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tv   Carlo Rotella The World Is Always Coming to an End  CSPAN  July 27, 2019 2:50pm-3:45pm EDT

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testimony was pretty brief. >> we have time for one more. we have to let speaker go because he has a live television commitment but you are all invited upstairs and we will toast him. >> i want to apologize because i wanted to be here, we have to host a show tonight in half an hour. thank you all for being there, appreciate it. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the new c-span online store now has booktv product.
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go to and check them out, see what is new for booktv and all the c-span products. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome. our next program, carlo rotella, "the world is always coming to an end: pulling together and apart in a chicago neighborhood" in conversation with deborah harrington, ava st. clair and natalie moore. i have a quick opening announcement, welcoming you to the printers relit fast presented by the near south planning board. i want to give special thanks to all our sponsors for the generous support this year especially when trust is our programming sponsor, robert
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mccormick foundation, alpha would foundation, the tribune, 3l real estate and c-span booktv. c-span will be broadcast live on booktv. if there is time at the end of our discussion, there is a microphone in the center of the room. if we end of doing any day, if we get to that path there are four people up here with 45 minutes, we may have time for that q and a. if not we apologize in advance. please welcome natalie moore from chicago. [applause] >> thank you for being here and thanks to the author and the panelists. i often refer to the neighborhood south shore outside chicago the most mixed income neighborhood in the city. can you take a picture of the
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neighborhood, what it looks like, what it was like for you growing up there. >> i think it will take the whole 45 minutes. i start by saying any image you start with, present a contradictory one. it has the nicest, greenest, truest, most handsome bungalow blocks on the south side of chicago but has desolate commercial strips with a lot of vacant storefronts. it is a food desert without a supermarket but has an african themed food network growing in the neighborhood. also more dropouts, similar to chicago's most important movers and shakers. and one third of the population on the poverty line, 60% under the -- any fact or image you
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present, it is not typical of american neighborhoods, the haves and have nots live next to each other or on adjoining blocks. it has a long-standing reputation as a really nice place to live and also has an outsized reputation where people get shot. there is a shooting including a couple notorious police shootings that led the protests. i think the last thing i will say is it has for a long time been a middle-class neighborhood, a first house neighborhood where the family buys the first house and moves up in the middle and where a family already in the middle aims higher. michelle obama, larry ellison, prominent people who fit the profile.
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i grew up in the 1970s, moved in 1967 when it was becoming a black neighborhood. it has been since the 1970s, the world i grew up in was a middle-class world, deciding on the agenda, what are we going to do about it and pursue solutions? in the time since then the middle class has begun to age out and hollow out and become less active in the neighborhood, a neighborhood dominated by the middle-class. the haves aren't that rich. a lot follow the middle-class but the have nots falling so far behind that they have become haves by default so it gets harder for neighbors to
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get together and say this is a problem and this is how we solve it. if you look at the 1970s -- the middle-class was dominant in the neighborhood. neighbors did get together and solve big problems and forced the south shore -- stopped them from tearing down the country club and the beloved amenities, the most notorious -- they voted it dry and so south shore has a history of neighbors getting together to solve problems but the big wins tend to be in the past. that is the world i grew up in, a world of people richer than poor and poorer than rich. most of them black and most with some confidence in moving up and some kind of confidence
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in the role of the state and the government in doing that, people who worked for one company and expecting a pension. sounds like the 19th century but that middle-class is aging out. a lot of those people who bought bungalows, for $22,000 in 1967 are still in them but they retired and i they are not being replaced. being middle-class, three jobs on the side piecing it together and you can feel the difference. i will not stop there but start there. >> that is the lay of the land and one of the biggest assets, the greenery, the housing stock but also lake michigan. you have beaches and lakefront property and because of all
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these assets, white people are coming to take over and the gentrification is around the corner. you talk about mythical white people that they see coming off the train but the data doesn't pan out that way. what is happening in the neighborhood. >> the white people are coming back has been a story since they left in the 60s. a couple things to say about that. first, statistically the last census does not back that up. there are a couple hundred more, let's see what the next hundred says. one way to look at it is to say the south shore of the haves is slowly integrating again. young white couples are buying
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bungalows here and there but very slowly. the other thing that is moving below the surface. this is not about this alphabet big real estate combines are buying walk up apartment buildings. the software recent years has led the city in housing vouchers and even actions and big real estate combines are buying up apartments with housing vouchers and there is profit in it. the narrative you just described also contains the possible further chapter which if the neighborhood does change they would then get rid of those but if that happens we are talking pretty far out. it is not like new york, like there's intense pressure to be
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rushing into the neighborhood and throwing down their credit card. that is not happening so much but you do start to see, you are seeing signs of a slow trickle and i will say and i say in the book when i was a kid living in south shore i was usually misrecognized as a white person left over from what used to be a white neighborhood which i wasn't because we didn't move there when all the black family started moving in but now doing research for the book i'm usually misrecognized as somebody with private property, an architect or have kids. >> a speculator. >> if i stop and take note what will this do to property values. that is the semi automatic of walking away. >> that would be a good subtitle. can you talk about why you choose to live in south shore in the neighborhood work that you do?
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>> that is really interesting. moving a lot of different circles and at my board meetings downtown, people say where do you live? the south shore, always qualify it because i want people to know this is not by accident. i came to south shore, my parents lived in the south shore. my dad owned a restaurant and my dad owned an apartment building, my grandmother, everybody lived in this apartment building in new york and my mother had this dream of having a home. we moved to south shore in 1971, a loss and a half with a
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car port. always happy out there. i really enjoyed it, fireplace in the living room, wonderful community. as an aside, in many ways, white people move out, there were some whites who never moved out. in 1978 when i decided it was time to move out i had been living in dc and i identified a co-op in south shore and it was beautiful, on the lake, and applied as a shareholder and was denied in the building was all white and this was 1978 and i was mortified that the board of directors said that they weren't going to let me move in
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and for no cause which -- at that time south shore was 98% black, but it was an all white lakefront co-op. i appealed that decision to the shareholders and they approved my application so i moved in to an all white building in south shore which was an anomaly and filed a lawsuit for discrimination and three years later, i lived there for 13 years and it was a real education on race relations but my parents originally moved there and i am still there and i absolutely love it. >> my story, i grew up in miami, orlando, tallahassee, my childhood was in orlando. it was not developed the way it
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is now. when we were moving there when i was about 5 the clan was marching in sanford and my mom was like okay. that was quite a thing. my saturday morning tv was reading rainbow, those are the clouds, all these things and even the cosby show. i am thinking where are these trains people are getting on in these buses? i am looking outside and got my jump rope. i don't know, how do i get there. my entire childhood even growing up into college that is what i didn't know i was looking for but i didn't have the vocabulary for it at the time so my last year at college i took a class in urban planning, finished my degree in
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urban planning. he bought all these plans. this was in maybe 2003 and he said this is what is going to happen to chicago. the final exam question giving us a bunch of stuff, what should you do as soon as you graduate? the correct answer was move to the city. my husband in chicago said what do you want to do? i don't know. he was like what kind of place is it? chicago, new york, i don't know anybody in new york so i guess chicago, back it up, let's do it. so i had my diploma air mailed to my mother and had to go to walmart to get my graduate picture taken because i didn't
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go to graduation and trying to get out so by the time i got here we moved, we were sort of lucky but as things started to improve we had to get out so i started looking at hyde park, no, south shore, a couple of short sales, we found one, this is good. the weeks became i am walking home off the bus, people eating on the front porch and i am like this is the thing. that is what it has been. >> you are here, talk about the work that you do to better the neighborhood, your community activism. >> for me, i am a thought
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partner with a lot of people. the community is disconnected and for a number of different reasons. people live in pockets. people tend to be more isolated than together. so a lot of my work is around working with allies in the community. i work with activists. i work with nonprofit leaders, advocates. and entrepreneurs. we talk about community building. my background part is in the field of philanthropy so i helped write grants and think about resource development, strategic planning and all those things. i really feel like there is so much rich capital in south
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shore and potential. always on this precipice and i think part of the challenge is there is no, there is no coalition of people and that being in many ways by some activity, south shore work, working on a community development plan, trying, to have a shared vision, working with people building resident power, having a vision for the community, bringing in economic development to make it a more vibrant place. >> the last few years, extremely active, looking to a
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neighborhood, sort of stepped back to develop a broader view. and looks like obvious problems that became so enormously intractable and complex. the best thing for me to do is get the best education. that is what i have been working on. and in cdc you have some interest in studying the neighborhood. and it seems, with developers and residential people, there is a group of people where the people within the neighborhood slightly overvalued the neighborhood and the people outside the neighborhood didn't
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value the neighborhood at all and this sort of middle part, the fulcrum where they are looking, everybody is looking for a different outcome with the same input, three people on a seesaw and nobody is going there. i am going to go and be right back. give me a second. not that each of them don't have a point. nobody wants to improve their neighborhood and get kicked out but why would you want to do that and every list a developer saying will my investment be returned? there are concerns and so it is a very complex -- primarily what i was doing and still do, a lot of marketing around the
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neighborhood, you guys just need a tagline. i came in with my millennial ways and started paying stuff. it really isn't working but that was primarily, digital activism. >> both of you, the subtitle is putting together and apart in a chicago neighborhood. there are just as many people as ever, people of goodwill pulling together to get things done. what is pulling apart, bigger forces, transformation of class structure in the united states, economic transformation, main street on the relationship to big box stores and digital shopping, huge transformations coming at a scale greater than the neighborhood so even the same amount of goodwill and entrepreneurialism in the neighborhood is up against
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these larger forces. the last thing i will say about that, you all know this, you stand on the street in south shore it look like nothing is happening. it is quiet except for a couple hot corners, doesn't look like much is happening but part of the deck of that -- and people who are happening -- and, it is a quiet place to see these forces at work. >> i interviewed a number of people in your book. i cover south shore, some of the go to organizations with efficacy that is there. one thing i haven't thought about, that you eloquently point out in the book, the data
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is you have this vision, this cohesion but on the other hand it is not cohesive if you compare it to -- can you compare it to south shore, other neighborhoods and why they have a shared vision and why south shore doesn't -- it appears they do. >> it is a sector analysis, some is structural, sometimes it is a little trickier. the physical container in south shore is set up so that there will be people of different social classes. these walk up apartment buildings, these beautiful high-rises with spectacular lake views. it is physically set up to have people with different interests. the obama presidential center in jackson park, if you want property, your property values are going up and if you pay rent your rent is going up.
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i think the cutting together to some extent if you look back it is in part the physical container, the neighborhood is set up for a class difference. as the middle shrinks you get more poor people and more people on the other side of that divide and that is a great part of it. another part, people in the book including ava st. clair speak only of a generational split between leaders, there are leaders who remember the big victories of the 70s and a civil rights view of how things get done and there are millennials and others saying if there is a new set of problems, the base of activism and the objectives of activism are different. completely understandable vision but with more cohesion coming from other places and those would be internal divisions with one block and instead you get separate blocks
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it historically there is one block -- black united fund and different groups. the last thing i will say is there is a charge that compares, he did a chart for south shore and another community and he made a.for every leader in the neighborhood and a line between every two dots. it is the plumbing system of the death star. everything leads to everything. there is a triangle, a couple over here, a couple over here and a whole lot of dots on the left side with no lines, people connect downtown working vigorously with other people in the city for good. that is a real powerful testament with all these divisions and all these splits many of which are structural. not that there is less activity.
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it is our class structure, takes their energy and has different energy in the opposite direction. >> we here in some urban planning circles including chicago with the teardown of public housing, rebuilding makes income communities mixed income is the way to go. in south shore, already the natural environment makes income, and you see what different people want. 71st st. the big retail core door, hair shops -- >> a lot of workshops. >> liquor stores, taking gears for the grocery store to come and more middle-class people wanting places to sit down, not wanting to leave their community for hyde park to do shopping and those forces with
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mainstreet, big-box, who is investing in urban centers and i walked away from this book wondering can mixed income be successful? >> i'm not in the prediction business. if you look at the history -- both of you have other views. if you look at the history of the neighborhood there was an interesting effort to revise the phoenix partnership in the 80s, 70s and 80s of that was an attempt to create a shopping strip with small black owned businesses and that was financed by the south shore bank, and 71st st. 32 stores and a bunch of others and it didn't work and it didn't work and the reason was not that they didn't try hard enough. it didn't work because especially the middle-class homeowners in the neighborhood basically said we want high quality national brands and we
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will do what we can to get them. it wasn't because they were black but because they were middle-class and they said we are willing to drive to a big box store and they made the decisions with the schools, taken to a charter or catholic or something like also school. what you are pushing, what 71st is pushing against is not just capital flight but the dominance of the car, online shopping and big-box stores. the next thing is here's the perfect formula to deal with it but i don't know what that is exactly. i do think a supermarket would really help and a supermarket is a perfect example of consumers change and there are too many poor people for a high end supermarket. it has not been replaced.
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50,000 people in south shore, everybody in the car and somebody else goes tomorrow. high end store too many poor people. and for our store here, there is a store that is moving in. that is sort of in the middle. that is not a south shore problem but an america problem is we are reaching the foodways and have or have not model, increasingly the model. truly a mixed income neighborhood which is becoming an anomalous thing. >> you wrote a powerful letter to the editor talking about why i can't sell. the grocery store has not been announced yet but why can't we get a grocery store here and look at all these from the north side, tax subsidies that
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are $1 billion. does government need to play a bigger role from philanthropy, how do you shift this in equity that we see? >> it is a complicated question and then it is not. part of it is political will. for example, a $6 billion development, a well resourced community. and public subsidies for that 900 million and we can't get a grocery store so that is shameful to me. in terms of a tale of 2 cities and every time i see a new development they are talking
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about a new neighborhood, 78 neighborhood downtown and i am thinking all of these things can happen. these are political and structural decisions that are made and even though there's a promised grocery store, i haven't seen any groundbreaking, we have had promises before. how do our representatives not make that happening and the issues around civic engagement, they are basic, for example, south shore is the number one, was the number one receiving community when public housing was dismantled and we have a lot of voucher holders because we have a lot of densely
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populated areas in terms of apartment buildings but then that has everything to do with the fact that older men in other communities particularly on the north side, they use certain tools and strategies and it is not home rule but zoning. >> diplomatic privilege. >> to prevent any public housing, not in my backyard. when you talk about mixed incomes, there are barriers that are there. a lot of the stuff was institutionalized so i am so encouraged that our new mayor has discontinued the prerogatives and can see that people should have choices in terms of mobility. i am hoping there is more of a leveling of the playing field
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but there are so many examples of inequity and there are solutions to these things. i think the community needs to be more organized. they need to have a strong agenda and make sure everyone is brought into that agenda and push for these things and basic organizing 101 but because we are in these pockets and isolated it is hard to create the critical mass that is needed to push the change. >> a lot of other things too, on the planning side. it is something to sit down and say we have let's say a midgrade burger shop, we need $80,000 immediate income to do
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that for burgers and these are real conversations. the other conversation we are having, people coming into the office where i work, as small business owners, looking for office space, to say go up there, got the train and you call up the building owner and you get one of three things. this guy lives in tokyo and that number or this is one of 80,000 properties and has no idea, by the time he does call you back four weeks later and when you get that call i will give you 700 ft. for $2000. at that point, there is nothing you can do. the bank won't of the business owner a loan over market rate and even if they did, mainstreet going small which younger people want to see.
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it was gone. i would like to have smaller things. it is difficult to get that going in. what carlo was writing was more about this is a problem, but a giant sort of policy. the most frustrating thing out of everything, the complexity, the way people look -- what's wrong with you? that is why it is better, why can't you do better and you are looking at them and understand this particular neighborhoods there are three words. i live across the street from a different word, a completely different neighborhood. some have primary interest.
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and fifth would has hyde park. if you go to the negotiating table with all 3 people there, south shore may be an honorable mention of the meeting and that great sense of shame after a wild, you guys are crazy, we are just resource folks. >> one thing i found in talking to people coming out of this is giving up on the government being there to help them do this and doing it themselves and what doing themselves often becomes is taking all that interest and fire from the neighborhood and pouring it into a physical container, i am going -- my house, my side of the block, my side -- i'm going to do what i am going to do. in the absence of a larger
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structure. and look out for ourselves which means driving space in a lot of cases which my three neighbors, i know them and that is striking. it is a bigger story, who is looking out for their interests. that sort of what's wrong with you response, a lot of that, the bungalow in which i grew up was unspeakably nicer than when i lived there. they had nothing but love pouring into it in the last 40 years and it is a castle and it is gorgeous, a work of art.
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and the focus has gone. it was not in private space. >> there was an effective argument how this is an american issue at the chicago issue, it is hollowing out the middle class. you can do this urban planning. what is the stability to be able to buy a home and support that love into it? >> people i talked to who were comfortable were either retired or in a union job. something where they have
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larger representation. i did track down some people who lived in public housing and now live in south shore and they were piecing together bits and pieces, some had that south shore optimism. i walked down the street and see houses and i want to buy one of those houses. others who were thinking of upward ability, one woman in particular was trying to get out of the housing program are saying i don't need it anymore but her plans were to live somewhere else so she's like i'm in south shore right now and it is too dangerous and i want my kids out and i am going to move up here. that should be a warning. if you live in south shore and thinking about moving up, that is a real contravention of the traditional function of a place like south shore. you move up there and start an apartment and look at the bungalow and go to the apartment and moved to the jackson park island which is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in chicago. so i do see a lot of people
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stepping back from traditional function in the neighborhood. >> talk more about homeowners. you talk to a number of renters in the book including people on section 8 vouchers. what is their vision for the neighborhood? .. vision for the neighborhood and do they see themselves i really did grow up in the middle class south shore so it's a little hard to crack the surface so what struck me is how people who were renting were even more committed to retreating from public life they don't ever want their kids out on the stre
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i would put the kid in the park and let the kid play, they were more committed and then there were others saying the future of the neighborhood is here, you know, it is true that it does more, no only in terms of housing butal in terms of development. those were people who had a much more traditional sort of, we are going to, you know, we will develop this neighborhood one business at a time. what's lacking, i think, organizations and leaders that they would naturally look to and say, okay, i want to get involved.
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they were neighborhood by neighborhood and can go to council and that could be a sort of subgroup. smaller than neighborhood. some people are trying to bring those back. mixed incomes in chicago. among the have nots, this is a dump, i have to get out of here and i need to find a way to become involved and i will have nothing to do with my neighbors and i will stick to my private life and get up to next stage of life.
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haves still do have community organization that is they look to and they also, a lot of them areni well connected they know o to call. >> prettiest neighborhoods. >> the houses would cost, where i live in boston, 6, $10 million. that does have an area and they are completely honest, if anything happens, they get together, they know who to call. i don't do see the have nots having the same. >> and sometimes the haves blame the have nots. >> yeah, i have to explain the elements. >> is that a word that only chicagoans use?
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>> t a term used. [laughter] >> but he said, well, we want to develop but you have elements down there. [laughter] >> you need translation. the larger group of poor people with the people that they are worried about in the corner. it's very easy to do. a lot of people when i interviewed them said they take it back, they went to more structural explanation.
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there's a telling story. this is a perfect example of teaching simplistic. poor people don't know how to live in neighborhoods, they party in front porch not backyard, not all have backyard. it's indicater of those kind of larger -- >> i think that's when i realize ed and it'll be okay, the larger concern and complaint with have nots is we don't know what's going on. >> yeah. >> so the first thing that we thought, okay, well, in order to tamper down on the costs, we would do everything online, but the problem is, you have amount,
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that used to cost $2 now cost 50, depending on the week that is. then you have to figure out once that happens did the investment we make in the flier in the kid equal the person, the information. the problem with going digital if you don't know you don't know. if you don't have an idea, you will not all of a sudden -- [laughter] >> this is not going the happen. there was something that we got together and still very like the situation and nobody knows where to go to get help.
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>> and i will say in response to the element that i believe that, you know, irrespective of income level and -- and life situation, most people want the same things, you know, they want good schools and they want secure neighborhood, economic development, most of them are on the same page. it's just the disconnect because of the physical layout. it's because of the lack of, you know, commerce and, you know, south shore is not a pedestrian neighborhood and i know the lay of the land, certain areas that are problematic but also other
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ones and we have nature sanctuary and company and so many cities and businesses are coming in and gluten free -- >> vegan. >> vegan. i don't know how this is healthy. it's delicious. barbecue -- [laughter] >> there's people and small businesses struggling businesses, one woman who is
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opening a foundation it's called the fellow institute and she's really interested in using the art as tool for hearing and, you know, she's really making progress and then she said it's going to be in south shore, i said, oh, my god, i think this is a really exciting moment for south shore but it's not unique to other cities. i think because of maybe the housing stock or -- proximity to the lake. >> what are we going to do, you know, if you live out, whatever,
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i'm not competing with my kids, i'm c competing with kids all or the world. physical fitness, education, all these things and so i get up in the morning and gets half an hour to get to my gym and susiei takes her 5 minutes to go downstairs, so the next thing you have to ask yourself, how can i close the gap with competition and the next question is -- and so i think certainly how wonderful things
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are going on, helping people. a lot is to -- when you're involved you feel more hopeful, when you are not involved you feel less helpful. beautiful things going on. it's wonderful. >> we have to end on that note, thank you so much carlo, thank you, ava and thank you debra. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending, we have another coming up in just a moment, if you like, authors will be signing just back here and books are for sale right next to the table where the signing will be taking place. we will be back in just a few
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minutes. thank you so much. [inaudible conversations] >> here is a look at books being published this week, former virginia governor terry mccullough offers perspective on the violence of 2017 unite the rally, recalls agency's efforts to prevent terrorist attacks after 911 in black sight, socialism subbings, economic professors reflect on travels to socialist countries and weigh in on the failings. gail reports and role in the election of president trump in it came from something awful.
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and in fire and fortitude john has provided history of army in pacific theater in world war ii, look for title in books stores and watch for authors on book tv on c-span2. >> this weekend on book tv, tonight at 8:15 eastern, in her latest book what do we need men for, advice columnist carol talks about experiences of sexual assault throughout her life including alleged assault by donald trump in mid-1990's. >> men take what they want, have the choice of women and this is how this is leading, all the women, the more women that come forward, he's more like alexander the great, like the great kennedy, clinton, name -- jefferson, it's a mark of a leader in many people's eyes to
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see a man taking what he wants. >> then at 9:00 p.m. from freedom fest, the annual libertarian conference in las vegas with featured author john with his book the war on guns. >> 45% of the countries in the world don't report firearm homicide data and the countries that don't report homicide data are the countries that tend to have the highest homicide rates. >> on sunday coverage from freedom fest continues at 8:00 p.m. with former georgia congressman bob barr talking about his book the meaning of is. >> we have allowed public discourse and political activity to sink to the level where we don't demand a requisite amount of amount of understanding of what we do and demand of elected
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officials. what happens then such as impeachment are devalued. >> former george w. bush administration special adviser for cybersecurity richard clark talks about how to make cyberspace less dangerous. >> pretty secure, are they invulnerable to attack, no. but they are resilient to it. can someone penetrate their network, sure because there's no perimeter anymore. can they do real damage to those companies and the real answer is, no. >> watch book tv every weekend on c-span2


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