tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Amy Klobuchar at Rainbow PUSH Coalition... CSPAN July 1, 2019 3:35am-3:48am EDT
thank you for the work you do. first of all, it is great to be back in chicago. actually lived here for three years during law school. i lived on the southside in hyde park, which is good for presidential aspirations, right? maybe that was another president who lived there for a while. and i want to thank rainbow push. since the reverend founded this group almost 50 years ago, you have carried on dr. king's legacy, and i think the key to your success, having worked with him, is that you don't remain stagnant, right? some of the challenges that were there with dr. king are still there in inequality. it is one of the reasons he came to chicago and worked on those worker issues. -- housing inequality as well, voting rights. but you have taken on new issues like criminal justice reform and
you truly mobilized people to vote. if you hadn't, guess what? we would not have had that major victory where the house of representatives once again in washington, d.c. became the people's house. that was because of your work mobilizing people across this country. the work reminds me of someone i love very much, and that reverend jackson loved very much. paul was a senator from minnesota. he was my mentor and a. he died tragically way to young -- way too young in a thing crash right before the election where he had just been the only senator in a hard race to take a very hard vote, then he voted against going into the war in iraq. he did that. and reverend jackson knows caldwell. -- knows paul well. paul was the chairman for his campaign for president in the state of minnesota. that is how i first got to hear about paul and reverend jackson,
and to me, they are forever linked in my mind. the other thing that is linked about paul was that last year, when he tragically died, he was running for reelection and i was running for reelection as well for county attorney. we would be in the parades together. he was someone who always ran really fast in the parades, ran back and forth, had all this energy. in the last year of his life, he had been diagnosed with ms. back.ld only stand in the he could not run around anymore. but this is the cool moral of the story. he had energized so many people to run around that green bus with his green shirts that you never even realized he wasn't running himself. and that is what you do every single day for people in this community and across the country. you are running for them around that green bus.
that is how we get things done, and that is how you pass on the torch. so, my entry into politics was a little different than some people's. i did not come from a political machine. i say that in chicago. i do not come from money. but i got involved when i actually --when our daughter was born, and she was really, really sick. my husband and i were there in the hospital and she was in intensive care. she could not swallow. act then, the insurance companies had rules that you got kicked out of the hospital 24 hours after you gave birth. i was a new mom, i had no idea what was going on, i had no sleep, and they kicked me out of the hospital. we did not know if she was going to live or die. she ended up making it through. she was so sick for the first years of her life. but i went to the legislature as a new mom, having never been elected to anything, and worked to get one of the first laws in 48-hour -- passed a
guaranteeing moms and their new babies a 48 hour hospital stay no matter what. i learned a lot from that experience. i learned if you want to get almost all male legislative committees to pass something, you talk about things that embarrass them, like of hesiod tomies.-- episio the insurance lobbyists were there, and there were three of them. they were trying to delay the implementation of the bill. i brought six pregnant friends to the conference committee. and when the legislators said, winch of this pass, they all raised their hands and said, now. that is exactly what happened. that is what i learned from that and how i got involved in politics. my background, a little different. my grandpa was an iron ore miner. he worked in the mines in northern minnesota. he never got to graduate from high school, but he saved money in a coffee can in his basement
to send my dad to college. and my dad got a two-year community college degree, which is why i am such a fan of these community colleges, then went on to finish at the university of minnesota. my mom grew up in milwaukee, again without a lot of money. she came to minnesota to teach school as a public teacher because they had strong teachers unions in the state of minnesota, and she taught school until she was 70 years old. i literally stand before you today as the granddaughter of an iron or minor, the daughter of a teacher in a newspaperman, and the first woman elected to the united states senate from the state of minnesota, and a candidate for president of the united states. that is what shared dreams is all about, that no matter who you know in this country, no matter where you come from, no matter what your name is, ask barack obama, that you can run for president of the united states, that you can make it in this country. that is the american dream.
we have a president right now who refuses to acknowledge racism in this country, right? who says after charlottesville that there were two sides, right? but we know there is only one side when the ku klux klan is on the other side. there is only one side, and that is the american side. this is a guy who literally tweets out whatever he wants, as i said during the debate the other day. bywill do foreign policy tweet at 5:00 a.m. in his bathrobe. he does whatever he wants without regard to the effect it has on people in our society. so it is time to take on racism, right on, to tear down the barriers to success, and make sure everyone has a seat at the table. that means economic justice in this country. it means investing in our neighborhoods and in childcare and in housing, raising the minimum wage, helping people afford college. i think billionaires can
refinance their yachts, people should be able to refinance their student loans. it means closing the wealth gap. it is not right that black and latino households have only about a 10th of the median net worth of white households. and it means taking on child poverty. here in chicago, one in every four children lives in poverty. that's it. there are children for whom the only meal they are sure of is there school lunch, children who fall asleep at their desk because they cannot get a good night's sleep, who think college is a career for something else -- for someone else. as president -- and i can tell you this. look at my website, what i will do for the first 100 days. i will cut child poverty in half in 10 years, and end child poverty in a generation. we can do that as a country. the economic justice means link on the affordable care act, right, and making sure people
are not kicked off their insurance. it means taking on the pharmaceutical companies to take down the cost of scription drugs. one thing i did not get to talk about during the debate which is one of my signature issues that i have gone all through the country talking about, that is taking on mental health and addiction. one in five people in this country struggles with mental health sometime in their life. one out of two people have addiction in their family, or with someone close to him. i saw this when i was a da. i saw the travesty that it would wreak on families all over this country, and i certainly saw it as a daughter. my dad, the newspaperman, the guy who went to the community college, he struggled with addiction his whole life. he battled alcoholism the whole time i was growing up. finally when he got his third dwi in the 1990's, he was facing a choice. the choice was jail, or the choice was treatment. with the help of his faith, he
wrote a book on this, with the help of his family, he chose treatment. in his words, he was pursued by grace. he is now 91 years old. he is in assisted living. he is sober, and in his words, it is hard to get a drink here anyway. [laughter] sen. klobuchar: in any case, for him, that moment of time that his life changed is a moment everyone should have. and this is not just about opioids. we know that in communities of color, they get hit a lot more with cocaine, with crack cocaine, with meth. when we get this money from those large pharma companies, my plan covers not just opioid addiction, it covers mental health, it covers meth, it covers crack cocaine so everyone has the right to be pursued by grace. that is what we are talking about when we talk about taking this on. it is criminal justice reform. the first setback, that was the first step. but it is time to take a second
step. i pledge to you that i will take on criminal justice reform as any good former prosecutor knows how to do. i want to first of all pledge to you, i did not make all the promises some people make my but i promise you this. in my life, i have always done my work with integrity. i have gotten things done. and i will govern with integrity and i will govern for you. thank you so much, rainbow push, for all you have done. that starts the day after that president got inaugurated and all those people marched in chicago and all those people marched all over this country, and they marched against mean-spirited immigration reform. let us march all the way up to those elections in 2020 and win this thing next year. thank you, everyone. [applause] ♪
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