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tv   Mayors Speak at Christian Science Monitor Breakfast  CSPAN  August 2, 2017 10:52pm-11:50pm EDT

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liberty" and of "sovereign duty." tweets phone call questions. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a america'svice by cable tv companies and is brought to you today by your provider.atellite new orleans mayor mitch landrieu is also president of the u.s. conference of mayors. d.c., he spoke to about issues facing u.s. cities thathe national policies mayors would like to see congress address. he's joined by the mayors of carolina, andh mesa, arizona, at this event the abercrombie.
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christian science monitor. an hour. under wego. here maybe not. >> thank you. >> while they are mic'ing mayor benjamin, i will start to keep us on schedule. i'm from the christian science monitor. thanks for coming. our guests are leaders of the u.s. conference of mayors. president mitch landrieu of new orleans, vice president benjamin. and john giles of mesa, arizona. he is standing in for mayor brian barnett of rochester hills, michigan, whose airplane was delayed. also with us is tom cochran, the to myman sitting next colleague, the organization's c.e.o. and executive director. the conference of mayors is a nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of there aremore and 1408 of them, i am told. all the guest speakers are making their first visit. to one of our low-cal
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breakfasts. however, mayor landrieu's father spoke to two of 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. that has said the cook family for many years. >> all three. >> good for you, good for you. i was not, obviously. >> i was 12. >> the mayor is a graduate of catholic university. earned his law degree at loyola university. previously served in the louisiana house of and asntatives louisiana's lieutenant governor. he's been mayor since 2010. mayor benjamin has been in office since 2010. his undergraduate and law degrees are from the university carolina. his previous government service appointment at the tender age of 29 to the governor's cabinet as director the department's probation
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parole. and pardon services. mayor giles, like his counterparts here is a republican. he was the 40th mayor of mesa. in august 2014. reelected last august. inhas a bachelor's degree political science from brigham young university, earned his law arizona state university's sandra day o'connor college of law. welcome to one and all, and thus endeth the biographical portion. compelling recitation of ground rules. we're on the record here. please, no live blogging or tweeting or filing of any kind on the breakfast is underway to give us time to listen to what say.uests there is no embargo when the session ends. to help you curb the relentless selfie urge, we will email several pictures of the session the reporters and officials here today as soon as ends.eakfast 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
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opportunity to make opening comments and then move to questions from around the table. it will be david louder, ron klein linda feldman, phil douglas, alan ferguson, and sammy snowing to start. the floor is yours. thank you again for doing this. >> thank you so much. thank all of you for welcoming me and mayor benjamin and mayor the unitedehalf of 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, the dysfunction, is not an abstract problem for the america. each and every one of us governs reality, notand in 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. so as we come to washington, d.c., we come with a powerful
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message. we are problem solvers. and we are a bipartisan organization. the presence of mayor giles is an exclamation point on that but he is not the only republican mayor. we have a large group of individuals that work with us in real-time to make sure the conference of mayors hears and sees and knows all the different 85% ofnts that represent people in america that live in the cities of america. 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, there are 1408 cities that are are a part of the umbrella of the u.s. conference of mayors. and the cities and mayors understand rural and urban america need each other and rely onch other 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
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day we've heard in the last or two in washington, d.c. about the republicans and the democrats actually going back to regular order so that we can have a robust discussion of some of the most difficult problems in america. we understand we can't talk about everything all the time. the mayors of america are interested in public safety and homeland security, interested in infrastructure, we're interested in healthcare. 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 -- to our senators and our congressmen. with that general introduction, i want to turn it over to mayor then mayor giles are for introductionary comments and we'll be happy to answer any you have. 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
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cities and mayors. bipartisan, nonpartisan. just men and women from 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 for the people that we represent. there are exciting things happening all across this country. 85%aryland rue referenced, of our citizens live in cities. 88% of jobs are in cities. 91% of america's gdp is an -- created in cities and metropolitan economies. cities and become the incubators of innovation, how we 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 working together over the last several years. we are here in d.c. to promote the mayors' agenda for the
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rue's under maryland leadership. and we're excited about, i the tonethe change in and tenor that we've seen that, we feel we've had a role in create that environment. we have engaged with our federal legislators. we continue to spend time making sure they understand we represent the same citizens, the very same constituents and it's make sure in all these various issues -- infrastructure, healthcare -- tax reform --h that we're working together to theirentally improve quality of life. we look forward to chatting with the columbia story but more importantly, telling you the story of america's cities. thank you. >> i'm excited to be here as well. some people might ask why are mayors in washington talking about issues like health care and tax reform. to me, it seems strange. why are you guys in washington talking about issues like
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healthcare and tax reform that are 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. and i think we are here to say amen to that. and to remind people of that. we are street level politicians. we have the luxury of occasionally riding along with public safety personnel, police a streetand seeing at level what healthcare and tax reform and infrastructure mean. i am proud of the fact we are here to model good behavior to our congressional colleagues. i am registered as a republican, but i was elected in a nonpartisan election. and that's 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. i remember he had a big impact
11:02 pm back but 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. we need to continually be reminding ourselves that we're here to solve problems, not to at all agendas and win costs, but to find answers to problems. i am proud to be a mayor and from that environment. and to remind some of my congressional colleagues that is what prompted us to come to public service. i am proud to be with the gem 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. a couple of questions, one, call?would you our photographer is supposed to be here to take pictures. it would be nice if that actually happened. know.ver i will ask one question and a
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we'll go to dave to start. to all three of you, what difference has the trump made to american mayors and the cities you represent? >> unfortunately, when president trump took office, we saw the need to make comments about cities that i think most mayors america thought were out of order, out of context, and not particularly inviting or at least reflected the view that he didn't understand the role that cities in america played. >> 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. >> of course, as you mentioned, introduction, there are 1408 cities that are part of our many,zation and many, many more. that's certainly not reflective america. throughout as a matter of fact, as mayor benjamin alluded to, some of the most forward leaning things happening in america are happening in cities.
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it is not an accident. that is because mayors, republican and democrat, urban and rural, are doing innovative things. actually cities are becoming the andratories of innovation change throughout america. 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. and that one of the things we wanted to do was come here, not to resist, but to educate, and to let folks know how you actually solve problems in a way was as mayor giles said, non-ideologically based. all of you who cover washington would be startled if you came to how wetings and listened settled issues. you would be refreshed by it. nobody asks who is a republican and who was a democrat. ideas are tested based on evidence and whether they succeeded or failed. if there is a good thing that happened in columbia, the good people of new orleans borrow
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that gently and use that. same thing is true about louisville. and we share information. and 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. so we want to communicate that, want to educate the president and his team, want to educate congress about it. and as mayor giles said, model good behavior for how you get good solutions for people on the ground. >> as an elected official and a student of public policy, i've always believed important.s an it's been a challenge over the explaineral months to to citizens, constituents, and also to my children, the importance of leadership and setting the proper tone. the challenge is when the tone makes its way into policy. and if it is talking about
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eliminating cdbg or maybe even majorheaded tax policy or changes at the e.p.a. or the justice.t of those changes have major you perspective impact, stabilizing impact, even, work weively, on the have to do to represent our citizens. obviously there is a lot to be done. thank god we have three branches of government. and we are here today to effectively interface with the legislative branch. so a direct answer, and i tried my best to answer the questions that are asked. answer is that 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 serving as a lever into
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bringing additional private 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. we have to make sure they taxrstand the importance of reform and if, in fact, we go in that direction, what the preservation of the state and local tax reduction and taxervation of the it means bonds, what in terms of infrastructure to done.s get the job as of right now, it's a tone and rhetoric issue. way intoeeps its policy making, the real impact is to be seen but so far it positive.n >> i agree. the rhetoric has been challenging. but at the same time it has given us as mayors the opportunity to defend a lot of the things we do in our cities
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cdbge-examine why is important. coming to washington and reevaluating our relationship of the federal government and why that is important. from a republican perspective, there have been some things -- good, i, change is think. and to have renewed emphasis on like infrastructure and tax reform, regardless of who the president is, that's also been a healthy thing i think in our communities and in our nation. rhetoric, i can't defend that. that has been nonproductive and damaging, but i think some of the change 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 have not been entirely negative. >> appreciate that. i want to at this point as a message to the president. find that thewill mayors of this country are really tough and we're really
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mindient and we don't scrapping it up a little bit. we're not here to resist, we're to construct. we are builders, not destroyers. he 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 toned down. we want to get to work and help america.blems of 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
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and how they've reacted to what you had to say. >> i was very surprised that the speech "went viral." fair to say that a lot of us mayors give a lot of good speeches all the time that are mostly received locally, not received nationally. that speech caught wind theonally, i think because country is coming to the realization that we're not in a america, that race continues to be a fairly do.ificant part of what we this notion of being able to see each other as people and not judging each other 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 not -- it is an unfinished issue that i think we have to speak through. so it was surprising to me that people were as taken by it. i think the narrow issue of the
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one that's been with the south for a very, very long time and it's also been 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 made comments last week about local law enforcement, to local law-enforcement agencies talking about going rougher on suspects are not protecting heads. -- their heads. the white house said it was a joke but there's been a lot of the local level. i'm curious from you guys, how they were received. did you get feedback? interaction with unions or police agencies? did you view those comments as a
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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 on absconded probationers. i will tell you that the men and women of law enforcement who run when everyone, else is running the other heroes.n, are true that is something that mayors will tell you every single day evidence that in our support of law enforcement. is important to realize we can never accept the false choice of meaningo public safety that you're anti-social 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 that the president probably
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refers to, 1980's new york city when i was growing up there -- the reality is you have now incredible law enforcement officers who are working every single day to build significant community trust and public trust. and that is essential. in our city you have 400 plus sworn law enforcement policing a 140,000on of over individuals. it is impossible to do 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 that we continue to innovate. we move forward with an initiative just a few years ago called justice for all in our city. this will be our third year. in which we mandated, we paid with our d.o.j. resources, body cameras for each and every
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our officers. and we put in place a number of new training modules for our officers, everything from unconscious bias recognition but also the ability to recognize when someone's with mental illness, the importance of understanding verbal judo, how to talk down situations. we put in place some significant data-driven policies as well. if you want to come to our city now, be able to determine exactly how many citizen contacts we had last year, 144,000 citizen arrests, 200 or so 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
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encounter, how it was independently investigated and the disposition of that, using to build thatue type of 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. >> thank you, mayor? >> as a mayor, i don't think he could haveing 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 communities. so for the president to say what he said, it could not have been
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more counter to what we work for on a daily basis. i was extremely disappointed in those comments. i think you have seen mayors and police chiefs line up 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, but be constructive. first of all, the number one issue on the agenda is public safety and homeland security because mayors every day, each chief ofmmanders in our own police departments, across america, every day on the streets making sure that our law enforcement have the tools that they need because they do heroic work but simultaneously streets safep our not only for our citizens, as a result of public safety threats, but homeland security threats and potential terrorist threats. new, imminent and ever-increasing. the way that mayors would not said he the streets of america safe is to condemn american city
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-- condemn american cities as holes, an tell police officers the way to peace is to batter suspects. that is not a prescription for success that anyone that understands law enforcement or war and peace, general patraeus or anybody else, is a way to go. what mayors will say, if you us, help us, to philadelphia a common obligation to keep the streets of america safe is to make sure the resources in the homeland security department for cities are directed and focused, that help us find more the copscement through program, through the d.e.a., trained, better supervised, understand policing, and understand that local law enforcement is the tip of the spear. they are at the scene first irrespective of what the impetus of the cause is.
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if it is a terrorist threat, like in boston or new york, maybe what you saw in orlando or not, if it's a public safety a homelandit's security threat, you know who's there first all the time? local law enforcement, local e.m.s., local trauma center. rather than creating a hostile relationship with cities as places where you can't go, you have 800,000 strong force willing to work try to figure out a way and help congress understand how you make the streets of safe.a the fact is that the funding for these programs that help law enforcement have been cut by 88% since 1996 and the number down.ues to go if president trump wants to secure the streets of america and work with cities, there are a lot of ways to do that that are constructive, forward-leaning, that as mayor said, allow us to engage in appropriate law enforcement techniques and theltaneously make community safe but you cannot do simminalhis is the point, if you treat people not
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you treathavior, but them based on race, creed, color or national origin, that's the first thing. and secondly, if you erode the trust between the police departments and communities. youof us can say that when do something to erode the trust between police and the community, it is much more ofely that the streets america will be unsafe. so we would ask them to rethink and rethink the policies that define the usguage and engage constructively so that we together can help make the streets of america safe. number one priority. >> john from newsmax. >> thank you for having breakfast today. whatld like to pick up on maryland rue said about services being cut. law enforcement aside, relief for people and helping the homeless problem. have they been hurt by cuts? more importantly, our private sector charities, the salvation army, united way, catholic charities, picking up the slack
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in any way in your cities? >> i'm sure each one of the mayors have something to say as well.s, but i will take the first crack. we are always better, always when we are together. we are always better when the federal government, state government, local government, not-for-profit, faith-based community, all of the people that are at the table assuming actuallyility are there doing their part. that is always better. each one of the models in our cities rely on all of those different community organizations. when one of us does not show up, someone has to pick up the slack. or somebody who was given an opportunity is not going to have it. that's really the general rule. 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, but the proposed budget going forward cuts across government. it will have a significant impact. mayor benjamin talked about community development block grants. i'll talk about something else.
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housing veterans who are homeless. mayor giles and i worked on this together. the country found something in common that was important, which was to make sure every veteran was given a home. we work significantly towards that. even though the funding has gone up, the president's allocation affairs, if the funding in hud goes down, both were usedepartments to provide the basis to provide the resources to take veterans america.treets of one of the concerns we have that we can testify to is if the 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 we will put veterans back on the streets. that is why mayors' practical view is important and not just
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theoretical. and if the federal government pulls back, someone else has to fill the gap and that's private or not-for-profit concerns like catholic charities on the ground. >> we had an opportunity to housinghe affordable crisis in our community. we decided we would use cdbg fund for a couple of years. not just to get grants for homeowners of $100,000 house. we decided we would sequester the funds and work with the private sector and also with non-profit partners to do home buyer training to actually you -- six banks provide 6% of the mortgage, and we would use the cdbg fund to provide 20% of a second mortgage. it allowed new homeowners at 80% of median income to get into the $100,000 out of
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pocket. they stepped in with an interest rate that was lower than some of the previous customers at bank of america, bbnt, half percent below market. no pmi. it is a fantastic program. we have now a 125 million loan portfolio of citizens who are in housing who would not have been able to be in the housing. .01% default rate. our focus is that there are so opportunities. as you continue to cut critical programs that are being deployed vasively in every city represented in this room right that's, i believe, the most central point that mayors on the hill and 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
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programs that we are deploying working so well that if, in fact, we are able to develop wonderful strong partnerships here in washington, the white house and on the hill, we can solve a whole lot of problems here. they're being solved locally. let's identify the very best and scalefund them them up to address the major challenges facing americans. >> to pursue steve's points, one of the programs i am proud of in mesa, arizona, we had a medicare grant the last 3 1/2 years to study how to better serve, care.e medical the old model -- 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. we were at the point of the spear on that issue where we're practitionersrse with a firefighter and the goal is to not transfer that person
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to a private emergency room but to provide medical treatment. when you do that, might you send the bill to medicare, medicaid, plist insurance and recoup that.f the cost on this was done as an innovative way for a city to respond to the affordable care act. to say what is the new normal and how to me lower health care than and be a better partner? we think we have come a long way, but and we have a new administration and the affordable care act is old news and we will start from scratch. that is a little frustrating as a local official. i got to tell you. and i think the last time -- two or three times i was in d.c., it was right after the president's out.y budget came cdbg was going to be abolished. we went up to the hill to talk our senators and congressmen and try to explain to them how
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life-threatening that would be communities and thankfully, they were reassuring and they said presidents come and go, we have the purse strings and understand what's important. backfully they've come cdbg.table 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. but it has also been somewhat frustrating in terms of the possibility of having to restart all over again issues like veterans housing and medicaid, and these 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. >> i'm going to do my time haver role and say we about 20 minutes left. we had six. i will just throw that out for your edification. the monitor. from >> i have a couple of questions.
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i understand we will be meeting with senators today. i wonder how you can get beyond the feeling on the hill that mayors are in washington with her hands out given the federal budget woes that we have. forve a specific question maryland rue, after you leave is coming soon what, are your plans? there are stories of the possibility for higher office. what next?s on >> you want me to go first? the first thing i will do is take a nap. [laughter] secondly, i don't have any plans. and i have about 261 days in office left. the city right now, as you know, are invited, we're anniversary,300th which hopefully will be a only historical rendition of where the city was and the successes we made after it.
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the answer to your second question is 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 and we're their partner. 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. and we make government work. i say this not because we are in this room. i would say it anywhere. if you want to see innovative, wonderful things going on in america, get in your car and almost any american city relating to any particular matter. mayor benjamin told you how he cdbg dollars and leveraged that to put 150 people in a home them 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 vet appropriations bill. they forget about it after that. that dollar goes on the ground
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and itstreet of america manifests itself in a person got the. jones who house, mr. smith who got the job training program and all of formed bygs are different streams of revenue that have gone through a whole different departments that we've pieced together. we are trying to come back and say, listen, look at what you created. if you take away the financial underpinning, a small part of what you contribute, look how much weaker the country is going to be. we have constructive discussions like that with senators. i think we are beginning to see congressmen and senators are beginning to listen to us because they're 85% of the live in theactually cities that we represent. cities are intricately linked to the rural areas. >> our city finished five of the seven years with a budget surplus, the same property tax ago.we had a decade we have upgraded by standard & poor's and moody's twice over
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the last several years. we have created an environment that's led to well over $1.6 in capital investment in our urban core. unemployment rate is lower than 4.2%.tional average at and we have finished every year with a balanced budget. i would love if the federal government and many state governments could also model that same type of behavior. important, i think that people realize that the money and we do come up here advocate for reinvestment in our cities every year actually comes cities. federal dollars are not manna from heaven. these are taxpayer dollars that are sent to washington, d.c. every april 15. we want to see the dollars repatriated back home. i think that is important. as a move forward with the budget and tax reform and other issues, it is important that we
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ask the federal government to continue to be a partner and not shift some federal burdens onto our state and local governments. obviously around the issue of infrastructure and preservation, we've had bonds for the major issues. we want to make sure they remain part of the voice moving forward. >> the same end, what's been the local level, money is money. it is not just ammunition used to win political battles. so i think what you see in the here and withnted other mayors, we can stretch a dollar like the parents of a large family. we figure out how to get things done with what we have. so i wish -- i'll go back to my first statement. model goodto behavior. we're here to say money is a it's bestommodity and spent at the local level. oftentimes, and i'm sure the
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gentlemen have had the same cub scouts i've had and girl scouts come up to my office. i try to find there is a state government, federal government, and local government. if you need an aircraft, it is good to have the federal government. government, if you need a driver's license, they're good to have, as well. everything else the government provides for you comes from the city. we need to occasionally be here to remind our federal government that that's where the money ought to be best spent, where it best spent. i think we're here so much with to remindout but just people of the obvious that them.mes escapes >> bill douglas from mcclatchy. >> for mayor benjamin, two questions. trump has talked about taking action against sanctuary cities. columbia has said it's not going to provide some information on immigrants. have you seen any impact yet on the president's vow on sanctuary
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cities? to seek, are you going re-election? >> yes, i am seeking reelection. that's a good simple one. i am not taking a nap yet. [laughter] we can probably work that out. here. a visit up we met with the attorney general two, three months ago. at that time, director of security. we endeavored over the course of those meetings, trying to get a clear message from the white house, homeland security, and general, department of justice, exactly what the definition of a sanctuary city was. and to this day we still don't have that clarity. are local governments going to work to apprehend those who violate the law, our cities,
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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 we're goingt means to treat people with dignity and respect, if it means we're going to make sure our offices have the resources to do the jobs they're supposed to be doing the most, taking violent criminals off the street, we'll do that. but we need to have clair fraternity the administration that we've not received yet. >> we appreciate you being here. i have a question about trade and nafta. in mid august, the first round of negotiations on nafta will be here. i want to get a sense of how much effect that would have on your cities, the future of nafta would have on your cities. have
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maryland rue, you have a big port. know about columbia. i wanted to get a feel for what they will be watching for as they make progress or start nafta renegotiations and a broader sense of how much does to your cities' economies. >> nafta is a very big deal in a and a state like arizona big part of mesa, arizona's, economy. troubled -- i go on trade delegations to new to mexico to encourage trade and bolster that, much to the contrary of talking trash about mexico and to figure out how to make it more difficult to trade with them. so the renegotiation of the nafta, we're hoping that maybe we can spin that in a positive way. we're also using -- i think hopefully it will create some administrationhe for wanting to shine a positive light on some of the great relations that we have with mexico. we are on the cusp of announcing
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mesagreat things in relative to trade with mexico. so we're going to -- we choose it in a positive way and to use it as an opportunity areighlight how well things going in our relationship with mexico and the very positive economic impact that mexico has border states like arizona. >> i would echo that. from the city of new orleans, mouth ofty, from the the river to new orleans, collectively, one of the biggest the world. trade is very important to us, international an city. we're watching that very carefully, as well, again. in some instances i think the president's rhetoric might have gotten in front of constructive negotiations. we hope we can have that. i think all of us recognize that the country could do a better sure that trade is fair. and when people are being displaced from jobs, that all of us in the country do a better job of reconnecting people who
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losing jobs with job training to new jobs that the economy will produce. but you do not have to throw the baby out with the bath water and the wholesions on thing. there is a way for smart and constructive people with 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 in the cities that we're in and we hope the administration is open-minded it.t transpacific trade initiative, too. >> u.s. conference of mayors has positions on this in favor of the t.t.p., nafta and i assume cafta. i wasn't here at that time. >> one and five jobs in south color attributed to the port of charleston.
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our city. people from 200 different countries speak 90 different languages in addition to playing basketball and football and baseball. worlding to u.s. news and report," our school of business, university of south carolina, has the number one international program in the country, as well. we are interested in all issues regarding international trade and we will continue to be a voice on these issues. >> sammy snelling from news mag. oldest person in the room just called on the youngest person in the room. much for being here today. i want to go to the topic of sanctuary cities. thomas hohmann, acting director of u.s. immigration and customs enforcement set up a white house press briefing. when some law enforcement agencies fail to honor detainees or serious criminal offenders, ability toine i.s.' protect public safety.
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most work with us and many don't in the largest cities where flourish. what is your reaction to the statement? ister first of all, he's just wg that. i am not aware of any police department that releases violent criminals on the streets of america. irrespective of the immigration departmentspolice every day, where crime is manifesting itself, are out there aggressively making sure the streets of america are safe. said, webenjamin actually had two very long meetings. i think the gentleman was in the room. we were asking the department of justice and homeland security to give us clear direction so we can police constitutionally. there is a due process clause and things called warrants. police chiefs across america have been engaging with them and that kind of rhetoric is really fromelpful, especially that particular podium.
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america are here, we're president. we're happy to talk. to dialogue as much as we can to give them as much can.sistance as we as long as it is constitutional and we do not rip the community apart. the number one priority is taking violent criminals, especially those in gangs, off of the streets. but guess what. if you look at the numbers, it is not just in the immigrant community, it's in our well.ities, as our police officers keep the streets safe irrespective of we do soon status and all the time and by the way, as a technical matter, in the city orleans -- mayor benjamin, it may be different for you -- when a person goes jail and puts their fingerprint, i.s. is communicated immediately about that and if i.c.e. is aware of the, everyone i know in country says if you want to come get them and have a warrant, you should come. we want to continue to
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constructively community but they have been vague about what they want, how to execute it and done.sources to get that we are here and we continue to want to talk. as we've said on four or five occasions, the heightened rhetoric doesn't help constructive solutions to problems that are real for us. overcome the to loss of time and space and get in three questions in five minutes. i will let the mayor's answer for his colleagues on that and go to jeff barry from "u.s.a. today." >> the debate heating up over the national flood insurance is big, i know particularly in louisiana. mightu speak to how that play out? and secondly, arguments based on confederate monuments, flags, speak to how you see that playing out? i'll answer that quickly. flood insurance is really access isand having important if people are going to
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survive in all areas of the country, not just new orleans. people have realized after sandy, we're not the only one that's a threat for water. on the confederate monuments every localnk government and community has to make that decision for themselves. i made my thoughts well known. what the thoughts of the people of new orleans were. i think you have to take that on basis but there has to be a discussion and they ought to come to resolution about how the past, present and future play together. >> we enjoyed a major flood two years ago, as well. floodsly not just a insurance discussion but also it's helped us, all mayors, intently on climate issues as we have been leaders in this issue for years and will that.ue to do >> from "the new yorker"? >> i watched the treasury secretary yesterday or the day before meet up with americans for prosperity, they are partnering with it to close what they said were special interest
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loopholes when they do tax reform and the only one they rid ofied was getting the deductions 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? as in getting rid of deductions? >> we believe that repeal of deduction would represent double on our citizens who are already paying taxes locally and that would be a huge mistake. is that brief enough? >> that was wonderful. that may be a record. >> the u.s. conference of total opposed to this issue. >> taxpayers are not a special interest. cities and state and local governments are not a special
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interest. these revisions were codified in 1913 because they are pillars in the way in which taxation in america. thepeople, our citizens, rate payers, the taxpayers, are not a special interest. it is so important we continue that message. >> we have got two minutes. last question from national journal. >> what is your stance on abortion being used as a litmus test for democrats? >> it's a bad mistake. >> thank you. [laughter] >> on issues like that, both parties should be big 10 parties and no party should have a litmus test relating to that or any other issue because there lots of people in all of the parties that have a myriad of of different lot issues. if your party is closed off to any particular person, you see this in the republican party and democratic party, litmus tests
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ideas and not politically smart, either. >> do you want to weigh in on that before we stop? hearing nothing, thank you all so very much for doing this. apologies for pressing on the time. just wanted to get as many as we could. thanks, again. hope you come back. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. thank you for having us. very nice to see you. [indiscernible]
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>> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that affect you. up thursday morning, a discussion on tax policy legislation with adam pozen and pete sepp. korea'slk about north nuclear program with lisa collins with the center for strategic and international studies. c-span's "washington journal" live beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern thursday morning, join discussion. on q&a." night >> i'd never heard of him. this manto know how who had been told from the time that he was a young child that he was not worth anything could the courage and determination to find a way out of slavery and i was just stopgued and couldn't reading about him. cateurnalist and author lineberry looks at the life of who escaped slavery
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in the u.s. civil war and went on to serve in the u.s. congress. he served five terms in the house of representatives. there was a bribery charge against him in his career and he never fully recovered from that. in my opinion, that's one of the why he's not better known today. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern c-span's q&a". >> president trump has endorsed an immigration bill that would cut the rate of illegal in half.on he talked about the bill at the with senator tom cotton and david purdue. pres. trump: thank you very much. it is great to be here today to unveil legislation that will represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a


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