tv Newsmakers CSPAN October 2, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EDT
supreme court reporter talking about the key cases that will be coming up. we will also be talking about the clean power plan, the obama administration's power plan with david don ager at 8:30. at 9:15 we will be joined by david french, staff writer for the national review and talking about campaign 2016. that is all coming up tomorrow on the washington journal. we will see you back here tomorrow morning. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] next, newsmakers with mary kay henry, president of the service employees international union.
then the first debate between presidential candidates hillary clinton and donald trump. the fourth circuit hears arguments in a stop and frisk case from west virginia. our guest on newsmakers this week is the president of the service employees international union, mary kay henry. involved in many issues such as the minimum wage of $15. mary kay henry, welcome to c-span. mary kay: glad to be with you. pedro: joining us is ben geman and marianne levine, with political. levine, first question is for you. marianne: my first question to you is, how dear efforts this year compare dear efforts in
2008 and 2012 for president barack obama? mary kay: we have had more engagement for a longer period of time on an issue agenda that is connected to 15 in a union, child care, ending racial injustice and winning citizenship for immigrants. he organizing around those events years ago and made a decision to go into the battleground earlier than we have ever done with community partners a latino, african-american, and asian communities. now we are moving our blue states into the battlegrounds through a weekend warrior program. last weekend there were 800 people from new york and philadelphia and i was doorknocking with them. next week and i am going to new hampshire in california members are moving into rina -- reno and las vegas. we are at every level of the
peopleation is working understand that this election has so much at stake to do for our futures. that is why a think there is a level of energy and commitment and determination to sort of cut through the noise and help people see that secretary clinton is a champion on our issues, and we have got to get out and vote and every vote counts. in terms of your election-year spending, how does it compare to 2012? mary kay: we had 200,000 members who invested $10 a month in the 2012 election, and then the we got morelection volunteers contributed to our volunteer action fund so we now have more of a money investment but frankly we think the time, talent, and energy of our leaders and their family, friends, and neighbors are the difference makers because we
know it is trusting relationships that cut through the negativity and help people understand that they have to register and get out and vote in record numbers in this election for candidates up and down the ballot. mary kay: the agenda that you laid out that your members are campaigning on, and that the union is in support of is extremely broad. if secretary clinton wins the white house and perhaps if she does, there is a decent chance the democrats take over the senate, i think there were probably only a fairly short legislative window to do big things. we certainly saw that with president barack obama's legislative agenda. what are some of the things that seiu sees as its highest for clinton's initial legislative efforts should she become president? mary kay: we want president clinton and governors and senators and house members and state legislators that we elect to work together to have
government make it possible for more working people to join together in unions, to raise ,ages, and to make poverty work and that is our number one agenda, the jobs. what is a way for president with the congress can get people back to work, and how can we take service work that is poverty work and make it good work that people can feed their families on? see the: where do you labor movement in four years after a clinton administration versus a trump administration? mary kay: we think a clinton administration is a difference ,aker and will improve families strengthen our communities, and make it possible for immigrants to get on a path to citizenship. we believe that she has made a total commitment on raising wages and making home care and that is part of
the infrastructure of this nation. she stands for the values that matter most to our members to the working families that we have been proud to engage in this election. mary kay: it would not just be it would notben: just be secretary clinton, it would be who she staffs her cabinet with. certainly we hear elizabeth warren saying all the time that personnel is policy and i wanted to ask, to what extent is seiu involved in these broader efforts to influence the transition team to sort of choose progressive cabinet members and political appointees? has seiu on its own or in collaboration with other organizations given the campaign or transition team lists of people you would like to see appointed or would like to see appointed by them when it comes time to step up? mary kay: our members and working families experiences are
the best way to broaden that movement. that is why we are proud to join in the fight for 15, we are proud to support the black lives matter movement and proud to support the environmental movement. that is the way in which the choices you just described get informed. how much do people have to respond to the pressure that is being created? we are incredibly confident that secretary clinton is going to make really good choices. if you look at her track record in terms of who she surrounded herself with as a senator in new york and who she surrounded herself with in the state department, and look at the transition team that she has named, all of those folks represent our vision and values for the kind of american that we all -- america that we all are fighting for. pedro: is there a strategy andin seiu if trump wins
the response to a trump administration? mary kay: we always do scenario planning for both even as we are doubling down that we will motivate the vote necessary for secretary clinton to win. we have to prepare for not. what i just said about influencing the cabinet and the choices that are going to be made in the first 200 days of the clinton administration is the same preparation we would make on trump. we have to continue to expand and organize our movement. i think we are going to expect to pay more deference, pager -- defense, and we have played more , wisconsin,ichigan and ohio as those governors have chosen to attack unions to eliminate a force for good in their states. we have practice in dealing with trump because we have seen it in
the states and we believe we will be ready and nothing is going to stand in our way of trying to build a powerful justice movement to win for working families. pedro: my apologies, go ahead. ben: in terms of the interactions with the transition team, the clinton transition team and the campaign, is seiu providing specific suggestions and names to people in the clinton orbit in terms of people you would like to see or not like to see in any department? mary kay: we are so focused and determined to increase the number of volunteers that are getting out the vote, that is the priority of everybody in our organization right now. the question for every local is, have iery state contacted every member at least three times in the last month? are we asking people to volunteer, and can we provide
enough opportunity for people to get on the phone, on buses, and on doors to make sure we elect secretary clinton and champions up and down the ballot? that is our focus as a union. marianne: you previously mentioned that donald trump has appeal even to members of your on union. how do you approach them when you are talking about the 2016 election, and why do you think he has appeal? mary kay: 70% of our members of the last three times we have polled are all in for secretary clinton. there is a small percentage of our members who have expressed interest on trump. when we put our issues in front of the members and show the positions of the candidates, and show the behavior, donald trump does not believe in the minimum wage. he has shipped jobs overseas. most of his clothing is made in china even as he makes a case about making -- creating more
american jobs. we have found that helping members understand issue by issue can even move people that have been pledged to trump. it is relationship in workplaces and having people that i trust listen, i understand he sounds good but let me break it down for you. we are finding that there is a momentum growing and we are able to help people understand what vote in best, how to their best interest and make sure we can make the change we need for all families in this country. ben: certainly one pocket of trump supporters where he is somewhat competitive are white working-class voters. to what extent do like to see any changes if at all in the way the clinton campaign is appealing to those voters? mary kay: my experience is when those white working-class voters are in unions or in a community
where they get to have a conversation about what is at stake and why i might think that trump is not a good idea, we .ind that moves that vote when those communities are isolated and not engaged, they sit in the fear that is being stirred up. when we are able to make a case about the difference secretary clinton and senators and legislative candidates can make to the well-being of people's economic security, then we can move that vote. that is why we are so single-minded and focused about combining our canvas work with our member volunteer work, and expanding our effort in these final four weeks. has secretary clinton done everything she could to help you ?ake that case are there any changes in tactics
or tone that you would like to see from the campaign or is it doing all that it can? mary kay: she has been so motivational to our members in understanding the work that women do needing to be valued for the first time in this country. 56% of our members are women. many do work that has never been valued. home care and childcare work is not covered by social security or the fair labor act and hillary clinton has looked them in the eyes and said, that is wrong and i'm going to do everything to change that. that kind of commitment on issues that are deeply connected to people's lives are the things that are moving our members to the level of activism that we are experiencing across this country. marianne: are there any down concernedes seiu is about? regardingn outcome
the house and governorship in missouri will reflect whether those seats go right to work. has seiu focused on those? mary kay: we are and that is a great question. i would say that our members are as motivated by school board races, city council, and state legislative races because in illinois, we are trying to make sure that we have a veto proof majority in the house in illinois so we can push back on what the governor has been doing to home care, child care, and public employee work in that state. those elections matter and we can connect the dots for people and lift them up to why voting for the president also matters to their future. in oregon, have taxing corporations on the ballot which we want them to pay their fair share. in california, our entire in agenda in criminal justice reform is on the ballot which is
highly motivational to our members. just three examples, but in every state i could give you an example of how ballot initiatives and down ballot races are motivating our members. henry is ouray guest on newsmakers and joining in the discussion are ben geman of national journal and marianne levine of politico. the supreme court and supreme court decisions are relevant to you and your movement. on thursday, chuck schumer was asked if democrats have control and clinton wins but republicans are 14 supreme court nominees, is it time to thwarting supreme court nominees, is it time to
reconsider the filibuster? do like to see the democrats if they are in power do away with that to make sure a replacement can be seated? mary kay: we want government to work and we want the senate to do its job. we have been campaigning on behalf of the president nominee since june, or i cannot even remember when he first nominated court. for the supreme their question about the specific way the senate gets its job done, i trust senator schumer's thinking about the best mechanism. the most important thing from our perspective is that we fill the 90 vacancies that the republicans have blocked under president obama for federal judgeships all across this country, in addition to the supreme court. i can tell you that i was in miami doing click boarding with
several of our nurse members and they turned out for the first time to volunteer in the election because of the supreme court and their deep fear about the contrast in the choices between president clinton and donald trump. i think you are putting your finger on something that is also connecting with people in motivating the vote at this moment. ben: you mentioned justice garland. if indeed the republicans refuse to confirm him for the remainder of this year and secretary clinton wins, would you like to see her renominate justice garland or would you rather see a more leftward leaning pick? mary kay: the way that we have engaged in this kind of questions is to understand, what is the way to get the job done? with thete environmental community, the reproductive justice community, the civil rights community, all of the interests in the
progressive movement and thinking about, how do we have a united show of force behind a with tohat we can go hopefully elect president clinton with. i do not have an opinion on that specific question, i'm just describing how seiu members like to engage across the progressive movement and back a play together. we are up against forces you have blocked president obama's nominee, and we need a united front to push through the next congress and get the job done. marianne: we have seen a lot of partnership between seiu, effect for 15 movement, and black lives matter among other candidacy -- campaigns. at the same time we are seeing union membership fall. how do you see the partnership with these campaigns helping seiu membership?
mary kay: our motivation is to create a more just society, and the integration of those movements is because the leaders in the fight for 15 movement are also leaders in their communities for black lives matter or for immigrant justice or in flint now for environmental justice. those intersections are what fuel our movement and our imagination is that that will become a powerful enough force to burst the next 21st century union. we hope that the fast food workers will be recognized by the three major fast food companies, and sit down at a national bargaining table like they do around the world and create a national collective agreement that makes fast food work good work that you can support yourself on, maybe go to school and do some other job like many of the fast food workers want the ability and choices to do.
we would like home care workers to have a national organization that is a combination of state and federal agreements, the same for child care workers. the airport workers in new york just formed a union and there is a million workers that used to have middle-class standing that are now in poverty. we would like all those airport workers to be able to form unions. our imagination is boundless as of the degree of the inequality, we think requires dramatic and bold solutions. that is why we are proud to support all the elected officials that have pledged us that they will help build the most inclusive american middle class then they have ever done, and we need the workers to bargain. ben: you are discussing a large amount of coalition politics work that seiu does.
one of the interesting areas of collaboration has been around criminal justice reform. you had a left-right coalition and criminalhat justice reform is something that house speaker paul ryan speaks about as he tries to rebrand the gop with a softer edge and greater focus on that topic and poverty. my question is, is that something that you see as an area of potential collaboration with the house? speaking of the house, do you think there is any chance to retake the house or is the best scenario a democratic white house and senate but the house is pretty much out of reach? mary kay: we think we are going to make progress in the house, and in the states where there is , weesident, senate, house are as concerned about gaining ground. we know there is somewhere between 20 and 30 seats depending on how we perform in the next four weeks, could be
added to the champions for change and democrats in the house. you are right, that calculus in happeninghat ends up i think is a predictor in how bold we can be in terms of a sweeping legislative change, but we also know that every government official has a bully pulpit and has executive action they can take, at least at the president and governor torilla level. -- gubernatorial level. we want to encourage them to make change when congress is not the vehicle, and we are not going to stop until we change congress and are able to do big things like 11 million immigrants having a path to citizenship, or getting clean air, clean water movement that the environmental committee has been fighting for, and restoring and doing rights act,
things like of it happening in the states on criminal justice and being able to do a big push at the congressional level. marianne: speaking of executive actions, are there any executive actions that you wish the obama administration had done in the last eight years? what labor department regulations do you think are left for a clinton or trumpet administration to pursue? mary kay: i think president obama has demonstrated in the ambitious,, very imaginative, and creative views of executive action. we have been set back because of the court, being taken to court and having it blocked. we are very grateful that the president used executive action to raise the minimum wage for federally contracted workers, to create overtime for the first time in the nation's history for home care workers.
we worked hard with them on the fair pay and safe workplaces act because we think the one in for jobs that are impacted by federal contacts -- contracts could be a huge lever to raves standards for working people all across the economy -- raise standards for working people all across the economy. we are concerned about the horrible impact a trump presidency would have on the forward movement of those executive actions, and we know that secretary clinton has committed to stand by those executive actions and keep moving them forward. of,uld say to this question do we wish he had done other things, i think we are quite proud about the way in which he used executive authority. we will work together with president clinton to imagine other ways in which we can improve the lives of working these and address terrible inequalities on race and gender in this country by
whatever means necessary. ben: what are a couple examples -- i take your point that you were look to create imaginative ways going forward on executive action but seiu has a robust policy shop. are there specific instances of an executive action or order on some of the topics that we have been discussing that seiu, any discrete specific ones you can point to that you can tell us you would like president clinton to put forward if she is elected? mary kay: i am sure that people in our union have been working on that. we are in a whole conversation with the immigration movement about how to prepare for the first 100 days. i'm going to guess there are a lot of creative ideas. i do not have a list of them in my mind. i do know that the civil rights community because of what you referenced earlier, has a lot of
creative ideas on criminal justice and ways in which we can think about helping get training and work done with law enforcement in a way that rings out the best in everybody. secretary clinton, i think has been very articulate and the way she wants to add money to deal with bias in the law enforcement. i think there is lots of good to theppening, thanks movement building that is going on in every sector of the country, that will be a great way to think about actions that can be taken. pedro: mary kay henry, 30 seconds, to the idea of the condition of the senate and the turnover are there particular races you are paying attention to? mary kay: in the senate, illinois we are all in. we have worked hard with katie mcginty. we are concerned about the nevada race.
we have done a lot in las vegas with community partners so we are deeply concerned and all in to make sure we do retake the senate. our guesty kay henry on newsmakers, president of the seiu. thank you for your time. mary kay: thank you. pedro: one of the things that struck me to both of you is the aggressive nature this labor union is taking as to the past. why do you think that is? ben: i think they see the stakes as being very high. i think they also see a lot of potential. the supreme court is something that looms large that just for the labor movement. if hillary clinton is elected, there is a possibility of multiple supreme court picks and it does not get any more important than that. the level of activity we are seeing is commensurate. pedro: one of the things i
noticed not only on the presidential side that the senate and house, what do you think if either president wins , andf hillary clinton wins the house and republic it stay in republican hands? marianne: i think if the house stays in republican control and if the democrats, even if the democrats do take the senate, i think there is still going to be a stalling in terms of the legislation that they likely would see regarding comprehensive immigration reform, an increase in the federal matter -- minimum wage. as a democratic senate there is likelihood to see compromise but i think it is going to be a challenge in terms of seeing the lot of policies they would like to see implemented. ben: i completely agree. i think it was pretty clear from our interview that she sees some
opportunity, but i think it is probably fair to say limited opportunity on some of these legislative initiatives. it is clear that she would want and the labor movement would want hillary clinton to pick up where president obama has left off in terms of executive actions. one thing i thought was striking is seiu has been an aggressive union in terms of organizing and advocacy. think we were trying to ask hillary clinton about things she would like to be done and she was answering in broader terms in terms of overall policy and political goals. i think what we are seeing is an see clinton down as well as make sure that they know the clinton orbit feels pressure on these broader policy goals. pedro: what do you think about the strength of the labor union
in this election cycle, how much and violence do they have? marianne: i think they are having some concern and we are seeing a significant mobilization effort. the american federation of teachers, they have formed a super pac this year to really fight trump and make sure that priorities are not only prioritized in this election cycle but also on the election so i think we are seeing a significant mobilization. i think it is a significant motivation factor. guest interviewing mary kay henry is marianne levine and ben geman. to both of you, thanks for being on newsmakers. ben: thanks for having us. >>ha