tv DNC Chair Candidates Discuss the Future of the Democratic Party CSPAN February 12, 2017 5:04am-7:01am EST
to the district for bridges, ports, for roads, it all creates opportunity. for me, it starts with education and health. because if they are too sick to go to school, you have a cycle that will not work. >> congresswoman, thank you for your time. rep. barragan: thank you. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a service by america's television cable companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. the democratic national committee will elect a new chair later this month. the candidates for that position met this weekend in baltimore to discuss outreach efforts and other priorities for the organization. this forum was moderated by white house correspondent april ryan and included an introduction from dnc interim
chair donna brazile. dnc interim chair donna brazile. ready?candidates are as i said earlier today, i want to thank the maryland democratic party, the eastern caucus of the dnc for hosting us, the honorable catherine pugh, the mayor of baltimore, for hospitality. and i want to thank all my colleagues on the dnc and my special guests in the audience. be ablein, dnc members to talk to the candidates, have a dialogue. for those of you who are special guests, we have these forms. fill them out. to aprilring these up
to interact with the candidates. we have staff people who will be walking around. check your seats, many people want to get into the auditorium and we want them to come in as well. we are ready to get started. it is my honor to bring back to the stage a veteran journalist, white house correspondent for the american urban radio network, and as i mentioned earlier, author of a brand-new book, "at momma's knee." i am giving april applause because she deserves it. this is a great book. please see her when this forum is over with. and i promise you she will autograph it. april ryan, thank you for doing a tremendous job today.
april: thank you, donna brazile, who says she is going fishing after this. i see how the democrat april: thank you, donna. she says she is going fishing after this. i see how the democrats do this now. it is an all-day session. has everyone gotten a lot of information so far? it is very interesting. some people came up earlier asking for the public, if they could ask questions. that is why they are handing out -- those in the aisle handing out the question forms, raise your hand. that is where your questions will be addressed. you get those forms and we will get them and hopefully answer your question. those in the dnc will be in the ask questions and write them out. at this time, this is the moment you have been waiting for. there is a change coming. this is the chair candidate forum for the dnc. there will be no opening statements, the candidates have a maximum of two minutes to answer questions, which will be timed by the clock in front of me. and when the red light goes, i will cut you off. me.
candidates, when the red light goes, i will cut you off. all candidates have the opportunity to have a one minute closing statement. with that, let's welcome to the stage sally boynton brown, jamie harrison, tom perez -- [cheers]sidy brazile: jehmu greene. peter patarsky. keith ellison. give them a round of applause. [applause] ms. brazile: this is a raucous bunch in here. welcome to the main act. we thank you for coming. i will start off with a question
from patricia. if you do not win, are you committed to working with the winner to further the causes of the democratic party, to harness all the great ideas brought forth today? i will start with you, sally. ms. brown: absolutely. my blueprint on my website highlights how i would put the work any democrat in the country, any person that steps up to lead, we want to help them lead. that is part of the new power system i advocate for, so i would ask everything the one of my colleagues to look at those workgroups i have put together in the blueprint, and pick the ones they think they can be passionate about and get to work right away. we have amazing talent in our country, and it is only when we bring a diverse group of
thinkers together to solve the problems and to do the work ahead of us, that i really believe we can move forward. we have a lot of work to do. and it is so important that anybody that wants to take part in it and put their brain behind it and put their muscles behind it, had the chance to get to work. i made a commitment to myself on wednesday morning when i woke up after the election, to take the ideas of anybody under the age of 35, and we do have folks on this stage under 35, luckily, and put those ideas into action and help them with support and services and resources they need to do that. and i was grateful that we have two teenage students who came hours after i made that oath, so put intoreally practice my words and put them into action. those two high school students organized a women's march in our state, and we had thousands show
up in the snow to march. [applause] ms. brown: it was amazing how i could sit down with two young women, who somebody might hit delete to on the keyboard and not respond to them. in just 30 minutes of my time, i was able to help them get the resources they needed, the media lists, to be able to do something amazing like that. mr. harrison: thank you for being here. this is a tremendous honor. in short answer, yes, i am committed to this. i remember when i first decided to run for chair of the south carolina democratic party. one of our prominent democrats said, why would you want to do that? it is a thankless job. i said, i am who i am because of this party. it was because of all of the
people in this party that decided to give a boy from south carolina a chance, on opportunity to be more than he thought he could be. so the commitment to this party is one that does not wane because you do not get a position. it is one that is lifetime, it is one that is intertwined into who i am as a person. that election, when we all woke up and realized that very soon we were going to ase a desperate -- despot president, for me, i was sad. not only because hillary clinton lost, i was sad because of the world that my two-year-old would have to grow up in. this is more than just a position, it is more than just a job, this is about our country. this is about the fight to make sure that there is opportunity for all, despite how you grow up, despite what you look like, despite who you love, despite
who you praise as your lord and savior. this is about making sure that this is the land of freedom and so, am i committed to the democratic party? you are damn right i am, and will fight to make sure that we the -- we be that loyal resistance, that opposition, to make sure we get change in this country. >> thank you. secretary perez: good afternoon. it is great to be here. it is great to be here. >> the clock, please. thank you. perez: thank you. it is great to be here in charm city where i had the privilege of working here for part of the decade. baltimore is a resilient town , like the town i grew up in, buffalo. the answer is, of course. we are all in this together. we are only a few weeks removed, it seems like decades removed from barack obama. i miss barack obama a lot, my
friends. you know what? what we have seen in these few short weeks is nothing less than carnage and chaos, every single day. the raids on immigrants are things that tear my heart apart. the decision by the court of the appeals which said to the president, mr. president, you need to read the constitution before you start doing things. we see it every day, the assault on our democracy. and we are in this together. this is a remarkably committed group of folks. if people are looking for whose hands are bigger or whose anatomy parts are bigger, you are not going to find out here today. you will find a discussion about how we build a democratic party that works for everyone. that is what we are talking about. we've got to focus our energies on the basics, organizing, organizing, organizing. we've got to make sure we build
strong parties in all of the 50 states and seven territories and the district of columbia. we've got to be fighting for jc statehood. we've got to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table in this process, and we do so by making sure that we are out there listening to people and making house calls, like i did in northern wisconsin this week, and when we do that we learn that when we organize, when we engage in partner with our friends in a movement, the labor movement, planned parenthood, and others, we are stronger when we are partners. and when we change the culture of the dnc to make sure we are not electing just a president, but we are electing people from the school board to the senate, that is how -- april: thank you. [cheers] >> yes. i think that answer will be the same for everyone on this table, because i do not have the luxury
to sit out of this unique moment in the democratic party, and nobody in this room has the luxury to sit out at this moment we are facing as a party. this moment is our time to look at our strengths and our weaknesses as a democratic family, and to assess how we innovate, how we organize, how we experiment, and how we engage in new and exciting ways. i think this moment is bigger than just one -- just what happened in the 2016 election. there is a lot of conversation about transformation. transformation does not come easy. transformation is not going to happen if every single person on this table does not remain engaged in this process. transformation is not going to
happen if everybody in this room does not remain engaged in this process. transformation requires willingness, it requires radical candor, and it requires strong change management. and my position in this race and what would continue, no matter what the outcome is, is that we have this opportunity, this unique moment to transform our party, to make sure that we also ask ourselves very tough questions, how do we strengthen our home to be a welcoming place for the resistance? how do we reimagine and restructure our processes? how do we rebuild, how do we rebrand, how do we reengage? that is a conversation that cannot end today, and a conversation we all must participate in, no matter what side you are on. that is a conversation we must have as a family. april: thank you.
[applause] >> i believe the question was, would i be willing to work with these great men and women should they become the next chair? yes, i planswer is on continuing to serve my country and defending the constitution of the united states. thank you. april: all right. mr. buckley: do i get the remainder of his time? april: no. you get your two minutes. thank you, sir. mr. buckley: thank you. i do not think there is a person watching this or reading this that doubts for one minute that ray buckley will be standing to the next chair of the dnc, because that has been my entire life. i started volunteering when i was eight years old, and i've never missed an election, because i believe in the democratic party. we are the party for the working
people, and if we are not united -- i do not think the question is where i will be, what i have said is immediately upon my election i will ask everyone of these people to meet me backstage, and we will sit together and we will divide the work. because that is the problem we have had in this party, it is the chair and a few staff, it has not been this group. i know. for the last eight years, i have been a vice chair and i do not know what the hell is going on in this party any more than you. [laughter] mr. buckley: let me tell you, when i am elected chair, every officer of the party will be involved, every member of the executive committee will be involved, every single member of the dnc is finally going to be involved, and every state community member, and every county community member, and every local community member, and every activist and volunteer and elected official, because if we do not do this together, we will keep repeating the same damn thing over and over and that is called losing.
i know about losing, because when i grew up in new hampshire, it was a republican state. the last 10 years, we have won 11 out of the last 13 races, folks. if you look at the turnout in , newampshire and 2014 hampshire has the number one increase in turnout. same damn thing. you want to win elections, you like the guy that can win elections. i love all of these people, nobody can match my record. april: thank you. >> good evening. yes, i am from d.c., and i am proud of it, i am for statehood, and we need it, and it would help the democratic party. allthere is one thing that of you should know who want an outsider, i am your man. i am from dc, but i am the
outsider on this panel. so yes, i will work with whoever is elected, and hopefully we will walk out of here together as democrats to grow the party. thank you. april: thank you. robert? >> my name is pete. april: i already that -- already did robert, sorry. yes, pete. [applause] april: that should be your campaign slogan. my name is pete. mayor buttigieg: you can call me whatever you like. thank you for moderating. and thank you for the opportunity to be here. short answer, yes. longer answer is, we have got to
emerge from this process as a unified democratic party, because we know what we are up against and it is not each other. [applause] eg: the truth is, had we won the white house in 2016, our party would be in trouble. look at where we are in the state houses, the constitutional offices, and our party has a lot of work to do, and there is no way to do it if we are not unified, if we do not have the humility to recognize that everybody brings something different to the table and every single one of us has something to offer. i don't mean just the people competing for the chair, i mean every one of the members in the dnc and millions of members of the democratic party. we have got to engage. [applause] mayor buttigieg: i think the chair would be me, of course, and i will tell you why. among the good democrats, we are seeing largely similar things.
the question is who is best positioned to deliver what each of us is saying needs to be done. my argument is if we want to reach a new generation of organizers, why not put in a new generation of leaders? [applause] if we are going to recognize grassroots, put in the candidate that has led the way from the houston airport protests, whose volunteers have been out walking the walk in delaware in a special election that will decide the balance in the senate. [applause] mayor buttigieg: why not go with somebody who is not the product of one faction, but somebody who can deliver the fresh start that our party needs. put in a local organizer, a local mayor who has been running and winning elections in one of the reddest states in america. april: thank you. peter, you are next. go. you can go. yes, i plan to continue to
support the goals of the democratic party regardless of who wins the election for chair. i am doing my best to make sure that person is me. us agree, we have to get together and organize this party locally. there are a lot of changes that have to be made, both in the organization and the way that the dnc functions, whether that is more openness, whether it is being impartial or evenhanded as aninharter requires, conducting the nomination process for president in 2020. whether it is informing the members of the dnc of the past profit and loss statement and the future budget of the dnc, which i think should happen. and i expect members will keep those documents secure. whether it is protecting the
data we have at the dnc, so all of our donors, small, large, whatever, are not subjected to identity theft because the dnc did not properly handle data. there are a lot of things that have to happen. we have to listen to what is going on in the states. the states and localities best know what is going on in the country. next weekend, i plan to be in wyoming speaking to the wyoming state party, discussing with them what their goals are. they have a tough road, and hopefully the dnc will be able to help them meet those goals. i plan to raise funds, and i plan to continue my work in election protection. i have done that over the years , from the start of the registration process through the point where we count electoral votes. the process of voting is the only legitimate means in which power is transferred in this country. it is time that we protect all of it.
thank you for your attendance, and i thank you for your votes. april: thank you. keith ellison. [cheering] rep. ellison: fellow democrats, i am here to serve whether i am the chair or not. so the answer is clearly yes. if you need me to talk to state parties around the country, i will do it. i have been to 28 over the last two years. i went to nebraska, new jersey, i went down to georgia. i will do whatever you need me to do if i am the chair. i helped raise $1 million for my state party. if you need me, i will help do that. i have given millions to candidates across the country. if you need me to get down with the grassroots, i will be happy to do that. earlier today some young people
brought up 750,000 signatures on a petition supporting me for dnc chair. if you need me to get with the grassroots, i will do that. i have led and organized literally hundreds of rallies. i was at an airport rally the other day. i went to a rally this morning. we will help with these elections that we need to win. whatever it is you need me to do, i will do it because it is everybody's job to make the american people know deep in their hearts that the democratic party is here to fight for them every single day. the democratic party is here to make sure they have prosperity for their families. supportshy the afl-cio me, that is why the steelworkers supports me, that's why the communication workers support me, that's why move supports me.
if you guys win and i don't, i have a lot of service to offer just like every other dnc member in this room. thank you very much. [cheering] april: if anyone has a question, there is a microphone. stand up, and we will be going to use in -- going to you soon. i want to pose this question to candidates. dis-easea climate of among democrats -- like the aca. what will that look like? the supreme court, immigration reform, and this travel ban issue. rosary wants to ask, i want to learn your specific ideas on how you will engage with all citizens turned activists that are moving in across this country with this new movement. how would you do that?
i will go to pete, our youngest mayor. [cheers and applause] pete: the party has to have the courage of our convictions. we also have to have the humility to recognize that the job before us is to figure out where the party fits in the broader movement rather than the other way around. it is not going to all come from within the party, and that is all right. we have to stand shoulder to shoulder with activists at the local level. that is what we have done in south bend, where we had a withnt a couple weeks ago refugees from countries including iraq. one was in the u.s. because his life was in danger because he helped u.s. troops in his own home country. i've got to tell you, as someone who relied on local nationals in afghanistan who were among us, i
don't know if i could look those people in the eye right now, given the way that our country's president is treating refugees and newcomers. [applause] mayor buttigeig: we have got to tap into the moral outrage that is happening across the country, whether it is tearing a mother from her family's arms overnight. we have to do that, yet do it in a certain tone that makes more people want to do it. we oppose them by supporting each other. that's what was so beautiful about the women's march and the other direct actions that came out of it. this is the season for happy warriors. [laughter] mayor buttigieg: we have to be fierce about it, too. the hypocrisy, you can smell it. in baltimore, you can smell it all the way from washington.
i will be damned if we are going to have a draft dodging chicken hawk president of the united states who thinks he is too smart to read his own intelligence briefings, ordering people that i served with back to another continent because he can't be bothered to do his job. [cheering] april: i will post that same question to keith ellison. rep. ellison: thank you for the question. as i understood, people are feeling the pain and anxiety of this trump presidency, and how can the democratic party engaged to make sure that we convert all of this excellent energy to electoral gains? we got into this mess because we did not win an election. actually, we did not win about 1000 elections. we can win those same elections, and if i am the chair, we will do. if you want to do it, if you want a friend, you have to be one. you have to be in solidarity with the people's movement. i am telling you right here in
baltimore, when freddie gray was killed, people were hurting in the streets. i came to baltimore to hear the people listen to them and talk about how it is that we can bring real dignity to people who have not been getting it from the people who are supposed to serve them. another way we can do it is to understand that there used to be 30,000 steelworkers in baltimore, now there is about three. we need to support the labor movement. we have to say the word -- unions. that is what we have to do. we have to be there for women who just saw the most misogynistic person ever to become president. we have to stand in solidarity with our sisters and fight back. and for young people worried about dapa and daca being repealed, let me tell you, i've got folks in my community that i represent and all over this country who are worried about
the escalation of these i.c.e. raids. we have to be on the line, carrying those signs. the reason i got the support of grassroots folks is because on the picket line, i am on that line. when there is a strike vote, i am in that meeting. we will be together, standing up to convert our first amendment rights into electoral gains at the ballot boxes. thank you. [cheering] april: sally boy and brown -- sally boynton brown. ms. brown: i don't know if you in the back can see this little girl that has been running to and fro. she is amazing, such an incredible reminder that this energy that has sprung up in our country, while it may be because we have powerful fear that we need to attack and push back on, is a reminder that we are a democracy and have the ability to do that. we don't need to push it down
and construct it into anything. we need to let it continue to be organic and flow freely without putting restrictions and rules on it. the democratic party can do this by having conversations with people about what they need from us. i have heard a lot of people answer this question. i don't know that has been answered, but they know what they need from us. we need to go ask them. we need to have a conversation with the millions marching, what do you want from the party? i imagine at the end of the day it will be information. i imagine at the end of the day it will be information. they want to know when the marches are, they want to know what the issues are. we have the infrastructure to be able to do that. 150 new organizations have sprung up at least, in the last
two months. that is incredible. this fight is not just about the democratic party, this fight is about all of us. we all have a place. the democratic party is an electoral organization designed to elect democrats, and we need to do that really well. we need to become a service organization for the 21st century of electorate. that means we need to serve the needs of our members, serve the needs of her candidates and activists. those millions of people showing up to march have needs. we get to take the opportunity to ask them what their needs are, then figure out a plan. that's exactly what i hope all of our leaders will do, have a conversation with them and figure out what their needs are. april: another question -- it was an outgrowth of the last presidential election cycle. she says, should we keep superdelegates? i will go to mr. green -- this
is green. -- mrs. green. >> let me tell you all something. you cannot win a game that you are not playing. for many years, democrats and republicans have been very comfortable sitting at a table, playing monopoly, or insert whatever game you want, and in this last election cycle, not only did donald trump, but the american people flipped that table. as democrats, we have a choice. we have an opportunity in the election of the leadership. not just in the chair but across the board. we can either choose to get on pick thosend take -- pieces up and get back where that game is done, where we can -- or we can chart a new path. we have to reimagine our structures and processes. it is time to retire the updated -- outdated concept of superdelegates. [cheering]
[applause] >> that does not mean, and i say this as i look at the dnc members who are all superdelegates. we have to find a new way to honor the veterans of the party, to honor our elected officials. we have to stand shoulder to shoulder and understand that innovation and transformation is powerful, and is possible if we do it together. it can't just start or stop with superdelegates. we also have to take a good, hard look at caucuses. as a party, is we are not -- if we are not walking our values and electing a nominee through a system that disenfranchises shift workers and the disabled and seniors, and communities that we say make up this great party of ours,
then we are not the democratic party that we claim to be. april: thank you. i want to go to ray buckley with that question. >> thank you. i want to note that 12 years ago when we elected howard dean, i was the moderator, so i feel your pain today. -- this is the issue. this is how the delegation votes in the convention. let's get to the real issue, and the issue is making sure that the vote of the delegation represents the vote of the people. so i absolutely support reforming the system to fold superdelegates into the allotted delegates. when you get into the convention like in new hampshire it will be -- what have been 60% bernie, 40% hillary, and everyone would have had to say and then involved. the superdelegates is almost code for the bigger issue. the issue is about neutrality. as the chair of the new
hampshire democratic party in 2008 and 2016, there is nobody on this earth that will suggest that i put my thumb on the scales for any candidates. sorry mayor who , supported hillary. i am the one who was neutral throughout this entire nominating process. i stood there with bernie. i went in with him to make sure he got filed with the secretary -- when the secretary of state said no, you are not a democrat, you can't file. being neutral and dissolving superdelegates, we can never again signed a joint fundraising agreement with a candidate in the primary. that should never happen again. [applause] >> the debates -- no longer should the chair be able to our -- able to arbitrarily decide. decide when, how, and who debates. that should go to the dnc when we have people from all walks of life. let us about this let us make
, sure that we are actually heard when this comes. i agree, in the issue of the caucasus, we need to make sure that everyone that wants to participate can participate in -- and that the rules are the same across the country. when someone shows up in a talk, they know that it is. -- caucus, they know what it is. april: thank you. i am going to tom perez next. what do you think about that, superdelegates? tom: three of the most important principles for the chair are fairness, inclusion, and transparency. that is the main purpose of this unity commission. we need to address a wider range of issues. if i have the privilege of being your chair, i would recommend that we set the primary debate schedule long in advance of when we know who the candidates are, so that there can be no doubt that anyone is trying to put the thumb on the scales of justice. everything we do must be transparent, and it must be the product of a process that involves everybody. that is what culture change is about.
and the culture of the dnc has been far too secretive. i speak to members all the time who don't know anything until they get to the meeting. that is not right. they don't have involvement in the setting of agendas. we need to change the culture. we need to put all of those issues, whether it is superdelegates, the caucus remember in- and i nevada, you had to win the lottery in order to be able to vote in the nevada caucus. those that worked at mgm could vote and still get paid. if you worked for sheldon adelson, no such luck. that is not how this should work. that is why we need a robust unity commission. and we need to make sure we put every voice here. there are a lot of folks that have viewpoint diversity on issues of caucuses, superdelegates. april: respect, please. civility.
town: i happen to agree with ray on allegation of superdelegates. there are those that i respect that have a different point of view. one of the things i have heard is that the dnc chair all too frequently unilaterally decides how that should go. and so i want to make sure every single person, whether you are a member or not is engaged in this , process. this is about culture change. we need to be transparent. april: we are going to the dnc for question. we have a couple questions. let's move the mic around. here is the question please ask , your question. >> hi, i am from new jersey. since i only have one question i am not going to ask about why republicans frame their messages much more simpler with single words rather than we do, polysyllabic words. i'm not going to mention why we can go to constituencies, raise millions of dollars, yet not
have money to have a full-time constituency person. but i will, as member of the executive committee representing the eastern caucus, in tandem with my brother across the river in new york who could not be here, ask the candidates what do you expect from executive committee members, many of whom who have traveled across the country for a 2 or 3 hour meeting which is strictly controlled, and often at their own expenses? we have a lot of people and talent that want to do things for the party and be constructive. thank you. april: i will throw that question to sam. sam: thank you for the question.
what what i do for the dnc as dnc chair, not just in meetings, but in general? how do you play part in a democratic party where i am in charge? quite frankly you do need to be , involved. but i think it is time to look to the future. there is a lot of talent here, and we have discussed this ad nauseam. one thing we hit on his millennials and young people. there is one way to do that. you guys have the experience. you guys have done this for decades and years. it is time to adapt a mentorship role. teach me what to do. show me, as a millennial how i can be as your chair, at this table. i have to do a quick shout out. jamie was the reason i got to be at this table. he signed my position. that is leadership. that is taking a stand and showing you care and you give a damn about the little people.
april: jamie harrison, did you sign the petition? [applause] jamie: i have been a member of the executive committee now, i have been chair for 4 years, member of the executive committee for about 2.5 to 3 years. i can tell you that every meeting i have gone to, particularly over the past few years, you get an agenda that says, pledge of allegiance, new business, old business, adjournment. [laughter] jamie maybe there is a : resolution there, too. i want to give a shout out to donna. because the last executive committee meeting we had was more sensitive and engaging where all of the vice chairs got to talk. i want to thank donna for that. but we need to fundamentally change how we do meetings. we need to fundamentally change how we engage dnc members.
there are dnc members now -- let me see a show of hands -- how many of you got orientation the first time that he became a d&c attended amber and meeting at sometime this meeting? -- meeting? --e kind of worry orientation or mantle -- manual? if you don't know what your job is, how can you do it? [applause] jamie right now if you sit on : the executive committee, which is the governing body of the dnc, and you don't know the details and terms of the money spent and how contracts are given, how can you govern? how can you orchestrate what we are doing in this party? transparency and accountability have to be the way we move forward. it is the way we grow this party and rebuild the trust in this party. trust is an important thing in any relationship. we lost the trust of voters.
we have also lost the trust of the members in the dnc. and we have to regain that. what i would do as chair is make sure that we do everything we can to engage members and have them participate so that we rebuild the trust. [applause] peter: question about what to do with the executive committee? as far as i am concerned, it -- there are various ways to phrase it. it is easier i think to discuss matters with members of the executive committee, which is less than 447 people. to my way of thinking, the executive committee will be in regular contact, as i would be as chair, with members of the dnc, but i think using the talents of members of the executive committee in areas where the dnc has to focus, organizing local organizing, , candidates election, fundraising, election protection -- the whole host of other things, developing a platform
and getting ready for a conventions selecting candidates , and winning elections. there are a whole bundle of issues. to the extent that i could get advice using the trades and professional background, training, and experience of the executive committee, that would be of great assistance. if i am chairman, that is the way i intend to use the executive committee. april: thank you. i will go to robert as well. everyone has had two questions. robert what would you do for the , executive committee? robert: i feel that members of the executive committee, when they first arrived, they should be able to report back what they have done first, where they live in the states, and the part of the democratic party where they are located. and what else have they done? have they reached out to democrats abroad? have they reached out to college democrats? have they reached out to the
local democrats that may be running? have they brought issues to the table that are pertinent for the dnc to get involved in? i feel that this kind of conversation has to be two ways, not one way. we have to engage all the democrats. we have to engage our brothers and sisters who are usually not involved. how many neighborhood meetings have you gone to as a democrat to recruit, to register, to reach out and have a conversation with him -- them? what is a saying, how are they feeling? that is critical. we need to be seen in the community on issues that people normally don't feel our -- our democratic or republican issues. housing, health care -- those kinds of -- playground events, rec center events -- we need to be seen in the community
to being a part of the community so that people know that we really care and are not elitist, just wanting to come to chicken dinners and receptions and travel around the country. thank you. april: thank you. let's go back to the floor for questions for the dnc. dnc member? >> thank you, i am from california. in the interest of time, my those whos only for are currently not on the administrative side or state leadership. i want to know, what have you done in your record, concrete example that backup empowering state parties? april: go ahead. >> let me tell you what we have done in indiana, mike pence's indiana. where neither the last, best
where nevertheless, -- where nevertheless winning for democrats in mike pence's indiana. first of all we have to recognize that you have to show up everywhere. i cut my teeth running for statewide office. i went to 89 counties. i was on hand for the breaking of the world record for the most chicken fried chicken assembled in one place. they decided the canoe festival in franklin county set a world record. you just have to show up. since becoming mayor, i've been able to do that in new ways. i have been able to raise money for our state party able to support terrific candidate like helping joe taylor, a state , representative. the first african-american in a long time to represent our area indianapolis. he is just the kind of guy we need to be standing up for. we were able to help him win in a purple district, even in the face of that trump wave. as a party, we have to do a better job of engaging our local officials and to be doing more for the state and national party. as a mayor, you have that local to the media,
and your own fund-raising networks. frankly, very little is asked of me by the national party. we have a better opportunity to wire that up. it is symptomatic of what we have to do broadly as a party, which is simply show up. the 50 plus state strategy is gone now. it was controversial at the time it was introduced but it , worked. not just because money and resources were going to the state party. that was critical, but not sufficient. it works because of the structure of it, which i am afraid we have gotten away from in more recent years. and that was that resources were distributed according to a plan that was formed in a pattern of respectful and close working partnerships formulated by the chairs in partnership with the dnc, not simply pushed down from washington, and certainly not a fire and forget distribution of resources. april: thank you very much. [cheering]
>> thank you. >> i walk, i campaign, i call to get democrats elected in the district of columbia. anita, i worked to get her chair of our state party. i campaign former and works for her, and blessedly, she was successful. bowser, -- mayor amelia bowser -- i have been working for democrats and getting them elected since jimmy carter. i was not a part of any state committee. i am also a retired military veteran. [applause] >> i can stand the principles of the democratic party where people don't want to your that, best here that, in front of
people who want to criticize the democratic party. i defend the party and the issues we support. i am not afraid to lean in and tell people why it is beneficial to be a democrat. that their livelihood has improved because of the principles and policies that are supported by the democratic party. we need democrats that are not republican-lite. [applause] april: alright, sam. sam: thank you for that question. thertunately, i was in military for 5.5 years and i was not able to be part of the democratic party until i was starting to run. what i saw in my personal experience in warren county, ohio, what you may not know is we are extremely republican. you said, how would i engage with the state?
honestly, i don't think the state is what's important in this question. it is, how do we engage at the local level? once we take care of the ground floor, doing her job standing up upt -- fighting and standing for democratic values, will take care of the state in and of itself. the state has to only focus its efforts on stage, and congressional races. what needs to have happen is a very strong and integrated local community. and that is what we don't have. we don't have a presence in over 3000 counties. we lost rural america over 30 years. that is why they don't like us. that is why they don't trust us. and so how do we engage with them? everyone is talking about talking to people, getting us on board. i am doing it. this list right here. many of you may have been watching me, and have probably seen me, like who is this guy wearing a sweater asking me questions? i have been asking every single one of you that i came across
today what you would do if you could be the democratic chair for a day? what is that one thing? that is leadership, listening, and engaging, and that is what we need to do. that is what we have not been doing for 30 years. that is what we need to be talking about. [applause] april: do you fit the gentleman's criteria, mr. ellison? keith: i have never been part of the state party. i'm not as a party chair. let me tell you, i am from the great state of minnesota. we have the highest voter turnout in the state in the whole country. that's because i work with my state party on turnout. when i first got congress, my district had the lowest turnout, and now it has the highest turnout and consistently has the highest turnout. [applause]
keith i have raised over $1 : million to my state party. the reason that ken martin is a strong supporter of mine is because ken knows that i am an excellent partner for him. we are not just friends, we are partners. ken called me and said, hey keith, would you mind going to nevada to help work out some issues in terms of unity? i got on the phone, connected mike -- with my good friend roberta and we sat in a room for , five hours working out unity issues because my state party chair asked me to for his state party chair. let me tell you i have given , money and then the speaker at 6 congressional districts in st. cloud, 7 in minnesota, 4th, 5th -- all over the state of minnesota. and i also helped other state parties. i gave $5,000 to the louisiana state party to help then when, dashed them win, and they
won the governor's office in louisiana. i have been to nebraska to speak at the state party. i have been to utah and many others. i could keep going, actually i have been to 28 states. if you are a state party chair and are looking for a good partner in the dnc chair, i am that guy. i have been there for you, and i will there be for you. [applause] keith: the reason is very simple. you are where the votes are. d.c., but wein have to have d.c. become a state two. 51 state strategy. but you guys are closest to the voter and want to be where the voters are. thank you. april: peter? is there anybody else that fits this question's criteria? peter: the question is, what have i done to empower state parties? specifically, i am talking about
the state party of wisconsin. i've help the candidates campaign. how have i campaigned? it's 97 degrees, it is the four best fall primary and there is a needs doorle that hangers on every door. people don't know what i mean because it is all electronic these days. anyway, the idea is if you take a piece of literature and carry it around and hang it on every door. 97 degrees, and we covered a square-mile that day. i did it. in the next day, people had to get rides to the polls, so i drove people to the polls. they wanted numbers reported from the polls, so over 10 or 20 locations i had to hit an -- instantaneously at 10:00, 1:00, 4:00, and 6:00 area best. -- 6:00. i contribute money to candidates, made an interesting suggestion one day -- there is a
problem with optical scan ballots. if they are not printed, the vote does not register properly. we were getting reports that ballots elsewhere when i getting best in the country were not getting properly printed. if that happened in wisconsin, we would lose a lot of votes for barack obama. so i mention this is a meeting, and i take this to heart. i said there is this problem with how they are putting the best printing the ballots. we ought to check it. someone said, that is a great idea. i ended up checking each ballot -- not all 400,000, but i ended in eaching each ballot of the 312 boards in the city of milwaukee. i have contributed money to candidates and have done a number of other things to turn out the vote, particularly on election day to make sure the rights of our voters are not surprised the polls. suppressed at the polls. --suppressed at the polls. that is a partial list of what i have done to empower the state party.
april: thank you sir. [applause] to -- and's go followed by tom perez. >> i was baptized in the democratic party as the executive director of texas young democrats. [applause] >> i think one of the issues in this conversation is that we all focus on the 50 state strategy, a strategy developed over a decade ago is not going to cut it in this unprecedented political reality. we need a new strategy. we need someone who is a strategist. we need someone who is an organizer. in this unprecedented moment, we don't need another politician. so while i started off as a texas young democrat and spent time doing grassroots fundraising, running the democratic national committee's office of women, i have worked outside of the party and built progressive institutions.
when we talk about the millennial generation, i am sorry, it is not enough. it does a dishonored to say to turnout the millennials, elect a millennial. you should look at the person who was on the stage and actually innovative and increased turnout by 11% as president of rock the vote. look to the person who has helped change the conversation around immigration as founder of "define american." look for someone who has actually succeeded in the corporate sector, and yet at the same time has always worked to put pressure on our party to better itself. that is what this moment calls for. if we do not recognize that business as usual is not going to cut it, politics as usual is not going to cut it. the strategy that is needed to address what has been upended in our political system is not going to come from doing the
same things we have done in the past. so i have worked with this party. i have advocated outside. i have built progressive is thations, and that is the leadership we need. [applause] >> strong parties have strong partners. one of the partners is in this room, a remarkable organization, that 30 years ago was in the basement of a church. now we are confident d.c., a d.c.,maryland, -- cas casa pennsylvania helped me be the first latino elected to the maryland county council in maryland. it highlights the element of culture change. you will hear me talk a lot about we need to change the culture of the dnc. there are three dimensions to culture change. we need to define the dnc as
more than someone who helps elect a president. we need to be electing people from the school board to the senate by helping to build strong parties. we build strong parties when we have strong partners. the second dimension of that culture change is making sure that we are coordinating with our partners like casa maryland, like the labor unions, like planned parenthood, making sure we are standing up for them when planned parenthood is getting attacked, when the union movement is under assault, when my friends at usc w or the farmworkers or brick layers are under assault. we need to change the culture so we are with them. we need to make sure we are doing all of this. culture change involves talking talking to you as well. as i mentioned before the dnc , members are the most underutilized folks i have seen in a long time. that is how we change culture, when we have a turnaround agent. i have done turnaround in scale.
the department of labor that i inherited was second from the bottom in best places to work. when i left, we were number six, we were in the top third. how? good leaders listen. they listen to their state party partners. they ask the most important questions that you can ask, which is, what do you think? [cheering] april: let me open to the floor for another question. question from the dnc members, let's go to the floor. >> yes, i just want to bring us back to structure. i hear a lot of things. i wanted to applaud you all for the excitement and enthusiasm. this question, i want to exclude those who are either party chairs or those who have worked for the party. how many of the rest of you have your county either
committee, state committee, or a national committee meeting? not a fundraiser, but meeting. april: raise your hands if this vote applies to you. >> thank you. the next question is, how many of you have read the charter -- i see that you are doing this, i wonder why. oh, i see they are doing this, i want to know what the history is? how many of you have read the charter and asked questions about how weought go forward? april: raise your hands. thank you. that was a fast lightning round. on that line, we have a question from someone from baltimore. when will the dnc speak about what we are for? a big question mark. "we speak on what persons we are against, but don't put a face on
the people and politics that give us trouble and anxiety." amen. [laughter] iem, by nature, an optimistic, positive person who fights for what i believe it. i have had to do some soul-searching since trump won to say that is still who im by nature, and we also have this narcissist at the head of our country that we have to fight against. and as i have been doing that soul-searching, i have had conversations with others doing the same. trying to figure out how we fit into this conversation, and how do we balance that out? what i know is that people who fight against do that really well. they know what they are fighting
against and they are very vocal about it. i think we have seen that in the last year and the last two months. and so what i decided is we need to give them the information they need to keep fighting against, and keep empowering them to do that. what i know for myself is that the democratic party has not been providing me, the state of idaho, and our country the positive national brand that we , can deliver our values to the people of america. [applause] >> we absolutely need, maybe more than anything else, to embrace who we are. i heard someone earlier saying that we are having an identity crisis. i call bs on that. i don't think we are having an identity crisis. any democrat will tell you why they are a democrat. we just need that positive message to deliver to go out and talk about who we are. there are so many people doing
great work in -- you are democrats in our country, and we need to tell those stories. we need to find out the city council person who is doing the minimum wage bill. april: thank you. ray buckley, followed by jimmy harrison. rate: thank you. -- ray: thank you. my answer might cost me this race. i'm sorry. while many of you know that i am openly gay, what many of you don't know is that i came from the lowest of the white working class. let me tell you, when we are running hundreds of millions of dollars worth of commercials telling the voters, oh, our opponent is offensive. when you are worrying about your dm -- damn paycheck your job,
, whether your kids are going to school, they don't really give a crap about if the president is an insult dog. the reality is that we did not offer a positive message. we did not offer a positive message to anyone i ever later to -- i am related to. we did not offer a message to my neighbors. we did not offer a message to the people in indiana or ohio or pennsylvania or kentucky. what we did is say, how offensive. grow up. that is not reality for most of america. [applause] april: jaime harrison, thank you. jb: ray had a drop the mic moment. [laughter] jamie: our problem has not been telling people what we believe in and what our values are. that is the problem. we have been telling it to them and not showing it to them. [applause] grade socialinth studies teacher. when i always thought my kids
is with power hoping to persuade someone is when you show and not tell. we have been telling families and working people for decades that we are fighting for them. the question is when do we start showing that to them? in south carolina, i started a program based on this concept of show, not tell, called "south carolina democrats care." it is based on this idea that you don't have to be in power in order to empower people. so we actually go into the community, doing service projects, changing peoples' lives. we have to transform this party. a politicalme organization who begs for votes every two or three years. we have to change from that. we have to become a community organization that is working on a grassroots level to help people solve the issues they are faced with. [applause]
jamie: one example, sumter county, south carolina. every august there are tons of working families, black and white, latino, who can't supply school supplies for their kids. we do a school supplies drive with the "democrats care" banner underneath it. people say, think you to the -- thank you to the democratic party because you just helped me get school supplies for my kids. resume skills and workshops, helping people with their kids -- that is how you change a party and built trust with the people. my friends, we have to go from telling people, to showing. [applause] >> hi, i need a lewis. -- i'm yvette lewis.
i am a former chair of the maryland democratic party. this is great. welcome to my state. i'm so proud to have you here. a couple of questions back, when secretary perez was speaking, i heard some passion in the room interrupting him. i am not going to call it anger, but i will call it passion, because that is what it is. my question for you is, how do we get past that? where we can come together? what is your formula for getting us past that? because we cannot move forward if we continue to swim in this quicksand of anger. that anger needs to be directed at donald trump, not anybody on this stage. [cheering] >> and since that passion erupted during tom perez' statement, let's ask him, how would you handle that?
tom: first of all, thank you to your question, and thank you to everyone who is here. a party without passion is not a party. people without passion are not going to get anything done. this -- when i hear passion it reminds me of thanksgiving dinner in my house. we have a lot of passion, a lot of viewpoint diversity. but the way we move forward as a party is to remind ourselves of what our values are. when we lead with our values, we win. the reality is when you look at everybody on this dais, we have those progressive values of inclusion, of opportunity. hubert humphrey said the moral test of our strength as a nation is how we treat those in the dawn of life twilight of life, , the elderly, and how we treat those in the shadows of life. that has been the story of our public service for those on this dais. i am proud of my public service,
and the fight i have fought whether it's taking down joe , arpaio, whether it's taking on the fight for marriage equality here in maryland and across the country. whether it's taking on wall street, addressing police reform, i am proud of all of those fights that i have fought. i am proud of the battles i have fought to ensure that people with disabilities have a fair shake in this country. the reality is, folks, i don't have a monopoly on those values. everybody shares those values. what we need to do moving forward is to understand that reality, so that we can do ette said which , is to train our energies in unity on the most destructive and dangerous person effort to -- ever to hold the presidency of the united states, and that is donald trump. [applause] and his folks in the republican
party for the most part have a sock in their mouth, so we have to do it together. [cheering] april: thank you. keith ellison? keith: one of the most important things for me to say right now is that we are all friends up here. we admire each other, we respect each other. [applause] q i can assure you that when tom : -- keith: i can assure you that when tom was secretary of labor, i had no better friend. he was a tireless advocate, and i want everyone to know that i respect him, i like him. he is my friend. i was telling people earlier today, that cat is really articulate. [cheering] keith i was bragging on pete : because of how dogged he is in protecting our votes. i could go on and on about how gifted these people are. this is a family meeting. this is a family meeting.
and i just want to say this. [applause] keith we have to understand : this, democrats -- the democratic party is not for the democrats, it is for the american people. we are all agents of the american people, and we must fight for them all the time. we can never be confused about who the problem is. tom mentioned trump, absolutely, but don't forget kasich, don't forget schneider, all of these states with bad guys denying people water, health care, denying people a right to choose. denying people all of this stuff. i am telling you right now, we need each other. we have nobody to lose in this fight. that is why i liked the first question. we are for a lot of stuff. i am for comprehensive immigration reform. i am for lgbt rights. i am absolutely for the muslim group of democrats that came to
see me earlier today that said we are going to be involved. we are not going to be scared. we are going to stand up with our fellow democrats and stand up strong. they know that you care about them. speak well of democrats. speak highly of democrats. don't be afraid to be one. april: thank you sir. [applause] ray buckley? rate: -- grade: -- ray: i think each of us, and i want to applaud both tom and what keith has been able to bring to this race. the energy in this room is very apparent. the fact is though that what they have all pledged to do, we are all in this together. we do not have the luxury of complaining. to look atwere asked this, and if you are supporting
keith, that is fine, if you are supporting thomas, that is fine, but i still want you to read this. what it is is a plan. it is not a plan that i just thought of. it is a plan that i wrote on a piece of yellow legal pad in december when we were at the state chairs meeting. word for word, this is what i have spent my life working on. whether i am chair or not chair, i don't care. this plan talks about the nominating process, transparency and accountability for the state parties. talk about strengthening the state parties and making sure that the dnc is open and accessible to everybody. it talks about how we win. so i want you to take it. you can steal it. you can go home and tell everybody those are your ideas. because i don't care. i don't think anybody here cares about who is going to get credit. we know one thing, we have to start winning again. we have to stand up to donald trump, the republican members of congress, republican
governors republican , legislators, mayors, and city councils, and we can win. we can win in new jersey this year we can win in virginia this , year. we can win across kentucky in the municipal elections. if we get our act together, emphasis together, we can have an amazing 2018. that is if we start. we have to start the day after the election. the election is on the 25th. the 26th, we need to start together. [applause] april: jamie? jamie: i agree with everything that everyone said. it all falls to simple humanistic things like trust, , respect. it is about the diversity of our party. we are a diverse party. strength.greatest along with diversity comes great challenges sometimes.
the same come from place, you have the same experiences. this party, wen diversity ishat when a party fall apart. i'm not talking about what you look like, who you love, or do you praise, i'm talking about diversity of thought. member i am a democratic of south carolina, my experience may be different from a democrat from new jersey, and kentucky, and california. but at the end of the day, do we fight for equal opportunity for all? we have to find the foundation of our party and build upon that . it gives me great pause. i got into a twitter fight or something yesterday with with -- with donald trump yeah, i should
get into one with him. but someone was asking if i support mansion democrats? i support anyone who was a democrat. known is being a democrat. i will support anyone who is going to give us a gavel to fight against this crazy supreme -- that donalds trump's setting, i want to give the gavel back to nancy pelosi. that is 218 goes. i don't care if that's where it came from as long as we can pass what we need. april, thank you, jenny. i hope you will be able to discuss what we can do to get more small bills this desk is this in the party -- business in the party.
speaking of the president, my question has to do with the lessons learned of the past. we greatly admire the work that has been done in the last eight years, but there is a feeling that mistakes have been made, which in the long run have put us in a weaker position than we were in eight years ago, and i don't think anyone did this on purpose. everyone had the best of intention, but what were the mistakes that we made, and how we we make them better so have a stronger democratic party going into the next four years and clean up this mess in the caucus? april: are you speaking with no,l business? >> generally. >> one of the things me and my husband talked about the other day was investing in democrats. that is finding out who democratic small businesses are in our community so we can send our money. i think there is a lot more the supportingabout
democratic small businesses first, and moving forward with an economic platform to support governments like in idaho. i am excited about the opportunity we have in front of us, and i think we will be remiss, and all of the fear that is out there of what could happen, and to not remind ourselves how powerful we are, and that we have this opportunity to really hit the reset on the democratic party. the issue for me is not so much looking back and saying what mistakes have been made, the issue is recognizing that the world has moved on and the party has not. we are disconnected from the american people, and from each other. it is vital that we take this opportunity to assess our
purpose. the way we form partnerships and the way we do our business -- it's not working. it is not working when you look at the numbers, talk to the people, or talk to americans in general. i don't know anybody who feels like they are a party insider. and there are some people who have access to more people than i do and they do not feel like an insider. we get the opportunity to figure out how we operate in a 21st century electorate with innovative, resilient ways that allow us to keep up with the times. the world moves so fast and our party has got to figure out how to move with it. april: thank you, jamie? the last time we were in the wilderness? it was in 2004. lost all of tenant bonds --
tenenbaum's senate races. there was complete republican control. they controlled everything. and then something changed in 2006. that is when howard dean came in to to the dnc, worked with state parties, and enacted the 50 state strategy. the won the house and the senate. we won and states we never thought we would win on. we won in kansas. and then what did we do in 2008? we also the white house. the 50 state strategy and strengthening all of the state parties, and putting barack obama's great nomination on top of that. and then we did nothing. we shifted from being the democratic national committee to becoming a democratic national presidential committee where all we focused on was the presidency and nobody else. it was great that we had complete control and washington,
d.c., but let me tell you, the people in south carolina were still suffering because we had a republican governor and republican legislature. there are 300,000 people who still do not have health care in south carolina because we took our eye off the ball. we cannot leave any democrat or democratic party behind. we have to focus and energize and build capacity in every state party in this nation. states of new jersey, maryland, maine, massachusetts, vermont -- what do they all have in common? republican governors. they are blue states with republican governors, and that is because republicans do not feed any territory to us. we have to start doing that to ourselves. we have to be about all of the states. >> thank you. tom perez? [applause] tom i totally agree with what : you said. in addition, we did not make house calls in 2016. we forgot to talk to people.
i am a big believer of data and analytics, but that does not replace good old-fashioned doorknocking, my friends. going to the charge every fourth of october is not organizing, and that is where we lost places ms. constant. we got our butts kicked in rural wisconsin. milwaukee and we got our butts kicked in rural wisconsin. we didn't communicate our values to people. when donald trump says i am going to bring those coal jobs back, we know that is a lie. our response was, vote for us because he's crazy. i will stipulate to that, but that is not a message. we have got to move forward and we got to make sure that we get back to that strategy, but here are some of the things that i have seen in my listening that we are doing that we got to take to scale. we have to do more candidate training as part of the core mission of the dnc. like they are doing in new
have a where they program that helps operatives. it is doing very well and we have to keep doing that. we have to totally reorient our approach to voter protection and empowerment because voter , suppression is one of the biggest threats to our democracy that is out there. that is why i called for a dedicated unit of voter protection and empowerment where we play defense and offense , working together with you, like they are doing in virginia where they have a dedicated voter protection officer. when we do that, we succeed and we need to have a center for best practices so we can go in -- and say, hey, alaska, you flipped your house democrats. how did you do it? a kansas you won 14 seats in the , state house. how did you do it? the answer is without any help from the dnc. we have to change that. [applause] april: thank you, sir.
>> for people who do not make it into rooms like this they hear , platitudes and promises, but they don't hear answers. and so i think there are a number of questions that are then asked for there haven't been specific answers. platitudes and promises will not address the passion that event -- that yvette spoke about. we have to have a d&c later that -- dnc leader that is going to speak truth to power and say very specifically, i acknowledge the wounds of bernie sanders's supporters who feel that they were left out of this election unfairly. and i also acknowledge the wounds of hillary clinton's supporters who feel that sexism and misogyny has been too rampant in our party and in the media on how she was treated. and we have to have a leader who will speak truth to power to this institution of the democratic party and say, we
ourselves have sexism, racism, and bigotry within our own ranks and we have too much complexity. so to answer your question the , obama years were great in the lifting us out of recession, but they decimated the dnc. the clinton campaign treated this institution with disrespect. and so we need a leader who is going to speak truth to power and put actual specific plans in place. so i ask each of you to go to webpage and look at my plans to rebuild, rebrand, and reengage so we can win again as democrats. the time for platitudes and promises is over. we have to start answering questions. your question about the charter -- we have raised our hands. if you're in the session for the vice chair, that group that set up the table don't have a real job or real resources. so as chair of the dnc, i would
make sure we look at the charter in every sense and give the money and the jobs. thank you. april: thank you. [applause] >> so, i am going to take the gloves off. you talked about truth to power i was the one that started that , in houston. you want to talk about telling people that the d&c is the only people who get to decide the fate and future millions of americans? i believe you said each of you to carry the weight and burden of 150,000 lives. that is an awesome responsibility and one that alludes to the superdelegates. let's take that word for example superdelegates, greater than a , regular delegate. that means that those superdelegates, 500 of them, had the same weight as 25% of the entire voting base, millions of votes. that is undemocratic. you want to talk about two to to power -- iruth am the only candidate at this
table who has sworn to not take corporate and lobbyist money. that is not the way we do business in the democratic party. you want to talk about more truth to power? we need open primaries. we need open debates. we need to get rid of exclusivity. think everyone has borrowed from my detroit, phoenix, and my interviews. tom, i think has adopted my policy. you want to talk about leadership? that is leadership, leading by example. now, to retract the clause. -- claws. have been pretty insensitive, i have been inciting, and i have been doing the passion. because i am a part of that passion and i got 30 seconds left. let me see if i can bring it home. we have been hurting as a country. millennials, progressives, conservatives. libertarians. we have been at war with each other and we have been hurting for decades and we have been
waiting for a person to step up and say, enough is enough. we are americans. we are americans first and foremost. we need to talk with each other, we need to compromise. that is politics. until we do that, none of these plans, none of these people will work. [applause] >> thank you. >> i want to be very clear. every single word that has already been uttered and about to be uttered i agree with. i will skip forward. i will skip forward. the question was, what is the democratic party going to do about small business, and how will be better connect? here is the solution i just thought of. [laughter] earlier today, you heard from senator maggie hassan from new hampshire, the only democrat to be republican u.s. senator and a purple state, by the way. [applause] let me tell you, $75 million was
spent on her campaign. let me were people that, $75 million. what if -- what if we had taken $10 million of that and hired 100 full-time workers and $50,000 a year for two years? but the corporate media in new york over ever that owns all the television stations, let them take the $65 -- let them take the $65 million. give me the $10 million. when we get into those communities and talk to people, and those 100 employees will be buying things from small businesses. it will be going to the
restaurants, maybe renting, may be buying a new car and investing in the communities and make the economy grow. we have got to get off on that money train that we are spending $1 billion of corporate media and we can invest right in our own communities. [applause] >> time left over. >> my good friend earlier said he'd would say some in the public cost him the election. what i know -- what i'm going to say i know will. we are good at speaking and saying, speak power, speak truth. but what we don't do is speak to to each other. hillary rodham clinton did not win the democratic nomination because of superdelegates. she won because democrats across america voted for her. it is just that clear. [applause] but we did is we booed, but we did not vote.
the protested, but we did not vote. we got mad, but we did not turn that madness, that anger into passion and vote for the democratic nominee. that is what happened. some of us walked away in november, and some of them are in this room. you want to talk truth? that is the truth. [applause] and one more truth. [applause] statehood for d.c. is good for the democratic party. [applause] if you wanted 30 seconds, you got them. >> thank you.
>> i think the question was about where we have gone wrong? and i think the challenge is we got to learn from the past without reliving it. i did not love losing the primary the first time. i don't know why they want to -- i don't know why we would want to live through it a second time. sorry, but i am horse from campaigning. what motivated me to get into this race is that we cannot allow this to devolve into a struggle. we cannot pretend the status quo is ok, or that everything went along just fine. we got to move forward. if the outcome of this dnc chair race is that half the party feels like it has been sent packing, we are going to be that much further on the back for dealing with the real opposition.
so, everybody has that their theory of what happened. let me tell you what i noticed in my part of the country in the industrial midwest. by the way, it is entertaining for us from a diverse city in the industrial midwest a semi-find ourselves subject of exotic fascination of political analysts on the coasts steadiness. we are not even a complicated. we just want people to talk to us and talk in terms that relate to our actual lives. we spent so much time talking about the politicians like that is what really matters. [applause] i was guilty of it. i have the button when we were campaigning that said -- i am with her. and then when we realized what the opponent was, it was all about him. he is terrible. but the people at home are saying, who was talking to me? everything we say has to be
explained in terms of people's actions. real lives. >> thank you, peter. thank you. [applause] >> the question was about lessons learned. this is a forward-looking response to that, and my response should be taken this way. early this afternoon, i sent out a proposal to all the members of the democratic national committee, to all the members of the press here, concerning forward-looking actions by the democratic national committee to protect our most precious asset. one of our principal assets, which is a nomination for president of the united states. that proposal has been endorsed by seth waxman. seth waxman was a solicitor general of the united states from 1997 to 2001. it is also on my website.
the proposal and the solicitor general if the person principally responsible for representing the united states of america before that united states supreme court. that proposal provides that anybody who is going to campaign for beer a recognized candidate -- to campaign or be recognized candidate for the office of president vice president in our party, or gets the nomination, will agree ahead of time in writing, both before the primary start and right after the convention, that in the event after the polls close, the chair of the party notifies the candidate in writing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an effort to challenge an apparent flaw and any case or congressional district in the state with congressional district are
awarded one vote each, the nominee will provide cooperation to the dnc to contest the results behalf of the nominee. and i will continue drop the process. >> thank you. >> that cannot take my time did it? >> no, you have two minutes. >> friends, the question was, what about small business and what went wrong? that was the question. i just want to say that i think would happen with small business can explain what went wrong. we stopped telling the american people that we are fighting for them every single day. we stopped telling working people who work hard every day
that the democratic party is all about them. let me tell you, small business people are working people. you know, let me tell you -- 56% of all americans have less than $1000 in the bank. many of those people might have been former union members or current union members who said i will start a hustle on the site and get a business going. you know what? we have to understand that small businesses have to be a part of our constituency. we cannot say republicans are the pro-business party. we got to be the pro-business party who says we are the ones protecting our people from monopoly. look, if you go down to louisiana, it is a shrimp and business, an oyster bed. we have to set up a small business council and organize among small business people. we have to get small business
people understanding that we are going to be there advocates fighting for them every day. [applause] there are people out there who are like i got a great union job, but i have always had a didn't open up a barbershop. the democratic party has to be the kind of party that says we are going to fight to make sure you can do that. we have to use small business defenders. the dnc does a lot of business, millions of dollars. we ought to do business with small businesses of people of color and women. >> thank you, sir. thank you, sir. wow. [applause] you know, this has been a very great day for me. i have never seen this before. as a white house correspondent nearly 20 years, this is my first time, and it is great to see how democracy, at least a piece of democracy begins to work.
yes. [applause] one of these 10 on the state will be the next head of the democratic national committee. the votes are in later this month in atlanta. one of these can. i want you -- one of the ten. i want you to give them a big round of applause. we are not done yet. [applause] yes, yes give them a big round of applause. [applause] this is not an easy task. this is not an easy task. they may be going up against what we see right now in the white house. with that, we are out of time, but what we will have our closing statements, one minute each. each, ok, watch it now. we are going to start off with
sally brown, one minute. and that give her a microphone. sally: one of the reasons i decided to run for care is i was not hearing enough of the how? as i have gone through this process, i have an 11 page plan of the how. what it boils down is one-on-one conversations and one-on-one connections. we need to teach the people of america how to talk to the people in america. we simply disagree on too much and are focusing on the things we disagree on. i have spent five plus hours a day on social media since i decided to run for chair, and i have had conversations purposefully with the people i disagree with the most. i have had a lot of conversations with republicans and independents and democrats who have left the party and don't want to come back. we all need to be having those conversations because it is by building relationships with each other that we will find our way back into this country.
i challenge each of you to reach out to somebody you disagree with. the next time somebody disagrees with you, don't walk away. >> thank you so much. jamie? jamie: one of the teams we sometimes forget is that this is a job in this job has some responsibilities. that main responsibility is building a party. not being spokesperson, but building a party. in that, i think there are four things -- we need a builder, someone with a history of building parties. putting the systems together and empowering and giving capacity to those parties. somebody who is an organizer, organize and the diversity of our party. someone who is a visionary looking past two to four years and looking long-term. how big block party be? but most important, someone who is a fighter. and i am not saying fighting against donald trump, but someone who has been through
some things. someone who has seen some things and can relate to the challenges that american people are facing on a day-to-day basis. i believe i have those characteristics, and i can be a great dnc chair. [applause] >> politics is the people business. public service is the people business. it is why copy people like elliott. it is about helping the union member who lost her job and we help her get back on her feet. that is what this is about. making sure we put our values into action every day, opportunities and inclusion help says win votes. our values of the values of the majority of americans. what we need in the dnc chair is somebody who can take that fight to donald trump. someone who can bring together the entire party. some of what they proven track rep fighting. and someone who has a track
record of a turnaround agent at scale. this is a big turnaround job. it require someone who has done that. i have had the privilege of doing that at four different agencies throughout my career, and i would love the privilege of being your leader so we can put our values into action. thank you. [applause] >> the stakes are too high for business as usual. the chair of the dnc needs to be a strategist, a seasoned organizer, and a fierce messenger. someone who understands these unique times we are living in. someone who understands this institution in both the inside and out, and someone who is not afraid to tackle the long-standing challenges that we have faced as a party. if we think that this challenge is only focused on donald trump
or on what happened in 2016, then that is not telling the whole story. so we do have this opportunity to transform the party. we have an opportunity to move from politics to purpose. and i want to be a champion to help us do that. i want to be a champion to make sure that women who are not just the backbone of our democracy, but they are the backbone of this party. that they are celebrated, trained, and mentored. and i want to be a champion to make sure that we as a party take this unique opportunity for transformation. >> thank you. [applause] >> the question is, where do we go from here? we talk about leadership, but who really embodies leadership? let's define it. leadership is i and the hero, i
have done this, i can do all of these things. that is a manager. an administrator. a leader is someone who empowers was walked the walk, talk the talk and is doing it as we speak. it is not so much that we need to forget the past and look to the future because that is not enough. fdr was our prime example of what it is to be a democrat. i alluded to this before. we are hurting and we need a chance to heal. there has only been one candidate that need to heal and address the needs of others and has been doing that the entire time. it is not so much that i am the most qualified person on paper because you cannot put leadership on a resume. it is something you are and live and you need to be inspired and have hope again. if we don't, it does not matter how much we do. >> thank you. ray buckley? ray: i encourage you to go on to my website. ray4dnc.org. you will see specific plans and proposals.
a lot of this is a race to see who should be the driver of the car. we don't understand that the cars broken down on the side of the road. we need someone who can lift the of the hood and fix the damn car, and that is my record because i get results. you look at my plan about changing the nominating system, my plan of opening the dnc and straightening the party, and nobody can match that. you look at my record estate care, more democrats have won races in new hampshire in our state's history. we have won those races and i will do that as chair. >> thank you, sir. robert? >> i want to thank april and donna and julie in the city of baltimore.
it is an wonderful being here this afternoon. [applause] and also with so many good democrats. when you go to church, your pastor has a way of saying look to your neighbor. look to your neighbor and tell them that we democrats are stronger together than we are fighting one another. we are stronger together than being opposed to the kinds of things that brought us here. and we will be stronger together when d.c. get statehood. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, sir. peter? >> thank you. thanks for the opportunity to be here and thank you for everything you do for the democratic party, everybody in
this room. when i ran for mayor when i first ran five or six years ago, our city was on a list of 10 dying cities in america. and i ran based on the idea that a fresh start to bring our city back. now we are extending the fastest population growth and a quarter century. i got reelected with 80% of the vote, not because i shop for some ideological thing, but because we delivered results. i want to deliver the same kind of result of the democratic party that needed now more than ever. [applause] we are the party that speaks to everybody. trust. you cannot always tell what somebody's politics are. we have got to speak to everyone. we stand up for them.
it was my privilege to participate in the women's march. groupas a forward-looking looking forward to accomplish their goals. a society where legal rights are guaranteed in the constitution. our party has to make a lot of changes. agent toyself as an bring this about. no budget is not the way i intend to run the dnc. available be a budget and we will make the changes
thank you very much for coming to the event today. >> we are in a moment where if you love this country, it is we need all of this energy to turn this country around. we need a country where human rights are held up to if you want electoral success, i think i am the candidate. i have the highest turnout district in highest turnout state. somebody to raise
resources, i have raised over $1 million. i have raised it from thousands of small donations. by a want you to know -- thank you very much for your support. here are your candidates for chair of the democratic national committee. here are your candidates. one of these will be the new chair of the democratic national committee. it is almost over. at this time, it has been fun to be with you. evening,ng, good baltimore. thank you very >> thank you, candidates. this concludes our final forum.
let me thank the candidates and officers. we would like to think the height hotel, the baltimore convention center, the volunteers, the staff. over half of the dnc members have attended these events. there are buses on price street to take you back. one final announcement. if you lost a purse, please go to the public safety office. one final announcement did all fold upidates please your signs or you will be fined.
we would rather spend money getting democrats elected could help us clean up this place. god bless you all. we will see you in atlanta. god bless you, democrats. can't bless you, america. >> here on c-span, washington journal is next. at 10:00, newsmakers with republican senator rand paul from kentucky. later a look at security and counterterrorism strategy in afghanistan with army general john nicholson who testified today's "washingtonn journal," usa today commentary editor jill lawrence talked about the art of the political deal, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at how legislating and consensusbuilding actually unfolds on capitol hill.
tufts university professor karen jacobson describes the current screening process for refugees entering the u.s. later, a look at a state of u.s.-mexico relations under the trump administration. duncan would from the -- wood from the wilson center joins us. good morning. it will be a five-day work week for the house of representatives, including votes on federal funding for family planning services and drug testing by the labor department. live coverage here on c-span. the senate back tomorrow with confirmation votes on a number of the president's nominees. those could be early in the week. it is early sunday morning, february 12. ahead, we will be talking about the process for screening for refugees in the u.s., relations with mexico under president trump, and your views on political humor.