*** SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON ***
Today's Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton's address to the National Action Network.
The complete transcript:
“Good afternoon everyone! I am delighted to be back here and I want to send greetings to everyone, particularly to Reverend Sharpton and to the board, to Reverend Richardson and all of those who work with him, to Melanie Campbell, to my long time friend Hazel Dukes, and to all who are gathered here today. It is wonderful to be back at the National Action Network for the 25th anniversary of your work on the frontlines of our nation’s continuing struggle for civil rights.
You stand up and always have against gun violence, advocate for criminal justice reform, help young people find jobs, hold corporations accountable, and in a million ways, lift up voices that too often go unheard.
So for me, it’s great being back in New York and wonderful being here. And I appreciate Reverend Sharpton introducing the mothers and other loved ones of those whom we we have lost, people who are joined in a “Club of Grief” that none of us ever want to be members of. And I am grateful for their witness and their extraordinary commitment to criminal justice reform, to common sense gun reforms, and so much else.
You know, on Monday, at a celebration of Jackie Robinson, who played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers 69 years ago this week, Reverend Sharpton said, “America was never the same.” Well, I think it’s fair to say that holds true for the National Action Network as well.
And I want you to imagine what Jackie Robinson would say if he could see us now. The decades since he put down his glove have brought remarkable progress: the rise of the black middle class, the tremendous leadership of African Americans in all walks of life – in business, in law, to government, science, the arts, all the professions, and, of course, Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House.
But, as you know so well, the last few years also have laid bare deep fault lines in America. They’ve revealed how frayed our bonds of trust and respect have become.
Despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with racism is far from finished.
And we are seeing that in this election.
When the front-runner for the Republican nomination was asked in a national television interview to disavow David Duke and other white supremacists supporting his campaign – he played coy. This is the same Donald Trump who led the insidious “birther” movement to delegitimize President Obama. He has called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. He wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. And the list goes on.
And not to be outdone by his primary rival, Ted Cruz would treat Muslim Americans like criminals and religiously profile their neighborhoods.
So, ugly currents that lurked just below the surface of our politics have burst into the open. And everyone sees this bigotry for what it is. Therefore, it is up to all of us to repudiate it.
Here in New York, we don’t all look the same, sound the same or worship the same. But we have learned over the years that America’s problems won’t be solved by building walls and dividing our country between “us” and “them.” We know our diversity is a strength, not a weakness. And New York represents the best of American values, despite what some on the other side have said and that we have to constantly challenge ourselves to stand up and face all that we still have to overcome.
Now of course, the problem goes far deeper than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
More than half a century after Rosa Parks sat, and Dr. King marched, and John Lewis bled, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind.
There’s something wrong, my friends, when the median wealth for black families is a tiny fraction of the median wealth for white families, when African Americans are still more likely to be denied a mortgage.
Something’s wrong when black kids get arrested for petty crimes but white kids who do the same things don’t.
Something’s wrong when gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young black men, outstripping the next nine causes of death combined.
Something’s wrong when so many black parents are burying their children.
Imagine if a white baby in parts of our country was twice as likely to die before her first birthday than a black baby. Imagine the outcry and the resources that would flood in to save those babies.
These are not only problems of economic inequality. They are also problems of racial inequality.
And it is time we face up to the reality of systemic racism in all of its forms.
And once we do, we are called to come together to break down all the barriers that still hold African-Americans back from fully participating in our economy and our society – and together, to build ladders of opportunity and empowerment in their place.
As I have said many times, white Americans need to do a much better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.
We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility, rather than assume our experiences are everyone else’s experiences.
We need to try, as best we can, to walk in your shoes, to imagine what it would be like to sit down our son or daughter down and have “the talk,” or if people followed us around stores, or locked their car doors when we walked past.
This is a discipline that I have recognized and tried to practice in my own life ever since my Methodist youth minister took our Methodist youth fellowship group from our nearly-all white suburb to worship with black and Latino children in Chicago, and to hear Dr. King speak.
And then, in my first semester at law school, I met a woman named Marian Wright Edelman. Marian was actually here with me the last time I spoke at the National Action Network in 2007. Many of you know her story.
She was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Jackson, a friend of Dr. King’s and Robert Kennedy’s before they were assassinated, altogether a remarkable leader. Until I met Marian, I wasn’t clear how to channel my faith and commitment to social justice to make both a living and a difference in the world. I went to work for her at the Children’s Defense Fund. She sent me to her home state of South Carolina to investigate the problem of black teenagers being incarcerated in adult jails.
And when I look back at everything else I’ve done, whether it was going undercover in Alabama as a young woman to help expose segregated academies and strip them of their tax exemptions, or running a legal clinic at the University of Arkansas to represent prison inmates and poor families, it was all part of the same mission: to fight injustice and even the odds for those who have the odds stacked against them in life and in our society.
That was true when, as First Lady, I worked with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers eight million children.
It was true when, as the Senator from New York, I worked with parents and doctors and community leaders to take on the epidemic of children’s asthma in Harlem and the Bronx.
It was true when I worked with the organization 100 Black Men to create the Eagle Academy, a public school here in New York City whose mission is serving young black and Latino men.
Or when I joined partners in New York, the Congressional delegation, like Charlie Rangel and Greg Meeks to bring jobs and investment to underserved neighborhoods, and worked with leaders including my great friend, the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to protect voting rights.
It was true when I went to David Dinkins’ annual conference at Columbia University last year and gave the first policy speech of my Presidential campaign about reforming our criminal justice system and ending the era of mass incarceration.
So what I have tried to do, what I intend to keep doing with your help, is to refuse to accept as normal the fact that black men today are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same offenses.
And we have seen the toll that takes on families torn apart by excessive incarceration, and children growing up in homes shattered by prison and poverty. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know how important it is that we address these issues.
And I applaud the National Action Network for being the champion of this cause and helping to build momentum for reform.
As your Senator, I fought against racial profiling and the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine.
As your President, I’ll work with you to lead a national effort for end-to-end reform in our criminal justice system and I will appoint an Attorney General who will continue the courageous work of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, two New Yorkers!
Now everyone, everyone in every community benefits when there is respect for the law and when everyone is respected by the law.
So we have to rebuild the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve – and stop the tragedy of black men and women being killed by police or dying in custody.
Everyday, here in New York and all over America, there are many police officers inspiring trust and confidence, putting themselves on the line to save lives.
So let’s learn from those police and departments that are doing it right and apply those lessons across the country, and make sure the Justice Department has the resources to hold them accountable when they do it wrong.
Reforming our criminal justice system, though, is just the beginning of our work. Over the course of my campaign, including in February at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, I have been laying out a comprehensive agenda for equity and opportunity for black communities.
Mass incarceration is just one part of a broader set of interlocking challenges, because years of underinvestment and neglect have hollowed out many predominantly African-American communities. There aren’t enough jobs, and poverty persists from generation to generation. Not enough families, still today, have access to the education their children they deserve, the affordable housing they need to live in. Infrastructure has been allowed to crumble, even if it was ever built before.
A recent report found the economic impact of widespread inequality in education to be the equivalent of a “permanent national recession.” That’s a pretty good description of what it’s like to live in a community that’s been repeatedly left out and left behind. And reports of economic recovery, which are real, because I don’t think President Obama gets the credit he deserves for digging us out of the ditch the Republicans put us in in the first place, has given us a strong foundation to go further.
So, now we need a truly comprehensive approach to how we lift everybody up. That’s why I am proposing a major, $125 billion “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda” to revitalize and empower communities of color and places where unemployment and poverty remain stubbornly high – from inner cities to poor rural areas, from Appalachia to Indian Country.
The pillars of this agenda match many of the challenges that the National Action Network has also taken on.
It has to start with a strategy to create more good jobs. So my plan devotes $20 billion specifically to help young people find work and $5 billion to help people who have paid their debt to society find jobs and support when they get out of prison.
We’re going to make more strategic investments in transit and infrastructure to connect black communities to areas where good-paying jobs actually are.
On Sunday, I was in Baltimore, where the NAACP is fighting the cancellation of a much-needed rail line that would have made it easier for African Americans in low-income neighborhoods to access economic opportunities in other parts of the city.
They say transportation is a civil rights issue – and I agree.
And we’re going to support black entrepreneurs, especially black women, who are a powerful entrepreneurial force to get the capital they need to start and grow small businesses, because that’s where a majority of the jobs will come from.
We’ll invest in education and apprenticeships. And it is outrageous that sixty-plus years after Brown v. Board of Education, our public schools are more segregated by race and income than they were in 1968.
We have to replace the school-to-prison pipeline with a cradle-to-college pipeline, because in America, every child should have a good teacher and a good school, no matter what ZIP code they live in.
And families, families need safe, affordable places to live. Black and Latino families are disproportionately affected by the crisis of affordable housing in New York and other cities across America. That’s forced thousands of people out of the neighborhoods where they lived for years.
Meanwhile, public housing is under enormous pressure. Over the past 15 years, federal funding for the New York City Housing Authority has declined by nearly 30 percent.
So as part of our “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” we’re going to make affordable housing a priority. We will defend and expand the current supply of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. We’ll boost funding for Section 8 vouchers, and give recipients more choice in deciding where to live. And because African-American homeownership has long been one of the surest ways to fund and build wealth, we’ll match up to $10,000 in savings for a down payment.
Now there’s one more part of this agenda – the Reverend asked me to be substantive. Well, I’m giving it to you. Because, you know what? When somebody asks for your vote, they should tell you what they’re going to do, not what they hope to do. And they should tell you to hold them accountable, which I want you too. Because it is important that we do this together. I want to just talk very briefly about an issue that doesn’t get enough attention. That is the challenge of environmental justice.
Now, we all know what happened in Flint. Children drinking and bathing in toxic water for nearly two years because their governor wanted to save a little money. Parents held up bottles of brown, murky water and said, something’s wrong here, but their concerns were dismissed and belittled.
Well, let me tell you, Flint is not alone. There are a lot of Flints across our country where children are exposed to polluted air, unhealthy water and chemicals that can increase cancer risk.
And like Flint, they tend to be places that are home to poor people and people of color.
What happened to Flint would never have happened in a wealthy suburb of Detroit.
It is no coincidence that black children are twice as likely as white children to suffer from asthma, three times more likely to be hospitalized, and five times more likely to die from the disease.
Or that children of color are more likely than white kids to suffer lead poisoning, which can lead to lifelong learning challenges and even behavioral problems.
It is no coincidence that nearly half of all Latinos in the United States live in places where the air does not even meet EPA public health standards.
Or that race is the single biggest factor determining whether you live near a toxic site, from “asthma alley” in the Bronx to “cancer alley” in Louisiana.
And you know what – climate change is going to make these burdens even heavier.
So today, I’m announcing a new plan to fight for environmental justice across America.
When President Obama and I both were in the Senate, we worked together on legislation aimed at getting harmful lead out of child care facilities, classrooms and homes with children. Now I want to set an ambitious national goal to eliminate lead as a major public threat within five years. Some say, “Well, that’s awfully ambitious.” I say, “If we put our minds to it, we can get it done. Let’s set that goal, and then let’s get everybody moving forward to achieve it. We know how to do the work, all we need is the will.
And let’s push polluters to pay for cleaning up hundreds of thousands of toxic sites across America. When I was in Senate, I helped pass a law to clean up brownfields, and worked to bring together developers, environmentalists, and local leaders from across New York to redevelop blighted properties. Let’s take that work nationwide.
Let’s reduce air pollution and combat climate change by investing in clean energy and clean transportation.
And oh, by the way, we’ll put a lot of people to work. As part of a major national infrastructure strategy, let’s protect health and safety by repairing not only what we can see but what we can’t, like the failing water systems, run-down public housing, and crumbling schools. Right now in the Detroit public schools, there are children in classrooms breathing the toxins from mold and there are rodents sharing their space.
And even here in New York, we know we’ve got problems. Let’s do more, like Philadelphia did, when it installed green roofs and porous pavements to keep sewers from backing up into low-income neighborhoods.
Now you don’t have to look too far to see what this means for people. A woman named Michelle Holmes is here with us today.
She’s lived in the Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem for decades. She does daily battle with roaches, vermin, and other pests. And then the chemicals used to exterminate them cause other problems. Her family has frequent asthma attacks that often land them in the hospital. And then there’s the mold – brown and green spots on the bathroom ceiling. No one should have to live like that in America.
Every child and every family in America deserves clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and a safe and healthy place to live. This a justice issue. It’s a civil rights issue. And as President, it will be a national priority for us.
So my friends, throughout this campaign, and then as President, I’m going to keep fighting to break down all the barriers holding back every American. My door will always be open to you. You will always have a friend and a partner in the White House.
See, I believe that Democrats have a special obligation. If we’re going to ask African-Americans to vote for us, we can’t take you or your vote for granted.
We can’t just show up at election time and say the right things and think that’s enough.
We can’t start building relationships a few weeks before a vote.
We have to demonstrate a sustained commitment to building opportunity, creating prosperity and righting wrongs – not just every two or four years, not just when the cameras are on and people are watching, but every single day. I have worked on these causes all my adult life. I’m going to keep going at it no matter what.
And I want to close today by paying tribute to some extraordinary women who are here with us – who inspire me every day to fight harder, work longer, and never, ever give up.
You heard their names, when Reverend Sharpton introduced them, but I’ve gotten to know some of them personally, and have had the great honor of spending time with them.
Gwen Carr from here in New York, the mother of Eric Garner, who was stopped for selling loose cigarettes on the street and ended up dead.
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, shot and killed in Florida just for walking through the development where his own father lived.
Valerie Bell, mother of Sean Bell, shot and killed by police here in New York on the morning of his wedding day.
And Nicole Bell, his fiancee who would have married Sean that fateful day.
All these women and the others who are here, the family members of those who have been lost, not only by police action but by gun violence of any kind, anywhere.
The man who killed Trayvon Martin should have never had a gun in the first place. All of these women and other family members have endured unimaginable pain. I look at them and wonder whether I would have been that strong and resilient.
Their grief is unimaginable but they have not been broken. Instead, they are channeling their sorrow into a strategy and their mourning into a movement.
They are standing up for criminal justice reform and they are standing up against the epidemic of gun violence that takes on average, 90 people a day. That is 33,000 people a year killed by guns in America, every year. Now, my opponent, who will be speaking to you tomorrow, and I don’t see this the same way. But, I think this is a national emergency and I’m going to do everything I can to take on the gun lobby and to try to save lives, the lives of the children of women like this and the sisters and the brothers and the daughters and the sons of so many others.
And I will work as hard as I can as your President to keep faith with them for police reform and demanding a criminal justice system that actually delivers justice.
They’re living what the Scripture tells us: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
These are words to live by and I believe these are words to govern by. Think of the future we can build if we work together and don’t grow weary doing good. The men on both sides of me have not grown weary. This organization has not grown weary. It is our obligation and our challenge not to grow weary either until every American has the dignity, the justice, and the opportunity they deserve.
That’s the future we should want for our children and our country. That’s why I’m asking for your support in this election, starting on the primary on Tuesday. And that’s why we will roll up our sleeves and we will get results that will make us proud to be standing together for the kind of future that every child in this country deserves to have. Thank you and God bless you.”
Clinton released a statement in support of Verizon strikers:
“I am disappointed to learn that negotiations have broken down between Verizon and their workers, represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Verizon should come back to the bargaining table with a fair offer for their workers. To preserve and grow America’s middle class, we need to protect good wages and benefits, including retirement security. And we should be doing all we can to keep good-paying jobs with real job security in New York.
“Instead, Verizon wants to outsource more and more jobs. That would mean walking away from workers who have been part of their family and our communities for years – the workers who install and repair our phone and cable service, and who respond to customer needs day and night. We rely on these men and women as part of the communications infrastructure that keeps businesses and our economy moving. Verizon should do the right thing and return to negotiations.
“I believe in the power of collective bargaining. If elected President, I will do everything in my power to protect workers, protect unions, and give businesses the incentives and support to keep jobs here. I will also fight for an America where workers do not have to go on strike to have health care, secure jobs and pensions.”Clinton has accepted the endorsement of the New York Immigrant Rights Coalition, noting her policy goals while doing so:
Today in New York, Hillary Clinton received the endorsement from the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, one of the largest immigrant rights groups in New York and the sister organization to the New York Immigration Coalition. Clinton announced that, as president, she would create a new national Office of Immigrant Affairs that will be a pro-active effort to coordinate policies and programs both across federal agencies and with state and local governments.
In addition, Clinton will make key investments to help break down barriers for immigrant families. As President, Clinton will:
- Create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs to ensure successful immigrant and refugee integration in every community. In too many communities, immigrants still face significant language, education, and economic barriers that prevent them from fully adjusting in their new home. Given the cross-cutting nature of immigrant integration policy concerns, Hillary believes it is critical that there be a pro-active effort to coordinate policies and programs across federal agencies and with state and local governments. In 2014, the Obama Administration announced a Task Force to study integration services and make recommendations for improvements. Hillary would work to implement the Task Force’s recommendations, and create the first ever federal Office of Immigrant Affairs to ensure there is a dedicated place in the White House where integration services for immigrants and refugees are managed.
- Support affordable integration services through $15 million in new grant funding for community navigators and similar organizations. Hillary would create a new competitive grant program to supplement current funding streams for naturalization, focusing on building the capacity of organizations in the field to take a naturalization program to scale. By investing in efforts like Community Navigators, Hillary will ensure that more immigrants can receive the support they need to apply for naturalization or DAPA and DACA, seek out education and workforce training, and navigate their new communities.
- Significantly increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education. For too many immigrants, accessing affordable and effective English Language Learning resources continues to be a struggle. As president, Hillary will greatly expand the federal resources devoted to adult English language education and citizenship education—ensuring that immigrants, citizenship applicants, parents of schoolchildren, and others, can access the programming they need, whether at community colleges, public libraries, or through new innovative platforms and other community organizations.
The transcript of the remarks, as delivered, is below:
- Promote the benefits of citizenship and eliminate cost barriers to naturalization. There are an estimated 9 million lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in the United States who are eligible to become U.S. citizens. As President, she will work to expand fee waivers and enhance outreach and education on the benefits of citizenship so that more of the working poor can assume the full rights and responsibilities of becoming U.S. citizens.
“I am absolutely delighted and so honored to be here and I thank Immigrant Action for this endorsement.
But more than that, I thank you for your advocacy, for your strong, consistent voice on behalf of immigrants and immigrants’ families and immigrants’ aspirations. And I enjoyed working with you in the Senate for eight years and if I am so fortunate enough to be President, I would certainly look forward to working with you again.
I want to thank 1199 SEIU for hosting this event here today. They too are strong advocates for the immigrant community and represent many immigrants as well. And it’s always a pleasure to be here with the Speaker. Melissa, as we already said is a strong voice on many things, but has been especially focused on making clear that the elected leadership here in the City of New York, a city built by immigrants in a nation built by immigrants, will always have a strong, consistent representation in our elected officials and thank you so much, Madam Speaker. I also thank you for everything you do, and I want to also thank Assembly Member Michaelle Solages who, I was just told, is the first Haitian American elected in the State Assembly in New York.
I will have the opportunity in a few minutes to hear from our panelists who, as Steven said, represent the immigrant experience in New York. From many parts of the world, first and second generation, they are really on the front lines. So when we talk about what we want to do, they listen. They’re the ones trying to figure out how they’re going to get ahead and stay ahead. They’re going to provide for their children. Their children will get good educations, how they will manage so many of the daily challenges of life as they become a contributing member of our society. I thank each and every one of them for this.
Now, next Monday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in case US v. Texas. There is a lot at stake in this Supreme Court decision. I believe strongly that the President’s action on behalf of DACA and DAPA were rooted in law and precedent, that he was acting in a way consistent with prior judgments and executive actions that they took, both Democrats and Republicans. And I am certainly very hopeful that we will see a positive outcome from this really important decision that many millions of people living in our country are holding their breaths over, because it will have very significant effects in the lives of so many. As Steven said, I wanted to list some of the actions that I intend to take on as president, to further the work that is done by immigrant action, by activists, by elected officials, and immigrants themselves.
The first is naturalization. We currently have nine million people in our country who are eligible for naturalization. They work and pay taxes, but they can’t vote, serve on juries, or even join our military in most instances. Unless they become citizens, they remain at risk of being separated from their own families. But only seven percent of those eligible naturalize every year. It is a broken system. It is easier they believe to stay here on a green card. They’re here legally. They get to work. The hassle of becoming a citizen is sometimes just overwhelming.
We should not have such a series of barriers. I am running this campaign to knock down all the barriers that stand in the way of people getting ahead and staying ahead, and I want to do that when it comes to naturalization. I will work to expand fee waivers so that those seeking naturalization can get a break on the costs. I will step up our outward outreach and education, so more people know their options.
No one who can be a citizen and want to be a citizen should miss out on doing that. So let’s make this a high priority in the next few [inaudible].
I also want to do much more to further our goal of integration. Because integration is an issue as Melissa, Michelle, and I and Steven were talking earlier. It’s an issue that cuts across all levels of government, federal, state, and local. I would create the first ever Office of Immigrant Affairs. It would build on the work of the Obama administration’s task force, and create a dedicated place in the White House to coordinate immigration policies across the federal government and with state and local government as well.
We also know that integration begins at the local level. I will provide 15 million dollars in competitive grants to fund efforts like the community navigators, who help guide immigrants through this system and enroll in DACA and DAPA and more. I visited a session of community navigators in Chicago when I was there for the Illinois primary and I was so impressed.
There were people of all ages who were serving as navigators for immigrants to learn how to be naturalized, to learn what they were eligible for and we want to expand that. We will also work hard to provide more support and federal resources to help immigrants learn English-language skills.
That will help them thrive even more. We’ll be working with public libraries, community colleges and other platforms, again, taking our lead from local communities – where are places that will work? I remember visiting the library in Queens in Flushing many years ago. It was packed with people from all over the world looking for information and it is a perfect platform.
That’s where people feel they can go, they believe it’s a trusted platform. Well, we need to propagate those and have more opportunities both for information and for acquiring English-language skills. Now I want to thank Steven for this endorsement, but it was a great privilege to work with Immigrant Action when I was in Senate.
It was a privilege to endorse the DREAM Act every Congress that I served. It was a privilege to vote for what many said was our best chance at passing comprehensive immigration reform in the past: legislation sponsored by the late Senator Ted Kennedy and John McCain that then Republican President Bush promised to sign.
And I will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship, but it’s important that we also stand up against the voices of hate and divisiveness, whether they are in our communities or running for President.
I have said frequently about Donald Trump, Basta, enough prejudice and the bluster and the bigotry and all of the appeals to fear and anxiety and anger. What is great about our country, which is great in so many ways already, is how we work together, how we pull together, how we welcome new people to our shores, new immigrants to our country, our society, our economy and our political system.
So I’m excited and I thank you so much for this endorsement and I really look forward to working with you in the years ahead.
Thank you. Thank you all.”Clinton’s plan to fight for Environmental and Climate Justice:
Across America, the burdens of air pollution, water pollution, and toxic hazards are borne disproportionately by low-income communities and communities of color.
Air pollution from power plants, factories, refineries, transportation and waste incineration significantly exacerbate asthma, and African-American children are twice as likely as white children to suffer from asthma, three times more likely to be hospitalized, and five times more likely to die from the disease. Nearly half of Latinos in the United States live in counties where the air does not meet EPA public health standards for smog.
From Flint, Michigan, to Toledo, Ohio, to Charleston, West Virginia, families have been exposed to lead, dangerous algae, and toxic chemicals in their drinking water.
Exposure to pesticides and chemicals has been linked to childhood cancer, and the likelihood of such exposure can depend on where children live. For example, in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston, which is 85 percent Latino and where 27 schools are within one mile of a high-risk chemical facility, children who attend public schools are 56 percent more likely to get leukemia than those who live 10 miles away.
Simply put, this is environmental racism. And the impacts of climate change, from more severe storms to longer heat waves to rising sea levels, will disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities, which suffer the worst losses during extreme weather and have the fewest resources to prepare.
Hillary believes we need to break down all the barriers holding Americans back—including the burdens imposed by unhealthy air, polluted water, and exposure to toxins. Environmental and climate justice can’t just be slogans—they have to be central goals. Clean air and clean water aren’t luxuries—they are basic rights of all Americans.
No one in our country should be exposed to toxic chemicals or hazardous wastes simply because of where they live, their income, or their race. And the impacts of climate change must be addressed with an eye to climate justice, so no community gets left out or left behind. As President, Hillary will:Clinton backs Elizabeth Warren’s latest economic proposal.
Clinton’s vision for ensuring environmental and climate justice is one pillar of both her Breaking Every Barrier agenda to confront all our challenges together and deliver results for every American, and of her comprehensive energy and climate agenda, which includes major initiatives in the following areas:
- Eliminate lead as a major public health threat within five years. Lead is a well-documented neurotoxin, and childhood lead exposure can irreversibly harm brain development, produce developmental delays, cause behavioral problems, and negatively impact school performance. There is no safe blood lead level in children. For every dollar invested in preventing childhood exposure to lead, between $17 and $200 is saved in reduced educational, health, and criminal justice expenses and improved health and economic outcomes—but the few federal programs that exist are inadequate to address the scope of the problem and have seen significant budget cuts and volatility in recent years. The ongoing tragedy in Flint has put a spotlight on the urgency of this crisis, but Flint is not alone. More than 535,000 children are poisoned by lead in the United States, and children of color are more likely to be poisoned than white children.
Eliminating lead as a major public health threat to our children is a goal we can and must meet as a nation. Clinton will establish a Presidential Commission on Childhood Lead Exposure and charge it with writing a national plan to eliminate the risk of lead exposure from paint, pipes, and soil within five years; align state, local and philanthropic resources with federal initiatives; implement best prevention practices based on current science; and leverage new financial resources such as lead safe tax credits. Clinton will direct every federal agency to adopt the Commission’s recommendations, make sure our public water systems are following appropriate lead safety guidelines, and leverage federal, state, local, and philanthropic resources, including up to $5 billion in federal dollars, to replace lead paint, windows, and doors in homes, schools, and child care centers and remediate lead-contaminated soil.
- Protect public health and safety by modernizing drinking and wastewater systems. As the crisis in Flint has made painfully clear, we have not invested enough in the drinking and wastewater systems that keep our communities healthy and safe. Aging and inadequate wastewater systems discharge more than 900 billion gallons of untreated sewage a year, posing health risks to humans and wildlife, disrupting ecosystems, and disproportionately impacting communities of color.
In addition, many struggling communities around the United States have limited or no access to clean, safe water, including farmworker communities in the Central Valley of California, Navajo and other Native American communities in the west, and small towns throughout the Great Plains. Drinking water and wastewater treatment is often the largest single energy cost for municipalities—meaning inefficient water treatment is a financial drain on low-income communities. Clinton has a $275 billion plan to invest in modernizing American infrastructure, including drinking and wastewater infrastructure, and will work with states, municipalities, and the private sector to bring our water systems into the 21st century and ensure that all Americans have access to clean, safe drinking water.
- Prosecute criminal and civil violations that expose communities to environmental harm and work with Congress to strengthen public health protections in our existing laws. When companies and individuals break the law and expose communities to harm, they should be held accountable with appropriate criminal or civil enforcement under environmental, public health, and safety laws. When residents of Flint were exposed to harmful lead pollution, there were no criminal violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, even though officials knew or should have known that the drinking water had been contaminated. When Freedom Industries polluted the drinking water in Charleston, West Virginia, the corporate officials involved were allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act. The judge said that they were “hardly criminals,” and no one went to jail for more than 30 days. After 29 miners died at the Upper Big Branch Mine, our worst mining disaster in 40 years, prosecutors charged and convicted Don Blankenship, the former head of Massey Energy, for conspiracy to violate the Mine Safety and Health Act. Blankenship received only one year in jail, however, because violations of the Mine Safety Act are only misdemeanors. The same is true for the Occupational Safety and Health Act, where willful violations that cause death only authorize misdemeanor charges. The Lead Disclosure Rule, which protects children from lead paint, does not contain any criminal provisions, relying instead on a separate law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, which only authorizes misdemeanor charges. And even when there is a criminal conviction for environmental violations, too often, victims receive no restitution for the harm they have suffered.
Clinton will work with Congress to update our environmental, public health, and safety laws by enhancing the criminal provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, adding criminal provisions to the Lead Disclosure Rule, improving the lead inspection standards of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, and increasing the penalties for violations of the Mine Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act so that they are felonies that carry the possibility of serious jail time. Clinton will also work with Congress to ensure that victims of environmental crimes receive compensation for their injuries, direct the EPA and Justice Department to work together on using Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to prevent or rectify environmental injustices, and direct Justice Department prosecutors to be just as tough on environmental criminals as they are on other criminals who endanger our communities.
- Create new economic opportunity through brownfield clean-up and redevelopment. There are over 450,000 brownfield sites across the United States where the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants pose threats to public health and deprive local communities of economic development opportunities. EPA’s Superfund program has insufficient resources to clean up the remaining sites on the National Priority List, and most brownfields are overseen by capacity-constrained state and local governments.
Clinton will work to replenish the federal Superfund, partner with state and local governments in pushing responsible parties to pay their fair share of clean-up costs, and collaborate with local leaders to redevelop brownfields in a way that creates good-paying jobs and new economic opportunities for impacted communities. To protect the health and safety of local residents, workers will be trained by accredited organizations. To help create long-term career paths, contractors working on these projects will be required to participate in registered apprenticeship programs and newcomers to the workforce will be encouraged to join these programs.
- Reduce urban air pollution by investing in clean power and transportation. The US has made important progress in reducing sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants through cleaner power generation and more efficient cars and trucks. Yet in many communities, particularly communities of color, air pollution continues to threaten public health and safety. More than 40 percent of Americans live in places where pollution levels are often too dangerous to breathe. Urban air pollution contributes to asthma episodes, missed school and work days and reduced life expectancies for community residents. Clinton will defend and implement President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and ensure that states prioritize environmental and climate justice when designing their compliance plans. Through her Clean Energy Challenge, Clinton will provide competitive grants to states, cities, and rural communities that exceed federal standards and take the lead in deploying cost-saving and pollution-reducing clean energy and energy efficiency solutions. In the transportation sector, which is the leading source of ground-level ozone and other urban air pollutants, Clinton will defend and extend federal pollution standards for cars, trucks, and buses, and invest in efficient transit that connects people to jobs and opportunity. Clinton will accelerate the transition to zero or near-zero emission trucking and shipping and award Clean Energy Challenge grants to states and cities that develop innovative transportation solutions that cut air pollution and oil consumption, while improving access to employment and education opportunities for low-income communities and communities of color.
- Broaden the clean energy economy, build career opportunities, and combat energy poverty by expanding solar and energy efficiency in low-income communities and communities of color. Clinton is committed to ensuring that no one is left behind or left out in the transition to a clean energy economy. In addition to addressing the ways that low-income communities and communities of color face disproportionate burdens from air pollution and a changing climate, Clinton will ensure that the economic benefits of clean energy and energy efficiency are broadly shared. Through her Clean Energy Challenge, Clinton will overcome barriers that prevent low-income families from reducing energy costs through solar panel installations and residential energy efficiency improvements. Clinton will ensure that states, cities and rural communities prioritize environmental and climate justice when receiving Clean Energy Challenge grants. Clinton will also work to expand good-paying job opportunities for people of color throughout the clean energy economy and support prevailing wage and project labor agreements for new infrastructure that utilize skilled labor and help recruit and train workers from communities most heavily impacted by pollution. In today’s economy, African Americans hold only 1.1 percent of energy jobs and receive only 0.01 percent of energy sector profits. This must change in the clean energy economy we build for the future.
- Protect communities from the impacts of climate change by investing in resilient infrastructure. Climate change will target every community in America, and we know the poorest and most vulnerable communities will suffer the most. Climate change will cause more frequent and severe downpours in the Northeast, potentially overwhelming aging drainage systems and causing sewerage backups in predominantly low-income areas. Sea level rise will threaten vulnerable communities from Baltimore to New Orleans. More frequent and severe heat waves disproportionately threaten the health of those who cannot afford adequate air conditioning or have preexisting health conditions. State and local leaders are beginning to recognize the need to factor climate risks into infrastructure planning and find creative solutions that protect their communities. For instance, Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program installed porous pavements, rain gardens, rain barrels, and other green infrastructure solutions to reduce stormwater runoff and prevent sewer overflows. Clinton will give states and local communities the data, tools, and resources they need to make smart investments in resilient infrastructure and to help diminish the local impacts of climate change.
- Establish an Environmental and Climate Justice Task Force to make environmental and climate justice, including cumulative impacts, an integral part of federal decision-making. While multiple federal agencies already consider environmental justice when awarding grants or permitting projects, including through the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee at EPA, more needs to be done to tackle the cumulative health, economic, and environmental impacts of pollution and climate change in vulnerable communities.
On her first day in office, Clinton will establish an Environmental and Climate Justice Task Force and charge it with finding and fixing the next 50 Flints—the low-income urban and rural communities facing the most acute environmental risks. The Task Force would also:
- Be directed to make recommendations on addressing cumulative environmental impacts and preventing other communities from facing similar burdens in the future, particularly in light of the additional challenges posed by climate change, including through stronger enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
- Include outside experts, the environmental justice community, and federal, state, and local officials, and draw on all of the resources of the federal government to conduct its work.
- Be supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ research and partnership grant programs, which Clinton would significantly expand.
- Clean Energy Challenge: Develop, defend and implement smart federal energy and climate standards. Provide states, cities and rural communities ready to lead on clean energy and exceed these standards with the flexibility, tools and resources they need to succeed.
- Modernizing North American Infrastructure: Improve the safety and security of existing energy infrastructure and align new infrastructure we build with the clean energy economy we are seeking to create.
- Safe and Responsible Production: Ensure that fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible, that taxpayers get a fair deal for development on public lands, and that areas that are too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table.
- Revitalizing Coal Communities: Protect the health and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families and provide economic opportunities for those that kept the lights on and factories running for more than a century.
- Energy and Climate Security: Reduce the amount of oil consumed in the United States and around the world, guard against energy supply disruptions, and make our communities, our infrastructure, and our financial markets more resilient to risks posed by climate change.
- Collaborative Stewardship: Renew our shared commitment to the conservation of our disappearing lands, waters, and wildlife, to the preservation of our history and culture, and to expanding access to the outdoors for all Americans.
Bloomberg Politics reports:
“This proposal will help take the headache out of Tax Day, saving Americans both time and money,” Hillary Clinton says in e-mailed statement.New York Times profiles the Mothers of the Movement. I had the privilege of listening to many of them speak at the National Action Network conference yesterday, and all I can say is that these women have more courage and fortitude in their pinky fingers than all of most of us combined:
- “Special interests who benefit from the system’s current complexity need to stop standing in the way of progress,” she says
- Clinton: “I will work to simplify the tax system for working families and give them tax relief”
The Clinton campaign named this sisterhood forged in the shared loss of a child the “Mothers of the Movement,” and they have become an unlikely linchpin of Mrs. Clinton’s success in the Democratic primary. At campaign stops, Mrs. Clinton introduces them as “a group of mothers who belong to a club no one ever wants to join.” The mothers will arrive in New York this week to help Mrs. Clinton compete in the primary on Tuesday.
Having these women by her side has provided Mrs. Clinton with powerful and deeply sympathetic character witnesses as she makes her case to African-American voters. And they have given her campaign, an often cautious and poll-tested operation, a raw, human and sometimes gut-wrenching feeling.
“Those not supporting her are reluctant to go against her, because we led the marches and the rallies on these things and have worked very closely with the mothers,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose National Action Network is hosting Mrs. Clinton and her opponent in the Democratic primary, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, for a discussion of civil rights issues at its annual conference this week in New York. “It certainly influences how we related to her campaign,” added Mr. Sharpton, who has not endorsed a candidate.
“The other candidate on the Democratic side did not reach out to us,” Annette Nance-Holt, whose 16-year-old son, Blair Holt, was shot on a Chicago bus in 2007, said at a campaign event last month. She explained starkly that she was not swayed by Mr. Sanders’s promise of free college “because my child is dead.”
Mrs. Clinton’s outreach to the women began early, even before she officially announced she was running for president, and has continued throughout her campaign.
In December, Ms. Reed-Veal, the mother of Ms. Bland, received a Christmas card in the mail. “I know this is the first holiday without your baby,” the neat cursive handwriting read. “Just know, I’m thinking of you.” It was signed, “Hillary.” She received another note from Mrs. Clinton when a grand jury declined to indict anyone in her daughter’s death.
That kind of personal touch inspired Ms. Reed-Veal to join Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. At a black church in Milwaukee last month, sitting on stage next to the candidate, she told her story and implored the city’s black residents to vote for Mrs. Clinton.
“Drive up to the corner where that young man is standing with his pants hanging down, and if he is 18 or older, take his hand and make him vote,” Ms. Reed-Veal said. “Make that young man know that people died for him. Make him understand that.”
Mrs. Clinton shows a different side when she is around the mothers. She talks less and seems more maternal, growing teary and turning to Scripture in response to the women’s pain. “Let us not grow weary of doing good, because in due time we will harvest if we stay focused,” she often says, paraphrasing Galatians 6:9.
The events at which the mothers appear unleash emotional reactions. At Tabernacle Community Baptist Church in Milwaukee last month, a woman in the congregation wailed as the other mothers told their stories. “When we heard those screams, we knew,” said Ms. Nance-Holt, who had driven from Chicago to campaign for Mrs. Clinton. “That was the sound when your child has been murdered.”Leave it to Bernie Sanders to finally get involved in downballot races by trashing Emily’s List in a contested primary.
In his email for Lucy Flores, a House candidate in Nevada, Sanders writes that her story “will probably anger you, but hopefully, it will also inspire you to take action in support of” Flores. The Vermont senator writes that EMILY’s List endorsed Flores when she ran in 2014, calling her an “inspiring community leader.” But, he said, that changed in the 2016 cycle: “But then Lucy Flores endorsed our political revolution before the Nevada caucus, and everything changed. EMILY’s List decided to endorse a different person in Lucy’s House race this time around. So I want to support Lucy like she’s supported us, because we stand together,” writes Sanders.
But EMILY’s List does, in fact, back some candidates who have endorsed Sanders. And that includes Pramila Jayapal, a House candidate in Washington who also got a round of fundraising emails from Sanders on Monday — though with a message that didn’t mention EMILY’s List. The group also backs Vermont gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter, another Sanders supporter.
“Bernie Sanders believes the political revolution is built by calling women leaders ‘unqualified’ and calling abortion a ‘social issue.’ So it’s not surprising at all that he doesn’t get what we do and has resorted to these false, disingenuous attacks,” said Marcy Stech, the group’s communications director. “Perhaps if Sanders stuck to issues, not insults, he’d realize that electing pro-Democratic women is, in fact, revolutionary. The key difference is, we don’t just talk about it — we know how to get it done.”
MSNBC writes about the misguided focus on superdelegates:
There appears to be some confusion about the state of the race. Sanders has fared well, and won several contests in a row, but at least at this stage in the process, Clinton has won more pledged delegates, more votes, and more states. Just as important is the fact that Clinton has actually won several states with larger populations by wide margins, which explains her significant advantage in the metric that actually decides who wins the presidential nomination.The role of superdelegates is interesting, and arguably worth keeping an eye on, but they’re not the Sanders campaign’s principal problem. If we were to rank the key hurdles standing between the senator and his goal, superdelegates would actually be fairly low on the list.
The Observer notes the parallels between Sanders supporters and the Tea Partiers:I can imagine a situation in which Sanders was narrowly leading the race for the nomination, edging Clinton among pledged delegates and votes. That’s not an accurate reflection of what’s actually happening, but I’m describing a hypothetical scenario. And in this hypothetical scenario, let’s say Sanders was narrowly leading the race, but he hadn’t locked down the majority he needed.
At that point, the superdelegates would be of critical importance. These Democratic officials would have the power – again, in this imaginary situation – to either follow the will of the voters who cast ballots in primaries and caucuses, or they could exercise their own judgment. Their collective decision would decide the outcome of the entire race.Given those conditions, lobbying superdelegates would make a lot of sense. If party officials were prepared to elevate Clinton over Sanders, despite Sanders’ lead among pledged delegates and raw vote totals, an aggressive messaging campaign would be the obvious next move.But this hypothetical situation is actually the opposite of the currently unfolding circumstances. When the New York Times says Sanders backers believe Clinton is well positioned to prevail “because of her overwhelming lead with ‘superdelegates,’” that’s not quite right. Sanders is, to be sure, trailing badly among superdelegates, but even if these party leaders are removed from the picture altogether, the Vermont senator is nevertheless facing a serious deficit among pledged delegates.Now, if Sanders’ supporters are leaning on superdelegates, telling them to ignore, and ultimately override, the results of the primaries and caucuses, that would at least make tactical sense (though it probably won’t work as a political strategy). But to see superdelegates as the main obstacle between the senator and the nomination is incorrect.My point isn’t to criticize spirited activism. What matters here is the best use of these activists’ time, and pressuring superdelegates is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
Welcome to Sanders World—it’s our own version of the Tea Party. It’s like a perverse funhouse mirror held up to cable news and talk radio. But its final phase is unfolding in the run up to the Democratic presidential primary in New York.
Our very own Tea Party has the same formless sense of rage and entitlement as the one on the right, the same disinterest in facts, willful ignorance of hypocrisy and core belief that compromise is the same as treason. Like the one on the right, it has chosen an election as its vehicle, and its campaign tone is set by the same frothing Pharisees who demand purity or political death. And like the angry horde on the right, it’s a hollow husk—its members simply don’t see that campaigning is very different from governing. And what’s worse? Its rank-and-file don’t want to know.
It’s a world in which if you aren’t my best friend, you are my sworn enemy. Where lust for ideology and a cult of personality rule and followers are ignorant of the occasional vicissitudes of governing. Where half-baked rumors are accepted and even cherished, and where the other side’s talking points are ignorantly and gleefully redeployed as friendly fire. It’s a world where Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman’s liberal cred is derided as insufficient, and where elected officials who have decades-long track records of meaningful progressive policymaking are sneered at as corporate stooges—and where Hollywood starlets explain to Dolores Huerta about what activism REALLY looks like.
And in this bizarre world, a campaign that has no realistic path to victory has changed direction and is speeding along the lowest road of politics. Sen. Bernie Sanders started this campaign as a happy warrior, fighting hard on some of the most valuable issues that we face as a nation. Not the least of those issues is the corrosive force of money in politics. Mr. Sanders was both righteous and right-on to crusade against a system that’s swayed by dollars and in thrall to corporate culture. Yes, yes, and yes again. There is no questioning the foundational values that he’s inserted forcefully into the national debate, and I salute him for it. He’s been right all along in that respect. Yet, I ask: What’s his plan to get the political system out from under Citizens United?
But recently he’s taken a nasty turn. It’s been aided and abetted by his consultants, his surrogates and his supporters, but, after all, direction comes from the top. Over the past few days, his campaign has claimed that Hillary Clinton isn’t qualified to be President, is to blame for ISIS and that she’s “too ambitious.” Yes, it’s a throw-the-kitchen-sink strategy. But it’s also a burn-the-house, salt-the-field, poison-the-well strategy. It’s a Tea Party strategy that smacks of desperate destructiveness. But you know what else? Campaigns that are on an upward trajectory don’t go so negative.
Mr. Sanders, unlike Ms. Clinton, has never been truly vetted. And the next week or so is going to amount to a seven-day New York Minute. See, New York has the toughest press corps in the country, if not in the world. They don’t take talking points, spin or narratives as fact, and they don’t, most of all, suffer fools gladly. They don’t write their stories off of a press release. New York separates the wheat from the chaff. Mr. Sanders will have to answer tough questions on guns, the economy, jobs, the campaign donations he’s accepted—and how he would turn his ideas into reality in Washington.
Because in New York, unlike in Sanders World, Wall Street is not simply the Tea Party caricature of Monty-Burns-like financial overlords. It’s our state’s tax base. It pays for us to be a progressive bastion and our city to be a deep-blue city—just ask progressive stalwarts like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito—and it ensures that we are a liberal beacon. Also? This is New York. We were attacked not just on 9/11 but by Hurricane Sandy and—let’s go back in history—by AIDS, crack, and persistent education and housing crises. You have a plan to help us, Mr. Sanders? If not? Better bone up fast. You’d better have answers on security, resilience, fixing our broken school system and how every American can find a place to live and thrive. And a simple stump speech won’t cut it here, as your mortifying interview with the Daily News editorial board proved. You’ll need to be thoughtful, substantive, and go deep. Tell us how you’ll get it done. We know you were born and raised in Brooklyn, but remember: Ms. Clinton has already passed muster here years ago, because she showed she could deliver. She’s passed our rigorous, unsparing test.
You ready, big guy? It’s go-time. To quote President Andrew Shepard: “We’ve got serious problems, and we need serious people.” It can’t be just a protest anymore. You can’t succeed or deliver on anger alone. We don’t celebrate your Tea Party here.
The alleged "enthusiasm gap" between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters is actually totally false, but it nonetheless persists as one of the media's favorite narratives.
There isn't as much visible support for Clinton, because people get bullied when they show it. Of course there are going to be fewer visible Clinton supporters when showing public support for her is an invitation to harassment.
This has long been an identifiable problem with a number of Sanders supporters. On a recent day when I tweeted something critical of their candidate, I had to block over 200 accounts. On a single day.
But Sanders said something about it once and never again. Which frankly makes me feel as though he said just enough so he couldn't be accused of not addressing it, but has stayed silent thereafter because he knows this harassment is benefitting him, as it makes Clinton supporters think twice before publicly supporting her.
And I find that pretty upsetting. If there is another reason he is keeping silent about the widespread harassment being done by a segment of his supporters, I'd love to hear what it is.
Even more, I'd love to hear him just tell them to knock it the fuck off. As many times as it needs to be said.McEwan is more charitable toward Sanders there than I am, because I think that when he said that he’s not responsible for what his surrogates say, he gave them the green light to be as nasty as they want to be:
Sanders added, “We have many, many surrogates who say many, many things. Many of these surrogates do not agree with everything I say. And I do not agree with every approach and everything that they say. And that’s the simple reality.”
*** SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON ***