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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 27, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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about that. it is not the conventional concern that it is somehow eroding our defense. so little of the defense industrial i worry about the baseline technology, whether we can still participate in that market, but more powerfully i went about whether the state of the chinese company becomes part of our political process. reflects why we should be concerned about that, so when you say there is limits on free trade, i say we should pursue the idea of freedom choice for the benefit of eliminating those sorts of taxes that actually injure our ability to grow the economy. should be very conscious of the areas where you are inviting in forces which will limit freedom down the road. my response to be, really bullish on free trade, bullish on trying to vindicate our rules and ideas of economic freedom in
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the global marketplace, and deep concerns about whether and when other places that violate the rules start to really undermine our ability to deliver on that promise economic freedom, both here and abroad. >> yes, sir. tv ofn stand with cpi taiwan. while the volatility of the chinese stock market have any negative impact on the president's position when he comes here for a state visit next month? acceptablee him more or easier to make deals or concessions to the u.s.? taiwan, we allth know that taiwanese economy is so dependent on the mainland. where will the volatility of the chinese stock market and slower
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than expected growth, and potential financial crisis have any impact on taiwan? is there anything taiwan can do to prevent that? thank you. lots has say this, changed in six years. brazil is in recession, rusher is -- russia is entering a deep recession. as recently as four years ago, china was growing at almost 10%. it is probably half that now, and grinding down slowly. when the president comes to washington in september he will not be strutting in. the u.s. economy is growing at a rate around 3%. we have created 200,000 jobs a month over the past 12 years so you have seen, the u.s. economy is always written off. it was written off in 1981 and
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1982, in the 1990's. a strong resuscitation, it has resuscitated once again. upan corporate were loading corporate balance sheets or in pristine condition, very low debt, with the capability to expand a lot in cap x and hiring. taiwan, iestion is in was there about nine ago, we are concerned. by far the largest trading partner for taiwan during most of the postwar. , and this is completely reversed. a lot of it is because of the proximity of the economic center, china is so did now. exports go tos china, although in many instances they are refigured and
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reexported. bound taiwan's outward former dutch direct investment goes to china. if they end up improving the service agreement, that could go both ways for taiwan. after living in china, the service is extremely poor. there is no culture in terms of in the service industry, providing quality services. i spent an afternoon in a restaurant. there is a possibility taiwan could do well because it has a much more sophisticated service. on the other hand, given the differences in size the chinese economy now is 20 times larger than that of taiwan, and as
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recently as 2000 it was only 10 times as large as 10 times larger. there is a worry among small and medium-sized enterprises in taiwan about being consumed and swallowed if the service agreement is passed, and we are concerned about that. he will comeat strutting into town because he has read his opposition accurately. the president has invested a lot in china, the on board in terms of the climate change agreement at the end of the year. the idea that president obama will try and undermine the relationship, by using his legacy, is exactly what the president will exploit. ourselves, often times the most revealing things we say are the criticisms we offer about other people. i always used to love it when the chinese would describe the
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united states as a paper tiger. it was a moment of self reflection. china and their president is very good at projecting. the reality is much more unsettling. this is a country that is rolled for the benefit of people in the conclave, not for the rest of society. under those circumstances, we should be very concerned about the fundamentalist politically and economically but that will not play out in terms of a meeting with the bomb. -- president obama. >> i think i will take the liberty of asking the last question. going back to the question about how do you direct a crisis in the right direction, we have been in a series of craziness for a number of years. theot me to thinking about one about ronald reagan and maggie thatcher and how that got turned in the right direction.
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what was going on in the country that allowed the politics to go off in diametrically different directions? i do not know the answer to that. it did remind me of another thing, clearly in the case with reagan and thatcher there was a widespread perception that the direction the country was going was not working, and they thought they understood what the cause was. there was not a lot of confusion about it, it was the high inflation from the 1970's, and people were feeling the pain. which leads me to the federal reserve. by artificially keeping the interest rates low by putting all this money into the system every time the stock market pickups, the same thing happens with china, this is creating the artificial perception that things are actually better than they are. benefiting, this is the party or the movement who ands the easy answers
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security collectivism and all the things you have mentioned, so all the things that we talk about, there are not 2000 people in this room. we talk about hard things. i think we speak the truth. the truth is not always what people want to hear. so my question to you is, talk about the federal reserve, talk about this issue. is it possible to unwind that problem without having the kind of pain that actually could put a crisis in the direction, in which direction i do not know it could go? a lot of americans are not seeing the reality of what is going on because of this. >> you have raised such an interesting question. it is the central problem. if you think about the debt crises we have had, there is an thatt in excess of debt has been floating freely in the
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system for a very long time, decades, starting with inflation in the vietnam era. what we have done is that that with the existing policies. the federal reserve is simply augmenting the possibility of the financial crisis down the road. whenou try and combat that the orthodoxy frankly within the has faithprofession in macro economic theory, has real failings. i worked with jenny a lot on the hill and she is somebody who is very skilled, pragmatic. that, the orthodoxy she is confronting is one that is built in saying, let's keep the money flowing. certainly the politics of the moment of who is in charge downtown is, let's keep the money flowing as a practical matter.
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until somebody brings that up short, i doubt you will see much resistance. day,z like hayek in his pointing out things that were fundamentally true, but he was disregarded in the 1940's and 1950's, shunned because he was speaking the truth. as and to think about it economist in a practical way. when we measure inflation we look at hard goods. about the.urselves here -- the period of the financial crisis, of thinking inflation is low, although you see inflation popping up and posing other aspects. all the decade -- let's stay where we are, ignores the very feature of the system that is creating the next crisis. that is where we are stuck, and china frankly, because it had the opportunity to take advantage of the period with its
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rapid growth, foreign investment and reserves, is now stuck with the problem that was once in the united states, asia, russia, but this money debt sloshing around the international system. until we bring it up short, but that really has to start with a little bit like i say, politics. there has to be some encourage on the part of people to stand up and say, this is not what it purports to be. not a very satisfying answer, i have got to admit. >> i hope everyone will join me in thanking the participants and speakers here. i think it was an excellent session. stay tuned for next year's index of economic freedom in january 2016. thank all of you. [applause]
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>> saturday marks the 10th year anniversary of hurricane katrina, the category three hurricane that hit the gulf coast from florida to texas and led the flooding from new orleans. nearly 2000 people died. an estimated one million were displaced. "the new york times" had this tweet showing pictures after the hurricane blew through. there are pictures right after the storm. you see some of the new housing, and we are marking the event by covering a number of new events
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that are taking place in commemoration of the storm. this afternoon, president obama will meet with residents in the you are liens and will deliver -- in new orleans, and will deliver remarks in the ninth ward, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm. live coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. eastern. "washington journal be live from new orleans tomorrow morning and saturday morning. tomorrow, we will talk with the former mayor. saturday, the actual anniversary, you will see video of the hurricane's aftermath and resulting recovery over the past 10 years. we will also take your phone calls. " everyshington journal morning at 7:00 a.m. examining new orleans 10 years after katrina. we will begin with federal
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emergency management administrator craig fugate as he talks with steve clements about how disaster preparedness has changed it's the storm. storm.e the >> it is good to be with you. i am steve clemons, washington editor at large at the atlantic. as we discussed these weighty issues some of you lived through, we have someone who heads the agency. craig figure eight -- craig fugate is the administer -- administrator of fema. malignedthe most federal administration in history. the pressk back at
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coverage of fema and its administrator during that time, the first thing that in terms of doing a historical look at this is, what went so wrong? why did it go so wrong? >> there is a lot of people who want to focus on an individual. i have been in this business for a while and we have seen this pattern over and over again. fornation prepares something and when something worse happens, we are not prepared. it goes back to her again andrew, hurricane hugo. we plan for what we're capable of doing, not what can happen, and then things scale up. we actually had the national hurricane conference that year in new orleans in april talking about that risk. participated in a -- >> you had a discussion before
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katrina hit in april of that year that basically simulated out what might happen? >> we actually looked at worst things. overlying --cane flooding the main levee system. if you looked at a lot of the plans, they would plan for what had happened in the past, what people thought was reasonable to plan for. mother nature is not reasonable. what you had was, everybody thought, if it is worse than that we will just scale up, and it did not. it was also a very disjointed response and that you have what i call, each local government was like dominoes having to fall before the next level to kick in. >> explain what that means of how domino action was triggered.
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as the triggering dominoes of a request came in, what came to your agency, why did it mobilize so late? >> it goes back to how we are structured. -- smallsters, strong ones are handled by local governments every day. occasionally it will get to the level where the governor will request from the president that they need assistance, and fema acts upon the direction of the president. that, day to day works probably for small floods and tornadoes. it does not work in large-scale disasters. level wascy was each planning, responding, and waiting for it to get to the next level. i am not saying fema was not doing things ahead of time, the way we had set up our structure was equal -- each local government has to make the request to get assistance. congress recognized this in the
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post-katrina reform act. why do we have to wait for them to ask for help to start moving? the thing you lose in disasters you never get back is time. it is not so much the lack of resources, it is the decisions being made to commit resources that you may have to make those quickly. you may not have formal request. if you wait until people know how bad it is, you lose time and you never get time back. unlike other hazards, we can see hurricanes coming. int we have learned and done this administration is we are not waiting for storms to get close or governors to make requests. we start planning, how bad can it the, and move resources there in time. the government may not resources,need those but time is the one aspect of response you never get back so you need to be planning for what could happen, not what you are planning to do, and move quickly
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not waiting for all the thought -- back. broke.s. the levees at that point you need certain and rescue -- search and rescue. yous the understanding that go by what could happen, not what you are prepared to do. when you see something developing, you plan upon the worst-case scenario. we are not in the business of hope. >> i just want to tell the audience i spent some time with the administrator a little while ago and he is the most pleasant gloom and doom guy you could have at a dinner table. you have been in disaster preparedness and recovery all your life, thinking about these issues. oversaw 87011 you emergency responses. you were made famous for overseeing the four hurricanes in 2004.
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both president bush and pray bomb -- president obama wanted you to come in so you are seen as the disaster guy by just about everyone. wrongid you think was with fema when you came in? what were the big things you set out to change in the way they respond? what is the difference today in the dna of fema under you than what we had under michael brown? big, go fast,go the smart about it. >> by implication, none of those were the case before? >> they were so afraid of making decisions for being wrong, having to have information. they want to look at how do we reduce cost. getting ready and responding to disasters is not cheap. there is always the budget consideration, as is going to cost a lot of money, do we really need it?
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what if we cut here, what if we cut their westmark -- cut there? -- paralysis, or people were so fearful of the wrong they would wait until they had all the information to get to the right answer. you do not have time, you go with the best answer with the information. we usedhrough this -- to wait until a disaster happened and try to assess how bad it was before we would respond. that is why we used to say, the first 72 hours, it is going to take that long to know how bad it is. i was like, why are we waiting 72 hours? if it is a category three hurricane, why don't we assume it is bad? that is not how the system was set up. i was like, the system is insane, we are changing it. if you have a major hurricane about to make landfall you
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better be ready to respond when the wind dies low enough. speed is key. you have to have the resources based on the population at risk. this is not rocket science. you have got to risk, you have a population, you have impact. unlike an earthquake, we see it coming. it does not mean there will not be tragedy, damages, and it does not mean there will not be loss of life, but it should not be a mystery to wait for someone to do an assessment for we respond. in 2004,n i learned speed is key and the more time you wait, the less you will change the outcome. respond like it is bad. you can always go down and reduce. you do not get time back. the thing i hammered in fema over and over again, we never get time back. before the governor makes a
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formal request to the president, if it is a response we need to be moving. a lot of disasters are about helping financially recover, and since we do that most of the time, our systems tend to gravitate around that you we wait for the requests, and that is about financial reimbursement. it is about rebuilding after disaster. that model does not work in a response. if your system is built around what you do most of the time, that is what you will do when you have the katrina. you have to build for what the mission is, being able to move quickly with little information based upon as best as you can with models and probability of impacts. >> one of the impressions that people have, and i can feel it just seeing the media coverage on the 10th anniversary of katrina, is a sense that the kind of resources you direct help out rich, white communities
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and leave behind those that are disadvantaged, those in other communities, that there is not a fair or effective distribution that covers the population. would you agree with that? >> yes. does anybody have any idea that maximum amount of fema assistance? it is about $32,000. you need to have uninsured losses. you also have to fail means test in that the next level of the system says a low interest loan from the small business administration. if you do not qualify for the sba, you may be eligible for fema grants. fema grants were not designed to make people whole, although a lot of people come in afterwards and say fema is going to make everybody better. fema was designed to do the initial response and start the
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process. the mayor was talking about all of the dollars that have come to the city. that is not fema dollars. i know of no community that did not have a housing issue before the disaster that got better just because you had a hurricane or earthquake. we do not deal with the job situation, the unemployment the tuition in education -- the unemployment situation, and education. ours is like the initial response to give somebody some help, give them a place to live, give them some initial assistance. carter has never built fema to make people whole. the poor get the most help from fema because they do not qualify for loans and do not have insurance. poverty is one of the single biggest factors of impact in
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disasters of not being able to recover. the other thing we had was a middle-class that were middle-class because of the homeownership. when they lost their homes they were no longer middle-class. if you got the wealth, you can weather disasters better than the poor. that is just a fact of life, because the way our programs are designed at fema, we do not exist to pre-existing conditions and we will not make people whole. we are designed to be a bridge. what are the things that congress directed us to do under president obama we have looked at, if you only look at fema programs, communities will not recover because you have to look at the community's needs as a whole. fema has a small piece in that. do ise have been asked to courtney among federal agencies. are we addressing the underlying issues? is there going to be affordable housing, jobs?
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people left is the schools were not coming back, there was no place to stay, it was not safe in many areas. back, have toople have a place to live that you can afford. you have to have a job. you have to have a school system that you are willing to put your kids in. the mayor was talking about, these are the things you have to establish, but we as a federal government did not sit together with the blueprint to work with the state and local governments on how to do that. opportunitiesmany in that response. we are at 10 years and we are still working on resolving issues with the city on water and sewage. >> he said katrina is not a closed operation. >> it has still open up. room wein the green
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were talking about how you thought fema had long made a mistake of competing with the private sector during responses. you have this wonderful, they call the waffle house index. give us a 45 second or one minute frame of the waffle house index. >> i drive back and forth between florida and new orleans, so you knew every intersection you were going past was a waffle house. open at was anything that interchange even when the power was out, it will be a waffle house. we came up with this index that if the waffle house is open, it is not that bad. we were not waiting for the locals to tell us it was bad, we were just responding. we would start driving in these areas and if the waffle house was still open i would tell the search and rescue areas, keep going, it is not that bad if the waffle house is closed, it is pretty bad.
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problems withe what we call a government-centric approach to problems. we tended to look at the private sector, somebody we contract with, and get in competition with them. we would be putting out food, water, and supplies in areas where stores were trying to open. we found that perhaps a better way to was -- better way was to sit down with the private sector and let's go where you are not. in the city place that still is underserved by grocery stores? on where to put out food and water, should i plan for those areas first? >> absolutely. >> instead of where the stores are. and then asked the stores, what do you need to open up?
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it was this idea in these really big disasters, there is not enough government. quit trying to solve problems with this government and look at the private sector as part of the team. if we work together, why are we competing with you and going where you can get open? we need to go where you are not you cannot get open. it goes from the big rocks stores, the drugstores, down to the local businesses, because this is the other horror story that most people do not talk about, how many small businesses get wiped out and do not come back. they do not have the resiliency and cannot go small -- long. of time with interruptions -- long periods of time with interruptions.
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put people to work, use local businesses, because we tend to bring everybody from the outside. that may be necessary in the beginning but at some point, if stores are locally open, why aren't you buying their? why aren't you hiring local? displaced while they are waiting for the schools to open or further jobs to come back, as income. you need to turn around and stop thinking about, we are a big federal government, we know everything and we have all the resource. no. we were not doing it the day before the disaster. what made us think we were smart enough to do it the day after the disaster? basically it was emergency management 101 that was not a result of katrina but what we were teaching all the way back when i got into the business. >> if you had rolling into town and the region a disastrous
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hurricane on the scale of katrina, how do you think the contours of that book in terms of members and see response question mark -- in terms of emergency response? >> i would hope we would not see loss of life, but the giving is we will lose people. people still have the damages. i think what you would see differently is less of the sense of, we do not know how bad it is, we do not know what we are doing. it may legitimately be, there is just cannot -- just not enough stuff to get there fast enough. we only built systems design for our everyday business model. i think you would see a much different response. you will never be able to answer this question until you have another katrina-sized storm. our experience is, during sandy,
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irene, remember isaac? river parishes had no idea how bad they could get hit because they said, isaac is not as bad as katrina, we are fine, and they flooded. we saw this year in orleans parish they did well, and the levee helped. the search on link pontchartrain was actually worse on the river parishes. it was not an issue that fema was not here, we were here. the thing we try to re-emphasized is you have to collapse the dominoes. the locals, states, and fence have to work together as one team. you have to base your scale upon impact to respond as if it is going to be bad, and hope it is not. you really remind me herman kahn thinking the unthinkable,
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the disaster guy in american history always thinking about nuclear holocaust. when you look into the arena of natural disasters, you said katrina was fully predictable, everything was on the table. how communities would be hit was on the table, and it is stupid to say we could not have been better prepared. as you look forward today, what of the top two or three horrible disasters out there when he to happen that you worry about? zonee cascadia subduction off the coast of oregon state has been getting depressed lately, but we have been working in this since i have been in office. >> earthquake and tsunami? >> orleans has always been a dangerous area, but another area that most people do not think about is norfolk, virginia. that area is very vulnerable to storm surge and their population
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is a nightmare, to try to evacuate. houston, even new york city. in most cases, we know where the hazards are and the vulnerabilities are. we plan to put our effort on catastrophic disaster planning, not what we do most of the time, but as a nation, what could happen, what is it going to take, and are we getting ready? >> i have a question. there was an adage that you achieve what you measure. person, femathis spends considerable amounts of time focusing on process and measuring success against the deli to that -- the deli to that process. would fema consider measuring impacts as impact, grand
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, how many families move, when, when they are coming back? do you need a different kind of measure to get more deeply into how fema is helping the community manage disasters? >> yes. the outcome recovery you need to measure, it is not touchy-feely and does not cover every measure , but probably the single best indicator is your tax base. the local municipal tax base is probably your best indicator, were you remotely successful in recovering. is your tax base going to be sustainable once the federal dollars rebuilding our unavailable to rebuild the community? did you get housing back did you get jobs back? did you get schools back? it is not a perfect measure, but if you want to drive a lot of the decisions that should've been happening early on, are we going to establish a sustainable tax
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base. you have a sustainable tax base to provide essential services and make sure you have done the basic fundamentals for future growth. safe and secure communities, affordable housing, intact and functioning infrastructure, good schools. these are all things you put on your brochures when you want to advertise and bring businesses to your community. it is just process, and i hate process. >> thank you for answering the question. please give a hand to craig fugate, former administrator of fema. femae man who headed during hurricane katrina, michael brown, wrote his explanation of the federal government's hurricane response. in it, he says the new orleans mayor and louisiana governor failed to evacuate the city despite his urging. you can read michael brown's
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article on this afternoon, president obama will be in new orleans to meet with residents who continue to rebuild their lives and communities. he will deliver remarks at a newly opened community center in the ninth ward, one of the areas most part it was the storm -- hard hit the storm. ""washington journal" will be live from new orleans tomorrow and saturday. we will speak to the former mayor. coming up saturday, the actual anniversary, we will see video of the hurricane's aftermath and the resulting rebuilding. " startston journal every morning at 7:00 eastern. holds a, new orleans commemoration to mark the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina starting at 6:00 p.m..
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community members and faith advocates will all take part. back to the atlantic and their look at new orleans 10 years after hurricane katrina. james bennet modifies -- modifies the discussion -- moderates the discussion. [no audio]
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>> the neighborhood changed, where might further direction. we have a great group to discuss this beginning on the other couch at the far end. cochairman ofugh, hr i properties, a national developer headquartered in new orleans. roles, he chaired the new orleans -- cochaired, excuse me, do new orleans task force. sarah rose were
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tell. thank you sarah. she was previously a deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the national economic council. that, she held a role at the department of housing and urban development. to my immediate left is the other cochairman of the mayor's task force on housing during the transition, james perry, who is also the former executive director of the greater new orleans fair housing action wonor role on which he several large settlements on behalf of people whose homes were damaged in the storm. press, i thought we might start with you. sort of the big picture level, -- we heards called some of this again today, new
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orleans, the leading laboratory for social change. i recognize that language is not universally popular but it is an interesting way to discuss what has happened here. of how that view has played out in housing, and has the experiment been a success? >> let me just start off with a vignette. we are a rather large firm headquartered here, and 60% of our employees lost their homes in katrina. we decamped to a city called ho ma where we had some apartment houses, and we moved our offices there. our president and i outlined a budget for the louisiana after the storm. we ended up getting on the phone with andy coplan, the mayor's
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chief administrative officer and the governor, and we outlined a proposal for help to the city. including housing, and we concluded that the federal government was likely, we needed it, to send down a great bundle of money for housing. it was later called the road home program. we were concerned he would end poverty, andrating so we suggested that we change all the rules to allow for funding for mixed income housing. 11ended up actually getting billion or $12 billion, and they carved out a $600 million mixed income housing program which they called the piggyback program. rightrm, which focused after katrina on new orleans, ended up building about 1000 homes in that program.
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i will leave it there, and we can continue the discussion. >> did you ever doubt the housing stock would rebuild here -- rebuild here? , and one of the serious questions was whether the federal government would grace us with the funds we needed. we ended up getting 142 alien feds, bp's% from the oil spill insurance, and in the early days we did not know what was coming. if it did not come, we would not be having this conference. >> how do you think the character of the city and its neighborhoods is different today than it was before the storm, as a consequence of the redevelopment that have taken place? >> it is dramatically different.
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i back up a second and i say that -- and obviously we chatted --ut this a bit backstage the language that the mayor uses referring to the city as a laboratory i think is language that a lot of people do reject. i'm not sure that people uniformly agree with this idea that the city is a laboratory. people certainly, when their and at stakedanger and they are struggling to recover, i think they struggle with that language. that said, i think the numbers in some cases tell the tale of how different the city is. certainly, home ownership much more affordable before the storm. to afford difficult
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the purchase of a home at this stage. -- rental rental what was much for affordable before the storm. a number of neighborhoods were more integrated before the storm. it is also true that because of the dramatic change in public housing, it simply was a very different city. you presumed 100,000 african-american residents have been displaced, you have to presume those residents had a very important role in the culture and makeup of who and what the city is. is the city better or worse? i think that is a different question. is it the same? i think not. it is a different city. we would all be interested and excited to see what the future of the city would be. >> the experience of the city is completely exceptional in so
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many ways. how different are the patterns of habitation that we are seeing here from what we are seeing nationally in other cities across the country? >> i am not an expert in new orleans, and i am here with the folks who are. we at a national level look at ona and trends, and we rely an amazing team at the data center. we have a network of open data s, so we rely a lot on that. if you look at the larger picture, you always have to remember when you look at data, when you talk about housing and communities, you're talking about the places where people live. neighborhood in place, social science research tells us it has confirmed what we sort of instinctively know. people who have built the social fabric of their lives that was
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so deeply disrupted by katrina, places also were people access opportunity. here toan opportunity build a city which does a better job of creating access to the infrastructure that helps people strengthen their lives and improve them. suggested,as you disasters tend to accelerate things that are already happening to places. orleans was, new already suffering from a population decline, serious challenges of affordability for housing, and it was already suffering from income disparity. all of those grew worse through the crisis. when you look at the trajectory that new orleans is on now and the big challenges it faces looking forward, those are challenges that also our national across many of the other cities, both growing and declining cities that we see
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across the country. costs,rental housing growing income disparities, a golf between what it costs to support rental or homeownership, and the stagnant wages where jobs are being created. those jobs are not in the kind of places where they will support a real cost of housing. orleans is a city of neighborhoods. most cities are, but we really has some very interesting neighborhoods. everybody in the world knows that. after the storm, the money that to did not come in initially. there was a great number of your lag which might have been a good thing, because it could have been wasted. neighborhood groups, frustrated by not getting the funds they needed to rebuild their
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neighborhood, banded together and started to plan. we planned and planned and planned. and then national and international city planners said new orleans is where i want to be, so they came in. we had a top-down and bottoms up planning strategy. when the money started to flow, these neighborhoods started to improve. i am one of those who believe that new orleans is a far better city than it was before katrina, and moving in the right direction. you have to look at housing in the context of overall, as you say, senses of place. a tale of two cities. the head of hanno said the other day that we had some 18,000 people waiting for vouchers or public housing. you might have another 50,000 today. sincehas been closed
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2009. >> 2012. so those are staggering numbers of people that are in need, paying too much a percentage of their income. to that extent, we have an issue that is perhaps more serious in many cities in the country but only also indicates what is happening all over the nation. wasefore the crisis, there an affordable available unit for low income people for only one out of three people in need in the city. today, there is only one out of every four people. a federal housing assistance was not available, that number would be zero. >> to ask a stupid question, james, this sounds like an opportunity for a developer, right? there is a tremendous demand.
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rents are very high relative to income. there is a pent-up demand for housing stock, so why isn't the right stop being created? sayet me just cause and press is absolutely right, it is a tale of two cities. some are doing remarkably well and there are some neighborhoods that could be doing better. it is also true that like the north fork could not be doing worse. a this question of looking at community with so much demand, if there is so much opportunity for a developer then where is the housing? i think the challenge is, have gotten to the point where there is a huge amount of need but i think it has already been mentioned, wages are stagnant. the wages in the community are simply not rising.
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so there is need and certainly there is need for more housing, but there is not enough capital to meet the demand. i think that the only way that cause more housing to be built is really through government subsidy. the greatest challenge is in this political environment, i think it is extremely unlikely that they will be dramatic government subsidies to build enough housing in new orleans, but probably anywhere in the nation, to meet the affordable housing need. >> the two cities we talked about, and i want to emphasize, i think your lens is on the right trajectory. what we do with the next 10 years will likely tell whether we will reach a self-sustaining, healthy climate. i think we are heading that way. from a developer perspective, we need both affordable and market rate housing.
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seeing, because new orleans is a series of interesting neighborhoods, it is attracting people from all over the country to live here, and is bringing in people from the region. in orleans parish, which is 400,000 people of the 1.3 million that we have, you are seeing a great demand for housing. if you are a developer, it is a very good economy. you are seeing a lot of product being developed on all these neighborhoods that you can see right from this hotel. on the flipside, if the numbers are anywhere near what the head you havenno says, 60,000, 70,000 people in need of an affordable place. sayare talking about, let's you need a check of 70,000. that is a $5 billion shortfall. james is absolutely right that the city, which does not have
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any largess in financing, the state which has a tremendous deficit, the federal dollars have been spent, we really have a challenge. i think we need to take our case to washington. maybe he will tell us how to do that. >> across the country, there is this challenge of this cap between what a modern -- gap between what a low income family can afford to pay in rent, and the cost of building a unit. even if there is need, there is not enough income. you can only produce so many apartment complexes. there is not enough demand. the work the president is trying to do to move down the income spectrum is great. you need to have more subsidy. curve, we willt talk about that in the health care crisis, bending the cost
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curve on housing is i think a huge conversation we are going to have to have. how do we make it less expensive to produce more units so that we can close the gap between incomes? we also have to work on the income side. while it is an enormous credit that a city who lost more than 100,000 people, is creating jobs, creating a lot of jobs, those tend to still be in the service sector and in tourism, and not in the places that produce higher incomes. including more income as well as lowe's -- lowering the cost of unitsising test housing has to be part of the conversation. >> let's go to the audience for questions. i am a small rental property owner and i wanted to say that everyone always concentrates on the affordable housing, but neglects to mention how the road
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home small property housing program has become cost prohibitive with the cost of insurance eating up the meager profits that rentals may produce. it is basically state-forced charity that i'm providing. what can be done to help people in this situation? >> i am not sure i heard that such -- the question. >> she asked out the small rental property program that was set up. the small rental program that was it up by the home program. is,core of the question what can be done to help landlords who participated in the program? i would just start by saying that i agree that program, i think it was inherent in your question and i agree the program was just a disaster. it was a terrible set up and it did not help very many people. i think that it was not helpful to renters and it was not
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helpful to landlords who sought to help renters. removed from the program at this point, so i am not sure about how or whether or not landlords can add -- get out of the program. 596-ct my former office at 2100. they do have a program that has worked extensively to try to get that program to work well. unfortunately, no one was successful in getting it to work well, but hopefully they can help you find a way out of your predicament. there were two key insights in the question. most of the folks who do not rent do not rent from complex owners, they rent from small owners. someone who owns an individual home or a multiunit property. figuring out how to provide capital to that is a huge problem nationwide, especially
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loans -- new orleans has a lower homeownership rate than other parts of the country. homeownership has been available at a lot of income levels. a lot of owner occupied homes for very moderate income , veryes, and the very tight access to credit that we have had since the mortgage bust has meant that homeowners in neighborhoods that went through stress of horrible trouble refinancing their homes. we are starting to see a tiny bit of loosening, and that would bring capital back into the neighborhoods. mr. kabacoff: i would go back and say that for people that own single properties, historic
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shotguns, who rent one half of their property, it would be an opportunity to get some of the recovery money and rebuild their homes at the same time. it is something really pushed on this entire time. she was forceful about the idea that recovery money for rental properties all went to big developers and said we have to find a way to make it work for landlords.and pop it was so frustrating to see this program fail so dramatically and work it -- see it work so poorly for landlords. i share your frustration. and to add it to the frustration, i am afraid that is where we'll have to leave things. this is a conversation we will be picking up later in the day. it is obviously a core issue and present so many interesting, compelling questions about what the city will look like in 10 years, so thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] be insident obama will the 10 years since hurricane katrina. "the globe and mail" reports the president will talk about the needs of government to help tornadoesr his strong and wildfire as a result of climate change. the president is expected to open a community center in the lower ninth ward, an area hardest hit by the storm. live coverage of the president starts at 5:00 p.m. eastern. "washington journal" will be live from new orleans. friday, we will talk to the former new orleans mayor, marc m orial, sincerity you will see video of the hurricane's aftermath and recovery. we will open the phone lines to take your calls, too. late saturday afternoon, new
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orleans will hold a commemoration to mark the 10-year anniversary of the hurricane. we will have live coverage. among those you will see, president bill clinton, mayor mitch landrieu, faith leaders, and advocates. and back now to the conversation hosted by "the atlantic" magazine on the 10 years since hurricane katrina. in this 25-minute portion, jarvis deberry moderates a discussion of young african-american males in new orleans. ♪ afternoon,d everyone. nola.comis deberry of and "the new orleans times-picayune." we have a discussion of the problems facing young black
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males in this post-katrina environment. on my far, far left -- i will introduce people as they speak. i will start with mark walters. you are with the micah project. i will get you to tell people what that is in a second, but i know you said you grew up in the lower ninth ward. mr. walters: yes, sir. jarvis: and i know you have talked about, very openly, your experiences in new orleans. i first question to you, growing up where you did, if you can think about the young, black boys in your neighborhood. how many of them "made it?" how many avoided the criminal justice system, did not get shot or killed, have gainful employment, and those things that we typically think of as measures of success today. mr. walters: as i was being briefed on this question i had a
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blank stare because i found it troubling i could not think of anybody that has been successful or, so-called, "made it out," and me being a community organizer, the most prominent thing of the people i used to hang with, it is a low mark. not taking away anything from the job, but they are not exposed to doctors, lawyers. i do not know any that i have grown up with that have made it to those respective levels. jarvis: but how many -- you have talked about being incarcerated yourself. is that a very common experience in your neighborhood? does that characterize most of the people in your neighborhood? mr. walters: most definitely. i basically followed what i saw. that was the common trend of if
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you are not on the street dealing, or if you were in -- if you did not go to jail, you are not considered to be real, or a gangster, and stuff like that. that is sad, but it is a true fact. i followed what i saw in my uncles, cousins, and people i was surrounded by. jarvis: chief harrison, when i talked to you earlier today and i told you about the question i was going to asked mr. walters, you said i have to think hard about that question myself. you have to think about the number of black boys you grew up with that "made it" in new orleans. why is that such a struggle to remember those folks? chief harrison: first of all, it is a great question, but i don't think we are that different. i was born and raised here in
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new orleans. my parents were educators. my mother was a teacher. my father was a middle school principal. although they were divorced by the time i was 5 -- my sister and i grew up with my mother -- they were strict disciplinarians, but i had some opportunities that a bunch of my friends didn't have, and when we moved from neighborhood to neighborhood, every neighborhood we moved to there were young boys there were just like me. they were in single-parent homes. i had a good relationship with my father, many of the young man -- the young men did not have what i had. they did not have the opportunities. they got in trouble. we got in trouble. i just had people close enough to me to pull me back and to help guide and mold me and catch me before i got too far -- followed the wrong crowd too far.
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i was fortunate. a lot of my friends did well also, and a lot of them did not. one by one, many began to become familiar with the criminal justice system. now, most of them did well by the time i got to high school. a lot did well. in my early days, i knew a lot of young men that were getting in trouble, but i had a good support system. i had something they did not have and while my family tried to take in and surround me with as many young men that were positive and take in as many to help as they could, i found myself following one crowd one day, and another crowd the next day. i do not think we are that much different. growing up in an urban city, you are going to have to make decisions on the friends you are going to make, you are going to follow, or you are going to lead. jarvis: we are all familiar with
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the report from the department 2011 -- a scathing report about the department before you took over, i will point out, but one of the things up ajudge said if you grew black teenager in new orleans, i guarantee you have had an incident with the police. i heard you make similar statements. is there a relationship between unconstitutional policing and victims not living up to the -- is it they ought to intertwined in some way? chief harrison: i think at some level it is. our policies create more harm
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than good some time. while on some level we think we are providing services that citizens want to protect and serve them, sometimes it is negatively affecting people unnecessarily. we have had to look at that. for example, last year we revised some of our arrest practices and how we arrest people on minor misdemeanor warrants from neighboring parishes. we no longer do that would that is -- no longer do that. that is unnecessary -- arresting people, introducing them to the criminal justice system on something very minor. issuing summonses for a simple possession of marijuana instead of making a physical arrest. so, while we are looking at how we deliver police service, we are also looking at our own practice to make sure we are not unnecessarily introducing people to the system or reintroducing people to the system unnecessarily. jarvis: we have also with us ms. margaret simms, who is an urban institute fellow.
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i know that you have studied unemployment, black unemployment in particular. 50 years ago lyndon johnson made a very revelatory statement about poverty when he said "negro poverty is not white poverty. many of its causes and many of its cures are the same, but there are differences," and i wonder if that is still true. are there differences between black poverty and white poverty in this country and if there are differences, have our policies and programs addressed those differences adequately? ms. simms: well, it is true that black poverty is different and one of the major ways in which you can see that it is different is if we look at the national statistics in a given year, you will find that black children
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might be two to three times as likely to be as poor as white children. what you do not see is how long they are in poverty over the course of their childhood. and if you look at that, you find that black children are more likely to live more than half of their childhood years in poverty and that is a much children inen for terms of their ability to are poorecause if you and you live in a poor neighborhood you have fewer resources to draw on to help you achieve all of the things we have been listening to this morning -- good early childhood experiences, a sound education, connections, as we heard earlier, two people who can tell you where to find a job, can vouch for you when you go for your first job while you are
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still in school, perhaps. it is different and it requires compensatory action if you want to level the playing field, which is something president johnson talked about in his address. have -- id, so, do we am guessing we do not have enough poverty programs or enough programs to affect poverty, but the programs, the philanthropy that we have, do they adequately address the racial aspect of it, or are there gaps in that regard? ms. simms: there are gaps. certainly before and since president obama has issued his community challenge under my brother's keeper, there is more focused attention on how we should go about it, but the resources are not going to be able to solve the problem overnight, even if they are dedicated because these are
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problems that not only have been persistent, they stand most of a pre-adult life and you have to and up with and implement scale a lot of different policies to make sure children start out with a good foundation and throughout their childhood they have the support to succeed. to your right is -- la montgomery tab run, june montgomery tabron, and you how talked about pace, and are you addressing some of the problems the no really in -- new orleans are addressing? ms. tabron: at the kellogg
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foundation, we believe people have the capacity to change their own lives. we know that the change happens locally. the -- we must work within the local construct with organizations and institutions that are there on the ground and look at the issues in that community in a comprehensive way. ourin new orleans, one of place-based programs, our -- we chosegrams new orleans because we have been 1942and funding here since , but after katrina we leveraged all of our school-based health clinics that were throughout the city and we used that as a way of going back into those communities and providing support from the most local level up. so, in the space around young males of color, as we were working here, we learned very
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early that there were issues of trauma and violence within the community that caused us to adapt our program, and as we were defining health, it did not include issues like trauma and violence, so we changed it to adapt to what the community determined was the way out. we found locally-based organizations like the youth empowerment project -- jarvis: somebody here from youth empowerment project, clearly. ms. tabron: liberty's kitchen -- these are organizations working and people ofes color to bring those support structures and systems to their so they do feel like there is hope in their future. jarvis: your foundation has studied, what you told me, is the cost of not employing young, black men of color. can you talk about that?
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people are focused on what the program will cost, but how much will it cost us if we do not have the programs? ms. tabron: that is exactly right. i heard the mayor earlier today mentioned that it costs a lot and they are using limited resources, but we produced a publication called the business case for racial equity and it looks at the economic opportunity that exists within this country if we were to employ people of color at the same pace as white. the nation, if we were to employ people of color, we would add $2 trillion to the national earning potential of the country, which goes to tax basis and tax revenue for a community, so where new orleans is currently -- community. so where new orleans is currently struggling to find
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resources, we have resources in new orleans and it is the young people, the people of color, 50% of these young men who are unemployed could come back into the workforce and bring a revenue and tax base back into the city. theis: we keep hearing people of new orleans -- 52%, in -- 52% of the black males new orleans are not working. that sounds like an outrageous number two me and those sitting here, but how does that compare to other cities of similar size across the country? ms. simms: you need to put it in some perspective, which is the thing that we sometimes fail to do, and that is how does it compare to their white counterparts? there you see the stark contrast. has notsay no or let's recovered economically and they are unemployed because the jobs -- new orleans has not recovered
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economically and they are unemployed because the jobs of never come back, but the truth is these jobs were never there for the young men and they were not there for a variety of reasons. of theu look at any cut data, you find the racial differential, so you cannot dismiss race as a factor. earlier, the mayor talked about the need for training in response to a question about inadequate transportation, and all of those things are important, and many of those come back to race. the reason they do not have training is because they were in communities where they did not have access to the training. they were not able to get into it. they live in communities that have poor transportation and they cannot afford an automobile . it is very hard to state it is say it is deficits -- individual deficits that are the cause of this, because it is not. chief, i asked you to imagine if the unemployment
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situation is done away with tomorrow, what that looks like for the police department and policing in the city -- how much is that driving the crime rate, all of that that you are dealing with? chief harrison: it is one of the key things that drives it. 24 years, and most police officers would answer it the that we -- most people come in contact with that have offended in some capacity struggle with employment, are not employed, lack the educational capacity, or the job skills and actual jobs to have meaningful employment and income to sustain themselves and have some quality of life. to have thee quality of life and the things they want. they innovate by other means.
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so, many of the people that offend on a serious level, when we talk about violent crime, are people that do not have job skills and jobs because of a lack of education, because of a lack of many things, but the majority of the people we come in contact with at that level are not employed. i think if we did not have an unemployment problem, we would not have a crime problem. we would still have some crime, but it would largely be other small things and not this large violent crime thing that we have in new orleans which is a culture of violence directly connected to work, skills, and education. jarvis: mr. walters, i will end with you before we take questions from the audience. i heard you say a few weeks ago now that a lot of the programs that are meant to help people such as yourself are like cl
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othes off the rack and not clothes tailor-made to the body. mr. walters: exactly. somes: i want you to take time to talk about what you think would help, and you are the the --micah project -- micah project, so talk about what they are doing to help young boys like you? withalters: we do not deal the programmatic piece, but we connect with organizations that are successful with it. to of the key things is close the culture gap. when you concentrate a group of people to people that are like-minded, birds of a feather flock together, but if you -- just for example, with affordable housing, i have my reservations about that because
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it is a concentration of four people. if you have mixed income housing on a real level where you expose poor people to the wealthy people and you have them coexist , then the day of rub off on each other. the wealthy tend to learn what the poor actually go through and the poor actually learn that there is success out there outside of what they are used to and that is what you have to do with the youth. expose them to things outside of their community. bring them to the capital. i have only been to the capital twice, and that was once as a community organizer and another time was years ago when i was in high school. expose them to those different levels of things so that they know that they actually exist. i think that is where it starts, closing the culture gap. gettingyou talked about one job because you forgot to say that you had been convicted of a crime.
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how difficult has it been with convictions on your record to find employment in this area? say beings: i will back home in new orleans for about two years, god has had his hand in my life because getting this job, i was tailor fitted for this job working with justice, soriminal it felt like the exact placement where i was supposed to be. i have individuals that i work with or represent that still cannot get a job and they are still trying to figure it out. it burdens me because i do not know the answer and i am right there with them trying to figure it out. just -- i dohat not know. it has to be a holistic approach. we have to tackle this from a holistic perspective. we will go to the
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audience. if anybody has -- i see one right here. >> we will bring the microphones to you. amy: my name is amy and my question is, when you're talking about universal employment, is that at the minimum wage, which , and youlivable wage have a choice of having a job that is not a legal job, where you could make more money that is illegal, -- doing a job that which is the case in the city. i am wondering what you think of those problems? ms. tabron, you addressed opportunities. biotabron: there is a information field growing in new
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orleans. how do you prepare young people of color forple those jobs, which are not minimum wage jobs? there are other industries that are flourishing. there is a whole industry of coding for applications, technology, and what we learn through one of our grantees is you can take any one in five youths, young persons, and they have the aptitude to make code and the applications that are needed throughout this country and the world. they just need to be matched to those opportunities. i think what we are talking about is new industry, creative ways of engaging young people, and then they have the inherent skills to be capable of those. jarvis: ok. i think we have time for one more question. stephen: sorry to be hogging. it seems like i always have a question.
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my name is stephen kennedy. i remember lyndon b. johnson did the war on poverty with training. training is one thing, but then having jobs. my question, with the kellogg foundation, would you be interested -- when we talk about jobs, most of the people coming home from prison have challenges finding employment. would the kellogg foundation be interested in teaching formerly incarcerated individuals how to be entrepreneurs and building those social skills? do you think that would be a good approach in new orleans to reduce unemployment in the african-american community? and weron: absolutely, are doing that in new orleans and throughout the country. many of you may have heard the 100,000 jobs for community youth. the kellogg foundation has joined with businesses across the country to create over 100,000 jobs, and what we are
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doing in that work is to build support structures, work on box, etc.,an the allowing those that have been incarcerated go back into employment opportunities. yes, we do that all of the time. jarvis: i wish our conversation could be longer. this is the end of this. you can find all of these people. i think there twitter feeds are listed by their name. thank you all so much for your participation and your attention. thank you all so much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] fromu have been watching monday, an event hosted by "the atlantic" magazine, looking at katrina 10 years later. 10 years after the category five hurricane slammed across the coast. we would take a break. we'll return to some of those panels and also bring you president obama's remarks later
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on today at 5:00 p.m. eastern time on c-span. taking a short break now to get your thoughts on katrina 10 years later -- your remembrances. we would like to hear from those impacted. the number on your screen -- remembrances from 10 years ago, your thoughts on the recovery efforts over the past decade, and if we are ready for the next big one along the coast, the gulf coast, or anywhere, as we watch tropical rika around the caribbean. as i mentioned, president obama will be in new orleans later today. he will be speaking at 5:00. we will have him live here on c-span. this article from "the new york times" -- "obama to his
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reckoning in new orleans over katrina promises." newident obama visited orleans and made the extravagant promises that candidates often make to get elected. on thursday, mr. obama will return to new orleans to mark the 10th anniversary and face the kind of reckoning presidents must confront before the end of their tenure -- how did reality stack up against campaign --promises?th us on the line for all others from alabama. president worries me more than any president i've ever seen. jobs,a has taken over
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shutting down small farmers, trying to take small land. we have to live off the land we inherited for generations. i want people aware of what this government is doing. it is not right, and it needs to be stopped. it is america, and we have rights, and obama is running over them. host: thanks for the call. michael joins us from hollywood, florida. you are impacted by hurricane katrina, how? caller: yes, i am from miami, florida. we were impacted. my parents both lost power. i was mobilized to new orleans. i grew up in miami. i remember hurricane andrew. and i got to new orleans diamondhead, mrs. city -- mississippi, watching a police officer walk up to us who barely had any clothing, he had a jacket with mud, he lost
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everhing, and he said "please, we need help." we started patrolling the area, offering as much assistance as we could, and you have to remember, those people -- those places tripled with the number of people that moved in. , mississippi, was destroyed. it was incredible. i remember when a news camera man asked me if you had anything to tell these people are what would you say, and i said i want to see you in 10 years after you rebuild, and a lady gave me a big hug and said thank you for your service and for being here. you guys see it on tv, but you cannot fathom the amount of destruction until you are there. ats 20 feet up in the air. this is something out of a movie. it was incredible. but the people, regardless of what they went through, they
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were determined to rebuild, pick up what little they had left and move on. it was just one of the most extraordinary things for me. iraqi war veteran, coming home and seeing this, it was amazing. host: thanks for the call. brian was in louisiana and you were impacted by hurricane katrina. caller: yes, i was. host: go ahead. caller: ok. it is time for america to stop putting the veil over their eyes and pretend this is not -- i race. not -- about it is all about race and the serious issues of income inequality. there were never jobs in new orleans for black men to work, first of all. second of all, when it comes to the home programs and persons who lost their homes like myself, there was supposed to be moneys allocated up to $150,000.
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,e have not seen any of that and it is just the same situation when you are black. you are denied certain rights or certain things you are expected to get. you are being denied these andgs over and over again there is no recourse because it is unfortunate, but true, like you can see on the television. those impacted the most here were never compensated. in all truth, in america, it is time for reparations, my man. host: brian, where were you when katrina hit? how were you directly impacted? a 140 $4000 home. $140,000 home.-- i found myself divorced. host: i was just asking how you
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were impacted. clearly you are impacted by a house being destroyed. caller: if you could imagine not knowing where family members were, being dispersed throughout the united states, not having any idea if some of your people are alive or not, you will have repercussions for years to come, my man, and starting over with elderly people, your family -- there are so many different repercussions that will probably -- i don't know. there are so many different things that will probably never be repaired when it comes to the situation this hurricane has brought about, my man. so, there are thousands of things i could mention. host: ok. thanks for calling. ohio, howin columbus, are you impacted by the hurricane? caller: i was impacted by the
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fact that i was in cancun, staying at the oasis when this happened, and our hotel was on the waterfront, and it did not seem as if the storm was as drastic as they said it was because for us to be enjoying ourselves, and then go and look on the tv screen and to see the , itstation -- it just really showed me it was a lot about the levees that broke and then to see days later people just destitute, needing help, and i have family in frederick, which is just outside of new orleans, and to not be able to contact relatives and know how people are making it, and to see how we were not pulling together , i still feel 10 years later so insecure, like there is a message that needs to be given out.
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we have to work together in this country. it is beyond economics. we need each other to make it and have equality for everyone. host: thanks for the call. we will continue our coverage of hurricane katrina. "washington journal" will be looking at the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina tomorrow morning, 7:00 a.m. eastern, here on c-span. we will get thoughts frommarc morial, the mayor of new orleans -- the former mayor of new orleans. the army corps engineers official and editor of the -- of "the new orleans times-picayune ," and then on saturday, the video of the aftermath in the afternoon and we will take your calls the next two on c-span's "washington journal." we will go back to "the atlantic
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coast for magazine and their series on 10 years after the hurricane. first, leonard from california. go ahead. leonard and ie is am very concerned about all the goings-on's that happened in the past with that katrina crisis. there is so much going on, so much to be done. those people were very poorly treated. my heart went out for all of those people -- the little boys, little girls, black women, black men, struggling. black, high-ranking officer in charge of the soldiers on hand there when this happened, and i had seen they had their guns pointed at these
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people that did not have any weapons. they were just looking to be assisted in some way. i forget the high-ranking officer's name. a black gentleman. he told them to lower your weapons, get those weapons down, and they complied. they did like he told them to do. i felt bad. that was not necessary. again, they did not mean anybody any harm. they were looking to be safe and they were looking to get help. host: thanks for calling, leonard. rry are you with us from springfield, massachusetts? you are impacted by the hurricane. go ahead. caller: yes, i was impacted. i was born and raised there. hurricanes, up until hurricane katrina, it was something we in new orleans. for, and those that did not have a way of leaving, or -- and for
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those of us that did not a way of leaving or finances to leave, we prepared. this one, i had moved away from back sixhad just came months later and i was from what id received as assistance from the hurricane. morial was the mayor for years while i was there and mandatory evacuation was something he did and he provided for us. i do not understand how to this day -- with hurricane katrina -- school buses flooded. there was a young man that took a teenager -- i believe it was a teenager -- that took a school bus of people, and was almost turned away. there is so much that went on. the part that affected me the most, i was one of those people
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trying to leave new orleans at the time, and had soldiers putting guns in our faces because we were on the main road and they thought we were going to loot. .eople do not understand then you go to hotels, and they were charging you an arm and a leg. this is america, but you did not feel that way if you are affected by it. to actually go up the bridge and you see people, police officers, suv's, and you see people walking up the bridge with the last of what they had, and then they close the bridge off what people could not get out or get in. the world did not know this, but everyone had their comments. to see them talking about people looting -- when i finally made it to my destination, i was lucky. i had only been back for six months. i was in transition mode. it was easy for me to get a rental and get back to
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massachusetts, where i came from. for those that were there, i understood how hard it was. a lot of my family never left. when you are in new orleans, you never leave. you stick through it. to hear people comment about how they are looting, stealing. they are trying to survive. that is a part that i did not understand. the part that is still affecting me is that i do not think the world understands it affected people financially, but the mental affected -- that is something people will never get over, their loss. i actually met a family in boston at one of the gatherings for the hurricane katrina survivors and this lady told me how a boat came back and said we will take the kids first, and then come back for the women. they never came back and they took their kids. you never heard that on the news. there is so much that hurts to see that this happened in
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america. we go protect everybody else, but we really have to start looking at our own, no matter if we are from the lower nine, the garden district, were whatever. it hurts that to this day in new orleans they are still not getting the mental and physical help that they are supposed to be getting, and to see that bobby jindal was able to come into this -- come into office and take from these people. i mean, i have seen stuff on the news that they put it to :00, -- at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, that is when they put it on, other politicians talking about how they cannot believe he has returned money, and the government has allowed them to do this to this people. some people have lost so much you do not have the fight. host: thank you so much. we will give other folks the opportunity to weigh in on their thoughts about katrina 10 years later. one man took a lot of the heat was the then fema director
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michael brown writes a piece in tico" magazine called "stop blaming me for hurricane katrina." considered,this was the biggest mistakes had been made. had the governors and mayors fulfill the responsibilities, most, if not all the people crying for help in front of national television cameras would not have been there. they would have been in other locales, safe and secure, but the blame was not placed on those responsible. the blame was placed on me. again, that was michael brown, fema director at the time, who took a lot of blame for the response to the hurricane on a national level. time for a couple more calls. tom joint is from decatur, alabama. hurricane katrina, 10 years
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later. how did it impact you? caller: i have been away from new orleans for 10 years. hurricane katrina left -- hit on monday morning. we had a property -- my parents had a poverty outside of mississippi, biloxi, bruntsippi, so i got the of my hurricane, plus my newdence in suburban orleans was wiped out. orleansed back to new probably six months later. everything was gone. indiana, and later in birmingham, alabama, were just superb in terms of their
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kindness and their goodness to people that were affected by the new orleans fiasco and the hurricane katrina problem. i should mention, and i hope amebody from c-span will ask politician or someone on the senate or house finance committee's -- i took my own ira money, tod make myself whole, to get a place to live, by furniture, a car, and everything else, and it was considered ordinary income, which i paid the 10% penalties on 401k and ira money, plus it was all ordinary income. of course, when you lose everything, you have to reconstitute yourself, and it has been a financial burden for
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10 years. i get notices from the irs often saying that i have a deficit from 2006, 2007, 2005. so, it was a very -- and you know the emotional effects of today really have not gone away for 10 years. host: thanks for calling. weatherford, texas. you are next. jane, go ahead. caller: hello. in new in midcity orleans, which is exactly what it was, midcity, and we were not impacted by katrina or the levy breaking, as a matter of fact. -- lived inur dream our dream home, what is called a shotgun house in the center of the city, a mixed neighborhood,
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and we absolutely loved our house. even though it was raised some, we still got eight feet of water in the house, so we lost then lived with my sister, then my best friend, then with my mother. we now live in weatherford, texas, with our daughter, and i go back to no one's at least once -- new orleans at least once a year and my heart breaks for new orleans. jane, what you think of the recovery and the rebuilding efforts in new orleans since you have been back? caller: actually, my sister lives across the way from new orleans, and i do not really see new orleans when i go back. that is what road the hurricane out -- her three-story condo.
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we did not really know what was going on in new orleans because we were out of electricity for so long. i tell you, once you are a new orleans native, you are never can not wait and i to be able to afford to go back home. host: thanks, jane, and thanks to all of our colors, particularly those -- callers, particularly those impacted by hurricane katrina. that president obama is in new orleans today. he will be speaking. we'll have that for you live on c-span. 5:00 p.m. eastern time. we plan to take more of your phone calls after the president's remarks on this anniversary.r
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this coming saturday, the category five hurricane katrina hit new orleans and the gulf coast. " panelk to "the atlantic from monday, it is crushed and with walter isaacson talking about the state of public education in new orleans. to get the facts -- there are a couple of things out there, but if you really need the facts, details, and figures, tulane has come out with the numbers. there is a lot of misinformation floating around, and they are very credible source. i also saw arthur davis, and it is one of those great things about how high schools get saved
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in new orleans. we have on the panel, john white, from the louisiana state department of education, who was a head of the recovery school district. for --ange jones, runs runs teach for america. he isperry, tells me doing something in michigan, but i do not believe him because he ran four charter schools in new orleans. an old friend of mine. a parent in new orleans who has been able to navigate the system and have five kids go through the system. there is one other person on the panel who is not listed, and she is backstage with us. .hat is victoria york she was there with her mother, and she is so much more interesting than the rest of us. i said find her a microphone and we are putting her on. [applause] she is -- what did you do in fifth grade?
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the torilla: i joined -- victoria: i joined kids re-think. school she went to through the trina, now on scholarship. thank you for joining us. unprepared. john, people talk about the charters system. somehow -- somehow the notion of charters mrs. key elements. explain. -- mr. white: i think we get a lot wrong because of misconceptions. i think there are two ideas and their -- they are simple ways about how the system operates. it is about choice and governance. i would say that the parents ability to choose the school that is right for the child, and governance, is different in our system. we have a system where the vast majority of the schools
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participate in an enrollment process that has no geographic aredaries, where families able to use one form across the city to choose any public school of their choice, be it high school or elementary school. while they might receive preference for having a sibling in the school, or the school being located close to where they live, if you live in the west bank, you can choose a school east, or the seventh ward, a school of town. these are schools that were not available in the system that was geographically zoned, and all of those schools are governed as charter schools. the vast majority are governed as charter schools, which in the national context gives them political connotation, but i do not think it is a political issue. thanrter school is rather a school board overseeing them, a community set of volunteers overseas them, and $.98 on the dollar skips the school board
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and goes right to the principal's doorstep. you have a system where schools compete to provide the services of families that can choose any school in the city, and where principles, educators, and community volunteers who oversee those schools have the money and decision-making authority to do what is right for those kids. walter: so, in other words, they are like a safeway competing with a winn-dixie, or something. one stays open later, the other has to stay open later to see if it can serve students better. mr. white: they have to serve different constituents, and at the same time schools should be empowered to make decisions on behalf of those people, and when you have a system that $.98 on the dollar goes to the principal's doorstep, you can trust the principles to make the decisions on behalf of the students, you have a system that is more responsive to the needs
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of the citizenry. walter: what happens if a principal messes up? mr. white: the system exists on a contract. we have to draw the line. i would say that no one system, because schools exist on a contract with the state, has been more responsive. walter: they are shutting down bad schools. badwhite: shutting down schools, intervening whatever it takes because you have a legal vehicle and that legal vehicle is a contract with every single board of every single school and the terms of that contract allow the government to step in and say you have crossed the line and we are done. walter: can you step in because the kids are not doing as well on tests? you can do that, but i think we are at a point where we all understand we do not want to get to that system again and no system should want to get to that system again. there are times where you have gross mismanagement. this exists in many urban systems.
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you have to step in and say something is wrong. recently had a school that was not doing what he needed to do under the law to protect the rights of students with disabilities and we had to intervene. walter: he took a school in my old neighborhood, broadmoor, the andrew wilson school, it had a local charter. it was not doing well. test schools were not good, and you revoke the charter. my brother, who was part of the charter, called me to post rings, and i said you cannot pull strings anymore because you did not shape up fast enough. mr. white: i am glad you did not try to pull my strength. we should have had a conversation -- pull my strength -- string. you can criticize that and it is a problematic process, but the fact is in low-income communities, predominately communities of color, school boards have acted on the side of safe this, rather than action.
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this is a system responsible to that situation. what is it like being a teacher in such a system? ms. jones: as someone who is a teacher in louisiana before this time, and now have the opportunity to support and here the perspective of constant teachers -- the perspectives of teachers across the system, it feels markedly different. it is not just the last 10 years. what we have to remember is there were teachers and leaders doing incredible work on behalf of their students well before the last 10 years, and sometimes that part of the story is often forgotten and is actually really important. what it meantbout to be a teacher in louisiana almost 15 years ago -- there were many challenges i experienced as a classroom
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teacher in trying to create examples that my students and our families could point to that actually proved it is possible in our state to actually go to a high school that would put you on a path for college or a career, and i remember spending a lot of time with my principal trying to find examples of where to actually send my students for middle school and high school that would them on a path, unequivocally them on a path, and that was challenging to do. what i often hear from many of the teachers that i have the option of a to work most closely with, and basically not just teachers, but our school -- and particularly not just teachers, but school leaders, is a lot more freedom to figure out what is best for students at the level that is closest, and that is closest to students. we use the word autonomy, and what that really means is decision-making that can happen closest to where students are and less red tape and bureaucracy from places -- whether it be the state board or the district, pushing down
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systems that ultimately impact teachers. i think that freeze up teachers to make decisions that are best for students and to have a heightened degree of, frankly, ownership, and accountability of what happens in the classroom and at the school level. walter: one of the criticisms has been that younger, inexperienced teachers have come into replace the veteran teachers. what percentage are teachers of color and how you think that is working? today, our overall system has -- i want to say 55% of teachers are teachers of color. the majority of our leaders are school leaders of color as well. theer: and the majority of people on the charter boards are people of color as well. ms. jones: that is true, and that is what i was saying. part of the narrative of everything that happened in the last 10 years this not give real credence and respect to
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we have to make sure we are not telling a narrative about against each other but more of a continuum that discusses the progress of educators across time and now they were together to create better opportunities. doc jones. that you are. nice suit. [laughter] you informed a partnership with him to make sure you could reach out to the community. how is that going in terms of community relations when you are bringing in a new type of teacher? ms. jones: especially in the -- much moreyears progress on behalf of individual schools and charters to try to figure out the right ways to engage our community.