tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 20, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT
morning and i will turn it over to chairman wheeler. mr. wheeler: thank you to all of you who have volunteered your time to spend the next 60 days buckled down on this very important issue. it is significant that we have not just carriers, not just ateway providers, but also equipment and service providers here at this table because this is a challenge that is going to . quire everybody's commitment i want to thank my colleagues for joining us today and i particularly want to thank mr. stephenson for stepping up to
ead this effort. . cause americans are fed up robocalls are a scourge. it's the number one complaint that we hear from consumers on a daily basis. into 0,000 calls a year the f.c.c. or into our web-based consumer assistance platform, to talk about this problem and complain about how consumers are being abused. americans have a right to be fed up with this scourge. it's an invasion of privacy and it is ripe with fraud and
dentity theft. the problem is that the bad guys are beating the good guys with technology right now. voiceover internet protocol, calls from scammers in foreign rely on networks that aren't ready to deal with them. the ability to spoof a legitimate phone number is the down side to a digital environment. i also want to go back and reiterate that this isn't just a network problem. this is a community problem. this has to do with those who run, who build and operate
networks, those who whether and operate equipment, those who -- build and operate combment, -- equipment, those who build and operate services. that's why it's significant that you're all collectively here at this table. the profit motive has driven no, d guys to exploit -- the profit motive has driven bad guys to a level of technological innovation that exploits consumers by exploiting networks and equipment. it's not as if the good guys have been standing idly by. but this is something that quires everybody to pull together. an urgency in
finding solutions. so thank you to this group for bending to the task of proposing solutions within 60 days. it is significant that the working groups are going to be meeting at least twice a week to keep to that schedule. but let me be clear. this is an industry group. we believe in multistakeholder solutions. and when the whole ecosystem can come together, it can roduce good results. but without results, we'll be forced to look for other solutions.
ecause this scourge must stop. let's set some goals for 60 days hence. authentication standards, number one, authentication standards for voip calls, including gateway verification, s well as for voice. we know that standards bodies have been working on this. and working on this. we need to come to a conclusion. the companies represented at this table are the same ones represented in the standards bodies. let's get to a solution. secondly, we've got a group that's going to be working on the tools to allow third
parties to develop call filtering options. starts with open a.p.i.'s. but let's give folks the opportunity to get creative in finding solutions. irdly, there must be cross-carrier joint efforts to detect and stop the bad guys. maybe it's a do not originate list. maybe you'll come up with better solutions. but this is something that has to be multicarrier, cross-carrier, and a community solution. and we will set a goal for ourselves here at the commission. and that is tell us what regulators need to do to help you achieve those other three things. we've already said that there's
nothing in the rules that prohibits carriers from offering call blocking, but if we need to do more, tell us. here we need to do more. let me just make one last observation and then turn it ver to commissioner clyburn. as in any pressing challenge like this, perfect is the enemy of the good. the nature of software, as you all know, is start and continually improve. let's have that philosophy here. let's not sit around and wait for the ultimate solution, let's start solving the issues immediately. and then let's improve it tomorrow. and make it even better the day
fter tomorrow. so thank you to all of you, and randall, particularly thank you to you, four your willingness to come together -- for your willingness to come together, to attack the robocall epidemic . you set an aggressive schedule, we're grateful for that. we look forward to the results in 60 days. so thank you to all of you. commissioner clyburn. ms. clyburn: mr. chairman, at 6:30 p.m. you're feeling pretty good this evening because for a change you're actually sitting down with your wife and children and grandchildren, enjoying a home-cooked meal with your family. we all know that you didn't prepare it, but that's not the point here. [laughter] all of a sudden you're interrupted by a ring. you get up, answer the phone, and what do you hear on other end?
congratulations, tom wheeler. you've been selected to receive an all expenses paid trip to the bahamas. now, that sounds tempting, i know, with all that's going on, but you hang up the phone, return to the table. but before you can stick a spoon into your favorite dessert, the phone rings again. and on the line is a recording which promises to reduce your mortgage payment. not only has your favorite dessert melted, but you feel powerless to do anything to stop these counterst -- countless calls and you're joined by thousands and thousands of others. the commission has heard loud and clear from them. they hate robocalls. during the first 16 months of 2010, as you mentioned, mr. chairman, the telephone consumer protection act related issues accounted for more than 175,000 tickets, with the f.c.c.'s consumer health help center. so we know that there's a problem. we know how much consumers
and we know cause how frustrated the public is, because they assume that after they registered for the do not call list, that all of this would stop. it did not, so now it is time to take more action. last summer the commission took the first step by adopting a proposal that reiterated consumers' rights to control the calls they receive on both their landline and wireless phones. the proposal gave providers a green light to implement robocalling blocking technologies and reassured consumers that they do in fact have the right to say, stop. that was followed by a series of letters sent last month by the chairman to all of you, the major providers, urging all of you to provide consumers with free call blocking services. so i applaud at&t and all of you for not only in joining in today's discussion, but for stepping up to the plate,
enabling us to focus on real actions that will empower our consumers withrow bust robocalling blocking solutions, but we want to ensure that these solutions directly target the problem. the commission has a long history of prohibiting abusive or anti-competitive user call blocking technologies, but consumers want real relief. i am optimistic today that this is the beginning of a real conversation that we will be able to deliver to consumers the change that they are clamoring for. so i again thank you, mr. chairman, for allowing me to say a few words. i'm looking forward to that invitation for dessert. but i want to thank all of you for being a participant, seriously, because the american people are counting on us to end these daily disruptions. >> the question is whether you make it to dessert. ms. clyburn: i'm not sure to ou who -- how to interpret
that. mr. pai: thank you. like commissioner clyburn, let me paint a picture for you, one that accurately reflects my experience and hopefully all of yours as well. one monday night in the fall, the kansas city chiefs are battling the dreaded oakland raiders at arrowhead stadium. it's a close game. you settle in to watch america's team during a clutch fourth quarter drive. but just before the snap and the handoff to jamaal charles, the phone rings. you reluctantly answer only to hear a record message claiming to be from the i.r.s. and the caller says that you owe the government money and you'll be arrested unless you pay immediately. you hang up and, angry at yourself, and you realize you're angrier after you realized you missed jamaal charles' romp into the end zone for a resounding chiefs victory. now, artificial or prerecorded calls, robocalls, as we all know them, are awful. they are unwanted, they're
intrusive. many of them, like the recent i.r.s.-related robocalls, are a scam. robocalls and telemarketing calls are the number one complaint, source of consumer complaints received by the f.c.c. i think former senator from south carolina, who i had the pleasure of meeting with last year, put it well. he once called robocalls the scourge of civilization. that, if anything, is an understatement. the broad, deep and enduring disease like of these robocall -- dislike of these robocalls inspires our work this morning. we are gathered here at the inaugural meeting of the robocall strike force this industry group has an appropriately intimidating name, and according to its charge, it will try to develop ways to prevent, detect and filter out these unwanted calls. i, like my colleagues, want to commend the folks who have rolled up their sleeves and committed to solving this problem. a number of people and organizations have already
expended sweat equity in this effort and they deserve to be recognized. for instance, the federal trade commission, 2013 robocall challenge, focused on the tech industry's intention on robocalling. and the app that was one of the winners of that challenge, which was called nomorobo has now stopped over 126 million robocalls. it's one of the leading anti-robocalling apps that we have in the united states. second, the alliance for telecommunications industry solutions, the session initiation protocol forum and the internet engineer task forces secure telephone identity revisited working group have been developing standards to reduce illegitimate caller i.d. spoofing. which all will help consumers be able to identify and to avoid fraudulent robocalls. in fact, spoofing is, a, if not
the critical input that enables robocalling. so i think the work of these dedicated experts in particular is critical. last but certainly not least, i want to express my appreciation to all of you, to the industry participates -- participants, who are here today to form the task force. and especially to at&t and our chairman, randall stephenson, for leading the charge. your efforts will help end, hopefully, this scourge of civilization. something that everyone, i think, other than rachel from cardholder services, would applaud. i personally look forward to learning more about the scope of the problem and the potential solutions and i hope the participants will ponder a few questions as we labor together to stamp out these unwanted robocalls. for example, should we encourage congress to pass the bipartisan anti-spoofing act of 2015, introduced by representatives meng, barton and lance, legislation that would help crack down on foreign callers that prey on americans using spoofed caller i.d. for the robocalls?
should the f.c.c. take more enforcement actions against -- and scrupulous telemarketters and known robocallers, given the tens of thousands of complaints we receive from consumers each month? how can we make it easier for consumers to tell us about the robocalls that they receive and to make it easier for our enforcement bureau to track down and shut down some of those fraudulent robocallers? would it be help tolve carve ut a safe harbor for telephone companies seeking to provide call blocking for their customers? would creating a reassigned numbers database allow callers to avoid dialing wrong numbers by mistake? and would granting the petition of 51 consumer advocacy organizations to overturn the f.c.c.-created exemption for federal contractors, close a potential loophole in our robocalling regulation? for my part, i hope that everyone here, government officials, industry
representatives, consumer advocates, and others, can rally around the purpose that i've outlined this morning. and to borrow from former president kennedy, let every robocaller know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any solution and oppose any bought to assure the survival and the peace of american consumers. [phone ringing] it sounds like i may have won a cruise. if you'll excuse me, i have to take this call. but thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you for bringing us a little theater. as well as for threatening the nuclear option. [laughter] randall, this is your party. we're out of the game now. thank you very much for doing this. mr. stephenson: thank you, chairman wheeler. i really do appreciate you initiating this and in getting this going. because i think the important. i didn't intend to create
controversy right away. but i live in dallas, tsca. allowing commissioner pai's characterization of the kansas city chiefs as america's team is unacceptable. [laughter] i do appreciate everybody that's here. if you just look at the number of people that are here and being here on short notice is a really big deal. the 33 companies and organizations on this strike force, you represent the entire communications ecosystem and the fact that you're here speaks, i think, to the breadth as well as the complexity of this robocall problem. and this is going to require more than individual company initiatives and it's going to have to go beyond one off blocking applications to address this issue. robocallers are, as you heard the chairman reference, very formidable adversary. and they are notoriously hard to stop. and technology such as spoofing makes it easier for them to work around all of our various fixes and then to cover their
tracks. so far we've been coming at this problem piecemeal and i think we can demonstrate we've had very limited success. because these robocalls continue to increase and to grow. so the strike force we believe is going to have to take a very different approach to addressing this issue. and we truly want to deal with this with the entire ecosystem working together. i think that ecosystem is well represented. we have carriers, di device makers, o.s. developers, network designers, and as you heard the commissioner speak, regulators and lawmakers are going to have a role to play in this as well. what we're going to have to do is come out of this session with a comprehensive playbook that we all go out and begin to execute. a lot of people like to portray this, the simple issue, to address, and i think we all understand, it's not. these unwanted calls span a very wide range. we have calls that are perfectly legal, but they're not wanted. things like telemarketters and public opinion surveyers, but
then on the other end of the spectrum, we have millions of calls that are patently and blatantly illegal. and they're violating do not call registries or they're trying to get -- steal identity or steal money. this is where i think government's going to have a very important role to play. in parallel with the technological solutions, we're going to need regulatory and law enforcement agencies to go after the bad actors. shutting down the bad guys is a very important step in all of this and the going to be a powerful example to others. and i think our goal is not terribly complicated. it's real simple. we have to stop unwanted robocalls. while the easy to say, the hard to do. at chairman wheeler's request, members of the industry today have committed to doing the following. i.d. verification standards as soon as they are made available by the standard setting groups and we, this organization, need to drive the standard setting groups to accelerate our process. we need to adopt s.s.-7
solutions soaped -- associated with voip calls. we need to work together with the industry, including every company represented in this room, along with the standard setting bodies, to evaluate the feasibility of a do not originate list. we have to further develop and implement solutions to detect, assess and stop unwanted calls from reaching the customers. and then finally, we're going to facilitate efforts by other carriers to adopt call blocking technologies on their networks. so in preparation for today's meeting, the technical experts representing our companies have had preliminary conversations about both short and longer term initiatives. we're going to discuss those ideas in greater detail here today. we formed several subcommittees to tackle the issues and they're going to be led by technical experts ranging from apple, at&t, comcast, level three, nokia, samsung, sprint and verizon. the robocalling strike force has committed to report back to
the commission by october 19, that's 60 days from now, chairman. the report will include concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of the new tools as well as solutions and to make recommendations to the f.c.c. on the role government should play in this battle. the fact that so many companies agreed on such short notice to be here tells you the seriousness we have about finding a solution here. i want to thank each of you for being here and for your leadership on this and with that, we're ready to get to work. mr. wheeler: trisket. thank you. ms. kutler: thanks to everybody. i think it was a great kickoff. now just a couple logistical announcements. this is the end of the kickoff public portion of the meeting. we will take a 12-minute break for strike force members back into the break rooms. there's coffee as well. and we will reconvene at 10:45 with the strike force for the working session of the meeting.
great, thanks. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] tomoe >> congress is on its summer break, we are following members at home and their districts. many members have been supporting their local farmers, visiting farmers markets and touring. farmers at farmers markets. massachusetts representative by --songas sapped stopped by a sustainable farm project. in rhode island, representative visited a farm as part of a road trip across his district. texas,ton, representative jason smith dropped by the farmers market at the lone star plaza. here he is in a picture that he tweeted. you can see several plants and homemade goods for sale.
then, in the second congressional district of kansas, representative lynn jacobs toured several farms. in the tweet, she called agriculture the lifeblood of the economy. congress returns on tuesday, september 6. >> we'll be at the ca it o institute conference looking at how welfare programs in the country have worked over the pafflet two decades. -- past two decades. that's live at 1k9 a.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span2. later in the kay, the american enterprise institute hosts many of the people responsible for the enactment of the law, for a conversation on the future of welfare. that's live at 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span radio.
the u.s. commission on civil rights back from its august recess, where members discussed and voted on a number of civil rights matters including a recent settlement on texan birth certificates for children whose parents were documented immigrants. the commission meeting is about two hours. -- as a courtesy, we will wait for him to start. we're fine to start? ok, that is what we will do. i'm calling this meeting of the u.s. commission on civil rights to order. we are meeting here at the commission headquarters at 1331 pennsylvania avenue northwest. i am chairman marty castro. commissioners who are present our commissioners norris sake -- commissioners narasaki and heriot.
we have others joining us by phone and that gives us a quorum. is the court reporter present? >> aye. the first item: is the approval of the agenda. i moved that we approve the agenda. is there a second? we have some amendments. add a discussion and vote on the approval of a press release based on a ruling of a recent decision and also the consideration of the d.c. at ohio packages which were not fully complete for this meeting, we expect there will be fully available for the next meeting. is there a second? >> thank you.
no one has asked to pull them. we will see where they go. unless you want to make an additional minute -- an additional motion to amend? commissioner narasaki: i would like to remove the -- removed the other ofation the hundred anniversary for the first female. chairman castro: is there a second -- is there a second to that? >> why are we doing that? >> i will second. a question? commissioner heriot: you don't want to do it? is her forstro: november's allegedly by we might want to consider doing it as a
joint -- some of the issues but that we might want to consolidate some of these. i will have our press secretary talk about that once we vote on these. we are going to look at whether there is a way to consolidate some of these because we are doing a lot of commemorative. commissioner heriot: i have some amendments to those. i think i can improve them. chairman castro: they don't come up until november so we have a little bit of time. that we vote on the agenda as amended. all those in favor, say aye. and he opposed? any abstention? our first item is a discussion and vote on the commission statement regarding a recent settlement in the texas burst of ticket case. you all know that this is a case that we as the commission have been following closely.
we have engaged in it from our perspective, giving statements to cease andm desist. it also asks that the justice department look into this and become engaged. there was a lawsuit that was filed by public interest civil rights groups in texas which .esulted in a settlement you have all received a copy of the proposed statement. let me read that into the record , especially for those who are participating on the phone. i would move that we adopt the following statement. "the united states commission on civil rights opens the recent settlement requiring texas to issue birth certificates to children born in the u.s. of undocumented immigrants. thesettlement against denial of birth certificates to
u.s. citizen children born in the united states to undocumented parents. this is an issue that the committee engaged when we learned of the texas state's we believech violates the u.s. constitution. it denies u.s. citizens the documentation needed to prove their status and access benefits to which they and every other u.s. citizen are entitled. 2016, the commission wrote to the commissioner demanding that texas cease and desist the denial of birth and it gets u.s. citizen children of undocumented parents. on the same day, the commission recommended that the attorney general of the united states open an investigation. on march 21, 2016, the commission followed up with the assistant attorney general for civil rights and insist that the u.s. department of justice
consider intervening in the suit given the important federal issues at stake. on july 22, 2016, texas agreed to a settlement, under the terms of which it will begin issuing the previously denied birth certificates by accepting from undocumented parents additional forms of identification. these will include forms it has accepted in the past such as mexican voter identification cards. the commission welcomes the news that texas will end its practice of denying vital documents to u.s. citizens. these documents not only prove u.s. citizenship, they enable parents to have their children enrolled in school and daycare, be immunized, and have access to health care. the commend the bravery of immigrant parents who saw justice for their u.s. citizen children in courts, even when knowing that doing so would put them at risk for deportation. the settlement of this case should send a clear message to to know that the
denial of u.s. citizen children the rights of citizenship will not stand. stated commission chairman martin r castro." do i have a second? those on the phone, please mention your name when you make a statement. any discussion? : i am going heriot to be voting against this statement. i think it on character -- unfairly characterizes what the state of texas has been doing. texas, like any other state in the union, does not protect -- does not permit anyone to walk in off the street and ask for a birth certificate. you have to have a relationship to that person and have to be able to prove it. this litigation has been about
are kinds of identification worthy for the state of texas to release information like this, which of course includes very sensitive information including , whichtion on paternity is often something people don't want anyone to be able to grab off the street. maybe texas should have allowed different identification. they have gone through this now, they have changed their procedures somewhat. to make this sound like the state of texas was trying to deny birth certificates in order to make life hard on people boarded the country to immigrant parents, i think is utter nonsense. chairman castro: let me respond to that. it is not like other states were denying these. it is texas. these other states were accepting documents that texas is refusing from the same kind of parents.
these are the parents of the children legally born in the united states. texas, unfortunately, is at the heart of so many recent cases and efforts to undercut the rights of voters, immigrants, people of color, whether in the area of affirmative action, voting rights, the issue of access to birth certificates. it is certainly an issue of great concern. had texas been able to continue with this conduct, you can rest assured that the 22 other states that joined texas in fighting orders would's probably end up denying these same birth certificates to children all over these countries -- all over this country. to make sure that does not happen on our watch. : that isner achtenberg utter nonsense. commissioner heriot: first cap
-- commissioner narasaki: first, i want to suggest that we amend -- she isstatement not confirmed as assistant attorney general. the second thing is, in response to the debate that we just heard , it is well-known that the reason that texas was doing this quest in order to punish undocumented immigrant parents. and, to circumvent clear supreme court law that states that children who are born in the u.s., whether they are born of undocumented parents or not, are u.s. citizens. that is what this case is about, making sure that children who are born here are able to claim their full rights of citizenship under the law. commissioner heriot:
commissioner narasaki just said, "it is well-known that." we have the u.s. commission on civil rights and we are not supposed to be acting on, it is well-known that. when then majority leader lyndon baines johnson was passing the statute that created our commission, he said that he wanted our commission to be able to establish facts. it is our job to actually state what we know based on actual facts, not on -- "it is well-known." this is a case where you are accusing a state of doing something wrong when in fact they have a duty to protect people's privacy. they made a judgment that the particular kind of id that was commonly being used that is the mexican consulate there in texas was simply not reliable.
they did not say that other methods of proving paternity or maternity wear unreliable. they were not keen on this method. maybe they have come up with something that will work better for everybody in the settlement, accusing them of being violators of the constitution is grossly unfair and fails to recognize the complexity of the issues before us. commissioner narasaki: i will stateote that clearly the felt that there was enough reason in the case of the plaintiff case that they were persuaded to settle. i don't think it is necessary to relitigate the case. this is a statement about amending the settlement and noting the long-held position that the commission has been taking on this particular issue. any otherastro: commissioners wish to respond before i call the question for a vote?
hearing none, let me take a roll call vote. commissioner kirsnow joined? commissioner kirsanow: yes. chairman castro: how do you vote? commissioner kirsanow: no. chairman castro: commissioner heriot. commissioner heriot: no. chairman castro: commissioner achtenberg, how you vote? >> yes. chairman castro: i vote yes. yeses, and 2s, 3 abstentions. four yeses.
>> abstentions count towards quorum. chairman castro: the motion passes. we will issue that air to how we a little later want to package the statements we have relating to various pieces of litigation. twoe we removed the statements related to the commemorations, i am next going to move on to a statement related to the peaceful coexistence report that we have voted to issue. we're going to have a statement that will accompany the report. it has been circulated to everyone.
hopefully everyone has had a chance to look at that. i don't know if there are any proposed changes or questions. i will make a motion. motion and if anyone wants to second it, we can discuss it. any questions or comments? >> in the third paragraph to , it is a bitt confusing here. it says, regarding the religious freedom restoration act, the commission found that in burwell versus hobby lobby stores supreme courtthe confirmed the narrowness of the analytical framework within which claims of governmental interference to exercise religion must be construed.
i must say, i am not certain what is meant by the concept of the narrowness of the analytical framework, but i think that is going to be interpreted to mean that the decision itself was narrow because firfra itself -- itself is narrow. i can read you some of the passages from the opinion. justice alito says, congress in 1993 in order to pass very broad protections for religious liberty. word on, he again uses the "broad". ginsberg, in her dissent, begins with the phrase, in a decision h. startling breadt i'm not sure how we have come
off using the word narrow to apply to hobby lobby. i suggest that we strike that paragraph for accuracy. let me askstro: which commissioner drafted this and if they might be able to respond? was that commissioner kladney or commissioner achtenberg. >> no, i was not making that noise. commissioner achtenberg this is -- commissioner achtenberg: this is a direct reference to a commission finding. there is an entire analysis that we undertook and that this commission adopted by a majority vote to which -- >> but it is wrong.
withssioner achtenberg: regard to our finding, it is not wrong. that is your opinion, .ommissioner, which i respect we were reporting the court finding, which was adopted by majority vote. commissioners,: i know we are all passionate about these issues and we come to it from different expected, -- different perspectives, but let's let each commissioner say their piece. ismissioner achtenberg saying why and you may disagree, but we have to have inability to converse over one another. -- have the ability to converse
over one another. it issioner heriot: wrong. if you don't want to highlighted as a fine -- if you don't want to remove it as a finding, at least don't highlight it in the press release. i moved to delete that paragraph from the press release. is there astro: second? >> second. i'm going toro: call a voice vote on that. those in favor, say aye. those against, say no. -- anyensions abstentions? in the opinion of the chair, the motion fails. back to the original statement
drafted, any additional comments? if not, i will call the question on that. , how dooner kirsanow you vote? commissioner kirsanow: no. chairman castro: commissioner heriot, how you vote? commissioner heriot: no. chairman castro: commissioner kladney, how do you vote? , havesioner achtenberg: you vote? chairman castro: i vote yes. yeses., 4, 5 the motion passes and the statement will be issued as originally drafted. next, we move on to a statement regarding the upcoming statutory enforcement report for 2017 that we approved at our prior meeting , on the issue of incarceration
of women. you all received a copy of that press statement and hopefully you had a chance to take a look at it. questions? have any i will make a motion that we approve it. is there a second? >> i will be a second. chairman castro: any discussion? commissioner heriot: i guess i can make this comment. there is a quote and hear from to higher rates of incarceration for hispanic women in comparison to white women. it says it should because for concern for all of us. thented to comment that
rate of incarceration for hispanic women is only slightly elevated and that you can account for that mainly by the fact that the median age of hispanic women in this country is 28 years old whereas the median age for white women in this country is 44 years old. that is actually quite an enormous gap and is accounted for mainly by the notion that tends not to be elderly people who immigrate. a fairly significant percentage of the hispanic women in this country are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. so, rather than being cause for concern, i think it is actually kind of expected that you would have an elevated rate their based on age. most crimes are committed by young people. unfortunately,: i don't agree with you. studies show for black and hispanic women that the incarceration rates are high.
it is easy for us to sit here in and sayices in d.c. that is not a concern when we are not the individuals who are in the communities that are victimized by crime, that are victimized by police use of deadly force, that lack economic opportunities. as we will see, and as we have seen from our oklahoma report last month on the school to prison pipeline and we see about the inequalities in our schools and the hearings that we have had and how communities of color are targeted, in many instances this is all part and parcel to the same thing. an instance where we see a deviation from what we will be expected to see the norm -- and i disagree that just because they are younger, more hispanic women should be in prison. that is just not something that i believe in, hopefully something that the majority of this commission will agree with me upon.
commissioner heriot: it is your statement. if you want to make it, that is just fine. if it is your opinion that these statistics don't matter -- the point is, most people in prison have been committed of a crime. in fact, all of them have been. it should interest you to see that the elevation rates may not .e due to different behavior it may just be different ages. chairman castro: i guess our study will look into that. any other comments? voteng on, let me take a on this by rollcall. commissioner kladney: --commissioner kirsanow, how do you vote? commissioner kirsanow: no. chairman castro: commissioner heriot, how do you vote? commissioner heriot: no. chairman castro: commissioner
kladney, how do you vote? commissioner kladney: yes. chairman castro: that vice chair, how do you vote? : yes.hair timmons-goodson chairman castro: the motion passes. next, you all should have received a proposed statement on the issue of recent supreme court decision related to transgender bathroom issues, one that he -- one that we have also been very engaged in since it reared its ugly head a few months ago. i think we were among one of the first federal agencies to speak out against what was happening in the states. let me read this to you. i will make a motion that we approve the following statement. "the u.s. commission on civil rights expresses its strong disappointment in the u.s. green court decision -- the u.s.
supreme court decision. the decision to grant an emergency order blocking the fourth circuit appeals -- fourth circuit court of appeals order. the fourth circuit order, if enforced, would allow tonsgender boy gavin grimm, use the restroom. in commission has been vocal allowing transgender youth to use the restroom facilities in their school based on their gender identities. we've also supported the u.s. department of education's guidance to school districts nationwide on part of aspect -- on part of access to facilities by transgender students. we know the state order is only temporary to allow the virginia school board to file an appeal to the supreme court when it returns from recess. 'the right to our transgender youth in schools throughout our --ion have become a defining
the committee -- the commission will continue to be a strong voice to ensure that the voices will be heard by our government." do i have a second? any discussion? commissioner kirsanow: regardless of where we stand individually on the substance of this, i would just respectfully suggest that the commission be careful in weighing in on matters where the subject of litigation is at the stage of internal relief. we do not have a final adjudication on this matter. it is something that will percolate throughout the various circuits throughout the country, probably. there will probably be more liberation -- more litigation on the federal level. there might be some state litigation. i'm not sure how that would begin, but there might be.
i think, if we're going to be weighing in on a matter that is the subject of litigation, it might behoove us to wait and see what the conclusion is. chairman castro: i appreciate your point. however, historically, this commission has often weighed in on matters of current litigation. the texas birth certificate cases one of those. ouruld like to think that continued shining of the spotlight will help someone in the resolution. if you look back on the history of the commission, you will find other instances what we have spoken out under both conservative as well as progressive administrations on issues in litigation because of the importance of the issue. that is what i believe would be the case here. any additional comments? commissioner narasaki: i just wanted to point out, the note here notes that --
commissioner heriot: i just wanted to point out that the note here states that this is just a stay, but i don't want to point out -- but i want to point out this is not significant. they simply stayed the mandate pending a decision whether to accept. if you are going to issue a statement at this point, you're going to have to issue a statement if they decide to grant and another one when they decide the case? why don't you wait until they decide whether or not to accept the case? chairman castro: it is easy for us to sit here again and say this is not legally significant. these are not just legal and constitutional issues, although they are that. those affect the lives of people in the community. this young boy is, for the rest of the school year or as long as it takes to resolve this, not going to be able to use the facilities of his choice. this affects other children in other states as well.
whole issue here is whether this child and other children like him can use the bathroom of their gender identity. this case inin virginia, had been told by the fourth circuit that he could begin to do this. given this emergency temporary restraining order, they cannot. should look beyond merely to procedural and legal issues and realize that each of these decisions touched the lives of our fellow americans and one in particular in this case, our children. to me, it is more than just a temporary legal setback. anything else? i supporter kladney: this statement. it is an interim think it is important
for the commission to continue to be persistent with its positions in these matters, whether it be transgender issues or other issues. voice tohat we lend a this debate. wehink that the fact that may express our disappointment does not mean we are criticizing the judicial process, nor are we denigrating anything in the process. that we arey saying disappointed in the actions in the litigation and expressing our feelings that way. anybody elsero:
before i call the vote? commissioner kirsanow: no. commissioner heriot: no. commissioner kladney: yes. commissioner achtenberg: yes. vice chair timmons-goodson: i'm sorry, i was on mute. abstain. chairman castro: i vote yes. commissioner narasaki: i abstain. chairman castro: two no's, three, two yeses. that passes. next, we move on to a discussion arevote on a letter that we sending in response to a request by the oklahoma state advisory committee on the school to .rison pipeline
there are two letters that hopefully all of you have had the chance to receive and review. i would make a motion that we approve these letters. is there a second for discussion purposes? commissioner narasaki: i second. chairman castro: any discussion? commissioner heriot: i just want to say that i can't support this letter. it is unusual for us to send a letter conveying a state advisory committee's report and endorsing the recommendation, especially in this case where those recommendations run counter to the testimony that we took in the commission's own briefing a few years back when we had a briefing on school discipline. so, i feel that the oklahoma advisory committee recommendations got it wrong and
to thed to send a letter ,epartment of education reiterating what the commission heard from witnesses that when we did our own briefing on school discipline. i know that commissioner wesanow shares my view that are very concerned about the department of education's initiative on school discipline and the pressure they are putting schools under two essentially take race into consideration in deciding whether students should be disciplined for misbehavior in class. i think that is not doing any student of any race any favor. chairman castro: thank you commissioner. i recall that briefing. it was the first briefing i attended as a member of this commission, a briefing that had been approved by the prior
commission, had witnesses chosen by the prior commission. as i prepare for that briefing, i recall that it made no reference whatsoever to several ouries that were done by state advisory committees in the southeast that concluded that there indeed was significant issue about african-american children and african-american and latino children being victims of school discipline policies that disproportionately punish them as compared to their white classmates. i think that much of that briefing failed to take into account those perspectives. since then, a number of our other state advisory committees across the country have done their independent studies. each and every one of them has concluded that there is indeed disparate disciplinary policies that are affecting our public
schools, the impact students of color, especially african-american students. i think the overwhelming weight commission that this and its state advisory committees have gathered over the years is indicative of what oklahoma has pointed out to us most recently. commissioner kirsanow. commissioner kirsanow: i will be 'sining commissioner heriot letter, which i suspect is not going to be a surprise to anybody. i would also note that the previous briefing had copious evidence with respect to the ramifications of lowering, and i do mean lowering, standards with respect to the application of discipline. renderedferences are most harshly on students of color. when you allow disruptive students to remain in class, those affected will be students who want to learn. those students are likely to be from the same racial or ethnic
cohort as the disruptive students. i am not surprised by findings of disparate impact. you will never find any policy standard, guideline that does not have a disparate impact. that doesn't necessarily mean that that is an unjustified standard policy guideline test, whatever it may be, or that that somehowe impact inhibits the lessons of the last few months with respect to news reports coming out of places like st. paul, minnesota, minneapolis and other school districts, then show that when school disciplinary guidelines are lowered, when disciplinary actions are based on racially mandated outcomes, the folks that get hurt are the minority students who try to learn, and disruptive behavior increases significantly. so, i will be voting no and
joining commissioner heriot's letter. chairman castro: no one here is talking about lowering disciplinary standards. what this is all about is making sure that existing disciplinary standards are enforced equally regardless of the child's ethnic or racial background. commissioner heriot: actually, hasdepartment of education been urging the schools to lighten up on discipline as their method of dealing with this problem. it has created a problem. the department of education is african-american students are disciplined more often than white students are. what they usually don't mention, but which is also true, is that white students are disciplined more often than asian-american students are. the reasons behind this are a
lot more complex than simply, it must be racism. i do not believe that schools across the country are antiwhite and pro-asian. i think the white students are in fact misbehaving more often than asian-american students are misbehaving. if you look at race and out of wedlock births, there would not -- it would not be surprising to have differences where asian-american families are likely to have fathers in the household and it would not be surprising that you would get less misbehavior because of that. but to say that schools should lighten up is exactly what the apartment of education is saying schools should be doing. when you have students reared in households where it is difficult to main plane discipline because there is only one parent, we also the thighs -- we all sympathize. it is more difficult to raise a
child when you only have one parent at home. teachers can pitch in and help students lead structure, disciplined lives unless the department of education says they cannot do it. chairman castro: commissioner ,irsanow, commissioner narasaki and commissioner achtenberg. commissioner kirsanow: i would second what commissioner heriot said. i teach in inner-city schools in cleveland and it is very significant what transpires when standards are lowered and who is harmed by that. .t is not rocket science we had a significant amount of evidence now that, when these standards are lowered, and they are lowered as a practical effect, disruptive students act out and it becomes not just a hostile environment but a dangerous environment. by the way, much of the
discipline that is imposed is being imposed by teachers and administrators at the same rate for ethnicity of the offending students. one of the reasons you have a disparate impact is because you have disparate behavior patterns on the parts of certain students. not all, but there is no doubt whatsoever that there is a higher rate of this behavior among black students in inner-city schools. that is a fact. when you have higher rates of misbehavior, i would hope that you have higher rates of disciplinary action to bring it -- to protect the students and especially the students that wish to learn. i feel sorry for the students who go to school on a daily basis with the intent to learn and they sent their with students -- this is not your father's classroom anymore, these are students where, you talk about school to prison pipeline, there are students in these classes that are very, very disruptive, and i put that
mildly. it is a dangerous environment. i am an old man and when i was learning, things were a little bit different. i couldn't even imagine sitting in one of these classes and --ing to learn my 80, b, c 's or -- learn my abc geography. we have evidence. we have our own commission report on this. >> chairman castro: as a fellow i am glad these are not our fathers classrooms because folks like me or you, with a different skin color or ethnic background, we would not be able to go to some of these schools. commissioner narasaki, then commissioner achtenberg.
i am aioner narasaki: little surprised by this discussion. when the state advisory committee chair presented the report, there was no such discussion being raised by the commissioners questioning their findings are challenging their findings. it is troubling to me that now we are having a discussion because we did, even at that time, note that we're going to follow through on one of their requests, which was to come in fact, send their findings to the department of education that's one thing to be able to have these discussions when the sector is presentationing so that commissioners who challenge their findings van opportunity to engage them and it's only fair i think to the state advisory committee members that they get a chance to respond.
the second thing i want to note is that the commission's >>, i understand was issued in 2011. and since then there have also been, in fact, very recently a study on implicit bias in the case of schools in the case of these kinds of situations. and also it is -- i doubt it will be interesting to find whether the case is, in fact, that it's the same race, teacher, disciplining the same race student given the recent report that shows that, in fact, minority teachers have been very hard to recruit and retain and, in fact, there's a dearth of minority teachers at the time when, in fact, it's been shown that having such teachers in the classroom help minority students. and then the last thing i want to note one of the things i found most interesting in the
report of the state advisory committee is the response they got about the significant number of kids with disabilities who will end up in this track. i think there has been a failure to pay sufficient attention to what kind of role that is playing in terms of these issues. and it's going to be one of the suggestions i make for a riefing next year. >> commissioner achtenberg? commissioner achtenberg: i want to students with disabilities. i also want to say that i elieve the oklahoma fact amply supported their very muscular with a factual
predicate. , i think on that basis support the transmission of this fact report as testified. let me also say that there are many approaches to school discipline, that the department f education is promoting because they actually work and represent tend to less harm of the student who are in need of the discipline as well as the other students in the classroom and i would point out that those disciplinary practices including resortive
justice practices are having this lutary impact on issue. and i want to commend the state advisory committee for taking note of that and the department of education for -- it's been said by other commissioners the standards. that's not what's going on at all here. it turns out that there are other disciplinary practices hat yield better outcomes. and i was delighted to see those referred to. and i'm hoping that in future briefings, we can examine some of those things and promote them to the extent that they have a
more salutary impact on these practices. so, i think we should be transmitting this report, and i'm going to vote yes on this statement. >> commissioner glad ni and i'm going to vote on the commission. >> i want to amplify on what commissioner achtenberg stated regarding the aically mation of discipline. i don't think that anybody is saying that you should not discipline people who is involved. i think it's the type of discipline and how you discipline. and i think my colleagues who have voiced objection to this should realize that that's exactly what's been going on when they relate to change in the country. that is for instance, in many of our school districts, now there are policemen at schools. and instead of dealing with the
student straight up to the vice principal's office i don't know if commissioner kirsanow who is not as old as i am but we used to go to the principal's office and the vice principal used to deal with problems different. a lot of times students are arrested and taken to juvenile hall. i think that's probably appropriate for very violent types of situations. but it's not appropriate for most. and i think there are other forms of discipline. not being a social scientists i cannot comment on that. and i think that our commission should look into it. it.the stat did look into i find it interesting that my colleagues that oppose this letter don't feel that oklahoma who is closest to the situation in oklahoma is an accurate in terms of the conclusions it came to.
i think my colleagues who oppose this letter are talking in some broad kind of sense across the country and wish to impose that view nationally. i think that the oklahoma sacramento is closer to the issue like go loew cal government and has a better grip of what's going on. i've also in the past proposed the jail to school pipeline concept paper. and perhaps we should reconsider that in some later date. i do support sending this letter as i do think that perhaps we should start sending our sack reports to each and every department that are of concern in the future. thank you. castro: thank you -- >> i've still got something to say. doubting that african-american
americans are harder on african-american students than other teachers, that's documented in the empirical literature quite literally. on the point that gosh, why didn't we bring this up earlier? the -- the point there is that, well, they were presenting the report to us for the first time and there was never a statement that we were going to endorse their recommendations. i think commissioner clad ni is right that we should routinely send sack reports to the right agency. but it's quite another thing for the commission to be endorsing the recommendation of one of the sack reports. as to commissioner cladney's point that somehow opposing this is attempting to impose a national viewpoint, that's just the opposite of my view. what's happening now is that the department of education is imposing their viewpoint on school districts around the country.
no oklahoma, state advisory committee is not an expert on disciplinary matters but school system contains lots of experts on disciplinary matters. i'm a teacher but i teach law students an law students tend to be very welcome behaved. i don't hold myself out as about expert on how students should be disciplined. but i very much take the position that schools and not the department of education and inside the beltway persons should be deciding how to take care of cases and that for the department of education under the guise of laws that forbid race discrimination for them to go in and start dictating disciplinary policies to schools, i think is extremely wrong headed. commissioner castro: i think we've fully discussed. so i'm going to call the vote.
kirsanow how do you vote? >> no. >> heriot? >> no, unpredictable. >> commissioner cladner y? >> yes. >> achtenberg? >> yes. >> commissioner aki are you on? >> mad damn vice chair, how you do vote? >> yes. >> and i vote yes. it passes with one, two, three, four, five yeses and two nos. the last statement that we have before we move on to the rest of our agenda is a statement concerning the recent decision the north carolina voter i.d. law. you all should have received a copy of that draft that was circulated a few days ago. i for purposes of discussion will make a motion that we approve. is there a second? >> second. >> was that vice chair?
i'm sorry commissioner achtenberg? ne questions, comments? > commissioner heriot? >> i object to this statement as well. it has to do with all voter i.d. laws thinly vailed efforts to deny racial nors access to the ballot box. that's a pretty strange thing to say about legislation that's supported by a majority of americans. it's also true that voter fraud is real whether it's expensive. i'm not in a position to judge. but state legislatures whether we're talking about a state like rhode island where the strong support came from the democratic party where we're talking about states like indiana where very strong support came from the republican party. there has been a lot of support
in state legislatures for these bills. as a method of dealing with certain kinds of voter fraud i think in particular there's felons evidence that who are not entitled to vote sometimes mistakingly but sometimes knowing that they're doing something wrong are voting anyway. when they do that, it's easy for someone to say, well, i didn't realize, i didn't know or even gosh, it wasn't me who was voting. it's impossible to cut off all the possible argument but when you're talk about a felon voting and then finding out that felon has voted one way to at least cut off part of the argument is to say well, it must have been you who voted because the person haed to show an i.d. and therefore that creates a very strong presumption that it is indeed the person who was registered who voted that vote.
now, some of these voter i.d. laws like the indiana won has been upheld. in north carolina one of the cases reciting here the judge deciding here essentially says, look, the state attorney general didn't respond with facts. in other cases some works have been found that state legislatures has failed to that enough safeguards people who are entitled to vote can vote. i'm not criticizing any of these decisions. what i am criticizing is the notion that we have characterized the notion in this document as a similar disguised effort racial minorities to vote. and i think that's an incorrect atement and need lesley -- needlesesly that people are out
to get them when it's not true. i don't think it's the commission's job to create that kind of mistrust when it doesn't exist. are our country's history is replete with instances of majorities of state legislatures passing laws that have historically violated our constitution and personal individual right whether it's considering certain people's property whether it keeps certain people from marrying who they love whether it's keeping schools segregated we have toppled those laws. and some of these to this day continue to try to put up barriers and discriminate whether it's some of the law we saw past that we stood up to and states that were anti-immigrant laws and today these issues of transgender and now these voting rights blocades. so just because the state legislature unanimously supports
something that doesn't pass the litmus test of it being constitutional. commissioner narasaki? commissioner narasaki: i wanted to note for the record unfortunately because i have vast expertise on this issue it's killing me because there are so many factual issues that i have with what has been said so far but i have to recuse myself from this discussion. commissioner castro: any other questions or discussions before i call for a vote. commissioner achtenberg and then commissioner cladney and commissioner heriot. so achtenberg, claddney and the vice chair. commissioner achtenberg, goes. commissioner achtenberg: i wanted to say that the actual vote record speaks for itself and i concur in the characterizations that are
represented in the statement and i believe them to be accurate the findingst with of the -- of the commission. so i wanted to make that statement. commissioner castro: thank you. commissioner cladney? >> i didn't request to speak. commissioner catrow: was it commissioner kirsanow? >> yes. very briefly first, the commission did have hearings on voter fraud about 11 years ago, maybe it was 10 years ago. and there's considerable evidence of voter fraud. not only that congress has had hearings and contrast to popular people there's voter fraud and i testified in one of those hearings and i've got copious
evidence of that as a number of statisticians. voter i.d. laws have been upheld numerous times by federal courts. they are not simply devices to somehow deprive individuals on the base of race or ethnicity on the right to vote. there are legitimate methods of protecting the franchise for all. third, this is contrary to the commission's own findings in previous voter i.d. hearings that we've had. it's all i have to say. commissioner castro: commissioner heriot and the vice chair i'm going to call for question. commissioner heriot: you ended your statement with a statement i can agree with. you said that just because a bill is unanimously passed that doesn't make it constitutional. and that of course, is quite correct. but the problem here is that the
statement doesn't simply say that the statutes are unconstitutional. thinly veiled efforts. i would submit that particularly in the case that getting votes in the democratic party which tends to get more minority votes than the republican party, it seems very unlikely that the motivation in that situation is to deny minorities the vote. now, courts aren't saying in each of these cases that the legislation is a thinly veiled effort to prevent minorities to the ballot box. there are 50 different stories, they have to be proven to the court in 50 different ways. but in general what we have are courts that are saying, look, it's a fundamental right to vote.
there are people who aren't able to comply with the requirements of this statement sta chute. and we believe turned circumstances of the particular case that -- that the burden to those legitimate voters outweighs the benefits in whatever prevention of voter fraud there might be. note that supreme court justices like john paul stevens who is from chicago like you and knows a lot about chicago history have agreed. voter fraud is a problem. we want to divide statutes that will protect legitimate voters the best we can while dealing with voter fraud, the best we can. a stat sheet may be unconstitutional or a court may be wrong about it being unconstitutional. i can't speak to the motivation of every single legislator. but what i can say is when
you've got a unanimous legislature with voters -- legislators on both parties voting in favor of this, it's a real stretch that somewhere in the minds of the legislators device of denying people to vote. >> democrats are not immune to bigotry and bias. the fact that they voted for something doesn't necessarily immunize it. madam charlie your comments and then i'll call for a question nd vote. could you speak up madam vice chair. madam vice chair: i think the issue that i believe that the governor has from north carolina has sought --
.ith regards to this decision if we're going to get it out we're going to go through it quickly. i don't think the supreme court has ruled on this however. >> can someone wleept -- repeat what she said? >> i think that the state of north carolina has filed for a stay pending an appeal from the supreme. so she's say weg need to get the statement out because it's a shifting legal -- commissioner castro: right. that was in the newspaper a couple of days ago. i'm going to call the question for a vote. commissioner kirsanow how do you vote? >> no. commissioner heriot how you do vote? >> i don't know. >> commissioner anywhere saki. >> i recuse myself. >> commissioner cladney.
>> i pass for the moment. >> i'll come back to you. commissioner achtenberg how you do vote? >> yes. >> madam vice chair, how do you vote? >> yes. >> and i vote yes. commissioner cladney? >> yes. >> so the motion passes with four yeses, two nos and a recusal. at this point i'd like to invite brian walsh or press person to come up and present a suggestion that he had about how we may want to issue these press statements just given the number of them. we obviously want to do this in . way that -- it's organized >> sure, thank you, mr. chairman, commissioners, mr. staff director. basically my proposal is to streamline only the press releases. this has nothing to do with the
statements in the sense of publicizing and releasing them. we've discussed o you already discussed the peaceful co existing and women in prisons report. those are both press releases in and of itself. those two goes out stand alone. the other proposal would be that instead of individual press releases for texas birth certificates, g.c. vs. clouster school board and the statement regarding voter identification laws that because in essence and this is my terminology these are could egal trend that we issue these press releases. >> and it would link to all three? >> yes, it would. >> what do folks think about that? i know that there were some questions about the number of things that we're putting out. commissioner heriot?
commissioner heriot: i defer to the judgment of one who knows these things. chairman castro: any commissioners have any objections to that? >> is what's being said that you combine the three together with -- with links to the full statements -- >> correct. >> because i know in the past all we've ever done is issue through p.r.i., i think the outfitters or p.r.i. or something like that. statementere was some that they're going to release it. are you going to keep going in manner of delivery of these statements to individual news organizations and outlets? how exactly is the distribution going to take place especially if you're only linking -- if, in
fact, you're speaking about lynx inside the first -- the one and only combined individual press release? >> yes, thank you, commissioner for the question. in essence we still will continue with the procedure of issuing press releases by f.p.r. news wire. we are in discussions early discussions about amplifying the reach so to speak of press releases. in these cases the statements themselves will be posted individually on the website. they will also be referencing our twitter feed as statements and will try to get those the most expansive coverage we can. but again, in this case what is, just to clarify in the case, the individual statements will be released. they will be posted individually. this would, again, just be a press release which indicates that these statements were voted
on, discussed and passed by majority vote here today by the commission by you all. >> so that would mean that people would have to come to our website if they have furrer interest? chairman castro: generally speaking we have posted the statements as you know on the websites. we have run press releases on p.r. news wire to get the shorter more targeted language out more widely and then anything that runs on p.r. news wire references the exact link to the statement on the website. as you know that's to a certain extent been tradition. traditional discussions a moment in time is the commissioner's decision to decide how we might amplify that. >> the p.r. news wire will have the press release, there will be an active link to the statement. the person looking at that p.r.
news website will click the link and immediately they can see -- >> absolutely. one the single press release there will be a hyper link to each of the three statement and that will be very easy to navigate for anyone that looks to have the press release. >> i just want to note, i think the context is helpful which is using the p.r. wire is expensive. so the more that we can streamline the process the bet herb i do think that we as commissioners can work with the press office to also give them other places where it can be e-mailed to make sure that as commissioner cladney says there's maximum exposure. >> any other questions? >> if not. sounds like you've got our blessing. thank you, brian. brian: thank you. commarme castro: so now -- commissioner castro: so now we
will move on to advisory commission matters. we will hear from one of our colleagues, a presentation from the chairperson from our north carolina state advisory committee, chairman mati sps lazo chatterton. she's going to speak about the environmental justice in north carolina where myself, commissioner narasaki and our vice chair attended. and let me just say that the chair of the north carolina state advisory committee did a masterful job of bringing together very divergent points of view that were presenting at that hearing and allowed everyone to engage thoughtfully and respectfully on the issue. and we were very pleased to see her leadership and that members of the advisory committee so i'm very glad she's hear today to talk to us about the work that they've done. i think we've all seen the report as part of our effort to
finalize our environmental report for our statutory report. this will be a chance to dig a little deeper on the report. madam chair, are you on the line? charpe, ir: yes, mr. thank you. chairman castro: please proceed. >> should i begin? >> yes, go ahead. >> thank you, mr. chairman for your kind comments. we are so honest -- honored having you and commissioner good sen and narasaki come in for the representation of the small commissioners for a small town was the highlight of the day because we didn't feel alone and especially the residents. and i would like to thank everyone of the commissioners today for allowing me to share
th you about our study and a observation, this important observation. and then some recommendations the advisory008 -- in north convened at the border of west virginia. the committee wanted to hear testimony regarding environmental issues in the state, especially as related to coal ash and its civil rights
[indiscernible] an estimate of 82,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons to theaminated water river in north carolina. for a week, heavy metals such as chromium, and mercury, spilled into the river. , coal ashto the news was found as far as 80 miles at the bottom of the river. bill, duke energy pled guilty to nine charges of violations of the clean water act and agreed to pay $68 million in fines and $30 million of environmental projects and land conservation.
duke energy entered into an agreement with the epa. however, it's estimated the total cleanup cost would be as much as $300 million. it was an open invitation, and we had amazing speakers, including from rural and urban north carolina. they submitted written statements and offered their perspective.
no representatives from the epa were present at the hearing. we -- what the important havengs were, and if you questions, feel free to ask these. >> this is directly from the testimony received and it reflects the views of the seated panelists. where industrial produced toxic waste and air pollutants are unfortunately concentrated in ,nd around communities of color specifically black, latino, and american indian. the other observation was that
the environmental protection cap --at prohibit the bytamination of water improper disposal of toxic waste. there are provisions that protect the civil rights of communities from damage based on ethnicity, and economic status. exposurewithout proper , this law fails communities who depend on it. from theseservation town -- this town hall meeting was that there has been insufficient scientific research health andn the environmental risk associated with coal ash.
the full observation was that representative of the north carolina department of environmental quality stated in eq andstimony that the ncd governor mcquarrie are taking the coal ashess pollution. and the final observation was title vi of the 1964 civil rights act, in addition to other ceased tos, it withdraw funding and enforce compliance with civil right loss. quite ammendations were
few, and the number one was the department of environmental quality, epa, and duke energy should look into long-term solutions to prevent coal ash leakage and contamination such cement and other waste operations which are at no risk of going into the water or the air. and that north carolina should that prevent low income communities and communities of color from being victims of these coal ash issues. and the epa should conduct an
investigation to seek whether the state of north carolina is in compliance with all epa regulations, including civil rights law. and we have a few more, if you allow me. the epa should ensure that the ncdeq beit funds like the considerate of environmental effects that there has onions on coal ash minority populations. the epa should investigate risk levels of residents living the andest to the coal ash pond potentially provide economic means for it to be eradicated.
the epa and duke energy should investigate the safest way to excavate coal last. the affected community of walnut creek -- in order to have political representation. tober eight, in addition environmental justice as related to coal ash disposal, the commission should consider other sources of land and water ,ontamination such as fracking to otherigh exposure sources of fine matter. the commission should consider the cumulative effect of these
theseinants on and that it may result in inadequate justice. we found three more recommendations. the north carolina department of health and human services should immediately conduct a thorough health study through the university of north carolina medical school of the affected walnut cove area using guidance established by the centers for andase control epidemiology. these results should be directly reported to the lieutenant
governor, speaker of the house and north carolina senate. recommendation, the state of north carolina and the epa should investigate ways to compensate community members for and landre expenses evaluation that has resulted from coal ash contamination. the last one is, the epa should investigate the lasting effects from areas disposal after the waste has been disposed of. thank you so much for your patience. commissioner castro: thank you, madam chair. again, very excellent work done by you and your staff. you should know that we are including your report to us as well as a similar report from
our illinois state advisory committee as appendices to our environmental justice were four, which will be issued prior to the end of this fiscal year, and we also do incorporate some of your hearing findings and recommendations into those that we make overall, so the work that you have done will be well represented as part of the work we are doing here at the national level. with that i'm happy to open it up to any questions from our commissioners. commissioner narasaki: i just want to thank the chair for undertaking -- and the committee for undertaking this study. it was very helpful to hear many members in addition to the people who formally testified. the commission did have
basically an open mic for people be able toence to participate. it was incredibly powerful to hear from the people themselves about the impact on their loved ones and their way of life, so thank you, this very emotional hearing is difficult to write and you did a magnificent job in running it. >> i would like to thank the north carolina chair as well as the rest of the stated as we commission. one question i did have, during the briefing was it ever suggested that business entities --ling with these type of place funds in trust for use in purposes of cleanup, medical expenses and other expenses if , and when they were
done using them they would either be expensed with those purposes are reimbursed back to the company. with that idea put forth? so, but thatlieve is an excellent idea. if you allow me in this very , i would like to take personal privilege to thank you said, it takes the whole village to do some work. in this case it's only one person in the village.
so thank you for your outstanding work. i don't recall being asked to recommend that, but that would be a great idea, great recommendation. any otherer castro: questions from commissioners? then again, thank you, madam chair. if you want to stick around were going to be voting on reappointing your state advisory committee, but feel free to stay on for the rest of the call. otherwise if your going to be hanging out, thanks to all the members of the committee for their work and their continuing service on behalf of the commission and the people of the united states, we appreciate it.
thank you. let me now make a motion that the commission appoints the following individuals to the north carolina state advisory committee based upon the recommendation of our staff directors. harold brooks, heather ford, stephen green, kevin hale, doran's kennedy, rick martinez, david moore, olga morgan right, robinson,an, jenna and maddie chatterton. pursuant to this motion, the commission appoints maddie the north chair of
carolina state advisory committee. these members will serve as an uncompensated government employees. under this motion come the commission authorizes the staff director to execute the appropriate paperwork for the appointments. do i have a second? the vice chair seconds. any discussion? i plan toer heriot: vote no on this slate. i'm afraid that this particular sac has been handling quite an extraordinary way. as i understand it, the regional staff director reached out to the special assistant to get help because he felt that this c was notolina sa balanced sufficiently with so he calledersity
on those he thought was most likely to come up with conservative proposals. that was at 10:30 on a friday morning. my special assistant responded very quickly with some names by about 1:40 that afternoon. the commissioners assistant was working on developing an additional list and began reaching out to the people that have been proposed. but at 3:00, just an hour and 20 minutes later, we got an e-mail that there was a final slate and it did not include any of the names they had come up with. she e-mailed to find out if there had been some sort of mistake and was told no, there was not a mistake, that we could add names at the last minute.
i understand that to recommendations that were made have indeed gone on, but there was a very good candidate that ms. mulder came up with who inexplicably has been left off of this. as i read it now, we have 10 thisleaning members of proposal with only five what i would call leaning to the right in the group. we recently passed an administrative instruction that features the notion that these c's need to be ideologically balanced and my understanding is there is one special assistant who believes they are not balanced and that there should be a meeting of all special assistants to deal with the problem. that meeting has not happened here.
instead, we are just pushing through this. oddly enough, it is not one of those that has been out of commission for very long. this one is being jumped ahead. some that have not been ofpleted for a longer period time. i don't see why we need to rush with this one. i don't see why the person that was proposed i ms. mulder has disappeared from view here, and i really don't think this is ideologically balanced. so two ofer castro: the three that you recommended didn't make it, is that what you are saying? right nower heriot: we have twice as many people that are left-leaning than our right-leaning. commissioner castro: balance is not one to why. commissioner heriot: how come the conservatives always lose on this? where thesac
conservatives are in the majority? me.others one, 1, 1 state advisory committee where the majority is conservative. ier and over and over again, am asked and told we cannot come up with them. .t is being pushed through i think it is inappropriate and i object. i suspecter castro: maybe some of this is because we have cameras here. commissioner heriot: have i not objected in the past? did youoner castro: raise north carolina before this? i have no doubt we would be pulling that off right now and looking ba