tv Public Affairs CSPAN September 15, 2013 4:15am-7:01am EDT
this was about dignity. this was about respect. this was about the sign, that iconic sign we would see all the time, i am a man. and there should have been something that said i am a woman. but that was about human dignity. for me, it's really a reminder of what this work is all about. and, you know, i always appreciate gains, but i'm never really satisfied. and as long as we have the homicide rate, even though it's going down, in the united states of america that we see, and mayor strickland talked about the en cars ration rate, thity literacy rate, the unemployment rate, every possible indicator that you can measure in many instances on the good side african-americans and other people of color at the bottom, on the bad side at
the top, and especially black men, and so for me, it was, you know, the awesomeness of the moment, but also a reminder that when we get back home, there is still more work to be done. and how do we address these issues? as a nation, and i'll close with this, what is our national poverty reduction plan? what is our national anti-crime strategy? what are we doing as a nation to raise literally rates and significantly lower the unemployment rate? how many lives can be saved or improved if we were able to put all those resources together and coordinate the way that we try to do in our cities, but we cannot solve all of our problems by ourselves as mayors of the great cities of the united states of america, and this is where state and the national government really have to be partners with us. >> great. thanks for that, mayor nutter.
mayor strickland, i'm going to ask you a quick question as well, historically speaking. in this church, there was a bombing, four little girls. and there's often a story that people don't remember, but there were survivors as well. so not only do the four little girls and their spirits live on, there was a young lady named sarah collins rudolph who could have been a fifth who is still living in the birmingham area. what is your perspective as a woman as it relates to these four little girls whose dream had been snuffed out, but their memories and spirit lives on? how has that motivated you for what you do? >> there is nothing more devastating than imagining children dying, and not only were there survivors of that bombing who could have been victims themselves, there are parents who raised these young girls. so when i think about them as victims, it is sad, it's
profound, but also it inspires us. now, we know that those bombs were put here by the k.k.k. degree a period in america that wasn't our shining hour, but we to let their memory live on for something good. we are sitting here in this church today, and that's very, very important. but it also reminds us of what could have been possible for those young girls had they lived. what would their lives be like today? and i don't have the answer to that question, but it's really about understanding that no life is more precious than the life of a child. there's nothing more devastating than a partner having to lose a child. and all the work that we do as mayors, especially your leadership, mayor johnson, on education and education reform, we have to understand that every successive generation must do better. it's our responsibility as leaders to ensure that they do better. so that's my memory of those young girls. >> awesome. all right, i'd love to ask one question historically as well.
this movement for civil rights is not just about african-americans or those left on the sidelines, and we as mayors understand the importance of convening and bringing different sectors and people together. so, from your perspective, not just african-americans, what d you believe everybody else else responsibility was and should be as it relates to the civil rights movement as we stand here today 50 years from what transpired in birmingham? >> it seems to me that it's not good enough to say i am a person of goodwill, that we have to learn that there's a higher standard. i commend those companies that buy the advertisements for the banquets of buy a table at the
annual dinner. but we have to ask a more profound question. when we walk through the halls of your company and we look into the offices, do we see a workforce that's not reflective of the larger community? not reflect enough regards to race, to gender, to religion, to the diverse ethnic communities within your city. i liken it -- and maybe this is crass -- but i liken it to this. if every morning you were to wake up in your city and there were to be millions of dollars of gold in the city streets, would you not be foolish to let it lay there? would you be better off picking it up and utilizing that economic resource?
well, when we look at our cities today with tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of men and women, and i'm not just saying young, i'm saying of all ages, who are not participating in the workforce, are we not losing those millions of dollars of resources to our economy, that they would contribute. it's not good enough to say i'm a person of good will. we need action. we need decisions. and that's the only way we're going to reach this next level, because right now there's a significant number of americans who think that we're out of the recession. the stock market is hitting new records. for much of white middle class america, the worst days are behind us. but we've got cities in this country where african-americans, latinos, asians, they're still at 25%,
30% unemployment, and that is unacceptable, and i don't know what else can be said, but thank you. >> all right, last question on historical and we'll jump more specific on the what mayors are doing. we talk about march, we talk about the 16th street bombing, we know what took place on bloody sunday. certainly the bridge, montgomery, mobile, se lma, you have a unique perspective because your father also played such a historic role as it relates to civil rights, and you in new orleans have interacted with people of different persuasions. what is your kind of sentiment as you reflect back on where we are from a race standpoint and from a historical standpoint in celebrating the march on washington? >> you know, i went back and
looked at some old papers. i was just born and in my mother's arms when my father, who was one of 105 legislators, was one of two that voted gainst the segregation package of jimmy davis and basically have lived my entire life in this space, in a wonderful city, where the lefc was formed many, many years ago, but unfortunately, right across the street where 24 years later a little boy named james darby was shot by another guy. i have two thoughts about it. number one, the civil rights movement was clearly about at that time making sure that african-americans had justice and equality, but it really just wasn't about african-americans. it was about whether the united states of america was going to live up to its aspirations and
ts potential, and the larger message is that where some americans go, all of us go. and where some of us don't go, all of us don't go. we are one nation, indivisible, and that word was really written for a purpose. what it means is we're inextricably bound with each other. and so, in a major city, whether it's majority, minority, or not, if 30% of the people in that city don't have access to, take responsibility healthcare ility of or whatever, that does not allow them to be productive-giving citizens, then they're not. and the entire body of the community suffers. and so as paul said, and i think it was beautifully stated, would you really walk by a spot of gold on the street and not pick it up, and how wasteful is it to have something that's so valuable and just walk past it?
as mayor nutter said, and i want to mack a distinction here, he said where is our national -- he dent say federal. he said national. those are different things. this is not about the mayors going to the federal government saying solve our problem for us. but what it is about is those of us that have the great pleasure of serving people in the city saying, where is our national purpose and our commitment to make sure that we as a nation are strong? and this is not just a domestic issue. it is a national security issue. you have people like richard haas, who was a national security advisor for many presidents, that we're interested in being abroad, who has postulated that we really cannot be strong abroad if we're not strong at home, and it is a worthy question to ask at this particular, poignant time as we contemplate along with the president what our actions are going to be on an international front, whether the united states of merge has done what is necessary -- the
united states of america has done what is necessary. the strength of this country is built on the foundation of the value and strength of each american citizen, and so in the city of new orleans then, if 47% of the young african-american men between 16 and 32 are not employed, or they have dropped out of school, or they are not in a constructive place, the question then gets to be, how important is that weak link to the country? i would postulate that it's very strong, and i would finally say this, as elected officials, we don't hear the word poverty much in the debate. we have to grow a middle class. the middle class is really the basis of the country. but in order for somebody to get to the middle class, if we're not there, they have to be someplace else, and that someplace else is poverty, and there has to be a specific way to come up with a plan to say, what are the specific steps? what is the pathway to prosperity? is it a better relationship
between the federal assets and the state assets and the city assets as mayor nutter has championed? that's part of it. is it, as mayor scott once said, corporations really begin to understand, putting their money where their mouth is, making sure that their employee ranks reflect the community? is it a better relationship between primary and secondary education, early childhood education, job training? the answer is it's all of the above, but it has to be purposeful, and it has to be thoughtful, and it has to be moving to a specific target that the nation sets for he was, because that's what we think is in the best interest of the country. >> ok, now that we're warmed up and on fire and ready to go, mayor nutter, i'm going to have you build a little bit on what mayor landrieu talked about. you talk in your opening remarks about poverty. i've heard you make the connection of poverty, youth violence, and limited opportunities, and then those who are disproportionately
incarcerated, and then when we come out, talk a little bit about what you are doing in your city, because you have a unique perspective, and i think philadelphia has what i would like to think as a national example of what cities should be doing. >> i've said a number of times, certainly in philadelphia and i consider laces, education should be considered part of a national defense. nited states of america. that the military, and it is incredible, but we will win the battle for freedom and justice based on a well educated population. that smart folks figure out a way to take care of themselves, and with every respect to the military, they're not having bake sales to get the tools and
equipment they need to get the equipment they need. they pretty much get what they need. manufacture us love the t.s.a., wonderful organization, make sure everybody's safe. i want to know where the t.s.a. for walking around my neighborhood. esterday we recognized the 12th anniversary of the most horrific attack on the united states of america since pearl harbor. we have attacked the issue of international terrorism and the security of the united states as an unprecedented level, created an entirely new agency out of whole cloth, funded it, 60,000 people work there on an $8 billion budget, but we want to be safe flying around the united states of america, and i applaud that. and i do feel secure. we flew yesterday. that same level of commitment
and focus the education of our young people, on helping those who have made a mistake, we are here in this historic church, and so if there's not an opportunity for a second chance or to ask forgiveness here at this church, what kind of americans are we? i don't know a person who's not needed a second chance at some point in time. very few you have skills, didn't graduate from high school, have not worked at a full-time job, do something wrong, pay your debt to society, and come out with the same bad friends, the same lack of skills, the lame lack of education, the same lack of job opportunities, and no one will give you a job, no matter how many doors you knock on, why would we expect a different outcome for that person? number one indication for whether someone will return to prison or not is whether they get a job within the first three months of their release. and so we've spent a lot of time focused on -- i don't use the term ex-offenders.
i talk about returning citizens. we do not call someone who's had a drug or alcohol problem an ex-alcoholic. we say that they're in recovery. these are returning citizens. they paid their debt to society. we had a job fair for returning citizens in philadelphia, 3,200 people signed up, 2, 500 folks showed up. >> wait, 2,500 people showed up for a job fair? >> for a job fair, all for folks who had a previous criminal record. we had 100 employers there. they knew the population that they would be addressing. they were enthusiastic. folks want to work. they want to take care of themselves. they recognize that there's dignity in work. they don't want to be out on the street corners. but if we don't provide the alternative, that's where they will be. you don't have to take a test of standing out on the street corner, but there are no benefits that go with that. and so poverty, crime, education, literacy, they are
all tied together. that is the way that we will move our cities forward, but more importantly, it's about human capital. it's about investing in people. and so as mayors and through the conference, we fight these battles at the national level. i do not understand -- and i will be partisan for a moment. i do not understand why the house republicans would put the budget by 50%. i do not understand why we don't have across the united states of america universal head start. we know for a fact, it is a documented fact, you don't have to study this one anymore, the kids who participate in the head start program and get off to a good start in preschool and grades one through three, if you are not reading at grade level by the third or fourth grade, you will struggle through middle school, you are most likely to drop out of high school, and the overwhelming majority of folks that we arrest for violent crime are high school dropouts. you don't have to be a social
scientist with a whole bunch of letters behind your name to make that connection. anybody can figure that one out. so we provide services to people who have previous criminal record, and we're trying to get them back into civil society. you will reduce your public safety cost when folks who were in imprison are now working and paying taxes. i spend 30% of my budget, 30%, before i pick up the first bag of trash, 30% on safety, police, prison, court, parole, and the district attorney. think of how much money i could save and put into after-school programs and job training programs and workforce development and sandarks recreation and swimming pools and all kinds of other activities if i didn't have folks running around who can't take care of themselves. i will never excuse -- there's no excuse, even in poverty, for beating somebody up, stabbing somebody or shooting somebody. i don't know when y people
commit those kinds of crimes. i know i have to make conditions such that they are not -- that's not what folks are doing. and the proliferation of illegal guns on the streets of the united states of america is a national tragedy. it is a national crime against umanity in this country. >> i warned thaw we're getting warmed up. we have some young people in the audience. let me apologize for his enthusiasm. he's a philadelphia philly fan. they're not doing so well this year. so he's a little -- frustration there. mayor nutter, i would like to ask one quick followup on what you just said. how are you incentivizing businesses? you have a program that i believe you're doing tax credits -- so i think that is important for people in the audience and people watching to
understand that we're not waiting for washington to solve all of our problems locally. >> very quickly, so a couple of years ago, working with some of my former colleagues on the city council, we have a tax credit available to businesses that hire someone with a previous criminal record. we will give you a $10,000 tax credit against your business tax obligation to the city if you hire someone with a previous criminal record and you can maintain that credit for up to three years. obviously you have to keep the person working. again, try to provide incentives. think of again how powerful that would be if i could couple that with a tax credit against your state taxes and against your federal taxes. it would literally pay the person's salary and more if we were providing those kinds of incentives, and we should be doing other things. we're trying to find some other creative ideas, but that is a population that needs to be addressed, and folks are just wandering around trying to figure out what to do with themselves. unfortunately, they will get in
more trouble. >> mayor strickland, i read in my opening remarks a comment that president obama talked about in terms of social mobility. in your community in tacoma, what are some of the biggest challenges that the underserved community is facing as it relates to trying to achieve upwards social mobility? because if that doesn't happen, economic justice will not take place. >> well, the recession we're experiencing has been a lot longer and a lot deeper than we expected. the reason i bring this up is the average age of a person who now works in a fast food restaurant is 29 years old. so when you look at those jobs being taken by adults who should be in different parts of the economic ladder, it means that younger people have fewer options for work. and president obama challenged the marries to come up with summer jobs programs. i'm going to talk a bit about one we're doing in tacoma,
because there's a bit of a twist. i think every mayor has a youth summer jobs program. we launched ours last year, and we did it in a smaller measure because we wanted to test it out. we took youth violence prevention dollars and told potential employers, you don't even have to pay for this, the city will pay the salary of this young person. so we had about 54 young people apply. and these were youth who were identified by school counselors and principals as possibly at risk, but here's the twist. these were students who were credit deficient, so they were about two or three credits away from graduation. we recruited these students, we gave them workforce development training. on fridays we had everything from financial literacy to how to dress for success, and also told them about mentorship and the importance of having someone at the end of your work experience who could vouch for you. these students, 50 of them graduated on time. they were paid $10 an hour throughout the summer. and they now have a reference, professional reference. six of them actually getting
full-time jobs through this program. what we're trying to do is make sure that there are opportunities for the younger people who are being shut out of the economic ladder, but also trying to find ways to encourage job promotion and education. one of the things i often talk about is how we sometimes forget there's a whole industry of building trades, and going into the trades, those are good ways to get good paying jobs, and we often talk about four-year universities and professional white collar jobs as though they're the only options available so. what we're trying to do is promote two-year colleges, the building trades, electricians, carpenters, you name it, but also deal with the young people and trying to get them work experience so that in the future they are, in fact, employable. >> awesome. thanks for that, mayor. you talked in your opening remarks about access. and you talked about five areas, learning, opportunities, transportation, child care, healthcare, and housing.
i would love for you to touch at least a little bit on access to healthcare. because when you think about this legacy of this president and how hard he has fought, that that basic right, like public safety and education, healthcare is so important because the benefits, the affordable, the access are almost prerequisites to be able to have in place if we're going to be meaningfully employed, if you wouldn't mind talking briefly on that. >> let's look forward, and then i want to step backward for a moment. but with the new affordability healthcare act, we're expecting some great things if we get enrollment, if we get participation. and some of our states, and unfortunately, smine one of them in wisconsin, we basically got an absence of commitment.
we have fewer people working through our state on creating access to the new healthcare system than there are in the entire city of atlanta. atlanta's got almost three times as many people working on it as our state has committed. i make this point because, for a healthcare system to work, it not only must be affordable, but there must be access, and because of the intimacy involved in healthcare, between the patient and the healthcare provider, there has to be trust. now, about 15 years ago we set up a program in madison with a healthcare clinic, south madison community health center . that was its original name. it was later retitled by the community board to be heramba. and over a period of a decade,
started to see black infant mortality drop, drop from the national levels down to a point where they were matching the levels for white babies. the question is, what happened? and we really don't know. because after a period of time it started drifting up again. fortunately not back to the high levels that it was at, but one of the theories we have is that we created a clinic which was not the patient coming hat in hand to the healthcare rovider. it was a system of community participation and a belief by the patient that i am respected, i am treated with dignity. this is all part of healthcare. and if we're going to make the
new healthcare system work, we must respect the fact that it's not just about cost, but it is about human dignity. that is part of the gulf that we have in this nation in regards to our failures, our failures in healthcare, our failures in education, our failures in employment. that's the monday taken we have to climb. >> awesome, thanks, mayor, for that. you articulate this so well, and we're not going to talk as much about public safety. you gave one of the greatest speeches identify ever heard on but safety, bar none, what i think you also got at is post-katrina, i've heard you say that cities cannot wait always on help from washington, i'm a living example of new orleans, but you also challenges -- challenged us as
mayors that you can't wait for a hurricane to fix some of your problems. talk to us about post-katrina and the economic opportunities that you're getting at as the most resilient. >> kevin, thank you for that. this is just such a common question. you were a basketball player once, right? >> i still am. >> why does everybody wait till the last minute to play the best ball? what's the two-meant drill in football? whatever, a lot of people have asked me, does a city need a catastrophe to act? one of the things i spent a lot of time thinking about is what moves us as a nation. sandy hook moved us, columbine moved us, syria has moved us. the 50th anniversary has moved us. hurricanes will move you, because they can. and unfortunately, we wait in this country until something bad happens to respond to it. and so the whole notion of resilience is really, really important. and it revolves around public
-- the question is, how do you prepare yourself for what you know may be coming or what you anticipate and put yourself in a position of no matter what it is, you're capable of respond nag forceful way so that your life is not at threat. and the people of the city of new orleans, you see this happening in the northeast, you actually saw it in chicago as a result of some of the violence that neighborhoods that are strong, so there's a common theme here, where there's strong individuals, strong families, strong churches, strong communities, people who know each other, neighborhoods that participate with each other, openness, access, dignity, trust, those are resilient neighborhoods, whether it's a violent crime that comes their way or hurricane or tornado, or, you know, some other event they didn't participate, this is what strength and resilience looks like. the people of the city of new orleans, as a consequence of a lot of stuff, not just katrina, but what people don't realize is we were heavy reliant on the tourism industry because of all
the major sporting events. after september 11, the economy of new orleans went to nothing. and after three years of just struggling to get back, katrina hit. then rita hit. then ike. then gustav, then the national recession, then the b.p. oil spill, and all of this happened while we as a nation were at war and were looking abroad. and so it was a particularly difficult time. but what has happened is, because the survival instinct is really strong, the people of new orleans in an amazing way said, you know, not only no, but hell no, and we're going to get back up and we're going to keep walking, because this is what we have. and the thing that they did that is really -- that i continue to be amazed at, they decided -- and this is something every community has really got to think about, because your instinct when something bad happens is just to put it back like it was, because up to the just get back how you knew it to be. and it gave us an opportunity
to look at ourselves and do real soul searching and come to an uncomfortable truth that as terrible as katrina and rita were, they did not cause all of our problems. they made what we had worse. and they made what was beautiful much more visible, and it gave us an opportunity to take stock and talk about reorienting ourselves. as the mayor talked about healthcare, stricken instead of us getting healthcare in one central place called charity hospital, especial for the poor of new orleans, we now have 88 primary healthcare clinics, we're working on using the resources that the federal government gave us not only to rebuild the city, but use it as opportunities for jobs and reconnect. because we can't wait on washington, we're doing something that i call facilitate, where we bring everybody together and say, look, show me what you got, i'll show what you i have, let's put it together and maybe we can do a better job of partnering, because maybe we weren't as effective as coordinating our resources. mayor nutter turned that into a
way of getting the federal government, the state government, and government to break down, make government leaner, faster, more efficient, and more effective. but having said all that, no matter how fast we run in the city of new orleans, how much we do, mayor nutter pointed out that there is going to be a resource gap because the united states of america has not chosen as a country at this point in our history to focus our attention on building human capital. and the human capital and the investment in human capital, that means investing in individuals is the thing that is going to make america strong. and as a consequence, it should not be a surprise to anybody that there is weakness in the neighborhoods, in our ability to respond as quickly as we would leak to. the call for a national purpose on this issue in partnership with the federal government, not just waiting on them, is really, really important and something that i think mayors really understand, because we're trying to make it happen, and the gaps are really clearer
to us in many ways than we are perhaps to other people. >> awesome. thank you very much for that, mayor. we have about 15 minutes left at this particular time. we'd love to open it up, members from the audience would like to ask a question, we have mics on both sides. we ask you to come up with the mics and address the question. i see young people that are part of a group that have -- i'm getting colorblind, so i don't know fths a red or orange jacket. the orange coat and jackets with the ties, one of you at least needs to come in and ask questions. so whatever group you represent, we need you to ask a question. is resident price still here? would you mind coming up? i want to ask you a question, and then you can then answer my question. reverend, we just appreciate you so much for opening up your
beautiful cast drafment i know you preach on sundays about your ministry going beyond the walls of the church. >> right. >> my question for you, or you may want to direct it to anyone up here, is what are you telling the congregation today that is important that they need to know and remember about economic justice, in terms of how far we've come or how far we've yet to come? >> basically we appreciate a message here on jesus christ, and we also talk about how we could be empowered through the vehicle of education as mayor nutter talked about, that we don't need more studies on education and know that our head start programs and our pre-k programs are working. this is a church that is really, really about educating our young people and educating people in the community. we have various programs that we partner with with the city of birmingham to help, as mayor
nutter talked about, returning citizens to come back into society. on monday night we have a father hood program with family court who labeled them deadbeat dads and we teach principles on fatherhood so that they can be able to take care of their children, because most deadbeat dads are deadbook dads so. in order to give them the skills to work in the workforce, that will help them and their families, and also those with drug court, those who are first-time offenders, they come through a course here at our church, and they complete that course, they'll receive probation instead of going to prison. one of the things we fwalk here, we must continue to educate ourselves and to invest in the community around us. >> all right. thanks, reverend price. ppreciate you very much. all right, young fellow, tell us what organization you are a part of with your cool orange
jacket, your name, where you're in school, and then pose your question. app yes, sir, my name is abe williams. i'm here from auburn university. i'm representing the warrior girls and plainsman, and we also have other members from our student leader organization here today. >> hold on, hold on. auburn that charles barkley went to? >> yes, sir. auburn, yes, sir. >> ok. there's a lot of pressure on you. i sure hope that you're going to be a better example for an auburn graduate than my dear friend, charles, who is in process of trying to get there. >> yes. yes, sir. well, we appreciate you all letting us be here today. this is a wonderful event, and i just wanted to touch on education that you all mentioned, as well as strong communities. in our community today, it seems like some people have the opportunity to have a great education all the way throughout, however, in other communities, we know that's not the cafmentse i wanted you all to speak on how can we make
sure those resources are going to the schools and the communities that truly need those education resources. >> all right. any of the mayors, feel free. >> raise taxes. >> we're going through a struggle in philadelphia right now. probably more detail than you need. many mayors across america are not directly in charge of their school systems. but i have appointees to a state-created agency because pennsylvania took over our schools. but unfortunately it's been cutting funding for the past couple of years. i took the position, i may not number charge of the school system, but these are my kids. i take care of their parents. i have something to say about the quality of education that they get. and so the fight in at least phil sandie really for pennsylvania is that pennsylvania is one of only three states in america that does not use a student-weighted formula to distribute financeding all across the 500 school districts in the
commonwealth. and so it's really about equity. the quality of the education should not be a function of what zip codes you moved to. the state, in our constitution, that says the state is responsible to create a fair and efficient form of education all across the commonwealth of pennsylvania. and so issues of equity and their impact on urban school districts and rural school districts and some can raise their taxes much higher and some, you know, have really given a lot, and where is the state and, again, even federal resources for those communities. but i really think this is an equity discussion and that there should be a baseline level of educational opportunity at every school, and if a local community wants to add on top of that, that's fine. but there should be certain things that are just standard. art and music, from my perspective, are at least as important as english and math. they all have to be a part of a
standard wreck lum across the board for every child in the nited states of america. >> before you sit down, i want to say each mayor up here believes that education is a top priority in our country. in fact, we all would say it's a civil rights issue of our time, and if we're not willing to pay the price, do some of the things that folks in birmingham have done for 50 years, then we're not going to get there, and there are far too many of our children that are being left on the sideline, and you guys are a perfect example. i made a little fun of charles barkley earlier, but charles barkley, when he used to play in the league, he talked about i am not a role model. and what he was actually saying is, not that athletes shouldn't be role models, but we shouldn't be the only role models. the role models are the people like yourself and the people that interact with young people on a daily basis, and we as elected officials need to do our part to engage as many people as possible to
participate in this struggle to create an environment where all children have access to a high quality education. so my last question for you, once you graduate, what city you going to live in, because somebody's in trouble. >> well, i moved back home to atlanta, georgia. >> all right, i'm going to tell mayor reid he got somebody following you. ood luck to you. all right, yes, sir. >> hi, first of all, i want to remind everyone that god is good. >> all the time. >> all the time. first of all, i represent the nba. i'm one of the kids. kevin johnson should know bob lanier very well. >> absolutely. >> we are here to do an event at jackson high school. i just came to the church to do my daily prayer.
i just wanted to say thank you first of all to the people, to the people for being the birthplace of civil rights. i think a lot of us youth have so much to learn from what started here. i live in new york. i work with the youth. i have my own foundation. and my question to the leaders is, what should us as leaders be able to do for our youth to continue to empower them, to follow the right path? >> all right, any one mayor want to address this? mayor strickland. >> i think there are two things that we can do, and i think part of this is an answer to the young man who was here previously. when we talk about how we can help our children, one of the best things we can do is to help their parents be people who are productive members of society. so while we talk about education, there's so much that goes on outside of a school building that has an impact on education.
so what are we doing to ensure that people have decent jobs, not living in poverty, that they have access to healthcare, denths care? as far as how we can influence youth, if you look at a list of statistics about how well kids well in school, so many variables are outside the classroom. and any child who has a positive relationship with an adult is going to do better. and that adult does not have to be someone they're related to. so to anyone in the audience here who talks about what we can do to help our youth and students, aside from the kids who may number your family, are you volunteering? are you mentoring? and are you having those hard conversations with young people and telling them things they may not to want hear? what i often say to young people is, how are you choosing your friends? because sometimes you need to let go of some folks. are you making good decisions? because we can blame the system all we want, but we have to take responsibility for ourselves. we can get a second chance if we make a bad decision, but we can't keep repeating mistakes. it's about being present and
saying to young people, i'm an adult, i care about what's good for you, and i want to be there for you. i think that's the most important thing we can do. >> all right. thank you, mayor. all right. we're going to have two final questions. we'll have a question from the gentleman to my left and then we'd be honored if mayor would ask us a question. >> good morning. my name is cedric hatcher, the under of outreach ministry called song. when we campaign for political office, as far as the white house and mayor, frs person we reach out to is a church. it's the church. i want to know what politicians are doing today to reach out to the church of getting outside of the church, to reach the people in the community, because the words is here, not by hearing a politician or police officer or schoolteacher or a parent, but a preacher, and i'm calling on preachers to come outside the four walls of the church and get involved in the community, because we have
a church on every corner, but we don't have a pastor on every corner. >> all right, all right. i'm going to have mayor landrieu address it. all mayors won't address this, but your point is very well received by all of us. we know that we're not going to get anything done, and that's why i'm so thank to feel mayor price, you have to have your ministry beyond the walls of the church. it's exactly what you're talking about. in sacramento we have the clergy helping us with our gang issues. we have the clrgey helping with us our homelessness issues. we have them helping with us our educational issues. you guys are best examples here in birmingham. there are great examples around the country. >> a couple of things. first of all, i believe that we have since 1980 in this country , we issue of violence
have created a culture of behavior from a personal responsibility perspective that has to change, and government, even on its best day, and as a democrat i believe that government can be an activation for change, cannot replace personal responsibility, strong families, and communities doing what they're supposed to do. f course, in that space, stands like a beacon the pastor or the minister or the community of faith. and so prayer is very important, the civil rights movement was buttressed around the faith-based community. while we talk about this, the first thing that people say is i don't want to talk about it because we're going to get into the blame game, and so here's how i've decided to process that problem for me. i just want to admit that a lot of mistakes that were made by a lot of people over a lot of time, and we can't really figure it out, foig say it like
this. we're not all to blame, but the fact is that today we are all responsible, and so let's get on about figuring what each of us has to do. i'm not going to speak to any of the mayors on this, but i know there's more i can do, and it's certainly true there's more that the church can do and that we can't do it without them. and so one of the things we try to do in new orleans, and i'm sure each of the mayors tries to do, every time there's a major initiative, that you have to call the preachers together and work with them, or they will call you. so on saturday, we are going to bury 11-year-old arabian, who was caught in the crossfire the other day. actually, she was sleeping on her sofa when there was a drive-by shooting and the bullet went through the front door and hit her in the head. and the 20 pastors from that neighborhood, the neighborhood that's called pension town in new orleans, have come together to recommit themselves to do exactly what the gentleman said, was to get outside of the walls of the church, because sunday service is important,
really, really important. so is wednesday night. but at end of the day, you got to get into the neighborhood. one of the things that happens to churches is the same thing that happened to play groufpbleds as neighborhoods have shifted, playgrounds have become more regional. so kids at the playground are not necessaryly from their neighborhood, and folks that are going to the church are not necessarily from this one. when i was a little boy, i walked down the street to the church. that was the church. that was my neighborhood. it was all close. but now it's more disparate, so it's not as easy. there's a pastor in baton rouge called raymond, star light baptist church, who's working with us right now to create a formula for pastors, training programs, working with them to talk about how you can actually not just by starting a new program, but work with your congregation to get into the very neighborhood where your physical church is, in partnership with the city, in communion with the neighborhoods to help do that. but again, this is like, as my grandma used to say, elbow grease. you got to work it. you can't just talk it. the work requires somebody to show up and to be there and to
stay on it, because as mayor strickland said, and this is really just almost too simple and too obvious to have to state, but children need to be cared for. they need to be nurtured. they need to be molded into human beings that are productive. the only person that can do that is an adult. so it's got to be a parent. it's got to be a coach. it's got to be a minister. it's got to be somebody else, a mentor. unless you do that, there's a good chance that that child is not going to get molded the way you want them and will find you someplace and hurt you. and then we'll have to be dealing with some of the other issues that we're working on. and so the church is an essential component, because i think as mayor paul said, the trust factor and who actually can communicate to the individual is really critical, and ministers are an essential part of not only our moral authority, but actually putting boots on the ground. >> all right, so ron, if you would ask your questions, i want to close on the faith piece really quick, and then have the mayor ask our final question.
hold on one second, mayor. so one of the things i want to just say, in sacramento, a positive note, we had a homeless challenge in our community. and what we ended up doing is getting 12 members that were leadership of our faith community who then got another 80 plus, so we had all the different denominations in sacramento saying we're going to solve this homeless problem together, but the faith community said we want to lead the way. so what they did, there's a program called one day to end homelessness, what they did is on a sunday they chose one sunday, it was in march, and every synagogue and jewish community and the muslim community, the christian community, everybody else, they talked to their congregation, and they asked their congregation for them to give one day's worth of their rent or mortgage towards solving our homeless problem. we raised $400,000 in one sunday in sacramento. that $4 hundred,000 leveraged
$1.6 million of federal dollars. so this is just an example. we all have them in our community, where the faith community has been leading the way and will continue to do so. thanks for that question. mayor dellums, my hero, my role model, you get the final question. you're up. >> first of all, with your permission, i would like to make a couple of very brief comments. i thank all of you, the distinguished panel, for your very extraordinary remarks and inspiring remarks. more importantly, i thank you for bringing poverty front and center. because i've often said that many elected officials have difficulty even framing the word poverty, middle class. we don't talk about poverty n. that regard, i offer a couple of quick thoughts. a wonderful, brilliant woman told me many years ago, and i'll never forget this, jobs are not created in a vacuum, that jobs are the byproduct of a community's commitment to solve a problem.
if poverty then is a major problem that we're confronted with, let's look at poverty as a multidimensional problem an education demeppings, a training dimension, an environmental dimension, a housing next, a health dimension, a justice dimension, a gender dimension, a racial dimension, and age dimension. if we address the dimensions that are an integral part of poverty, we will begin to solve the problem. example, if housing is one of the dimensions of poverty, we develop a cogent housing policy. someone has to build, modernize, rehab, and maintain housing. so you solve the housing problem, you strike a mighty blow toward poverty, you generate employment. so all i'm simply saying is let's begin to see the problem-solving strategy as a job creation strategy, and
let's keep poverty on the front burner and address poverty as a multidimensional issue, because i think that the poverty program of the 1960's, contrary to many people's thought, was a brilliant idea. the reason why they killed it because it was too brilliant an idea. thank you very much. ape that was our speaker and our fifth panelist who we put in the audience to give us comments. at this time, i'd like to thank you the mayors. let's give them a round of applause for their fine input. all right. thank you, panelists. we're going to turn it over now, so if the next group of panelists come on up, we'll get underway with our second panel promoting tolerance.
>> thank you very much, mayor johnson. i have to tell one quick story. mayor johnson actually lived, when he was k.d., basketball player for the cleveland cavaliers, he lived in akron, and i take credit for this a little bit because its kevin johnson, watch tv when he was in akron, and he said, when i grow up, i want to be just like him, and i think he surpassed me already. let's give a hand for kevin and the great job that he did in that last session. we appreciate your leadership. i sure look forward to you as president of this conference to continue the tradition many of us have had to join with tom cochran, to take on the nations and actually the world's problems and try to be about
solving those and getting something done. i want to thank reverend price, certainly mayor bell for his leadership, tom cochran and all the conference of mayors staff that have made this possible. i have to tell you, i feel a real honor standing here before you today. i was asked to moderate this panel, and it really clearly was an emotional thing for me, because you see, 50 years ago i was growing up in what i consider to be a tip daal american neighborhood. i don't think we talked about diversity. it was a typical white neighborhood, blue-collar. my father was a worker in akron. but at 14 years old, i must say, and i'm going to say it the way my grandmother would have said, it we couldn't figure out what you folks down here were fussing about. because none of us had had that life experience. i've tunately for me,
had a number of life experiences, including playing football and doing other things to cross paths with a number of people who did not grow up in my neighborhood, did not have the same experiences that i had, and by sharing those, i learned and grew and, in many ways, there's a reason i'm here today, and i thank all of those people along the way. i am going to try to make less sports analogy than kevin johnson just did, but i will tell you one f. you're a quarterback, and you look over across the line and there's a mean, tough looking guy at right tackle playing for somebody dressed in an orange jersey, you don't really care the color of the skin or where he goes to church. that left tackle better block that guy, and we learned to accept people, and i think sports, the military, a number of things that people do are really the ones in many of our lives that have taught us lessons about judging people for what they do and their character and how they perform rather than the color of their
skin or where they worship or who they love. so i'm tremendously honored to be here today. 50 years later, much still needs to be done in our nation and our cities, to build tolerance. i'm going to use tolerance and understanding almost interchangeable, because i would argue the more understanding you have of people, the more tolerant you are, the more you understand why they might be different, but the values that we all share, i would argue, and i do it all the time, that the political dysfunction which we see in washington today is in great part a reflection of the lack of tolerance or understanding which some have for those of different political beliefs. the expressions of hatred and discrimination which we at times see in our communities reflect a lack of tolerance or understanding for those who are different. as mayors, it is our role to go beyond the borders of our city hall, the walls of our city
hall, or the borders of our control, legally controlled items or institution or organizations or departments to reach out, to help build tolerance in our cities. and several of the points which we pledge to carry out are aimed at just doing that, and i'm going briefly go through that. first of all, to use the bully pulpit, to provide leadership on issues of concern, engage in the difficult conversations that may be needed, and speak out against hate crimes and all discrimination or discriminatory acts, whenever they occur. work with the school systems in our communities to promote education, about differences, the importance of tolerance, and behavior that respects differences among people, facilitate the integration of immigrants and other new residents in our community,en courage community activities which celebrate diversity and educate city residents from different cultures that compose a city's population. unfortunately, i'm going to miss the international festival
held in downtown akron this weekend because i'm here in this special event. but mayors can encourage people to come together. all of these actions and others will help us to build tolerance and understanding in our communities. i believe personally that each mayor here could probably fill a whole hour with all of the things that they're doing in their own communities. we have really only a limited time, so i'm going to introduce three mayors who someone wrote here, three more distinguished. nation means more distinguished than me, and thoughtful mayors about what they believe needs to be done to make our communities for tolerant and to create more justice in our society. not only in our cities, but in our nation. i want to mention the jacksonville mayor, who may have been on the agenda, had planned to be here with us to
participate in this discussion, but events are keeping him in jacksonville this morning, and mayors understand how things change quickly in our lives. it's my pleasure to introduce, and i'm going introduce all three of them, and then they will make their comments, and then the important part, as we saw, was to interact with people who want to ask questions, and i encourage you, ut first, the mayor of rochester, minnesota, sbreg fisher, who is the mayor of louisville, kentucky, and christopher, mayor of west sacramento, so mayor brady, would you like to start? >> thank you very much. i'm glad you emphasized minnesota, because often it's assumed it's new york. we're named after that rochester, and we're all named after the one in england. but it's a real honor for me to be here, especially at this place. i grew up in austin, minnesota.
it's the home of spam, hormel company, where we had one black family in town, and we knew nothing really about racial tolerance at that that point. it was not an issue. i moved to rochester, minnesota, which is just 40 miles away, home of the mayo clinic. in the 1950's and 1960's, they had a local the micro baseball team in the southern minnesota league that had two black players. at that time, it was kind of a novelty. one was sam jones, who had hitched a no-hitter in the southern mini league, and later pitched a no-hitter for the chicago cubs. he was the first black player to pitch a no-hitter in the major leagues. , a littleting at all plusquellicor
said, i had limited experience with minorities. i hope i have been more than tolerant as the manager and administrator at mayo clinic, i worked there for 43 years, and now as mayor of what rochester. i wish we could all be more tolerant, more civil, and respective and understanding. the challenge in rochester is that we have residents that wish rochester was like it was 50 years ago. few minorities, and specifically few blacks. rochester today the city of about 110,000 people, and it is growing by 24% just between 2000 and 2010. so 85,000 up to about 107,000. in that time, our black, african population has grown, and our latino hispanic population both the burn about 115% from
about 6500 two 7000 persons respectively. 21% of our population now is what we call minority based on census numbers. from the theme back from the national league of cities, we had this particular sign that --s welcome we have this particular sign that says, "welcome, we are building an inclusive community." obviously much bigger than this. with a major ibm facility and mayo clinic and mayo with their 35,000 employees, the continued growth requires us to be welcoming to all people, and i think we are. we have an initiative called destination medical center that is pledging $3.5 billion in --velopment over the next two over the next 20 years, and
another $2 billion in private development with an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 jobs from that. mayo has also built and added a rosa parks pavilion, which has been something very new in the city. our city is actively and aggressively recruiting minorities, and our fire and police departments are trying very hard and working very hard at it to build a department that more closely resembles the iopulation that they serve. work for a closely with our school superintendent, and as was mentioned earlier, many of us do not have direct responsibly. i do meet regularly with the superintendent. especially as it raced to our minority students. together, we are working on innovative ways to close the achievement gap. our superintendent has worked very closely with the black students and has had success on that.
we are piloting -- or going to be piloting a program with early childhood education for latino students and their families. and we are having one-on-one meetings with the various cultural community. many of them do not feel comfortable coming to the school board, but they are meeting with the superintendent's cabinet members. we also know the data to reintroduce the arts into the schools for all students. the superintendent has a program that he started last year. "we want you back" is the name of it. it was initiated by him and supported the public with over 100 people, going out on a saturday morning about a month after school had started, and we have not done it yet this year, visiting homes where students have not yet reenrolled, and a fair number of those are students of color.
the results of that were most of those students then reenrolled, and the neat part about it was to see both the student and the family -- in many cases the mom -- with tears in their eyes saying they did not think anybody cared so it did not matter that the student was not in school. it has really done a great job to help in that particular program. also, we have a program for our immigrants that we assist them with free legal and language support in applying for their citizenship, and that has been working really well. as the mayor, i'm very public in supporting and attending the many traditional celebrations we have.whether it is a cinco de mayo, st. patrick's day, oktoberfest, chinese new year -- all of those. we will be celebrating the true mexican independence day on september 16.
we celebrate juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, and, of course, do civil rights march, and in minnesota, that's a cold day in january when we are marching, and also working with native americans in the various powwows and the burial grounds within our city. i want our city to celebrate diversity in its broadest sense. i supported a domestic partner registry, which was not popular with a lot of people. it turns out now that is not really necessary because the state of minnesota passed same- sex marriage this past year. i also was very outspoken about defeating the voter id idea, and that was defeated as a state.
i have attended also the eid festival for the muslims right after ramadan. i found out this was just extremely important to that whole community. we have a couple thousand that come to that event on an early morning because no previous mayor had ever done that, and it really makes a big difference. i should also mention that national night out, which is celebrated across the country, is a big event. we set records every year in getting out with the various neighborhoods. i get to about a dozen of them that particular night. i know each of these mayors do things that support their particular communities, and much has been done, but as we have all been saying, much needs to be done. these efforts are not always popular with those who wish we were still a population of 50,000, but it is still important. not only for the obvious economic reasons, workers for the dmc now, but more
importantly, as we build this inclusive community for all people. not only the smart thing to do, but it is the right thing to do, so, thank you, and god bless each and every one of you. mayorank you, mayor. fisher. >> i'm the mayor of louisville. i want to thank all the great citizens here in birmingham for hosting us. it is an honor to be here. our country is always going to be a work in progress when it comes to race relations, when it comes to our ability to reach our collective attentional as we build tolerance with each other. in the long view, there's no doubt that progress has been made when you start with abraham lincoln and go to martin luther king and then to president obama, but what you have to love about our cities and our country is an undeniable desire to always do better, to always
improve, to address our imperfections, and we put it out on the streets in the media, and we talk about it every day in a way that few other countries do. i'm a business guy and an entrepreneur that just happens to be mayor, and i can tell you that any company that pulls together a diverse group of people that has inclusive policies that taps the viewpoint and collective energy from a broad range of people is going to beat every day a company of people that just looks like themselves. and this is true, obviously, for our cities and our country as well. now our panel is on building tolerance. i would say that building tolerance certainly is a noble pursuit, but it is not adequate. the end goal has to be embracing our differences as people. celebrate our difference, not merely just tolerate our
differences. i want to also say that tolerance does not mean political correctness. where we tolerate everything and in so doing, we stand for nothing, and there certainly is pressure on people to do that. tolerance means we accept in all people their ability to contribute regardless of their gender, regardless of their race, regardless of their orientation around universal truths like the golden rule, integrity, accountability. and tolerance means we are able to judge people, in the words of dr. king, solely on the content of their character. so where are we going as a country? in the words of thomas merton, a monk who lived at the abbey of
gethsemane by my hometown of louisville, as he observed people hustling and bustling on fourth and walnut, which is now fourth and mohamed ali, so there is a certain serendipity of that, that we had a monk at a street now known for a muslim boxer, he said as he looked over at all the people, "the sunshine's on all of our faces, illuminating the beauty of the human spirit, and in fact, we are all connected." it is obvious we are all connected. we share the same earth. we share the same air. from a governmental standpoint, we are all the same family. we pay taxes into the same body. as i tell people, whether you like it or not, we are all connected, and we have to figure out how to get along and celebrate each other.
in louisville, we intentionally every day celebrate our differences through many actions. one might be our renowned festival of faith where we bring people together from around the world to discuss all of our different faith traditions that all share the same principles. we recognize we have many eight ,- many faith traditions but in fact, we have a common heart and we celebrate that. through our week of service just this past april, over 115,000 people volunteered with friends and strangers, helping each other in a spirit of compassion. louisville has been named the international model city for compassion, so progress is being made. you see more and more people
have friends with different skin color, and we know that when you meet somebody and you go into their homes, you understand that first we are members of the human race. that's the important issue. all other differences pale in comparison to that. every day throughout our country as well, because in louisville about every six weeks, we naturalize about 100 people to become american citizens. people from cuba, from india, somalia. as i look in their faces and their eyes, and it's a tremendously emotional experience, i see the very ideals that our country stands for, a country that embraces differences, a country that is growing everyday through naturalizing citizens that so yes, weese as well. have challenges, but progress has been made. more work remains to be done.>> thank you, mr. fischer. rochester,
we are not named after any cities in england. we are named after sacramento. both mayor johnson and i were not alive at the time of the bombing at this church or at the hatching of the civil rights movement. and yet, in a lot of ways, neither of us would be here today if it were not for that movement. for me, i probably would not have been born. my parents would not have been allowed to be married in most states in this country absent a movement here in birmingham and around rest of the south. marriage equality of its own time. my father being the son of immigrants from the philippines who were farmworkers who every day had to go drink at the fountains in stockton, california, where a sign said no filipinos allowed, but could never have married the white woman from michigan who became my mom.
when i went to school and the freedom riders had come back from alabama so proud of themselves and california and then turned the lens back on our own community and realized how deeply segregated los angeles was, and i was part of the very first desegregation school ever created in los angeles, actually, the first magnet school in california. my parents wanted me to understand where and why i was here and why integration mattered.and why rights mattered in our community. and it was that moment, coming off the bus, at my voluntary desegregation school in los angeles with all the cameras and all the reporters and all the activists and all the protesters, when i was just in seventh grade, that ultimately led me to get my voice and become a mayor in my bothommunity.it mattered thing alive and being somebody who speaks out today. it was the movement here that or -- that forged me as a person and made possible what has happened, and that is true for a larger community. as the mayor documented earlier, the u.s. conference of mayors in 2009, building on our long
legacy of activism and leadership in this country around civil rights adopted a sweeping proposal for full equality and justice for gay and lesbian americans, including marriage equality, but on every scope, work that could not have even been conceived up prior to the civil rights movement because we did not have language for civil rights. we did not have the word. we did not have the infrastructure. not just the past, but the road and all the sewer lines underneath and telecommunications were all laid by the civil rights movement so that when it came time, when when finally the door open for the possibility of equality for gay and lesbian americans, it was simply a matter of finding all the laws where it read, "race, color, or creed" and adding a protection in for me. could not have been done without the civil rights movement in the first place. that whole infrastructure created the possibility that equality could be achieved and within my lifetime.and achieved
within my lifetime, begun and one in my own lifetime. sometimes we think that this is some sort of linear process, and i worry about this with a lot of young activists today that think it is a natural line of ryegrass -- of progress from hate and replaced by tolerance and being replaced by rights and justice and it is all just inevitable and that activism is just about owning up a facebook status update, maybe changing your profile picture for a day, voting for one person to be president and going back to your life and expecting at-- it all to change. that we do not understand what you really must happen, what always had to happen her rights and justice to occur -- four rights and justice to occur. we expect a court to make it happen someday. all of the struggle, all of the death, all the injustice that preceded and followed the bombing at this church are not told, or they are told when a -- ore box with a picture. they are told in a little box
with a picture. but our struggle in what is involved securing rights is something that is critical that we explain and that we explore more so than we do not simply have this consumer idea around what civil rights are about, that we just buy it with our vote or with an ad or a facebook status update or a tweet, but we buy it with investing our soul, by challenging one another, and by tackling them one at a time. it drives me crazy when we talk about you cannot have justice unless you solve poverty. you cannot have justice unless you solve preschool. yes, you can. you can have more justice, and when we say you cannot have justice until you solve every other problem, which eventually we get to mental health and education and everything else, what you are really saying is you cannot have justice, and that cannot be acceptable in this country. we have to be good enough to tackle all of those at the same time.
they all matter. what i think i learned from studying and learning and exploring in birmingham was how nonlinear this all is and how people arguing or fighting in the chaos of the struggle, not some consulting firm coming in with all the activists in birmingham and saying with a bunch of butcher paper around the wall, "what is our strategic plan and who is going to do what and how is that exactly going to play out?" no, it is people arguing and fighting turf battles all the time, exploring the opportunity that was in front of them at that moment. that is the nature of how struggles that really matter work. we know this in cities because the civil rights movement is not mainly about the national struggle. it is about what occurs in cities. the fight was about buses. it was about toilets, parks, zoning, police. those are municipal issues. why was it about those things? yes because they are markers for dignity and justice and respect, but because they are the things that regular people experience and that regular people can influence. i can write my congressman, but what really matters in the day is my ability to influence my community.
that is why those matter so much. civil rights are contests at the city level, and it is every progressive decision had action as its parents some leadership why the city in order to make it occur, and that has to be everything going forward. for me, the court decisions around marriage equality happen because of a mayor in the city of san francisco saying, "i'm not going to stand for this anymore. and going to make this work." activists around the country pushing as well. cities have to be and always have been the locus, the center, the driving force for change. it is really about is not tolerating a law enforcement and justice system that is institutionally racist, about not tolerating schools that institutionally are not giving us justice, around tolerating the kinds of push-outs and
expulsions from school every day that are contributing and causing the challenges and our-- in our criminal justice system and our complicity, our land-use, zoning policies that continue to, by practice, result in desegregation, stopping the kind of collisions that makes cities exciting, that make cities creative, that create economic growth and our community.-- in our community. kids who get caught in the justice system when they are 12 they do not have to worry about ever getting tolerated because the rest of my community never sees them. they are nameless. they are faceless. they are just a statistic. they went straight from womb to street to jail. at no point did tolerance matter, which is why tolerance is a significant part of the equation, but it is not everything. in fact, today it may not even be the most important thing. it is making sure that we give
those kids the luxury of having to deal with intolerance. because they have made it into our work places, into our universities, into civil society where they can be annoyed by people who do not get it, by ignorant people who are not with them. that is in some ways our most fundamental challenge, their right to be intolerated for just a little while. [applause] the civil rights movement for gays and lesbians in this country got a turbo boost from the civil rights movement. what drives me nuts in that community is folks saying that that is the new civil rights movement or that is the civil rights movement of our generation. sure, it is part of it, but the civil rights movement of 1963, the civil rights movement that was accelerated by what happened here at this church is the civil rights movement of today. it is the civil rights movement of the 21st-century, and it is the civil rights movement of our generation. the tent is bigger. the cause is broader. the scope of people who must be
delivered justice is greater, but that movement and its purposes and its call to action into our hearts and souls in america remains the agenda and the movement for today. [applause] >> i want you to think about some good questions. i'm going to lead off with a couple, but i want to pick up on something that mayor cabaldon said, and it is almost beyond belief for me as i talk about my growth and thinking that things were going in the direction that they should, but not too long ago -- probably within the last decade or so, when i appointed the first black police chief after having appointed the first black fire chief, i realized about a year later that two friends of mine stopped talking to me. it is really something that was amazing to me to think about this intolerance and thinking about people who i have grown up with to actually think the 21st
century that i had done something wrong by appointing those two individuals, both of whom did a good job for the citizens of akron and judging them on their performance, i can say that.ink we looat what citis can do, what leaders can do, what mayors can do, and one of the things that happened in akron was recognition by our newspaper and the knight foundation, the knight chain of newspapers was founded by john s knight in akron, and they funded a program called "coming together" and it was literally working to bring diverse groups like all white suburban churches coming together with predominantly black churches, and that example across the board bringing together middle school kids from third-ring suburbs into the city of akron to visit with middle schools that were predominantly black created this sense of understanding that is vitally important.
president clinton recognized us when he came to akron in 1997 with his first town hall meeting, talking about race relations in this country. we move along this process of saying what more can we do, no matter what our progress and what we have done successfully, but what is it that we can do -- mayors, local elected officials -- to influence more of the national discourse, national discussion to get people to be more tolerant or understanding of different views? any ideas on what we should do or can do to bring the national recognition? i'm going to call on louisville because you are the biggest city, and sometimes washington only listens to big cities. [laughter] >> i do not know who they listen to. i think that is part of the problem, the disconnect between washington and our city seems to speaking formense.
most mayors, we are just kind of taking care of business on our own. this work has to be intentional, or people tend to go to churches with who they go to churches with, party with who they party with, go to school with who they go with. the role of a mayor has to be how we are going to bring our city together. how we are going to celebrate who we are collectively and not individually? i know it sounds so elementary, but in our city and all the other cities i see around the country, this is still very much a work in progress.so when you example,mple act, for one of our driving values as a city is the value of compassion. how can we be an even more compassionate city? we bring that to life through service work. we have a big week of service called the give a day week of mayors give a day a week of service. can you give a day, a couple of hours, everybody help somebody. i said let's set a world record for compassion. i did not know what the world record was, but as mayor, you can say things like this. [laughter]
we have 115,000 people come out, friends helping friends, strangers helping strangers. i proclaimed that we set a world record for compassion, and as mayor, you can proclaim things, and people believe that. now cities all over the world are asking -- how did you set this record for compassion? i said that i would help them beat us as world champion because that is what compassionate people do. my point is during this week of service, you look over, and there somebody from a different part of town that looks different from you, that before you might have just passed by and never saw them, but now you see them as a man with a family with kids that have the same challenges as your kids, and suddenly, we relate to each other as human beings. i do not know if we call that building tolerance or embracing our differences, but what i do
know is it builds the strength of your city, and cities require strength, just like states and countries do, because we will always be tested. might be on the economic battlefield. might be social justice, but when we have that strength and the heart and soul as humans, we son rise above the challenge. a simple act of service where you might think i am just going to help for a couple of hours. really it is much bigger in a civil context. in a strong statement of citizenship that we require in this country to keep the strength of the united states where everybody says -- i'm not just the taxpayer. i'm also a citizen. that means i contribute to a collective good that is bigger than me, and i do that with my >>me and talent and treasure. mayor brede. >> we all know it is very difficult. one example i have that has really worked well for us.
senator amy klobuchar that we have. she is doing a fantastic job. the catholic sisters in rochester took on the whole issue of human trafficking with young girls -- mainly young girls. they had a whole seminar on it that i participated in, and i did say to the sisters -- you have to remember, this is a lutheran kid talking to the sisters, too, so that was interesting for me, but i said, "let me talk to our senator." klobuchar,obal when she first came to office, she told her staff person shenever rochester wan something or the mayo clinic wants something, you better be there and let me know, so we have that good relationship with one senator, anyway, but i told
her staff person and he immediately talked to her, and she has been back with me, and she is introducing some legislation to really facilitate and help with that whole problem, so there are sometimes those rays of hope that come from good relationships that you do have, but in the bigger picture at times, it becomes very frustrating as to what you can do with both state and federal budgets, but there is that one good story i have for that relationship with her, and it's other things as well where she ends up winning each time she has run with about 75%, so i guess she is doing the right thing for the whole state.again, there is that one thing, and you cannot forget that one. >> also part of the challenge at the federal government just -- they do not get cities. almost all of our gross dimension -- grossed arresting national product prison cities, they just do not get it. so when issues like the community development block grant was mentioned, those are
resources that are really critical towards creating integrated neighborhoods or upgrading neighborhoods or creating equality among neighborhoods, and that is not seen as a priority for so many federal policymakers. drawing that kind of line is critical, but also helping them understand the economic implications of those decisions is a key action, but i agree. and the other is out of the way. quiteplusquellic is --re, with all of the the federal government with all of the mandates and sewer system cost and everything else, all that sucks the resources out of our systems, and basically, the federal government looks at to these as though we are rich because we are large, but we are large because we represent a lot of middle-class and poor folks that do not have a lot of money. a lot of them happen to live together, so the government says we want to clean up the air and water, so you just go do that
and pay for it since you have all this money. my constituents do not actually have that much money. thinking about how federal policy institutionalizes discriminatory policies and finance mechanisms by hitting cities harder than other parts of the country i think is a big part of it, but it cannot just be about the feds. we have a lot of tools, and i think most of them are at our disposal.when i was thinking about what bull connor did with the powers to enforce segregation and evil. am i using those same powers as strongly, as effectively, as determinedly on the opposite side of the equation? he did a lot. he had police, fire, schools. i have those things less sewer-- plus a sewer and water and a lot of other things at my disposal, and they all have subtle but important implications about where we are going to build things. who is going to get septic tanks and onto sewer, who's going to get the new bus line versus the new light rail line? where are we going to build the new solar roof or schools?
those decisions -- every single one of them has an impact on what your city looks like, how it interacts, and whether people connect with one another. what an never had to do when i was growing up was to get my parents run the table and say, "i have something to tell you. it's going to be uncomfortable. i'm filipino." they knew that, but the people next door did not know that. nobody did. that was always part of their experience. when i had to tell them that i'm gay and they were like they love me anyway, i was instantly integrated into their lives, inextricably. whether it was for gays and lesbians or for women, we are already integrated, right? there is no avoiding us. when you watch debates in the legislatures or congress and people stand up and say that it is your son or your daughter that you did not know before and now you can change your mind because you just discovered that, we do not have that experience when it comes to race. part of the point of the city is
to create those experiences, create the unintended, unanticipated collisions -- in a good way -- with people, whether that is in the workplace, the park, the library, or the dense housing development. wherever it is, our job as mayors is in part to create not integration in the classic legal way, although that is part of it, but really to create the opportunity for people to bring each other into their lives. that is so essential for the changing of hearts and minds and souls.and ultimately some of these policies. >> we have heard a couple of other words used here. i used understanding as part of the meaning of tolerance. you just mentioned experiences. mayor brede, you just mentioned good relationships.i would be remiss if i did not mention -- and some of you may or will understand this, but i'm joined with a long time serving councilperson who served as council president, and i would describe it that we had a relationship that went beyond tolerance.
most mayors just sort of tolerate their council members. he is one of my best friends in life and now works as planning director and has done a great job. some of the things i think you understand is it is difficult -- more difficult, i would offer you, to change the minds of people who have a whole life experience and have this hate built in than it is in our youth. someone once said that we were not born with prejudice. we learn those from wrong experiences or from wrong education. what we did was create a youth leadership program called peacemakers and invited young people, high school age, to come in and learn more about their community and how they could serve. when we get people engaged to learn more about how government works and accepting of their roles as citizens, we understand how we have a role to play in a democracy. my question is -- and i'm going to make one other statement, and i do not know what it is like in
other cities exactly, but i know in akron, pastors, priests, rabbis are really outside the walls of their church actively working, whether it is food pantries, serving meals to poor people, running for school board there is a great deal that pastors have done to be a leader in this issue as well as many others, but, mayors, who else needs to be at the table? who elseit stakeholders. needs to be on our committees and commissions? what else can we do to reach out to other segments beyond just saying that this is kind of a feel-good kind of issue here, so we call on the preachers to do that. who else needs to be at the table to get this job done, to move us along this progression that you are all talking about of making progress, making improvements? >> leadership often comes from very surprising places, so the question is -- is your city and
are our individual minds open to that? when we see somebody that might look extraordinarily different from us, and you do not look in and say, "boy, he looks strange," versus, "that person has an extraordinary amount to offer," you find that there's a whole other group of people that look like them and think like them that now find that they are accepted and have a voice. many people in cities feel like their voice does not matter and like they have no hope. they feel socially isolated, and that leads to trouble, usually. our job is to break down that social isolation. that means at the table, you have people that are frequently going to challenge you in unconventional ways. when you are younger, you might see that as threatening. when you are older and more wise, hopefully you see that as a call to celebrate. inevitably, it leads to something good. it broadens your perspective.
the goal in the city -- i would say in the country -- is to be able to look at all of these challenges through this very broad perspective. as mayors, we have to deal with the bell curve of like. it is not like a company where you can say you do not want a customer or supplier. with that also comes a lot of opportunities. intentionally, we are doing a lot of interesting things to our public health department, for instance. issues of access, help the community fellows, young people in the community that are our teenagers. the good news is when we take a look at statistics -- i brought a reuters poll with me that says many americans have no friends of another race. about 40% of white americans and 25% of nonwhite americans are surrounded exclusively by people that look like them. when you go under the age of 30, it changes. to your point, mayor, about 1/3 under the age of 30 have a
partner or spouse or are in a relationship with someone of a different race, compared with 1/10 americans overall. and only one in 10 adults under 30 say no one among the family, friends, or coworkers is of a different race. when i look at my kids and this generation we are talking about, this is when you can see that pendulum of change happening. not happening fast enough, but brede.aking place.>> >> the obvious besides the preachers, we have groups together that involve the schools. the chamber of commerce, businesses, and in our case, we have two major employers with iayo and ibm, but an experience had, well we had experiences, 46 of them, you get those groups together, and they represent
multicultural neighbors and they represent multicultural neighbors in their own neighborhood association, but an experience back when i was working at mayo is sometimes it works and it did in one place, find the most disagreeable person or the one that really did not want to do what you wanted to have done, a new system you were putting in, so we met with that person and ultimately pointed out all the pluses and minuses of that, and she understood it, and when she became the spokesperson for that new system, everybody accepted it then because if you could convince her, you knew you had it made. if we had just tried to do it with those that were already believers, if you will, i do not think it would have worked, but with her, it didn't work.-- but with her it didn't work. -0- it did work. sometimes you have to work with the ones that are the most disagreeable to get something that all can agree upon. >> you are fortunate because some of those folks you cannot get to no matter how much logic and education. >> that is true. >> i'm going to open up to questions.i will make sure you
get the answer to the first question, mayor cabaldon. any questions that we have out there from the audience? i would love to ask the young people to have the first question. >> i would be remiss if i did not mention to you guys -- you talk about tolerance. i moved here from washington, d.c., and i came here because as a young boy growing up in d.c., i watched dr. king drive down 16th street headed to the march on washington.i did not understand what was. i was a little kid. but when we talk about tolerance, we have to start with
dr. king's letter from the birmingham jail. if you read it, if you study it, he talked about people taking positions of tolerance but not moving it beyond that.saying i see your struggle, i don't know if i really understand it, but i will just tolerate it. we will tolerate it. dr. king spoke about that, and i think today, in this church -- or this panel, i would like to --ar, especially from you -- i especially from you, chris, i love your energy. i love your energy. i want to hear somebody tell us what is going to be beyond tolerance, like king did in his letter from a birmingham jail.
what is the action behind the words?>> christopher. >> you did not just call me out, did you? this is a critical point then the quote il is now. had was -- our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. our aim was to try to create the kind of america legislatively, morally, and psychologically such that even though some people continue to hate us, they cannot openly manifest that hate. that has been our agenda. it has to still be in many ways, but that is not enough any longer, either, because the open manifestation is mostly not allowed under the law. even in a place like california where i'm from, it is not allowed in daily discourse, but it does not have to be because we are living on top of a set of laws and institutions and economic structures that were created when hate was manifest in all of them, so to simply say
that we are now going to start over, but we are leaving the entire infrastructure underneath that the same, when our laws about zoning, when our priorities about how we deliver transportation, just the basic things like that were all derived from that. the great investments in american cities and our infrastructure, the technological change, changes in industry all occurred under both institutional and overt racism and discrimination and hate. we have to look at all those pieces, but they do not come to us in the way they did as, "i hate blacks" or "i hate gays" or "i hate women." it's not so easy anymore. even in the 1980's, 1990's approach, people would say they noticed in the document that it does not say diversity anywhere. someone discovered through microsoft office that you could search for a world. and they are protesting a stakeholders.and it should say
diversity in it. ok, that is fine, but what does that actually say about the outcome? what about the results?what about the actual thing we are talking about besides just mentioning the word so that we eel better about who we are? part of the challenge today is to be a lot more sophisticated around those other policies so that whether it is pastors or community organizations or students or others, they can look at a zoning ordinance that does not say "race" anywhere in it and start to analyze what the key things mean. when they say we do not want more than 12 units per acre, what is that the lease saying?-- what is that really saying? what is that intended to do? and then be able to step up. when we say we do not want our rail line going anywhere that does not have this proportion of corporate offices on it, what does that really mean? when we talk about how to address crime in terms of improving effectiveness of law enforcement and identifying problems before they happen, well, how?we have to do that,
yes, it is furry important, but how we do that matters a great deal, so being able to deconstruct all the other policies that are happening at every level of government but especially communities and cities in ways that uncover, that unearth the very hidden just because of the history of where race and poverty and all sorts of these other issues come into play is really a challenge for every stakeholder. it's no longer just about who comes to the table but what is the lens that they are bringing and the tools they are bringing in order to be effective at >>covering just these issues. mr. fischer. >> the tactics, the laws are very important. i think the benefit we all could have as leaders in our community and especially as mayors is to create the conditions for the conversation, to be leaders in secular ethics. when i became mayor two-and-a-
half years ago in my inaugural address, i spoke about a city of health, physical health, mental health, environmental health. i spoke about an even more compassionate city. my political advisor said, "do not talk about compassion. it will make you sound week and -- weak, and political leaders are supposed to be strong." i said i think it requires more strength to talk about compassion than it does to be angry or skeptical, cynical, a critic from the couch, and what i found is that compassion is the one thing that i can get everybody to agree on. it does not matter republican, independent, democrat, tea party, black, white, yellow, everybody nods their head when i talk about compassion and the need for a city to be a center for compassion because that's what creates a context for social innovation, which leads to technical innovation, which leads to jobs. while it is important that we put all of these frameworks in
place -- and i see young people in particular always are looking for the big answer -- that one thing -- my one thing is just to say be compassionate. that is what makes people happy. that is what will make you happy. we see that all over the world. . what is that one thing we can do that connects with you as a human being? if everybody does that, all these other problems go away. sometimes we get complicated and we get caught up in these other particular details that we can come back.be compassionate. we will be a tremendous country if we are in that one place.>> let me address that if i could, too, because i think it is like everything that mayors face -- it's a complex set of circumstances that we are doing police and fire and managing them and dealing with our university president and encouraging them to do something, and sometimes we are superintendent of the schools. there's a lot of different parts to that. i would argue that the population, just like students, do not all learn at the same rate, so building tolerance is
the minimum that we need to work on for some people while we are building beyond tolerance, which is what your question is, with other folks, and you have to bring them all along. that's the way i look at the answer to your question, and mayors have to address that and multiple different ways. we have the gay games coming to akron and cleveland, but there were two national incidences of hate crimes right in cleveland, and it is demoralizing in many ways. while we are out touting some of the things we have done, and a year from now, the international gay games, thousands of people will be coming there, so there's different levels all of the time while people are working, trying to make their experience more valuable and enjoyable, here are other folks doing things that we have to bring everyone along, i think, and the level of learning, or the level of their education on issues is different, and it depends on what your circumstance is, but i think you have to address all of them.and i appreciate the question.
young lady, i think we have time for two more? go ahead. >> i truly believe the next step my nameolerance is unity. is arden blackwell, and i am a native of birmingham, alabama. in 2006, i founded the unity club at my alma mater, unity high school, and i'm working on expanding that to a much larger organization. my question is for you mayors. what suggestions do you have four strategies or incentives to get corporate america and government officials to come together and work together on initiatives that already exist in so many different areas of the city, even when it may not be beneficial? what incentives or strategies do you suggest for people who actually are actively trying to unify their cities and organizations to get support from government and corporate america?
>> i'm going to ask the mayors to do that as sort of in bullet points. >> have them create mentorships where these young people who do not look like what the corporate structure is, have them coach them and develop them through their system so they can appreciate the challenges we have in all of our cities. >> we have different groups that are organized around the youth, and we get them involved. i know just one event that has really made a difference is what we call the youth on tour at the capital. we have over 100 youth of all nationalities, cultures, races that go up there and meet with i always go along with it, pay for, the buses, all of that. those kind of things i think can get the students engaged in government to know what that is about, invite them to our council meetings, etc. they will find out that maybe it is not something they really want to do, but it is good.
>> i would skip the case statement most times and go right to the action. for corporate leaders, political leaders, and others, in most places, they get the need and the white.-- the why. they also understand why it is economically beneficial for them as a company, but oftentimes, we do not assume that. we assume we have to educate them on 100 years of the struggle, and by the time we are done, the meeting is over. so getting right to the four things i want from the company or that the company can do to help diversify the start of community, and it does not look like our community, and four things we think the company can do, whether it is providing an internship or deploying some coders to help, you have got to declare that at the very beginning as opposed to telling them the story. get right to the point about what it is that you think will bring real resources to make change happen.>> i don't know who said this originally, but
the best social program is a job. if we can create jobs, good things happen. >> i also would add that i think in today's world, especially in corporate america, they always talk about measurable. as much as you can build that in, the problem is i have learned much of the good things in life you cannot really measure. not in the kinds of measurements. there are some things that if you can, it helps to get them to explain why it is. for instance, leaving people out of the economic base of a community -- that makes sense. it makes sense to talk about as the previous panel did what you can do when you have everybody buying products, everybody being productive members of the economy. that measurable is important. it is not always there, but as much as you can, build that into your discussion, i think it letps with corporate america. me -- no, this gentleman was here.
hold on. do we have one more -- i'm sorry, go ahead. he has been standing there. >> i'm here with the auburn university representatives. tolerance brings many thoughts to my mind.one of those is empathy. how can public officials inspire the hearts of the people of our nation to have empathy for one another, a level above just tolerance, and how can we have an understanding for our fellow man?>> i will turn it over to the panel, but let me tell you something, and i do not consider myself in any way in this level of speakers, but what you need to do is sit and listen to the next bigger because joe riley will make you cry about issues that sometimes you cannot measure, about bringing people together, about why downtowns are important and why place of space is important. if you can, listen. if in this country, in times that we move the most, it has been some phenomenal human being reaching us inside to say the things that drive us to do more
and i would suggest to you, joe riley is one of those individuals -- that's my answer. if you can top that, mayors, you tell me, but go ahead.lloyd know, those big cities always push in. sacmento--o go for a li mayor cabaldon. >> whether it is at the city level or corporate level or community organizations, where we pretend to be always perfect saints, and the problem with empathy is that it requires you to get out of that for a moment, to not think that it is all about your leadership or about your objectives and also to be able to have some vulnerability and to be wrong, right? if you are really understanding someone else's experience at a level empathy, not just reading the stats, then there's a chance that you might learn something. that means you were not 100% right five minutes ago. we do not tolerate that much
among our corporate and political leaders. part of it is as americans to expect our leaders to do, to be evaluated on a different basis, but we have to model that, too, and show that, and in some places the courageous, but also show how basically human that is and how courageous it is not in order to really understand the diversity of experiences that are all around us every day, whether it is race or a variety of others that influence who we are. the ecosystems that we are managing, that we are helping to lead and to inspire are the collection of all those individual hopes, aspirations, and fears and excitement that we have to capture in order to channel the future of our communities. >> we have to bring this to a close. i'm sorry. have to get people in schools. get people in schools to teach young kids how to read. if we get our kids at grade
level reading, as a country, we will be strong. first you learn to read. then you read to learn. get people in schools to learn how to mentor kids. last, empathy is not sympathy. the person that reaches out learns so much more about their preconceived notions and how wrong they were. that makes us all better. >> mayor nutter says that the strategy in philadelphia on poverty is education. the strategy for violence is education. i think in tolerance, you should say the same thing -- it's education. i have to bring this to a close. please join me in thanking the panelists. [applause] i will turn it back now. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> on c-span today, "washington journal" is live with today's news. program,"newsmakers" automatic spending at the end on
and thoughts toward syria. and then the intelligence national security alliance summit, the getting with the chairmen and ranking member of the house intelligence committee. >> yes, the world is changing. no, we cannot control every event, but america remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs, and as long as i am president, i intend to to keep it that way. >> when the president in the earlier clip is talking about we are the indispensable nation, what he does not want us to talk about, what he does not want americans to contemplate is we don't know how to win wars. we have by virtually any measure the best military in the world. we certainly spend more on our military van basically the rest of the world put together, but we don't know how to win wars. it seems to me that there really
ought to be a very serious national conversation to ask -- why is that the case e where does the fault lie? is that our politicians are too stupid? is that our generals are inept? is it the size of the forces are too small? by itst the fact that very nature, war is unpredictable? to go to war is to roll the dice , and you might win, and you might not. >> more with retired army colonel and princeton history professor andrew bacevich tonight at 8:00 on c-span's "q and a." >> coming up next on "washington journal," your calls, e-mails, and tweets, and in a session on the latest regarding syria. after that, we will talk about the mechanics of removing chemical weapons from syria and he challenges the international immunity faces in the process kimball of the arms
control situation. then a discussion with bruce wood.od -- ruth wedg states andnited russia reached a broad agreement on saturday, calling for syria's arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by next year. it also indefinitely delayed american airstrikes. this marks the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis. george stephanopoulos tweeted out that he will ask the president this morning if there has been any real changes since then. wes sunday, september 15, will begin with your thoughts on american exceptionalism.