the podium is hot. thank you for saying that. now you know why jamie gottfried civic got the award for courage. his group, knowledge ecology international's budget is equivalent to less than one day's, one day's compensation -- one of david's us lot days compensation package of
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mario up there. brahma --peaker is drama congealed. whenst met ralph hotchkiss he was majoring in physics. he came up to me and said, can i go to washington this summer and work on problems affecting people with disabilities? i said, of course. paraplegic from a motorcycle accident, sliding, soft sand, soft curve type motorcycle accident after his freshman year at oberlin college. he was on the ground floor of the movement, one of the greatest success movements in american history. those of you who are of older age remember that we didn't even see a student with a physical disability in school. sight, out of mind.
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there were no ramps. they didn't want to take the students up the stairs. they were segregated. now, look at it. there are accesses all over. the americans of with disabilities act. buildings have been renovated. buildings have been retroactive. there is a lot to do, whether it is the special olympics, whether it is racing down connecticut avenue with four people in wheelchairs joyously talking to one another, whether it is access to schools, hospitals, it has been tremendous part -- progress. ralph hotchkiss is on the ground floor. he was part of the demonstrations, he was the brilliant inventor of much more durable, resilient wheelchairs, he and a few others broke the wheelchair monopoly the jennings corporation out of london was selling high-priced, unreliable, flimsy wheelchairs. he has designed these
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wheelchairs. he does not patent any of his inventions. they are for anybody to use. to placesl by himself like central america and central asia, teaching many people, mostly women, how to build wheelchairs from local materials that are strong, durable, and inexpensive. and in those countries, a few don't have a wheelchair, it is a must a death sentence. -- almost a death sentence. his network manufactures 15,000 wheelchairs. he will tell you that is only part of it. you will also see a of the joe de vivre and his redefinition of people with disabilities. he calls his nonprofit group,
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whirlwind wheelchair. i give you, ralph hotchkiss. [applause] >> think about this. put your feet in the stirrups of -- wheelchair in the road the third world. there you are. your spine has been snapped by impact with the foot of a car racing down the narrow streets. --ehow, you have surprised survived the impact and made it home after limited medical care. here you are, home on your caught -- on your cot, with no clue as to how to stay alive in your village. you hear of someone with your injury, but none are nearby. you badly need to know how they managed to stay alive. you have no way to move beyond your cot. the wheelchairs in
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your country were designed long ago, for hospital use. these designs really last long. -- rarely last long. they rust in piles behind the hospital. your family begs to help, but what can they do? who will feed your children? if you are like most, you will plead to get out and find solutions to -- but pressure sores and infections will be due back, and within a year, your friends will aid -- will say, she died of a broken back. 50 years ago today, i snapped my spine in illinois. wheelchairs were plentiful in the u.s., but they were far from
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optimal. sincerely -- since the early 1950's, a single company had monopolized the u.s. industry. they did what monopolies do best, raising prices while cheapening products. my first wheelchair came from this company. with that, i left the hospital, but after only half a block, i had a crack in the -- hit a crack in the sidewalk and destroyed the front caster. the company declared the chair beyond repair. so what kind of chair to people need in the developing world? , we have cars, buses with lifts. we have ramps on our sidewalks. the world is different.


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