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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 13, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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talking about their versus metropolitan areas, the economic drivers of states. structures that i've had the opportunity to work in have oftentimes failed to find a way to get that voice at the table in the war room. if you agree or disagree with that statement, and what is being done to bridge that gap? ms. turner: i do agree with that statement, but we have more in common than not. when we look at poverty, we an urban it through iss, but the rural poverty -- for me, it starting at that place based on what we have in common. whether you are urban, suburban,
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or rural, you want to live a make sure your children have a great future. decentdon't get up for -- they get up for good and for great. that's really what it is. the democratic party is recognizing that. ohio has 88 counties. in speaking that, starting with the issues we have in common -- four guns in urban areas it is a whole different discussion. rural brothers and sisters. it is starting at those places where behalf that commonality about economic fairness, economic justice, where your children have a future. because of the makeup of ohio, that forces us to do that. we can't really separate the two. we are trying very hard to bring
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that together a little more into leaf that into the narrative -- and weave that into the narrative. wen with our party chairs, have found world leadership who will take that message back. we have the urban leadership and bringing those forces together, because we are the same in the struggle for good and for great. say,erez: i just wanted to as someone who is from rural arizona, i could have come up to phoenix if i could have. but the district iran in had five counties. it was massive -- it was the second-largest district and state. my issues are different. i come from a rural perspective. even though i live in phoenix i don't really identify with it. i'm always concerned with health care access for my parents back home.
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i'm always concerned about water issues. i think for us, i know that my personal mission is not just ethnic diversity but geographical. and i think we have to push that end we need to hear from all of you. you need to push us as the organization to say, i have this great candidate in the rural part. there's not even an airport or a target. but they are going to change our state. we need that. feel like in the lead -- i like there needs to be a role caucus if you don't already have one so that they are talking about rural issues and also the urban folks. as the folkssh us who are running these organizations to elect new people, that we need to support those rural candidates. it's really expensive to have radio ads. my radio ads are $.65 but you don't get that here.
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mr. cruickshank: thank you. next question? >> howdy. i'm another person from washington here. i learned about democratic party when my dad brought home the union newspaper from his shipyard job. i heard the first party slogan, news, the party for you and not just the few. has a look at how americans are voting now, people like my dad, a marine machinist with the ninth grade education, have been the people who have left the ofocratic party, regardless what the republicans are doing doing toconomically, their rights to organize, rights to form a union. you folks have done a wonderful job in terms of pumping up this
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organization, in a way preaching to the choir. i would like to get your thoughts on how to win back those who have left the church. mr. sargeant: i think that's a great question, and a critical part of it is something that we create in our programs and campaigns. we have to build a campaign strategy that fits the district of the candidate running it. we need to make sure that the candidates are talking about issues that matter in the communities they are running. -- they are running in. and if it's not the number one article written in the state newspaper, that's ok. we need to talk about the kind of issues that are resonating in those communities. i think it goes back to a lot of what we talked about, with authenticity.
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and to be in a position where we are meeting people where they are. were not just telling them, well, why don't you get a question mark you should understand why it's important. we have to help them make the connection, that our policies, working together, the lift everybody up. success is not a zero-sum game were only some people can be successful and everyone else can't. we have to stress that again instead of letting the right be able to talk about this vulture economy, where you want to be one of the five people who can win the lottery and everyone else gets left behind. if you aren't happy with your life you didn't work hard enough. s weink a lot of folk used to count on to vote democratic -- i think we need to reverse that and have messages include something that brings and everyone. mr. juarez: i agree completely.
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sometimes people to leave the church, the church leaves us. i think there are many parts of this country where we live in blue states but don't act very blue. there are people that are very much turned off by this idea of lip service and not a lot of action. when i say action, i'm talking about revenue, tuition, the real things that are affecting their ability to break out of working-class jobs. i don't think anybody in this room can really challenge that gold asy hasn't been as generations past to get that legislation through. for every person that feels like they were left behind by the party, maybe there is also a person who has the other experience. mr. cruickshank: this will have to be our last question. >> thank you. i'm a state representative from new hampshire, and i'm in my sixth term.
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i first have to agree with senator turner and monica, that i/o my success to howard dean and jim dean and dfa. [applause] they talked me into running in the first place and ever since. i'm on election law committee, so i really do appreciate the struggles we are having with voter suppression. i want to go back to a question you asked earlier -- what do you think causes the voter apathy and people staying home and not voting? john nichols, in his new book, has one of the most subtle ways of voter suppression. negative advertising. what it does -- it doesn't convince you to vote for the other guy. it makes you so disgusted with not only the opponent, but they
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depict your candidate as being so bad, too, that you say a pox on both your houses, and you stay home and don't vote. my question is -- isn't it really a responsibility of all of us to tell our neighbors, you can just stay home and not vote because of what you hear on the airwaves, what you read in the newspapers. you have to get out there and vote for your candidate. would you agree? ms. turner: we agree! [applause] ms. perez: thank you for running. mr. cruickshank: i want to thank our excellent panelists for this great discussion. thank you so much. [applause] joining. all for we may want to take conversations outside -- thank you for being here.
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it should be available on the network site. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> more from the net roots nation conference with the panel discussion on the racial and gender demographics of elected officials and how it affects public policy. there is also more from the >> republican mike huckabee and
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martin o'malley at 5:00. .t 10:30 eastern, jeb bush starting at noon on saturday, rick santorum. followed by lincoln chafee at 12:30 and senator bernie sanders at 3:00. on sunday afternoon, ben carson at 5:00 and george pataki at 5:30. c-span's 2015, taking you on the road to the white house.evel all the way up to president, and whether it reflects the demographics of the american public. this discussion from the annual netroots nation conference was held in phoenix in july.
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>> good morning, everyone, thank you so much for joining us for this panel. we will be tackling structural there is th areas. -- barriers. i represent a community of women philanthropists who are using their resources to create a more fair and just world. what we are going to do -- we women on thising panel and we will have a great discussion and we hope to hear from all of you. before we start, i want to ask each of them to introduce themselves and give a little bit of flavor about their work. can i start with you? ms. castro: i'm crazy castro.
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on the city -- i'm crhrissie castro. ,y background is in los angeles in the largest urban community at the county level. . i am currently working on a project funded by the network on reflective democracy that is inclusive of native american people and leaders. wdm found .3% of elected leaders are native american, which is just atrocious. we are notdence that included in this american political system and democracy,
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and we lose a lot from that. we have a lot of talents, values and a lot to contribute. we are working on a project where we are interviewing native american leaders through the country about what are the structural barriers that keep us from participating in american democracy at all levels of government, and what our strategies for us to get represented? i will share a little bit more about the project when we get into the questions, but i will hand it to jessica. ms. byrd: good morning, thank you for joining us. and ie is jessica byrd currently own three-point strategies, a political consultant firm that works with people of color organizations in s. one of the reasons i'm here is that i have spent the last decade being positively addicted to campaigns. but that has meant is that i've really noticed all the ways in which candidates of color are
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cap from the ballot. organizations aren't able to really engage candidates of color in a meaningful way. i'm working on a project being funded by the women donors network, that is an effort to organize and create a coalition of people of color that are working on civic engagement in their communities so that we can build a plan together to grow political power for people of color across the country over the next 10 years. i will tell you more about that as we move into the conversation. hobbs: good morning, everyone, i'm katie hobbs. i'm a state senator in arizona. and the senate minority leader. aboutally passionate helping to turn arizona to a more productive state, which we
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used to be. i'm a social worker -- that is my background and that is what got me into it. in addition to serving in the legislature, recruiting to get more democrats elected, i know this is a bipartisan group but i'm a democrat. we are working to recruit and train democratic women, and we have been in arizona for 11 years. i'm really passionate about getting women elected. as a social worker and as a woman, if you look at my legislative record you would see that i focus on issues that are considered women issues, but i consider them our issues -- issues that move single women forward, and as a whole help our
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communities. that is kind of my focus as a legislator and a social worker. so thank you all for being here. gonzales: i am an elected school member in oakland, california and i work for the women's donors network. i am excited that we are talking about this because we aren't paid for the most part, and there are real barriers for normal people being able to run for school board. there are a lot of elected offices that are unpaid. people like us are often precluded from being able to run and serve. that is why i'm really excited were talking about this today. for those of you who came late, this conversation is called "who needs us."
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that we are focusing on is how we can build a democracy that reflects and includes the people it's for. conversation,this what i will do is share some of thatesearch that we did helps us understand where we are . we started this project last year and it comes down to a simple idea -- what matters. when you look around the country and the things that we do measure by race and gender -- the u.s. census, colleges and university track race and when it comes to our
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elected leaders that are making decisions that affect millions of us from economic justice to women's rights, it is something we haven't actually measured in a meaningful way. know,ng with what we there are 314 million of us in the united states. 51% of us are women. 49% are men. 63% are white. 37% are people of color. our country is changing fast. the census bureau predicts that by 2044, we will have a majority of people of color. getting these demographic --lities ask this question who needs us? we were shocked to learn that the answer didn't exist. we want to invest in finding out.
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we commissioned a study of 42,000 elected officials across the united states from the county level all the way up to the federal level. through the center of technology and civic life, and there was data matching, there was a lot of electronic surveys that we did in partnership with the centers of andican women in politics, a lot of very awkward phone calls. we had to manually identify people. so this is what we found -- if our country were to reflect, if our leaders were to reflect the country in the population, this is how it would look. it is fairly balanced between the different demographic groups -- white men, white women of color. this is what it actually looks like.
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together,ut this data we found that -- let me just go back. as you can see, women as a group are very underrepresented. we have never actually known this on a deeper level going all the way down to the county and state level. women make up 29% of all elected offices, and people of color only 10%. elected officials across the board, 90% white. you can see a very starkly here. white men are 31% of the population, and they control 65% of political power in this country. did is we created a new measurement called the national representation index. all of this information is publicly available.
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here you can see -- i pulled the information for arizona. you can see where a state ranks, where your state ranks, in terms of being reflective. what you see is a 5.7. the higher the score, the worse off it is in terms of state leaders. that itresting thing is wasn't just state, it was all the states. it didn't matter of it was predominately republican or democratic. overall, the makeup of elected officials as white men. why does this matter? it's obvious to a lot of us in find that but we did states with more reflective political representation have more policy outcomes on all the issues that we care about, whether it's immigration, fair pay, lgbt rights, women's
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rights, economic justice, criminal justice. the women donors network also released a cut of the data last week that looks just at elected prosecutors. that also shows why this matters. 95% of all elected prosecutors are white. in the criminal justice system where 60% of the prison population is people of color, you can see why these powerful positions matter. so how do we fix it? that is what we are going to be focusing on today. we really want to get into what are the barriers and how do we overcome them, and how do we do it with a real structural analysis? much of our work to bring a reflective democracy has been about hurting individual people over these barriers and we have made some progress but we haven't made enough progress. what we are seeing is how do we take these barriers down,
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and do it not only with political candidates but with philanthropic money? how can we work to change the system to open it up for more women and people of color? campaign, we identified four barriers that we think we can change, and we are going to talk about that a little bit today. i will go through them really quickly. the four barriers we identified -- one as gatekeeper networks. this is the politics that is very well known, but also hidden. decide who isople going to get on a ballot, where the resources are going to go. the way we need to hold those gatekeepers more accountable -- there is a way we can create our own gatekeeper networks that prioritize women and people of color. that in also the sense
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the civic institutions and community organizations that are --rel building rural leadership how do we connect them to a pipeline to create candidates? issue, money a big in politics and what it takes to run a campaign, and how do you run for office if you aren't independently wealthy, if you have to hold down a job? finally, voting structure. like how of the game, people vote, matters in terms of who can win on the ballot. whether it is an at-large election or a district election, or a winner take all. we will talk more about that. i just want to say -- this was also mentioned -- and network has been funding to try to find the solutions that work, and we call it a reflective democracy. we have nine project on our
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panel today, and they are really looking at how to innovate around this problem, how to find solutions that can be scaled, that can be replicated. we we did this through putting out our request for proposals earlier this year, and we got 120 applications, and we narrowed it down to these nine, and we are really excited about their work and about sharing that with the rest, so i will leave it at that and get started with the questions, but this is what i wanted to say. our nation is founded on this idea of by and for the people, and we know that when the people make up the majority of the electorate, and they have never been equally heard and the halls of power, so our goal is to correct that so we can have a more perfect union.
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host: so let's get started. what are the challenges you see, the big barriers that you see in your work, when it comes to women and people of color running for offices and ultimately being elected? can i start with you, katie? katie: we started with the party, and we have our alumni represent every level at the democratic party, district chairs, committee people, county
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chairs, and statewide officers, and that has been really important in terms of choosing who is in the high running, who is tapped and ordered to run, and that is what we were doing to try to address that, and in groups, we tend to have certain -- sort of silos , and i think overcoming those silos is really important, and there are districts that are minority districts, and then you have those racial conflicts districts, and that is another whole issue that we could spend days on that. jennifer: jessica? jessica: sure. so this project is an effort, again, to organize people of color, and to be honest, it is
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the first coordinated effort to get people of color around the table who are doing civic engagement work. one of the things that people of five, they are pooling resources, and most of these organizations are not doing an exceptional job of being inclusive, and then the resources that are getting out, they are not getting them. honestly feel that i have candidates coming out of my years, especially black women who say, "i am ready to run. i am pissed off. this." and getting them on the ballot is difficult, because there is a complete ecosystem of people, even in the progressive community, who's a full-time job is to protect that they think
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are theirs, especially those candidates with the leading organizations and leading the parties that do not get access, and then i think so many of you are working for organizations that i should be connected with, so i hope we have time to talk, so to get this all in the space resources, wehare can talk about the candidates, and also expose some of the barriers that have kept some of the people holding power, so then we can hold some of the organization accountable for not doing a good job, and then also want to ask about the structural racism, the way our money is that, the way the money is raised, the way people are recruited, it was never meant to truly in crude -- include people of color. this democracy has always really been meant for white, land-owning men, so we have a
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huge job in front of us to start to reimagine and dream, and i think that is what this is, having a space where we are going to dream together about how we are going to do this work. chrissie: with the lack of sovereign nations, we have dual citizen ship, and as american citizens, and there is a long history of buying our andicipation in politics, we were granted the right to vote in 1924. yet, many states resisted law, sotation, of that
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we see areas like arizona and until 1948, and there was legislation as early as the 1970's. it was not passed, but it was posed. it would affect our ability to vote in state elections, so all of the barriers we are going to talk about is really rooted in that relationship, so there is no reason. there is a systemic way where we were made to feel that we were part of the political system, and meanwhile, we are also working on nation building, so when you think about our , and there are decisions that people have to look at, whether we are contributing to the electorate, or do we really want to focus on our tribal nations and our own indigenous systems of governance.
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jenifer: thank you. hi, can you talk about this gatekeeper? thi: my background is in the labor movement, and where i live in california, we still have a strong labor movement, so i think there are two w ways where that really benefited me. one is that i had people who could vouch for me. my viability as a candidate, and otherould see me work on people's campaigns and walk mecincts -- people would see work on other people's campaigns and walk precincts. there are those who do not have the networks, because not only will it be hard for them to get on the ballot, they also will not have experience working on campaigns, and i feel that is so important, the cousin candidates need to know what they are going to get themselves into. tell them,hing to ok, you're going to have to
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knock on doors everyday force x months. it is another thing to ,nderstand the physical demands and also just knowing about fundraising and knowing about all of the other things that are involved and getting endorsements and things like that. in terms of the big challenges in my work to try to get other women and people of color to run, you know, it is honey, because some of the best , most of theeople parents in oakland are low income people, so they do not have the luxury of taking x months off from their jobs to be able to run, so some of the people who have the best chance, they are completely shut out of the system, and that is something i am trying to figure out. there are some great organizing in oakland, but no one has ever for- ever tapped to them candidates. jenifer: really talk about the
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gatekeeper, there is this shadowy network, which is true in a lot of cases, but i think you also become a kind of jessica wasand as saying, she is trying to create this other kind of easton, so can gatekeeping be used for good, and how have you worked katie an, essentially, d jessica. leader, partaucus of my job is to get more democrats on the ballot, but i am able to a lot of times use my role as a party leader and gatekeeper and then have the -- andrged to kind of so, definitely, i think it can role, and what i
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have done since the beginning of my political involvement is to break down these barriers, and i think as a leader, i see that as part of my job, and i will continue to do that. jessica: i worked with a person who was a reproductive justice leader in the state, and she is the only person who has ever held a conference pacific lee focusing on environmental justice in the state of pennsylvania. she is openly gay. she is under the age of 35, and she raised her hand to run for office, because her community was being incredibly gentrified, and the city council seats,
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there were nine of them, had actually been mapped in a way where there had never been a nonwhite person elected in her city council district, and so she raised her hand, because she was feeling inclusive, and tremendous amounts of anxiety about gentrification, and she decided to run. they hadis someone who been saying, we really want you to run for office, so she gets her name on the ballot, puts team,er an incredible sets up an office in the middle of her district, and raises a competitive amount of money and gets no endorsements. person who has ever done on the record , and allntal justice of that was because, and we -- sat in front at each one of these organizations, and i do not mean to pick on them --
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there are many, many others, and they said, we have a process, and the process is the person who was elected before we cannot endorse in this race, or they automatically get our endorsement. people were acting as gatekeepers, right? and i have been there. and they have very clear and i emphasize, because all of them are like, sorry. it is our job to go back to the organizations and say i prevented a person we believe will carry all of our water from not only accessing the ballot but winning and doing that work, so can we look at our process? it our board are the folks who get to endorse, and they don't , ofct -- reflect the vision where we want to go, we should change the process. have we thought about the way we
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should measure who should be running for office and who we are engaging, and then help us do that work. i have spent a lot of time in meetings with other progressive folks who truly want to see a more inclusive state for elected officials, and then we go back to organizations that prevent that from happening, and so i encourage all of us to be holding each other accountable to the ways in which people are not able to access the ballot and win, and i just wanted to too that winning is not everything. if they were looking at the and she had spent 10 years of her life carrying their water, and my the a long shot, that could be worth it for your values, and sometimes the winning is in the fight. and she lost, but with the vote getting, and that
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is because she was willing to do it. ini just want to say that terms of winning as a measure of success. amazing,yes, that is and it goes to what we talked thet about how to be change pipeline of leaders so they come out of communities through have a base to support them, which can be valuable to further the work, so i want to go there in terms of why is it that our civic institutions that are maybe women centered or people of color centered are not kind of connected to this political power pipeline, and how can we really think about changing that over time.
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shanthi: i think people get really freaked out by this c3, distinction, and i think we have to be really clear with people that you may not be able to endorse a candidate, but you can tell candidates, these are the values we think our community needs and deserves to see reflected. you can do a lot of things to educate the community as a c3 about where people stand on the issues without endorsing anybody, and i think that is a really important distinction that these have, and they need -- just going back to the gatekeeper think for a second, i just wanted to chime in with what you were saying about your role. this is a very important part of my role. often, candidate will not have a chance to present themselves to endorsing organizations until the formal endorsement process has started, and i think
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candidates need to have an opportunity, maybe a year, head of the organizations, with what the organization thinks is important, and start to have a chance to build a relationship, so i am working with some of the organizations in oakland to start to have candidate information night, because i think that is what it is about. endorsements are not about how you answer the questions. endorsements are about the relationship, and a lot of candidates do not understand that, and it takes time, and you have to be aggressive about it. and then, how do we change the incentive for gatekeepers? how do we, as jessica was saying, is it all about the win? and it is called shaving and naming. about who they are going to endorse and who they are not going to endorse -- it is called about shaming and naming.
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jenifer: what i was saying before, when people need folks to show up to a rally, or it is time for the election, and we need you to call your people and get them out to vote, that is the there is the power of community organizations, but what we are saying is that is great, and we want to those organizations to get called when there is an open the, and it is not just like, hey, my friend john. he is pretty cool. let's get him in here. but who is not represented on the city council? what voices do we need to bring in, and going to the groups and ask them, who do you have? who is in the ring? i think that is what i was trying to get at more, how do anychange that culture?
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other thoughts on that? ie, do you have any thoughts on this? e: i think there are lot ,f wonderful things to build on and a lot of the elements exist, but i think what folks are really saying is that they would like a native table to be able to interface with those other tables, so creating very much more of a strategic way to connect all of the dots, and that requires resources and funding that currently does not exist, and so i think that new mexico is a wonderful example. there are examples in other places, but there is so little happening in others dates that we are looking to -- what are the bright spots? as best we see practices? and so i think there are that we can seize.
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we are looking at this, and that includes native peoples. 5.2 million is a 30% increase, and we are expecting that to continue, so we are thinking it is the time for us to do that --e of strategic hotline pipeline. jenifer: i think we all know that that plays a huge role in the demographics of the officials that i laid out, so it has two components really. probably more than two, but the two i want to dive into is the system of money and politics,
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and i want to talk about that, and then there is just a very are of income. there were a in massachusetts that one of our members is isolved in that fans income actually the number one barrier for women of color. they have to bring in some money, so starting with the money in politics question, if you want to share from your perspective in your experience, we know that there is a huge number of folks who are working on this issue. but there complex, are solutions, as we know, which have been tried in which continue to be tried, but there has not been a movement, which we have also talked about before, which is centered in the community of color and women. it is not very diverse, and i want to bring that in because that seems like part of our challenge and also part of our opportunity.
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we know that american people want this system to change, but i think in our communities, they the the released connection between that issue and then everything else they care about, so if they all care about the democracy, and we know that the system of money and politics is one of the biggest barriers, can we sort of get more motivated to change that, so i wanted to throw that out there and ask you to share your thoughts on that. anyone want to charge? jessica: as we have seen this over time, with engagement, we are not seen voter saying, "i ." movingit to vote folks around and spending millions and millions of dollars to get them to do what they
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probably would have done anyways, and so i feel like i approach this work really in two ways. one is, again, the structural piece. we have to figure out what we are going to do about all of the independent funding and all of the money that pours into elections, and i know there are lots of people working on it, but even those rooms are not thinkingnd are not about the way that restricting access is a civil rights issue, willing able to take that be very, very vital. and because i work with candidates all day long, it is also helping candidates to understand that they do have some of the resources that they raisen order to competitively. every state has different laws around who gets paid, who does not, how much you are allowed to contribute, but so many women are like i am not rich. i do not have a lot of friends.
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i cannot run for office because of that. when they are sitting on a basic phone that0 and a has 8000 contacts in it, and peopley -- and name five that know you are running for office, they would be so excited, and they always have 25, and some of those people have never been asked to contribute meaningfully by a soitical candidate ever, engaging that community is also a way for us to do this work better and for them to run for office, so i think there are folks who can better talk about what we can do in terms of elected officials accessing more income, but on the candidates side, there are lots of ways for folks to raise.
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shanthi: you do not get fired for being on jury duty, and you get paid. and if you're serving in an unpaid office, so i think that , right,y simple idea that people are serving their country, and they deserve to be called for that, so there is that. also think we definitely do need public financing of campaigns. i do not know that any old joe schmoe should. i think you have to show some sort of modicum of effort to get matching funds, and in oakland, people running for office get matching funds, but not school board, and unfortunately, that is where a lot of women come into politics some of which is through school board, so i think
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that is a barrier that accidentally discriminates against women. that is important. and not paying people to serve in public office, it affects them. it affects their family. it affects their ability to do the job well and given the amount -- gift is the amount of time and effort that it deserves. i'm very lucky i have a supportive employer, but believe me, it is not ideal. katie, did you want to add anything? katie: i think tucson has their own election. i do not know if there are other cities that do, but we had a matching funds system, and that was struck down by the warts, so for a lot of folks, if you had an opponent who was running traditionally, and they overspent the amount that you were getting, you would get
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matched up to what they spent, up to like three times, so that was away, and it made it a viable option for a lot of folks, and if you have three people running in a district, and they sort of team up to run , $120,000here is $120 of funding available, and that is a good amount of money, but shanthi said, that is where a lot of women come in. i have never thought about that before, but that is really -- it is sort of putting up a barrier there. again, connecting to the gatekeeper issue, and jessica touched on this earlier, bringing people into run for office, and we also have an obligation to open those doors so helping them get started in their fundraising
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and opening doors to where they can access those funds if they are going to run a campaign, and as an elected official, it is always frustrating to me in terms of how awful the dark money and everything is in campaigns and trying to fight against that and at the same time having to continue to raise money, and i think about all of the time i've spent raising money that i could spend doing other things. i could enjoy myself more but be more effective as a leader if i was not sitting and dialing for dollars half of the time. you want to share what you have found in your research? yes, we have had amazing candidates who decided not to run because mexico is the only state who does not pay
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their state legislature, so the economic area was named as one of the most difficult to overcome, and there have been some attempts at changing that, but it still has not changed, so that is a huge barrier. there is also, as was mentioned, even some specific bias that we hold. sometimes a candidate does not seem likely to win, so the money does not come in for them at the onset, and once they are elected, the money comes in, but it is really hard to break through that barrier. that gettingfound out the vote costs money, especially in communities who have huge geographic expanses, to get people to get to the polling, and communities that have a polling place and do not know it, so there are huge financial and infrastructure so we are looking at
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what are some of the innovations and ways to overcome these barriers, so some are offering fellowships to candidates who offset some of the income barriers, so we are looking at some of the other strategies. jenifer: yes, it seems like these strategies are critical for us to make progress. i want to open it up to you, and one last question i what you guys -- ladies, sorry, to address. when we started this project, we did a big polling research project, and one of the things that came out when we did focus groups with americans, diverse american across the country, this feeling of like, well, yes, it would be great if we can get more women and people of color, but does it really matter, because they just get corrupted
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by the same system, and it is going to be the same no matter what it is, so i would like for you to share your thoughts if you have them on, like, how do we work with that is to mark how do we work to hold the people we bring in, hold them accountable to a set of values, and also, why does it matter, and how can we help people see the vision of how it would be different from their active. jessica? year has beenlast an example. i have been incredibly inspired about the racial justice across the country, and as i am watching people floods into the street and direct action and to aganize themselves, having really, really hard conversation that is really loaded and has a lot of his three, and then i an official angry
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about that organizing, and i thought, well, have you talked to the protesters? have you talked to the people who are organizing? and then working with activists and them saying, elected leadership is all bad. we need to dismantle the government, start again. it is all corrupt. --i am sorry. the name of my firm comes from good policy and elected leaders. that is what transforms and we cannot leave that on the table. they need to let the leaders know why and they can help us carry that water, and we also
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need everyone to be working towards good public policy that helps us all live more meaningful lives, and a think that is part of the triangle, and i think to leave it on the table would have an incomplete sentence in the work we have all been doing, and were at the collected leadership can be meaningful is with the people doing the work. they know their communities the and we are trying to find out. jenifer: great. thank you. if you guys do not take anything else away from this session, i would think that you should think about the organization you love the most and make it a point to talk to people there. the board, the staff, the volunteers, about running for office, and introduce them to the people you know who are gatekeepers or who are great fundraisers or have some tool or
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skill that that person could use. if you know that they share values, because i think that is the best and that we can do, is really to put the idea in people's heads, because people of color have never thought about or asked about running for office. and women, women need to be asked -- seven times? , if i startht times hearing it over and over, maybe i should run. we have the structural things we but it has toout, start with the idea of, well, this person thinks i should run for office, so i will make a pitch of going to your local office and talking about it. chrissie? chrissie: i think the young people need to know, and they
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need to understand the dual citizenship. of contribution in civic society both in a tribal and in a non-tribals sense, and to the americann extra tribal democracy is really a way to show our sovereignty and to make sure we have elected officials who are going to be very much accountable to the community's interest, and we do not have that right now. fer: thank you. do you want to add anything, katie? katie: yes, everything they said. thank you to everyone in our audience, and we do want to say that this is being taped and streams for c-span, so you will need to speak into the microphone for the c-span broadcast, and then i will repeat the question for folks watching. go ahead.
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>> good morning. david garcia and a former tribal leader. and my question, one to castro, and another. and i amoned a county, referring to urban tribal members, because they are kept out of the loop of the tribal government. and then they travel to l.a. and from your own howl.a. county,
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did you deal with the other members who are not members of the navajo nation? jenifer: ok, the question is to about the tribal leaders and how you have seen that play out with the tribal leaders and those issues. ssie: thank you for asking this question. i think it is a very important one, and we have a lot of work to do to bridge the relationship between the citizens and the and those out in so for those who do not know, 7% live outside of tribals readies. there are other things that try to take us off of our communal tribal lands, so what do mean by that and then how do we relate
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given that we are in different tribal nations, and one thing that we are starting to talk we are talking to organizations that are doing political activism at home, with a lot of environmental issues, and trying to connect voter registration for navajo elections for the navajo tribal community, and there are a lot of other communities that we are starting to get connected to, like in portland and other cities, to see how we can participate in our home government even though we are living in urban centers, so there is not a lot of work that is been done, but the idea there, and that is where we need to go, not only for navajo but other tribal nations. the charity. when they hold presidential elections, they to campaign in l.a. and bring polling to l.a., so there are some things we're starting to see with regard to
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that, and in terms of how we engage with other members of theerent sovereign nations, community, the issues we are working on, whether child where child welfare issues or other issues, we are talking about our work in the tribal context in l.a. county, but i think we need to do more to focus on these specific issues that are happening at home. isand then my last question to the state legislature, being part of the arizona state legislator -- legislature. essentially what happens is you invite tribal leaders to speak with and meet with the state legislators on both sides. i don't see other grassroots people invited to participate in that entire day, so my question
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to you is when will we see that, when grassroots people will be invited to speak to the state legislators versus tribal leaders? thank you. enifer: thank you. waskatie, so the question when are people going to get a grassroot chance to have that kind of access? you, and i actually have not been involved at all to present that day. i think it comes out of the aesident office, but that is good question, and i will be andy to address it with him see if that can be expanded just beyond tribal leadership, because i think that is a really great idea. i think there might be another opportunity, but i am not sure, so that is definitely something i will bring up. jenifer: go ahead. >> high.
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when i think about barriers to a democracy, a lot of my thinking goes immediately to gerrymandering, and it seems , the courtsegally have allowed a high degree of gerrymandering. i know that sometimes they have a doctrine of staying out of political questions, but the way most state systems are, the way they are developed and the national system, it seems to be ekeepwo parties both gat their own people and make sure they represent their interests, but no one is really representing the interests of the people as a whole. in arizona, i know we have an independent redistricting commission that went all of the way up to the supreme court this term, and i know that that is better than most states, who just have the legislature decide
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everything and pick the districts and gerrymander them the way they want, that i was involved a little bit in the redistricting process in 2010 here, and even though the results were better, still, about 20 out of our 30 districts, for example, were not competitive. there were maybe five or seven that were competitive, and i wonder why that is not challenged more legally, because that is a huge barrier, it seems to me. the other thing that is kind of an offshoot of that, and that is the practice especially at the u.s. house of having so-called safe districts or black or brown of thetes, and all minority voters are packed into just a few of these little safe districts, so we do have some representation. voting power of
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black and brown voters, in women voters, to some extent, although it is mostly people of color, is really diluted, because they get sore one or two legislators, if anyone on the panel would have any input on that, i would appreciate that. thank you. jenifer: yes, that is a great question. about gerrymandering. it is one of the issues we found in our research leading up to this campaign. ballot, all of these things, and it is another love tolem, but i would hear what folks have to say about that, and i can maybe share a little bit more. does anyone want to start? katie? commission is much, much better than having that legislature drop a line.
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they have to consider several factors, and i probably cannot name them all off the top of my population,e voting communities of interest. competitiveness is one of the factors, and as far as i know the way the legislation is written, those things have to be considered equally, so one thant have more weight another, so the 2012 redistricting was the second cycle that arizona has been in, so in 2002, the democrats were kind of asleep at the wheel in terms of getting the right people on to the commission, and less competitive districts out of that redistricting, so we started really early to make sure we had good people in place to get on the commission so we had a better shot, and what you're
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probably noticed, after the 2002 redistricting, the republicans did not have any problems with it, and they were not contesting any of these lines, and now they are, because we have done a little bit better job, and the case that was in front of the supreme court was about the constitutionality of the commission drawing the lines rather than the legislature, the congressional lines, and now, there is another case that is actually challenging some of the lines that they said were here in the next term, so we are not done with it yet, but at least the constitutionality has been upheld, so i don't know if that answers the question, but it is getting better, and the more cycles we go through, we will make more progress. competitiveness the most important factor? why should it not be weighed like three times more than everything else? it seems like the result is the most important thing to me.
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with that require new legislation or something or a new initiative? jenifer: the question is why isn't competitiveness the most important, and why is it not weighed more? the first place, the legislature cannot change it, so the voters would have to change it. jenifer: thank you. do you have any questions in terms of how people of color have been elected and how they are drawn to these minority-heavy areas question mark jessica: sure. a lot of times when organizations and also the parties receive the districts, then everyone creates an excel spreadsheet and says which one is the most competitive, and then they add and a name of the candidate they are going to work with.
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because there are so many are ints, and when you the majority, you are not in the but we call them these districts, and then we seek out a black or brown face to put in the excel spreadsheet, and i do not mean it to sounds crass, and i mean it to say that the limited resources and short windows, this happens, but what i think needs to happen is we a black president twice in a country that is not majority black, so we know when there are districts that are not majority, we can still elect some of you is not of the majority of people, and i think that is going to take a long a party andhink as as organizations who really cared deeply about political this, we need to go beyond , and what do we want our impact
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to look like, and how do we get there, and that will mean chipping away at seat that do not feel sexy, that do not feel a good story to tell, and which are not easily winnable. jenifer: chiriss -- chrissie? chrissie: the justice department has actually taken up several lawsuits against local and state jurisdictions for, you know, systematically excluding native candidates from being able to run for county commission, say, nbc in montana where the courts .pheld that the at large districting really .revented a seat for the first time ever in the county's history, even though
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there are native americans, we actually saw a native american get elected to that kind of commission, and so the legal strategy has been very successful for native people, just one example, and i think we need to continue, and then i think we need to follow up to make sure we have the candidates. jenifer: go ahead. >> my question is supported -- pointed to jessica. and i consider myself an activist, and i am also an elected official, so how do you navigate between the three and help strategize so you do not lose power in one of the others?
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jenifer: so the question from the young man who is also an elected official. in the community, they are able to translate what the process of government, how they are made, to the folks that you serve, and reporting back on some of the ways they are active i think. i wish i could duplicate you. over and over again. we do not have people operating at that interest, and so what is happening, we have silos. folks who are doing incredible research and not reporting it back out to the folks who need it, the activist are notgathering but able to necessarily translate that into political power, and so i would say the way i operate ask everyinue to
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person in those circles to build community with each other. there should not be an activist phase that does not include research and data and ways to move the ball forward, in the same way public officials should not be operating in a silo, where they are not talking about people putting their bodies on the line to advance the cause, and researchers, like, we need your work. we need you to help us with policy and with language. us are not able to translate that into our goals, and so i do not have an easy answer to your question other than to say in each of the spaces in which we are operating, to find ways to create a bridge, and i think it is you. jenifer: thank you. did you have anything?
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hi. >> i apologize. i do not remember who said this right before the questions started, and they said we should andpproaching organizations asking them to run for office, and i come from a nonprofit background, and i have had multiple conversations with advocacyo were doing work because they didn't want to do work in the public. i wonder how you go about overcoming that or if you have ways of avoiding that roadblock? er: great. the question is given that there are a lot of folks working in the nonprofit sector do that because they want to be working outside of the political system and not necessarily want to be part of that, how do you work have aat as we tried to different kind of candidate?
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shanthi: that was me who said that. a lot of times, people have to be asked multiple times. no,t of people are like, that is not why i am in this. and, well, there is nobody else who is better than me, and it seems like a lot of people think i should do this, and they said they would help me, so i think hearing it multiple times is important, and i think sometimes you can't convince people by pointing out to them who the other people are who are likely to run if they do not, so i do not know. jessica: we are not going to be able to train our way out of this. these are very important
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problems. i have found that intentional asking is the best way to get someone to say yes. i disagree with the notion that it takes women seven times to be asked, and not because i do not think that there is research that has not helped to inform some of our work, but many women and people of color are asking a question about what that is either going to look like or how that is going to work, and we are not answering. all we are doing is, we keep asking people of color to run, and they say no. say,is happening is they my child has autism. i do not have a lot of time. can you help me know what my life is going to look like if i take that on? workhen it could be, let's this out. a lot of time, the multipleness of it is not because women are not ambitious, it is because they have very different life
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experiences that are informing why they do not necessarily think that policy work is the best way to change their lives, so i think it is on all of us to create the conversation. we are not yelling at them to run for office. we are asking a person who does good work to run, and when they say back to you, i am really nervous. i do not want my private life to be exposed, because i really care about my private life, we say, ok, let's help navigate that for you, and there are lots who can do that. jenifer: ok. >> thank you for having this panel and for the research and the incredible work that you are doing. to hear you talk about the governance. i work with a group that does a training program that has trained over 1000 liters, and one of the things we have found is that the relationships among leaders, appointed leaders,
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elected leaders is really important to driving a progressive agenda and for progressive policies, and i would love to hear some of your strategies around when you get into office, how do you deal with the isolation you often feel if you are one of few on aesses -- progressive commission or a city council, how you break down that isolation, and how you support people to be successful. fer: that is a great question, and i was just thinking we had not talked about that yet, so thank you. once you get an office, work with that so you can work with community groups on the ground who have a relationship with those, so important to moving the issues forward. so does anyone want to jump in, based on your experience? katie? katie: governance is not normally part of that training,
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and part of the training is really, really different, and a lot of times when you are running, you are like in this conflict all of the time of telling voters why you are better than the other person and why they should vote for you, and in that process, we tend to really vilify our opponents, and then when you are in that office, and you have to work with those people, you cannot be in that vilifying mode, so i think everything about being effective, particular about being a minority, is about relationships, and it is not just relationships with your allies. it is making allies on the other side, and we have to do a better job of teaching people how to do up like mentor program, so newly elected officials have a more seasoned mentor in whatever body, and , so they areking
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going to tend to crucify us when we are working with the other side, because we are trying to get something accomplished by doing that is in too. -- there number ofk, we have a questions, but we only have three minutes. if you could share your question as quickly as possible or what you want to share, and we will try to address in the wrapup. >> it is more of a comment. presupposingt here and iemocracy is strong, think that one of the symptoms, one of the barriers is this emerging erosion of democracy. maybe that is why we do not have people of color. democracy really is not working for us.
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democracy as a military retiree. jenifer: thank you. thank you for sharing that perspective on the erosion of democracy and the barriers, as well. go ahead. >> hi. i am just wondering about going into international politics, if there has been any research put into the diverse aspects of inclusiveness of things like ambassadors, people working in the international field on the side of americans, it and are they also primarily white men, or is there more diversity or a little less, so i am wondering. ok, thank you. go ahead. >> hi. thank you for this panel. i have a question. i am from michigan. a lot of the progressive movement depends on people of color and women, especially in the detroit area, the metro
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detroit area, but what we have seen when it comes to statewide offices and the state legislature, you are not giving a lot of input from the church community. you,estion is how do putting pressure on organizations, the party, and as gatekeepers to say, hey, you depend on detroit and the voters there, but you are not really putting people that look like them on the platform. fer: right. ok, great. so couple of questions, well, one question on whether there is data on international -- i can say we have not done that research, but others may have some, so please share if you do, and then the question about detroit and the urban centers like detroit who are more dominated by folks of color that do not necessarily have that, again, that connection to the broader state leadership when it comes time to really push
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policy, so i want to thank everyone for all of your quick question and being here, and as we wrap up, just give everyone a chance to say something to address those questions. thank you. shanthi: my experience is the oakland school district was also experience isd my it has taken a long time to get your civic institutions strong again, so i know it is not very good news. it can be done. it is happening in oakland, and you are trying to change a culture of people being disempowered and trying to get them to reclaim their power and believe in their civic institutions again, and they can have efficacy in organizing. jenifer: any final thoughts? e?ti
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katie: if we depend on the institutions to get us where we benefiting they are by the status quo, so it is really incumbent on all of us in the progressive media and theide to make sure that democracy is not dependent on the elected officials. not everyone who is benefiting that,his, so i appreciate and i think it is really important. nifer: thank you. jessica? jessica: it is an incredible and like most democratic parties, they have a very small capacity and are doing this really, really fast. expel -- excel spreadsheet.
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they are just adding names to this. if there was a way for you or other community leaders, to add to this growing item, because of you know the people, they want to know them also, and nine times out of 10, there is not a there and maybe youppening would be able to influence it by bringing together a group. getting activeat power often means -- getting types of power oftentimes mean is that there are a lot of people who have power. in order for new people to have it, other people have to relinquish them and that will take all of us to really come to terms with what that means and i hope that we are all of to the challenge.
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>> just to the comment on the erosion of democracy, i wanted to share that. the elections we see strong political participation. presidential elections it is somewhere in the mid 40's. to me that says when we see that we have people who represent us and take on issues relevant to our daily lives than we come out. i think there is a lot that we can do and i think this is a critical moment for native people and communities and i'm really excited about this moment in time. please join me in giving a round of applause to our amazing panel. [applause] >> thank you also much, let's keep the conversation going.
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>> on the next washington journal, ari berman of the nation discusses his new book which looks at the discussion on voting rights for america. houston powers talks about her new book, the silencing. how the left is killing sweep -- is killing free speech. liberal attempts at shutting down debate on issues. live aton journal is 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. presidential candidates are talking about immigration, including border security, immigration enforcement and immigrant workers, ahead of the
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2016 elections. up next, and discussion on immigration policy. this is one hour 20 minutes. this is one hour 20 minutes. >> good morning everyone. thank you very much for coming out on the lovely sunny sunday. my name is teresa cardinal brown and i'm a director of the bipartisan policy project. if you are not familiar with us, center wassan policy founded by two former senate majority leaders. tom daschle, george mitchell, howard baker and bob dole. commission is to bring together what we call constructive .artisanship
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which means bringing together people from both sides of the aisle to come together and work towards practical and politically viable solutions to some of our biggest problems, one of which is immigration. in 2013, bpc started the immigration task force. to work on issues related to immigration reform. a lot of people thought it had huge momentum and we were going to have legislation and it would all get enacted. that didn't happen in the house. here we are again facing another presidential election, which is well underway. interestingly enough, we have more candidates in the selection -- in this election than i think we have ever had in history and the candidates are dealing with all the usual issues. jobs and the economy and
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national security and foreign policy. immigration is still a topic of conversation. it has been a consistent feature throughout the presidential campaign. every candidate has been asked about their position on immigration reform or has affirmatively put one forward. it has come up in the last presidential debate that happened last week in cleveland. it has been addressed by the democratic candidates. so we thought this would be a good opportunity to talk a little bit about where things are come have some experts here to talk about what the candidates have said about immigration, what they have said
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on policy, what they intend to do about it. a little bit about how it impacts the politics of the situation and what it might mean for the actual chances of reform. to lead us in this discussion, we have francine kiefer. francine is with the christian science monitor. she is a congressional correspondent and has been there since 1980. she has been in washington for a long time, including -- she knows the politics of d.c. in and out. she has written extensively on immigration, including the congressional activities last congress. she has also worked for nearly five years as a national editor at the san jose mercury news in silicon valley and is joining us to moderate the panel. i will let francine introduce our panelists. thank you so much for coming. >> thank you so much, theresa. take you so much for setting the scene on immigration. i am going to begin by introducing our wonderful panelists here. i will begin immediately to my left, laura vasquez. she is the senior immigration legislative analyst at the national council, which is the
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largest national latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the united states. she describes her work as advancing just and humane reform to the current information system. before joining la raza, she worked as a constituent caseworker for eleanor holmes norton, helping city residents with their immigration applications. not an easy task. she was also a congressional hispanic caucus institute fellow. laura is an expert on mexican migration to the united states and the role of nonprofits and in advocating for latino immigrants. she hold an m.a. in latin american studies from the university of california san diego and a b.a. from kenyon college.
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she was born in mexico and grew up in ohio. welcome, laura. mike next-door is the executive director of the center for immigration studies. which he has led for 20 years. the center is a nonpartisan research organization here in washington that examines the impact of immigration on the united states. it conducts fact-based research in support of its pro-immigrant low immigration vision. mark frequently testifies before congress. he has published articles in the national media, appeared on various television and radio shows, and is a contributor to at "national review online." mark is also a book author, including this provocative title, "the new case against immigration: both legal and illegal." he holds a masters degree and a
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bachelors from georgetown university. and here is something that not everyone can say. he spent two years at yaribon state university in then-soviet armenia. and next to mark, we have maria. she is the executive director of the national immigration law center. under her leadership, they have grown to become the main organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low income immigrants in the u.s. maria immigrated as a child from columbia to central falls, rhode island. fully bilingual and bicultural,
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she is often interviewed by national media outlets, including telemundo. she lectures frequently at national and international conferences. whether litigating cases, testifying before congress, meeting with president obama, or with low income immigrant families, she is recognized as a passionate advocate and authentic leader. maria is the recipient of several awards or her commitment to the latino community. she was recently a practitioner in residence at the school for social justice at uc berkeley's law school. and served as a visiting fellow at northeastern university's school of law, where she received her law degree. and we also have randall johnson, who is senior vice president at the u.s. chamber of commerce, the world's largest business organization. he has been with the chamber or nearly 20 years and is primarily responsible for labor,
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immigration issues. in consultation with members of the chamber and his staff, randy determines the chamber passed policy decision -- chamber's policy decisions and an array of issues including comprehensive immigration reform. he is also a board member of the national immigration forum and the lutheran immigration and refugee services agency. randy knows congress well. before joining the chamber, he was the republican labor council and coordinator for the house committee on education and the workforce. randy is a graduate of denison university and the university of maryland's school of law and earned his master of law in labor relations from georgetown university's law center. so that is the biographical portion of our program. now we are going to get to the questions. mark, i think i will start with you, even though you are not immediately to my left.
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but one thing i was noticing when i watched the gop debate last week, both the junior varsity version and the varsity version, was that there seemed to be complete agreement among the candidates that what we should have is a strength in border first policy. i wondered why that unanimous agreement and is it actually possible to build the donald trump wall or do the kind of large-scale enforcement on the border that republicans are talking about? mark: well, the first point i would make is that all of the candidates are not necessarily agree. jeb bush has called for legalization at the same time as enforcement measures, so it is not necessarily the case that everybody on the republican side is for enforcement first.
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but you are right, generally speaking, that is the approach. why? the answer is that if the enforcement doesn't come first, it is not going to happen because in 1986 -- this was the key failure -- was that the deal at that time was amnesty now upfront, in exchange for promises of enforcement in the future. those promises weren't kept. and that trick is not something that people are going to fall for a second time. in fact, it is not just speculation that that is the way it would turn out, the -- shortly after the bill was side, less than three years after the bill was signed -- again, remember, this was a deal makes -- in exchange for the ban on hiring illegals. just a few years after the bill passed, they published a report
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saying that the enforcement part should be repealed. they were welshing on the deal. so the idea that we should just take their word for it that to in five or 10 or 13 years from now, the various enforcement elements will be implemented if the legalization happens first is, you know, is a fool's bargain. the saying goes, fully once, shame on me. -- fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. the way it could actually work is to have several enforcement elements. i would pick three.
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verify. this is the online system, so when you hire someone, you verify. exit tracking for visa holders. in other words, most new -- today's illegal immigration, 60% of it is people coming in as tourists and students and just not leaving. it is not really the border. but we don't know when people leave, so we don't know who stays. and number three, systematic routine integration of state and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. when those three things happen, and i don't mean on paper, they are actually implemented, the courtroom jihad's that the aclu and others will launch against them, once they are actually working, then we can have a debate. that would be a kind of a bargain. amnesty for most of the illegals who are here. in exchange for deep permanent cuts in future illegal immigration. that seems to be the only way we are going to be able to get to a sort of more stable immigration position politically. it is never going away. teresa mentioned foreign policy and jobs and the rest in the campaigns. immigration is always going to
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be a part of a campaign for ever as it is a part of being in the business. but we can get to a more sustainable situation, but only by having an implementing and putting in place the enforcement systems we need to prevent this situation from recurring 10 or 15 years down the road. host: just a follow-up question about the borders specifically. united states has spent increasingly more money on enforcement. and so republicans want even more spent. what are the actually talking about in terms of doing work on the border? mark: i have to say, the place we are going to get the bigger bang for the buck in enforcement is not at the border. we have spent a lot of money at the border, and it shows. it has not all been wasted. some of it has, it is the
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government. some of it really works. i have been -- i have gone to most of the border. from the gulf of mexico to the pacific. and a lot of the fencing is sort of fake fencing to keep trucks from driving over. it is only this high. your grandma can jump over it. but some of it is real fence. we have twice as many border patrol agents as we had a decade ago. we have fewer border patrol agents than the nypd has police officers. so we have improved on the border. there is still room for improvement, but if i had my druthers, the place i would want to be focusing on is more on the worksite, on visa tracking, that sort of thing because that is where the next dollar is going to get the most benefit, as far as enforcement. host: and i neglected to mention
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at the beginning that at about 11:30, we will open up to questions from the audience. be gathering your questions. laura, i would like to turn to you next. i noticed in the debate that jeb bush, if i recall, was the only one who spoke pretty extensively about his policies and plans for immigration reform. and one of the things he talked about was an earned path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented that are already here in the united states.
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no one joined him on that. in fact, no one mentioned even earned status or earned path to citizenship. which is what all the democratic candidates are supporting. on of the moderators asked scott walker, one of the candidates, why did you step back and rescind your support for a path to citizenship? it is quite clear republicans are not interested in a path to citizenship for undocumented workers and not too many are that keen on a pass to even earn legal status. what do you make of that division within the republican party and with the democrats? laura: thank you. i think you are right, there is a division there because we do see that there are some candidates that do still support a path to citizenship lindsey graham has consistently said that he supports the path to citizenship. he doesn't think the country would support a subclass group of people being here. so that is the position he has held for a long time. it is part of the support that he gave to the senate bill that
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passed in 2013. i think it is also consistent with the position that americans have. so, we have seen poll after poll consistently demonstrate that across the political spectrum, democrats and republicans support a path to citizenship or legal status. now we are seeing more and more . polls break that down into two things. and one of the things that is interesting is that when it is explained, earned to citizenship means to meeting requirements, having to go through a background check, demonstrating that you pay taxes, demonstrating that you would learn english. the support amongst republican voters goes up. so i think that once we are able to have that debate about what a path to earned citizenship looks like, we would see increased support within the republican party. we know that that is something that it is in the interest of the country. i think americans supported
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because they are pragmatic because they understand that they want immigrants all in. they don't want them in some sort of less than citizenship area. they want everybody in the same boat with the same requirements. and they also understand the history of our country, that we are a country of immigrants because we have always encouraged immigrants to fully participate in american life. ms. kiefer: do you think there would be any give on this issue since republicans seem both staunchly behind and not even actually all behind the legal status if it came down to a choice? do you think they would begin in that particular question? laura: i do think so. i think it is because of when. when people understand that it is not an automatic citizenship that people would be granted, it is not an amnesty, it would be something that -- as we saw in the senate bill, they were very
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strict requirements that people would have to meet. and that i think is something that, you know, people understand that now when they hear it and i think we would see that support with the candidates. ms. kiefer: thanks so much for that input. maria elena, i'm coming down to you now. given your legal background, i wondered if you could explain to us what the status is of the various -- the court case against president obama at the moment or against the administration? if you recall in november, the president issued an executive order that was highly controversial, extending the third deportation to millions more undocumented immigrants. and then the state of texas sued for that, sued against that, and it is now wrapped up in the courts. and that program has been stopped. so i wonder if you could bring us up-to-date on the status of that court situation and let us know your views on how in
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an outcome, whichever way it might go, might affect the debate? maria elena: yes, thank you for organizing this great panel. first, tummy tuck about the -- let me talk about the importance of this policy. in november, the president announced a 10 point executive action. daca is the deferred action for
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childhood arrivals, parents of u.s. american citizens and it green card holders. and then the expansion, as we often think of as dreamers. and the importance of this is really critical. last week, i was at the jersey shore with my niece and nephew, who are 13 years old. at the are about to start school. and they are really concerned about how much harder their science and math classes are going to be. and they are worried about whether they will be able to balance their soccer games with their harder classes. but today, there is also an eighth grader of their who is concerned not about classes, but she is concerned about whether her mother is going to be deported before the first day of school. she is worried about whether her father will be there when she graduates from eighth grade next spring. and it is that trauma, that fear of losing your parents, of being separated from their parents, from your families, being ripped apart, that lack of instability that immigrant families are facing today is really what is at stake. over 5 million u.s. citizen children at the direct beneficiaries.
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their parents would be eligible for dapa. and it is that stability that this executive decision is really about. unfortunately, the state of texas, the governor and other attorney generals, have sued the obama administration. one judge in brownsville, texas has blocked the implementation of dapa nationwide. we are currently waiting for a decision from the fifth circuit court of appeals. we expect that any day now. frankly, this is a case that is going to go up before the supreme court. if you take the politics out of this, this is actually a constitutional issue that legal scholars across the board, conservatives and liberal scholars, agree that presidents since eisenhower have exercised this power and have the authority to do what the president did. we expect that at this time next year, the outcome will probably be that the supreme court has ruled on this, the obama administration can start implementation. it is going to be front and center. ms. kiefer: so you are expecting
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the ruling in the presidential election year? maria elena: probably, yes. ms. kiefer: if it goes against the president, how that affect the debate? maria elena: i think the debate will continue because this is just one piece of the broader immigration debate. part of what we will continue hearing is the sort of wall supporters among the gop candidates, and then also other things that can be done administratively. there is the future of what happens with the 11 million undocumented immigrants. what kind of immigration will receive during the next administration? ms. kiefer: ok. randy, way down there. [laughter] on the far left, i like that. jeb bush, as i mentioned earlier, last week in the debates laid out pretty extensively his steps and immigration reform. and one of the things he said he supported was required use of the e-verify electronic system
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in order to determine whether they are hiring undocumented workers or not in their companies. and it has been voluntary, as far as i know, so far. so my question for you is, how would american businesses feel about being required to use the e-verify system? and also, how reasonable is it to expect that the system can be implemented nationwide and that it can function the way it is supposed to? randy: yeah, we don't engage in presidential politics at the chamber, so you are right, bush did take it up, but we are not taking a view on anybody's proposals per se. -- [indiscernible] with regard to e-verify, we have testified that.
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probably 10 times in 15 years. four times we opposed it and five times we supported it. but it is not a flip-flop, it is a reevaluation. [laughter] randy: let me give you a little history. the chamber does support a mandatory employment verification procedures. you are right, it is a pilot program and it is voluntary. and that comes to a shock to a comes as a shock to a lot of people, but we did put together a task force on this. we negotiated a deal with lamar smith and the judiciary committee on a bill we could support, but the history to that, and quickly, is we did sue the state of arizona back in 2010 over its mandatory employment verification procedures and it went up to the supreme court. we lost. and at that point and given what was happening -- we should negotiate a deal. and part of that was a trade-off
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in which, given our loss, we obtained preemption of state and local laws and a safe harbor for our members if they complied and good face and relied erroneously -- complied in good faith and relied erroneously on information from the electronic verification system. no real verification of existing report is -- of existing employees. no re-verification of existing employees. in other words, it applies to new hires. a sort of slow rollout so it could be tested along the way. so there is a series of things which we laid out in testimony. i think one of the big issues is -- what certainly came up last year when i testified was what would a mandatory
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what would it do to the agricultural industry? they acknowledge half of their workforce is undocumented. that does not mean they know it but it's true. if you had mandatory e-verify, what would that do to the agriculture industry? would it shut it down? there is e-verify but there's this ag issue that the circulated around that that even republicans acknowledge had to be taken care of. we support mandatory employment verification. we have negotiated legislation with certain house republicans on the issue. i've still got my job, so we did a good job on it, i think. there is a new mandate on our members. ms. kiefer: randy, i want to ask you a different question, a little bit about the path forward now. just before the senate broke for recess, mitch mcconnell, the
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senate majority leader, gave a press conference and i asked him if there was any hope for even a small portion of immigration reform to get done in this congress before the presidential election and the next congress and he said, absolutely no. he mentioned the trust issue that the president had so poisoned the well through his executive order that there was no hope anything would be done in this congress. i wonder if you might address looking ahead to after 2016 -- how might a new president, democrat or republican, proceed on this issue? you have two fronts to concern yourself with, one is trust and the other is policy with other panelists have talked about. how do you see that might work with a new president?
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randy: you did ask this congress, not this session? . ms. kiefer: i don't remember how i asked, but he said this congress. that he is not going to deal with it. if he says no, that's very much it. randy: we are little bit hopeful. we are working on a high scale bill in the house. if the fifth circuit ruled in favor of the texas governor that that might have an opening for this year -- next session, not this year. looking beyond that, i think the days of talking about poisoning the well, it's not just that the president went forward with these executive orders but the aca framing that with the affordable care act combined not just with partisanship, but that there were mandates under the aca which the president