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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 13, 2013 8:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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detroit recently became the largest municipality in u.s. history to file for bankruptcy citing the city's debts amounting to $18 billion. michigan congressman john conyers held a form recently to discuss detroit's financial crisis. state and local officials along with economist julien malveaux took part. congressman conyers is called for congressional hearings on detroit's bankruptcy.
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this is two hours and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon. good afternoon. i don't have a gavel to bring us to order. you all know that means keep the conversations to quiet. all right? we are here for serious business. the dean of the nations lawmakers have seen fit to convene us here today because of the extraordinary exuberance they have this matter of detroit , for its fiscal integrity, conclave's fiscal future, its economic background and the way in which the bankruptcy filing reflects upon and reinforces some very
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powerful and in some cases dangerous currents that need to be articulated and addressed. we are here today because one of the magnificent jewels in the crown of american democracy is under assault. we are under siege in the city. i say we because i'm a native of detroit, michigan. [applause] allow me to reintroduce myself. my name is michael eric dyson. [applause] tabernacle missionary baptist church at 6125 each would. dr. frederick george sampson the pastor of congressman conyers and myself. we are here today because of the devastation visited upon this city. we know that detroit is
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vulnerable to certain economic forces. we know that the marketplace has levied a tremendous tax if you will and a burden on the city. we know that this city of extraordinary vitality, 1.8 million people, lived in our city in the 1950s. we hemorrhaged over 1 million people from that time until now. in fact from 2000 to 2010 we lost nearly 700,000 people so the population of detroit along with the economic devastation visited upon the unique and curious circumstance between city and suburb, where as my former colleague at the university of pennsylvania suggested, the exodus, mass exodus of white citizens to suburbia devastated and depleted the internal resources of a city
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that continue to be economically exploited while not being replenished by a corollary investment in the city. in other words folk was ripping us off taking our services and not giving back to us. and now we see with not only the depopulation and the economic arrangement between city and suburb but we also know there has been a tremendous leading of manufacturing jobs. nearly 300,000 at our highest, 27,000 manufacturing jobs right now so we know the shift of manufacturing service industries has meant that there is not only at depopulation and a curious relationship of city and suburb and the economic devastation that is in the offing as a consequence of that but the way in which the shift from manufacturing to service industries has ravaged our economic security in the city. when you lay on top of that the
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fact of a predominantly black american city, this stigma associated with that laxity has occasioned many cycle racial beliefs and unleashed very unexamined extremely antagonistic emotions about what that might mean. so as a result of all of these factors we are here today because now we are facing the fact that democracy and is being systematically denied to hundreds of thousands of people in this city. detroit is a benchmark in the bellwether or to mick's metaphors even further a grommet or of what the health of democracy is about. if we commit the takeover of a duly elected population of officials the mayor, the school
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system, more broadly the pensions of government municipal and state workers than what we are facing is the fact that the arbitrary will and caprice of an ideologically driven political headquarters, in this case in the government of michigan, the governor's office to be more specific, that is a devastating consequence upon the democratic exercise of agency and free will that we have as a result of being american citizens. we are american citizens. the folk we elected should do the stuff that we elected them for. so we can have the arbitrary imposition of the ideologically driven will anybody to override the fundamental right of voting and the fundamental effect of democracy. the folk that we elect should represent until such time as that they are either
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disqualified or at their offices are terminated as a result of them completing their duties. so we are here today to talk about all of the extraordinary consequences and implications and iterations of this bankruptcy filing. this is not a personal thing. this is no personal bitterness. you know brother orr is a good decent person doing his job. we don't have to be nasty on the personal level. we are in the church. what i'm saying is however even though we have no personal animus toward you we have a philosophical disagreement with the appointment of somebody to oversee with all of those devastating and dangerous and problematic consequences of,. [applause] to oversee a black city and to oversee a democratically-elected politician and to oversee citizens of the city and more
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broadly a state that needs to have their rights respected. don't get it twisted. this is not only about detroit. this is about what happens across the country. this is what happens when you have got predatory forces coming in to take over the real estate infrastructure of the city at the behest of a right-wing ideology that has no understanding of or appreciation for these duly elected officials and for those citizens who happen to populate the city. so now what i want to do then is to say we have tremendous experts within sight and with knowledge who will offer to us some serious rebuttal of what we consider to be the vicious repudiation of democracy in our own city. so now i feel like i'm at the
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apollo coming to the stage. one of the most noteworthy lawmakers in the history of american culture, a man whose pedigree is extraordinary, a man whose intelligence is keen. a man whose commitment to not only his constituency but to the process of american democracy has been noteworthy. a man who has been on the front lines fighting a battle against all forms of oppression and anti-democracy. none other than the honorable congressman john conyers. he will now come to make a statement. let's receive the king of the nation's lawmaker. [applause] [applause] >> good afternoon my brothers and sisters. it is so important that all of
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us are here in this great church pastor by reverend dr. wendell anthony who is on the dais with us. [applause] this is not a theoretical conference. it is not a philosophical one but it is a requirement under the conditions that we examined two things. and the two things i'm going to introduce first is that for me, the two things is to make sure by legislation that we provide a
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backstop so that the pensions of city workers will not be affected. that is number one. [applause] nobody mess with the pensions. my second legislative act monday when i returned will be to make certain that we get the needed public safety funds to protect the citizens of this city and i want to make sure that we do that through legislation. i will reintroduce called shield their streets. we have to be safe. that's the second requirement. [applause] now because i'm asking a all 13 of us on the panel, each one
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distinguished, each one with an important perspective combat that we keep our remarks to three minutes and i do that reluctantly but the only way that we can get audience participation is that all of us do what we can to allow for 4:00 to 5:00 the audience can question us, make comments. this is not a postgraduate seminar. it's something that we are going to change. we are going to be false, all of us here. so we meet today at this crossroads of a proud and vital city being run by an unelected emergency manager who has
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unilaterally opted to plunge us into the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. unfortunately there has been precious little time for public discussion and that is why we are here. no public accountability for any of these momentous decisions. and so i say that detroit deserves better. detroit deserves better than this. [applause] i say this because both the emergency managers moral and constitutional authority to act on our behalf are very much in doubt. there are still questions. we are in court over this. compounded by the fact that when the emergency managers and power after the voters of the state
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solemnly rejected the emergency manager law itself, remember? only to have their votes ignored by a lame-duck legislation and when this good faith so-called in conducting negotiations has been called into questions by the rushed and last-minute encrypts the filing. so it's in that spirit that we gather, not to pontificate but to explore a brady of perspectives and directions that we may want to go. this is being taped. we are going to study what everybody says and i am so flattered that these 13 men and women and let's give them all collectively around of applause for the great work. and i thank you.
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i just have to say this about michael eric dyson. professor michael eric dyson was not accidentally selected as the moderator. he is one of the nation's preeminent social commentators for "msnbc". he has authored and edited more than a dozen books, dozens of books, the recent innumerable awards and is an esteemed professor at georgetown university who understands the problem. he was only this year -- he received the invaluable leadership award from the naacp awarded by dr. wendell anthony himself. [applause] and most of all adding to all of that, he is a true and loyal
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native son. thank you very very much professor dyson. [applause] >> thank you so much congressman conyers for that powerful statement and let me say since one of the hats i wear is a baptist preacher and i have preached in this church to the thunderous oratory and the magnificent eloquence and the fire of the reverend dr. wendell anthony. we are grateful to his presence and his leadership. [applause] in this church and in this city. as congressman conyers has with elegance informed me -- this ain't no postgraduate seminar. let me be loud and clear. what we are going to do is get to the heat of the matter in the heart of the matter. we want to talk about the
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appointment of emergency manager and talk about its consequences for the municipal business of a particular city of detroit, michigan. we want to talk about pension funds and speak about workers for the city who are left vulnerable in the face of such a decision. we want to talk about schools and we even want to talk about art. that ate your issues charter schools or schools. it's not your shoe to talk about economic infrastructure but you might he moved as jay-z would save picasso baby. whatever your motivation is and lies understand that we are in this boat together. an arbitrary exercise of choice by a politically elected officials to deny the same political efficacy and a critical option to somebody else is a director enunciation of democracy. we have to be honest about that. [applause] what we want to do here today is
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to hear from our esteemed panel and let me get right to that. i want to start with the fact that the entire point of the emergency manager law which was firmly rejected by a majority of michigan voters was to avoid allowing principalities to fall into bankruptcy. in june of 2011 governor snyder said he will not let detroit declare bankruptcy. detroit is not going into bankruptcy he said after meeting with the agencies in new york. we are going to work hard to make sure we don't need an emergency manager and bankruptcy shouldn't be on the table he said he simply put governor snyder did not deliver on either of these promises. now, the encoding further disproves what i and other rational individuals have been saying for more than two years. emergency managers are not the solution to what ails our national governments.
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slashing funds to our cities to fund handouts to large corporations is foolish. one need not be a cpa to understand this and it's troubling that are governor does not. those of their words of senator johnson who is here today and we are appreciative of the brilliance and insight and clarity that they offer us as we talk about the consequence of this emergency management. i want to begin with detroit councilmember jo ann nichols watson. councilman watson has served as a legislator since 2003 and was named by the "nation magazine" is the most valuable local municipal official in 2010. [applause] absolutely. from 19921997 she was the only woman to lead the nation's largest branch of the naacp and
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from 1997 until her election in 2003. so we are going to hear from detroit councilmember joanne watson but before that i want to offer pride in place to the reverend dr. wendell anthony the pastor of this church, a leader of the naacp and the city who has been on the frontline ever since the prospect of, of the shadow of a possibility of pointing and emergency managers loomed and in the face of anti-democratic action on the part of governor snyder. dr. wendell anthony in addition to being the bishop of the chapel he has enjoyed a long and distinguished illustrious career spearheading humanitarian efforts in communities across the city of detroit to refugee camps in rwanda and in zaire. i want to begin with dr. anthony
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and i want to ask him this question if he doesn't mind. reverend anthony is very concerned concerned about that the 125 cities across the u.s. u.s. -- as i said this is not simply that detroit. we are the canary in the coal mine. this reflects what will happen in other municipalities and other cities that will be forced to take the same path that is being forced upon detroit. 125 cities across u.s. are facing financial distress and therefore the entire nation is looking at detroit pretty believes the emergency financial managers able to tell the story but there is not than the opportunity for the residents of detroit to tell their side of the story and how an unelected official is now controlling their lives without democratic input. i want dr. anthony to speak pointedly to that issue. >> thank you professor dyson. let me welcome everybody here to the chapel. i want to thank congressman john conyers for his leadership and
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initiating this most important discussion. the dean of the congressional black caucus and the one who brought for 15 years straight the notion that the nation needed to recognize dr. martin luther king jr. and through his efforts he supported everybody, women and men every race every issue. let's give a hand to congressman john conyers. thank you congressman for the work that you do. [applause] professor dyson we are unequivocally and unapologetically opposed to the emergency manager. we have said that for many many months. simply because one is an economic distress does not mean we have to be -- by the imposition of a one-man rule. unfortunately 50% of the african-american population in the state of michigan resides under an emergency manager. that is in our view on constitutional, undemocratic and
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goes against the grains of what america supposed to be about. we believe the position of the emergency manager and the bankruptcy that has subsequently been filed since that time is premature. we believe that the pointing system that was used in order to designate what city student received an emergency manager was flawed. there are cities and oakland county that have a point system that qualify them for emergency manager if they do not have the imposition of one. sometimes we are told that there's a city that has one and those are cities that may have requested it. wade and did not requested. we also believe that the finding of the bankruptcbankruptc y was premature. there is no -- been no significant negotiation with the pension systems as an example in the city of detroit. those significant negotiations with labor unions in the city of detroit. you can bring 125 groups in a room and lay on the table this is my plan and so you will take
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it or leave and call that a negotiation. that is an imposition. that is not a negotiation. i don't know if there are any lawyers in here but i think there might be so we suggest that in viewing all of this as you file your briefs and we have filed several lawsuits that are in court right now, that those are the kinds of issues we will hear. even former secretary of labor robert reisch suggested just because cities are in economic distress that does not mean that you impose the advent of an emergency manager or you going to bankruptcy. it is a strategy and for those who are looking at c-span, don't think about this detroit. it's coming to your city next. there are 125 cities all across america that are on the brink of bankruptcy. detroit has now become the model they want to even impose legislation nationally.
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modeled after detroit which suggests that if cities are in economic distress like detroit they should not qualify for any federal dollars. and the cats that are doing that senator lindsey graham from south carolina have gotten more central dollars and senator comb from texas who has got so much money he can't count it through add-ons, senator from utah who has gotten $86.1 million for his rail system, these are the guys that are saying it's for detroit this somehow nobody osha qualified based on economic distress. so we are here two days to say that it was premature and there has been no significant negotiation, and detroit is better than what we perceive to be and we have not seen the real detroit and detroit has been
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economically pillaged right now. economically pillaged right now. folk are getting no contract bids. we in the city of detroit demand that we are treated better than what we are being treated currently. that is why we say the bankruptcy is bankrupt itself. that is why we say there aren't number of models that could be used. the new york model that was used in 1975 and 77 they did not impose an emergency manager. they worked out. the economic advisory council with the president with the local officials. we are saying that the nation has a 16 trillion-dollar deficit michigan has a deficit and no emergency manager. california has a deficit. chicago has a deficit created
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land that has a deficit. all these cities with deficits and no bankruptcy, no emergency manager. if it's good enough for them it dog on should be good enough for the city of detroit. in short, detroit is better than that. [applause] >> we will now have the benediction. that is brilliantly summarized and articulated and so darned true. we thank dr. anthony for that. i'm going to at the behest of the organizers, as we have just seen from dr. anthony is brilliant and i think passionate and insightful examination of the contradictions between other municipalities and states and governments but then extraordinary amount of debt and being in the red not gang
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treated similarly. so with that kicking us off i'm going to ask the rest of the panel to hold two or three minutes. [laughter] he is the pastor of the church so the pastor of the church gets five because he is the holy ghost testifying with him. the holy ghost is testifying too for the rest of us we have to be earthbound. i know you are inspired by the lord and other deities that are relevant to your particular worldview. let's now turn to councilwoman joanne robin -- joanne watson who has been working tirelessly. jo ann robertson worked in montgomery with martin luther king junior. i'm comparing her to another joanne who is a historic hero.
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councilwoman joanne watson has been working tirelessly to develop construction -- she can discuss way the emergency management law as well as detroit's bankruptcy filing are not the right answer. i want to ask her to weigh in on that in a hershey minutes to help us put this into context as to exactly what we are confronting. >> thank you very much professor i want you to know that we are so proud of you and the love you and we honor you professor michael eric dyson who is also an ordained minister from detroit. thank goodness for congressman john conyers. i would not be sitting here for were not for congressman john conyers. i must give honor to the only one -- for rosa parks.
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praise god for our team. first of all the city of detroit did not file bankruptcy. let me hurry up. the city of detroit is represented by the mayor whether you like him are not in the detroit city council whether you like them or not. the federal bankruptcy law says plainly that elected officials filed for municipal bankruptcy. the bankruptcy law says that government gets too approved set filing if it happens and it does not say the government gets to file it and then approve it. you don't get to it point someone -- a point someone with an agenda for bankruptcy and the agenda is to look at recently released e-mails that came out weeks before each body was appointed. e-mails that showed there was a plan for bankruptcy. there was a strategy for
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bankruptcy. come on somebody. what is happening in detroit is connected with the right-wing plan around this country. it's connected. [applause] to voter suppression and voter suppression is happening all over this country. it's connected to what's happening in louisiana and mississippi. when one considers that mother rosa parks was in -- more years then she lifted now bama. rosa parks was the assigned plaintiff on the laws that we filed with the board of education. when you consider that michigan which was once heralded as a center of righteousness for black folks as the epicenter for a nice labor, as a synergy for for -- and when you look at michigan and detroit. this was no accident.
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this was purposeful. the issues have nothing to do with resolving the financial crisis. why don't you pay your bills state of michigan if you want to resolve the crisis? >> your bills. [applause] why don't you collect what is due. the federal bankruptcy law says you have to exhaust every other means before you file bankruptcy. and you can only file if you are an elected official. none of that is true. if we are citizens we ought to be held up by the constitution and not held down. thank you my brother. [applause] >> amen. she came in under time. she wins the award so far for a brilliant articulation and for timely expression.
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thank you so much councilmember watson for that very powerful statement. let me turn now to al garret. powell is the president of the detroit chapter of the american federation of municipal employees known as afscme. it is indeed the nations fastest growing public services with more than 1.5 million working and retired members. its members include childcare workers emt sanitation workers and more. schiavo case for fairness in the workplace. we know the detroit chapter of afscme along with other organizations as calling for the resignation of kevin moore as emergency manager. in particular -- [applause] in particular the coalition cites mr. orr's recent interview
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with "the wall street journal" where he stated and i quote for a long time the city was lazy happy and rich. now we know that recently black politicians have taken to the public airwaves to excoriate black people. he is not even an elected official. we are talking about the vicious transmission of the stereotypes as the basis for public policy. we can't allow that to happen. and the way in which these vicious stereotypes operate others they have a material consequence because the impact they have policies recommended at the behest of an anti-democratic process like emergency manager. perhaps we can get brother al to elaborate the concerns that the
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members of his union have about the detroit emergency manager because i'm sure he doesn't think that his employees and his constituency are, lazy, rich and happy. thank you so much for the. >> congressman conyers and reverend anthony. afscme believes that where we are today goes to the adage that elections matter. when we elect folk who have no skin in the game to sit in the chair of our mayor we are at risk. let's examine that. all through this process solutions have been offered to the leadership through the honorable -- afscme sat down at the bargaining table and we cut roughly $150 million out of the
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budget. the mayor of the city of detroit because the governor told him fail to take that contract of ratification for 150 million. then we sat down with him a little earlier and we said mr. mayor is a phenomena and we have going on the state of michigan. we have got what we call the first commuter tax fraud. what do i mean by that? people who live in the city of detroit who happen to work outside of their don't pay income tax. so what we need to do mr. mayor is go to the legislature and fix that. it has been determined that roughly $124 million of taxes exist from that provision and that provision alone. we raise that issue better than two and a half years ago. there has not been one single deal presented to rectify that.
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what is really about folks is this. there has been a decision made by those folk in charge that folk in the city of detroit don't matter. and for the state of michigan to move out of the doldrums that it's in, it needs a vibrant city. just where are they going to find that? in the city of detroit. it manifests itself this way. number one they created a crisis. revenue sharing was cut dramatically by the state in the legislature. you take a significant portion of my income and then you say -- if any of you if i could go into your pocket and pull out half of your wages and you would be in a deficit. so that is one piece of it. the next piece is very simple. when they made the deal to the pay as flat revenue share to the
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city of detroit they reneged, again causing fiscal crisis. we sat down with andy dylan, what is he, the treasure of the state of michigan. he agreed that there is $800 million of uncollected tax revenue. i am going to shut up but i just need to get this out. further let's examine what's going on. the same time the city is filing for bankruptcy we are putting $360 million in a hockey arena. if we are too broke to take care of the pension of the folks who were guaranteed a pension by our constitution, who worked for a pension combat that is nobody gives city workers a pension. city workers by the sweat of their brow, by their intellect earned their pension.
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[applause] so that is our money. now understand when i say it's a conspiracy you need to understand. i want to point back vividly to approximately three weeks ago on every news station in michigan and on cable. you heard about the million dollar check that stayed in the drawer. a lamb blasted city with workers and processes. it was only two weeks later that we found out that mr. orr process the check. guess what? that was not on the news. they didn't have a -- saying these folks don't know what they're doing and that is what's going on. if you follow the myth of the em at the detroit board of education and i will tell you this everywhere they have been there has been no success. our first issue ought to be voting for folks who are with us
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not just on a journey but are here all the time. thank you. [applause] >> amen. i don't know why i am up here but this is very important. we are going to ask our panelists to hold their comments to three minutes. but i know the inspiration from above comes down to and it's incredibly important stuff. when i step up just wrap up in 15 seconds. i'm not used to regulating talking. this is god's punishment for me. you all don't have time to answer questions. if you want to hear them talk for five and sets good.
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if you don't want to talk, all right cool. you have got three minutes. they have been taking 10 anyway. we still want you to produce if a democratically so i'm going to turn now to ms. rose roots. mezrich is the president of the detroit retiree subchapter 98. rose asks me so obviously we want to respond to the emergency line and chill manager and efforts to make substantial cuts to retiree pensions based on the assertion that detroit's pensions are underfunded. let's have her explain how large the typical municipal employees pension is and how unfair it would be to cut the pensions of those who have given -- given decades of their lives to public service. we just heard we don't want nobody to given us anything that
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we can give ourselves. since it was created many of the people who have given their lives to decades of public service many of whom may not be eligible for social security benefits i want folks in three minutes to address that issue and speak to how, what a consequence that would have and what make it of consequence that would have on these thousands of workers. >> the application for bankruptcy filed in detroit set a precedent for all workers across the country. we are not asking for a handout. we worked turned and paid into the pension system. many retirees are living longer. we have retirees over 100 years old. the average pension today is $19,000. that is the average. 19,000 a year. that's the average for today. they today. the retirees that are over 100 years old, 80 to 90 to 100 years
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of old a lot of them get under $500 a month for retirement benefits. what do you expect him to do? go out and look for a job in mcdonald's? we were there when the city needed us and we expect the city to live up to their convictions on the contracts to help us have a decent retirement. a decent retirement. i say don't take away our pensions. take away orr. [applause] >> i am stunned. thank you. thank you for yielding back the balance of your time to the panel so very kindly. let me turn now to james spiotto and brother jim is a partner and head of a special bankruptcy workout group chapman and cutler
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llp. he is a recognized expert on chapter 9 bankruptcy and written extensively about chapter 9 bankruptcy. we know that chapter 9 is not the answer in all instances and the state and federal government have a role to play an intervening before cities have no other choice but bankruptcy and we have heard from several of our panelists already about the premeditated strategy so to speak the filing bankruptcy. i want brother jim to speak to that and also discuss how cities such as new york and philadelphia were able to avoid chapter 9 because i think they present comparable cases of alternative measures that can be adopted to avoid the emergency we find ourselves in today. >> it is a very important to recognize that chapter 9 is never intended to be the
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solution. it is merely a process and what you really need is not chapter 9 but a recovery to help bring detroit back to where it was and provide jobs and add economic stimulus to the economy. as we all know is they sometimes say we are not overweight. we are just too short for our weight. likewise the municipality needs more taxpayers to solve the problem. the first step is a recovery plan. that brings everybody together. we are all in it together. bankruptcy is really known as the land of let's make a deal. let's get it done. let's get it done quickly. first we plan to provide the infrastructure and that is what they did in new york city. that is what they did in philadelphia in 1991 and they also wanted to make sure that what was sustainable and
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affordable, if you grow your taxpayers and increase your taxpayers by jobs and economic stimulus you will be able to provide for them. the second thing to keep in mind and for this whole issue of pensions that which can't can be paid should be paid. now the important thing is it maybe that you don't want to sacrifice essential government services and infrastructure so pay as much as you can now. what can we do to solve the problem? first of all there is a real need for safety. the congressman talked about it and he's absolutely right. we need to put in a safety net that will provide what workers who work for local governments don't get which is the basic benefits they would have gotten if they would have paid into social security. whether that's an insurance program by the federal government like to be bbg -- pbgc or the state and local government is it it that we need
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to implement that to ensure workers first of all in buying in, we all need to bind to the recovery plan that they will be able to be paid. if it fails they will be protected. if it doesn't fail we can use the tax revenues to pay for what should be paid. the next thing is to make sure there's a dedicated source, not a promise calm cannot pay when we can, not balance the budget by not paying but a dedicated source to paying pensions. dedicated to paid for the amount that is sustainable and affordable. it may not be everything we absolutely need it will be sustainable and affordable and if we grow the city and its taxpayers there will be money in the future to pay. with that -- [applause] >> thank you my friend. if you're going to read the book of financing all you have to do is turn to chapter 9.
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now it was to turn to -- that is chapter 8 but that is inside detroit. i don't make the records. i just report them. we want to return to john pottow? how do you pronounce it? pottow. brother pottow a professor at michigan law school in ann arbor and internationally recognized expert in the field of bankruptcy commercial law. he's a prolific writer and frequently provides commentary for various media outlets. professor pottow is prepared to talk with us today about how chapter 9 works and the various issues that might arise from it. we want him to talk a bit about that. we noted recently he was quoted in "usa today" saying that he thinks the emergency efm will prevail on the issue of
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detroit's eligibility for bankruptcy relief so we want him to talk a bit about that and finally to discuss whether detroit's chapter 9 is even fundamentally constitution. professor. >> i'm used to teaching post graduate seminar so i might be in the wrong place. i would like to make illegal point and because the spirit so moves me a political point as well and living with a tactical point pay the legal point i want to make is there is a lot of talk that chapter 9 requires other creditors to be treated equally and i've repeatedly heard in public statements from the major players and in the media what we have to ask for the same concessions from the pension holders we are asking for the bondholders and you will hear that all the time. i don't think that's an accurate statement of the bankruptcy law. [applause] i think what the bankruptcy law says is that you cannot
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discriminate unfairly against creditors and if you think that pension holders are differently situated from bondholders based in their background and their insurance and in based on their financial circumstances then i can understand an argument where it would not be unfair discrimination to treat that group differently in a chapter 9 encrypts the situation. number two i would like to make a clinical point which i don't usually do as a professor. i believe it is unconscionable not to give people the pensions they have earned. [applause] and for this very sound reason we have the pension insurance program at the federal government that protects members of the private sector. we don't have that for the public set your and i should also point out the bondholders are able to purchase insurance as well for their investments and i think we have it up with a the lack of insurance coverage for public sector pensions so
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what we do about that? we try legislation as some people have talked about and i agree the person who said this problem is bigger than us. this is more than a detroit album. this is municipality's all around the country. detroit is getting to it for so we have reached a political moment where this lack of insurance and coverage has two -- and that the federal government won't do it in the state government has an obligation to do so. it's not illegal or academic opinion. i call this the tigers phenomenon. i live in ann arbor and i come to the city to watch the tigers with my data. it's not just a detroit problem but a michigan problem but the people in ann arbor is will have to support it. [applause] the final point i would like to make is a tactical point which is that this chapter 9 bankruptcy if it goes forward and i understand it's a complex
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legal issues and i can answer questions on that but if it does go forward the narrative that is going out there is this is just like chapter 11 reorganization for corporations but for a city. we will get kevyn orr but have him do it with the city. if that narrative is going to use i would suggest that are negotiating for retirees to take that narrative and turn it to chapter 11. for example in chapter 11 you have to share in the upside when there's good times. rather than take a straight cut to my attention if it were me i would say that's fine, we can talk about restructuring them but what do i then pay back in the future if these concessions were overinflated cliques that is what happens in chapter 11. people get warrants and stock options from the outside and that applies to this as well. thank you. [applause] >> very nice. the tiger problem. we could have a cabrera solution.
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i am not a stand-up comedian. in that sense it's a very good point because a lot of people benefit from the resources of the city and we think thank the professor for knowledge into what we should all acknowledge. if we take from that we have to give back to it. even the bible says the box is worth some of the food that the docsis helping to tread the path of. you see why i'm not the pastor, because i'm messing missing that quote up. the point is you should get paid for the labor you do. i want to acknowledge bureau candidate ben napoleon who is here. mr. napoleon, standup. [applause] thank you, sir. i want to turn to another professor. we have our professorial lineup.
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professor bolus of jacoby of bankruptcy professor and commercial law professor at the university of north carolina in chapel hill. she has been blogging extensively and insightfully about how the bankruptcy court ruling has been -- have the bankruptcy court has been handling detroit's bankruptcbankruptc y case. for example the bankruptcy course has appointed individuals to help out including a mediator and fee examiner so we want her to help us understand what's going on there and explained what has happened in the case so far and what is likely to happen in the future. professor jacoby. >> good afternoon everyone. thank you professor dyson. it's an honor to be here with all of you. the federal courts did not ask for this case i would say but now that they have been wanted to tell you a little bit about what is happening. the federal appellate courts
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decide which judge will get the case as you may know. the emergency manager does not get to pick the judge. the federal appellate court picks the judge and they could have picked any judge in the six federal circuit. they suggested they were looking for someone who would be a strong case manager because i think that fairness and chaos do not go hand-in-hand. so they were looking for fairness and they were looking for a procedure that could facilitate negotiation. at least that is what is reflected in the letter -- thank you. i will take back 15 seconds of my time. [applause] >> you may have 20. just speak up a little bit. >> of course. is that better? thank you.
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what we have seen so far from the bankruptcy court is i think an effort to protect the process without prejudicing anybody's rights and to create a playing field for negotiation. again i saying this i'm not commenting on the merits of the issues that have been racier today which i think are very very serious and warrant discussion. none of them have been ruled out none of them have been ruled out by what has happened so far. but as professor dyson has mentioned a chief mediator has been appointed and he in turn has appointed five more so the chief district judge federal district judge for the eastern district of michigan is somewhat unprecedented move is the head mediator. we have six mediators available. we are going to be mediating with the key players later in september.
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they are trying to signal i believe the availability to work with and negotiate this case. the bankruptcy court mandated and i think increased access to the city's documents that otherwise were segmented were kept away from people by nondisclosure agreements and waivers and other things and mandated that those become more available. the bankruptcy court approved a retired committee and the city will have to pay for it but that is not a standard move in bankruptcy cases overall to have that and they could have waited. a cup of things that are going to be coming down the road. i think you know a big step in this case is going to be the eligibility question. that has not been determined yet. that is where some of the good faith questions that have been raised already today are going to come up. they raised fact issues. there will be a hearing on those that talks about those facts and a lot of objectors have come
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forward and there is discovered going on right now to ensure that those facts come to light. there are other better team that winner going to have a separate day of hearings. at the same time again i agree with the comments that jim spiotto made that a lot of this is going to have to be negotiated. litigation is going to spend a lot of money. we have seen this another chapter 9 cases and that is not necessarily the way forward. thank you. >> thank you so very much. my apologies. i'm sorry. >> i appreciate you trying to help me professor dyson. >> now let's turn after that expert update about what's happening kind of weighing in from relatively neutral legal perspective about what possible consequences might be in the offing. it's always good to think in broader terms and reasonable
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people may disagree but we all agree on the fact that people who are at democratically participants in a democracy deserve the full weight and measure of that democracy and protecting marriage is. let's turn now to krystal crittendon. [applause] [applause] that is real nice. >> that was. >> that is real nice there. >> u. guys can pick your checks about the lobby. [laughter] >> , yes. ms. crittenden is the former counsel for city of detroit having served under him mayor
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cockrell and mayor bing and served on the executive board of 2111 of the uaw. my father was a member of the uaw at kc hayes wheel brake and drum auto any faction. [applause] we want you ms. crittenden to address the legality of detroit's financial manager as well as the legality of the chapter 9 bankruptcy filing. >> thank you so much dr. dyson and thank you to congressman john conyers for having this forum. i'm going to stick to what i know which is being a lawyer and analyzing this from a legal perspective. we need to slow down. we need to make sure that this process on the front and is legal and there is very little effort and concentration being devoted to that. public act 72 is the emergency financial manager adds that
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kevyn orr was appointed under. the problem is it did not exist under the time of his appointment. michigan law is clear 8.4 says i'm going to read this verbatim because it's very important. whenever a statute or any part thereof shall be repealed by a subsequent statute such statute or any part thereof shall not be revised daschle not be revived if the repeal of such subsequent repealing statute. the fallacy that we are all operating under is the kevyn orr was appointed under public act 72 but public act 72 was repealed by public act for it. when we went to the ballot box and we voted to repeal public act for public act 72 did not spring back to life. the governor gave him a contract under 72 and grandfather tim and under public act 436. because there was no 72 there is no emergency manager for the
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fine city of detroit. [applause] secondly in their haste to take this draconian action against the city of detroit the governor gave kevyn orr a contract which expired on march 27. how many people in this audience know that midnight occurs at 12:00 a.m.? 12:00 a.m. was a wednesday morning. the new emergency manager -- did not take place until thursday morning. we were without an emergency manager for one full day at the time the new law took effect. therefore there should have been no grandfathering and of the 436 assuming he was a duly appointed emergency manager. finally let me just say this and councilwoman watson is so correct. under chapter 9 was a federal law he cannot have an involuntary bankruptcy. nobody but the municipality can ask that municipality go to a
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bankruptcy. public act 436 basic clear and kevyn orr makes it perfectly clear that he is not answerable to the city of detroit. he is tangible only to the state of michigan and because your mayor and city council did not file this bankruptcy petition is defective and illegal from its perception. [applause] i know i said finally but it's an old lawyer trick. the proponents of this bankruptcy are saying that the federal court judge has to file a 436 which is state law but he does not have to follow the michigan constitution. it doesn't even make sense. the michigan constitution makes it clear that the contract rights of those engineers from the city of detroit are protected. they cannot have it both ways. i'm saying we need to slow down. we need to make sure the court has the authority and the jurisdiction to even answer all of these other questions
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concerning the solvency and good faith right now. there's going to be hearing on september 18 in september 19. anybody got a letter and was asked to show up and participate and object please do so. thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] i am sure all the lawyers can attest to the fact that we are not used to hearing that much applause for a member of the legal profession. [laughter] all of the sterling legal minds appear. it's heartwarming to hear that kind of applause. i began with the comment of state senator bert johnson to frame things so i have already read what he said. let me introduce both senator johnson and senator young and asked them him to weigh in. senator coleman young, state
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senator coleman young and what a name he bears and what a heritage. [applause] he has certainly absorbed. he served two terms in the michigan house of representatives before being elected to the state senate. now, senator bert johnson is in his first term as a state senator representing the second district which includes highland park hamtramck northeast detroit harper woods and all five grosse point communities. [applause] it's funny when i grew up in detroit people say you're from detroit you must have been -- i said no i mostly stayed in the city. the radical segregation of the city and i grew up in the 70s. i was born in 58 so in the 60s and 70's when coleman young came to power and when ken cockrell
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framed as one of the supreme legal minds of america. [applause] by late great friend johnny cochran was -- but kenneth cockrell was a rhetorical genius. i was looking at tv and i said i'm going to learn to talk like that. and then listening to my pastor frederick george sampson as well. coleman young and bert johnson state senator young and state senator johnson, i want to ask them. some of our gave 50% of african-american voters in michigan lost their -- as a choice of governor snyders emergency manager. we have often talked about and we heard it today. senator young serves on the local government elections. i will ask you to discuss how the state's emergency management love and the appointment of the financial manager may be forms
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of disenfranchisement by potentially depriving the citizens to be represented by their duly elected officials that i want to ask senator young and senator johnson as well. we will have them answer in turn with their three minutes of purse -- a piece. senators young and johnson. >> the mic -- the great michael eric dyson. what a wonderful job you are doing. and the reverend wendell anthony. it's an honor code which to share the stage with you. hello detroit. how are you while all doing? let me first to say this. a great man once said that law should not rest on the simple deal of the majority but on the eternal righteousness. the en law is not righteous.
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the en law must be repealed. let me just say the people in lansing think they have got you beat. they they are sitting up there rubbing their hands together. they are sitting there licking their chops but they don't know who we are. they don't know what detroit is. they don't know that detroit is the home of rosa parks the woman who sat down to a movement could stand up. the city of detroit is the place were doctored martin luther king for skaters "i have a dream" speech right here in the city. detroit is the first -- the place where the first radio broadcast -- we put the world on wheels and made a soundtrack for a generation with motown writer in the city. this is the city of detroit where the battle of the overpass took place with where the 5-dollar workday took place where we led slaves on the south on the plantation north to their liberation right here in the city of detroit. after all of that you think
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you're going to be beat as some governor? do you think we are going to be be by a man who thinks we are lacy? know, no the people of the city of detroit are not and lazy. they are overworked and underpaid. [applause] they are unemployed. maybe if we started putting people to work in the city of detroit we would have economic revitalization. let me just say this in conclusion and then i will get off my soapbox but let me say this in conclusion. a man who does right for his time does right for all time. a great man said that. this is their moment to try. right here it will be said that a group of men and women of stouthearted mind sight the passion of of the principles and the courage of their convictions
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stood up against a dictator named kevyn orr and stood up against a dictator named rick snyder. he thought he had us the. >> that we overthrew the status quo. we went out there and said to them we will -- and we will raise supreme and liberty will be held from the city of detroit. just because you default on the city doesn't mean you are going to default the citizens of the city. i just want to say i love you and i appreciate you. god bless you the city of detroit and thank you for your time. [applause] >> somewhere that emss hit eight-mile road. that's right, that's right. >> let me correct that. the criminals at eight-mile road. >> that's my point.
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>> i stand corrected. >> that's her right. we are engaging in a rhetorical maneuver of syndicatisyndicati on. i didn't want to be explicit about it but you brought me out there. you get what i'm saying. >> i received the correction. thank you very much. >> you or the man. that was beautiful. we want to ask senator johnson out to weigh in. >> good evening everybody. it's good to see you all and thank you dr. dyson for the work you are doing here tonight. let me also thank a giant in our community whose impact will be felt far long after he has served his days congressman john conyers and thank you reverend anthony for having us here tonight. [applause] it's good to see this ram pack with individuals and i'm not going to repeat anything that hasn't been said -- has been said. for 33 months i have had a front row seat to what it is that has become the nations number one showdown city and state with
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respect to take over. the city of detroit the water and sewage department the education system the libraries and now 36th district court. we need to be very clear about what right to work less. it wasn't just about the unions. it was but it was not just about the unions. right to work was also about getting rid of and obliterating the nations first and foremost politically led black driven labor led city in the country. [applause] and there are people today, there are people today, there are people today that don't understand that -- all that is at stake. we are in the midst of an election cycle for the city's leadership. we can't deal with the state until we get to next year. i'm not going to pick on this guy but we have to tell the truth if we are ever going to get away from this. the same people who presented you with failed mayoral leadership in the past couple of
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cycles are now presenting you with their very own agent. to put in charge of the city of detroit so they can continue doing what it is that they started. [applause] i'm not saying he is a bad guy but if he becomes the mayor of the city of detroit he will represent a whole lot of bad guys. ..
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who can represent you. the bankruptcy is but one piece of this poz m. -- puzzle and the court and the lawyer and labor friends fighting on our behalf are going to settle the conversation. you, my friend, you my friend, it has been said that the most important political leadership in the united states of america is not that of a president but of citizen. you all have to continue to raise the so the thing goes full circle. [cheering and applause] powerful. all the ministers up here.
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it's amazing. let's now turn to -- the legal director of the american civil liberty union of michigan the aclu. he's one of the lead -- [applause] right. lead aclu attorney on landmark litigation. filed on behalf of detroit resident against morgan stanley. cred story lending practices. [applause] that prayed a major role in the city's foreclosure crisis, and the impact those crisises have had on people of color. just when you hear that, i don't want to pontificate as congressman con years said. i have to say this this is what we said to president obama. if the specific effect of unemployment, depopulation, outmigration, and the manufacturing conservatives
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because of the industrialization has targeted black people, so you to target black people to hook them up, help them out, as american citizens. not as black citizens. [applause] we want them to explain the role of the predatory lending practices by wall street might have played in detroit's bankruptcy. we know foreclosure crisis had the greatest amount of black wealth in the history of this country. we know that is true. we also want to -- bankruptcy had on civil rights cases with the city or city officials suspended. for example, the -- called all of these cases to be put on hold even with the primary purpose to win a court order striking down an
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unconstitutional pots or practice as opposed to winning money damage. you see the impact this decision has had. we want to weigh in. >> good afternoon. it's an honor to be here with the inspiring, wonderful people. i only have three minutes. i think i'll stick with the predatory lending case. if there's question about the impact on the bankruptcy filing. i would be glad to talk about that. in the blame game around the bankruptcy, there have been fingers pointed at many entities. fingers pointed at politicians, unions, the resident of detroit. seldom do you hear the media talking about wall street's role in the financial crisis of detroit. [cheering and applause]
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i'm here to tell you that corporate did play a role in the bankruptcy filing. [applause] the aclu with the national consumer loss center and other coalition partner filed a case last year a class action against morgan stanley for its role in the foreclosure crisis. we claim that more began stanley working with lenders engaged in predatory lending practices, engaged in reverse redlining, and targeted disproportionately the african-american res depths of detroit. they did this because of the satiable because of the high yield. they bungled up the very, very risky toxic loans and sold them
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on the marnlgt. -- market. morgan stanley and wall street banks made billions upon billions of billions of dollars off it. as a result, the people of detroit and other people in similar communities across the country suffered terribly. the loans being made available to the residents of detroit were not the others on the other side of eight mile. the interest rates were much higher. they were adjustable rate mortgages, balloon payments, the lenders did not tell individuals that taxes were not included in the monthly payment, and they focus on individuals and commune i -- communities that traditionally didn't -- were not eligible or not given loans. there was reverse red lining.
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and the loans were destroyed to fail. they were toxic loan, and there's no surprise within years after engaging, you know, entering to the agreement there was a huge froark crisis in the city. over 100,000 buildings foreclosed upon. in city more than 700,000 people. it undermined and destroyed the wealth in the city. a lot of wealth within the community was focused on the home. these were in families for years and years. when they lose the home they lose the wealth. people of color most more wealth by a factor of than caulk caution during the foreclosure crisis.
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so i'm here to say and the judge in our case actually came out and said there is a connection between the predatory lending of banks like morgan stanley and the bankruptcy filing in the state. , i mean, what? what? reverse right lane; right? that's the hook up. right. because rutgers university professor argued in some cases and instants it's not offensive. it's not the fact of persistent and lingering malignant discriminate targeted that is problematic. it's the way in which white brothers and citizens hook each other that excludes. i ain't going do nothing for
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you. you watch everybody's kid but don't make sure yours get on the merry go around. pretty horrible if you're on the other. [cheering and applause] we have two more participants. our home run hitters here. 30 years of service. why met her. that's a heck of a combination. brilliant, gifted, intelligent, and fine too. i don't want to commit the obama problem here. i don't undermine the capacity
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that she pot-friendly sectorses but i ain't blind. "ft" of black law enforcement currently president of the retired detroit police member association. we want her to talk about the effect of pension cut on a very critical segment of our population, the police. thank you so much. >> thank you. [applause] very kind. good evening, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. one again, i'm brenda andrew. a retired deputy chief. i'm a police officer. i did that for thirty years. i worked the streets, i walked the beat, and i'm proud to be that, and we're seeing now everything we worked for for many years disappearing before our eyes. i'm doing say calm of things. give a different perspective. i think i'm the only police officer on the panel here.
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but the retired detroit association believes there should be no cuts to pensions or health care. we believe there are other avenues and revenues to had. institution naltly protected. detroit police officers have been shot at. i don't know. i have. we have been shot, injured, killed, maimed. and we've been scened in every possible way. there's no social security benefits for us at the end of the day. we depend on our pension and our health care to see us through. and we've heard that truly eyes
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are on detroit. what happens here in detroit can and will happen across the country. recently we were hearing about the health care benefits taken from the retirees. consider how devastating that would be. the painful choices that many of us will have to make. how do i pay for the coverage? and more importantly, what do i cut in order able to do that? many municipality will be looking for a quick fix to their dismal city finances. and pensions seems to be the bulls eye for many, many communities. including here in detroit. i want to say congress, local politicians, economists and leadership be mindful of the devastating effect pension and health care cuts will have on the economy. i don't think we talk enough about that. i'm licensed realtor as well in
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the state of michigan. i've already had people come to me to talk about foreclosure and short sale. concerned about losing their homes. the president has stated from the beginning and throughout that he was concerned about preserving the middle class. pension and health care cuts will road the middle class. there will be -- [applause] there will be an increase in foreclosures. companies have to lose their home and move to other communities or states. retirees who -- reconsider buying new homes, cars, and -- i won't say the rest. i'm getting cut off here.
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[laughter] we have earned the right to our pension. nobody should be taking anything from us. we're here today as a direct -- collective voice to have a loud and clear voice to for the nation that a cut to any retiree's pension and benefits is unacceptable, and we will continue to fight urnlingsz blank --
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and author and president of college for women, she studies economic stratification of the american populace status of african-american anemia particular. have a ph.d. from m.i.t. at 26. she's a bad woman. [applause] to tie it all up for us and talk about the economic implication of a potential detroit bankruptcy. the reverend. >> thank you, michael. when he askses women speak lets you sit in a --
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>> that's right. >> mo of the other people of course. my brother john conyers. i'm going tell you who understands economics. >> that's right! >> i don't know when he introdpiewses hr40 to simply study the impact of slavery on african-american people to simply study. all the people who have no sense it was a reparation bill. had he said it's only 22 members of the congressional black caucus sign that legislation. which means everybody -- >> come on now! [applause] >> one might essentially apply to the situation with the emergency manager. i'm not going there. i'm honored to be here.
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i'm not from detroit. i've been there a number of times. .. or even 50% african-american that has not been subject to some assault. let's talk about new orleans for a minute. there is a parallel. new orleans had it essential fiscal crisis in the first response to that crisis was to take over the schools so that new orleans now has a whole
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bunch of charter schools and very few public schools. this committee decided that they did not want transportation. in fact there was a man quoted in "the wall street journal" as saying we can restructure our city. economically clinically and demographically. that is what he said. now the crisis in detroit is not a physical crisis. it's a manufactured crisis. [applause] that's right. first you destroy it and then you take it over. first you run it down and then you decide you want it. the rundown thing you did not want before and when you essentially suspend political democracy you also suspend economic democracy which means that the city council cannot go and follow the money. if you can follow the money you would find there is no need for bankruptcy in detroit. [applause] let's just look at this.
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the big three here got between 35 and 45 billion dollars from the united states to bail them out because they were too big to fail. how come the city that houses them is not too big to fail? [applause] so detroit owes $18 billion. it's a fraction of what the big 30. so if anything to happen those big three should be pressured to fight for detroit just like detroit quite frankly flawed for them. [applause] >> that's right.
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see the most important thing about this is that what you see several people on the panel have talked about wealth and the wealth that was lost especially with the housing crisis but you have seen a loss of black wealth all over the country not only because of housing because of high unemployment because of an attack on pensions and all these things are happening here. add to this the bankruptcy so-called. i call it the expropriation of resoceis a m shift in a resource challenge. if they want to sell the water company which is worth money and if they want to deal with the museums which is worth money although parenthetically it's interesting that some folks didn't get into this until their households were being threatened. [applause]
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this is just a simple wealth transfer and it's a wealth transfer because the governor and mr. orr and i don't know the brother so i don't know why he would spend 100 million dollars to try to figure out what to do with detroit. brother anthony here -- i'm sure we could figure it out. the fact is it's not clear that every resource has been used to prevent a bankruptcy. this is an optional bankruptcy that someone is imposing because a we have no urban policy and the mac the tea party wants to take over quite frankly our city. [applause] >> that's it. >> and most importantly what has happened here is that we have
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not fought hard enough. we have not thought hard enough. [applause] >> that's right. that's right. [applause] and to put it into economic context in the short-run those who have tankers to make it some of what they want but what they wanted along from the american people are going to be hurt by the fact that detroit is going to be attacked. several people that are dealing with the ship pensions that's not just detroit money. these run internet ordered stuff. these people are traveling an industry that's coming back so this affects all of the american people. these people want to turn detroit into disneyland.
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barbara lee wrote the president a letter and said can't we just slow our row was serious?
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>> he is going to spend 100 million more dollars with airstrikes. no boots on the ground. drones in the air means boots on the ground eventually. there are too many people who are spending money. we can afford first of all is the brother said to have a recovery plan. this is premature. we can come up with a recovery plan. this is horribly premature and the people of detroit must fight it. you must also fight it with a passion that it deserves. thank you. [applause] [applause] >> dr. malveaux didn't know that she was going to be on the panel but that is just how cool she is. that is propositional
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intellectualism at its height. i learn something every time you hear her and i learned something today because i i have preached with dr. anthony several times and i have always sat at the back. after i shined his shoes he told me i would have to press the rope. so thank you for liberating me. feminism is good for men too. i am insisting on equal treatment in the future. there are two microphones that are here. we want to hear from you. we want to tell the audience as well before we have our life questions for more information and background material related to the forum check out our web site www.democrats.judiciary v. and for the latest news the
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legal implications of the bankruptcy filing will be found there. we want to hear your voice as well. if you have a question for commerce and conyers are you want to leave a comment feel free to post on his facebook conyers. backslash congressman conyers or tweet him congressman conyers is that kind of hip man so tweet him out. john conyers and rep john conyers. he is that kind of guy. let's go to the microphones. if you have questions to ask of our esteemed panel please come. ayman -- know many of you have so much you want to say but if we can make it as brief as possible so we can get responses from our panel which we will as
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to the equally brief we will get to as many people as possible. >> my name is jerry goldberg and i'm an anti-foreclosure attorney in detroit and i work with the coalition that i want to echo what many of the speakers have said. while we have been under the gun in detroit are many years excessive detroit's leading role in the black liberation and working-class struggle the immediate destruction of our neighborhoods that we have experienced through the mid-2000 was a direct result of the predatory racists practices of the banks who drove 100,000 people into foreclosure and drove 250,000 people out of our city. these banks then went and put the city itself into predatory loans with interest rates as an
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exorbitant instrument and make no mistake the emergency manager and the bankruptcy itself is geared to ensure that these banks pay at the expense of the people. look at the list of the creditors. the banks are considered secure creditors while the pensioners are unsecured. we say that we don't owe the banks of time. they owe us billions for the destruction they have caused and we need to see that the fight against the emergency manager, the fight against this bankruptcy is a fight against the banks. we are not alone in this struggle. in philadelphia for schools have been shut down and paying $180 million of debts to the bank. the schools have been shut down to pay the banks. we call for an international tribunal, international assembly against the banks to take place right in detroit.
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we are getting responses from people all over the world who are ready to stand with detroit from france, from portugal and. join us for this international assembly. we salute the panel. let's fight the banks. let's fight for the workers. [applause] >> i miss detroit so much. thank you brother glover. >> good afternoon. i am councilmember bertie johnson and i want to thank you congressman john conyers in this entire panel for enlightening all of the audience. my question is to you congressman john conyers and the
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question is have you had a opportunity to discuss what is going on in the city of detroit with eric holder and/or with the president of the united states? >> okay, thank you maam. >> i have been able to mention this to the president but it was in the white house with 30 or more other members of congress and i have no guarantee that it soaked in. when i go back to washington on monday i am going to raise this directly with him again. and i'm going to also raise it with the leader of the democratic caucus in the house of representatives nancy pelosi. we want all of the democrats supporting our issue. >> all right. since we have had a limit on our
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panel can we have a limit on the question's? let's take a minute or less in that way we can get a minute or less response. is that acceptable? thank you. next question over here. we will go back and forth. >> michael eric dyson is a pleasure to see you and john conyers and thank you for calling this. basically we will want to correct everything you have to correct anthropological science. that does not honor the ancient egyptians and their african ethnicity and its deliberately a slap in the face to africa world people. that is education one aspect and economics starting to create jobs from the ground level up. when you go to new jersey you go to a gas station. it's automatic -- service.
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there gases 10 cents cheaper than ours. how can they do that? why can't we do that? there is a job that we cannot push for. on top of that that's another job. politics come to the thing is -. >> thank you so much for that billions but what is your question my brother? just give me a question. what is your question? >> i just want us to be active on this. that's all. >> that's very good. very powerful, very powerful. over here. one minute. >> good afternoon congressman conyers and all the members of the panel. my name is constance phyllis. i retired recently from the city. he promised us to take advantage of these packages but he did not come through. they hold the microphone up.
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speak and everybody hear me now? constance phillips is my name recent retiree from city government. the plan was to encourage us older workers to retire so younger employees could take advantage of city government jobs. essentially i want to know what is going to be our process to get the collectibles? mr. garrett you gave several figures earlier. i tallied up those numbers while we were sitting here. that was $1.47 billion you were talking about. we need that money from people who owe us. we need a collection process. what will it be? >> thank you. do you want to respond briefly to that? >> there is a concept. the gentleman attorney is looking at possible effort in terms of bus trying to -- the attorney general felon for the
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city to collect their taxes. we are exploring that so that is one option. the other thing that we have done and it's also in the litigation in this bankruptcy. there is a challenge to the city being insolvent. part of the argument in their is there is revenue. that is one of the tenants in the eligibility issue. number one we have this idea is there another way we can get the attorney general and fundamentally the bankruptcy process challenged in the city itself. >> thank you. next question. on the clock. >> my name is connolly and i'm here in from chicago because you are right to chicago is in our behind to try. they are going to steal their pensions including my brother who is a city worker who retired
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the only alternative is to bankrupt wall street type passing the glass-steagall bill as it was laid out. my question concerns the honorable senator conyers and the pastor here. we have the pamphleteer that i would like to get out to everybody. i would like permission to get this out to show how detroit can want to again become the workplace, the manufacturer for the whole nation. so ask permission to pass that out. >> thank you, serve. the congressman wants to respond. >> could i point out to you sir that we want to renew the glass-steagall ads. i'm a co-sponsor of the but i do
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not need lyndon larouche to explain to me why i am doing what i marty doing. [applause] >> but thank lyndon for us anyway. yes, sir. >> good afternoon congressman conyers. >> wait a minute come to hold. i'm so sorry. >> i just wanted to make a quick remark about glass-steagall and to inform folks at president obama has indicated he would like to appoint larry summers to lead the federal reserve bank. larry summers is the person who presided over the repealed the glass-steagall and this has caused all the financial hoopla that we have experience. people should be writing a president to suggest there are better candidatecandidate s than larry summers to lead the fed. [applause] 's. >> thank you for that.
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yes, sir. >> good afternoon congressman conyers ladies and gentlemen. i am a licensed realtor working in the city of detroit and i would like to ask since there are $56 million of the $100 million settlement that the banks had to pay through the robo-signing case that was solved just a few years ago, out of this the 56 million coming to detroit is all for demolition. none of it is being spent for what it was originally tended -- intended for to help people with foreclosure and to transform the city of detroit. is it too much to get our congressional delegation to work with local elected leaders in order to spend the 230 million remaining in the bonds to help
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restore our city both residential and commercial away from the areas of downtown and midtown? thank you. [applause] >> grade question. >> i want to thank my brother gene cunningham who already knows the answer because he worked for councilwcouncilw oman kay everett. the question is right on the money because our monies have not been spent as they were intended for the federal government needs to not just monitor the effectiveness of what's happening in planning and development. the city council is only run by the mayor. the money has not been and i have shouted it from the rooftops along with others including this week. including this week. hundreds of millions of dollars the council approved that have been taken away.
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some department staff have decided what they want to do based on their own agenda. the federal government needs to come in here and oversee these federal dollars. the money furthermore the money is supposed to be spent to hire people in the city. >> we want to take you up on the responsibility of the federal government to oversight this and stop this illegal pushing off of money into particular pursuits and i have got two lawyers from the judicial committee of the house of representatives that have just told me they are going to take this up on monday.
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[applause] we will work on this. this is our job. that is what we are here for. >> let me just say this. it's not just an issue for congressman conyers. it's a mission for the michigan congressional congress which includes levin and includes dangled. what they have been doing in cities across the country as they have been taking federal dollars and these governments have been using those monies to plug the holes and monies that have been targeted for detroit. i.e. like demolition. every house does not have to be busted up. some homes can be renovated and rehabilitated. that is the way to guarantee jobs and that's the way of determining and restricting the dollars that come not to the state but they should come directly to the city and they
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should be restricted congressman so the emergency manager direct how those local monies be used within the context of developing the city. that's an alternatialternati ve to some the things going on right now. >> the irony of that of course is people who promote states rights on the one hand don't want to talk about those firms within those local governments. thank you so much for all of those responses. you could out his become a late-night dj as well. over here comes the yes sir. >> my name is rest and i'm a proud retired city worker and president of northeast detroit that is watching that's tear your ration of the services and our street lighting service and the transfer of our water and sewage department to regional authority i have a specific
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russian to ask that on june 27 the emergency manager put out on his web site an announcement. he put in an announcement that he was going to pull all the meters in the public lighting department serving 115 customers and plug in the private utility meters. by doing that emasculate a public department and it will be gone. back in the michigan constitution is illegal because it or have -- prohibits section 25 the selling or transfer of a power futility without the vote of the people. that is repeated in section 12 of the emergency manager law paragraph ff for that says you cannot sell -- this is a law that banks used in this court and it prohibits them from doing exactly what he announced he is going to do. i want to know from me a best
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panel here what can citizens do to stop this? i filed in the bankruptcy court interjection on this because that's the only venue we have now. what else can we do to stop this illegal unconstitutional but action by emergency management which has completely ignored the law. >> thank you compass are. who wants to take that. >> first of all my good friend activists long-standing. the first unconscionable as this is the fact that there's an emergency manager. if you're going to deal with on constitutionality you have to start with the fact that it should not have come into being during alain duck session. he was -- it was illegal to come back with basically the same law.
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so the unconstitutional at the comes from nonconstitutional pointy why not go back to the beginning? all of it is illegal and unconstitunconstit utional so you have to fight all of it. not just a piece of it. >> i'm looking for a stop because i don't want somebody to to -- putting an immediate stop to this because this stuff is happening right now. >> so is bankruptcy which should be stopped. so is any adjunct done by a nonresident nonelect a person is unconstitutional and all of it is illegal. you can't take a piece of it and just deal with that. although that needs to be stopped here that is why the federal government needs to come in here. >> i would also say that part of the hearings on september 18 will determine what is legal and what is not and what can go
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forward and what cannot go forward and i would also suggest to you russ that there is a lighting authority good bad or indifferent and from my understanding it has been shifting the weight and responsibility to the lighting authority. the emergency manager according to my information does not have the authority over the lighting authority. he is articulating a lot of things that they have not blessed to that degree that he is articulating some things that they have not authorized. there is a breach right now relative to who has the authority. as they come on line my understanding is the department of public lighting is going off-line to the degree that it's going to come under authority. i would suggest that you also talk to otis jones and the members who are on the authority
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because they ultimately based upon what we understanding are going to have the responsibility for dealing with the lighting situation. if you have not done that you may need to take that to them is an issue that they need to present by now. >> i have taken no steps that the street lighting authority they don't get the power. they don't get the power of distribution. that's still under the public lighting department. >> this will have to ultimately be solved in court. >> public lighting cannot be wiped out as you say without a vote of the people. people have not voted. who needs to address it? the people. >> let me have professor jacoby respond to this as well. >> the general point is they address this question and maybe some others because this is a municipal case because of the
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10th amendment to the united states constitution. none of the want of federal bankruptcy judge ordering local officials as to how to conduct their affairs. bankruptcy courts in federal district courts do not have the power to tell people what to do in that capacity. what has to be done then is a request has to be made to what is called the automatic stay. the injunction that sort of puts everything in one form. you have to ask for relief so that relief can be sought in another foreign. that is the procedure that generally has to be sought. ..
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>> the issue is the city only owns 33,000 of the 88,000 whites. the rest of the 55,000 are not. so they make sure that the lights come on and god bless them, they are good people. but they they go along with experts on they go along with experts on what is it like this. you cannot complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof on your own port is unclear to you cannot throw stones if you live in a glass house pretty cannot talk about how bad your city is when you don't deal with the things that need to be dealt with first. so we need to talk about whether or not we should have this life authority and personally i was her gift of life authority. so i think that is what we need to do first.
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so that we liberty can remain free. thank you. >> we have about 10 minutes for questions. we would like to take more questions. yes, sir. >> mr. johnson, and other mr. conyers and other distinguished guests, i would like to commend you on bringing this program together and defining the problem. because there is still a lot of education that needs to occur. however, i along with several other folks are in court fighting as it relates to pa for 36, that it is unconstitutional, citing that the bankruptcy
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filing was unconstitutional as you have defined. what you must be aware of and what the audience must be aware of is when the court make the decision of these issues and the court will be taking the cost of these communities and it has to be dealing with the silence in the streets. this is not one in the courtroom that is a silence, it's going to be one in the streets not in the courtroom. so with that i think we would be greatly remiss if we did not hear from this learned panel what the call to action is as it relates to taking the fight to the streets. this is a concluded panel discussion, and i would like to say that we have not been
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fighting hard enough. so if the panel is not prepared to give us that directive tonight, then i suggest that the panel reconvene expeditiously, and come back to the people and give them direction on how to take the fight to the streets. [cheers] [applause] [cheers] >> let me just say -- if i can, reverend dyson, attorney irv sanders is the attorney says that they should report to the people. and he has been fighting steadfastly. but russ, you know what the answer is. every time there is a court hearing, there should be at least as many people down there waiting to get into the courtroom. every time an organization like
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the national action network tells people to show up so that they can watch their objections to the bankruptcy, there should be standing room only upstairs. we, people keep saying, i just said here people keep asking us what we are going to do. i keep saying that there is a yule in us. i am not fighting for a pension and i am not wanting to get a pension after 30 years. i cannot fight by myself for your pension. you need to make sure that every time you come to a form like this, that you go knock on your neighbor's door and you tell your neighbor to get dressed. i have a table full of people sitting right here. they are invested in this fight. and you need to do your work and make sure that you recruit people to come here. because this is not going to affect us me and the people appear. it is your future and your children's future that is at stake. the judges, they are human and persuaded by numbers.
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so we need to make sure that we are showing up in large numbers. [applause] [cheers] [cheers] >> if i may, there are several court hearings scheduled and there is a website called stand with detroit, and you can go to that and it will tell you the event where you can demonstrate and where the court hearing is. what herb is talking about is mobilization of people. we will give you the location and event, we will provide lawyers in case you are arrested. but hey, it is on if you are prepared to participate. >> that is if you are arrested for civil action come i want to make that plain. [laughter] >> yes, civil action apart from papers and all that stuff. let me also say this to you herb
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sanders and he and several others who have been fighting this fight. herb sanders already knows that we have been out on the streets on this issue and there are a number of ways in which we can do it. the nancp, national action network, and in some cases, and other folks have not been engaged in this, there is plenty of room for people to get engaged at that level. for the purposes of c-span and the panel tonight, again, we commend congressman conyers and we are trying to get information and education around the issues. this is going to be seen around the country relative to what is happening here in detroit that may be coming to your city as well. let's not overlook the importance of the information that is going to come through
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c-span as they broadcast this. and let's give c-span a hand for coming here and broadcasting this information in detroit. [applause] you can go to the nancp website and you can sign the petition, indicating that that they should step down. it's online right now. you can go to you can contact the naacp organization content. but the bottom line is there is enough around in detroit for everyone to get their own individual bucket and desire which fire they want to put out. if you want to make phone calls, there are plenty of phone calls for you to make. if you want to help volunteer to
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distribute literature on these issues, there are plenty of ways for you to do that. so we would like to be engaged, we would like to make sure that our folks get the information. that is why we are having this educational informational forum this afternoon. we thank you for coming. [cheers] [applause] >> thank you. >> all right. >> one other informational website you can go to is www. we post a lot of motions and we have links to the bankruptcy courts and i will add more of what has been mentioned today. getting police officers and people to come to this website. that is a. >> thank you, councilman. >> herb sanders, who is just extraordinary as a chief in the courtroom, he has done a magnificent job helping us with
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this issue. let me say that clearly folks need to be in the street. the best strategic actions for how to respond to pressure around her neck. it cannot be telegraphed in a public podium like this. everyone here is not on that side. so you don't telegraphed all of your stuff in the public media if you really understand. secondly, everyone ought to know about economic leverage and stop making other people rich. stop spending money and patronizing. you know that it is controlled by right-wing people taking your constitutional rights away. stop engaging in those activities and engaging the social activity. that plan right now, based on what you think you're going to be doing after you leave here. we need to be in charge of our own industry. we need to start owning and controlling, don't let someone
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else violate the standard we need to recognize that we are to majorities in the city. not to own and control wealth and keep the issue alive. the social media does not mention prayer. and i'm not talking about getting your preacher, talking about getting on your knees and having a talk with the almighty. have some powers and energy about what to shut down on what to stand up for. >> all right, so we have -- well, hold on. >> as she talked about, the wise use of your dollars, what i would say that there are corporate entities here in detroit that do support this bankruptcy. there are people who have taken
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a position. those are the people and you don't ever need to spend a penny with. and those are the people, you can find out who they are and there are some people, and dare dare i mention quicken loans that have like 3000 salespeople doing predatory lending and five years ago they had like 300 that shows what their market was. their market could not be so big that we are fooled and that you can apply for a loan through quicken loans. [cheers] [applause] >> all right. i'm afraid we're going to have to end. i know, it's not fair, but i'm just saying that i was asking you all to cut down the questions now. hold it, you have energy and passion and you have more to say. you cannot say it all tonight.
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so that means that you have to re-organize, reconvene in your local communities and you have to keep the fight going. one movie cannot correct hollywood's inappropriate imaging of black people. one forum on detroit will not exhaust all of the intelligence that you possess. it is a good sign that you are dissatisfied with this is ending. do not let it end. the program will end, but not the progress and the movement. hold on. [inaudible conversations] >> joe madison will be here next week, the black eagle, former editor of the naacp will be here -- slowdown, there. he will be here next week. -- september -- wait a minute. i'm going to let the people speak. but the people have to let my man talk.
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hold on, hold on, i want to be respectful of you. hold on, at the same time you understand that their other programs that people have to go to and they cannot stay here all night. it is not that they are disrespectful. all right, whoever wants to go me go. reverend anthony, after the program is over can they say? >> they can come to church tomorrow. [laughter] >> let me say this. this was scheduled until three until 5:00 o'clock. we knew that we were not going to be able to hear from everybody. we are not going to disrespect the process. the spin is not going to be here all night. these cameras are not going to be here all night. you can follow up with your questions and concerns, brethren, online. they gave you the webpage that you can deal with. there is going to be another town hall on september 16 with joe madison, sirius xm radio is
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coming in to do another program. you are invited to come to that. that is going to be at the museum of african-american history. some of us are going to get up and go to church in the morning. we are not going to do this all night. thank you all for coming. brother tyson, we are so glad that you came on. we are so glad that you came here tonight. we thank john conyers for his leadership. we thank doctor julianne malveaux for her leadership. we thank everyone for being here. daddy were sued today, it ain't that nice. other mike, please close us out. >> as he said, monday, september 16, from seven until 10:00 p.m. right here at the museum. joe madison, townhall, these issues will be taken up. we thank you so much, let's give a big round of applause for these extraordinary panelists and let's thank reverend doctor wendell anthony for opening the doors of the church.
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[cheers] [applause] >> on the next "washington journal", operative michael hurley will talk about threats to the united states from al qaeda related terrorist groups. followed by u.s. today alan gomes on immigration and what law enforcement says is missing from policies proposed in washington. then george mason university's janine wedel talks about politics and government. "washington journal" is live every morning on c-span at 7:00 a.m. >> yes, the world is changing. no, we cannot control every event, but america remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs command as, and as long as i am president, i intend to keep it that way. [applause] >> the president in the earlier clip is talking about we are the indispensable nation.
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what he doesn't want us to talk about, he wants americans to contemplate. we want them to talk about how we have won wars, but we don't want you to win wars. we are the best military in the world and we certainly spend more on a military been basically the rest of the world put together. but we do not know how to win the war is. and it seems to me that there ought to be a very serious national conversation as to why is that the case. is this our politicians, are they too stupid, our generals? is that the size of the forces that are too small, and this is my believe, is it the fact that by its very nature the war is unpredictable. to go to war is to roll the dice. you might win, and you might not. >> more with retired army colonel andrew bacevich on c-span's "q&a." >> on wednesday, european
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mission president gave his annual state of the european union address. and he talked about banking reform and serious use of chemical weapons. from the european parliament in france, this is 45 minutes. [inaudible conversations] [speaking in native tongue] [roll call] >> the session has resumed. we have talked about our agenda.
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this is a debate on the state of the union. we have the president of the commission here with us. welcome, sir, i would also like to welcome the minister and the ladies and gentlemen. it is a great pleasure for me to open this debate on the state of the unit and welcome y'all to this session. a debate on the state of the union involving parliament and is a very important moment in the life of the european union. there is a summit taking place today here in strasburg and want to hear we come together to have this kind of discussion, honestly will be a lively debate and we have talked about the roadmap for the european union on these occasions. we, the institutions of the
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unit, the parliament commission, we talk in public and what is in other entity.ain as oppose the entity that goes to brussels for its summit meetings. and sometimes they state that they are the european executive and often they meet behind closed doors, whereas we meet in public sessions. now, i actually think it is a good thing that when we are talking about european affairs, it is a good thing to have our doors flung wide open and have it open and transpired debate something that all citizens can listen to and observe. people in europe want to know who is taking decisions, where, how, and what are the arguments advised in this debate. as far as our debate today debate today is concerned, i think there is one premise that we must remember here. it is a question of confidence. people have lost confidence in the eu institution, massively so, that is why we have to talk about transparency, and i very
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much hope that this debate will be transparent and will serve as a basis for trust and a way in which the whole body of european democracy operatives just in our work. ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, commission and parliament. we do have one common principle that we all follow with a very broad majority here in the parliament. in the commission as well, unanimously so. we talk about the way in which the eu should work and we work with a community of method and that is how we try to resolve this, through dialogue and consensus. instead of having the strongest ones win, we opt for solidarity, solidarity between small and large states, and as a committee effort, and the committee effort means that everyone works for
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the common interest rather than the individual interest. the overall interest prevails. ladies and gentlemen, of course, we do have situations where the competition between individual nations states, but that is very risky and very dangerous. especially when it comes to the implementation of large-scale projects and with the majority of the we have a long list of tasks that cannot be resolved and they cannot go ahead because and especially interests that are blocking us from going forward. that holds particularly true for the decisions that we have taken here and we have decided these
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with a clear majority and implementation has become very difficult indeed and very complex. ladies and women, we have had five years of crisis and this was the first summer that was relatively calm and we were very happy about that. we did not have one disaster after another. week after week, we didn't have any visuals of the ends of time and etc. during the course of this. and that is a very good thing. washington itself is good news it has been calm and serene, but let's not delude ourselves in terms of today's debate. we have millions of people unfortunately suffering the consequences of the horrifically high unemployment figures and we have great poverty. we also have still a credit problem. these issues have not yet been resolved. we of course take people's concerns very seriously indeed and we have to work up until the european parliament instructions and we need to tackle these issues and show courage and bravery in tackling these issues
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tomorrow morning, this is also good news before the vote, we will have an opportunity to speak with us in the european central bank. it actually could come up with a good solution between these two institutions. in terms of the future, supervision, also parliamentary control and supervision of the european central bank within the banking unit, derek and you are talking about transparency and the citizens of europe want to know and what the citizen body is doing and what their role is. that is another issue. young people in europe and their employment. if young people don't have a hope in prospects, how can they possibly leave in and trust the european union. i have spoken already am a lady's endowment, but the financial framework and i expect
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the other entities, i expect them to make sure that we use these perspectives in order to create growth. the financial perspectives, after all, are a program that is a targeted investment, thank you very much for your attention, i will now call the president of the commission's to speak. [cheers] [applause] >> mr. president, office of the council, honorable members, ladies and gentlemen. in eight months time, voters across europe will judge what we have achieved together in the last five years. in the last five years europe has been president and allies of citizens than ever before. it has been discussed in the coffeehouses and popular talk shows all over our continent. today, i want to look at what we have done together.
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and what we have yet to do and these are the main ideas ahead of next year's elections. honorable members, as we speak exactly five years ago, the united states government took over fannie mae and freddie mac and lehman brothers filed for bankruptcy protection. these events triggered the global financial crisis. it evolved into an unprecedented economic crisis, and it became a social crisis for many of our citizens. these events have stressed our government and they have led to a lot of of employment, especially amongst young people and they are still holding back our companies. but in those five years we have given the response and we have
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suffered the causes together and together we are fighting and we are doing it. if we look back and think about what we have done together i think it is fair to say that we never would have thought all of those five years ago. we have performed the financial sector and we have improved the way that governments work together and how they return to finances and organize their economies. we have mobilized to pull crisis stricken countries back from the brink the biggest effort ever between countries. i still vividly remember my meeting last year that shifted the economies and most of them were expected in all of them fear the integration of this
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area. and no one has left the bureau, this european union and the member states and next year the 17 to 18 member states. so it is what we make of this and we draw confidence from it and we belittle some of the efforts. honorable members i just came back from the conference in st. petersburg and i can tell you that this year contrary to recent years, we europeans did not receive any lessons how to address this. we received encouragement, not because the crisis is over, because it is not over.
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but the brazilians has been tested and will continue to be tested. but what we are doing create the confidence that we are overcoming the crisis, provided that we are not complacent. we have to consider together. because in our world of geopolitical changes, i believe that only together we can give our citizens what they aspire, our values and interests and was promoted in the age of liberalization. and this includes having real progress to debate this. now is the time for those who care about political or ideological positions, wherever they come from, to speak up and
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free ourselves and we cannot expect them to do this either. we have come a long way since the start of the crisis. and last year's state of the union speech, i stated that despite all of our efforts, our responses have not yet produced citizens, markets, or international targets. our efforts have started to convince, but the walls are coming down in the most horrible countries are the last about. output is increasing and market trust is returning. stock markets are performing well in consumer confidence is sharply rising. we can see that the countries that are most horrible to the crisis are not starting to note
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positive results and we need to increase competitiveness more than ever, since the introduction, ireland has been able to draw from capital markets since the summer of 2012 and the economy is expected to grow for a third consecutive year. they are rehiring stuff, and unfortunately the extent of the current account come up which was negative is not expected to be broadly balanced just in three years, a truly remarkable fiscal judgment is urging competitiveness and it started a
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program and also we are implementing a program which is a condition for the return. so for your's recovery, it is within sight. let's not overestimate the positive results, but let's not also underestimate what has been done. of course we need to be vigilant. it does not mean that we are out of economic weather, but we are on the right track and as we now see them, we have good reason to be confident. we have kept our efforts and we owe it to those that do not have freedom from these developments.
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we overthrow those that are unemployed especially the young, and they want to have reasons to hope about their own confidence and hope and confidence is also part of the economic equation. honorable members, if we are where we are today it is because we have shown the resolve to adapt both our politics and policies to draw the lessons from the crisis. and when i say we, i really mean we. it has really been a joint effort. each and every stat, and every step that we take, it is one of the most impressive works ever. i personally believe that this is not sufficiently done by the citizens of europe. and we deserve more credit for this. and so let us continue to work together to reform our economies
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and to adapt our institutional efforts. but only so, if we do so we believe is pleased of the crisis behind us as well. what we can and must do first and foremost is let's be concrete in delivering the banking unit it is the first and most urgent phase in deepening our union with the commission's blueprint presented last autumn the next step is the independent evaluation of bank assets before it kicked up his country and its supervisory and trade supervisory role. the commission's proposal is on the table. since july. and together we must do what is necessary and to make sure that
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taxpayers are no longer paying the price of bank failure. which is the way to make progress to protect it from sovereign risk. it is part of the acceptable result of the crisis. including crediting markets, even at reinitialization. this is also the way to help restore this to smes. credit is not yet sufficiently blowing to the economy across the area. this needs to be addressed resolutely. ultimately this is about one thing. route. which is necessary to remedy today's most pressing problem, unemployment. the current level of unemployment is economically
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unsustainable. politically untenable, and socially unacceptable. to all of us here in the commission, and i am happy to have all of my colleagues of the commissioners today here with me, all of us want to work, not just one or two, but all of us collectively want to work for you to deliver as much as our growth agenda as we possibly can. the sustainable growth agenda as we possibly can. we are mobilizing all instruments at that level, but of course we have to be honest. not all are at the european level, some of them are at the national level. i want to focus on implementation of the decisions that are most crucial now. useful employment and we need also to avoid a jobless recovery. europe their country and therefore must speed up the pace of structural reforms.
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our country specific recommendations about what the member states must do in this respect. at the eu level, because there is what can be done at the national level and what can be done at the european level, the focus should be on what matters most for the real economy. exploiting the full potential of the single market comes first. we have a well functioning single market for goods and can see economic benefits of that. we have mobility, communications, energy, finance, and e-commerce to name but a few. we have to remove the obstacles that holdback dynamic companies and people and we have to complete connecting europe. i'd like to announce today that we are formally adopting a proposal that gives a push towards a single market for telecoms. citizens know that europe has dramatically brought on a turned down their costs for roaming. our proposal will strengthen
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guarantees and lower prices for consumers and this becomes more unusual and we are seeking a paradox that we have in internal market for goods. but when it comes to digital markets, we have 28 national markets and how can we grab the opportunities of the future that are opened by the digital economy if we do not conclude this internal market? [applause] the same logic applies to the broader digital agenda. it solves real problems and improves daily life for citizens. the strings of euros future industrial base depends on how people and businesses are interconnected and by properly combining the digital agenda and with data protection and the defense of privacy, our european model strengthens the trust of the citizens. both with respect to internal
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and external developments, adopting the proposed legislation on data protection is of utmost importance to the european commission. the single market is a key lever for competitiveness and employment. a adopting all remaining proposals under the single market act i and ii and implementing the connecting european facility in the next few months, we lay the foundations for prosperity in the years to come. we are also adapting on a global stage. we must encourage this and that is why we must also invest technology and science of a great faith in science. in the capacity of the human mind and of the creative society to solve its problems. the world is changing dramatically, and i believe that many of the solutions are going to come in europe and outside europe from new science discoveries and new
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technologies. i would like europe to be leader of that effort globally. this is why we, parliament and commission, we have made such a priority of horizon 2020 on the discussions of the european union budget. this is why we use the european union budget to invest in skills and education, as well as vocational training, dynamite thing and supporting talent. that is why we have pushed for erasmus plus and that's why later this autumn we will make a push for the 21st century and industrial policies that are fit for her. that is why we have a strong european economy, support for smes because we believe in a strong and dynamic industrial base that is indispensable for a strong european economy. whilst we are fighting climate change, are goals have set our
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economy on the path of green growth and resource efficiency by reducing costs and creating jobs. by the end of this year, he will come out with concrete proposals for our energy and climate framework up to 2030. and we will continue to shape the international agenda by fleshing out a comprehensive legally binding global climate agreement by 2015. with our partners. your blog cannot do all the fight against climate change. maybe we need others globally and we should get that effort. at the same time, we will pursue our work on the impact of energy prices and competitiveness and also social cohesion. while these drivers for growth are part of art europe 2020 agenda and fully and swiftly implementing it is more urgent than ever. in some cases we go beyond europe and their agenda. we must also pursue the trade
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agenda. which is about linking goods and services and markets and global supply chain. contrary to perception, most of us are in global trade and we think we are losing that come out when in fact we have a significant and increasing trade surplus of more than 300 billion euro a year. this is for goods, services, and agriculture. we need to build upon that. this, too, will demand our full attention in the months to come. notably in the transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the u.s., and the negotiations with canada and japan. last but not least, we need to step up our game in implementing the multi-annual financial framework in the european budget. the eu budget is the most concrete lever that we have at hand to boost investment. the european union but it is the only way to get some public
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investment. because have resources at the national level. both the european parliament and the commission wanted more resources. we have been in that fight together. but even so, let's be honest. one single years eu budget represents more money in today's prices then the whole marshall plan in its time. let us now make sure that the programs can start on the first of january of 2014. that the results are being held on the ground and in our regions and across europe, and that we use the possibilities of innovative financing from instruments that have already started to european investment bank money to project bonds. we have to make it on the commitment that we have made in july. from the commission's side, we will deliver. we will, for example, present the second amending budget for 2013 in 2014, and there is no time to waste.
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so i warn against this and i urge member states not to do this lightly. i cannot emphasize this enough. citizens will not be convinced on these promises only, but a concrete set of common achievements. we have to show the many areas where europe has solved problems for citizens. europe is not the cause of problems, europe is part of the solution. i address what we have to do still more extensively in today's letter to the president of the european parliament, which you have also received. i will not now go in detail regarding the programmes for next year. i pointed it is clear. together they're still a lot to achieve before the elections. it is not the time to throw in the towel. it's a time to roll up our sleeves we need to put our sleeves up and work.
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honourable members, i think that we are living in these extremely challenging times and it is not easy. the path of permanent reform is demanding as it is unavoidable. there is no way to go back to business as usual. some people believe that after this, everything will come back as it was before in this crisis is different. this is not the same crisis, not a cyclical crisis, but a structural one. we will not come back to the old normal. we have to shape a new normal and we are in a transformative. market history. you have to understand that and not just say it. but we have to draw the consequences from that, including on our state of mind and how we react to the problems. we see from the first results that it is possible. possible to win the battle. and we all know that from experience it is necessary. at this point in time, fragile
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recovery at hand, the biggest downside risk i see is political. this is the biggest downside that we have. lack of stability and lack of determination over the years. over the last years that we have seen that anything cast a doubt our government's commitment to reform is instantly punished. on the positive side, strong and convincing decisions have an important and immediate impact. in this phase of the crisis, government's job is to provide the certainty and predictability that market still lack. i am sure that you all know of justus lipsius, he was a very famous 16th century scholar that wrote a very important and
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well-known book called de constantia. it is not just casual excellence. he argued that based on judgment and sound reason, it can help you through confusing and alarming times. i hope that these times, the difficult times, including the government representatives at the justus lipsius building shows perseverance of the implementation because one of the decisions as to be coherent and not just take decisions but afterwards be able to implement them on the ground. [applause] honourable members, it is only natural that after two years our efforts will overcome the economic crisis that overshadowed everything else.
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but our idea of europe needs to go far beyond the economy. we're much more than the market. the european ideal touches the very foundations of european society. it is about values, and i underline this word, values. it is based on a firm belief in political, social, and economic standards. it is grounded in our social market economy. in today's world, the european union level is indispensable to protect these values and standards and promote citizen's rights. from consumer protection to labor rights, from women's rights to respect for minorities , from environmental standards to data protection and privacy. whether defending our interests in international trade, securing our energy provision were restoring the people's sense of fairness by fighting tax fraud and tax evasion, only by acting as a union do we pull our weight
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at the world stage. whether seeking impact for the development and humanitarian aid, we give to developing countries, managing our common external borders or seeking to promote europe and develop it as strong security and defense in our defense policy, only by integrating more can we really reach our objectives. there is no doubt about it. our internal coherence and international relevance are inextricably linked trade our economic attraction and political traction are fundamentally entwined. does anyone seriously believe that if the euro have collapsed, we or our member states would still have any credibility left international? does everyone still realize how enlargement has been a success in terms of healing history deep scars, and establishing democracies were some years ago
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no one had thought it was possible? this includes the best way to provide security in the best way that we can. would we be without all of this? today countries like ukraine are more than ever seeking closer ties to the european union, attracted by her economic and social model and we cannot turn our back on them. we cannot accept any attempt to limit these countries on their own sovereign choices. free will and free consent need to be respected. these are also the principles that lie at the basis of our eastern partnership, which we want to take forward at our summit in vilnius. does everyone still remember just how much europe has suffered from its wars during last century, and how european integration was a valid answer? next year it will be one century
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after the start of the first world war. a war that tore europe apart and we must nhisfor granted. we need to take this that former enemies now sit around the same table and work together. it was only because they were offered a european perspective, but now even serbia and kosovo come to an agreement under the mediation of the european union. last year the noble peace prize reminded us of that and that europe is a project of peace. we should be proud of this and ourselves. we need to be aware of ourselves and sometimes i think we should not be ashamed but to be proud. we should look forward towards the future but with the wisdom that we gain from the past.
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[applause] >> let me say this to all those who rejoice in europe's difficulties let me say all of us who rejoice in europe's difficulties and to all who want to roll back or integration and go back to isolation. the pre-integrated europe of the divisions, it is our duty to preserve it. honourable members, it is precisely what these values with syria, which includes the world's conscience was wounded severely. the european union has led an international aid response by mobilizing close to 1.5 billion euros, of which 850 million euros comes from directly from the european budget. the commission will do its utmost to help the syrian people
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and refugees in neighboring countries. we have recently witnessed events that we thought had long been eradicated. the use of chemical weapons is a horrendous act that deserves a clear condemnation and a strong answer. the international community, with united nation at its center, carries a collective responsibility to sanction these acts and to put an end to this conflict. the proposal to put serious chemical weapons beyond use is potentially a positive development. the syrian regime must now demonstrate that it will implement this without any delay. in europe we believe that ultimately only a political solution stands a chance of delivering the lasting peace that the syrian people deserve. [speaking in french] is honourable members, there are those who believe that we would be better off without it.
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my reply is clear, we all need a europe that is united and strong and open. in the debate that is ongoing all across europe, the bottom-line question is, do we want people to improve europe or give it up? my answer is clear. let's engage. if you do not like europe as it is, improve it. find ways to make it stronger internally and internationally, and you have the firmest of supporters. find ways that allow for diversity without creating discriminations and i will be with you all the way. they don't turn away from it. i recognize as any human endeavor, the european union is not perfect. for example, controversies about the division of labor between the national and european levels will never be conclusively ended. i value its subsidiary the highly. for me, subsidiarity is not a technical concept. it is a fundamental democratic principle. an ever closer union among the
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citizens of europe demands of the decisions are taken as openly and is closer to the people as possible. not everything needs a solution at the european level. europe must focus on where it can add most value. when this is not the case, we need to be big on big things in small and smaller things. some say we may occasionally have neglected this in the past. the european union needs to show that it has the capacity to set both positive and negative priorities. as all governments, we need to take extra care of the quality and quantity over regulation, knowing that as useless laws weaken the necessary ones,
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montesquieu said, 'les lois inutiles affaiblissent les lois nécessaires'. only a strong europe can include this. as i stressed last year, it is not just a dispensable way forward and the way that we can ensure this. ultimately the solidity of our policies depend on the credibility of the political and institutional construct that supports it. so we have mapped out in the commission blueprint for a deep and genuine economic and monetary union, not only the economic and monetary futures, but also the necessities, possibilities, and limits and deepening of our institutional setup and the commission will continue to work for the implementation of its blueprint step-by-step, one phase after the other. and i confirm as announced last
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year that the intention to present before the european elections, further ideas on the future of our union and how to best consulate gate and deep in the community method and the community approach in the longer term, that way these ideas can be subject to a real european debate and they will set out the principles and orientations that are necessary for a true political union. honourable members, we can only meet the challenges of our time if we strengthen the consensus on fundamental objectives. politically we must not be divided by the differences between the euro and those outside of the area. the union must remain a project for all members, a community of equals. economically europe has always been a way to close gaps between countries, regions, and people. that must remain so. we cannot do member states work for them. the responsibility remains
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bears, but we must complement it with the european responsibility and european solidarity. for that reason and social dimension, that is a priority for the months to come together together with our social partners. the commission will come with its communication on the social dimension of economic and monetary union on the second of october. solidarity is a key element of what being part of europe is all about and something to take pride in. safeguarding its values, such as the rule of law, it is what the european union was meant to do from its inception to the latest chapters in the enlargement. in last year's state of the union speech, at the moment of challenges to the rule of law in our own member states, i addressed the need to make a bridge between political persuasion and targeted infringement procedures on one hand, and what i call the nuclear option of article seven of the treaty, namely
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of the members states rights. experience has confirmed that the usefulness of the commission role as an independent and objective referee. we should consolidate this experience for a more general framework and it should be based on the principle of equality between member states, activated only in situations where there is a serious systematic grist to the rule of law and triggered by predefined benchmarks. the commission will come forward with a communication on this. i believe it is a debate that is key to our idea of europe. this does not mean that national sovereignty or democracy are constrained. but we do need a robust european mechanisms to influence the equation when basic common principles are at stake. there are certain nonnegotiable values that the european union and its member states must and shall always defend. [applause] [applause] honourable members, the
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polarization that is from the crisis poses a risk to us all, to the project, to the european project. we, legitimate political representatives of the eu, can turn the tide. you, the direct democratic representatives of europe, directly elected, you will be at the forefront of the political debate. i want to propose the following. which picture of europe will the voters be presented with? decanted version, or the cartoon version? the myths or the facts? be honest, reasonable version, or the extremist, populist version? it is an important choice to make. i know some people out there will say that europe is to blame for the crisis and hardship. but you can remind people they european union was not the origin at the crisis. it resulted from mismanagement of public finaes


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