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tv   116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Steil Stevens Cline Spanberger  CSPAN  March 9, 2019 10:25pm-11:03pm EST

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it showed a democratic led caucus under the leadership of nancy pelosi is not going to walk away from those challenges. the resolution this week, which was clear about anti-feminism, islam a standing up to hate and was important for the congress to move. 23 of our republican colleagues voted against the resolution, including the number three republican in leadership who could not find a way to vote for that resolution. that illustrates more dysfunction on the republican side than it does on the great work we continue to build upon on the democratic side of the aisle. of newer: ben ray lujan mexico, tomorrow at 10 of clock a.m. and it's a kick on p.m. -- and six a copy of eastern. brian style, a
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republican from wisconsin who , who retiredl ryan at the end of the 115th congress. he represented the first district for years. bryan steil was a staffer for paul ryan and was on the university of wisconsin board of regents. >> why did you run for this seat? rep. steil: i looked for the opportunity to continue the economic growth in this country, how do we make sure people are prepared for jobs of the future and how do we scale back the scope and reach of the federal government. >> what did paul ryan say to you, any advice as he left? rep. steil: as i won the election, we had the chance to have a conversation. it is what a great honor to serve the people of southeast wisconsin and be their voice in washington. and the importance of working hard. doing your homework, diving in. people most impactful on washington correlate directly
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with the time and effort they put in to public policy and trying to improve people's lives in wisconsin. >> what were you doing before you one -- won this seat? rep. steil: the past 10 years working in business and the private sector, manufacturing sector in particular and it gave me a great insight into how the federal government, how they can slow and hinder growth of businesses through bureaucracy and red tape, and what an opportunity we have to make changes in washington and to unleash the full strength of the american economy. >> you served on the board of regents for the university of wisconsin. what did that entail? rep. steil: it is the board that oversees the entire university of wisconsin system. in wisconsin, we have one cohesive system, 180,000 students, $6 billion budget. you really learn, one, the importance of higher education and education at large, why we need affordable and accessible education, so people can take advantage of the jobs of the
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future that are coming to southeast wisconsin. you also learn how to work collegially with your colleagues. throws there with people appointed by a republican governor and democratic governor. we focused on the issues, how do we improve the educational product for students. that is the opportunity we can learn from and apply to washington. we focus on the solutions and results. we are better off than focusing on the partisan bickering. >> the wisconsin style work ethic, what does that mean? rep. steil: in wisconsin, people put down some of the partisan bickering and focus on finding solutions. i always say, if you are in a shop floor in a manufacturing setting and you are trying to solve a problem, nobody cares what political party you are in or your background or what you stand for. you're trying to solve the problem, and if we bring that approach to washington and focus on solving the problems facing our country, we will be far
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better off than if we are >> on? >> the last 10 years in the manufacturing sector, when you come in, everybody parks alongside each other and is focused on the same goal, delivering high-quality products for the consumer. if that was the mindset here, delivering a high-quality product for voters and hard-working families, we would be better off. >> you are 37 years old, do you think your age, and perspective, and youth brings to this job? rep. steil: i think it is a fresh perspective. 90 roughly freshman class, democrats and republicans, a lot of people entering with different backgrounds working in politics before. i think it is a breath of fresh air. there is an optimism and we need to shift the tone in washington
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and focus on solutions and results rather than scoring political points. the younger members see that and the conversations i am having with the other younger members that is very true. >> you are not totally new to washington as you worked as an aide to paul ryan? rep. steil: fresh out of college i worked with my hometown congressman, paul ryan. >> what stands out to you from that experience working for him in washington? rep. steil: i look at that experience and realize that your work ethic and integrity dictate how impactful you can be. if you have a core ethical ingredients to work hard and have that integrity and you couple that with a developed determination to deliver the policy objectives you fight for, you can be impactful if you are willing to go to do the hard work, policymaking, building consensus on ideas, i learned more than anything the importance of a hard work ethic to deliver on those promises you make that i did in the campaign. >> where are you from?
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rep. steil: janesville, wisconsin, the same as the speaker, a spectacular place in southeast wisconsin. just south of madison, wisconsin, not far from milwaukee, 1.5 hours across to lake michigan. north of chicago. spectacular spot to be born and raised. >> what did your parents do for a living? rep. steil: my mom was a teacher and my my dad was a small-town attorney, very involved in community service, service to the church, the catholic church in janesville, or different civic and community organizations, learning the importance of being involved on the impact you can have if you are willing to offer your talents and services to the
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community. >> who were your mentors, political and otherwise, and what did they teach you? rep. steil: the best mentor was my grandfather, coming from the greatest generation, from southeast wisconsin, through the depression, came out of world war ii with the opportunity for the g.i. bill which transformed his life, he grew up in a home that was a funeral home. that educational opportunity allowed him to pursue his dreams and have an impact. if you look at someone who worked hard and put his head down and had a commitment to service at the same time, it would have been my grandfather. >> why do you think that impacts who you are today? how do you carry his life with you? rep. steil: i look at the commitment to service he had. he never ran for a political office but was always involved in the community organizational activities to figure out how to help people improve their lives. how do we work as a community together and bring people up and improve our standard of living? the opportunity i have been
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given to be a voice in washington for people of southeast wisconsin and how do we help everyone in the community take advantage of the american dream? >> how are you balancing life in washington with life back in wisconsin? rep. steil: it is nonstop now, i have enjoyed it, no complaints but it is nonstop work here on the policy side and going back home to work and have conversations with people across southeast wisconsin, racine, kenosha, janesville, on the issues facing them and how the government interacts with their life so i can be better represented and voice for them in washington. >> 20 congress from the great lakes region is representative haley stevens, a democrat from michigan who served as the chief of staff to president obama auto industry task force which oversaw the financial bailout in bankruptcies of chrysler and general motors. the congresswoman has been
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selected as the copresident of the house democratic freshman class. >> how did you get involved in politics? rep. stevens: i always had the public service gene. i love volunteering and community service. my first job ever out of college was working for the michigan democratic party as a field organizer. i grew up in oakland county and the democratic party asked me to go to grand rapids. i organized the get out the vote effort. western coast of michigan, talking to voters and bringing people in before the iphone was created. >> they were reorganizing for? rep. stevens: an entire ticket, debbie stabenow was running for reelection and jennifer granholm the governor was running for reelection, and then a female candidate running for state house and state senate. working within grand rapids, which was remarkable.
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i was getting my sleeves rolled up. after that campaign, i worked on the hillary for president campaign. when she did not win the primary, i went to the obama campaign in the same role and when he won, i was asked to serve in his demonstration, first time a transition team and then somebody who was thinking, what do i want to do in this administration? looking at the economic climate and certainly the recession that was hanging over michigan before anywhere else in the country, i thought i would be one thing in this administration, put up my hand for michigan. i was asked by steve ratner to serve as his chief of staff in the auto rescue and department of the treasury, the initiative responsible for saving general motors and chrysler and michigan jobs. >> what did you do after that? where were you working?
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rep. stevens: the auto rescue turned into the office of manufacturing a policy. we oversaw investment in chrysler and general motors, and setting up industrial policy for our country for the first time in generations, looking for workforce opportunities and innovation opportunities, advanced manufacturing partnerships, working with members of this body to create legislation to support our manufacturing economy. i did that for a variety of years. i had a post at the economic development administration and the u.s. department of commerce and then decided i miss the midwest and i came back to the midwest and worked on export assistance for small and midsize manufacturers in partnership
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with the brookings institution and bloomberg philanthropy and jp morgan chase foundation. before iran for congress, i was working in an advanced manufacturing research lab focusing on the future of work in the digital age of manufacturing. >> you did all of that before 35. rep. stevens: that is about right. >> you are a younger member of congress. what inspired you or what gave you the confidence to think i can run for a seat at this age? rep. stevens: a couple of different things, working in an advanced manufacturing research lab and learning how quickly the technology was transforming and moving. also, opportunities for the supply chain. we did not have enough people in this body talking to those considerations about the future economic competitiveness, 21st century workforce economy. i put my hand around that and put up my hand also because i saw something missing here, people are losing faith in government. this body, the house of
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representatives are the peoples house and we need to bring it back to the people. we need a champion for manufacturing economy in southeastern michigan, lavonia, canton, plymouth, all the way up to auburn hills were chrysler is headquartered. i wanted to bring a new voice and new energy. i had the confidence because the people i reached out to and i worked with throughout my career, i had them behind me and we had a story to tell, michigan has a story to tell and i was doing that on the campaign trail and now in the halls of congress. >> what impact did it have on you after college to see other female democratic leaders like debbie stabenow and jennifer granholm and hillary clinton? rep. stevens: debbie stabenow says it best, she says, yes, it is women, women with experience, women with a vision, people who represent something.
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through their candidacy or in their service. certainly in michigan we have this rich history of women and government, women in elected office, we are now on our second female governor in michigan. it is not just that she is a woman. she is the right person for the job. that is what the leadership always showed me. >> you said public service is in your bones, where does that come from? rep. stevens: i think people are born that way but i had two very hard-working parents. my father, a retired public school teacher, he taught first grade in detroit, he would wake up well before the sun would rise, he would be the first person there. my mother is an incredible businesswoman who ran two businesses in the detroit area. they told me what hard work and grit was all about. for me, i have taken that to my
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career in public service, my willingness and eagerness to serve others and bring creative thinking and the human touch to everything. >> were they democrats? rep. stevens: my parents were sometimes democrats, we were not super political and did not have many conversations about politics. my parents were honestly really busy with their day jobs and coming home and putting food on their table and making sure the kids were going to bed at the right hour. as i got older, my mother's business, it brought her into more political roles, i went to a fundraiser or two in high school but beyond that, my mother encouraged me, because of my love of history and public service, to pursue a career along these lines. >> how did you know you were a democrat?
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rep. stevens: i think it was reading and learning and asking questions. i like to analyze and i remember taking out two sheets of paper and writing out what it meant to be a democrat and a republican and there are some opportunities for synergy. we are in a body where republicans are on one side and democrats are on the other but we are all in the people's house, we are all serving the country and patriots now. as we all have been but truly on behalf of what we are doing today. for me, it was looking at the issues, health care was a big issue on my campaign that was another motivation for me to run. eight years of repeated attempts to repeal the aca, that does not work for people and families. we need to protect and improve the affordable care act and not take it away. >> how old were you with those pieces of paper? rep. stevens: 18. >> what motivated you? rep. stevens: the questions,
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when i got to college, i became a college democrat after doing that analysis. i became vice president of the college democrats, if i wanted to be involved in volunteering and helping out the campaign, i went to american university in washington, d.c., the perfect springboard to get involved in campaigns back home in michigan and campaigns in and around the area. before i did that, i really looked at those issues. i grew up in a republican community. it was not completely indoctrinated but i thought that i will make this leap because of the issues.
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i am also doing it because it is people first. the big question for the democrats, particularly in 2017, when the campaign cycle were beginning, people asking the message, what does it mean to be democrat? what is the party saying these days? a simple message that we are the party of the people. we are the party that says, you matter, and your access to health care matters and affordable higher education or job training programs or apprenticeships matter and we we will prioritize, it is about you and the access to opportunities. there were large questions hanging before us along the future of work and the future of regional economic growth. we have a vision today with the new members in congress who have that, like myself, first-hand experience with job training or working in manufacturing. i am talking about my classes, i love our class, incredible experience with so many voices and ready to get the job done. >> what do your mother and father inc. about the job you
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are doing and the democrats? rep. stevens: they are so happy. my mom was my best campaign volunteer, she knocked on so many doors and my father was so involved. their allegiance is with their daughter and with their country. >> virginia sixth district sent a new face to washington, republican ben cline, a prosecutor and private practice attorney who succeeded 13 term congressman bob goodlatte who decided not to run for reelection. what were you doing before you won the seat in the u.s. house? rep. cline: an honor to be in the virginia house of representative, called the house of delegates, 399 years old, the oldest continually operating legislative body in the new world and i represented 80,000 constituents from my hometown elected, small-town lawyer from lexington and it was an honor to represent them.
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i was also running a small law practice with offices all across the district. >> doing both at the same time? rep. cline: part-time legislature earning $17,000 per year. it was a great honor. it was a great work-life balance. i wish we could duplicate it in washington. >> how long did you serve? rep. cline: 16 years. it was a great time and i made great friends and they are in session and i watch as they go through the motions, same committees i was on. addressing some of the same issues. you look wistfully at how things are going now. >> do you think the u.s. should have the work-life balance?
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rep. cline: the right to many republican -- professional politicians and washington is too big and too wrapped up in itself, where the money is so big and the power, the influence over people's lives has gotten too great and we need to level it out. i was sent here to try to reduce the role of the federal government in people's lives. people say that is an effort people have tried for years but hopefully there are enough of us with this attitude and we can get good things done. >> before the state level, what did you do? rep. cline: i was a private attorney. i have been in the state legislature for so long that i actually went to law school after i got elected to the state house. law is in my life and i'm glad to be on the judiciary committee and here representing the entire sixth congressional district. >> you replace bob goodlatte who retired and you once worked for him. rep. cline: i started out of
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college in the mailroom. as a legislative correspondent. i got a field for how important constituent services and worked my way up the food chain to chief of staff and it was an honor to work for him. he was a great legislature and focused on constituent service, making sure if you have a problem with the federal agency and if government was not working how it was supposed to, we know government does not ever seem to work the way it is supposed to, but he was quick to respond and his staff whom i have hired a lot of his former staff, they know who to call and how to get answers. >> what did you learn from him and what advice did he given you? rep. cline: he was a great mentor taught me a lot about constituent service because we are here to serve the people. too often government thinks it is the other way around. the people are there to serve the government. that is not the way that bob
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goodlatte operated and not the way he taught me. we are public servants and we understand that we have a responsibility when we are here to be mindful of the taxpayers money and the taxpayers money that is being smacked here and we need to do it wisely and efficiently and keep tabs on it and transparently. >> any other mentors or heroes you having a life? rep. cline: morgan griffith is my official mentor, representing the ninth district, south and west of roanoke, was my seatmate in richmond.i am used to turning around and asking morgan about various issues and to have that happen again is going to be great. he is a great mentor and we see eye to eye on a lot of issues because our constituents are similar. >> where did you grow up and how
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did you grow up? rep. cline: i grew up in lexington, a small town, rockbridge county, and my parents both worked at one of the colleges, washington lee university, one of 20 colleges in the district, more colleges than any district except for one in boston. for me to get on education and labor, to get on hire education subcommittee is important, not only making college more affordable but for those employees of colleges and universities, making sure day have good jobs and good pay and good benefits. there is competition and one of the most important things is that we find a way to bring college costs under control, a major issue for me in richmond and hopefully will be in washington. >> how are you personally balancing work and life? work in washington and life in the district?
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rep. cline: it is a big challenge. we are here for three or four days a week and we get the weekends back home and we try to maximize our time back home. my family is very important and my kids are young and they are only young once. i am trying to spend as much time with them as i can. it is hard to say no to them as it is but when you are home on the weekends, especially hard when they want to go to a park and play or ride bikes, that is something i will set aside time to do no matter what the schedule. >> joining congress from virginia is democrat abigail spanberger, a former postal inspector and cia officer. rep. spanberger: before i ran for congress, i was working for a company in richmond, virginia, directly with universities and colleges on the recruitment strategies. before i moved back to central
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virginia, my hometown, i was with the cia, a case officer, and lived overseas and abroad. i have lived domestically and overseas as a cia officer. >> what were you doing? rep. spanberger: i was a case officer and in that role i was collecting vital intelligence that allowed us to inform policymakers about issues of national security, what was happening in other countries that may be relevant to our own foreign policy objectives and inform the decisions we were making at the negotiation table and meeting rooms around the world. >> what was the work like and how do you think that will help you in washington? rep. spanberger: the work as a case officer is changing, one day on nuclear policy and the next day our leadership and the next day counterterrorism. jumping back and forth and talking about a variety of issues truly understanding the issues, because i was out
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recruiting people to provide vital intelligence on these topics and looking to be brief the individuals and make sure i was pushing all the valuable information to our analysts in the d.c. area. it was very, go, go, go. that is relevant to the experience in washington, been assigned to the agricultural and foreign affairs commission, you have a gamut of issues i will be working on on a daily basis in addition to the other priorities congress works on and experience of diving deep on a wide spectrum of topics will be valuable and now i am on the other side where i used to be informing decisions and now will be working to make informed decisions. >> what sparked your interest in national security or the central intelligence agency? what was it do you think? rep. spanberger: i have always, as i kid, i knew i wanted to work for the cia, i love foreign
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languages and understanding new things. i love the value of finding answers to hard questions and making sure people know a broad spectrum of information that can help make the decisions or guide discussions that are so vital to keeping the country safe. on the counterterrorism front, the work i did working to support terrorist threats here and overseas is some of the most valuable work i could do and am proud of it. from my parent's perspective, it was aggravating because i used to write my diary in code and set myself on secret missions which meant snooping in my parents things. i had such a fascination with
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the idea of finding the answers to questions nobody else could find. that is probably the best way to explain it. at some point, i found out what the cia was and what they could do and it seemed like the best place for me to go on fact-finding missions. said learning spanish at a very young age, when did you realize that language would be important for this job? how many languages do you speak? >> when i was a kid, i had a babysitter who was from ecuador. she used to speak in spanish with her grandkids. i thought it was the coolest thing that they had a singular -- secretly would forget i tried to talk myself spanish. this was when i was in third grade. later, i participated in a childhood like which acquisition study. focused on chinese.
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for a time i was conversing in chinese. the important things for a middle schooler. later i started spanish. i went to an immersion high school. i took four classes every day, full spanish immersion. i added french in their, german and italian. today, i reliably can speak french and spanish. enough german to get by. what did your parents do for a living? >> my father was a career federal agent. he worked fraud cases. my mother was a nurse. >> what did they teach you? what values did they instill in you? >> my parents were very clear. remember, i could they said there is no higher calling or greater vocation than service to country. for new year's, they wrote a list of the rules and ideas they wanted to pass on to their kids. on that list, eat breakfast, there's no higher vocation and service to country.
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they were clear about their drive to serve the country. my mother always instilled the idea that there are other people in this world to need us, who need our help. my mother's way of helping was always as a nurse. i remember there would be holidays when she would call home and say, i'm going to be late. i'll be home when i get home. watching my parents live their values of recognizing the needs that other people have, my mother was a nurse. she worked in hospitals. she worked as a volunteer in a network of free clinics. mewas always very clear to that the biggest values they were demonstrating was service to country and to our larger community. >> how would you describe your work style? >> intense. i suppose. find the excitement
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and everything. wherever i can bring excitement to what i'm doing and intensity that, doesn't stress other people out, it's hopefully -- you can ask my team. hopefully that's what i convey in the workforce. >> any political mentors or other mentors in your life and why? >> i've had a variety of people who i've met meant for me personally or led as a good example. madeleine all right is a phenomenal example. growing up in college, watching her, watching what she was doing. she's just a tremendous example for so many people. i have the opportunity to meet her within the past year. that was very exciting for me. life, both myn my parents, my grandfather who was in it -- and eternal optimist. hard-working man. he was widowed at a young age but always kept this level of
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optimism, this belief that everything is possible. in my community, i had many teachers who impacted me. commitment to other kids, to people in our community. i like to pick up a little bit of lessons from everyone. certainly with cia, i worked with incredible people. many of them, really impacted and influenced my life in an important way. >> new congress, new leaders, follow it all on c-span. >> during this year's conservative political action conference, we asked attendees, what does it mean to be american? >> so many things. so many things i could say. how the patriots fought. this was an experiment that could've gone completely wrong. and it didn't.
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people nowadays are trying to keep it alive. you hear about immigrants, they talk about how they've fought to come to this country. that makes them more proud. the servicemen and women will have died for our country. i can't say enough about what this country really is and the diversity we have. even with all of the diversity, people are proud to be american. >> american to me as one concept , freedom. freedom is not something that comes from other people. it is inherently your right as a human being. [indiscernible] and we will die with them. being american means going a time tor roots,
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matter when the matter where we are following the second amendment. another thing that makes us american is our voice being heard locally, publicly, nationally, and others. be ant it means to american is it is important to with the united states constitution. we have the privilege of the first and second amendment, specifically which allows us to settle our differences in court system so you don't have to jump into foxholes, dodge bullets, and the stand in front of tanks. announcer: voices from the road, on c-span. announcer: sunday night on q&a, amy greenberg discusses her book "lady first: the world of first
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lady sarah polk." >> i was so astounded by the stuff sarah posted in the way she exercise power. she wrote letters to a supreme court justice and members of congress that were completely one hundred percent about politics, and were not noticeably different from a letter a man would write. they wrote back to her in the same vein. at 8:00r: sunday night eastern on c-span's q&a. announcer: monday night, on the communicators, tom wheeler talks about his new book. >> it's never the primary , butrk that is transformed is the secondary effects of that. instance, the printing press not only enabled
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-- but allowed the renaissance to come out. it is how the first high-speed , createdthe railroad the industrial revolution. and how the first electronic to network -- electronic network, the telegraph, allowed for the creation of a national news media and national financial system. announcer: watch the communicators on c-span2. announcer: now, producers of the dilemma talkry the about their investigation into the social media platform and its impact on global democracy. stanford hosted this event -- stanford hosted this event. [applause] >> tonight's symposium follows the mantra think globally, act


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