tv Speaker Pelosi DHS Sec. Mayorkas and Others Speak at USCM Afternoon... CSPAN January 27, 2022 9:07pm-9:59pm EST
[inaudible conversations] >> alright, alright, alright. alright, let me have everyone's attention, because this is a really special person who i'm about to introduce into someone who i think we need to really pay close attention to. it's my pleasure to introduce someone who is a good friend of america's mayors and the u.s. conference of mayors. alejandra mayorkis met with conference leaders shortly after taking office and was with us at our leadership meeting in dayton and he is also here today. the first latino cuban -- i have
to represent my people here. he also likes cuban coffee. and emigrant confirmed her serve as the secretary of homeland security. he's led a distinguished 30 year career as a law enforcement official and is a nationally recognized lawyer in the private sector. a sec. alejandro mayorkas and his department are responsible for many of the most pressing issues, responding to the influx of migration across the southern border, overseeing the resettlement of afghan evacuees in the country, fixing our broken immigration system, responding to and recovering from hurricanes, floods and other disasters, protecting us from terrorism, foreign and domestic, and helping us to avoid and recover from cyber attacks including malware attacks that interrupt vital services, compromise our security and cost billions of dollars. that's a lot of responsibility. please join me in welcoming our
friend, homeland security secretary, alejandro mayorkas. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. it's a pleasure to be here with the conference of mayors. several weeks ago, following the devastating tornado, i visited the city of mayfield kentucky, a very proud city that was once also a city of schools, churches, stores, places where community members could assemble. and when i visited it several weeks ago following the tornado, the community members were there when really nothing else was. the schools, the churches, the places of assembly, the stores were gone, just literally blown away and blown down.
and the question arose what was it that kept the people together? what was it that allowed them to remember the pride they felt in the city that, but a day ago, was standing and a vibrant, and to draw upon that pride. it really wasn't a watch, but it was a who. it was the mayor of mayfield and her ability to comfort her constituents, her community members, her ability to reassure them and her ability to work to ensure that the things they needed, the supplies into the and theservices they needed were delivered to them. the mayor, all of you mayors are some of the most powerful people
in this entire country. you have under your charge the well-being of our communities and your power is increased when you partner with others. we in the department of homeland security want to be a very valuable partner of yours. many mayors around the country and many people whom you represent and lead don't really know what the department of homeland security is. most likely uppermost in their mind right now is immigration, but they might not realize that the united states coast guard and secret service, fema, the cybersecurity infrastructure security agency, tsa and other agencies and offices within our purview are actually a part of the department of homeland security. i certainly don't have enough time to speak about the breadth of the work that we perform and all for which we are
responsible, but i do want to focus a few remarks on four areas where we are deeply involved and want to be deeply involved with you. we want to be your partner, and when i first started in this job, i communicated that we are a department of partnership. i want to thank the mayor for his kind introduction. he's the mayor of a city that was my first home when my family arrived here in the united states from cuba. on this day, this first year anniversary of the biden harris administration, the areas i want to focus on that we have been working so hard to partner with leaders across the country are cybersecurity, domestic violent extremism, innovation and natural disasters.
let me start with cybersecurity. there may be some of you who feel that your city is immune from the cybersecurity attacks and that you are really off the radar screens and perhaps too small to be victimized. there may be others of you that lead to very large cities with a very sophisticated cyber security architectures find a great deal of comfort in the architectures that you have built and considered yourself immune from attack and i would respectfully submit that you would both be wrong. you know over the past several months, we've seen a hospital in a small town in the united states be the victim of ransom where attacks and the patient is in the intensive care unit having to be moved on and emergency basis to another hospital in a neighboring city because the systems and
processes were shut down. we certainly have seen the largecity victimized by very sophisticated actors, and sometimes it doesn't take a great deal of sophistication to successfully launch a cybersecurity attack. it could be one of your city employees actually just clicking on a link that they think they recognize, but is not exactly what it should be and all of a sudden the bad actor is inside. what can we do about it? i would say regardless of the size and sophistication of your infrastructure, you really need to identify a person that can take charge of the cybersecurity portfolio, because it is something that we all need to be vigilant about. and then there's the blocking and that tackling but actually can make a real difference. it is and that constructing the personality and not only the
personnel but the community members to change the passwords from time to time, to make the passwords strong, to backup their systems. some of these very easy things because in the cybersecurity world, in a world where we are all connected, it only takes one computer, and we say that we are only as strong as our weakest link. and then what can we at the department of homeland security do for you? this is the first year that we will have $1 billion in grant funds distributed around the country to different cities, small, medium and large over a four-year period. and this year it is our plan to distribute $200 million of those funds to cities so we have a great deal of funding to equip and empower you to deal with this threat environment that is
only growing. and i would ask you to look on the website at the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency or cisa as it is known. and we can really help you build the architecture that addresses whatever funding issues you have and potential we can help you. the threat landscape is only becoming that much more challenging. let me then turn to what i have described as the greatest terrorism related threat that we face in our homeland today, and that is the threat of domestic violent extremism and just to
make sure that i define it accurately for you we are not speaking of individuals who espouse ideologies of hate or propel false narratives forward. in this country of course one of our fundamental principles is the principle of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the united states constitution. but where the threat materializes is where those ideologies of hate and a fulsome narratives are linked to the hacks of terrorism. everyone here is assuredly aware of the slogan if you see something, say something. and i think when that is articulated, we think of the airport and the transit station. we think of the backpack that is left by a bus stop perhaps by
someone who wishes to do us harm and we are concerned about the content but the world of domestic extremism is different we are not talking about the backpack as much we are talking about the individual. and of the issue is not the identification of the backpack, but the ability to identify when an individual who might overtly be articulating ideology and concern and false narratives when we begin to see them display the tendency to be driving towards violence. when we see them descending and perhaps mental health and adverse mental health conditions. when they begin to exhibit antisocial behavior. there was a case but a couple of months ago when tragically an
individual who heroically served in our armed forces who was suffering posttraumatic stress disorder was beginning to exhibit signs of antisocial behavior and descending into more severe drug abuse. the people around him and close to him who loved him noticed it but they didn't know necessarily what to do about it. and this veteran to whom we owe so much land into a home allegedly and shot and killed four individuals. about what can we do and place in the hands of his loved ones, friends, his pastor, his neighbor to be able to detect
when in fact he began to exhibit signs of trouble. who would they be able to call and what would we be able to do. here too we in the department of homeland security can help you. we can dispatch our experts to teach you about the violent extremism and when one is beginning to descend. we have grant funds last year. we have more this year to end empower you to build a program seemed to be able to deliver the social services capabilities that you might have. our goal is to prevent the threat from materializing, not responding with the tools of accountability and the enforcement arena that we can
bring to bear. of course we will do so if we are unable to prevent it from arising but it's our goal to prevent it before we have to be responsive. we have so much that we can offer you in that area as well. in the world of immigration, i couldn't help but notice that the mayor mentioned the situation of the southern border as a responsibility in the department of homeland security. but i want to speak about something more. something different. on september 30th of this past year, september 30th, 2021, i issued new immigration enforcement guidelines. and in those guidelines, i articulated what i thought was a very important principle, that we would not dedicate our
limited enforcement resources to apprehend individuals who've been here in this country for many years, who've been contributing members of our communities. unlawful presence in the united states will not be the basis for the action but rather we will allocate our efforts and resources on those individuals that present a current public safety threat, a threat to national security or a threat to our border security and that is a very important principle. [applause] and it isn't just a matter of the appropriate allocation of limited resources but a matter of justice and fairness and equity as well.
and so i have and ask of you. some of your cities by reason of past history have declined to cooperate with immigration authorities in the removal and every engine of individuals even if those individuals pose a public safety threat. and i do not mean to suggest that distrust, if that is one of the concerns underlying the policies suggest that i don't mean to assert that distrust is not earned but what i want to communicate is the immigrations and customs enforcement, the agency of today and what it is focused upon and what it is doing is not the agency of the
past. we are not engaged in indiscriminate enforcement, but we are focused on making our communities safe and allowing those who've been contributors to it and productive members to allow them to continue in their contributions and productivity. [applause] so i will be coming to you and asking you to reconsider your position of noncooperation and see how we can work together. i may not succeed initially in the wholesale reversal of your position but i'm willing to work in increments with you because the public safety, the public's well-being for which we are all charged is i think at issue. lastly, let me speak of natural
disasters and the reality that climate change has changed the landscape so significantly. when i was a deputy secretary in the obama biden administration we spoke of seasons, it was hurricane season, fire season. we don't speak about the seasons anymore across the country as we look at natural disasters whether they be tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, devastating fire in the beautiful state of colorado, but a short while ago. the federal emergency management can only do so much. when i visited mayfield and other parts of kentucky, i visited twice, the second time with our president.
we small parts of buildings that were actually built two relatively modern codes that were intended to be safe zones within the building showed shoud natural disasters strike, and they were destroyed by a remarkably powerful tornado so one of the things of course that we are doing in the partnership with state, local, tribal and territorial communities was looking at the building codes and whether in fact they are evolving to meet the threats of today rather than the threats of yesterday. so, let us join you in that analysis. let us help you map out the route in case natural disaster hits. we want to help you plan and prevent devastation from occurring, to be ready for the disasters should they strike, to
be able to respond effectively and to be resilient. we want to build with you together in partnership stronger and more prosperous communities. we want to prevent the threats from materializing. if they materialize we want to be able to respond effectively and when we respond effectively, we want to prove our resilience. that is what we want to do and we also want with you to be able to champion our identity as a country. we want to champion as a nation of immigrants, realize and harness and advance the contributions. that is who i think we are and i as an immigrant to say that with tremendous pride and gratitude not only to my parents, of course, but to the country that
gave us this home and opportunity to join the government service. and let me and on the operation in late august of 2021, we began the parole of afghan nationals many of whom stood side-by-side with us in the theater of war across the world. today we have resettled over 7,000 of them. [applause] and when i say we i use that in the most inclusive sense. it's difficult now as we look at the national landscape to take stock of the incredible divisiveness but we are suffering in our society and it
is breathtaking to see a force of unity because it crossed party lines. it bridged the divide. cities and leaders of different policy backgrounds into and dift political beliefs came together and demonstrated what america has always been and what it always hopefully well be and is certainly what it can be. the greatest place of refuge in the world even for those in need of relief and especially for those that have given so much to us and so for that, and for so much more, i think you and i very much look forward to partnering with you. thank you so much. [applause]
thank you, secretary alejandro mayorkas for your thoughtful remarks. it is clear that america's mayors have a good friend at the helm of the homeland security department. it is now my pleasure to introduce to you one of the new mayors in the ranks, the 110th mayor of new york city. [applause] some call it the big apple. i call it a suburb of miami. i've gotten to know mayor adams over the last couple of months and at many of you know he and i are big believers in crypto and the power of innovation to improve the cities and he was so inspired and we were both so inspired i took my paycheck completely in bitcoin last fall so he replied to me on twitter
that today and i shared the news and announced that he would've liked to pick his first three paychecks and i love that kind of spirit. it makes all of our cities stronger. the difference is i have an outside job and he doesn't. i don't know how he's paying for his bills, but we are going to be talking about that in april. with his incredible background as new york city police captain, state senator and rural president, eric has shown he is willing to push the envelope, innovate and lead. it's my pleasure to introduce someone who is a dear friend, a genuine person, incredibly humble, incredibly talented, the mayor of new york, mr. eric adams. [applause] thank you. thank you so much. and i want to thank my good
friend and this entire conference we will continue building and interacting with you. it's been a breath of fresh air. if i were to say a city that's dealing with crime and housing, a city that is dealing with problems of violence and that is dealing with economic recovery, you would have a difficult time saying which city i'm talking about, because that's all of us. we are in this together. i know that and you know that. i've only been mayor of new york city for a few weeks, but i want you to know that i appreciate the support, the solidarity you have shown me. there is a lot of experience in this room, and i'm proud to be among you, listening to you and
learning from you. as may years from all over the great nation, there's nothing more and important than for us to be in the services and produce results for our people. because with so much dysfunction in washington and divisions in the nation, now is time for the mayors to lead america. [applause] over the last two years, we have seen exactly how important this urban civic leadership is to the entire country. when covid first appeared, every mayor code to see you this wasn't a problem that was going to be solved on an individual level, but it also wasn't going to be addressed on a federal level. we needed to think globally and as locally at the same goals, and we were going to have to do
it fast. the pandemic shows that we didn't have a lot of space, political debates and ideological rhetoric. we were going to have to make decisions in real time. what we needed was to be radically practical. radically practical. but to make these decisions and put them into play, we also needed leadership. and you, my fellow mayors provided that leadership when we need the most. of those that lived in the cities got the guidance they needed to protect each other from the spread of covid and during the worst months of the crisis we were able to keep the cities going because the municipal workforce, the essential workers stepped up and kept up. when the vaccine became available, you made sure that
the workforce was marshaled to distribute that lifesaving miracle shot to everyone who wanted but now it's at a critical moment. the crisis exposed problems that have been with us for far too long. people are ready to rebuild, but we can't just go back to the way things were. we can't keep the government from crisis to crisis. we have to look at what witness exposed at the foundation of the society. we can't just put drywall over it and pretend we didn't see it and speak clearly to the citizens. we can't pretend the working class people are getting a fair shake and fair wage.
we can't pretend the streets and subways are safe when people can see that guns and violence are killing people every day. we have to stop that. yesterday, and 11 -month-old baby in new york city was shot. we can't pretend the kids are getting a quality education when so many have fallen behind. 65% of black and brown children never reach proficiency every year. we are going to have to change the way we educate and our kids receive the support they need and our teachers. but you can't just say it. you have to do it because the people know you are in charge and who is responsible and where
to find us. so we are going to do these things and be radically practical. that is our job as mayor. we are going to need some help. now i know there are many in washington who are fighting hard for us. they want real change. i'm proud of the delegation, the warriors. they don't come out to play they come out to fight. everyone here in washington knows that. but while our partners are leading with justice and progress, we are going to have to keep moving ahead on the local level and we are going to have to set an example for the federal level. we have to be willing to try new things and implement of those things with precision. we have to turn innovative ideas into serious action with
quantifiable results. today i'm calling for a new national urban agenda that follows these principles and get stuff done as we like to say in new york. first we need to treat the violence that is holding the cities back. to do that, we need greater coordination with the fbi, atf and state law enforcement we said after the 9/11 attack we would never allow information sharing to prevent us from stopping that attack. we see terror every day in the inner cities. the same coordination that stopped planes from flying must be used to stop from the highways of death and our country particularly in black and brown and poor communities. [applause] we also need more funding for violence programs that address the root causes of crime. that means more resources for
the skills training, job displacement and youth mentoring. you can't have a country who's predicted that 30% of the men and women in jail are dyslexic and 55% have learning disabilities. if you don't educate, you will incarcerate and we've placed too many people on the pathway of incarceration instead of education. next, we need to dollars for child care. any working class low income parent who cannot work because they cannot find affordable childcare will be trapped in a negative economic cycle forever particularly women. let them have quality childcare. [applause] with the childcare initiative performed by the white house and majorities in both houses of congress, we can free them from that cycle and finally, we need
even more infrastructure investments. the cities are highly efficient with housing and we need the jobs that pay and provide through this important infrastructure. this is how we create a safer and more prosperous cities. this is how we bring our country back. that's being radically practical. that's what i campaigned on and that's what i'm going to deliver for new yorkers. as you know, the hands-on work. that's what is so great about being a may year in the city and country. we can make a difference globally, locally, personally. as my administration gets under underway i look forward to
getting to know many of you better. i know we can't work together on solutions for the challenges. let's share our reality-based solutions and move forward into the future where we can combine the latest in technology with the social innovation people are yearning for. let's pull together and plan together and leave this nation by example. nowhere else is the dream attached to the name. there is an american dream. [applause] too many people are living in the nightmare. on this day my colleagues across the country. let's make sure alarms alarm clock spring and allow them to enjoy this american dream. i love you, appreciate you and
thank you. [applause] thank you so much, mr. mayor. the next person we will welcome to the stage is a longtime supporter of america's mayors. there are many things we could thank the guest for but let me say this. $65.1 billion for all american cities. [applause] this bears repeating. $65.1 billion for all cities to help with covid relief and economic recovery. [applause] it is a fact, an indisputable ae fact that this historic city wouldn't have been possible without her leadership. when approved in 2020, it only directly funded cities of
500,000 population or above. we knew that wasn't even close to good enough, and the next guest immediately put forth legislation to provide funding for every american city. i know you felt it, something that has never been done before. because of the leadership, cities of all sizes now have the resources through the american rescue plan to address the ongoing pandemic and to foster a more equitable and transformative recovery that will benefit the most impacted by the pandemic and those who've been historically under invested for decades. so it is an honor to welcome back to our united states conference of mayors, our friend and longtime champion, the honorable nancy pelosi, speaker of the united states house of representatives. [applause] [cheering]
>> good afternoon, everyone. [cheering] thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you very much, mayor of miami, for your kind and generous introduction. i wish you my success as you begin your new term as the u.s. conference of mayors. as the speaker of the house, it is my great honor to bring greetings from the congress to america's mayors for your 90th meeting and it is a special privilege to join the program alongside the secretary alejandro mayorkas and a newly elected mayor of new york, mayor adams. isn't it exciting to have a new may year in the midst?
[applause] all of the may years here, all of the mayors here, i thank you for your strong steadfast leadership over the last two years on the front lines of the pandemic. our nation remains in all of how you all turned the english and the communities into action to save lives. while you couldn't be with us today i'm proud of the mayor of san francisco for her remarkable work to keep the city safe and to all of you you need to work together to continue to battle the virus. how wonderful it is that we can safely gather for this meeting in person. [applause] and that's thanks to the leadership of the ceo and my friend of many years, tom cochran with the entire conference team. thank you to the staff. [applause]
today i come here officially on behalf of the house of representatives, a body that boasts more than 30 former mayors in our ranks. i also come here personally as the proud sister and daughter of two mayors of baltimore, junior and of the third. so i've seen firsthand how your success is the foundation of america's success with no buffer between you and your communities, you have the intimate understanding of the problems people face, hearing their concerns whether the grocery store or attending church service. many people know who the president of the united states is and the only other public official who is the mayor of the city, nothing in between so you are the one they turned to. in doing so, you are the stewards of the hopes of the families, the talent of the
workers and the dreams of the children. indeed it is a testament to the experience and expertise of america's mayors that president biden chose to former mayors to serve in his cabinet. [applause] secretary marcia fudge, marty wallace, secretary tom vilsack, secretary keith. by the communities i need cities and towns across the country. today, we have a proud anniversary one year ago today joe biden and kamala harris were sworn in as president and vice president of the united states. [applause]
since that historic day, we have seen one of the most impactful first years of the presidency in modern times. getting shots in the arms of millions of people, putting money in pockets delivering the best year of job creation on record. working together, president biden and the democratic congress have built a strong foundation for much of the progress with their american rescue plan. and it is my privilege to bring you the immense gratitude of our house democratic caucus for your committed partnership that's helping enact this lifesaving fault changing bill, which delivered directly to tom cochran and the other mayors backstage that when we were doing the bill the first time last year.
when we were doing 20, the first bill, the senators would say we think this should go through the state. we've been mayors and we think it should go through the city. [applause] thank you for your advocacy. thank you for your advocacy, because we can maneuver all we want and can in the congress, but without the mobilization outside, it's very hard to do the best job. indeed, working closely with america's mayors, we thought as was mentioned by the mayor, $65.1 billion exclusively for america's cities. [applause] $65.1 billion for america's cities is a good applause line. i will admit that.
as you know this was historic for the first time ever we delivered individual allocations to every city in the nation from the coastland to the heartland, from the largest metropolitan area to the smallest town, and we secured, ensured more flexibility because you know best how to support your first responders, workers, teachers, food workers and the rest. the people who make our society function. these initiatives have paved the way again to shots in the arms for 200 million americans and fewer families with mental and homelessness assistance and we have to do more. get children learning and parents burning and more. meanwhile, others nearly $1 trillion over and above, 1 trillion directly in people's pockets and direct payments,
enhanced unemployment insurance and the biden child tax credit which has lifted millions of children out of poverty. as congress remains laser focused on crushing this virus, we remain committed to working with you to support your efforts and our communities. thank you for your leadership again. in november, the congress took another step to power our strong economic recovery with a bipartisan infrastructure law. to build the infrastructure as we transform our middle-class. as you see every day, decades of underinvestment have left the roads and bridges crumbling, ports and airports languishing, public transit and broadband lacking, water systems and power grids behind. we were not getting the lead out for our children to drink water.
with this new law, we will create millions of good paying jobs. i say union jobs, with the largest investment -- [applause] think of this. the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of amtrak. at the largest investment and bridges since the interstate highway system. the largest investment in public transit ever, ever. as well again as clean water for children, getting the lead out. broadband across the country and much more. a lot of that money goes to the states to come to the communities as well as work together to make sure that happens. for our cities, the funding will also help keep families safe with our safe streets for all initiative. and it will advance president biden's focus on promoting
equity by reconnecting communities harmed by infrastructure projects in the past that divided communities. the investment will create good paying jobs in your communities with charging competitiveness, boosting small businesses, cutting comey units and helping to ease the supply chain bottlenecks. it is already delivering for the american people in the recent weeks the administration has announced new funding to improve airports across the nation, to rebuild and repair bridges including all system bridges and again, i keep talking about it, getting the lead out of the water system especially in underserved communities. as we implement the infrastructure legislation, democrats remain hard at work to build back better. better than it was before the virus even struck. we were committed to passing
legislation to bring down everyday costs burdening working families from healthcare to childcare to family care and more. we must also work together to combat the urgent climate threat which is already impacting cities across the country. how many times have i been here when i have thanked you for your innovative initiatives over the years to protect the planet? the mayors have been in the lead in america on this subject. especially with the national level when we have been in denial, not we, but to somebody. [laughter] this will make an immediate and enormous difference to americans, this initiative to save the planet. so democrats cannot stop fighting to build back better. we hope it can all be bipartisan. that would be our goal. but we cannot come as the president said, he said i want
to do everything i can to work in a bipartisan way to build the infrastructure where we can find our common ground working together, but i cannot confine my vision for america to just that. we must build back better. our work doesn't just end, as i talked about, we must also carry on the fight to build a stronger, more inclusive democracy where every voice is heard. [applause] last week, as you may know, the house passed the freedom to vote john r lewis act that stopped voter suppression and election subversion and and partisan gerrymandering, and power the grassroots and and dark money in our politics. while the republicans in the senate blocked the bill yesterday, democrats will never relent in our fight for our democracy, and we will find a
path forward. nothing less is at stake than our democracy. [applause] as president kennedy so rightly observed, we neglect the cities to the payroll for neglecting them, we neglect the nation. that is why for nine decades america's mayors and the united states congress has worked together to forge progress for the american people. so, as we face the many challenges and opportunities ahead, let us continue to strive working together to advance opportunities for every american and every zip code, to strengthen our democracy from city halls to capitol hill and build a brighter, better future for generations to come. because we know in congress, we know what you know. to get the job done, listening to our mayors. thank you for all you do.