tv National Action Network Legislative Policy Conference CSPAN November 17, 2018 12:06am-3:12am EST
nationally known presidential historians. they share historical context for the trump presidency. >> i see him as an andrew johnson like president meaning someone who has impeachment swirling around him and someone who's not able to close or heal racial divide in the country. >> there is a real animosity between the press and president as early as john adams because he is the person who is pushing for the sedition act of 1798 and what that does is actually tries to prevent criticism of the government and the president. >> find c-span's weekly on the free c-span relapse under the podcast app or wherever you go for podcasts. >> several democratic members of congress including senators elizabeth warner, kamala harris,
mark warner spoke. this focused on the results of the midterm elections and the democrats legislative agenda. this is three hours. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. certainly, we want to say good morning and take you for joining us this morning at the legislative and policy conference. from demonstrated to legislation thank you all for coming out. we have chaplains from all of the country and so glad we could have here from columbia, south carolina a and our chapter from richmond, virginia.
can you hear me? good morning. thank you so much. we have chaplains here from as far as louisville, kentucky and from south carolina and virginia and alabama, new jersey, new york city and we are here this week to make sure that we hold our elected officials accountable for why we put them in office. without further ado, we will have [inaudible] come and introduce our congresswoman from the columbia.
>> good morning. i have the distinct honor of bringing up this woman eleanor norton and i have to tell you a couple of things that i will not read along file but she is such a powerhouse. she's now in her 14th term as congresswoman4t the district of columbia. [applause] and there is more. yes. she is the ranking member of the house subcommittee on highways and transit. she served on two committees, committee on oversight and government reform and the committee on transportation and infrastructure. i have to tell you he will not be able to tell by looking at her but t she was appointed by president jimmy carterly in the
first woman to chair the us equalo employment opportunity commission. she has been given her life doing this work. there is so much she is done for the district here and i will fowiname share a couple of the things that you've done for it -- i'll let you tell the most important one because list is a long so here to speak to you is the congresswoman. [applause] >> inc. you very much for that generous introduction. i am very pleased to welcome reverend al in the national action network itself.
i want to thank you for your contribution to our country. let me introduce as ranking member, something happened on november 3 -- [laughter] [applause] they call you ranking when you are the lead democrat. you know, when you're the leader blocking the call you chair. but we will change all of that. we are still delighted, of course, to have you here today because this is the first day that congress is back after the elections. you are all right on time. you are on time and for members
of congress to hear your advice and your counsel and your arvocacy. we are not moaning and groaning that we won only one house. because, as democrats, we need to make full use of this historic victory of democrats taking over the house of representatives. democrats are preparing an agenda of the kind the national action network has long struggled for. that, of course, by healthcare in the cost of prescription drugs which we ran on, among other issues. but before i say we plan on it it really is the american people
who have saved the affordable healthcare act. i have never seen anything like it. the more that trump and republicans butchered it, the more the people clung to it and signed on and ultimately saved it. at gives us a big kick start and you will notice that when the republicans so how well the affordable healthcare act was doing with democrats in the election they decided to run up on pre-existing conditions and all of a sudden they were for pre-existing conditions and let me tell you something, you can't say one part without the other. it's a jigsaw puzzle.e. it's the whole or it is none of it. we want all of it.
[applause] we are ready for them. i don't think they are ready for us. a major goal of course besides restoring the american healthcare act is to be a check on this president and to keep them from running over all of us and take back all that has been [inaudible]. i am proud that you have come to the nation's capital and that i represent the 700,000 americans who live here. the district of columbia has more people than to state of the union and although i have always voted in committee representing the district and will have a chairmanship the representative
from the district of columbia did not have that final vote on house for so watch this. your chapters here. watch this. i will, in my committee, bring forward bills to the house for and be responsible for bringing them forward and i shall have voted on them in committee and i shall have saved them in committee but when these bills which essentially have become my bills as chair come to the house for everybody else and house can vote on them except congresswoman norton, something is wrong with that. and that is why in the district of columbia are asking to become the 51st state of the united states of america.
[applause] we think we have more than earned it and if you don't take away anything else from the nation's capital will you please remember this as you go back avhome -- the people who live in your nation's capital our number one. per capita in taxes paid to casupport the united states of america. talking about earnings data. the last time the democrats were in power i used my background as a constitutional lawyer to point out on the net any of you could have told me. since i vote in committee i should be able to vote in the committee of the whole which meets on the house for. committee of the whole is not graded by the constitution but created by the congress of the united states itself. just like you created the
committees. a democrats were in charge at that time and they said it's a constitutional lawyers and constitutional lawyers agreed that yes, the delegate as i am sometimes called, they have two titles for me, as always been able to vote in committee and it follows that she can vote in the committee of the whole you created as you created the other committee and the republican lost in the lower court and went to the court of appeals and lost and did not have the nerve to go to the supreme court. when the democrats were in power and i regret that the democrats have not been in power for most of my service in the congress so had to work for a hard for my constituents with republicans in power and idea and found republicans i can work for with the district of columbi'.
the fact is that i did vote on the house floor in the committee of the whole and i'm sure democrats will make sure that district of columbia has a vote on the house for and is not the final vote but is the vote on many measures that come to the committee of the whole. i ask you to put the district of columbiaol as the 51st dates on your agenda and i ask you to use your own formidable organization to press this congress to move forward even in the lame-duck session and to make all use of the session and on the coming session finally for the american people. thank you for coming to the congress. [applause]
>> thank you. leave it to reverend sharp to kick this off with two powerful women. now i have the honor of bringing up congresswoman -- she is in her fourth term representing alabama seventh congressional district a. she is one of the first woman elected to congress from alabama and in her own right and is the first black woman to ever serve in the alabama congressional delegation. she sits on the house, ways and means committee and the distinguished health permanent committee on intelligence charged with the oversight of our national security. she is the ranking member on the subcommittee of the department of defense intelligence and overhead architecture and the
key subcommittee on the house permanent select committee on intelligence. she is busy. today we are here because we are so thankful to her work on voting rights and how she is spearheading efforts to restore the voting rights act that was gutted in the shelby versus holder decision so we are going to bring up your to start this and immediately after tiffany cross only the first panel. [applause] national action network. welcome to capitol hill. it is an honor for me to be here and i think totally timely they are for session is on voting rights. i'm congresswoman -- night probably represent alabama seventh congressional district which includes birminghamew,
includes montgomery and my hometown of selma, alabama. my desire to restore the voting rights act and havingg the seminal piece of legislation this congress considering the voting rights advancement act is highly personal. it's personal because people in my district fought, bled, marched and some died for the right to vote and we are seeing systematic effort by this administration to continue to take us backwards. we had an historic election on tuesday, yes, democrats are now going to take over the house of representatives but also historic in the sense that there were lots of states that used to have to be clear their voter changes and that all of a sudden now they don't have to do that because the decision and we saw georgia.ls perched in 53000 people -- we saw in
georgia the secretary of state running for governor not like having the player on the field and the umpire being one person. not fair to the referee and the player because he did not recuse himself and i'm proud of our stacy abrams for continuing to fight. [applause] to make sure that every vote in georgia counts. every vote was count. i think it's time that you are all here on capitol hill as we are now entering the lame-duck session and it's not only timely but necessary. your voice is critically important in helping to set an agenda not only when we take back house which we have in january but also now. now it's when were laying the groundwork for what matters most
to our constituents. as eleanor said healthcare is number one and so is social security and medicare a and medicaid. i sit on the committee and fighting to make sure that we have a cost-of-living adjustment for our social security recipients is important. it will be one of those things we work hard on in the next congress. but this election also taught us a couple of things. it has shown us that when we collectively vote in large mbnumbers we can make a difference. i've always known that and i know that especially when we saw in alabama we can elect a democratic senator first time in 25 years if we can do it in alabama we can do it across the nation. it's important that we have is a part of our agenda restoring the voting rights act and is critically important we do that. why? because when we go to numbers and a number scout between
elections and change our lives. you all know that and that's why you are active in -- it's critically important you all realize the power within you. so much happens on the hill but it's graduate activism that causes the changes we seen and it will be grassroots activism by networks that will help us restore the voting rights act of 1955. it's monumental that they have used voter suppression as a tactic to win election. if seen in this past election where they i change polarization not giving people notice. we've seen in the selection where they close down polling stations servicing long lines around and -- [inaudible]
>> the selection has given us lots of examples to talk about. lots of examples to talk about. with the br aa, voting rights advancement act does not only restores it by coming up with a modern-day formula and here is the formula. 1990, going for, if it's five or more state violations of voters commission, five or more, then those dates would be opted in and have to have future changes in law precleared. do you know 14 states have had five or more since 1990 going forward? and i bet you more are included if we now include only happened in the 2010 election. those states include alabama, mississippi but also arizona and
california and florida and texas a and it is imperative that we restore the voting rights act of 1965. it is imperative. we do a 1990 going forward look back and we tried to get in or five or more violations of voter discoloration. not hard but important that we getor the traction because heres what i know for fact. voting rights used to not be a partisan issue and you want your elected officials to make it easier to vote so why our elected officials standing up over on the inside and trying to stop people from voting. they just happened to look like me and you. it's important that we make sure that we add to our agenda restoring the voting rights act of 1965.ge i want man to lead the charge on this. why is it called the enhancement act and not the restoration act.
we also take carevo of voter discoloration on tribal lands so not contemplated in 1965. not only will we restore the voting rights act but this bill will also advance voting rights on areas and territories we need. it will ensure that communities where people speak different languages are put in those language. that seems only fair.reres arar the voting rights advancement act is the bill that i hope you will add to your agenda and fight for us to resort the voting rights act. we all know we were not have had an african-american president one of us of african americans that are part of the cdc would be elected had we not had the voting rights act of 1965. [applause] i know you will all talk independence day about the importance of the sentence. that's not the way you have to make sure we are all counted
because that's how you determine what congressional districtsw e drawn. i want us all to think about how we can get millennial's in the site. that is my challenge.en you got to get millennial's concern about voting rights. in alabama this past election we saw systematically the secretary ofys state disenfranchise studes on historically black colleges. also, oakwood, alabama a&m students went to the polls to their names find have been stricken off. why? because they were sent a notice on before voting and the notice went to the mailbox on campus and most of the students don't live on campus. they did not check that mailbox and secretary of stateth took te names of the role. you were able in an emergency to get them backce in to do a provisional ballot but the reality is that's another form
of modern-day voter suppressions let's wake up here. no longer do we have to count how many marbles are in the chart but still have voter suppression happening across the station and as long as we do i hope that they will continue to fight the voting rights all across the nation. take as much for being here. be a powerful voice that i know you are. for all the things that matter to us as americans and please make sure on your agenda to put on the voting rights mac. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> good morning everyone. good morning. wasn't that a fabulous way to kick off our policy conference, right? let's give our two strong women powerhouses another began. we deftly know these issues are important to us in our committee we cannot waitto to go back and tell our constituents for committee while you learn today. i will put that out there because we as activists have a poor job and we get back home to go through our community and to be this j inequality in our community. with that said want to bring upu another important guest of ours stwatoday. here we are. catherine lemmon, catherine is the chair of the us commission on civil rights, president barack obama appointed her to a six term in the commission december 2016 but she also
litigates civil right cases at the national center for youth longer she has been counsel since october 17 and let's give her a great they can't come ba back. [applause] back at such a pleasure to be in his room full of multigenerational chapter leaders. i appreciate tyra, reverend sharpton for bringing us all together and for including me in your conference. as mentioned, i chair the civil rights in the commission is the only independent bipartisan federal body charged with monitoring and evaluatingen the efficacy of the rights policy and civil rights enforcement for the nation. the commission is charged by congress to be the nation's eyes and ears with perfect civil right and i hope all of you today and everyday we use the commission as a resource for you so we can your eyes and ears about what should be happening in this country.
a week ago we held a briefing here in dc about the effectiveness of the rights enforcement in the trump administration. as i mentioned were a bipartisan commission and voted unanimously to take up the topic to evaluate what's working and not working with respect to federal civil rights and our record remains open and will remain open until summer 17. i hope you will rely on us and use us as a repository of information and share her thoughts about what works well and what does not work well in housing enforcement, labor enforcement,rynf education servs policy, please practices in all walks of life with respect to civil rights what you thinkatate civil government is doing right and what you think it could do better. we love to have your word in your voice in our report so we can advise congress about what the law should be and are federal civil rights agency should be doing and make a record for what silver policy
should be. i brought the commission has over 61 year life influenced all federal civil rights laws enacted in a time we have been impetus for cause or very important use of civil right tools and we hope will continue in that mission so i hope we can andn partnership with you hear your views and that we can lie on them and follow through on them. i'm pleased to follow representative that we've issued a report about voting rights in september and obviously critical time and i will save you the commission voted unanimously for our recommendations to congress for the conclusions that call on congress to pass a new lawco tht make sure our voting rights are effectively enforced and that we, all of us, have all are both counted. we also called on the permit of justice to be more aggressive and more active in its
enforcement of existing law to protect voting rights. i if the representative -- i want to share with you more about what we have coming and coming sooner even then back september. they do this week will issue a report about the police using excessive force. the topic is important and i hope you all will keep an eye out for the report coming out on thursday. majority of the commission will recommend priorities for the ways we as a country can bettern reduce rates and examine the way that use of excessive force from our police department are disproportionately and cbd communities and disability community so we make recommendations to see that the practices eradicate. we expect in the coming months to issue a report about native americans of rights and number
of other topics we taken up that pipeline, collateral consequences -- and in the coming year will be taking a look at the experience of women present both federal and state prison and experience of harassment and federal workplace. have a wide range of topics we voted to take up and look forward to your thoughts about and i'm eager as the chair of the commission to ensure we fulfill our promise to be your watchdog and make sure all rights are protected. thank you for what you do today and for to being in touch with you going forward. [applause] >> good morning everybody. you all can hear me okay?
i've been set up because i do not owe i will have to follow three dynamic women and i wish i could've gone first. they were amazing. allow me to introduce our panel. i'm to the cross, the cofounder and managing editor of dash. where daily rundown that intersects the politics, policy and people of color. some of the litigation you heard eleanor norton discuss we write about those things and on target to reach 100,000 daily readers by january, thank you david. of the mainstream media might permanently display the breaking is better taping the president's latest tweet we write about things that people of color are doing and what drives the diversity of the capital. i hope you will also scribe at the bcc .com. you can also catch me on msnbc, on joy read and a few other shows and get that information
as well. with no further ado i will introduce this dynamic panel we have for you this morning and i'll start to my left with david johns, executive director of the national black justice coaliti coalition. we have chief of staff congresswoman alma adams and doing amazing work around the diversity of capitol hill. [applause] we have -- with the naacp education fund. welcome, toddle. [applause]un and we have mr. -- with the and drc and that is run by the former attorney general eric holder to welcome. [applause] so, there's been a lot happening since last tuesday and i've been
pretty outraged and angryy. sine 2016 and that anger has not subsidedn but i do feel more energized knowing their checks and balances in government. just over the weekend i don't know if you all saw senator smith out of mississippi and her comments about the public hanging so i don't think know too many people were surprised and is presently people were surprised. p we know what it is. i want to get into some of the things in the issues facing us in this new congress that we will be welcoming. a presidential election is happening in 2020 and a lot of the dynamic is running with happening in government. some of this jump right in. i will go to you first. i have a little issue with the way some of the mainstream
outlets have characterized what happened on tuesday and a lot of people are saying it was not the blue wave the people expected and i call bs. that is not true. i say that is not accurate. the democrats split seven governorships and we are the democrats on track to split almost 40 seats in the house and some of the state legislators the democrats are now controlling and all these things matter and if there publicans are brilliant and one thing controlling the narrative. we need to push back on that. talk to you because these elections since they are onpu te electoral maps being drawn so given that democrats are so successful and is a what does that mean looking had to 2020 and how theses maps will be drawn? >> great question. first of all, good morning. thank you for having me. wait to see you.oo the foundation of the 2021 redistricting is now behind us but the 2018 such a puzzle year
and serving those governorships puts us already in a better position that we were in 2010 when republicans completely ran the table. they had total control over about 213 congressional districts being drawn. that was a great way for them partisan in gerrymandered those maps. made it even more possible to elect more candidates of color and more democrats. governorthose seven races put the check on the legislator in their state where they are also gerrymandered and a great example is wisconsin. the case that went all the way up to the same court because governor walker allowed the legislator to cut up ---- >> [inaudible] [applause] >> so now, when governor -- has the chance to block that kind of
voter suppression and gerrymandering because that's what gerrymandering is and it creates this double effect that you mentioned the narrative around what is going on. considering everything the democrats had going against th them, tuesday night was exceptional. exceptional. competitive races in arizona, georgia, texas and chris -- will be on employed in january. that's incredible. in the words of barack obama better is good and i will take better and it's clearly not over in georgia and florida because the candidates continue to fight for every single vote and it matters because when the democrats are in office weather now in 2019 or 2020 they don't just run as a check against the president which is the congresswoman mentioned would be important but run for us. the neck policies for us and
stand for something which can help to bite the anger that has been flowing through because we can't stop being angry and want to stop being angry but that's what the governor witmer and governor kellyanne congresswoman cortez and senator cinema do. they fight for us. now that means having to sit at the table with redistricting. >> you may have index cards and if you don't someone will give them to you and you can write them on index cards if you have questions. you mentioned josé some of things happening in georgia and florida which brings me to you, mr. cox. these races are different dynamics between georgia and florida but the common denominator in these are voter suppression and racism we have to say to both of those things i hear a lot of headlines on cable news network saying ron desantis
said something with racial undertones -- we have to be able to say is that racial overtones and if there's racism driving the president we saw most of the states lds was out front of these battles and -- was constantly out there making headlines from the lawsuits and if you could, give us a recap of where things stand today and what this tells us as we look at 22020. >> sure, as discussed count is ongoing all over the country and in florida and georgia particular florida is heading to a recount. i won't go into the details of how it got there but florida is a recount in georgia to be going into a runoff and the not-so-subtle over things that happened is the take away our voter suppression. i think that lgf was on the ground in many states including
georgia, florida we saw ourselves many examples of what is fresh and and i don't want to doubt the enthusiasm and a lot of voter enthusiasm that was almost despite efforts at a time to suppress the vote. you heard carter's and talk about secretary of state cap in georgia who just bizarre fashion in this new abnormal we are in his book the arbiter of the lecture and running for governor. he set up a system, two strategies to suppress those. one called exact match where you make any mistake or when i would get a sitter a normal mistakenon a voter education form you would be rejected. you'd be struck fromm the voter rolls and also struck people were so-called inactive voters and we know what happened in the
spring court that was upheld in. there's a lot of voter suppression and what happened in georgia and what happened in florida and there's no surprises as alluded to by the congresswoman. in shelby versus holder in the 2016 court case -- before shelby the department of justice city state that all states but certain states most were in the deep south and some were in new york in arizona and california state that discriminated against voters had a history of doing that because minority voters and committed their voting district to other department of justice or court here in dc before would be allowed to go for. when i was moved we saw the voter suppression open like 20 states had all kinds of examples or laws that suppress the vote. highlights include frequent
fires of voter suppression, alabama, both of which passed photo id requirements restricted that we current participated in swing over. we distribute plans with surgical precision excluded african-americans from having the opportunity to elect candidates of choice. in order to make sure that we don't have representation of this in 2020 and make sure that the outcomes that exist. actually right now we need to do two things. we make sure we need to have the various behaviors happening on the ground anymore elected officials to exclude minority voters from having opportunity to have their ballots counted but restore the voting rights act and bring back what congresswoman discussed that required restrictions to submit
voting changes to other department of justice or here in dc to make sure discrimination is not happening on the front end. lds is suing back to court today to make sure the students that the congresswoman talked about have an opportunity to have additional provisional ballots counted but that's not sufficient. we need to upfront what about voting changes and stop them before they going to affect. >> thank you. i want to comment back in.en when you talk about exact match is not a mistake but i go byed. tiff and my drivers license is tiff but my birth certificate festivity that would be invalid. 13 states have this is an all-out attack and i won't even get into the long history that brian cap had in georgia. were all looking at georgia right now but north dakota has their own issues and
disenfranchising native americans so this is rampant. >> can i add -- i didn't start this president want to set the tone to be so negative but voter suppression is a tool. in the past when my mom and dad were trying to exercise a franchise they used intimidation, violence to suppress the vote and was an opportunity to suppress african-americans, native americans and latinos and doing the same thing. if congress wants to make sure that what happened in charlottesville and the platitude they rolled out regarding whites from the have any meaning at all they will have hearings on opportunities to expand the franchise and restore the voting rights act and standic to allow two more people to vote. >> thank you. i'm curiousha to talk to you ths morning because i applaud the work you are doing around diversity including a pipeline for black women on capitol hill.
and black women save everything. [applause] are we not tired yet? i wanted to ask you about now that people have hurdled every obstacle before them this will be the most diverse congress the country has ever seen with for the first time to native american women will be represented in congress which i think is amazing and we will have the most local women in congress and the youngest woman ever in congress alexandria cortez so what does this mean for you and for capitol hill and the work? i know were looking at how the members will be stepping on their offices and people of color make up 30% of this country. on capitol hill people of color make only 70% of staff.
rhonda, tell us what we can expect from this diverse congress. >> before i dive into that i want to give credit to tiffany because a lot of the power we been able to gain and positioning on capitol hill we been able to gain from our members on down to senior staff have come from organizations like -- giving us a voice telling folks this is what the members of the congressional black caucus and hispanic caucus and this is what they're doing and they are serious legislators here to represent the diversity of our constituency. thank you for making at all possible. we are excited to see this diversity that comes into capitol hill in the upcoming congress. having so many women come to the capital and women were problem solvers and have been through very unorthodox backgrounds and not your tried-and-true that are set in the way. they're coming here ready to move the ball and the pendulum forward and the question is how
to be a staff harness that energy. will not do that if we don't have staffers that look like these women. if we don't have staffers that look like the national action network. that's a big issue. we are the ones telling her bosses these are the key issues to be on top of things we should be commenting on and if we are not position to do that we will not do that. to put it into perspective, and the 2014 cycle before i came on the hill with my boss i was out in the race in nevada and it was the democratic seat and the thing we kept saying was as we got into the issue of police violence and is a candidate you need to talk about this you got to talk about this. but a candidate is not diverse and does not understand that black women not to hear about issues right now but here but i protect my son and i packed my husband is a walking on the street and cannot relate to that. it was a lost opportunity and
what happened in 14 and 16, complete with demolished it. here in this new congress we are hoping we have the right staffers in place and we will lean in on criminal justice reform we've been told the first issue you will tackle in the new congress is the voting rights act to have beautiful as he come out and say that is powered by diverse staff like michael wong. people who put their heart to make sure issues are represented. for excited deputies see the members come in but focus now making te s decisions on seniof have i ever step it one of the things i would say to all as constituents why you're in -- >> have to interrupt you for one second. e want to thank the man who made all this possible and brought us all here. my adopted big brother, reverend al sharpton. [applause]
[cheering and applause] >> good morning. give another hand to tiffany. [applause] i'm so happy to see so many of you come from around different parts of the country. it's the first gathering of activists since the midterm election and our determination and we have other buses coming our determination is we want the senator and members of congress to lay out where they see us going and where we go in the next hundred days. then we will visit some of their
offices to find out exactly where we go and will hear from wem here in question them in cannot keep telling people in our communities to come out about and then we don't know what is the agenda and what is going to be accomplished. voting rights healthcare particularly pre-existing conditions criminal justice reform and where are we on these issues and what they will do. democrats have not taken theis majority in the house and well what will be the agenda? we cannot go from fighting to get a majority to who will be the speaker. that is not our dinner. it will be who will get -- all this politics does not work on
main streets or martin martin luther king boulevard. we want to hear from our senators and our congresspeople on their vision that we want to visit them and have dialogue with them and want them to know by having is not a people from this day here let them know that we did not just vote go home but to go back and eat turkey. we are ready for action because we under the administration that has declared war on us and we want to know who side everybody is on. am i right? now. [applause] no one is worth being felt way better and given us clear guidance than tiffany cross with the bdc .com.
and that is why i wanted her to chair our panel and thank all of our leadership director -- [applause] we threw everybody on the train and i got on the plane and they were delayed with weather and i had to do my divine interception because the senator was waiting on me. i was waiting up around the pilot and did my number and now i'm here. you all believe that? and you all believe that donald trump help them in a class with the tax cut? one of the people that have consistently stood and every time we asked them to come
before came and has been exposed to it and specific on fighting for progressive causes for all people is our first guest speaker. you know her as the ranking member of the senate judiciary committee and during the caps on hearing she played a major role and we are happy she will constitute said it's important i address the leadership fromtr around the country. i want to bring on to you now from the state of minnesota senator amy club which are. or[applause] >> inc. you so much reverend. thank you for your leadership: and thank you to all of you. i want to start by some good news. i noticed you are wearing your
purple tie and i'm wearing purple which is the color of minnesota because of color of the biking and prints. o but, it's also the color of a purple state and this year minnesota we won big in a purple state. not only we elected our first african american statewide, attorney general's office, but we also elected our first muslim american woman to congress cut back and we elected our first indigenous women in the country to executive office. that all happened in our election in minnesota. i want to thank al for his leadership. i got to see his first and work on not just these issues but maybe he does some of the headlines do but i got to the reverend sharpton work on antitrust issues connected to the antitrust laws and the way
we handled the mergers allow african american voices and content on tv and got the same work on we have real problems or in the downturn and stand up for the community so want to thank him for that. and i want to mostly think your national action network for getting it done to make sure that every vote is counted, every vote is counted. do you know what happens when every vote is counted? we just found out what happened last night. kiersten cinema was cleared the winner in arizona. that's what happens. when you look at what were dealing with right now where literally they are attacking the integrity of the poll worker. ... we say every vote should be counted. you look at georgia, where the weight of one polling location was over four hours long.
in america today, when election officials of the polls, look at the candidate on the republican side there. for governor, they held up the voter registration and 53,000 people. in georgia, every vote should be counted. . >> i have spent a lot of time on voting issues that is our job on the rules committee and i am on the judiciary committee. that will be a major focus when asked about the agenda number one has to be the economy then you cannot have a fair economy for everyone if you don't have a fair voting act. and passing the bill every other person to automatically register to vote.
. >> now after tuesday have to go back to election night 2016 the night of so much hope when people thought hillary clinton would be our next president. i was going around minnesota and i got back home and i got a text from my daughter she was in college at the time and i had forgotten she was at hillary's party in new york.fo i call it horrible mom guilt because i forgot she was there in the text said mom, what should we do now? i wrote back to say you are staying at her friends tonight. this isn't going well. you have to leave. the subway is still running and you have a test tomorrow. she writes back, mom, i mean our country. that is the question literally i have answered every single
day since that election. what should we do now? when you answer with action you win. think about that dark day of the inauguration after that millions of people marched peacefully. and by day ten when that mean-spirited refugee order came out people spontaneously showed up at the airports who does that on a saturday night? day 100 with the march for science. when do we want it? after peer review. with that incredible fight of the affordable care act we
will not kick them off of conditions. and when they kept trying to do that every single time we made the case and we won. so talk about the agenda. what you will do with that those are the questions to ask about voting rights and pre-existing conditions to make sure there is a strong economic agenda and part of that will be making sure people haveng access. we have all sorts of job openings but we have to connect with those my own sister did not graduate from high school. she had a lot of trouble she went to iowa and worked in manufacturing, got her
ged, then she went after five or six years, she went to a community college got a two-year degree than ended getting a four year degree graduating with a degree in accounting and that year she got the highest score in iowa in accounting. [applause] so my message is there are many paths to success. that is the journey we are on. day 291 since trump got into office we won elections all over the country that nobody thought we wouldry win. that they would take back the seats in the best day of all in a victory for dignitary on - - dignity and decency doug
jones won the seat in alabama. then go forward the us house of representatives once again became the people's house. 200 candidates congressional and statewide races asian native american lgbtq. that is change. that's you take back the country. . >> then we finally got more women now we have 23 i or 24 just so you know, our history to not having of people of color in congress not nearly enough women in the history of america, 2000 men in the united states senate and only
52 women and i was on the show a few months ago that said if they had a ratio in a nightclub they would have to shut it down. [laughter] that is basically what we have been dealing with is to reauthorize the voting rights act we don't have republican support and especially in the house e to make it easier to vote and once again we will have the highest voting turnout and ouril state 64 percent in the midterm election that is eligible people who can vote to get the money out of politics but the
only way we really do that is passing a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united getting the dark money out of politics and to secure elections senator langford is conservative from oklahoma that was pretty straightforward with backup paper ballots we had a hearing scheduled and they said they didn't want that right before d the election with all of the problems that we had to get people to vote because the only to have a fair election in 2020 is a secureis election. and you can secure your democracy maybe they try to
pick those against the economy we have to do both that our candidates were running on the economic agenda and that includes the midwest. we had some real issues in the midwest this time it came roaring back including my friends claire mccaskill we won those congressional seats in iowa and scott walker in the state of wisconsin civic and winning his race in ohio my brother is one of six kids and grow up in a trailer home they got to go on one vacation every year in the stationn wagon the parents would drive them up there and go get gas
somewhere and they would make sure they counted each kid when they got back in the carhe because a few times my husband got left behind as a middle child we are never leaving the midwest behind again at the gas station so we are winning in states nobody thought we could and we do that with the economic message to raise the minimum wage and doing something with theat affordable housing that nobody is left behind and what does that mean? criminal justice reform and reverend sharpton's work across the country we are now heading into the possibility we will get this passed before the end of the year. .
>> i was the head of the county attorney for years that was my first elected job we want to be like a business to efficient but we don't want to be in a lot of ways we don't want to see repeat customers. the way youou don't to get them out of the criminal justice system to begin with to make sure they get treatment and housing and we had a lot of success in that so we have to do and if you look at the agenda moving forward is immigration reform. this is something within reach. why? it is an incredibly important issue for our country built on immigrants. we are a country that believes immigrants don't diminish america, they are america and
with that economic imperative with immigration reform asn om well also the moral imperative it is some of the worst anti- immigrant rhetoric with the story of a family that went out to dinner and they have been in minnesota a long time with little kids and they never experienced any slur at them. but they were at a restaurant and a guy comes up to them and looks at them and said you for go home. go home to where you came from. the little girl looked at her mom and said i don't want to go home. you said we could eat out tonight. she did not even know what he was talking about because she only knew one o home. and that was my state and your state and our country. that is what we have to deal with with the president after
what we saw in virginia after that white nationalist rally and the bloodshed? he said there are two sides to this issue. there are not twowo sides when it comes to racism or anti- immigrants. there isnl only one side and that side is our side. so that's important to congratulate they are trying to look at their offices in the senate they put them in the trailers. that you tell their staff so the country delivered that there hasy to be action and this is the issue we laid out
here today doing something to make sure we have a strong economy foror everyone moving forward on criminal justice reform that may be right around the corner and we certainly look forward with florida and georgia voting rights that is doable that people are crying out for so let's get it done. thank you everyone. [applause]e]ng . >> she was very specific which is what we want for criminal justice. so she really respected us. so i don't put a lot of
pressure on people to go run for president she said i'm here to talk to the people specifically and i do know when i ran from south carolina and new hampshire now the national action network is standing there so just in case amy you might want to run just exchange numbers just in case. [laughter] give me another hand. i will give it back to tiffany. [applause] . >> and now i have to follow senator klobuchar and reverend sharpton. [laughter] .
>> really quick about young people of color deciding elections, we are it seems like were not good enough to get a job on capitol hill but to have over two thirds of this body that doesn't have a single senior staffer of color 19 committees with less than 20 black women despite the fact we are the highest voting population in the country and in 2018 that was not okay. we want to push forward on criminal justice reform and with those progressive agendas and if you have those inclusive members so the first question to ask what does your
staff look like? if they don't fit that demographic then try again. . >> we actually started the panel debating before we got to the stage. so there has been a lot of conversation and sometimes the storyline but it is interesting. the first year after voting rights past the voting age voted in the election even though they are driving elections so the private conversation and engaging the
the messages were still that the black women show up and show out so we were not doing enough and if they had things to be different but those that turn out that her 400 times greater than the previouss election that saying you should not go to the pole we also haven't talked about there were white supremacist that they were trying to vote now and those policies in florida right now in broward county why are they there? to intimidate to go home and be afraid because our people are the founders of this country and i say this time and time again you are not
enough we have to talk of our babies what they are doing in spite of what they are doing. . >> i want to think about novel ways and our power is concentrated within the democratic party we should be clear but that man took on both political parties republicans like to act as if we don't remember that we have
an opportunity to go to these republican offices as well to influence their agenda because there are more than those that are in position of leadership and authority not coming back. they retired or quit and they were shock about it and 29 of those had chairmanship or subcommittees you encountered staff members. then asked them to do the job and then but too often we forget members of our
community so talk about voting rights and enfranchisement those who can vote but lesbian by sexual and transgender live in the south with other people they don't have the privilege to move white states. and then to discriminate us and then pass laws to protect us. without self-determination when you stand of that intersection l&d. they know what i'm talking about with both black and female with the death of black trans women in the south in the state of florida and then
i moving to a point where we all have to be included to forget there is at white woman. you can be distracted also talk about the sex trafficking pipeline also president obama civil rights enforcer. we all know thehe statistics there was one white boy but it is six times higher for black girls. it is a lot of work to do but i will end right began at every level not just capitol
hillas local level as well and hold people accountable over the next two years otherwise what we celebrate will be for not. [applause] thank you. . >> if you have questions someone will be around also congressman al green i know we are running a bit behind schedule and to do one quick round before the panelist have to go. and then the open bisexual woman outsi of arizona elected to congress these are historic times. i appreciate your remarks because these issues have
underlying meaning in the black community with civil rights and in the community. thank you for raising that are there any questions before i give them a chance? . >> while we have all of these footnotes and i am honored to share the airwaves and we do this on msnbc and they will call in and ask here is the secret i don't i have access to the same information but i always tell people like there is no bridge between them and b capitol hill so what are some
words of advice? but could the average person do? . >>. >> secondly, more of a idea that you are as great as the people think you are. we have a tendency to go through imposter syndrome where we are not as influential or smart and do not belong in certain spaces the congressman from massachusetts, we belong everywhere. [applause] we belong everywhere. and what they mean by that, no one in this room i believe is
so haughty or arrogant or on their high horse what they don't know. that's not us is not who you are go back to your community. keep doing that. going into the next couple of years, do not despair, focus on the local elections in the states where the disenfranchisement has been ampedte up. the reason they try to take the vote away is because it matters. that is it and it is worth fighting for it has been paid for in blood focus on the mayoral elections the district attorney in prosecutorial elections and eyes on theti prize eyes on the prize and keeprs talking to each other and take care ofea yourselves and keep going because these races don't stop i hope you have a
great holiday season. if you don't know when that's not enough i want to talk or how you get involved in the next governor election to draw the maps and hidden rooms so you never see the halls of your state capital we cannot have that you must show up in january in april and november. that's it. >> my closing remarks are about participation and the harsh sentences that is the local prosecutor. so that is thef bedrock data it
is what we used to redistrict but also the resources we should go back to the communities to be actively engaged to make sure we are ready forr the backlash but those who lost the election or feel threatened should be preparing legislation now we need to be ready for that and preparey for that and hold representatives accountable for that we also wish you happy holidays. >> so i just want to piggyback
on that commerce secretary wilbur ross included the citizenship question we know whated that included because that would discourage undocumented immigrants if you didn't know about it if you subscribe to the beat what word you recommend people focus on i think you know, what you need to do but looking at the chief of staff it's time to hold all these accountable i bet you
remember we work for you. you do not work for us we owe you a responsibility so coming to these offices ready to advocate about the issues that matter to you, talk about your personal stories. we are in front of the staffers and as david said earlier they are the trusted advisor to that member so this is a serious moment i assure you that person will make a decision tell that story with authenticity if you come in to tell me 80000 people will lose their health care and we saw that happen with the aca but folks like you were authentic
with those constituencies. and then to work on inclusive policy and then next battle that we have is we cannot allow that because that determines the money and the resources and how many elected officials we have. this is a fight worth fighting we have to demand those democratic members are on the front line. >> there were two questions and with that impeachment process?
and another was the clinton crime bill i won't put you on the spot but what can we do about it? now we are behind schedule but if we could incorporate crack. >> as the policy director want to honor we are having a conversation but to be brilliant and don't apologize it is the job of staff on capitol o hill. it is the job of staff on capitol hill which is why it's so important i worked on the senate health committee it was my job to carry the water you
should know that when you have conversations with people who don't understand what it's like to be supported by the community and to communicate to them that you are doing what you ask us to do there are those to havee. that data you just tell them what you need them to do that related to available resources i encourage you to how the only civil rights organization and the last thing where having a lot of conversations about policies we also have to show up so looking at the names of two young people you may not
know his name but he was choked after taking his sister to prom. people are mad he was simply taking up space he was called the n-word and a fag it he was choked up in the backseat with a dog. this past week he was found guilty of resisting arrest. the tragedy is that most of us don't even know that happened he had to goha to court at the first place everybody else went on with her white privilege live so we can show up for him knowing he has to live with this for the rest of his life on december 8 you may not know her name but she had rape at three hands of police officers for simply asking why was she charged for the
take-out order she also faces two misdemeanor charges with disorderly conduct and has to go to court so talk about policy. but we need to put our bodies on people. she said on a podcast that if she were dead more people would be concerned why it is happening but she is living in struggling. i say that that is the truth of how we got here and the work that we need to do also because it's not the fact thatni she's pregnant at her like she has a kid everyar day. so make sure we tell our babies the truth as well. >> [applause] i just want to say that story that david referenced while those are happening with the cable newsew outlets are
covering the latest asinine tweet we are lives are impacted not just black people but latinos are facing a ridiculous amount of discrimination and policepo brutality, asian americans have their own fights with discrimination i get a lot of comments people don't recognize asian americans as color but they are but they face the same issues we do w so we cover all communities of color and i just want to thank reverend sharpton again for the opportunity to have important conversations likeor this and these issues consistently throughout hison career, he said with that profile when they called in the ambulance chaser he said i'm the ambulance. so that we bring him back to the stage. [applause]
give tiffany and the panel a big hand. [applause] so let me say that it is imperative that as the panels give you information and as we do the visits, we use that information because the idea is really in light of the midterm elections, to get we arec of where moving in the first 100 days. i think senator klobuchar did address that. but again, we do not want to be taken for granted. that's why we are here. that's why we called chapter leaders and activists around the country to be here. one week later.
we just had the election last tuesday this tuesday we are here for those that we have selected to come. to say we want to know we did not waste our time and our vote because the midterm election is not over store going on in florida possibly georgia and last night in arkansas. i think it is important to go back to the people and say these are the commitments that we have. in my right quick. >> but what personifies of activism and getting things done and she has been one that championed the consumer affairs which unfortunately we
are over indexed as consumers and whether thatt is dealing with the economic inequality and racial inequality, she has been on the "frontline" a long time and i can honestly say we called on her she did not immediately respond sometimes she will call me and i have to say did i call her? because she stays in touch and will say what is going on on the ground because our communities need to know. you keep hearing the president attack her and calling her a racist name. when i was in school people he called you names when they are afraid. you only pick on people that you are afraid of so i am not forecasting he's afraid to run against her i'm not even forecasting that she is
running she has new hampshire she is right next door and the south carolina contingent doesn't mean anything. [laughter] i just want her to know where to get the friedge chicken. [laughter] the senator from massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. [applause] . >> thank you so much thank you reverend sharpton. for decades reverend sharpton and the national action network and the people in this room have truly been on the frontlinesin in fighting for civil rights and economic opportunity but i want to tell you i love national action network you out there making things happen but your middle name ison action. and i believe in action.
but i am all for good ideas and talk but we need action and we need it now so thank you so much for having me today i'm pleased to be here. thank you for being a part of this fight. it has been a rough two years. can i have an a man on that one? but even with racist hateful attacks on our values democrats have stood strong and we try to stand together and that's really important here. we have stood together, cried together, resisted together and sure is how we have persisted to gather in onis november 6 americans went to the polls and put power back in the hands of the people where it belongs.
we need a celebration around that. in two months the house of representativesf, the people's house will be doing a whole lot more work and that's a good thing. so i came here hoping with the people who are ready to get to work following the agenda for the house of representatives anybody in here ready to get to work? that's what this is about even though we have taken back to. the house the road ahead will not be easy. the wealthy and well-connected in washington don't givey. up just because they get knocked back a little bit. the government is still ranked for the rich and the powerfu powerful, our economy is still working against working peopl people, women and communities of color. donald trump still practices the dark art of ruling by fear
to pit americans against americanst. we have seen this roadshow before the old divide and conquer strategy. it has divided america for a veryry long time failing schools black and brown kids blame the immigrants. crimes? blame than anyone who does not look like you are talk like you or pray like you, the list is long and for those on top divide and conquer is a great strategyrn because when we turn on each other we cannot unite to fight back against the system that is rigged in favor of the wealthy and the powerful. but now the democrats will control the house and it changes coming to washington.
[applause] we have a lot of work to do. everybody take a deep breath and remind yourselves of the fight we are in starting with healthth care everyone is entitled to health care everyone is entitled to retire with dignity protecting social security ande. medicare. no kid should be afraid to go to school, the playground , walked down the street, we are committed to basic gun safety and protecting all children every day. and we have to stand up to the corruption of donald trump and the trump administration. government is not there so people can line their c own pockets it is there to serve
the people we need to hold this administrationfo accountable. voting is the beating heart of democracy voting is power and we must protect the right to vote now we've seen in florida and georgia it's a national disgrac disgrace. when it comes to elections there should be no hesitation. every vote matters. if you can get then more to vote for you then you lose. it is that simple politicians are supposed to compete over how many voters they can persuade to vote for them not how many american citizens they can disqualify discourage or demoralize we need to stand up against voter suppression
mike voter identification laws targeted at communities of colo color. [applause] and restrictions onn voting we need to and bipartisan gerrymandering and as a national party we should get behind a constitutional amendmentet to establish the unquestioned nationally recognized right to vote. yes. we have our work cut out for us. and i want to be clear i am in this fight all the ways you will have a lot of speakers while you are here today at a lot of topics to talk about but i want to take a little bit of time to talk about a couple of issues that haven't quite made it to the headlines this is housing and criminal justice reform for just a minute.
let me start on housing. as many of you know, , we have the black-white wealth cap we've had it since we first started to measure by race in the forties. for the principal reasons is access to housing it is away working families and middle-class families build wealth over time. you know, how this works you start to make the rent payment to pay on a house to build up equity the number one retirement plan in america to pay off the house and live off of your social security. but one generation gives a boosto to another if grandma and grandpa are lucky enough to live out there days of their home it goes to the next generation and that lifts up the fortune of the next generation. that we live in america and
how that has a housing crisis families pay more and more for housing and fewer are able to buy they are shut out we have to acknowledge this hits communities of color hardest and the problem we have is low homeownership rates and the more the rents go up the more people are unable to save to get into their own home. it has also been the case we have watched communities of color targeted when people could have homeownership and pushed out of their homes we saw this leading up to the financial crisis in 2008 michael smith is someone i wrote about who grew up in chicago wanted a safe place for his family he loved his
home talked about the hedge where the birds nested he would not trim it and tell after the little baby birds were able to fly. he saved up from his very first paycheck until he was able to buy a home with his wife. the raise their kids, kids were growing up he had a plain 30 year fixed mortgage every month make a payment it would go down just a little bit and time that then he like so many others got targeted for a mortgage that was introducing so much more and it was a scam and we know how that worked out. his story is not unique. this is a place where time after time communities of color have been targeted for
the worst and then ultimately with foreclosures in fact, i will back up history a little bit just start in the more modern era with redlining. the official policy of the united states government until 1968 was to draw big maps and say we'll put federal funds taxpayer behind homeowners to buy homes to get a mortgage except in areas where they draw the red line and of course, those areas were communities ofne color. finally in 1978 the federal government said that's no longer officially our policy to fix everything? no. not even close generation
after generation where people cannot get into the home market.ne so what happens? by the time you hit the 19 nineties communities of color now is like the type of mortgages sold to michael smith the idea that they will be targeted for the worst of the mortgages out there. this is a just some theory that the banks that actually had to sign legal settlements and pay money out to target communities of color for discriminatory mortgages. bank of america, j.p. morga morgan, wells fargo, suntrust, fargo, suntrust, these are thatcial institutions said we can increase our profits by targeting communities of color and selling them the worst
mortgages and then taking them back from people just so you know, african-americans and latinos during the crash were 70 percent more likely to be foreclosed than white families. think about that. ten years ago this was going on. in 2013 discrimination had not disappeared african-americans and latinos were twice as likely to be turned down for mortgages as white families with the same credit rating and in 2017, last year, study showed discrimination in lending based on race in 61 metropolitan areas around the country.
so first i have two parts the housing crisis is real. families are struggling to build up housing and then to renting or trying to buy and then the second part is that discrimination is real. and we have got to acknowledge it. in the main response so far from most democrats even has been let's count on the attorney general to enforce the law. [laughter] how's that working out? so i have another idea and this is what i want to pitch to you what you are putting on your agenda so we just talked about a housing bill i put together here's the idea. this housing bill says the federal government says it's
time to reinvest in housing we used to do that i just want to make the pitch for everybody investing in housing putting taxpayer muscle is very much like investing in roads and bridges it builds up to build a future with opportunity going forward so the federal government puts in the many over two.2 million housing units across the country it is true in urban areas and rural areas. warehousing has degraded and we need more housing in american particular urban areas the profits are there to be made but they have to go through the regulatory stuff but no profits can be made building for rich people this is about for the working class
the working poor to put money into three.2 million housing units by the way at its peak that produces one.5 million good jobs local jobs to build them, and the independent analysis shows it will reduce rent across the board by about 10 percentfo so the families who can get into the units there is just more availability of new housing overall but there is a fourth feature to the bill let's directly face the discrimination the federal government once supported some of my bill does is help build
wealth in communitiess of color with down paymentvi assistance to residents formerly redlined areas so go back to those areas that were cut out and say we will give an extra boost to people who currently live in those areas so they have the opportunity to buy their own homes to rebuild intergenerational and also for those former homeowners who were pushed out of their homes during the housing crisis and then we will give them down payment assistance to give them back into their homes that the importance of this bill from my perspective having hard-working families and struggling families are middle-classma families how many would get a chance to have
more opportunity to save money for a down payment and how many would get help because now there are more housing units and freed up prices? more chances to buy a home that is something that could make a difference not just for those three.2 million families but the entire market but we pay for this without working-class americans one thin dime. that this is to say the families that would have paid estate taxes when someone dies back during the george w. bush administration not so long ago should have to pay a progressive tax upon death to
strengthen the estate tax just a little to make it more progressive. the 10000 wealthiest families in america. and i talk to people here in washington did what they tell me he said you'll never do that. i said something that would help three.2 million housing units across america? millions of families one.5 million jobs and you tell me it would never happen because the 10000 richest families in america won't like it? but this is the fundamental question was the government work for only for the 10000 richest families for the rest of america? if you think it's supposed to work for the rest of america
then look at the housing bill and get behind it we need some energy behind this i hope this is something you take a look at. [applause] i want to talk about one other thing my time is short for something that has to say on - - day front and center is the criminal justicen. system. cut to the heart of the matter the criminal justice system is broken and races at the center of the problem. looking at the data for exactly the same crime african-americans - are more likely to be detained, arrested than white whites, prosecuted than white whites, wrongfully convicted than whites and more likely to receive longer sentences than whites. we have a problem in the criminal justice system.
i have a bill with cory booker about incarcerated women we are starting to make change the mostly in congress we are working around this problem we need to take more assertive action to rework the system and that starts right here in washington i just want to put one piece on the table evidence indicates blacks and whites use marijuana at about the same rate but african-americans are four times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites so i have a bipartisan bill of republicans and democrats to end federal arrest for marijuana in states that have acted to build a more thoughtful and rational law on drug possession. it is a start on reform i want
to get that in front of you because that is a step to making a real difference and we cannot give up on this. washington works fabulously well right now for the rich and the powerful everybody else not so well we are in some really tough fights and we face a lot of really important issues. i am not here to tell you housing discrimination or criminal justice reform is any more or less important than any of the other issues facing black america today. i get it. need to protect thero vote, health care, social security, it is a long list. but for me, the key is to say we are in this fight. the list tok at
say it is too long. look at oury let's lace up the gloves and get in this fight. it is an honor to have the opportunity to fight alongside you. it is an honor to have the opportunity to fight along reverend sharpton. i truly believe in the changes we can make together. we are a democracy. there is a whole lot more of us than there is of them. if we come together, we use that power. we build a future. but we've got to do it together. no one will do it for us. so thank you all for being part of this fight. thank you for having me here today. thank you, reverend sharpton. [applause] thank you. >>
rev. sharpton: i think you could not get more specific than the bills she laid out. that housing bill with the estate tax is one we definitely need to deal with as we make our tour, and her talking about the issues that we are concerned about in terms of the voting rights. we had two senators commit on that so far but the housing bill is senator warren's bill. i told people don't come wrapped. come let us know specific. i know for all you weed smokers, you all like that marijuana bill. [laughter] i'm not calling no names, but i saw some of y'all kind of nodding off and your head snapped up when she started talking about, she got on that weed thing, some of y'all woke up. [laughter] let me recognize, before i bring our next speaker, we've got three more that we're going to have, then we will shuttle you
to lunch, then we will do our visitations. but i want to recognize two chapter leaders from all around the country that have come because i want -- for one, we are grateful you traveled to come and second, i'm trying to get y'all in the ptc, get y'all a little attention. head of the sacramento, california chapter, reverend porter's in the house. [applause] katherine parks from louisville, kentucky's in the house. [applause] brenda jones, our richmond, virginia chapter leader, is here. why y'all rolled out cold? i know it's cold because elijah's name is close. reverend jones. elder johnson, charleston, south carolina.
jamie bland, patterson, new jersey, and jamie is also the deputy mayor up there. she's not only president of the chapter, she's the deputy mayor and if i was the mayor, i would be real nervous because ain't no telling, she might get a vision one night, decide to be mayor. cynthia dawkins from newark, new jersey. bill griffin, our new york city chapter. nia truex from washington, d.c. where is nia? sean brown, newport news, virginia. and katherine parks from louisville, kentucky. all right. i'm going to recognize chapter leaders throughout the day because i want folks to know, when we told people that we were serious about bringing our
national group together, i wanted you to know this is national. we didn't go out and get some folks from round the corner and bring them down here and call it a national meeting. [laughter] one of the most passionate and vibrant voices in america and certainly one of the most courageous members of the house of representatives is this next person. he is the one that stood up long before there were indictments and other situations and said that we need to have the grounds to at least explore impeachment.
and i'll tell you that he has not backed down. he has stood up and i think he has set a climate that is going to bear fruit, and we are honored that he came early, because he's always been a part of national action network. he is the congressman from the ninth congressional district in texas, member of the financial services committee, ranking member of oversight and investigations, served as president of the houston naacp and he's the assistant whip of the democratic party. i want to emphasize because we're on c-span, i want to emphasize he is the ranking member of oversight and investigations. [applause] and the democrats took the house, and he's a ranking
member, so he's even more ranking now, mr. president. i'm not trying to start nothing, but you talked about fake news. well, that's a real news congressman, al green. congressman green: thank you so very much, reverend. your words mean a lot to me. i'm so grateful to be with you this morning, friends, and i want you to know that if it is god's will, i will have the preeminent privilege of serving on financial services under the leadership of the chair of the committee, who will be the honorable maxine waters. [applause]
the honorable maxine waters. i want to just say a couple things about the reverend before i go into my message. when the history of this time is recorded, it will show that there was a man, a man who had the courage to take a stand for liberty and justice for all, a man who made a difference in the lives of people that he will never meet and greet, a man who was there for the least among us, the last among us, the lost among us, understanding that the well-off, the well-heeled and the well-to-do will always fare well. he was there for the last, the least and the lost. the honorable reverend al sharpton. i love him.
[applause] if you love him, stand up and let him know how much you love him. [applause] he's our guy. thank you. just if i may, by way of further introduction so that you can understand why i do the things i do, just a brief message for the introduction. i'm the kid who went to work with his father one day. i'm the kid who saw his father do what was required of him. he was a mechanic's helper. if they said clean up that grease spot, he had to clean that spot.
if they said clean the toilets, he had to clean the toilets. i'm the kid who heard people call my father secretary, and i queried, i wondered why would they call him secretary, so i did what any child would, ask why do they call you secretary. i had never heard my father called secretary. he said they call me secretary because they know that i can't read, and i can't write, and they're making fun of me. every child wants to believe that his father is superman. so i had to ask, why would you let them do that to you? why? and he said because i want you
to be able to read and to write. and isn't it wonderful that we live in a country where the son of a secretary can stand in the well of the congress of the united states of america and read and write laws for the united states of america. isn't it wonderful that we live in a country where the son of a secretary can stand in the well of the house and call for the impeachment of the president of the united states of america? [applause] so hopefully you understand to a greater extent why i do many of the things i do. i want to help you to understand that there's legislation that's important to us. the reverend wanted specificity. i want to provide specificity.
there's a piece of legislation that we are sponsoring, hr-122. it is called the law act, the living american wage act. the living american wage act provides a living wage as well as a liveable wage. a liveable wage in that no person who works full-time should live below the poverty line. this will index the wage to poverty so that as poverty rises, the wage will rise. it indexes it, making it a living wage because the wage itself lives. the wage is not static. it's dynamic. it's a wage that will always be above the poverty line, and it's a livable wage because currently, we have an index that
is about $15 per hour, although i think $20 is a better number, to be quite honest. it is a living, livable wage. this is a piece of legislation that i hope you can find favor with, and i hope that we can work together on. i would call to your attention the fair lending for all act. you heard the honorable elizabeth warren talk about the discrimination in lending. it is real. it is not anecdotal evidence that we have. we have the empirical evidence to substantiate the facts. she has given them to you. i need not go through them. but i just believe that if we can make it a crime to steal your wages and wage theft is a crime, we can make it a crime for you to discriminate in lending and have criminal penalties so that people who discriminate with intentionality when you are trying to get a loan to start your business,
when you are trying to get a loan to build a home, when they do that, they ought to suffer criminal penalties and quite frankly, somebody ought to go to jail. [applause] the fair lending for all act. and then, we have the automated additional scoring act. additional credit scoring. there are people who have paid their bills, their light bill, gas bill, water bill, phone bill, cable bill, but they don't have money in the bank. they don't believe in banking their money. they are probably like my mother. she saw the great depression. so rather than believe in first national, she believed in first mattress. [laughter] yeah.
and i saw her make many deposits in first mattress as well as withdrawals. but the persons who pay all of their bills, who pay rent that would exceed a mortgage, i believe that your light bill, gas bill, water bill, phone bill, ought to be scored in an automatic system such that you will get credit for that, and that credit can go toward helping your credit score be enhanced so that you can own a home rather than pay rent. that's what i believe. and finally, i would just say this as something for us to do together in terms of demonstration. that was legislation. demonstration requires action. you are the action network. we have to do something about these right to work laws.
these are laws that prohibit indirectly persons from forming labor unions because the right to work laws will allow people who are not a part of the union to get the same benefits as dues paying members of the union when they finally negotiate. it's like when the team gets ready to get the trophy after having won the championship, all of the members of the team will get a trophy, and then the guy shows up who was never on the team, didn't have to play, didn't risk being hurt, and he gets a championship trophy, too. everybody ought to be a part or have an opportunity to be a part of a union, and i think that demonstrations are necessary in some cases to help us deal with the right to work laws around
this country. so i'm going to go to my seat and look forward to some questions from you, and i'm going to do so, and i want you to know that by the way, i didn't go into impeachment. if there's a question about it, i'll answer it, but i want you to know this. i have no ill feelings toward those who do not support impeachment. none. i want them to just understand that i march to a different beat. i march to the beat of a different drummer. i march to a different beat. i march to the beat of the mother who had her baby torn away from her at the slave auction. i march to the beat of the slave that jumped overboard in shark-infested waters rather than come to slavery in this country. i march to the beat of those who have been locked up and the keys thrown away in jail cells in this country.
i march to the beat of a different drummer. so please, march to the beat of your drummer. but let me march and step to the beat that i feel in my heart, and if you do so, i promise you, i will not let you down, any person who believes that there are s-hole countries in africa, that there are good people in charlottesville, that those babies on the border could be taken away from their mothers, any person who endangers a climate where in you have someone running for senate in mississippi talk about going to a public hanging and a senator in florida talking about monkey business, any persons who engender that kind of climate is a person who is unfit to be president and ought to be impeached. [applause]
i thank you, reverend sharpton. i thank you, everyone. thank you. god bless you. thank you. thank you. [applause] rev. sharpton: congressman al green. congressman al green. i want to now bring on, you know as soon as the election was -- midterm elections ended last tuesday, a week ago, and we said we would be here a week later to bring our leaders from around the country to hear where we're going legislatively, one of the things that we started getting wednesday morning was questions about 2020. and who will run. i felt it's very premature.
we just got the house. we wanted to know what legislation was going to be, and i made a phone call to reverend porter, where did porter go, from our sacramento, california chapter, and i guess the phone i.d. wasn't on. he answered the phone was saying kamala harris for president. i told him y'all can't do that, we're nonpartisan. i didn't become concerned until i then called reverend barkley in new jersey and he asked to talk about kamala harris for president. so i don't know what she's going to do, nor do we endorse candidates, but i know that there are a lot of y'all that are wondering if she's going to run, and i'll just leave it at that, because we got a bunch of reporters in the room, but i will point out reverend porter and reverend barkley is in another state, he's in new jersey.
so i just outed them. now virginia is still talking about marijuana but i will get to that in a minute. i want to bring to the stage, to the platform, i think that if anybody watched the kavanaugh hearings and saw how gracefully somebody executed a prosecutorial questioning, i don't think anyone has ever done it in history better. the way that she can operate with a real precision but still remain graceful is like, you know, somebody -- some people stab you with a knife and others just use a razor and you don't even know you're cut, you walk down the block and your head falls off. that is how she handled the kavanaugh hearing.
she is of course the second african-american woman to serve , and she's a member of homeland security and governmental affairs committee as well as our select committee on intelligence, and as i said, a member of the judiciary committee, and we are honored that she always is there when we call on her. let us hear from, come on in, mr. speaker -- i mean, mister -- [laughter] congressman jim clyburn. let us hear from the senator from california, senator kamala harris.
senator harris: good morning. good morning, everyone. good morning. reverend al, i thank you for everything you do throughout the year and bringing us together to be accountable and to respond to the questions and to the issues of concern of all people of our country is so important and it is something that you give all of us and i thank you for that. thank you. so i know we have a lot of folks here. my colleague mark warner is here and the honorable clyburn is here. i'm going to get right to it. so reverend al talked about the midterms, right, and you know, it's funny, there were a lot of folks who were asking me the morning after the midterms how do you feel. and my head felt good but my heart was a little blue. and probably because i had spent some time in georgia and in florida, and i knew from being on the ground there, working
with our friends and colleagues, stacy abrams and andrew gillum, i knew -- and bill nelson in florida -- i knew that there was a legitimate concern about whether votes would actually be counted, and whether all people actually had equal access to the whether votes would actually be polls, and whether the rules were being created and set up in a way that was fair to all people, and giving all people a right to exercise what they know to be their constitutional right to be heard and participate in a democracy, and of course, votes are still being counted and there are real concerns about whether the people who are writing the rules are actually doing it in the interest of the people they are supposed to serve or for self-benefit. so that's why i woke up the morning after the midterm feeling a bit of conflict. we have such great wins, a historic number of women to the
united states congress. we had historic wins when you look at what we saw in terms of lauren underwood in illinois, we had hayes and presley, a lot to celebrate. a lot to celebrate. and also, what we know is that a week ago today, also reaffirmed the need for us to recommit in this fight for civil rights and social justice for all people. and so i think about it in that context and now i will speak a little bit more about what everyone is convened here to talk about, which is legislation and how we will, through the united states congress, make sure that all people's voices are heard and their issues and their needs met. so what i found myself recently saying is this.
if it's worth fighting for, it's a fight worth having. i'm going the repeat that. if it's worth fighting for, it's a fight worth having. and i say that because i think sometimes there is a conversation that suggests that before we decide we want to engage in a fight, some might say well, let's sit back and consider the odds of winning. no. if it's worth fighting for, it's a fight worth having. sometimes people will suggest oh, before we make that decision, let's sit back and wonder what are the cost benefits of engaging in that fight. will i incur any harm? will it be difficult? will it require a lot of work? but what national action network knows is that's not how we measure what we fight for, because we say if it is worth fighting for, it is a fight worth having. and so that's where we are today.
outlining then what is worth fighting for. i will mention that again, in looking at votes still being counted, and knowing what is going on in many areas of our country, not only georgia and florida. look what happened in north dakota. when our native american brothers and sisters were basically excluded from their opportunity and their right to vote because of laws that were put in place to suppress their ability to have their voices represented. so what is worth fighting for, voting rights. well, we know in shelby v. holder, the united states court gutted the voting rights act which members of this organization, including its leader and so many others, fought for, many died for the voting rights act to be passed. it's been gutted by the court. so what needs to happen now as
we convene here in the united states congress? congress needs to act. congress needs to act and we need to pass a voting rights amendment. [applause] and it's the voting rights advancement act so we can restore the full protections of the voting rights act. that is worth fighting for. and it is therefore a fight worth having. let's look at what we're looking at in terms of elections on another level. let's speak truth in case everyone is not clear, mark warner and i sit on the senate intelligence committee, he is the co-chairman of that committee. you read the public report. russia interfered in the election of the president of the united states. that is a fact. that is a truth. it is worth fighting for integrity in our election system which means that they are free from interference by a hostile or an unfriendly nation.
so that is why we have a bill in the united states senate supported by senator warner and actually a bipartisan support, and it's my bill together with james lankford, the election security act, which says let's put the resources into upgrading the states' election systems because what we know is this. there are a lot of states that are dealing with antiquated machines, right? which are vulnerable to being hacked and let me remind everybody, part of what we know is the evidence from what happened in 2016 is that the russians figured out america's vulnerability. they detected, it didn't take long for them to figure out america's achilles heel, and attack on that basis. and what is america's achilles heel? the issue of race. and it was on that basis, and hate, and it was anti-semitism, homophobia, it was a number of things.
they attacked knowing that was what would attract heat in our country and create dissension and discord. so the election security act is something that is worth fighting for. let's look at the rule of law. that is worth fighting for. this morning i was in the senate judiciary committee, as reverend al mentioned, and i will tell you the nominees coming before that committee including just this morning, a nominee senator booker was eloquent in saying that he and senator menendez did not get reverend al the name until just last week, when senate was not in session, had no opportunity to interview this nominee, they had not submitted their okay for this nominee which is called a blue slip, but yet the hearing was pushed through. it is worth fighting for, making sure that the right nominees go nomineesat committee and aremat
go before that committee and are confirmed. we getho are vetted and to weigh in. the senate has the responsibility to advise and consent for these appointments. remember in these individuals make decisions about how we interpret the constitution. which impacts all of the issues this organization fights for. that is a fight with having. sureg attention to, making judicial nominations reflect the interest of due process. economic justice. lot in thisalking a organization on the need for reform of the money bail system. bill, bipartisan bill, saying we need to reform the bail system. aroundrstand it is wrong
criminal justice. it is an economic justice issue. what happens is if you do not have the money to prevail to get out, you sit in jail. that is why, guess who my cosponsor is? rand paul. he said to me, i said, how are your folks doing? he said they are doing fine. he said appellation loves this bill. they know working people, poor people know this is a matter not only about criminal justice, it is economic justice. that is worth fighting for. economic justice in another context. says if aill which family is making less than $100,000 a year, they get a tax
credit up to $6,000. because many american families are a 500 dollar emergency away from financial catastrophe. the leading cause of bankruptcy is the ability -- the inability to pay hospital bill. that is worth fighting for. issue, economic justice can you pay the rent? we've had great songs about that. [laughter] the rent needs to get paid. in 99% of the counties in the united states, if you are a minimum-wage worker working 99%, a minimum-wage worker working full-time cannot afford market rate for a one-bedroom apartment.
what my bill proposes is that if you are paying over 30% of your income in rent and utilities, you get a tax credit of up to $6,000. because we know that is one of the biggest issues facing working families, their ability to pay the rent at the end of the month so they can send the children to school so they can work that job to live a life of dignity and a better life. economic justice is worth fighting for. this, when we is look at where we are as a country, we know we have a lot of work to do. moment.an inflection this is a moment in time requiring us to ask, who are we? know, national action
network, part of the answers, we are better than this. in fighting for the best of who we are, we will do what is necessary in terms of activism, marching when we need to, doing what we need to do in terms of peaceful protest. it is about what we need to do in the court systems and in congress. thatng for legislation will reflect the values and the interest of all of the people who live in our country. that is what this conference is about. thank you for bringing us together. [applause] rev: sharpton: senator kamala harris. on, he is on the intelligence, committed to social justice, he has regarded
in respect of the civil rights community. senator mark warren. warren: good morning. forme thank reverend al allowing to come here. he and i go back along way. we started working together when i took on was a little bit of a 1989. errand way back in i joined and became the campaign manager for young man name doug the firstt became african-american governor elected in his own right in our nation. even as far back as 1989, reverend al was in the fight. . know we have missed clyburn i want to make a comment about
senator harris. her in the judiciary committee hearings. many of us saw her when she took on the attorney general sessions in our intelligence committee hearings. when she took on the questions around jim comey. and what in't see get a chance to see is the energy, andrd work, commitment. 90% of all we do is behind closed doors. behind those doors hers is a to bythat is listened people on both sides of the aisle. enormous power and intellect to these issues. i was thinking about going
through a series of legislation that would be part of this network's agenda. i want to take a moment and step back and talk about what i think is an even bigger issue. for those of you do not know my background, before i was in politics, before i was senator, governor, i was a business guy. a couple of years out of life school.- law i took my life savings, $5,000. invested it in an energy start up company. weeks, i helped that company go bankrupt. [laughter] estate.ent into real moved to atlanta.
failed at that as well. [laughter] i never took out those bankruptcy charges. time, 1982, i am living out of my car. catches.on my friend's i fell into the early days of the sailor telephone industry. telephone industry. people telling me, warner, get a real job. they are still practicing law. [laughter] i was blessed. i realized in america i am not sure every american gets three shots. if i had not been a white man, i probably would not have gotten the third shot, maybe not even a for shot. if somebody -- as somebody who
has benefited from this position, beyond my wildest imagination, i stand before you arguein 2018 and would and even though i've been the beneficiary of the system that modern american capitalism is not working for enough people. what we should be talking about and what the network's agenda ought to be beyond legislation how ineory of the case america in the 21st century every american is an opportunity to earn a good life. not being given a good life. to earn a good life. there are three issues that undermine that opportunity right now. right now in america there is more economic inequality and income inequality and a greater
level than any time in history, except for 1928 before the great depression. america, half of aericans are $400 away of bill from going into bankruptcy. economicn this nation insecurity. never made a lot of money. he worked for the same company 38 years. with that job came a level of security. health care, retirement, and if you lost that job, there was unemployment, disability. the world is not exist today. income inequality, insecurity, and we have a disparity in terms of equality of opportunity, where you live, what you look like in america.
out of the 3400 counties in america, 2200 of them in the last 10 years have lost jobs. if you look at the statistic, americall new jobs in are not coming from corporations. they are coming from startups. if we are going to make sure everybody has that opportunity to learn a good life, that is not going to work when 90% of all venture capital goes to three states, california, new york, massachusetts. that is not going to work when less than 10% of all venture capital goes to women. that is not going to work where everybody gets an opportunity when less than 2% of venture toital goes
african-americans or latinos. let me lay out what i think should be our agenda. an agenda that does not look backwards. wistful for the good old days. the rate of technology, the rate of change is going to accelerate. with your permission, reverend al, let me lay out where i hope we would be fighting. this, if the time is right, the time is right. where wee, in a world are not going to work for the same job 35 years. where our children don't work working asey may be
an i.t. consultant, driving uber, renting out the apartment. 2018, and the started in the 1990's as company started to outsource jobs. if you are the janitor, you did not work for apple. you worked for a subcontract to her. -- subcontractor. one third of americans work in some level of contingent work. part-time, independent workers.rs, gig they may be doing ok. until the stuff hits the fan. no social safety net. the social contract between business and labor and government has broken down. creating a portable benefit system that says no matter what kind of job you
have, independent contractor, worker, on your own, as you work, you ought to collect some travel and that should with you as you move from one job to another. so if you are 45 and you have a great, you've got something to fall back on. we need to meet the workforce where it is at. thing, every business leader, everybody has this, our biggest asset is our people. you know what? in our tax code, we give no credit t human capital. created 25egislation said we should promote research and development. that is a good thing. if you make an investment as a
company in something that qualifies as research and development, you get to deduct that and you get a tax credit. $1000 on out and spend buying a new computer, you will and you will be able to put that computer and call it an asset and get credit for it. if you spend that same $1000 investing in a human being, you get nothing. it is a liability. investment in human capital is important. we should create the equipment of an r&d tax credit for human growth. r&dre to have a human being tax credit. if you invest a thousand dollars to train somebody, that company ought to get a tax break.
system that have a found these people as much as we value machines and other pieces of equipment? that is where the future lies. no matter how much education you have, if you are not able to upscale throughout your career, your chances of staying engaged, having a fair shot, is going to disappear. we have created legislation that says we should have a lifelong learning account. so you can accumulate money along the way so if you have a pump you have the resources to actually get those skills you need to stay in the job market. somebody whoe u.s. -- you as somebody who has been blessed. something is wrong, something is
different where in 2018 if you look back 40 years ago the average time somebody held onto was eight years. the amount of time somebody holds onto a public stock today is two months. the great american companies post world war ii could not be created today. the urge for short-term profits over long-term value undermine the ability to create those enterprises. a tax code that does not say simply go for the next two cents to show profit and layoff investing in human beings. we ought to have a system that rewards long-term value tradition. tax reform? fine. for long-term value. pension funds?
make sure the people who manage don't getion funds compensated on how well they do the next quarter. how much they are creating over the long haul. unless we make free enterprise, people,sm, work for all people's faith in the system is going to dissipate. we need a new economic model. ed to do more than pay lip service to our investment in human beings and have a tax code and accounting system where companies have to report how much money they spend on human beings. we need a business environment that says you have an obligation not only to your shareholders,
but to your stakeholders. your employees. the community you live in. unless we can make a system where everybody gets that opportunity to earn a good life, this country which we have been blessed living, is not going to reach his potential. i know and this is why i appreciate what reverend al does, i know and i know this is a different crowd because your activists. many americans turn on the tv in the news comes on, donald trump comes up -- [laughter] you want to throw a shoe at the tv. i feel the same way and i'm inside the tv. [laughter] we cannot lose faith. we cannot lose hope.
mentioned tuesday night we did great in virginia. sad to see some of my friends in the senate lose their positions. we have to stay engaged. , if young voted people voted in their numbers, if people of color voted in their numbers, where i work would look a heck of a lot different. reverend al, thank you for what you do and continue to do. thank you for helping me back when i was a young startup with doug wilder. we've got to stay in this fight because we live in a great country. that greatness does not need to be made again. it is who and what we are. that can only be maintained if we have a system that gives every american a fair shot an opportunity.
thank you very much. stay in the fight. [applause] i knew about the doug wilder days. i did not know about living in the car. [laughter] never heard anybody expound upon white privilege better than you just did. hand.im another [applause] session, andorning we are to bring everyone over for lunch. we have congress people there for a q&a. aren that you and i activists from around the country. he has been an activist before
he came to congress. as some of my radio listeners call and remind me from south carolina, he was one of the student leaders there. i will tell you that his commitment has not changed. i've gone down and spoke for him because he hosts a lot of things for these black colleges. the fact he is the number three person in the democratic and who knows where that may go this session, has not stopped him from being grounded in south carolina. when i ran for president in 2004, he had supported a candidate. he said, reverend al, we've got n'tmake sure you ai embarrassed. he is that kind of person. committed to his community. from ourlk to anybody
trust chapter, white or black, speaks of his integrity. he does not say what everybody agrees with. he says what he means. he means what he says. i want people in washington to know whatever happens in the democratic caucus that people all over the country stand behind a man who has stood behind us. i bring you the congressman from manh carolina, the third and moving on up, as jefferson says, congressman james clapper. clapper: thank you very much, reverend al, for your friendship. thank you so much for this relationship you and i have enjoyed for a long time. i appreciate that.
here withoutup word friend. on the floor al green we referred to each other as my good friend. most times we don't mean it. [laughter] my goodall al sharpton friend, i really do mean it. i am pleased to be here with you. i'm pleased to be here without green. this,ust got to say sunday morning, i got up and my recently had a stroke. she is a bit immobile. she's always been spoiled, but she is really spoiled now. we are watching the tv. looking at msnbc.
cnn. cnnnn. there was aden blackof 17 lakh women -- women all of whom had just gotten elected to judgeships in texas. [applause] my wife was crying. i'm trying to hold back tears. that is what happens when we get engaged. when we go out and do what we know how to do. countryhelp this correct its faults.
[applause] throughout this recent campaign, i've been quoting a great french tocqueville.xis de wrote ae tocqueville book called "democracy in america." there is one line in the book talking about all year. he says america's greatness is not because it is more enlightened than any other because we have been able to repair our faults. that is what this country is. a great country. it does not need to be made great again. it needs to have its greatness americanirly to all
citizens. that is what it is all about. i want to say to money friends over here, meeting for the first time today. i'm trying to do things in south carolina to get you back. brother johnson, thank you for all you do. job for the next several months, you've heard a lot about some of the problems. you a little bit about solutions. if you look at what happened to the voting rights act, it was not outlawed. it was not overturned.
they took a scapula and they cut formula in out that section four. getting rid of the formula actually neutered the voting rights act. i don't know what the first bill is we are going to introduce. i know of the first bill is am going to see past, restoring oft formula in section four the civil rights act. that should be the first bill passed. [applause] it does not take a lot. twocan do it with one or senators. other memberslf,
of the congressional black caucus, we are going to be moving on the first day to restore that formula to be voting rights act of 1965. [applause] now let's talk about economic justice. talking about economic justice. once again we've got one of the best, i believe the best, economic system in the world. free markets. all kinds of ingenuity. a couple of things we've got to do to make it work for everybody. heard talk you just about investing in human capital. the best way we can invest in human capital in my opinion is to make college and secondary
education free. [applause] how do we do that? simple. you heard what we do to start businesses. if somebody wants to start a business, they go to the government and they can get a loan. students loans ought to be no more than one or two points above prime. 8% interest on student loans, had one up with debt, i employee with $160,000 in debt when he graduated. of that.t rid that is the second thing.
this is going to be legislation introduced the moment we open the next congress. talk abouts, we hear what we need to do for college education. that is fine. how do we define college education? post secondary education. i majored in history. history major i know can make these lights work. i can teach you about what happened way back yonder. i don't know a thing about how to turn these lights on. i don't know if thing about fixing the plumbing in this building. we ought to make sure we provide as much assistance for people
who want to be electricians, plumbers, they ought to get the same support from the federal government us history majors get. i told a group of students one time if i get in my automobile and start home and something to my automobile, al, i ain't calling no lawyer. i am calling a mechanic. if i get up in the morning and turn on my water faucet and no callingmes out, i ain't new doctor. i'm calling the plumber. doctors need plumbers, plumbers the lawyers, lawyers need mechanics. we need each other. no one of us is more important than the other. [applause]
men's is what we've got to do. that is what we've got to do. this yearsay this, was about restoring america's goodness. flowing from the white over theanness television sets. all over this country. for too long meanness has prevailed. week.pped some of it last we've got to work on stopping the rest of it between now and next year. we can do it. how do we do it? legislation is coming to the floor.
your dreams and your aspirations . we've got to make this economic system, this great system, work for everybody. barack obama was doing. when we worked closely with to get the trying votes to pass, the affordable care act. he saw something that needed to be repaired. i just told you my wife had a stroke. she's just about to have bypass surgery. she's had total kidney failure from diabetes. she is still with me today because she's got good health insurance. [applause] everybody should have good health insurance.
we should not say to a child with diabetes, you can't be on your parents' insurance policy. we should not say to a woman with breast cancer your insurance policies can get canceled the sooner she gets sick. we should not say to any family ing will have a lifetime ceil on the benefits you can receive for this policy you have been paying into 435 years. -- removedll of that all of that with obama care. we are going to keep it for all americans to benefit from. we are going to let them -- are not going to let them give rid of protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. that is what this campaign was all about. the meanness.
being mean to people who are sick. being mean to black women. to disabled reporters. to people who find , somebody goes out hts for this country, .tationed abroad, sent in the president of the united states is going to ignore those votes and declare the election over. meanness. that is what this campaign was about. getting rid of the meanness. america's greatness. that is what thi