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tv   Michael Bloomberg Addresses U.S. Conference of Mayors  CSPAN  January 27, 2019 10:39pm-11:01pm EST

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>> on friday, former new york city mayor michael bloomberg, a possible candidate for president in 2020, spoke at the u.s. conference of mayors winter meeting about the shutdown and gun safety laws. his remarks were prior to the presidents announcement to end the government shutdown. this is about 20 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. did you guys enjoy yourselves this week? fantastic. good afternoon, welcome to the closing plenary lunch for the 87th winter meeting. we have saved the best for last. they me introduce to you a
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leader in many of you already know, mike bloomberg. some have worked with him through his foundation, bloomberg philanthropies. we have worked with his team to tackles some of the biggest challenges to flood relief and climate change. his foundation has made it a top priority to support cities. he knows the power that mayors have to make it difference. bloomberg american cities initiative is a $200 million effort to support mayors and city leaders to help solve our most pressing problems and improve people's lives. he was elected just months after 11,attack on september 2001. under his leadership, new york city rebounded faster and stronger than anyone could have ever expected. over a dozen years, his team scoured to quote for the best
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ideas on improving government and services and he was recognized as one of the most innovative and effective mayors in the world. he raised high school graduation rates and cut crime, reduce the and's carbon footprint increased the average life expectancy by three years in the city. when he left city hall, he resumed leadership of bloomberg lp and now has 20,000 employees scattered across the globe. secretaryrved as u.s. general and special envoy for climate action and global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases. he knows that progress begins at the local level and we can also make great progress when we come together to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and spread our impact. please join me in welcoming
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entrepreneur, philanthropist, an alumnus of our conference, help me in welcoming home mike bloomberg. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all. please, sit. thank you. steve, thank you. and good afternoon, everyone. let me start with a special thanks to tom cochran, his staff, for putting this all together. when i was first elected mayor it was just two months after 9/11 and tom brought the conferences winter meetings in new york and that really gave new york city a big lift. it meant a lot of us and i just want to say, tom, thank you. you are the greatest. [applause]
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mr. bloomberg: i also want to thank our host d.c. mayor browser who is here today and i want to thank you to at least one other executive in washington who knows how to keep a government open, the mayor of this great city, she deserves a real round of applause. [applause] mr. bloomberg: i didn't plan to speak about the shutdown today. however, i do want to touch on it because it's related to everything else that all of us do and want to talk about, creating jobs, reducing poverty, fighting climate change, increasing public safety, stopping the opioid crisis, and the list goes on and on and on.
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and in all of these issues and many more, it is the american mayors that are really hard at work. and as mayor benjamin mentioned, our foundation created the bloomberg american cities initiative as a way to help all of you tackle tough challenges and accomplish your goals. and the initiative has brought me all over the country, meeting with mayors and talking about the work they're doing and all the big issues i just mentioned. and everywhere i've gone i've seen mayors in both parties working across the aisle to develop innovative new policies and programs and to do what people elected you to do -- solve problems. that's what mayors do, and i always thought the best job in the world is being a mayor. if you talk to ed rendell who had been mayor of philadelphia philadelphia and then governor of the state of pennsylvania, he would tell you, the mayor's job is far and away the best. you really get a chance to do something. and then there's the federal level of government. the shutdown has been going on for 35 days and nearly all of you have seen the effects in your cities and towns. can you imagine shutting down your city governments for 35
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days? inconceivable. some 800,000 federal workers aren't getting paid, including disgracefully some of our men and women in uniform and that has ripple effects across businesses in every community. and then there are the families who can't get a mortgage. farmers who are not getting the payments they're owed and small business owners who can't get loans to expand and grow. and as bad as all this has been, and it is really bad, imagine what would happen at the local level if we shut down? the garbage would pile up and schools and libraries would close, after-school programs would close. businesses couldn't get permits to open. families couldn't get access to benefits. need to call 911 to report a crime or a fire or a heart attack? good luck. let's get real.
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people would never stand for it. they would be outraged. and do you know who they would blame? the mayor, of course, and rightly so. in government, the buck stops at the executive's desk. that's true at the local level, as all of you know, but let's not also forget, it's true at the federal level. mayors could never get away with closing the government, and i don't believe we should let this president get away with it either. [applause] mr. bloomberg: now, i've never been a partisan guy. in fact, i've been a democrat, a republican, an immigrant, a democrat again. so if there's anyone who is an expert on party politics, it is me. [laughter] mr. bloomberg: but this isn't about party to me. this is about competence and
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the lack of it we're seeing in the white house. the government shutdown is a complete failure of executive leadership, and it's one of the worst cases of incompetent management i have ever seen. [applause] mr. bloomberg: now, as all of you know, being an executive is a leadership and a management job, and i've been lucky enough to have that job in both the public and the private sectors. people always ask me, what's the difference between government and business? and i always say, business is a dog eat dog world. and government is exactly the reverse. [laughter] mr. bloomberg: there are differences, of course, but the fundamental leadership and management principles are basically the same. in government if you can't even keep the doors open and the lights on, you're going to make matters a whole lot worse for
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the public. and that's exactly what's happening. there have been a lot of stories in the press about all the people that have been hurt by the shutdown, but that's not the end of it. we're also paying a collective cost as a country. for five weeks, president trump has forced all debate in washington to focus on a wall we don't need instead of the real challenges that are crying out for attention that all of you are working on day and night. i'd like to touch on one of them today. the one that probably best exemplifies the gap between washington and the rest of the country and that's gun safety. now, i don't have to tell you that a mayor's number one job is protecting people's lives so they can go home to their families each day. it's the government's most fundamental responsibility, and it is impossible to meet it by ignoring the fact that criminals and other dangerous people have easy access to
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guns. over the years, i spent a lot of time travel around this country with mayors, volunteers, and students about gun violence. everywhere i go, whether it's las vegas, tulsa, minneapolis, atlanta, san antonio, or anyplace else, people tell me how important this issue is to them and it should be. every day innocent people who might have been saved by commonsense gun laws lose their lives. all of you know this because you see the effects of america's lax gun laws in your communities every day. gun homicides are concentrated in our cities, and african-americans represent the majority of the victims.
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tragically, guns are the leading cause of death for african-american children and teens, and every time a child is struck by a bullet, every time a woman or a responding police officer gets shot by a domestic abuser who never should have had a gun in the first place, you get the phone call. i've been there, and let me tell you something. i know those calls and those conversations with families never get any easier. for mayors, it's not about ideology. it's about real life and that's why there are more than a thousand current and former mayors in a group called mayors against illegal guns, including, i'm glad to say, many of you here today. i started the group with the late boston mayor, my friend, tom manino, back in 2006. ban then practically nobody in congress would stand up for basic gun safety laws. the conventional wisdom was, if you stood up, the n.r.a. could end your political career. now, i never believe that conventional wisdom, but there was any truth to it, it's certainly dead today now.
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[applause] mr. bloomberg: our team created a national organization called every town for gun safety, and we teamed up with a group of mothers for gun safety called moms demand action. together those groups are serving as the counterweight to the n.r.a. with a lot of support from you and from your constituents. we've been making progress in both blue and red states, and over the past year 20 states enacted stronger gun laws, including states where the n.r.a. has long dominated. now, not only is the n.r.a. losing around the country, they are losing in their own back yard. this hotel is only 20 miles from n.r.a. headquarters, which is just across the river in
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virginia. in 2017, candidates in virginia for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general all took on the n.r.a., and they all won their elections. [applause] mr. bloomberg: and if you're looking at the polling data, it wasn't that the n.r.a. was just ineffective or unconvincing. the n.r.a.'s endorsement was toxic in the eyes of suburban voters, women voters and voters overall. that got the puppedities attention. then we saw what happened in 2018. people have always favored sensible, commonsense gun laws, but in the mid terms, millions of americans stood up and demanded action and candidates responded by making gun safety a top priority. so this movement is on the march, and mayors are eager to
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lead but here's the problem. many of you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. here's what i mean by that. on one side the federal government does nothing to help you. on the other side your state government might block you from even trying to take action. one way they try is to pass what is called firearms prevention laws -- preemption laws which the n.r.a. has pushed, and over 40 states now have these laws. these laws are intended to restrict cities and towns from passing sensible public safety laws that are tailored to local conditions. in some states, these preemption laws are also so punitive that city officials can face personal fines or even removal from office just for passing responsible, commonsense gun laws that help protect the public. you can't make this stuff up. but we also can't accept it. and if you want to fight back and defend your local laws in the court, my organization, local towns for gun safety, will have your back. [applause]
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mr. bloomberg: let me tell you what i mean. every town already works with mayors, police chiefs, gun survivors and more. and now every time has added a team of legal experts to their staff so they can help you protect your right to take local action. let me just give you a couple quick examples. after seattle enacted a responsible gun storage ordinance, the n.r.a. sued, naturally. well, i can tell you that mayor dirken wasn't going down without a fight. every town helped her defend the law in court and i'm glad to report they won. [applause] mr. bloomberg: in columbus, ohio, mayor anthony ginther is fighting in court to defend the
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city's ban on bump stocks, and we're glad to support him. we're also helping missoula, montana, defend its background check law. we're helping boulder, colorado, defend its limits on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. and we're helping dozens of florida mayors and cities challenge the state's punitive preemption law, which they did after last year's parkland shooting. every town lawyers are representing them, along with florida attorneys, and serve of those mayors are with us today, including parkland mayor. and i want to know this is very personal for them but we are with you. [applause] mr. bloomberg: now, every town is supporting each of these cities because these are fights worth having. and they're ready to stand with you as well. remember, where there is a will there's a way. so once you're back home, talk to your legal counsel by which fight you might want to take on. then, call every town and put
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them to work. let me share one final thought with you. i've devoted many years on how to fight gun violence. when we started other players and i would come to d.c. for meetings, lawmakers would hear us out. they'd nod their heads and then they'd give us a cold shoulder. but now members of congress want to talk about gun safety, and the house wasted no time in introducing a background check bill after the last election and after they were put in office. so what's changed? well, it's not just public opinion. people were outraged long before parkland, before charleston, and newtown and on and on. we've been outraged for a long time, but now we are organized, and that's the key difference, and strong leadership from mayors has helped make it happen. i want to thank you all for standing up for gun safety when others wouldn't. i want to urge you to keep up the fight and take it to the next level. we're ready to work with you,
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and i should mention, we work for free. [laughter] [applause] mr. bloomberg: how do you protect your cities is one of the best investments i can make in our country as a philanthropist and together we can really make america safer and stronger and save an awful lot of lives. so thank you for having me. i love this conference. been coming for many, many, many years. tom, you're the greatest. and mayor benjamin, you really are the mayor's mayor. thank you for having me. [applause] >> thank you, mayor bloomberg.
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>> coming up monday morning, we will talk about the week ahead in washington with roll calls jason dick. then discussion of exact rep. ocasio-cortez:'s approach to tax policy. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern under morning. join the discussion. >> this week on the communicators, the major issues facing the $398 billion technology industry in the u.s.. i also see where the future is going with technology. artificial intelligence, drop, self driving cars, individually oriented medical treatments, biotech in a way we have never
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experienced before, all these are coming. knowing that part of the future is not clear but part of it is totally clear. how do you benefit from that whether your government, a business, or an individual? >> join us monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> c-span, where history unfold daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring your unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. next, "q&a," author and
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journalist jane leavy on her biography of babe ruth. then another chance to see kamala harris kickoff for presidential dead in oakland. ♪ >> this week on "q&a," author and journalist jane leavy on her book "the big fella." babe ruth and the world he created. ♪ brian: jane leavy, author of "the big fella," who was he? jane: babe ruth. my cabdriver was saying babe ruth, the babe ruth. he was thrilled to see him on the cover of the book. brian: why is he such a big deal?


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