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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 29, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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wall street that when a bank is too big to fail, that bank is too big to exist and we are going to break them up. we need a financial system that works with small and medium-sized businesses, not an island unto itself only concerned about the profits of a few. we need a movement which works with our trade unions and ends our disastrous trade policies which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs.
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and that includes defeating the tpp. corporate america has got to start investing in our country, not just countries all over the world. we need a movement which says that every worker in this country deserves a living wage, that understands that the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and we
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will raise that minimum wage over a period of years to 15 bucks an hour. [applause] that we are going to end the disgrace of women making 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. we are going to have pay equity for women workers. and we are going to end the international embarrassment of being the only, only major country on earth that does not provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. [applause]
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we need a movement that says that when real unemployment, including those who have given up looking for work and those who are working part-time, is over 10%, when black youth unemployment is over 50%, that we need a massive federal jobs program to rebuild our public infrastructure. our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our wastewater plants, our airports, our rails are falling further and further behind other countries.
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we can create millions of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, and i intend to do that. we need a political grassroots movement which tells the koch brothers and the billionaire class that they will not be able to continue to buy candidates and elections and that we will. [cheers] >> bernie! bernie! mr. sanders: i have not made many campaign promises so far.
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[laughter] but let me repeat one to you that i have made, and that is that no nominee of mine to the u.s. supreme court will have his or her name go to the senate unless that candidate is loud and clear in saying that one of the first orders of business for that candidate will be to rehear and overturn citizens united. [cheers] mr. sanders: but we have got to go even further than overturning citizens united. if we want a vibrant democracy, where all americans who want to run for office are able to do
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so, we need to move toward public funding of elections. and, by the way, together we are going to end this cowardly voter suppression that republican governors are imposing on people all across america. if a politician is too cowardly to face the voters, if a politician needs to think that he must suppress the vote in order to win, that politician should get another job. we need a movement that understands that climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and that we are going to lead the world in transforming our energy system
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away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. and, brothers and sisters, that means defeating the keystone pipeline. we need a movement that says in a highly competitive global economy that all of our people who have the ability and the qualifications will be able to get a college education regardless of the income of their family. [applause]
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and that is why i have introduced legislation that does two things. first, it makes every public college and university in america tuition free. secondly, it substantially lowers interest rates on student debt. and we pay for that by imposing a wall street speculation tax. >> bernie! mr. sanders: when wall street collapses because of this greed
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and illegal behavior, the american people bail them out. now it is their turn to help the middle class of their country. [applause] we need a political movement which will end for all institutional racism in our country and reform a very, very broken criminal justice system. we must not accept more deaths of on armed blacks like michael brown, walter scott, and too many to name, too many to name.
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we must not continue being the country in the world with more people in jail than any other. and the people in jail are disproportionately people of color. we must become the country in the world which invests in job and education, not jails and incarceration. and when we talk of bringing our country together, we cannot forget that there are now 11 million people here who are undocumented.
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we must provide legal protections for them. we must pass comprehensive immigration reform. and we must provide a path for citizenship. and we must be clear that the racist and un-american idea that we are going to somehow round up millions of people in the dead of the night is not what this country is about and it is not going to happen. you are looking at a former congressman who did not believe george w. bush, dick cheney, and
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don rumsfeld, and voted against the war in iraq, a war which turned out to be one of the worst foreign-policy plunders in the modern history of this country. and you are looking at a senator who will stand with president obama in preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but will do it in a way that prevents war. let me conclude by saying this -- one of the demands of my
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campaign is that we as a people think big, not small, not accept this right-wing ideology and world view. it is not a question of cutting education by 2% or 4%. we can, if we do not allow them to divide ourselves by race or gender, whether we are gay or straight or born in america were born someplace else, if we stand together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. we can live in a country where health care is a right for all people, not a privilege. we can live in a country where when mom and dad go to work, they know their kids have the best-quality child care in the world.
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we can live in a country where seniors retire in dignity and security and not be forced to choose between their medicine and their food. and that is why i am helping to lead the effort in the senate, not only to oppose the privatization of social security or cuts in social security, but to expand social security benefits. we can live in a nation where our veterans, of men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us, get the quality health care and benefits they have earned and the respect that they are due. brothers and sisters, we can
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live in a nation where everyone, no matter their race, their religion, their disability, or their sexual orientation, realizes the full promise of equality that is our birthright as americans. this is the country we can build. it is the country we must build. and if we stand together, that is the country we will build. thank you very much. ♪
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>> the >> we also heard from presidential candidate governor o'malley who called for more debate area the former maryland governor spoke for about 15 minutes. mr. o'malley: thank you very much for your kind introduction. to the chair of the democratic
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national committee, and to all of the distinguished officers of the dnc, including my colleague and friend and the mayor of my home city of baltimore. and to all of you friends. it is a great honor to be with all of you here. my name is martin o'malley. i am running for president of the united states, and i need your help to rebuild the american dream we share. i love my country. i love my country. and i have carried a lot water for this donkey. and i for one will not remain silent in the face of the lies, distortions, and the racist hate being comes out over the airwaves from the debate podiums of the once proud republican
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party. as all of you are aware, the republicans held their first two debates earlier this month. they will hold another in a couple of weeks. and you could easily have mistaken their debate for a reality tv show. like "survivor." the difference between the republican debate and "survivor" is that one involves tried challenges and contestants on the very edge of sanity. the other takes based on an -- takes place on an island. but here is the sad truth that we must own. while the republicans put their backward ideas forward for an
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audience of more than 20 million americans, we put our forward -thinking ideas on the back burner as if we are trying to hide them from the airwaves. think about it. the republicans stand before the nation. they malign our president's record of achievement. they denigrate women and immigrant families and they tell their false stories, and we respond with crickets. tumbleweeds. a cynical move to delay our own party debate. four debates? four debates, and debates we are told not to ask before voters make their decision. this is unprecedented in our
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party's history. this process has never been attempted before. his decree is this exactly? -- whose decree is this exactly? where did it comes from? what national party interest does this decrease or? how does this promote our democratic ideas for making wages go up and household incomes go up against instead of down? how does this help us make our case to the american people? one debate in iowa? that is it? that is all we can afford? the new hampshire debate is cynically wedged in the high point of quality shopping center so as to people watch it as possible. is this how the party selects its nominee? are we becoming something less, something else?
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what ever happened to the tradition of open debate and of a 50-state strategy? [applause] their party leading candidate launches racist attacks on entire ethnic groups of americans to the delight of david duke and other white supremacists, and our response is to limit debates? if all of this bothers you, it should. the leading republican candidate talks openly about forced expulsions, taking away the birthright of american-born children, and we turn our democratic party into the appalling silence of the good,
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silence in the face of the complacency of hate is not democratic off for the party of the united states of america. [applause] we must stand before the american people and show them that we have a better way. it was in a series of debates that abraham lincoln first forged a new national consensus to continue the work of affirming the dignity of every individual and the common good as a nation. now in an ongoing series of debates, the party of lincoln is led by donald trump. donald trump whose deep understanding of the law is such, he said last week that part of the constitution is actually unconstitutional. [laughter] donald trump, whose foreign policy insights are, he said, based entirely on what he has seen on tv.
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we let the circus run unchallenged on every channel what we cower in the shadows under a decree of silence in the ranks, or do we demand equal time to showcase our ideas, our solutions, and real leadership for real results? [applause] let their party be led by a hate spewing carnival barker. our party must be led by compassion, by generosity, by love and concern for one another, and a focus on our country's better future and the future we want for our kids. we must stand up. we must stand together, and we must speak out for the ideas that unite us. believe in the dignity of every individual. i believe in our own
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responsibility to advance common good we share as americans. make no mistake about it, these are volatile and fear filled times in our country. this is no time for silence. our party must not cower from this debate.
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>> republicans say that americans need to work more hours. we must raise the minimum wage pay15 an hour, pay overtime for overtime work, and pay women equal pay to move america forward. we need debate. what are we afraid of? republicans belittle teachers. they want to outlaw labor unions , scoffing at people who would bargain collectively for wages.
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work and the right to bargain collectively for better wages because we know that that makes wages rise for all americans. we need debate. republicans talk about raising the age for social security. democrats care that there are who get up, work in factories, clean buildings. hard-working americans should retire in dignity, not poverty. we need debate. we need debate. republicans traffic in immigrant hate, walls, and turn them forced expulsions. democrats understand the enduring symbol is not a barbed
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wire fence. it is the statue of liberty. we need debates. my friends, i am not the only the office ofing the president of the united states who holds progressive values, but i am the only candidate with 15 years of executive experience as a big-city mayor and as a governor , turning those progressive values into actions, turning progressive goals into progressive achievements, getting things done, new leadership, actions not words. in baltimore, together we saved lives by reducing violence, black lives matter. it's about actions, not words.
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as governor in the face of a national recession, i led our state forward, not back. we increase funding for public education by 37% and made our public schools the best public schools in america for five years in a row. we froze college to wish and in order to make college more affordable for families, actions not words. we passed a living wage, raised minimum wage, expanded family leave and voting rights, passed driver's licenses for immigrants , and banned the sale of combat assault weapons in our state. leadership is about actions, not words, about forging a new consensus.
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we passed the state version of the dream act and marriage equality, and when a republican brothers and sisters petitioned those measures to kill them at the polls, we took the case to the people and one at the ballot. it is about action and not words. thoughtsou with these come the great american poet wrote, webrooks once are each other's business, we are each other's harvest, we are each other's magnetism and bond. whether or not we make the american dream true again for all american families, it is up ,o us, not about the big banks
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big money trying to take over our elections. it is about us. it is about our party. i have afford 15 goals to ,ebuild that dream one by one policy action by policy action, each one reinforcing and commenting each other, bowl, progressive ideas, concrete plans, actions to make our country stronger, for only actions can make the american dream true again around the most important places in our country, the kitchen tables of every american family. to put theseow ideas and all the best ideas of all of our candidates forward before the american people. the american people deserve it. to the cause of our countries better future demands it. we are the democratic party, not the undemocratic party. the topic should be how many,
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not how few. when the lights come up, we will speak to where america is going, not to where we have been. we will ask one another what we can do for our country, not what we can do against immigrants. we will speak to the goodness, compassion, and generosity of americans, for our party is the party of opportunity, the party of the people, the party of our children's better future, so let us engaged this debate, let us make this case to the american people, and together we will rebuild the truth of the american dream we share. thank you very much. may god bless america. and may god bless our democratic party. [applause]
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>> remarks from democratic presidential candidate lincoln chafee. the former rhode island governor spoke to the dnc for over 10 minutes. ♪ >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you, mayor. good morning. what a beautiful city we are in. here very lucky to be yesterday afternoon to take a walk by the mississippi, great city, construction going on everywhere. [laughter] is a good sign. we are five great candidates running for president, and if you add up all the years of facing the voters, there are 92 years of serving in elective office. the leading republican has not
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survey minute of facing the voters. we have 92 years combined. in 2016. decision i believe that three things should come to mind if you decide who will be the next president, past record. secondly, character, who are you . thirdly, what is the vision? where were going to take this country? i would take about myself, and as the mayor says, i'm the only candidate running who has been a mayor, senator, and governor. level, and that means i know how to plow the snow. i now to pick up the trash. schools andf a good had a key property taxes down. i've been reelected three times.
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and lebanon and beirut, the government will be toppled, but they can't take up the trash, very basic stuff at the local level. then the united states senate, and i was there for the bad years, bush and cheney, those were bad years. republican i was back then, right away i knew they were on the wrong track and i voted against the tax cuts that favor the wealthy and took surpluses and turn them into deficits. had september of 11 and the drumbeat for war in iraq, that sold to the reasons saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction and i voted against the war in iraq. minnesotans, your two senators, one of my heroes, paul wellstone, to minnesota senators
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adjoined the 23 to see through those false premises of war in iraq. i was a reliable vote for the environment time and time again, recognize carbon dioxide and human activity were creating climate change. in aed to prevent drilling wildlife refuge. i stood strong on civil liberties, on abortion rights, writesd over again, lgbt over and over again, immigration, mccain-kennedy, nine cosponsors, 2005, i was one of the nine who stepped up and said we need a path to citizenship, and i was one of the cosponsors of that bill. i think we should bring it back and get it passed. i voted against samuel alito to the civil court -- supreme court
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, and stop john bolton from going to the united nations. a bipartisanud group got together to work to ,ross that partisan divide seven democrats, seven republicans coming together. that's what we need more of in washington, obviously. i am proud of the total vote s i took under pressure, and proud of those positions in the united states senate. then, became governor of rhode island in the depths of the recession, one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, people losing their jobs and their homes to foreclosure. we stepped up and do the hard got a people back to work and we had the biggest drop of unemployment of all but four states. at the same time, passing marriage equality -- and we had
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the highest roman catholic state in the country -- so that was an easy, and i made it a priority and put it in my inaugural address. i think it's important for people to love each other, but also for our economy. i want a tolerant atmosphere. that's what makes an economy grow. controversialry you see it playing out nationally on getting undocumented students the right to have in-state tuition, the dream act. we worked hard for that i got it passed. it was an easy. there were a lot of protesters as we push that through. act, thatable care did not just happen. i had to work at it and ensure we had a good team ready. this will not be easy to get people to sign up for an exchange could we did it and i am proud of that. all through these 30 years of public service, i've had no scandals.
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[laughter] >> that's not easy in rhode island. so i'm proud of that. courage tothe take tough votes. i don't flip-flop. future,on for the ladies and gentlemen, i served on the senate foreign relations committee when i was in the senate and elected to chair of the western hemisphere subcommittee, so i've been all to this hemisphere and down through central america, south castro ininner with havana, met world leaders in venezuela, bolivia, ecuador, brazil, peru, throughout the western hemisphere. then i became the chair of the middle east subcommittee, traveled throughout israel, jordan, egypt, afghanistan, iraq, many of the countries in the middle east, lebanon, and
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that the world leaders there. and we see now with what happened with the chinese currency how it effected our stock market that the cliché is true, the world is flat. we are all connected. presidentg for because i know we have big challenges out there. i want to address them, make it a priority. we see the refugees, the war-torn nation's of afghanistan, iraq, syria, libya, and not only a human tragedy, destabilizings of the governments there. you see what right ring groups can do when you have fear an nd anger. , let's have a hand
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for president obama. [applause] kerry.secretary addressthe way we will conflicts overseas. everybody's talking how we stopped iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but the other positive element of this deal is that it was put together with the help of the russians, with the help of the chinese, with the help of the brits, germans, french, and that's how were going to solve these conflicts in the middle east and north the russians,ally chinese, and europeans, so that's why it's so important to get this past, not only because it stops iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but brings us together to work in resolving converts overseas, so i do believe that prosperity does come to peace, and that's why i'm running for president. i want to make this a priority in addressing these converts
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overseas and ending them. agree on many issues, environment, women's issues, affordable care act. i'm the one talking about ending these conflicts overseas. i came up through the vietnam era, and i do not want to see generations go through these conflicts. [applause] that 2016 iselieve going to be a great year for democrats. i do believe that. because, we are right on the key issues. [laughter] we are right on income and equality. the republicans are all wrong. they turned surpluses into deficits. they like giving the rich more tax breaks. they are wrong on that issue. democrats are right. who wants to go to the emergency room again for a five our weight to get your sprained ankle
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taking care of. we are right on immigration. the facet voting block -- growing voting block in the country. of course you want that. environment, the and republicans are wrong. human activity is causing climate change. we are right on that issue. we do see it happening with extreme weather, and everybody knows that the supreme court affects our lives for decades to calm. a democraticve president, democratic senate, democratic house. [applause] right.we are these are republican wars. they started these wars. we are going to end them. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, prosperity through peace. thank you. thank you. [applause] ♪
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>> we will hear more about the presidential race this weekend on newsmakers with stephanie schriiok. she talks about her organization and endorsement of hillary clinton. watch the e-mail -- watch it on c-span. >> this sunday night, brookings institution senior fellow talks about the u.s.'s counterinsurgency in afghanistan. >> the u.s. achieved improvement and security but it depends on
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how it ends. i hesitate but i increasingly interrogate myself and question myself. moment if you thatol but also possible five years down the road, we'll will be back in a new civil war in afghanistan. isis is slowly emerging the. the taliban is the [indiscernible] so if we end up five years down the road, a new civil war haven for thefe taliban and isis, i would say it was not worth the price. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> a former president george w. bush was in new orleans with his wife laura to market the 10th
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anniversary of hurricane katrina. their visit is coming up next on c-span. then more on the recovery effort from today's "watched a journal." our guests include the former orleans newspaper editor. -- washington journal. >> former president george w. bush traveled with his wife laura to new orleans friday to mark the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. included ar styles high school which is benefited from a recovery initiative started by the former first lady. this is 20 minutes. laura bush: thank you very much. she is a wonderful example of a student at warren easton charter school who goes on to college and comes back and teaches.
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that is so meaningful. i was thrilled i got to meet her here when i visited when she was a student and now get to come back while she is an english teacher. i also want to thank jared for leading us in the pledge of allegiance. mayor, thank you for joining us today. thank you for the roundtable discussion we just had, which was really like a reunion. it is great to see so many people we have seen on other visits. thank you very much, dr. norman francis, senator landrieu, thank you. we have met here many times before and again today. thank you for all of the work each one of you have done to bring new orleans back. we really appreciate you. i met kara in 2001 when she was
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teaching as a teach for america member in baton rouge. she is now the executive director of teach for america greater new orleans. she is also on the louisiana board as a board member on the board of elementary and secondary education. kara and thousands of other educators have committed their lives to improve and expand educational opportunities for students in new orleans. and for that, i am grateful. thank you. and a very special thanks to the principal. thank you very much for your leadership and for hosting us today. we are thrilled to be back here at warren easton charter high school. i am happy to be introducing someone who is traveling with us today, secret service agent tj mathews. [applause]
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tj is an alumna of warren easton high school. as a teacher and librarian, i care deeply about developing every student's love for reading and learning. this was important to me as first lady of texas and of the united states. in 2002, with the help of the ambassador, who is over here, i established the laura bush foundation for america's libraries to provide funds to update, expand, and diversify the print and book collections of america's libraries. in 2005, after hurricane katrina devastated the gulf coast, and many school libraries, we were having our final board meeting of the laura bush foundation.
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we had raised all of the money we wanted to for our endowment. i told our board members, i can't quit thinking about those libraries across the gulf coast. one of our board members, also with us today, said why don't we keep raising money and whatever we raise now we will give way to the gulf coast schools? the lara bush foundation for america's libraries wanted to help. so at that meeting, one month after hurricane katrina, we founded the gulf coast school library recovery initiative, raising $6.4 million to rebuild the library collections across the gulf coast. the gulf coast initiative has given grants to 124 school libraries, warren easton is one of them.
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warren easton is one of 46 new orleans schools that have received library grants. after the hurricane, warren easton was under five feet of water. the cafeteria and the gym were demolished. the second-floor library was damaged from the third-floor roof leaks. the computer systems were ruined and over 9000 books were destroyed by water and mold. today we just have the roundtable upstairs and the library is filled with books, approximately 16,000. warren easton's is again a great place for the next generation of students to study, to learn, and to fall in love with reading. i'm happy the laura bush foundation could contribute to
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the recovery of so many gulf coast schools and i am thrilled that books are back on the shelves and in the hands of children. where they belong. thanks to each and everyone of you went to all of the volunteers across our country and to the citizens of new orleans. thank you for everything you have done to help rebuild the gulf coast. and a special thanks to the librarians who came from all over the country who donated their time and talent to help the gulf coast libraries rebuild and restore their collections. george and i are grateful to the work of so many of you and we are happy to see the big easy is thriving.
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thank you all. [applause] and now i invite my husband, president bush, to the podium. [applause] pres. bush: thank you. as has been mentioned, in 2006, we came here to warren easton charter school after katrina hit. we are honored and pleased to be back. i can't think of a better place to come here in new orleans, except for some of the restaurants. [laughter] the slogan that guided the school when we visited is true today. we believe in success. and because of that success, the schools like this have achieved, you have given all americans reasons to believe that new orleans is back. and better than ever. mr. mayor, thank you for your hospitality.
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you have been so gracious to us. we want to thank you. if enthusiasm and a good strategy counts, new orleans is in good hands. we thank you very much. [applause] i bring greetings from one of the cochairman of the bush-katrina fund. 41. one of the great lines of all-time, who would have thought getting out of bed at age 91 would be more dangerous than jumping out of an airplane at 90? [laughter] i want to thank david garland, the president of the charter foundation board, all of the folks who have shown up. we had a roundtable discussion. many of our friends were there. people we work with. norman francis, for example. one of the great minds of new orleans. in spite of the devastation, we have many fond memories. i remember sitting on top of one of those big ships strategizing.
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i think you were drinking. i wasn't of course. [laughter] it is great to see you. we are honored you took time to come. members of congress, members of the state house, superintendent white, on and on. thank you for coming. i really want to thank the leadership of the school. i must confess a principal is always a teacher. she tried to teach me with the band here. i know she did not say it, but she was thinking this boy needs a lot of work. we are thrilled with your hospitality. in a cruel twist, hurricane katrina brought despair to what should have been a season of hope, the start of a new school year. students who had recently gone
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back to school had no school to go back to. many had nowhere to live. the floodwaters, as you know, claimed schools and homes alike. the ground we are on today was under water. all of us are old enough to remember the images of our fellow americans amid a sea of misery and ruin. we will remember the lives lost across the gulf coast. their memories are in our hearts and i hope you pray for their families. hurricane katrina is a story of loss beyond measure and of commitment and compassion. i hope you remember what i remember, 30,000 people saved in the aftermath of the storm by u.s. military personnel, by law
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enforcement, and by citizens who volunteered. i hope you remember the thousands who came here on a volunteer basis to provide food for the hungry and find shelter for those who had no home to live in. there are people around the country who prayed for you. many of whom showed up so they can say they help to a fellow citizen who was hurting. one of the groups were the educators of new orleans. it would have been easy to walk away from the wreckage. the educators thought of the children who would be left behind. you understood bringing new orleans back to life requires getting students back to school. even though some have lost everything, you let nothing stand in your way. today we celebrate the resurgence of new orleans schools. we honor the resilience of a
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great american city whose levees gave out, but whose people never gave up. out of these devastation, you vow to do more than just open the schools. you vow to challenge the status quo. long before the great flood, too many students drifted from grade to grade without ever learning the skills needed for success. parents lacked choices to intervene. principals and teachers lacked the authority to chart a more hopeful course. 60% of the students were failing. it was the soft bigotry of low expectations. the decisions made in the dark hours after katrina sparked a decade of reform. rather than reopen the schools, reorganize charter schools that are independently operated and
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publicly accountable for high standards. more than nine in 10 students now call our charter school home. administrators have the freedom to slice through red tape and the freedom to innovate. parents have choices if dissatisfied. the results have been extraordinary. the reason we know is because we measure and any attempt to undermine accountability does a huge disservice to the students who go to the schools in new orleans. [applause] according to a new report, the percentage of students graduating on time has soared since katrina. the percentage of students who scored better than the state average almost doubled.
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so has the percentage of students meeting basic standards. you've got to ask why. it just did not happen. a lot of it was structural and requires leadership. people who stared into the eye of the storm and refused to back down. we are here in new orleans to remind our country about what strong leadership means and are here to salute the leaders. i think of jenny here at warren easton. after katrina, jenny left new orleans. was forced to leave. she started a website called warren easton in exile. the site reunited students. when jenny returned, the first-place she went was not her house. it was the school. as she puts it, i would rather see my own house burned down
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than the school. jenny would give anything for warren easton and today we give teachers like her our sincere thanks. [applause] it is amazing what happened in the city after the storm wiped out the school system. educational entrepreneurs decided to do something about the devastation and the failure. i have met a lot of them when i was president and subsequent to my presidency. one person took a leadership role in new schools for new orleans. he worked with others to launch dozens of schools and turn ideas and reform into reality. as a theoretical exercise, it is important to look at new orleans and realize it is an exercise of implementing a plan that works.
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he was so encouraged by what he saw here, he is talking up the reforms to other cities. around the country -- isn't it amazing? the storm that nearly destroyed new orleans. new orleans is the beacon for school reform. [applause] he represents the virtues bill clinton and i had in mind when we announced the new presidential leadership scholars program. and we are honored he was among the first class of scholars. achieving these results took librarians salvaging the collection from water and wreckage. listen, i know something about librarians. [laughter] i married one. i am really proud of the lara bush foundation. she has talked about the grants, citizens who supported the
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foundation who they did not stay very long and yet like many around the country, they care deeply about the future. i hope the students here -- and we are thrilled you're here and thank you for staying awake. [laughter] i hope you realize the compassion of others in helping you realize a good education. it turns out every good school, a school that is succeeding and we know it is succeeding because we measure against other standards, requires strong principles. nd there is no doubt that lexi medley is a strong leader. [applause] i love what she says. she says, if you fail, we failed. is our product.
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we don't believe in putting out anything but the best. in order to succeed, in order to lead properly, you got to set high goals. and high expectations. and that is what lexi and the school have done. as you heard, the school has graduated 100% of its seniors for the past five years. [applause] lexi, you have earned our admiration and gratitude along with our best wishes for a happy birthday tomorrow. [applause] stories like this and others, we see a determination to build better than before. and it is a spirit much stronger than any storm. it is a spirit that has lifted communities laid low by tornadoes or terrorist attacks. it is a spirit that i saw in new orleans 10 years ago.
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it is very evident today. we see the spirit in the population that has picked back up as family settled down. ouristsit in the t who are drawn here by the hotel rooms and restaurants. we see it in laura. we met her in 2006 when she was a senior. she is happy to be back at the school she loved. she was happy to be back at the school she loved at the time. and you know what she told me? she said i want to be a teacher. and here she is as a member of this faculty teaching english. i probably needed her when i was in high school. [laughter] when i asked how students have overcome adversity, she said we teach them to be resilient. that is in the culture of the city. she is right.
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the resiliency they teach here is the same that the city show ed in the wake of hurricane katrina. on this anniversary, the work of making a stronger and more hopeful new orleans goes on. you have achieved a lot over 10 years. and with belief in success, and a faith in god, new orleans will achieve even more. the darkness from a decade ago has lifted. the crescent city has risen again. and its best days lie ahead. thank you for having me. [applause] >> one moment before the band comes up. i want to give -- we want to give president bush a token of our appreciation. ♪
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[applause] ♪ george bush: thanks everybody. laura bush: thank you.
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>> this weekend, politics, books, and american history on c-span saturday. 10thcane katrina's anniversary with live coverage from new orleans. speakers include president bill clinton and new orleans mayor mitch landrieu. speeches from hillary clinton and bernie sanders at the democratic national meeting in minneapolis. on booktv on saturday at 10:00 peralta talksr about his book "undocumented." it traces his journey from an immigrant to princeton. to mark the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina, several programs about the aftermath. including haley barbour.
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on c-span3 saturday afternoon, a few minutes past 2:00, a former nasa astronaut discusses the history of space stations -- comparing the history of russian and american stations since a 1950's. on sunday at 4 p.m. on real americans, and appointment in tokyo. it is a film documenting the course of world war ii in the pacific theater, from the japanese invasion of the philippines through the surrender ceremony in 1945. get our complete schedule at >> coming up next, more on the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. lookthis morning, first a at the recovery effort with the city's former mayor. then karen with the army corps of engineers talks about the
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levy system. and what is being done to protect for future storms. and a reporter shares his experience of covering katrina and its aftermath. >> now joining us is mark morial. good morning. you are quoted this morning and the washington post as saying we are at halftime. what do you mean by that? city has not been fully populated. all neighborhoods have not fully come back. they are still pending if you will reimbursement claims that the city has with fema. they are rebuilding the renaissance, the resurgence of the city. it has quite a distance to go. and we at the urban league
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applaud the progress that has been made. outwe have also pointed from a report this week about the continuing challenges of poverty, jobs, income, education -- they still confront this region. are 10rstanding where we years later, it is important that people not spike the ball. do not pop the cork on a champagne bottle. but really applaud the work that has been done that permits this continuation. it took san francisco 25 years to come back after the devastating earthquake in the early part of the 1900s. and it is rebuilding of new orleans, i believe, is still going to take another 10-15 years to be full and be complete. successese are the
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and the not so successful areas in your view? lots of public and for structure has been rebuilt. there is a new levee system. better thanerably the system of 10 years ago. it has new engineering, the floodgates and the storm gates. secondly, the 38 brand-new public schools that have been built. because the old schools were destroyed. thirdly, many people through a combination of government compensation and private insurance, their own sweat equity have built their homes -- they have rebuilt businesses. and it is visible in many parts of the city. real really think the underscore should be that the perseverance, the commitment of people because of the culture and history of new orleans has
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been the driver of all that we have seen up until this point. host: 202 is the area code. 748-8000 for new orleans residents. did you face any large hurricanes when you are mayor? and what was your reaction? : perhaps the most serious one was hurricane george in 1998 which required us to call for a voluntary evacuation of the city and required us to use the dome of the convention center as a last resort. the hurricane was bearing down on the city, it could have been katrina. it diverted as many at the end, and it hit the gulf coast of
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mississippi. that hurricane i think was the most serious threat on the city in quite a bit of time. and new orleans has also had flooding incidents occasioned by heavy rainfall. and we had one or two memorable flooding incidents as a result of the rainfall. nothing of the scale of katrina. because it is important to emphasize and reemphasize that walls on theood drainage canals, and the wall along the industrial canal were large and pivoting factors to the flooding that took place after hurricane katrina had passed by the city. we face to that. it was indeed a challenge. i made it my business during the years i was mayor from 1994-2002 to be briefed extensively on hurricane preparedness.
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each and every may, i wanted to make sure the city was indeed fully prepared. there was nothing of the scale of katrina. and i would emphasize that in a major disaster, federal, state, and local cooperation is essential. and it isn't that one branch of government or the other is fully responsible. because the assets you need, the response required requires a tremendous effort if there is going to be an evacuation. certainly if there will be the kind of humanitarian response needed from people who may be stuck. i think now, the lesson learned is that there has to be a transportation plan to help of those who may not have automobiles, those who may not have private transportation, to evacuate when there is a threat. of a big hurricane.
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host: the black population in new orleans decreased. 118,000 since katrina. what is the significance of that? guest: it is important to recognize that the city still remains this cultural gumbo. this mix of people. approximately 60% of the population remains african-american, with the remainder being white, asian-american, primarily vietnamese, and latino. i think what it reflects, for those who are renters who did not own their own homes, it was difficult coming back. many rental units were not quickly or even to this date fully restored. secondly, much of the black middle class was displaced. there was a layoff of some 750,000 teachers. in areas of the city like pontchartrain park in new orleans east, they got a very slow start, primarily because
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there was an effort by some, a suggestion and plan by some, that those neighborhoods should not be rebuilt. they are playing catch up in the rebuilding process. so it has been difficult. now you have a large new orleans diaspora in places like baton rouge, houston, atlanta. some of the river parishes between new orleans and baton rouge. many of the people who evacuated remain in the region to such an extent that now baton rouge is the largest city in terms of population in the state of louisiana. host: let's take some calls. we want to show you these facts from the new york times before we do that. property taxes have doubled in new orleans since katrina. flood insurance rates have tripled. water bills, will more than double by 2020. and home prices in some historically black neighborhoods have doubled as well.
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marc morial, our guest. larry is in bowling green, kentucky. hi, larry. caller: i want to challenge to listen to what i said. that pompous, arrogant donald trump takes the crowbar and do some good down in new host: mr. mayor, do you have any comments for that? guest: donald trump proposed a high-rise apartment building if i recall, in new orleans right after the hurricane but it didn't get built. host: he has a hotel down there, doesn't he? i think he's got one down in the c.b.d. guest: i'm not sure of that. but interesting. you know i'm going to stay away , since he's a presidential candidate and stay away from commenting on presidential politics this morning. host: if you're in new orleans and you want to talk to the
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former mayor, call us. stephen is in st. louis. stephen, you're on with marc morial. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i'm a retired federal employee up in st. louis here. i have watched all the town hall meetings all through the week. whenever they have been on. and i remember very vividly. i tried to go down there and to volunteer work and i didn't get selected. and i've got two very quick comments. i've been seeing and i remember this back in 2005. there was a lot of comments about the poor people couldn't get trailers to live in. fema was slow. there were bodies all over the place, that we lost all of these people. i need some understanding.
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this was a catastrophic -- just looking at some of the pictures this morning, i can't even imagine what those poor people when through. i don't want to use the blame game thing, but what were some of the problems back then? i know that people were utterly frustrated and i understand. my heart goes out to them. that's the first thing. the second thing is the job issue. we need to get these young people to work. i mean, i'll be quite honest with you. if i didn't have a job, no way to get a job, i might be doing something illegal. i'm going to be quite honest about that. these young people, this is our livelihood. this is our future. and i put that on the politicians. when you get elected to office, one of your main goals to me is to be a salesman, to get people, to get companies to come into your area. i know that's a difficult thing. i've never been in sales. so maybe i shouldn't be saying
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that, but i looked at our politicians and they've got to hit that road. they've got to get these companies in there somehow so that we can get these young kids to give them some hope. and that is my comment. stephen in st. louis, thank you. guest: i agree fully with steven with the idea that there is no more important issue in america today than trying to provide employment opportunities which lead to positive quality of life for young people. and what the country has to do is step away from the traditional political conversation which says well, is it a government responsibility? is it a private sector responsibility? is it all about education? it is all of the above. it is a private sector ability. in my work at the urban league, we encourage the private sector
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to invest and understand the great hope and possibilities of america's urban communities which have seen tremendous disinvestment over the years. but it's also a government responsibility. we can spend trillions in iraq and in afghanistan, if we can spend significant money, public dollars on foreign aid to assist other countries, if we can provide tax incentives, some of which encourage investment abroad, then we can, if you will, spend and invest in providing job opportunities for the young people of america. you've got do better with schools. yeah, we have to do that. but some of this is also by young adults. and young adults who is do want to work, do have the capability of working, and there isn't enough opportunity for them. and i'll give everyone a number between 16 and 24.
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one out of every five young people in america is neither working nor in school. that is seven million people. we at the urban league have an initiative. we've got programs in new orleans and in several communities, many, communities around the nation. and we do this work. however, we have long lines of people who want to be part of our programs and so we're fighting every day for more, if you will, investment to fund more job training slots in communities across the country. host: next call from marc morial comes from stephanie in wilton , p.a. stephanie, we're listening to you. just listen to your telephone
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and turn down the volume on your. go ahead and start talking, ok? caller: ok. i'm just -- host: you know what, stephanie, i'm going to go ahead and move on. to all the callers, once you get on, turn down the volume on your tv. you'll be able to hear everything through your telephone and if you leave your tv up, then we get this feedback and it slows the program down a little bit. jeannie is in new orleans. jeannie, you're on the air. caller: hi. yes. my husband and i returned to new orleans in march of 2006. i write a little neighborhood column which i was asked to do because i started a kind of a blog after this -- aftermath. but one of the things that really bothers me here is that the amount of insurance that people are paying for their properties is just horrendous. and nothing has been done to help get that under control. this has caused so many people to lose their homes and yes,
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there are new people who have come in here and are building and were grateful -- we're grateful to have them but a lot of the people who were here before katrina and came back and tried to rebuild have been not only unsuccessful, but have lost their homes. people who were in their 60's and retired and, you know, their house is almost paid for and suddenly, they an enormous mortgage because of the failure of both the government and the banks for not helping people to be able to get back on their feet without causing them such distress. so we're talking about middle class people here. host: jeannie, can you give us an idea of what the insurance cost changes have been and what neighborhood do you live in new orleans? caller: i live in lakeview. and i can tell you that our insurance just for basic, and i
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mean, not great insurance, but basic insurance costs over $6,000 a year now. and with property tax the way they've gone up, it's about $10,000 a year just on those two items. it's ridiculous. it just has really hurt the people who came back early on in this game. and we saw many of our friends who have lost their homes because of this. they couldn't afford to live here anymore. host: thank you, ma'am. let's hear from former mayor marc morial. guest: i'm glad jeannie has raised this issue because all of the numbers show that the cost of living whether you're paying a mortgage or rent plus insurance, the housing costs have dramatically increased in this community. but what i would say to jeannie is that insurance companies in
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the state of louisiana are regulated by the state commissioner of insurance. and i would encourage him to be invited to come on this show and talk specifically about increases in homeowners insurance that really is making it difficult for people who have returned to the stay in the city and for many, many others to come back. this is why i've called this a continuation. because the city, region, neighborhoods continue to face challenges. lakeview is one of those great communities of homeowners, tightly knit, many of whom came back. and these issues need to be addressed and i've said to people, look, southeastern louisiana is
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always going to be at risk of a severe weather event. but so is coastal mississippi, coastal alabama, coastal florida, all the way around south carolina and north carolina, over to texas. the beauty of the coast is that it gives us beauty. it gives us abundance. it gives us fisheries. it gives us offshore oil and gas, but also the gulf of mexico in the summer time because of the warmth of the waters is really, really a feeder that strengthens hurricanes so communities are going to be at risk. this insurance issue needs to be addressed certainly by those first line who are responsible and i think that's the state the commissioner of insurance and i think members of legislature have to raise this as a high priority issue. host: clifton is calling in from rochelle, georgia. hi, clifton. caller: good morning. the best i remember there was
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some $2 billion in credit card fraud that went on during the hurricane. i would like to know how much of that money has been recovered and how many people have actually been prosecuted for that fraud and i'll take the answer off the air and you guys have a good day. host: mr. mayor? guest: i don't know what the number is and i'm not the best person to answer that question. that should probably be directed to the law enforcement authorities and the district attorney and the united states attorney here to determine what in fact may have occurred with that. but i couldn't address that. host: i want to read two tweets to you, mr. mayor, and get your view on this. this is the first one. 52% of black males in new orleans are unemployed, yet obama fights to give five million illegal aliens work perments. followed by this one. what impact of the influx have
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on the vacant of low cost housings for those who would like to return? guest: the people who request work permits for undocumented workers are businesses. restaurants, sometimes, hotels, meat processing plants, if you will, large farming concerns. and the law gives these businesses under the current law the right to ask for work permits. secondly, and i have to say this, many of the immigration reform bills would involve a
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tightening of the eligibility for work permits and i know at the national urban league, we fought for a system where less work permits are available for businesses when unemployment is high in the united states. and i think it's important to recognize that the main proponent of work permits are many business concerns in the country. not president obama. host: paul, chesapeake, virginia. you're on with former new orleans mayor marc morial. caller: yes, sir. i understand as a marine that new orleans is a major port city for a lot of imports through the gulf. however, i grew up just northwest in the state of oklahoma and moore, oklahoma, has since 1999
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has had three f-5, f-4 hurricanes and they have had very, very little federal support, but they have rebuilt on their own. so what is the issue with new orleans besides that the -- it's a major port city and one of their major sources of income, of course, is not only the port, but tourism. cityant to see how a rebuilds? they've rebuilt three times in oklahoma and that's my comment except that -- you know, i understand new orients has had -- new orleans has had its issue.
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and also i could go on about this after 10 years. but also the crime rate new orleans dropped almost 75% after katrina and in houston, it when up over 50%. guest: many american communities have faced natural disasters. new orleans faced a natural disaster and a man made disaster. the flooding, the devastation that took place in new orleans took place because of failed levees. levees which were improperly engineered, constructed and maintained. breaks wee levee , would not be having this conversation about new orleans. but we would about southern mississippi because southern mississippi also received a brunt. alabama received a brunt of hurricane katrina also.
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under normal circumstances, when you have such a man-made negligence people would have , gone to federal court and sought compensation. through the civil justice system. in this instance, the army corps of engineers is immune from most lawsuits involving how they design, how they engineer, how they construct and how they maintain the systems around the united states. that fact's got to be clear. if i said 10 years ago and i say now, i think that people suffering -- i would suggest that most people who suffer from natural disasters don't realize that the federal government has probably played a role. if they have been victimized by
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flooding that they may not realize. it is a federal system. there's an automatic right under the stafford act in a natural disaster for public infrastructure to receive compensation for people to be rebuilt so a lot of times there, may be federal support that people may not, if you will, realize. people in the gulf region, new orleans, mississippi, i think have rolled up their sleeves and really worked hard to rebuild. and mayor landrieu here in new orleans has also been very upfront about thanking the philanthropists, the volunteers, the faith-based organizations, the community-based organizations and foundations from all over the world who have helped the gulf coast in a time of great need. katrina was an extraordinary catastrophe for this nation and for this region and for this city.
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host: and according to fema, 738,000 households in louisiana were approved for assistance after katrina. 274,000 in mississippi, 55,000 in alabama this was on the fema website. if you want to see these facts and figures for yourself, here is a map of the city of new orleans and the red dots are where bodies were found. 1,073 is the official death toll from katrina. this down here is the garden district. over here is the french quarter. this is the central business district this area here. and over here is the lower ninth ward. reme lake view is up here in new orleans. christopher is in palm bay, florida. you're on with marc morial. caller: hello, sir. how are you doing? i just wanted to thank you for
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your words. you know, i'm an african-american male and i live here in florida. and when this occurred, too great things are happening. i just moved to florida and my baby girl was born that same year. and i was one of the community emergency response members that had to help transition with the families that came here. i lived in florida and i don't know if you guys are watching the weather but we're facing some hurricane warnings and so forth before next week. and i just wanted to make sure that we as a country is doing what we need to do. i do a lot of community work and i go through the struggles and experiences of just looking at how we are put across, how we are looked as young men and women of color. and the disadvantages that we may face and not by any fact, though i play on that, but i do see that there is a disconnect when it comes to servicing some of the low income areas. i, myself, i've done a lot of community work, worked with the youth immensely and i'm a
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candidate for u.s. congress for my district here in florida. and i see this as an opportunity with this 10th year anniversary and recovery to fortify our efforts in supporting communities, making sure that neighborhoods are safe but not only that, making sure that our response time to storms. because we have a lot of seniors here in florida that are worried about this upcoming storm, erika. and i just want to know if you have any take on that. host: christopher, thank you very much. guest: i think you're elevating the idea that every community, particularly gulf coast communities have to have a strong disaster response plan, and that disaster response plan has to understand that there are people in nursing homes, senior citizen centers, vulnerable people in every single community who may need help and assistance in evacuating or in responding. maybe someone like me can get in
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a car, travel to another city very quickly, put down a credit card and stay for a week, 10 days or two weeks in a hotel. and that's what many people did when they had to evacuate. if they had the wherewithal. if they didn't have the wherewithal, maybe they continue do that and every community needs to be super serious about its disaster response plan and specifically, specifically, think about what its most vulnerable communities need. vulnerable communities are communities of color, senior citizens, communities that are not communities of color. the older or if you will, senior citizens in a community, the disabled citizens in a community. what are you going to do with people who are in hospitals? how are you going to provide for that? every community absolutely needs -- and with katrina, i think -- was, was a wake-up call about how we respond to indeed, disasters.
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and i live because the national urban league is headquartered in new york. and hurricane sandy was an interesting example as i watched community leaders and politicians and elected officials aggressively work to respond to sandy even in that instance. there's still a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done in parts of new york and new york three years after hurricane sandy. host: when i was down there earlier this week, two things i heard from a lot of the residents was there seem to be kind of resistance to being called resilience and a little bit of taking offense at the narrative that were
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coming out from people outside of the community. guest: it allows you to applaud the progress being made. remember, those who lost their lives give due respect to those that face great difficulty. but also there needs to be this commitment and this continuation. this community still has, if you will, deep emotional and psychological, if you will, scars. but this community, i think, is also demonstrated -- has demonstrated this example of human perseverance. one really may not know what it's like to get knocked down, to
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not know if your home if the , people you love, the place you worship, the relationships you have, the job that you've invested in, the community that you know, is going to be there because in an instant, it seems to all be gone. yet 10 years later, the perseverance and strength of people and if there's something to celebrate, that's what needs to be celebrated. the ability to overcome, the ability to withstand the pressure, the ability to rebuild even after one of the great human tragedies. and i would say that for my americans anywhere in the nation, if your community faces this kind of challenge, we all need to be there, assisting, helping, lifting, you up also. host: marc morial, president and c.e.o. of the national urban league and former mayor of new orleans for eight years. thank you for being on the "washington journal." guest: thank you.
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karen is with the u.s. army corps of engineers. the levee system been rebuilt? guest: good morning to you. it is great to be here 10 years after katrina brought such havoc and devastation to people that live here. but also a big wake-up call to the nation. hurricanecall it be damage system around new orleans , it has been built stronger and better than we could have ever imagined in the past. and not only is it an incredible system for the people of new orleans, it is also great for the nation. it shows what we can do. and all week long, i have been hearing other people talk about it being a world-class system. spent on much has been
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the system? ofst: we have a commitment two administrations and the congress to provide for $14.5 billion. about $11 billion of that has been for the hurricane system around new orleans alone. there are other parts of the program to make further improvements, such as interior damage. to replace the temporary pumps and closure structures around the canals. is the permanent replacement going on now. other things were done like storm proofing, the numerous pumping station. a lot of other components around there to provide for environmental mitigation. overall, it has been an incredible piece of work. ost: we are going to put the phone numbers up. orleansto hear from new
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summoned toat have say. orleans, callnew us. 202-748-8001 is a number for you to call elsewhere. has the rebuild been finished? has a 1% system that chance of happening each year, is complete. it was completed in september of 2011. you may remember hurricane isaac hit in august, 2012. seven years almost to the day katrina hit. so we were very pleased to see that the system performed as designed. so people in metro new orleans, everyone stayed dry.
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the people outside the system, with different levee systems partly in place, did experience flooding, as well as considerable flooding on the north shore. the hurricane system we built for that hundred year storm is in place, finished, and doing what it is supposed to. host: when katrina hit, did the levees break or were they overrun? guest: several things happened when katrina hit. first, the existing system, which is totally different from what we were able to design and construct after katrina, averaged about 50% finished on the east bank, the lake pontchartrain vicinity, was finished. the amount of search in the area around new orleans, it was about 15 feet. it was 32 feet on the coast. and then the other thing
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responsible for the flooding were there were four floodwalls on the canals that failed. they failed by the waves topping the floodwalls and causing upward pressure on the walls, causing them to fail. host: from, new orleans area's upgraded levees not enough for next katrina, engineers say. here is a quote from retired lieutenant general robert van antwerp. former commander of the u.s. army corps of engineers. the new levee system, though it would not be destroyed by another katrina, would most certainly be overtopped and there will still be a lot of people that will be inundated. guest: we call him general van. when he was the chief engineer, at that time, we were still designing and building the system. one thing we were able to do -- and it was a true lesson learned
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from all the engineering analyses that we examined after katrina. part of katrina we designed for was the standard probable flood. what type of large flood or hurricane happened in the past? katrina taught us that was not good enough. katrina, the size and surge of it, no one imagined. we took 152 past and potential storms over 150 tracks -- in other words, different paths a hurricane could travel, and apply that over the physical features on the ground and generated 63,000 hydrographs for any storm from a five year to a 5000 year rate of return. we added risk and uncertainty on top of that. we also projected out 50 years for both subsiding and sea level rising climate change.
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that is what we designed and built to. that means the system is resilient. first, the amount of surge expected from the 100 year storm, 1% event, is much lower than the system in place. that is 25 to 32 feet tall now. when katrina hit, in august of 2005, a lot of those floodwalls were only 12 feet high. now some of those areas are over 30 feet. katrina is said to be a 100 year storm. so if you have a storm the size of katrina or bigger, heart of this system could be overtopped. so you could get interior flooding. there is room to hold the water that could come in. basically what we have done is put in a perimeter to block the surge that comes in, minimize it, and then there is an interior drainage system that removes the water.
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so the system will stay there. host: final question before we go to calls. from the "new york times" yesterday, they described the levee system in place in 2005 as a "fatally defective system to begin with." is that accurate? guest: i could describe it lots of different ways. i am an engineer. the system in place was not a system. it was a series of projects. everything was as weak as the weakest components. the surveying data we based the previous system on was designed several years earlier. and the datum turned out to be inaccurate. another thing responsible for what happened with katrina is that the foundations of those floodwalls were shallow, and they were not able to hold up under the waves that came overtopped and ended up uplifting them. based on what we knew at the
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time, the system did not perform. it is fortunate we were able to spend time after that to do hydraulic modeling and all the design changes to make sure at -- to make sure we truly built a hurricane system that would reduce risk for the people in new orleans. host: 202 is the area code for our numbers. we want to specify we have a number for new orleans residents only. (202) 748-8000 is that number. we begin with peter in pennsylvania. you are on with karen durham-aguilera of the u.s. army corps of engineers. caller: hi. i am calling in favor of the army corps. i think it is a regional problem, as opposed to a national problem. i remember when agnes hit in
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central pennsylvania. everything the corps did to control flooding in pennsylvania was relevant. i think it is a systemic problem, where maybe the corps is focusing more on certain areas and eliminating others as a priority. that is it. host: ms. durham-aguilera? guest: thank you for your interest and calling in. you know, every country we deal with, and the u.s. is no exception, unfortunately waits for a catastrophe to happen before they take action. so katrina was a wake-up up call. it was bigger than just new orleans and louisiana. it truly made us rethink the vulnerability of numerous areas of the country, whether coastal -- in this country we are subject to hurricanes, tornadoes, river flooding, wildfires -- it truly made as re-examine everything we were
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doing. if we look at different events on the country, hurricane sandy. when it hit in october of 2012, it also brought in those areas a surge that people were not ready for. but because of the lessons learned from katrina, the response to that was the norm is. it was truly incredible how the local entities, everybody was working together to first respond to sandy. but especially in the wake the recovery happened. everything we are doing on the north atlantic seaboard, from repairing the system to adding the further protection in engineered dunes along the shorelines but also the recovery strategy that we were able to publish this year, called the north atlantic coastal comprehensive, put together a risk framework for the atlantic
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seaboard but that people can use across the country to make decisions on floodplain management. and so, i would say katrina taught us a lot. we have been applying those lessons not just around the country, but we do a lot of technical exchanges with other countries. we are sharing the lessons learned with other countries. just as we are learning from them. the focus has expanded the way we think about risk reduction and especially resiliency. host: angelo from new orleans. please go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. you know i am 68. , i was here for betsy and i stayed for katrina. as far as london avenue canal, which broke -- i used to catch turtles there when i was a kid. and i will be honest with you. i blame the corps of engineers
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for not having -- it seems like every project they get into, they tried to cheap it out, cut corners. the corners they cut caused me to lose a corvette, a chevy tahoe. the water -- katrina was not a bad storm. until the corps of engineers admits it was a manmade disaster, that the corps of engineers and the orleans gas industry, with all the canals dug out of the wetlands. and they destroyed the wetlands. there used to be islands on the outskirts that would slow down or take some of the brunt out of the storm. the islands are not there anymore.
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they are gone. the wetlands need to be restored. more important than the levees, we need to restore the wetlands, please. host: thank you. karen durham-aguilera of the u.s. army corps of engineers. host: thank you for calling in and for living here and doing everything you are doing for the community. angelo asked a lot of different questions. and a lot of very essential topics we worry about. first, after katrina, our chief of engineers was lieutenant general stock. he immediately took responsibility for what the u.s. army corps of engineers did. the way we had a series of projects that were not built the
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way they should. but also for the things we did not know about. he commissioned a study, a peer review of over 150 people from different federal agencies, state agencies, academia, different countries, to examine what happened with the existing work and what we need to do to come up with a system that is stronger and better and able to truly reduce the risk of flooding for the people of new orleans. that is the system we built. but there are so many other factors that have been going on for decades. around louisiana one of the most , significant is subsidence. 2010, there were 1900 square miles of marshland that has been lost in the entire state of louisiana. that subsidence factor is one we worry about. it is far more significant than sea level rise.
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but the other thing across louisiana that has been happening is the loss of the wetlands. the loss of environmental features that can help slow down the energy that hurricane surge can bring in and are so vital to the cultural and economic and lifeblood of louisiana. so there are numerous efforts that have been ongoing. the state of louisiana has a master plan. we have been working with them on louisiana coastal activities. there are a lot of projects planned that can be part of the restore act that came in under the bp oil spill. there are lots of different efforts and plans. some are ongoing. there is so much more work to do to make a difference. to make things better. host: how do you rebuild a barrier island and what is the effect of having one? guest: some people say you rebuild a barrier island through moving sediment. some say you can do it by moving
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material in. one of the things we know -- and i have to go back to hurricane sandy, i was along the shorelines of new jersey and new york a couple days after sandy and i felt like i was back in louisiana. and i say that because in every area where people had an elevated home and they had an anchored foundation and there was room between their property and the coastline, they suffered the least amount of damage. what that told us is, in those areas where we had what we called engineered dunes -- so we had shoreline protection in place to help block the effects of the waves, we know that type of thing does make a difference. it does mitigate the damage storm surge can do. barrier islands are other environmental features, combined with the structural things we have done, combined with surge barriers and with elevated homes
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and zoning and people having flood insurance and listening to evacuation orders, all of that together helps mitigate risk and reduce the risk of flooding. it really takes a multi-line defense where you put all of , these together to get to the best solution on how you can reduce the damage hurricane surge flooding can cause. host: ralph, from washington, d.c., you are on with the u.s. army corps of engineers. caller: i am glad you are doing these great efforts. but your initial projects destroyed the wetlands. on the subject i called in for, there are new estimates. and the ipcc assumes we have some miraculous way of taking carbon out of the atmosphere. you are talking about sea level rise by 2050. these are heroic efforts and yay, we are bringing louisiana back, but i am wondering if your
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projects work with sea level rises. but what are you going to do about manhattan and new york and boston and the southern part of florida? you will build dikes around that. we are chasing our tail on the initial thing. unless we change the way we are doing things, why don't we move 'e move these people inland 15 or 20 miles? in 20 years, we will not have coastal cities anymore. situation.o joke the ipc see is assuming some dracula's thing with the lowest common denominator every century, which every scientist it is as salt says ridiculous number and assumes we have some dracula's way of moving tons