tv Mayors Speak at Christian Science Monitor Breakfast CSPAN August 2, 2017 7:05pm-8:01pm EDT
richfield fire chief and mayor about local projects and legislation to resist -- to assistant volunteer fd's." mitch landrieu spoke with the organization's agenda. from the christian science monitor. this is about 55 minutes. >> here we go. maybe not. >> thank you. >> while they are micing mayor benjamin, i will start to keep us on schedule. thank you for coming. our guests are leaders of the u.s. conference of mayors. president mitch landrieu of new orleans, john giles of mesa, arizona. he is standing in for mayor brian barnett of rochester hills, michigan, whose airplane
was delayed. also is tom cochrane, the gentleman next to my colleague. executive director. the conference of mayors is a nonpartisan organization of cities of 30,000 are more. there are 1408 i am told. all the guest speakers are making their first visit. mayor landrieu's father spoke to our breakfast one to 1975 when he was mayor of new orleans, and once in 1979 as secretary of housing and urban development. so much for monitor breakfast trivia. good for you, good for you. i was not, obviously. >> i was 12. >> the mayor is a graduate of catholic university. previously served in the louisiana house of representatives and served as
louisiana's governor. mayor benjamin has been in office since 2010. his law degrees are from the university of south carolina. his previous government service includes appointment at the age of 29 to the governor's cabinet as director of the department of probation and parole and pardon services. mayor giles, like his counterparts here is a republican. he was the 40th mayor of mesa. reelected last august. has a degree in political science from brigham young university and earned his law degree from arizona state. welcome to one and all, and thus endeth the biographical portion. now the ground rules. please, no live blogging or tweeting or filing of any kind on the breakfast is underway to
give us time to listen to what our guests are saying. there is no embargo in the session ends. we will email several pictures of the session to all reporters and other officials here today as soon as the breakfast ends. if you would like to ask a question, please send me a subtle nonthreatening signal and i will happily call on one and all. we will offer our guests the opportunity to make opening comments in the mood to questions around the table. linda feldman, phil douglas, alan ferguson, and sammy snowing to start. thank you again for doing this. >> thank all of you for welcoming me and mayor benjamin and may or giles. on behalf of the united states conference of mayors. we come to washington for a number of different reasons. one to highlight the fact the political back-and-forth in washington is not an abstract problem for the mayors of
america. each and every one of us governs in real time, not in theory and philosophy. we are compelled every day to get the job done and solve problems, to find an answer. if we can't find an answer, we make one. that is the life we live every day. as we come to washington, d.c., become a powerful message. we are problem solvers. we are a bipartisan organization. the presence of mayor giles is the next formation point on that -- an explanation point on that. we have a large group of individuals that work with us in real-time to make sure the conference of mayors knows all the different viewpoints. represent 85% of the people in america that live in cities. the second thing i would like to highlight is we are not just and don't just have an urban agenda. as was stated earlier, with 1408 cities that are are a part of
the umbrella of the conference of mayors, and the cities and mayors understand rural and urban america need each other independent each other and have to talk to each other all the time. when we began to talk about how we solve problems, we do so when everybody is at the table. on behalf of the u.s. conference of mayors, we are heartened by what we have heard in washington, d.c. about republicans and democrats actually going back to regular order so we can have a robust discussion of solutions to some of the most difficult problems in america. we understand we can't talk about everything all the time. the mayors of america is interested in public safety and homeland security, infrastructure, health care. we are certainly interested in weighing in on tax reform. and to be able to identify concerns of the people of america through the eyes of mayors who have to get stuff done. that is why we are here in washington today, to speak to those issues as we talk about
senators -- as we talk to senators in congress and. -- and to our congressmen. i want to turn it over to mayor benjamin. thank you. mayor benjamin: thank you all for taking time to sit down with us today. we look forward to your questions, i think. we are representing america's cities and mayors. bipartisan, nonpartisan. men and women all across this country, from big cities, massive metropolitan areas, down to small towns and hamlets who are all focused on getting the job done. there are exciting things happening all across this country. 85% of our citizens live in cities. 88% of jobs are in cities. 91% of america's gdp is an metropolitan economies.
cities have become the incubators of innovation find ways to direct capital to our communities and create jobs for our folks. i'm excited to tell the story of columbia, south carolina. some of the great successes we have achieved over the last several years. we are here in d.c. to promote the mayors' agenda for the future. we are excited about the change in the tone we have seen. we have engaged with our federal legislators. we continue to spend time making sure they understand we represent the same constituents. health care, how we approach tax reform. we are working together to fundamentally improve the
quality of life. we look forward to chatting with you and telling the story of america's cities. thank you. >> i'm excited to be here as well. some people might ask why mayors are in washington talking about issues like health care and tax reform. to me, it seems strange. why isn't anyone in washington talking about local issues? why are you messing around with our business? let us take care of things. i think it was tip o'neill that said all politics are local. we are here to say amen to that. we are street level politicians. we have the luxury of occasionally riding along with public safety personnel, police and fire, and seeing what health care and tax reform and infrastructure mean. i am proud of the fact we are
here to model the behavior to our congressional colleagues. i am registered as a republican, but i was elected in a nonpartisan election. that the environment in which i govern. when i was in law school i served as an intern for then congressman john mccain. that was 30 years ago. he had a big impact on my life back then. i have never been as proud of him as i was a week ago when he gave that stirring speech reminding us that we are here to model good behavior and we need adults in the room and her minor cells we are here to solve problems, not to promote agendas and to win at all costs. i am proud to be a mayor and remind some of my congressional colleagues that is what prompted us to go into public service. i am proud to be with the cinnamon and look forward to your questions.
>> that was a model of self-control by all three. we had opening statements from three people in six minutes. that may be a monitor breakfast land speed record. matt, would you call? our photographer is supposed to be here to take pictures. he would be nice of that happened. you never know. i will ask one question and a little go to dave to start. with difference has the trumpet -- the trump administration made to the american mayors in the city you represent? >> unfortunately, when president trump took office we saw the need to make comments about cities that i think most mayors were out of order, out of context and were not particularly inviting or reflective. he did not understand the role that cities in america play. >> saying, for those watching at home on c-span, our cities are a disaster. you get shot walking to the
store. they had no education. they have no jobs. >> as you mentioned, there are 1408 cities that are a part of our organization. it is not reflective of cities throughout america. as a matter of fact, as mere -- as mayor benjamin alluded to, some of the most forward leaning things happening in america are happening in cities. it is not an accident. that is because mayors, republican and democrat, urban and rural, are doing innovative things. they are becoming the laboratories of innovation and change. we can spend all day giving you thousands of examples of the great things mayors are doing throughout america. that kind and communicated to the mayors of america the president was perhaps uninformed at best. one of the things we wanted to do was not to resist, but to educate and let folks know how you actually solve problem's in a way that is not ideologically based.
all of you who cover washington for the startled if he came to our meetings. you would be refreshed i it. -- by it. nobody asks who is a republican and who was a democrat. ideas are tested based on whether they succeeded or failed. if there is a good thing that happened in columbia, the good people of new orleans borrow that gently and use that. same thing is true about louisville. we share information. as a matter of consequence then, we have created national policies by the accumulation of a lot of actions on mayors on the ground as opposed to necessarily federal imposition. that has been really good. we want to communicate, educated president and his team. would want to educate congress and model good for hader -- behavior for how you get solutions on the ground. >> as an elected official in a statement public policy, iowa's
-- i just always believed that tone was important -- i always believed tone was important. the importance of leadership in setting the proper town. -- the proper tone. the challenge is when the tone makes its way into policy. if it is talking about rocket -- the wrong-headed tax policy, for changes to the epa and the department of justice. those have a major perspective impact, the stabilizing even -- destabilizing even. obviously there is a lot to be done. thank god we have three branches of government. we are here today to effectively interface with the legislative branch.
a direct answer, and i tried to answer the question i asked, i think some of the president's rhetoric has been destabilizing. but i will tell you, on the ground mayors continue to get the job done. cdbg is working well in columbia, not just creating jobs but as a leader to bring additional private sector capital investment. we have to keep telling that story so we continue to push our congress to make sure that we continue to see the positive developments we're seeing here. they have to understand the importance of tax reform, and if in fact we go in that direction, with the preservation of the state and local tax and preservation of the tax and municipal bonds really means to delivering on infrastructure to help us get the job done. as of right now it is a rhetoric issue.
that continues to seep its way into policy making. so far it has not been positive. >> i agree. the rhetoric has been challenging. at the same time it is given us as mayors the opportunity to defend a lot of the things we do in our cities and re-examining why cdbg is important. coming to washington and reevaluating our relationship of the federal government and why that is important. from a republican perspective, change is good. renewed emphasis on things like infrastructure and -- renewed and tax reform. i think that is a healthy thing for our communities and nation. the rhetoric, i cannot defend that. that has been nonproductive and damaging, but i think some of the changes associated with a
regime change in the federal government has been a positive thing for us. it has been an opportunity to re-examine some important things like cdbg and working with the federal government that has not been entirely negative. >> i want to at this point as a message to the president. he will find the mayors are really tough and really resilient. we don't mind scrapping it up a little bit. we are not here to resist. we're here to construct. we are builders, not destroyers. you will find great partners if we are engaged in a constructive and thoughtful way. we actually find answers to really complicated problems. that is why the rhetoric -- we want to tone it down. the want to help solve the problems of america. most of the problems being solved are in cities. >> david lowder from the l.a. times? >> i want to ask you about a
speech you gave a while back that got a bit of attention. i am curious about what sort of -- what the reaction has been since then and what -- whether there have been -- whether it has been unexpected in terms of what you have heard from people and how they react to what you have to say. >> i was very surprised that the speech "went viral." a lot of the smears give a lot give goodf mayors speeches all the time that are mostly received locally and not nationally. that speech caught wind nationally i think because the country is coming to the realization that we are not in a post-racial america. race is a significant part of what we do. this notion of being able to see each other as people and not
judging based on race, creed, color, sexual orientation or national origin is something the nation is interested in and continues to have to talk about. it is an unfinished issue that i think we have to speak through. it was surprising to me that people were as taken by it. the narrow issue of the confederacy is one that has been with the south for a long time. it has been with the country. i felt the need to speak clearly and directly to the issue, which i tried to do in the comments i made on that particular day. >> rick klein of abc? >> thank you guys for doing this. the president may comments last week about local law enforcement, for two local law-enforcement agencies talking about going rougher on suspects are not protecting their heads.
i'm curious to hear you guys sit how they were received. did you hear blowback? interaction with unions or police agencies? did you view those comments as a joke? >> we will let mayor benjamin go. >> as david mentioned, i have the privilege of serving as director of the second largest law enforcement in the state. and i helped that agency during a major transition to le-1 law-enforcement status. we were going out in the night serving warrants for parolees and probationers. the men and women of law enforcement who run towards danger when everyone else is running in the other direction are true heroes. that is something that mayors will take -- tell you every day and evidence and are supportive law enforcement. it is important to realize we
can never accept the false choice of being pro-public safety means your antisocial justice. we believe they are inextricably intertwined. if in fact you want to have safe cities -- i will tell you across this country the crime rates are down from the time the president probably refers to, 1980's new york city when i was growing up -- the reality is you have now incredible law enforcement officers who are working every single day to build significant community trust and public trust. that is essential. in our city you have 400 sworn officers. it is impossible to have that without strong community ties and additional eyes in the community. that type of rhetoric, that type
of dialogue is certainly not constructive to the body politic. it is important we continue to innovate. we move forward with an initiative just a few years ago called justice for all and our city. this will be our third year. we paid for without doj resources body cameras for each and every one of our officers. we put in place a number of training modules for authors. -- for officers. everything from not just unconscious bias recognition but the ability to recognize when someone has mental illness, the importance of understanding verbal judo and talking down situations. we put in place some significant data-driven policies as well. if you come to our city and determine exactly how many citizen contacted had last year,
144,000 citizen contacts. 7700 arrests. 200 use of force complaints. just a handful of deadly force encounters. you are able to go and see exactly who the officer was or the race of the person that may have been engaged in a encounter, happened was -- how it was independently investigated and the disposition of that. using data to build up trust. we are making strong moves in the right direction. we have got to make sure we keep pushing even in spite of that rhetoric. >> as the mayor i am think there is anything he said that could have been more disturbing. he has said a lot of things that disagree with over the course of his tenure, but that has to be close to the top. as mayor benjamin alluded to,
one of our main responsibilities as mayors is public safety, and working in community engagement and outreach to try to calm people's fears and respond to suspicions about how we police our communities. for the president to say what he said, it could not have been more counter to what we work for a daily basis. i was extremely disappointed in those comments. i think you have seen mayors and police chief's lineup since those comments to try to repair the damage that was done. >> let me use this as an example to demonstrate that mayors don't want to resist for the constructive. first of all, the number one issue on the agenda is public safety and homeland security because mayors, each of us commanders in chief of our own police departments. 800,000 strong across america. every day on the streets making
sure our law enforcement men and women of the tools they need because they do heroic work. simultaneously trying to keep our streets safe not only for citizens but homeland security threats and potential terrorist threats. they are new and immigrant and -- they are imminent and are ever-increasing. the way that mayors would not said he the streets of america safe is to condemn american city sees that cities -- condemn american cities as holes, an tell police officers the way to peace is to better suspects. -- to batter suspects. that is not a prescription for success of anyone that understands law enforcement, for war and peace. if you want to engage, help us, work with us to fulfill a common obligation to keep the streets of america safe, when you can do is make sure the resources and the homeland security department are directly focused, that you
actually help us find more law enforcement through the dea, atf, better trained, better supervised, understand constitutional pleasing, and -- policing and fully yourstands local law will and l will you will -- your respective is what the cause of the threat is. like in boston or new york, maybe what you saw in orlando or not, if it's a public safety threat were homeland security threat, you know who is their first? local law enforcement, local trauma centers. as opposed to making hostile relationship with cities, as there are places to go, you have a force 800 thousand strong duo figure it out and help congress understand how you make the street of america -- streets of america safe. the funding for these programs that help law enforcement have
been cut by 88% since 1996. and the number continues to go down. so if president trump, for example wants to , secure the streets of america and work with cities, there are a lot of ways to do that that are constructed and forward leaning, as the mayor said that , allow us to engage in appropriate law enforcement techniques and simultaneously make the community safe. but you cannot do that -- this is the seminal point -- if you do not treat people based just on behavior. or treat them based on race, creed, color or national origin. secondly, if you erode trust between police departments and the communities, all of us can say with this that we hope we can be engaged constructively so that we together can help make the streets of america safe. that is why it is our number one priority.
>> john from newsmax. >> thank you, dave, and thank you for having breakfast today. i would like to take a bullet mayor landrieu said about services being cut. law enforcement aside, relief for people and helping the homeless problem. have they been hurt by cuts? and more importantly, our , private sector charities, the salvation army, united way, catholic charities, are they picking up the slack in any way in your cities? >> others may have something to say about this, but i will take the first crack. we are always better, always when we are together. we are always better when the state government, the federal government, the local government, faith-based community, all the people of the table are assuming responsibility and doing their part. that is always better. each one of the models in our cities relies on all those different community organizations. when one of us does not show up,
somebody has got to pick up the slack. somebody who was given an opportunity is not going to have it. that is generally the world. it is absolutely true the federal government has over time continued to walk away from the table on these issues. now the budget this year is , stable, for the proposed budget going forward cuts across government. they are going to have a significant impact. mayor benjamin talked about community block grants. i will talk about something else, housing veterans who are homeless. we worked on this together. the country found something in common that was important, which was to make sure that every veteran, you know, was given a home, and we work significantly towards that. even though the funding has gone up, the president of funding of veterans affairs, -- the president's funding of veterans affairs, both of those departments who used to actually provide the basis to provide the resources to take veterans off the streets of america.
and so, one of the concerns we have that is if thetify to budget is implemented as recommended by the president, we can tell you with fair certainty that the resources we used to help veterans get off the streets are going to go away. and it is more likely you will put veterans back on the streets. that is why mayors' practical view of the world is not theoretical. that is just one example, and, of course, the federal government pulls back and some analysis got to fill the gap, and that is generally private or not-for-profit concerns, like catholic charities on the ground. >> we had an opportunity to affect the affordable housing crisis in our city. we decided that we would use cdbg fund for a couple of years. it,ere decided we would use like a $10,000 grant, and we
would quest are those funds and work with the private sector and also with the nonprofit partners who do homebuyer training. percentagehe median of the mortgage, and we would use the cdbg fund to 20% of the mortgage. it basically allow them to get into a home that cost $1000 out of pocket. of the of the structure loan, they stepped in with an interest rate that was lower than at bank of america or bb&t, coming in half of 1% below market, no pmi, and it has been a fantastic program, and we have now a $125 million loan intfolio of citizens who are house and who, but for this program, would be able to be an housing. a .01% default rate.
our focus is there are some he missed opportunities. as you continue to cut these critical programs that are being deployed innovatively in every city represented in this room right now, and that is, i believe, the most central point that mayors want to stress on stress to each and every one of you. i encourage you to reach out to the mayors and individuals and identify two or three different programs that are working so well that if, in fact we're able , to develop a wonderful, strong in washington, d.c., at the white house and on the , hill, we can solve a lot of problems. let's identify the best programs. we can address the challenges. >> to pursue steve's points, one of the programs i am proud of in mesa, arizona, we had a medicare grant for the last three and a half years to study how to better serve or provide medical care.
and so, the old model of you make a low acuity call, a 911 call on a health issue, and a fire truck with four firemen shows up to respond to that, and how does that make sense is obvious to every mayor in the country, so we were the point of the sphere on that issue. we are sending out nurse and not transfer that person to an already crowded emergency room but to provide medical treatment, and, be able to you might recoup some of the costs involved in that, and this was an innovative way for a city to respond to the affordable care act, and to say what is the new normal and how can we lower health-care costs, and how can we be a better partner? we think we have come a long
a long way to figure this out, and then, all of a sudden, this is old news, and we will start from scratch. that is a little frustrating as a local official, i have got to tell you, but i think the last time -- two or three times, it was right after the skinny budget came out. cdbg was going to be abolished. we went to talk to some of our senators and congressmen and try to explain to them how life-threatening that was going to be in our communities. friendly, they were reassuring. they said presidents come and , go, we get the purse strings and understand what important. and, thankfully and a house and , senate have come back with cdbg. stable funding for it has been in some ways heartening to see washington to some extent working and preserving some of the things that are important to cities. it has also been somewhat frustrating in terms of the possibility of having to restart all over again issues like
veterans' housing and medicaid, things that are critically important to our cities. that is part of the reason we are here, to advocate for the continuation of those programs. myso i'm going to do timekeeper role and say we have about 20 minutes left. we had six. i will just throw that out for your edification. linda, from the monitor. >> thank you. actually i have a couple of , questions. i understand there will be a meeting with senators today. how do you get beyond the feeling on the hill that mayors are in washington with her hands out given the federal budget woes that we have? and then i have a specific question for mayor landrieu, after you leave office, what are your plans? there are stories of the possibility for higher office. any thoughts of what is first? >> do you want me to go first?
the first thing i will do is take a nap. [laughter] secondly, i don't have any plans. i have about 261 days in office. the city is, as you know, and, by the way, all of you are invited, is planning or 300 anniversary, which will hopefully be a great spectacular. not only a historical rendition of where the city was before katrina but that great successes we made after it. the answer to your second question is that mayors always communicate to our congressmen and senators, both individually and collectively. the mayors are the ones that are solving the most complicated problems in america. we are not a special interest. we communicate to them about ways in which we use taxpayer dollars, to leverage private sector dollars to make a dollar go a lot further. we actually make government work. i say this not because we are in this room. if you want to see animated,
wonderful things. mayor benjamin just took cdbg dollars and did not just give it out as a grant but leveraged that to put 150 people in a home and get on the american dream. we innovate around those things. one thing we have to do is educate our senators and congressmen about what happens to federal dollars once they vote on the appropriations bill. they forget about it after that. that dollar goes on the ground , and it manifests itself in a goton, like mr. jones who the house, mrs. smith that got the job training program. all those things are formed by different streams revenue. we try to come back to them and say, listen, look at what you created, and if you take away the financial underpinning, a small part of contribute, look at how much you lose and how much weaker the country is going to be. we have constructive discussions
like that as senators. and as the mayor said i think we , are beginning to see congress and the senate is beginning to listen us. 85% of the people live in the cities we represent. cities are intricately linked to the rural areas. >> the budget surplus. we have upgraded by standard & poor's and moody's twice over the last several years. we have created an environment with $1.6 billion in capital investment in the urban core. our unemployment rate is lower than the national average at 1.2%, and we finish every year with a balanced budget. i would love if the federal government and many of our state governments could also model that same type of behavior. at some point, i think that people realize the money we do come up and advocate actually
comes from our cities. federal dollars are not manna from heaven that fall down on cities. april 15, we want to see those repatriated back dollars home. so i think that is important. and as a move forward with the budget and tax reform and other issues, it is so important that we asked the federal government to continue to be a partner and not shift some of those federal burdens onto our state and local governments, and, obviously around the issue of , infrastructure and preservation, bonds, it is a major issue. we want to make sure they remain part of the voice. to the same end of what has been said, at the local level money is , money. it is not just ammunition used to win political battles.
i think what you see in the cities represented here, we can stretch a dollar like the parents of a large family. you know we figure out how to , get things done with what we have. -- i will go back to the model of behavior. we are here to say that money is a precious commodity and it is best spent at the local level. oftentimes, and i'm sure the settlement have the same experience, i've had cub scouts and girl scouts come up to my office. and i try to explain to them that there is a state government, federal government, and local government. if you need an aircraft it is , good to have the federal government. if you need a license, the state level is good. everything else the government provides for you come from the city. so we need to be here and occasionally remind our federal government that that is how it is best spent, so i do not think we are here so much with our hand out but just to remind
people of the obvious. >> bill douglas. two questions. president trump has talked about taking action against sanctuary cities. colombia has said it will not provide some information on immigrants. impact yet onany the president's vow on sanctuary cities, and two, are you going to seek reelection? >> yes, i am seeking reelection. i am not taking a nap yet. [laughter] we can probably work that out. a visit up here when the attorney general was here two or three months ago. the chief of staff, that time the director of homeland security, and we endeavored over
the course of those meetings, trying to get a clear message from the white house, homeland security, and the attorney department of justice about what exactly a sanctuary city is, and i think today, we still do not have the clarity. are local governments going to work to apprehend those who violate the law, our cities, states, and country? absolutely. we will always work in the interest of preserving safe communities. when the administration is able to come and tell us exactly what it means to be a sanctuary city, if it means we will treat people with dignity and respect and have all the resources to do the job that they are supposed to be doing every single day, taking the most violent criminals off of the street we need to do , that.
but we need to make sure we have clarity from the administration, and we have not gotten that yet. >> from cq roll call. >> a question about trade and nafta. the first round of negotiations on after will be held here. i want to get a sense of how much effect that would have, the future of nafta would have, on your city. gotr landrieu, you have that big port, so i just wanted to get a feel for what you will be watching for as they make progress or a start the nafta -- and a broader sense of how much does trade contribute to your cities' economies? >> sure, i will. nafta is a big deal in a border state and the economy. it is a big part of mesa, arizona. i go on trade delegations to new
mexico and try to bolster that, to the contrary of talking trash about mexico in trying to figure out how to make it more difficult to trade with them, so the renegotiation of nafta, we're hoping we could spin that in a positive way. i think,so using -- hopefully, it will create some appetite for the administration to want to shine a positive light on things. we are on the cusp of announcing , relativegs in mesa to trade with mexico, so we choose to look at it in a positive way and use it as an opportunity to highlight how well things are going with mexico and the positive impact it has with states like arizona. >> i would echo that. city of new orleans, a port city, from the mouth of the river, new orleans, one of the
biggest ports in the world, trade is important to us. new orleans is an international city. we are watching that carefully. i think the president has his rhetoric might have gotten in front of constructive negotiations, and we hope that we have them. i think all of us recognize that the country should do a better job making sure things are fair. they'll do a better job of reconnecting people who may be losing jobs with job training to new jobs the economy is going you douce, but, again, not have to throw the baby out with the fy forecast aspersions. there is a way for smart and constructive people are sharp elbows, to get at the table and make a deal that works for everybody. but trade is the lifeblood of a lot of jobs, and we hope the administration is open-minded about it. transpacific partnership
-- >> official positions in favor of the tpp and nafta. >> one and five jobs in south carolina are attributed will to -- direct investment in the country. our city, people from 200 different countries speak 90 different languages in addition to playing some serious basketball, football and , baseball. the school of business, the university of south carolina, has the number one business program in the united states, as well. we are definitely very interested in all issues regarding international trade , and we are going to continue to be a voice on these issues. the newsmagazine.
i was told the oldest person in the room just called on the youngest person in the room. >> thank you. i want to go to the topic of sanctuary cities. theacting secretary said at white house press briefing that when they failed to honor detainers, it affects the ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission. most work with us, but many do not, and that is where criminal aliens flourish. what is your reaction to the statement, and will you cooperate with ice? >> first of all, just wrong about that. i am not aware of any mayor or any police department that releases violent criminals on the streets of america. irrespective of the immigration status, our police departments every day where crime is manifesting itself are out there every day aggressively making , sure the streets of america are safe. and so, as mayor benjamin said
we actually had two very long , meetings. theink the gentleman was in room, where we were asking the department of justice and the department of homeland security to give us clear direction so we , could police constitutionally. there is something called the due process clause, and there are things called warrants. our police chiefs have been engaging with them, and that type of rhetoric is not helpful especially from that podium. we are here and present. we continue to dialogue to give them as much help and assistance we can as it is constitutional , and we do not rip the community apart. to be clear about this, our number one priority is taking violent criminals, especially those people in gangs off of the , streets. but guess what? if you look at the numbers, it is not just in the immigrant community. it is in our community as well. we keep it safe irrespective of
the immigration status. time, do it all of the and, as a technical matter in , the city of new orleans, when a person goes into the orleans parish jail, ice gets notified immediately about that, and everyone i know in the country says if you want to come get them, and you have a warrant to do that, you should come. again we want to continue to , constructively communicate but , they have been vague about what they want, and how to execute it. like i said we are here and we , continue to want to talk. as we have said, the heightened rhetoric does not help constructive, you know, solutions to problems that are real to us. i am trying to get to three questions in five minutes. i will let the mayor answer colleagues on that. we will go to jeff from "usa today." debated insurance, the
over the national flood insurance program, and how do you see that playing out? secondly, the argument based on confederate monuments and flags? >> quickly. flood insurance is really important and having access to are is necessary if people going to survive in all areas of the country not just new , orleans. people realize that we are not the only ones with that threat of water. they have to get that right. i think every community has to make that decision for themselves. i made my thoughts well known. just as the thoughts of the people of new orleans work. i think you have to take that on a local basis, and there has to be a discussion. there has to be a resolution about how the past and the present and the future play together.
obviously, not just a flood insurance question, but focusing intently on climate issues, as we have been leaders for years and will continue to do this. >> from "the new yorker." i watched the treasury secretary, i guess it was yesterday or the day before, meet up with americans for prosperity, they are partnering with it to close what they said , were special interest they do taxen reform, and the only one they identified was getting rid of reductions for state and local taxes. i wondered what effect that would have on cities and do you , guys think of yourselves as a special interest that needs to be taken care of? i mean as in getting rid of , reductions? >> sure. we believe that would represent
double taxation on our citizens who are already paying those taxes, and that would be a huge mistake. was that short enough? >> that was wonderful. >> that may be a monitor breakfast record. >> totally opposed. to this issue. taxpayers are not a special interest. cities and state and local governments are not a special interest. these were codified in the tax code in 1913 because they are the pillars in the way in which we do taxation in america. the people, our citizens, the ratepayers, the taxpayers are , not a special interests. >> we have got two minutes. last question from "national journal." >> what is your stance on abortion being used as a litmus test for democrats? >> that is a bad mistake.
[laughter] think on issues like that, both parties should be big 10 parties and that no party should related tous test that or any other issue, because there are lots of people and all of the parties have a myriad of opinions on a lot of different issues, and if your party is and you see this in the republican party and the democratic party a litmus test , is just a bad idea and they are not politically smart. >> related does anyone else wano weigh in on this before we stop? thank you for doing this. apologies for pressing on the time. we just wanted to get to as many people as we could. thanks again. we hope you come back. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> very nice to see you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> tonight, president trump endorses a republican immigration bill. summit democrats introduce a proposal on international trade. from the brookings institution, a group of reporters and political scientists discuss the house and senate procedures. president trump has endorsed an immigration bill that will cut the rate of illegal immigration in half. we talked about the proposal at the white house with two of the bill's sponsors.