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Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4, D)

Feb 18, 2020
congregate at JFK Park, also take a moment to silence your cell phones. You can join the online conversation with a hashtag on the JFK Junior Forum Live and interact with our student-run Instagram on the JFK Junior Forum for behind-the-scenes highlights. Please take your seats now and join me in welcoming our guest and IOP Director, Mark Kirin, Rob Watson and Swati Srinivasan. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Institute of Politics, welcome to the Kennedy School, we are delighted to have you all here for a really interesting forum here at the JFK JFK youth forum with Congressman Joe Kennedy, so we have a great group of interlocutors with the


from the Institute of Politics that I have the privilege of introducing to talk first with Congressman Kennedy, Rob Watson. a mid-career student here at the Kennedy School, he is also the director of student programming at the Institute of Politics, he graduated from college and school of education and was a Peace Corps volunteer and we should applaud that a volunteer from the Peace Corps in Paraguay.
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d
Southeast ASEAN is from Ohio, near Cleveland, Ohio, and was very involved in the Policy Institute, including our policy program, where in her first year she worked on a policy proposal that was presented to Congressman Kennedy, for which represented the Institute of Politics from various perspectives we thought you would be very familiar with a


, so we welcome all of you here, we welcome those of you who are thinking about the Kennedy School, those guests of the community and now it is my pleasure to bring to our distinguished guests someone who is known to the University as a law school graduate known to the Institute of Politics I am part of our Senior Advisory Committee committed to our political work.
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d

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congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d...

He has represented the 4th district here in Massachusetts since 2012 in Congress and has had a career in the public sector. service as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and as an assistant district attorney, so please join me in welcoming Congressman Joe Kennedy. Yes, thank you Congressman for being here, welcome back, you're back at the house, thank you and before we go, my mom is. here somewhere I think if not it's over already hello thanks for coming I have a couple of cousins ​​here to thank you guys well congressman I had to start by giving you a welcome because we just found out backstage that the congressman served in the Peace Corps in Puerto Plata and the province where my family is from the Dominican Republic, so this gave a shout out to the people who are in my garage, Nathaniel, well, congressman, I want to start by talking about public service, okay, we are here in the school of government named after your family at an institute where you are a member of the Senior Advisory Committee of the University where you are on loan from your time with the Peace Corps to working in the Harvard Legal Aid Office to being an assistant prosecutor district and now serving in Congress, what are your thoughts on public service right now and its importance as we strive to inspire the next generation?
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d
Sorry, my God, we need more. I guess I'll be the first, so first of all, thanks to someone for coming so well. I see you all here. I am delighted to be here with all of you and hope to turn this into a conversation. I think as soon as we can see it, I think your best public service is about solving problems, it's about recognizing the challenges that we as a community as a society face and trying to find the tools and the means to address them when it comes to government. The best definition of government I have ever heard came from my predecessor Barney Frank.
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d
He said that government is simply the name of things. the name we give to the things we do together, people sit around a table trying to solve a problem and I think the divisions that we see in our country right now and around the world, as palpable and tangible as they are , are the only way to solve it. it's about people for a long time and immersing themselves in it and I firmly believe that I had the tremendous opportunity and privilege over the course of the 2018 election to travel across the country from West Virginia to Indiana, to Texas, to Arizona, to Pennsylvania.
Ohio Wisconsin Michigan Maine New Hampshire South Carolina Florida and many places in between and you talked to my I've spent six years in office and a Republican dominated body where if you wanted to accomplish something you had to have Republicans no I just supported a champion and, So, I looked at the challenges that our country and its communities face and I saw them through his eyes and I didn't agree with a lot of it, but listening to his recitation and his dedication to trying to serve those communities is really extraordinary and I think public service is about recognizing encounters with people who understand that their perceptions and emotions in the way they see the world are just as valid as mine.
How do you try to make sure that how you build towards that? the possibility that they can or the opportunity where they can actually tackle those challenges together and ultimately I will say that no experience was more important to me than the time I spent and your mom's hometown when I was trying to figure out where they're going. In the Peace Corps, I actually called Director Guerin and told him it was a good idea and he said yes and quite frankly I wasn't entirely convinced after that conversation, but there isn't a day I'm in this position. current one in which it does not.
Take advantage of that experience and that's why you're here right now. I'm glad you suggested it. Thank you. I had the honor of working with you and your team on a policy proposal to minimize pharmaceutical R&D costs. With 20 of my classmates we realized the sheer complexity of political change at the national level. I'm very deep into this topic, so my question to you is how to prioritize and achieve such a wide range of policies and interventions. You literally picked one of the hardest ones out there. So good for you. guys I think you need to take a look at the challenges our country faces and I think a big part of that is being as in touch as possible with the communities you represent, some of the national challenges are It will be framed differently at the local level Yes, everyone, everyone, is being hit by extremely harsh prescription drug costs.
However, what that means and how it manifests may be a little bit different or it may be a little bit different depending on where you are, depending on whether some of the challenges you actually have. regarding access to health care it is a rural community it is an urban community viv a lot of work has been done on mental and behavioral health 55% of the counties in our country do not have a single psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker 55% zero nothing and So we have big challenges in terms of access to mental health care here in Massachusetts and that gap is not one of them, but we still have big challenges and when it comes to looking at something as complex as pharmaceutical costs, trying to make a Dig deeper and understand why, which is honestly maybe the most frustrating part of my job right now because you can't.
It's actually very difficult to get a consensus answer as to why and that's part of why I think the broken system we have is ours. divisive politics and the way that one of the thoughts of Newt Gingrich's Contract for America and the destruction of congressional budgets, the destruction of nonpartisan research in the institution of Congress, makes it harder for you to access pure facts and have confidence in them and when No, you have no confidence in those few facts. You're open to tilts and turns, so you spend a lot of time trying to understand what the real answer is and then trying to build a solution. around this when finally and most importantly there are enormous forces that don't want that change, isn't it a matter of some of these everyone agrees on what the problem is, let's try to find a solution? the great challenges we face there are constituents who are actively trying to make sure that change does not happen and therefore building the coalition that is capable of taking it on is difficult, congressman.
I want to focus for a moment on the topic of national service. I know this is a topic dear to both of our hearts and there is a lot of talk about national service being a defining civic rite of passage and a cultural expectation in this country, we have seen many Democratic candidates. talk about different ideas for revitalizing national service you come from a strong legacy of national service through Pro and programs like AmeriCorps in the Peace Corps what do you think is the future of national service in the United States? Look, I think one of the challenges again that we face as a country is that a nation that many times we don't have those shared experiences and one of the great aspects of that is heard from my time in office from people who have served for a period of time. the shared experiences that particularly military Services are provided for people who come from different places with very different backgrounds but end up serving in the same unit and I have a cousin in the back, there is a combat veteran from Afghanistan, thanks for coming Chris McElveen, thanks for coming , I would be halfway through the race. student, so the conversations with people like Chris who can really share some of that Peace Corps experience are also similar, there are some of my closest friends, one of my closest Peace Corps friends, it's I don't think that he's watching, so I've been crazy. with a conservative Republican who is from Louisiana now in Texas and a wonderful guy, a wonderful guy, a character, a wonderful guy, oh, but it gives you the opportunity to have these bonding experiences over shared experiences that you wouldn't otherwise have.
I deeply believe in value. of national service and the opportunity that national service also provides to take on some of these important deep-rooted challenges that we face. I think there are some questions about how to make that work for all Americans because there are some details that are important in balance, but building gained that sense of what our country is really understanding, giving people opportunities to believe and learn that the threads we share are much more powerful and powerful than the differences we have, understanding that in a democracy you are actually There are supposed to be differences, those differences are to be celebrated, not denigrated, but there is a way to do it that is not only respectful but vibrant and you do not seek unanimity.
God forbid we end up in that place, but let's have that discussion. let's have that debate, let's participate in it and be stronger and I think national service can provide that avenue. Not long ago, Senator Markey joined the forum on this stage. Some say their politics are very similar so my question is why and why is now a big question so I doubt anyone else had that question in the audience so let me start baking and work on it to see how much worse it has to get before you sit there and say, hey, you know what's going on? running for office like, literally, when you're in a nation where tonight 500,000 people will be homeless 37 million people will go hungry a minimum wage job doesn't allow a family to afford a two-bedroom apartment in any neighborhood in our nation, you have some of the highest maternal mortality rates in our country in the developed world here in the United States and therefore the highest rates of incarceration.
I was at an opioid task force meeting in Western Massachusetts two weeks ago and I asked that the sheriff that was there, they in Massachusetts, run our county jails. I said what is the approximate percentage of people in your jail tonight who suffer from mental behavioral Nisour addiction. Anyone guess 30 eighty higher ninety alpha conference at about ninety percent and what richer and more? powerful nation, the world has criminalized the disease and we lock it up and, respectfully, how long do you have to tell yourself to wait? I thought that our democracy, our participatory system said, you know, what if you have ideas, if you have energy, if you really want to try to change the system, go out and run and we don't put up barriers for you to do it, we welcome you to the case excites people, bring them as part of the system and you know what you gain.
You lose well, last little story. I will tell you that we had traveled across the state on Saturday and Sunday when we announced on Monday morning that we were going to an intersection in Boston. Some of you who are from the city will know what. Malia Plasters and Massachusetts Avenue also known as Mass Plaster Boston Medical Center, the emergency room is around the corner, that area has received a lot of attention because it is an area that now has a large homeless population and a large population of people who are suffering from mental illness and addictionsWhile we were waiting to turn right onto the huge Highway 93 South it was around 9:00 AM.
Shortly around 9:00 on Monday morning there is a line of probably 30 or 40 homeless people and at that intersection there were three or four of them. I had a spoon, a needle in the lighter and we're shooting heroin in the corner. Welcome to Boston Medical Center, we go through the emergency room, we go across the street to get medical care for the homeless, but They have a facility where people who have a room there where, if you inject yourself on the street on that block, you can come in and make sure you don't overdose in the lobby and there's a woman, a crowd of people walking out homeless and there's a woman who's crying and she's angry and angry and she's tried and this is where she is and she can't.
I can't. believe a system that despite its best efforts has brought her here and she's crying and just venting, so one of the reporters after her talked to her for a while and heard some butter story. As we turn to walk south and the Kamee Health Center, he says look, I know you're concerned about these issues, but you could work on them in the House of Representatives, you have to run for the Senate to be here to work on them. this. I said truth. and fair, but I was actually here before I visited all of these facilities and not a single camera or a reporter showed up none of you there is value in a campaign there is value in showing up where people don't and hearing voices that people don't hear and enforce our Commonwealth, our country to face the fact that even here, a state with the largest employer in health care, the best medical system anywhere in the world is here, where we have 98 percent of the people covered and We Still at one of the biggest intersections in our city we have a bunch of homeless people shooting up heroin at 9:00am on monday morning and not knowing how to deal with how much worse it has to get before.
Someone says, "You know what we're going to try and you know what it starts with, and that's a tough problem, but you know where it starts, it starts with just showing up and showing the dignity and the humanity that each of those people has and saying, "" I'm not going to solve your problem tonight, but I can show you over the course of this campaign that you will get other people, like in any booth, they won't stop until one of those progressive communities in the richest nation in the world doesn't. I have someone outside a major hospital and healthcare facility dedicated to the homeless crying because the system has let her down.
I mean, literally what my mom says, congresswoman, but seriously, and they tell her not to run, yes, congresswoman, she talked a little bit about structures. barriers we are living in a complicated time right now, last week at the forum Professor Bergen and David King spoke about impeachment, what is your opinion on the current state of things in Washington and what you read about the current situation with the president? So with the caveat that I haven't seen what happened in the last 10 minutes, this is a tragedy and it's painful, and I don't think it's an event earlier tonight where people came up and grabbed my arm saying .
Thank you for knowing that yes, the impeachment like me. I understand that frustration. Yes, I believe the president of the United States has committed multiple impeachable crimes and he should be removed from office. We shouldn't celebrate that because our system still allows someone who after a two-year investigation in which a special prosecutor, one of the most dedicated public servants in modern American history, with this talented team of investigators and the extraordinary resources at their disposal, seven and five different occasions in which he believes that there is substantial evidence to show that the The president gave instructions to justice and yet our political system allows him to smear and yet, I mean, if You can think of it this way and some of you probably know it without going into Muller and I think they should have been charged for what Muller found. and I don't think it's even close if you actually read it and know what you're reading, which is part of the problem that you have to have read 448 pages and you have to know what you're doing. is actually reading, but members of Congress should know what they're reading, she's actually a bigger obstacle than you might think, after Director Muller came and testified and the press narrative that the president He was going to walk the next day, he called the president of Ukraine the next day and what did he do, he asked the head of a foreign government to investigate a political opponent to help in a political campaign for his own benefit, is exactly what the mother's report and the day he found out he wasn't going to be held accountable for it, he did it again and then after a whistleblower mentions it and after some people come forward and the White House starts going to Stonewall, he does it again in broad daylight to say that if I continue to commit this crime it's not really a crime because I won't be responsible and therefore it doesn't matter to literally prove what Richard Nixon said, literally proven, and The difference is that when he said it last time, the balance tipped with the American public and members of the president's party said no and that hasn't happened yet.
I deeply respect my colleagues. Their right to hold those seats in the House and Senate is as legitimate as mine. They spoke on behalf of their constituents. They want elections, but from time to time in the workshop and nothing more. Often, but occasionally, you are in those moments where you will be judged and Congress will be judged, and I have a hard time understanding what that argument is going to be in this case and when you see an administration that is being evasive for the sake of poisoning politics, well, I understand political strategy. You are also admitting that there is no substantive defense because if you thought there was, you reveal the information and I hope that our political process is able to respond to the challenge it now faces. entertain a question period, sure, so we'll take it to the audience, so we have different microphones around the room, so if people want to line up, if they want to ask a question, they can hide if the lines we have four parked microphones. across the room, so please use them all.
I want to do it very quickly right when people get to the microphone. I want to quickly go over the House Rules. There's also a microphone up here and right there. Quick house rules. We ask everyone. Of the colleagues here asking questions, please identify yourself with a short question, your questions should end with a question mark. Please, PLEASE, don't have any media on the microphone and we'll have the soft web here to pick someone out of the crowd. Hello, Congressman, thank you. To be here with us tonight, my name is Abigail Fenley, I'm a freshman in college, and I'm from Hingham, Massachusetts.
Hello, congratulations on starting to challenge the senator, a co-sponsor of green Newton Hill, for his Senate seat in an election where voters' priorities include climate action and plans to transition to fully renewable energy. I was wondering if he could comment on his upcoming investment in mobile devices, a company that spent more than a decade trying to promote climate change denial around the world. Great, so thanks for the question, thanks, the question is important, a couple of things: I'll compare my environmental record in Congress to anyone else's. My lifetime League of Conservation Voters record is 95. I challenge anyone to find a time when they haven't voted.
Against any type of bill that has a strong environmental movement or has voted in favor of those economic interests, you will not find one. Those assets are family assets that I have had for a long time, long before I was born. I had no control over them at all, this is a problem that for me will affect my life for the rest. I have a one year old and a three year old and it will affect their lives for the rest of them too, Congress needs to address it, it's one of the main reasons why I'm different than everyone else in this race and to put end the filibuster because I was and am one of the original co-sponsors of the green new deal.
I was in it from day one. I also took the dawn promise and if you want to keep the promise of what the green new deal is, Mitch McConnell is not going to let you do it, the filibuster itself has been most famously instituted to deny civil rights and civil rights. movement access to the Civil Rights Act and delay its implementation and a vote that is a profoundly prohibitive and climate policy, even if we win we are able to flip the Senate, it will prohibit us from passing those to fulfill the promise of what the The New Deal green actually constitutes so if you believe in that sense of urgency, if you believe in everything that you just articulated and that this is the urgent moment that we have, then you are going to have to be in favor of structural reform that really gives us the opportunity to do it I'm the only one in the race who's gone for it, so I'll compare my record to anything.
I'll compare my positions to anything. You won't find a stronger advocate for the impact of what it means to me and my children than me. I appreciate the question. Hello congressman. I'm Matthew. I am a third year student in college and I spent two summers teaching in the Dominican Republic in Samana, it is a beautiful place. Thank you very much, my question actually has to do with the Dominican Republic. I was wondering what your biggest learning was from your time there with the Peace Corps and how you used it to inspire your career in public service.
There is a lot there. the value of sunscreen was probably like topless, so look, I get it, you get asked all the time if you've been a Peace Corps volunteer, how do you sum up an experience that, as you know, is huge, creates a massive transformation in about 30 seconds? so I'm going to do my desk, but the best story that I can tell you and that's why I can share it is a story that I think a lot of Peace Corps volunteers would have something similar to. I was on my way back to Senator Mingo. I visited my host family. and I sent it, they left, I was on my way back.
I had the Peace Corps office on a bus called a little minivan called woof woof, which is a minivan for eight that has like 35 people hanging out of it, yeah, and I was in the second to last row with a little backpack on my lap and someone touches my shoulder and I turn around and it's an older man and he says go get the bus I was like asking if I was a Peace Corps volunteer almost every day How did you know he took a good look at me? Oh, and he said he never asked my name, he never asked for I was firm, he didn't ask me any questions, he just said that when he was a little boy he was He lived on the outskirts of San in Mingo and in a community that didn't have access to running water and a Peace Corps volunteer came and built an aqueduct to bring drinking water to that village.
He thanked me for the contribution that volunteer had made some 30 years earlier and shortly after the bus stops, he got off and I didn't. I never saw him again. The impact that service has will long outlive any contribution one of us makes and will touch people. in a way you may not realize at the time, but at a time of division, rancor, frustration and pain around the world, I can't think of a better solution than to tell the world who we are as a nation. what we believe in then, the contribution that that gentleman made now over 40 years ago and I carry it with me every day because I think, I want to believe and I believe doing things the right way for people in need they know. and that is to the benefit of all of us and the value of a little luck.
Yes, hello, my name is Blake, I'm a second year student here at university. Just a few minutes ago you spoke of your desire to abolish the filibuster in our incredibly polarizing country. Sometimes, how do you respond to critics who say that abolishing the filibuster will only increase those divisions and result in more radical changes whenever partisan affiliation or party control of the Senate reverses power in two ways? It's a great question and that was the question I've struggled with. with this for a while before deciding, hey, you know what we have to do, so it's a great question, two things: one, the current system is not working that well right now and it's actually calcifying a point view that ends up structurally preventing us from making the change that we need on so many levels, whether it's gun violence or voting rights or the environment and a green new deal or anything else, you add to the senators, the number of senators who could prevent the progress progress correctly if the numbers if they were true is about 11 percent, they represent about 11 percent of the population, so I don't think even you necessarily come down tothose certain states, but what we have sown in partisan politics, the partisan tit-for-tat that we are in right now or a small minority of the country can inhibit the progress that the rest of the country is actually crying out for one two, the first thing I would do, the first thing I would do is pass what we did out of the house called HR 1, which is a massive structural reform of our democracy, everything from ending gerrymandering to restricting voters' rights. , taking money out of politics, packaged money, public financing, a wide variety of reforms that really strengthen our democracy and put our votes back in power. in the hands of the people and if you do that, you are right, there is a risk that the pendulum will swing even further one way or another, but I am much more confident that if you actually implement those structural reforms, the government you get will reflect the real will of the people because the one we have right now is not and then yes, if it happens that we make our country much more receptive to what the people really want and the Republicans end up gaining control and it has to be a unified control.
The House Senate and the presidency need the pendulum to swing, but if they end up winning unified control, the Senate means a Democratic party better do some soul-searching and figure out how to win an election, and similarly, if The Democratic Party oscillates, the Republicans have to do some soul-searching. -searching but what I think you have right now Democratic presidents have won seven popular votes in six of the last seven presidential campaigns in the Supreme Court justices, the conservative justices on the court, had been confirmed by presidents who lost the vote popular. This time we have a president who lost a popular vote who has established the structure of a federal judiciary for probably as long as you or Literally, as long as he is tall anyway, he could be alive because of a calcified structure of the electoral college that itself itself is a relic of a racist system, so how long can you sit and say you know what that calcifying status quo is? it's a relic of that calcified system it's in the denial it provides to people across our country who need that help for how long can you say okay last piece it's no surprise that those people I talked about a moment ago in On the streets with masts and plasters, they don't have as many people coming and knocking on my door in Washington DC as some of the interests that our current democracy represents, so if you think that everyone counts here, everyone is that size. that they did not need a human being and that the promise of our country is that we see you and hear you and support you, those structures have to change and yes, it is a concern, but I am confident that a The Democratic Party, one will lend attention to the will of your voters and two, if not, then we deserve to lose, but you don't deserve to lose because some structure sits there and says, hey, we tilted the playing field and now we've rigged the game for 40 years so that you can't win that's not democracy hello congressman first of all thank you for joining us tonight yes my name is Mathew Kenny I'm a master's student at the Graduate School of Education before I came here I was a teacher at Marjory Stoneman, I was in high school after of the shooting and my question for you is what do you think about mental health services and social emotional learning in schools?
Matthew, thank you for being here, thank you for being a teacher, thank you for raising this question and I had the opportunity to meet several of your students, maybe you don't have reform students, but students who in your school I'm not sure there is a greater example of failure in our government than has been exemplified not only by what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and now so many others, but by the response those students showed and by not accepting excuses or verbiage from public servants on both sides from the hallway saying "hey, that's great, but you're just kids, right?", or yeah, okay, but we have a second amendment, yeah, there's a second amendment, there's also what we regulate there and the price of being able to carry a gun in this country it shouldn't be that children are terrorized in schools, that they get shot when they go to class when it comes to mental and behavioral health, which is the core of your question, the short answer is that you have There's so much more, the longer answer, and this is a longer answer, so we can go on for a while.
I'll shorten it unless people want me to get into it and in a broader sense, generally, broader, longer, to get back to the point I was making earlier about who has agency in today's democracy, who doesn't, who doesn't. They have a voice. If you think about those who suffer from behavioral mental illnesses, there are very few people who end up coming to Washington to lobby on their behalf and speak for their interests, and many people who suffer from mental illnesses can't make that trip either because of their condition or two. because it is expensive, many of their families devote enormous resources to caring for those people instead of doing so, so as not to have the excess funds that go into that lobbying effort, three different ones that my associate was earmarked for behavioral illnesses are so strong that there is no question of asking everyone if there is anyone in their family.
I love the one who suffered from cancer. Every hand in this room will go up if I ask if you have a loved one who suffered from mental illness. The answer is. It'll probably still be the same, but not all hands will be raised, so you start to peel back the layers of this. I think I mentioned before that fifty-five percent of the counties in our country do not have any psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers other than It will probably be solved overnight, but it is emblematic of the fact that our society does not value that work for what it's worth.
The largest payer of mental health services in the country is Medicaid. Reimbursement rates for mental health services are terrible. I asked CMS, the government. agency that oversees Medicaid how much is how much we reimburse for a mental health visit in any state they said we don't know how they don't know that someone writes a check you write a check you should know I said no I don't know if it's a joint federal-state program, we provide funding, the states then manage it, a lot of the way measures state they manage mental health is through block grants, excuse me, it's through managed care, those managed care organizations end up being kind of black box, so while a supplier will receive a probate bill for it, that number doesn't actually translate to us.
I know I can't write the law that says you have to do it and the guy laughed and said you don't understand it with this system. is so structurally underfunded that there is such enormous debt and governors can't spend deficits, you're going to confront every governor with a bill that will be hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, and none that meet everyone's needs. all of a sudden they're going to have to come together and it's going to have to come from something else, healthcare, education, taxes or transportation, or they're going to raise your taxes, which no one wants to introduce that bill, there's no way no one's going to get on board with it because the first one The call you're going to get is from your governor's office saying don't be included in that bill, so I've been working with some colleagues on a structural review of our mental health process that is long or deep and that is Honestly, it is taking me much longer than I would have thought or expected, but we are working on it and one of the pillars has to be early intervention, making sure that people have access to the method through the identification of workers of health in schools. against this Republican or conservative talking point that when you see an episode of mass violence that all of a sudden, because no sane person can do that, clearly that person is mentally ill, it's just wrong and what empirically It is empirically false, it is no longer that the facts matter for everyone. but empirically false and that we as a society do a much better job of reaching out to people who suffer from mental illness and saying, "it's okay, because you know what my family does," let's get you the treatment you need and force legislators to do so.
I have to take a stand on this and vote on it but at this point we're not there yet okay thank you thank you hi my name is Emily I'm saya we are constituents of ma4 and we were also seniors at Brookline High School. Excellent thanks. Guys, hey, she came to your high school a while ago to talk to us about how you were working to end the climate crisis and build, you know, unity within the government with a couple of your Republican colleagues, exactly, yeah, it was very inspiring. for me. I know well, we're still working on it with Republican colleagues, but you know, I'm a little conflicted right now because you're running to unseat Ed Markey, who is the co-author of the green new deal and it's been a constant climate. champion with ambition solutions for the change that we need and, therefore, I am not sure if that is the message, so our question to you and not as you just said, not only to the children but to the young people who fight for our future.
Are you putting your political ambitions before the future of our generation? So I respectfully no, I absolutely respect the contribution that Senator Marquis made in this. Before you look at my climate record, it is a very, very strong climate record and I am proud of that record that I have. I've developed to the point that there are critical issues, including the Green New Deal, that, as I said before, if you want to pass it, you have to be in favor of repealing the filibuster. I am the Marquis Center. No, you also talk about the impact for your future.
I agree. I would also remind you that the future of those people that I spoke about in mass and projects their future literally tomorrow, literally tomorrow, they inject heroin and fentanyl five to ten times a day because the half-life is not determined as half. which is less than half of what heroin is used, so they inject five to ten a day and play Russian roulette five or ten times, they need a solution, literally, to save their lives now and I think Massachusetts deserves a senator. that is fully committed YES on climate and yes for those people in masses and casts and YES on affordable housing and yes on domestic violence and yes on metamaterial healthcare and yes and yes and yes and yes and if you can't, then you know what It will be You better be running around this country trying to change Congress.
I told you I was in almost 20 states in the last cycle doing just that. I have raised millions of dollars campaigning for the people of this state and our nation to do just that and I have tonight laid out some of the structural reform, which includes, by the way, getting dark money out of politics, which is not something everyone else in this race is for it, including an end to the filibuster, including an end to the electoral college, including term limits for Supreme Court justices, none of whom are Senator Markey. because and very respectfully, yes, I understand the impact of the climate.
I have a track record to prove it and you have a commitment from me saying it is a critically important part of our future. He's also hearing from me. There are other people. that they have the same need to demand major structural change and that your job as a United States Senator also has to be to listen to those voices because they have the same dignity that you and I have, that I shared and that my children also share and as a senator you can do that and I think when it comes to those things, listening to those concerns, elevating them in Washington, making that change and changing policy, yes, respectfully, I think I can do a better job and I challenge you to look Look those policies I propose and ask yourself whether, unless the candidates in this race conform to those policies, any of them can really deliver on what you say.
Hello congressman. I'm Duncan, a freshman from Philadelphia. What's going on? Hello Eagles. fan, oh yeah, absolutely, very briefly, I had the extraordinary honor of campaigning with the mayor, unfortunately right after that Super Bowl and I did. He was kind enough to give me an eagle hat. I was kind enough to praise him for the courage to grease everyone. the streetlights with Crisco to make sure your fans didn't go up the streetlights after a Super Bowl win, we've done it so many times here, it's a little old, but it's good, I think you're very funny, have you voted? register to vote here but Philadelphia is perfect here we go or Pennsylvania so you talked earlier about the need to hold the president accountable for his crimes and abuses of office in the form of impeachment yeah and I've been thinking about this lately.
The onlyThe problem I have with the idea that we should hold him accountable is that I find it difficult to see a scenario in which the president is actually held firmly and meaningfully accountable for what he has done, because even if he is impeached in the House, which he certainly is possible, if not probable. I find it difficult to imagine how he would be removed from office in the Senate, because even if all forty-five Democrats in the Senate, as well as the two independents, voted to remove him, it would still take 20 Republican senators to vote the same and it probably won't be exactly well, so my question to you is: is there any foreseeable future in which Trump is actually held accountable for his actions in some practical and meaningful way?
Yes, and look, I should say from this moment on. Right now I share the same concerns that I don't see a path to getting 20 Republican senators to vote to remove them from office. Having said all that, we have seen a dramatic shift not only in public opinion but also in the facts that have changed public opinion. opinion in a week and you have a White House that is evasive because they clearly don't want any more information to come out, so I think it's on us in our system. I would like to say Democrats and Republicans and I hope they come together. we are with us in the system to get the information out so he can be held accountable.
I think there is value even if you can't get all twenty in the Senate. I think there is value both now and in the future. the story's point of view on the saying that when there was credible evidence that the president committed multiple crimes and Peach's, his system at least tried to hold him accountable even if he didn't, but at some point he does believe in our democracy and As contested as it is at the moment, I would like to think that the political will will allow us to make these adjustments that are necessary to ensure that no one is truly above the law and if that means that this system has to be forced, even if it fails in right now, if you have to force it to show what that failure is, then you're much better off doing it and failing than saying you know what we're not sure we can get the votes, so I won't even try the last point.
I understand that, as someone who campaigns in a lot of those swing seats, I understand the vulnerability that a number of our colleagues face in casting some of these votes. They wanted districts where Donald Trump is still popular and I respect him. I respect your opinion and I think that Speaker Pelosi has done well. To move this forward at the pace that the caucus is going, I was also a prosecutor and legal analysis is sometimes complicated, sometimes it is not, and volume 2 of the Muller's report is divided into three basic sections, the first being a very brief description. of what the law really is and for someone to be convicted of a crime they must meet the elements of the crime, our checklist, if you meet all of them, I want each of them to prove it beyond the standard of proof beyond beyond all reasonable doubt, someone has been convicted you have to mention all the little elements, as I recall there are three elements in obstruction of justice, the second big point or part is a recitation of ten separate cases in which a council investigation special believe that obstruction could have been committed and apply the facts as they found them to the law in five of them, they say it can't be proven in all five when they say it could be proven in a couple of those five, they don't tell you it could the word I think it is page 97 the full legal analysis is on one page one page there is substantial evidence to show substantial evidence to show two substantial evidence to show three what the special prosecutor does not write was there substantial evidence to show that he committed a crime but listened to some other colleagues?
In fact, I asked the special counsel during his time on Capitol Hill if one plus one plus one equals three because that's what he wrote and yes, it was a new abbreviation. Hear him say: I know what he's doing. I don't disagree with his analysis, but neither of us necessarily agree with it, director. I do not know what that means. These are his words, so if there is a real problem, tell me what the real problem is, but otherwise, I will quote his words to you and the rest. The last part, which is the only part I could say, okay, that's what they found.
Now there are constitutional defenses that the president could raise because of his office and the special privileges granted to that office that you could say some of these things don't. job, they take all the affirmative defenses raised by their Presidential Council and dismiss each one of them, so if you are at that point and you believe that there is this investigator believes that there is substantial evidence showing that the president obstructed justice by an investigation into whether the president called for a surplus benefited from foreign interference in an election he called for directly on national television like literally what else are you supposed to do? say what could be for him an election better luck next time not in vain that's what a bomb The administration did it, there was no evidence that at that time the obstruction at that time, but they looked and said, hey, we could make it public.
John Brennan's directors, the CIA at the time got ahead of McConnell and the sudden Russians interfered in the election and he said. If you make this public, I'll tell them it's a partisan witch hunt, so they didn't do it because my understanding that I don't want to didn't come from them, but I understood that there was a risk in that reaction that we thought they thought. We were going to win, you want to make that bet twice, what at least show that you know what our system matters and if someone is going to introduce it, I would say they are going to blatantly break the law over and over again, what else are you supposed to do? ?
Hello, Congressman, thank you for being here. My name is Luke. I am a sophomore in college following Senator Elizabeth Warren's announcement of her candidacy to be the nominee. You were one of the first elected officials to endorse her as a running mate for our next president. I would love to know why she decided to support him and if she could have bolstered his trust in her over the last eight months of the campaign. It's a great question. I had the honor of introducing her at her announcement in Lawrence. I would say that she hasn't done anything to increase my trust in her over the last eight months because I had a ton of trust in her to begin with.
I have known the extraordinary privilege of knowing Senator Warren for the past decade. I met my wife in her class with all due respect to all the other teachers here she was an amazing teacher she was the toughest teacher I have ever had without a doubt she is afraid of Kravid everyone but what was surprising from an experience with her? was our first year contracts professor, she then took bankruptcy law just to have another class with her, not because I was interested in a full bankruptcy, but simply because of what that intellectual experience was and the surprisingness of it more than anything and what See it really happening right now the kind of unread or unwritten part of the campaign.
There are about 80 questionnaires. 80 students in his class. She asked every student in every class a question and almost everyone got the question wrong. It was just brutal, yes, but. I still got married so, like her Rafer of hers, at least that worked, what she did was she won't put you in your place, but she put you in a place that's not always altruism, it's not necessarily not first. What you think of when you think of a Harvard Law student always had her class support the person the next year and she challenged all the students in that class because she actually believed that if they pushed you you would be better and that she was I'm not going to let you get your way.
Oh, I won't be on call this week, so you can sit there and you know check her email. She did allow her colleagues to enter the room. There are Blackberrys. iPhones did not exist. It was a long time ago. Um, but she put a lot of pressure on you, but she put a lot of pressure on you because she believed that you were all for it and that when you came out back on the other side of that class and on the other side of that semester, you actually knew something that you knew. I didn't know it going in and you understood how these pieces fit together and she knew that if her students were challenged they could rise to the occasion and I see the same impetus in her political discussions in the way she runs that campaign, she is giving its interpretation.
That's what I think is right about the structural inequalities in our society and forcing us to wrestle with them and say look, you might have a different idea, but here's my take on it, debate it, and I'm confident enough in my plan to say debate and you can ask some questions, but I have answers, but we will participate in it because you know what it is about and I will check, we will force you, you will not be able to look away. I'm not going to be able to escape something like hey, my dog ​​ate my homework.
I'm a little sick. He is snowing. Anything else. I'm not going to make it, but it's a good faith effort to meet that challenge. That's what it's supposed to be. and I can't think of a more important moment than for our country to really be challenged in that way and to see people respond to that and say yes. I may not agree with everything deep down, but thank you for believing in a country that truly believes in itself and I believe that we are going to be a great president finally, yes, congressman, thank you very much, I am a long-time constituent and, in fact, I had the pleasure of working in their district office off and on throughout college.
And grad school, what's up? Hello, you are very well and I would like to end on a rather philosophical note. You've talked a lot today about everyone needing a voice. Everyone needs to be heard. Democracy and I wonder what people are listening to. and ask whether our engagement with politics focusing on one person rather than one person is to blame and whether civic education has any role in the future to remedy this national disinterest in debate and this culture of hearing what you want to hear , is always the last question. and it's great, so look, I think a big part of any job in public service is trying to communicate with the public back and forth and one of the challenges is, yeah, trying to meet people where they are and one way to do it is literally in your pocket the challenge is how can I get you to pay attention to something in your pocket and that's not really 10 seconds and it better be quick and concise and funny or whatever democracy is not always quick and 15 It's funny, I think the book that is in the hole that we are in, the technologies allow it to be difficult for any politician to fight against that, but I will say that it is one of the reasons, which is partly one of the reasons for which we work during office hours, so I represent. 34 cities in the city south and west of Boston um over the course of my term I will go to each of those cities and I will just have a library in City Hall or in the public safety office, yes, library and I will just hang a little one tile for whoever wants. to come in and talk about whatever you want to talk about, you guys may be too young for a west wing, some of you it's not cool, thank you, you have that big cheese day where you can come and talk about whatever you want. talk like we're doing a big cheese day, right, no cheese, um, come in, just ask whatever you want to ask and if it's personal to you and Medicare, great, we have social workers there to work with you and Medicare, but yeah is a philosophical question about the Kurds or China or education policy or gun violence or whatever, so I'll give you the best answer I can, but part of it is just yeah, it's extremely shocking for me to hear those stories, but part of it is that we do it even if no one shows up and sometimes very few people do it, but just being able to say that we did it so that hopefully my constituents know that this is not just a job that you see in Washington and someone who ends up running in offices and you know the ribbon cuttings, but I make a commitment to you that your voice really matters and that it's going to play a role in politics and I'm going to have to pay.
I want to pay attention to it. I will do that. I have to pay attention to it, it doesn't mean that we are going to agree on everything or that it is going to influence every vote I cast, but it is to make it clear as best I can that I am doing the best I can to achieve this. That promise that you will tell is good, many of our Republican colleagues do the same and I think one of the challenges we have to face is recognizing that even in these times of massive polarization, if we take the media spin off of some of this, it really we agree. in a lot more than people think, it's actually not everything or some of the big issues of the day, but a lot more of them, but it's also up to us to try to get there last because I'm late. for the next thing that's sad, but the next thing I have to do for all of you in the crowd.
Can I assume that almost everyone will be able to vote? No, almost all of them, eh, look, I voted for that, thereWow, this for students. When you launch this election, you are going to cite it, you are going to be static, it is your vote, you are going to sign it because you do not do it, but at this moment in which we are, more than anything, if you agree with what I said, I do not agree with what what I said tonight or eliminate the Senate race, any other race you're considering, this country is at a turning point and you all have it in your hands to send a message to every other person in the United States. and all the other people around the world about what kind of nation we are and what kind of country we will be and what it means to be part of the United States in this time of global leadership vacuum and that is literally what is in your hands in 13 months and my goodness, I hope you take it and I hope you follow it and I hope you recognized it, well, it may seem like you're one small vote, it doesn't matter much, one more small vote. one small vote this small vote matters a lot and this election couldn't be more critical because five more years of this is very difficult to recover from is one thing to say and yeah they're going to be partisan for a second here's one.
What you have to say is that, hey, the system didn't work, we tried a way that didn't work, we came back, it's another thing to say, hey, you know, what a lot of people thought this way was right, we did it this way. again, if you agree with him, fine and If you were with the policies but ahead of this administration, fine, support him if you believe that our country, our people, our planet deserves a different direction, make that voice heard. We count on you. I'm grateful to be here tonight, thank you. you

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