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

Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4, D)
congregate in the JFK park please also take a moment now to silence your cell phones you can join the conversation online with a hashtag JFK junior forum live and interact with our student-run Instagram at 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 well good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Institute of Politics welcome to the

Kennedy

School we're
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d
thrilled to have all of you here for a really interesting forum here at the JFK JFK junior forum with

Congressman

Joe

Kennedy

and so we have a great group of interlocutors with the

congressman

from the Institute of Politics that I'm privileged to bring forth to be in conversation with

Congressman

Kennedy

first Rob Watson is a mid-career student here at the

Kennedy

School he's also the director of student programming at the Institute of Politics is a graduate of the college and the ed
school and he was a Peace Corps volunteer and we should applaud that a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay southeastern of ASEAN is from Ohio near Cleveland Ohio and she was been very involved in the Institute of Politics including our policy program where in her very first year she worked on a policy proposal that was presented to

congressman

Kennedy

so representing the Institute of Politics from various perspectives we thought they would be great conversant with a

congressman

so we welcome all
of you here we welcome those of you who are thinking about the

Kennedy

School those guests from the community and so now it's my pleasure to bring out our distinguished guests someone who is known to the University as a graduate of the law school known to the Institute of Politics I serves on our senior Advisory Committee engaged with our policy work he has represented the 4th district here in Massachusetts since 2012 in the Congress and has had a career in public service as a Peace Corps
volunteer in the Dominican Republic and as an assistant district attorney so 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 get going my mom is here somewhere I think if not she's over hi thanks for coming I got a couple of cousins here to thank guys well

congressman

I had to start by giving you a bienvenido 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 a Dominican Republic so had this give you a shout out there for the people back home to my garage Nathaniel well

congressman

I want to get started by talking about public service okay we're here at the school of government that bears your family's name at an institute where you're a member of the senior Advisory Committee at the University where you're in the loan from your time with the Peace Corps to working at
Harvard legal aid Bureau to being an assistant district attorney and now serving in Congress what's your reflection on public service in this time and its importance as we strive to inspire the next generation sorry your god we need more of it I guess I be the first one so first off thanks somebody for coming really great to see everybody here I'm thrilled to be here with all of you and look forward to turning this into a conversation I think as quickly as we can look I think at its best
public service is about it's about problem solving it's about recognizing the challenges that we as a community as a society face and trying to actually find the tools and the means to address them when it comes to government the best definition of government I ever heard came from my predecessor Barney Frank he said government is simply the name of the 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 across our country right now and around the world as palpable and tangible as they are the only way that gets solved is by people for a lot of their sleeves and diving into him and I firmly believe that I had the tremendous opportunity and privilege over the course of the 2018 those in elections to travel across the country from West Virginia to Indiana to Texas in Arizona in Pennsylvania Ohio Wisconsin Michigan Maine New Hampshire South Carolina Florida and a whole lot of places in
between and you talked to my I've spent for six years in office and a Republican dominated body where if you want to get anything done you had to have Republicans not just supported a champion it and so looking through the challenges that our country confronts that their communities confront and seeing it through their eyes and I didn't agree with much of it but to hear their recitation and their dedication to try to serve those communities is really extraordinary and I think public
service is about recognizing meeting people where they are understanding that their perceptions and emotions in the way that they see the world are as valid as mine how do you how do you try to make sure that how do you build to the chance that you can or the opportunity where you can actually address those challenges together and I'll say finally no experience was more important to me than the time I spent and your mom's hometown I when I was trying to figure out where they go into the
Peace Corps I actually called Director Guerin and said this is a good idea and he said yes and candidly he didn't wholly sell me on it after that conversation but there is not a day that I am in this current position that I do not draw on that experience and so you are right then 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 national level political change I'm just such a deep topic so my question for you is how do you prioritize and accomplish such a wide range of policies and interventions one you literally picked one of the hardest ones out there so good for you guys to I think I think you got to take a look at the challenges our country is confronting and I think a big part of that is just being as in touch as you possibly can with the communities that you represent right some of the national
challenges are gonna get framed differently locally yes everybody everybody's getting hit by extremely hard prescription drug costs what that means though and how that manifests can be a bit differently or can be a bit different depending on where you are depending on whether some of the challenges you really have with regards to access to health care is a rural community is an urban community viv done a lot of work on mental and behavioral health 55% of the counties across our country do
not have a single practicing psychiatrist psychologist or social worker 55% zero nothing and so we've got major challenges that access to mental health care here in Massachusetts that that gap isn't one of them but we still have major challenges and so when it comes down to looking at something as complex as pharmaceutical costs trying to do a deep dive and understanding why which candidly is perhaps the most frustrating part of my job at the moment because you can't it is actually
very hard to get a consensus answer on why and that's part of I think a broken system that we have are our divisive politics and the way in which one of the thoughts from Newt Gingrich's Contract for America and the gutting of congressional budgets the gutting of nonpartisan research in the institution of Congress makes it harder for you to get access to and have confidence in pure facts and when you're not you don't have confidence in those fewer facts you're you're open
up to slant and spin and so spending a lot of time to try to understand what the actual real answer is and then try to build a solution around it when they finally and most importantly on that one there is there are enormous forces that don't want that change right it's not a question of on some of these of everybody agrees on what the problem is let's try to find a solution many of the big challenges we confront there's constituents that constituencies out there that are
actively trying to make sure that change doesn't happen and so building the coalition that is able to take it on is hard

congressman

I want to pivot for a moment to the topic of national service I know this is a topic that's near and dear to both of our hearts and there's a lot of talk around national service being a defining civic rite of passage and a cultural expectation in this country we've seen a lot of the Democratic candidates talk about different ideas to reinvigorate
national service you come from a strong legacy of national service through Pro and through 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 confront as a country is that a nation that oftentimes we don't have those shared experiences and one of the great aspects of that you hear from my time in office of folks that have served for a while of the shared experiences that
particularly military services provided for folks that come out of different places with very different backgrounds but end up serving in the same unit and I got a cousin in the back over there is a combat vet from Afghanistan thanks for coming Chris McElveen thanks for coming would mid-career student and so conversations with people like Chris that can actually share some of that experience Peace Corps is also similar there's some my closest friends one of my closest buddies from the Peace
Corps is that I don't think he's watching so I've been crazy with conservative Republican that's from Louisiana now in Texas and a wonderful guy wonderful guy character a wonderful guy oh but it gives you the opportunity to have these experiences in bond over shared experiences that otherwise you wouldn't have I am a deep believer in the value of national service and the opportunity that national service also provides to take on some of these major entrenched challenges that
we face I think there's some which of the questions about how you make that work for every American because there are some details there that are important in balance but building up won that sense of what our country actually is understanding giving opportunities to people to believe to learn that the threads that we share our far more potent and powerful than the differences that we have three understanding that in a democracy you're actually supposed to have differences those
differences should be celebrated not denigrate it but there's a way to do that that is not just respectful but is vibrant and that you're not looking for unanimity god forbid we end up in that place but let's have that discussion let's have that debate let's engage in it and let's be stronger for and I think national service can provide that Avenue not too long ago senator Markey joined the forum on this stage some say that your policy ideas are very similar so my
question to you is why you and why now great question so I doubt anybody else had that question in the audience so let me start baking and work our way through it one how much worse does it have to get before you sit there and say hey you know what go out there and run for office like literally literally when you are in a nation where tonight 500,000 people are gonna go homeless 37 million people are gonna go hungry a minimum-wage job does not allow for a family to afford a two-bedroom apartment
in any neighborhood in our nation you've got some of the highest rates of maternal mortality in our country in the developed world here in the United States and so 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 who was there they in Massachusetts they run our county jails I said what's the rough percentage of people in your Jail tonight that are suffering from mental behavioral Nisour addiction
anybody guess 30 eighty higher ninety alpha conference at roughly ninety percent and what richest and most powerful nation the world has criminalized illness and we lock it up and so respectfully how how long do you have to be told to wait I thought our democracy our participatory system said you know what if you've got ideas if you've got energy if you want to actually try to change the system go out there and run and we don't put up barriers to you to do that welcome you in make
the case excite people bring them in as part of the system and you know what you win great you lose fine last little story I'll tell you we were we'd gone all over the state on Saturday and Sunday when we announced on Monday morning we went down to an intersection in Boston some of you who are from the city will know what Malia casts and Massachusetts Avenue otherwise known as massive cast Boston Medical Center the emergency room is right around the corner that area has gotten a lot of
attention because it is an area that is now has a large homeless population and a large population of folks that are suffering from mental illness and addiction as we're waiting to turn the right on the massive off the freeway 93 south it was about 9:00 a.m. little for 9:00 on Monday morning there's a string of probably 30 or 40 homeless people and at that intersection there were three or four of them that were I had a spoon a needle on the lighter and we're shooting heroin on the
corner welcome to Boston Medical Center we tour the emergency room we go across the street to healthcare for the homeless but they've got a facility where people who are they've got a room there where if you are if you've injected out on the street on that block you can walk in and make sure that you do not overdose in the lobby and there's a woman a crowd of people that come out all homeless and there's a woman that is in tears and she is pissed and she is angry and she has
tried and this is still where she is and she cannot she cannot believe a system that despite her best efforts has gotten her here and she is in tears and she is just venting and so one of the journalists that's with after she I talked to her for a little while and and I heard a bit of butter story as we turned to walk down towards the south and kamee health center he says look I know you care about these issues but you could work on these in the House of Representatives you have to run for
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d
Senate to be here to work on this I said true and fair but I've actually been here before I visit all of these facilities and not a single camera or a reporter showed up not one of you there is value in a campaign there is value in showing up where people don't and listen to voices that people don't hear an enforcing our Commonwealth our country to confront the fact that even here a state with the largest employer is in health care the best medical system anywhere in the world is
right here that we have 98 percent of people covered and we still on the one of the biggest intersections in our city have a string of homeless people that are shooting heroin at 9:00 in the morning on Monday morning and don't know how to fix the how much worse does it have to get before somebody says you know what let's try and you know what it starts with and that is a hard problem but you know where it starts it starts with just showing up and showing the dignity and humanity that
every single one of those folks has and saying I'm not gonna solve your problem tonight but I can prove to you over the course of this campaign that you're get other people like at any booth will not stop until and one of those progressive communities in the richest nation in the world doesn't have somebody outside a major hospital and a health care center dedicated to homeless people in tears because the system has let her down I mean literally what my mom's here

congressman

but
seriously and they tell you not to run yeah

congressman

you spoke a little bit about structural barriers we're living in a complicated time right now we just last week in the forum head professor Bergen and David King here talking about impeachment what's your take on the current state of affairs in Washington and what you read on the current situation with the president so with the caveat that I haven't seen what's happened in the last 10 minutes so like so this is this is a
tragedy and it's painful and I think no is that an event earlier tonight where people coming up and kind of grabbing my arm saying thank you for you know yes impeachment like I I get that frustration yes I believe the president United States has committed multiple impeachable offenses and should be removed from office period we should not celebrate that and that is in the fact that our system still allows somebody who after a two-year investigation that a special counsel who is one of the
most dedicated public servants in modern American history with this most talented team of investigators and the extraordinary resources that they had seven five different occasions where he believes there's substantial evidence to prove that the president instructed justice and yet our political system enables him to stain and yet I mean if you can can think about it this way and some of you probably know this without getting into Muller and I think you should've been impeached off of
what Muller found and I don't think even think that's a close call if you actually read it and you know what you're reading which is part of part of the problems that you have to have read 448 pages and you have to know what you're actually reading but members of Congress should know what they're reading she's actually a bigger hurdle than you might think - after director Muller came up and testified and the press narrative around that was the president's gonna walk
the next day he calls the president Ukraine the next day and what'd he do he asked the head of a foreign government to investigate a political opponent to aid a political campaign for his own benefit is exactly what the mother report found and the day he figured out that he wasn't gonna be held accountable for it he did it again and then after a whistleblower brings it up and after some people step forward and the White House starts to Stonewall he does it again in broad daylight to say
if I keep committing this crime it's actually not a crime because I won't be held accountable and therefore it does not matter literally proving what Richard Nixon said literally proven he said and the difference is is that when he said it last time the scales tilted the American public and members of the president's party said no and that hasn't happened yet I respect my colleagues deeply their right to sit in those seats in the House and the Senate is just as legitimate as mine
they spoke for their constituencies they want an election but every so often in the shop and not all that often but every so often 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 on this one is going to be and when you see an administration that is stonewalling for the sake of poisoning the political well fine I get the political strategy you're also conceding that there's not a substantive defense
because if you thought there was one you disclose the information and I hope our political process is able to answer the challenge that it's up against will now entertain a question period sure so we're gonna take it to the audience so we have different microphones around the room so if people want to form in a line if you want to ask a question you can hidden whether the lines we have four microphones stationed across the room so please use all of them I want to really quickly just as
people get to the mic I want to go over quickly House Rules there's a mic up here as well and right there so quick House Rules we ask that all of the all of the colleagues here asking questions identify themselves one brief question your questions have to end with a question mark please please PLEASE no media at the at the microphone and we'll have at it web suavi here to pick someone from the crowd hi

congressman

thank you for being here with us tonight my name is Abigail Fenley I'm
a first year at the college and I'm from Hingham Massachusetts hey congratulations so as you begin to challenge senator a co-sponsor of the green Newton Hill for his seat in the Senate in an election where voter priorities include climate action and plans to transition to fully renewable energy I was wondering if you could comment on your investment next on mobile a company that spent more than a decade trying to advance climate change denial worldwide great so thanks for the question thanks
the question is an important one a couple things one I'll put my environmental record in Congress up against anybody's my record with the League of Conservation Voters lifetime record is a 95 I challenge anybody to find a time where I have not voted against a any sort of bill that has a strong environmental movement or voted in favor of those economic interests at all you're not gonna find one those assets are family assets that I've been long held for a long time well before I
was born I exercised no control of them whatsoever this is an issue that for me is going to impact my life for the rest of it I've got a one-year-old and a three year old and it's get impact their lives for the rest of them as well Congress has to address it it's one of the big reasons why I unlike every other person in this race and for ending the filibuster because I was and am an original co-sponsor of the green new deal I was on it from day one I took the sunrise pledge too and
if you want to deliver on the promise of what the green new deal is you Mitch McConnell ain't gonna let you do it the filibuster itself has been most famously instituted in leverage to deny civil rights and civil rights movement access to the Civil Rights Act and to delay implementation and a vote on it that's that is deep prohibiting and climate policy even if we win are able to flip the Senate it's gonna prohibit us from passing those at making good on the promise of what the green
New Deal 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're gonna have to be for the structural reform that actually gives us the opportunity to do it I'm the only one in the race that's come out for it and so I'll put my record up against anything I'll put my positions up against anything I you're not gonna find ya a stronger advocate for the
impact of what does it mean for me and my children than me I appreciate the question hi

congressman

I'm Matthew I'm a junior at the college and I spent two summers teaching in the Dominican Republic in saamana it's a beautiful place man very very much thanks my question actually has to do with the Dominican Republic I was wondering what did you find to be your biggest takeaway from your time there with the Peace Corps and how did you use it to inspire your career in public service
there's a lot there the value of sun block was probably like topless so look I I get it you get asked all the time if you have been a Peace Corps volunteer how do you boil down an experience that is may you know has massive creates a massive transformation in like 30 seconds so I'll do my desk but the best story I can tell you that that's why I can share it is a story that I think many Peace Corps volunteers would have something similar I was on my way back into senator Mingo I
visited my host family and sent him they go it's on my way back I had the Peace Corps office in a bus that's called a little minivan that's called a guau guau which is a minivan meant for eight that has like 35 people hanging out of it yeah and I was in the second to last row a little backpack on my lap and somebody taps me on the shoulder and I turn around and it's an older gentleman and he says go for the bus I was like see asking if I was a Peace Corps volunteer almost of each
day how did you know he looked at me like really fine fair enough oh and he said that he never asked my name he never asked for I was firm he didn't ask me no questions he just said that when he was a little boy he was living on the outskirts of San on a Mingo and a community that didn't have access to running water and a Peace Corps volunteer came and built up load of don't water pipe aqueduct to bring clean water to that village he thanked me for the contribution that volunteer had
made some 30 years before and shortly thereafter the bus stops he got off and I didn't I never saw him again the impact that service has it's gonna long outlive any contribution that one of us will make and you will touch people in a way that they might not quite realize at that time but at a time of division and rancor and frustration and pain all around the world I can't think of a better solution than telling showing the world what we who we are as a nation what we believe in then
the contribution that that gentleman made now 40-plus years ago and I carry that with me every day because I think and I want to believe and I do believe that doing things the right way for people in need they know it and that comes back to the benefit of all of us and the value of some luck yes hi my name is Blake I'm a sophomore here at the college just a few minutes ago you spoke about your desire to abolish the filibuster in our incredibly polarizing times how do you respond to critics
who say that the abolition of the filibuster will only further those divides and result in more radical changes whenever the Senate's party affiliation or party control flips power two ways it's great question and that was the question I've wrestled with for awhile before I decided hey you know what we have to do this so it's a great question two things one the current system ain't working so good at the moment and it is actually calcifying a viewpoint that ends up
structurally barring us from making the change that we need on so many levels whether it's gun violence or voting rights or environment and green new deal or anything else you add up the Senators the number of senators that could prevent progress from going forward right if the numbers if it went a certain way it's roughly 11 percent they represent about 11 percent of the population and so I don't think that even you might not necessarily come down to those certain states but what
we've seeded in the partisan politics the partisan tit-for-tat that we are in at the moment or a small minority of the country can inhibit the progress that the rest of the country is actually screaming for one two the very first thing I would do the very first thing is past what we did out of the house called HR 1 which is a massive structural overhaul to our democracy everything from ending gerrymandering to restricting voter rights to getting money out of politics packed money public
financing a whole wide variety of reforms that actually makes our democracy stronger and puts our votes in the power back into the hands of people and if you do that you're right there's a risk that the pendulum swings further one way or the other but I have far more confidence then if you actually put those structural reforms in place that the government you get is reflective of the actual will of the people because the one you got at the moment isn't and so yes if it so happens
that you make our country far more responsive to what people actually want and Republicans end up winning control and it has to be unified control House Senate and presidency for that pendulum to swing but if they end up winning unified control Senate means a democratic party better do some soul-searching and figure out how to win an election and similarly if the Democratic Party swings that Republicans got to do some soul-searching but what I think you've got at the moment Democratic
presidents have won seven the popular vote for six of the last seven presidential campaigns for of the Supreme Court justices the conservative justices on the court had been confirmed by presidents who've lost the popular vote you've got a president that lost a popular vote this time that has set the structure of a federal judiciary for probably as long as you or I literally as long as it high anyway it might be alive because of a calcified structure of the electoral college that in of
congressman joseph p kennedy iii ma 4 d
itself is a relic of a racist system so how long can you sit and say you know what that status quo that is a calcification it is a relic of that calcified system is in the denial that it provides for folks across our country that need that help how long you can say that's okay last piece it is no surprise that those folks that I talked about a little while ago on the street in masts and casts they don't have nearly as many people coming and knocking on my door in Washington DC as some of
the interest that are represented by our current democracy and so if you if you believe that everybody here counts everybody's got that big that they didn't need of a being a human being and that our country's promise is that we see you and hear you and that we got your back those structures have to shift and so yes it's a concern but I've got confidence that a Democratic Party one will heed the will of its 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 we've now rigged the game for 40 years so that you can't win that ain't democracy hello

congressman

first off thank you for joining us tonight yeah my name is Mathew Kenny I'm a master's student at the Graduate School of Education before coming here I was a teacher at Marjory Stoneman that was high school following the shooting and my question for you is what are your thoughts on
mental health services and social-emotional learning in schools Matthew thanks for being here thank you for being a teacher thank you for raising this question and I've had the opportunity to get to know a number of your they might not have any reformer students but students that at your school I'm not sure there is a greater example of failure in our government than what has been exemplified not only by what transpired at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and now so many others but by the
response that those students showed and by not accepting excuses or pablum from public servants on either side of the aisle by saying hey that's great but you guys are just a kid right or yeah that's fine but we've got a second amendment yeah there's a second amendment there's also what we regulated in there and the price of being able to carry a weapon in this country shouldn't be that kids are terrified in schools are shot where they going to class when it comes to
mental and behavioral health which is the core of your question the short answer is there needs to be an awful lot more of it the longer answer and this is a longer answer and so we can go on for a while I'll be I'll cut it short unless folks want me to get into it and a larger overall a larger way a longer way getting back to the point I was making earlier about who has agency in the current democracy who doesn't whose voices are cut out if you think about those suffering with
mental behavioral illness there's very few folks that end up coming down to Washington to lobby on their behalf to speak for their interests one many people suffer with mental illness aren't able to make that journey either because of their condition or two because it's expensive many of their families devote enormous resources to caring for those individuals rather than so they don't have the excess funds that engage in that lobbying effort three distinct my associate was meant
to behavioral illness is so still so strong that there's not a if I asked everyone of you if there's somebody in your family I love the one that's suffered with cancer every hand in this room's gonna go up if I asked you if you've got a loved one that suffered mental illness the answer is probably still the same but not every hand will go up so you start to peel back the layers on this I think I mentioned earlier fifty-five percent of the counties in our country don't
have any single practicing psychiatrist psychologist a social worker that's not probably gonna solve overnight but it's an emblematic of the fact that our society doesn't value that work for what it's worth the largest payer of mental health services in the country is Medicaid the reimbursement rates for mental health services are terrible I asked CMS the government agency that oversees Medicaid how much is how much do we reimburse for a mental baver health visit in any state
they said we don't know how do you not know somebody writes a check you guys write a check you got to know I said we don't know to joint federal-state program we provide funds states then administer it much of the way stated measure administer mental health is through block grants excuse me is through managed care those managed care organizations are end up being a bit of a black box so while a provider will get a will bill for it we actually that number doesn't translate up to us I
know can't I write the law that says you have to and the guy laughed and he said you don't get it this system is so structurally unfunded there is such a massive debt and governors can't deficit spend you're gonna confront every governor with a bill that is gonna be in the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars and uh none that met need that they all of a sudden are gonna have to meet and it's gonna have to come from something else health care education taxes or
transportation or they're gonna raise your taxes which none of want to do file that bill no way anybody's gonna get on it because the first call that they're gonna get is from their governor's office saying don't get on that bill so I've been working with some colleagues on a structural overhaul to our mental health process that is long or that is big in deep and that is taking far longer candidly than I would have thought or hoped for or expected but we're working on
it and one of the pillars of that has to be early intervention making sure that people get access to method way via health workers identification in schools fight back against this Republican or conservative talking point that when you see a episode of mass violence that all of a sudden because no sane person can do that clearly that person suffer mental illness it's just it's wrong and what empirically empirically untrue not that facts matter for everybody anymore but empirically untrue
and that we as a society do a much better job of reaching out to people suffering with mental illness and saying hey it's okay because you know what my family to and let's get you the treatment that you need and let's force legislators to actually have to take a position on it and vote on it but at this point we haven't gotten there yet okay fine thank you thank you hi my name is Emily this is saya we are constituents from ma4 were also seniors at Brookline high school great
thanks guys hey um she actually came to her 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 Republican colleagues exactly yeah it was so inspiring to me you know right we're still working on that thing with the Republican colleagues but you know I I'm a little conflicted now because you're running to unseat Ed Markey who's the co-author of the green new deal and has been a
consistent climate champion with ambition solutions for the for for the change we need and and so I'm not sure if that's that's the that's the message anymore so our question to you and not as you just said not just kids but as young people fighting for our future are you putting your political ambitions ahead of our generations future so respectfully no I respect the contribution that senator Marquis made on this absolutely I before you look at my climate record it's a very
very strong climate record and I'm proud of that record that I've developed to there are critical issues out there including the green New Deal which as I said before you want to pass any of it you got to be for the repealing the filibuster I am Center Marquis not there's also you talk about the impact for your future I agree I would also remind you that the future for those folks that I talked about on mass and casts their futures literally tomorrow literally tomorrow you're
shooting heroin and fentanyl five to ten times a day because the half-life is unsettled as half of what it is less than half of what is on on heroin so you're taking five to ten injections a day and playing Russian roulette five or ten times they need a solution literally to save their life now and I believe that Massachusetts deserves a senator that is fully engaged YES on climate and yes for those folks on mass and casts and YES on affordable housing and yes on domestic violence and yes on
metamaterial health care and yes and yes and yes and yes and if you can't then you know what you better be running around this country trying to flip Congress I told you I was in nearly 20 states last cycle of doing just that I have raised millions of dollars campaigning for people around this state and around our nation to do just that and I've articulated to you tonight part of the structural reform including by the way getting dark money out of politics which not everybody else in
this race is for including ending the filibuster including ending the electoral college including term limits on Supreme Court judges none of which senator Markey is for and so respectfully yes I understand the impact of climate I've got a record that shows it and you've got a commitment from me saying it is a critically important part to our future you're also hearing from me there are other people out there that have an equally demand necessity for major structural change and that
your job as the United States senator has to be hearing those voices too because they've got the same dignity that you and I do that I that I had share and that my children share too and as a senator you can do that and I think when it comes to those things hearing those concerns elevating them in Washington delivering on that change and changing politics yes respectfully I think I can do a better job and I challenge you to look at those policies that I put forward and ask yourself whether
unless although candidates in this race adjust to those adjust to those policies whether any of them can actually deliver on what you say hi

congressman

I'm Duncan a freshman from Philadelphia what's going on hi Eagles fan oh yeah absolutely so very briefly I had the extraordinary honor of campaigning with mayor unfortunately right after that Super Bowl and I did he was kind enough to present me with an eagle's hat I was kind enough to commend him for the courage to grease all of the
lampposts with Crisco to make sure that your fans didn't climb lamppost after a Super Bowl win we've done that so many times here it's just kind of old hat but I it's good one think you're pretty funny have you voted you register to vote here yet Philadelphia ha perfect there we go or Pennsylvania so you spoke earlier on the need to hold the president accountable for his crimes and his abuses of office in the form of impeachment yeah and I've been thinking about this
lately the one the one issue I take with that the idea that we need to hold him accountable is I find it difficult to see a scenario in which the president is really held accountable in any firm meaningful manner for what he's done because even if he is impeached in the house which is certainly possible if not probable I find it difficult to see how that he would actually be removed from office in the Senate because even if all forty-five Senate Democrats as well as both independents voted
to remove him you'd still need 20 Republican senators to vote the same and probably I ain't likely yeah exactly so my question for you is is there any foreseeable future in which Trump is actually held accountable for his actions in any practical meaningful manner yes and look I should say as of this moment I share the same concerns that I don't see a pathway to get 20 Republican senators to vote to remove them from office all of that being said we've seen a dramatic shift in not
just public opinion but the facts that have changed public opinion in a week and you've got a White House that is stonewalling because they clearly don't want more information coming out so I think it is incumbent on us on our system I would like to say Democrats and Republicans and hopefully they will join in us with us in the system to actually get the information out so that he can be held accountable I do think that there is value even if you can't get the twenty in the Senate I
do think there is a value both now and in the viewpoint of history on the saying that when there was credible evidence that the president committed multiple and Peach's of all offenses that your system at least tried to hold him accountable even if it didn't but at some point if you believe in our democracy and I I do as challenged as it is at the moment one would like to think the political will will enable us to actually make these adjustments that are necessary in order to ensure that
no one is in fact above the law and if it means you have to force this system even if it fails in this moment if you have to force that to show what that failure is then far better you do that and fail than to say you know what we're not sure we can get the votes so we're not even gonna try last point I understand that from somebody that campaign in an awful 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 that Donald Trump is still popular and I respect that I respect their opinion and I believe that speaker Pelosi has done this right to move this along at the pace that the caucus is at I also was a prosecutor and legal analysis is sometimes a complicated thing sometimes it's not and volume 2 of the Muller report is in kind of three basic sections the first one is a very short description of what the law actually is and in order for somebody to be convicted of a crime you
have to meet the elements of offense elements our checklist if you meet all wanna every one of them prove it beyond the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt somebody's convicted you got to hit out all the little elements as I recall there's three elements to obstruction of justice the second big point or part is a recitation of ten separate instances with a special counsels investigation believed that there might have been obstruction may have been committed and they apply the
facts as they found them to the law on five of them they say can't show it on the five when they say you might on a couple of those five they don't tell you might the word I believe it's page 97 the entire legal analysis is on one page one page there's substantial evidence to show one substantial evidence to show two substantial evidence to show three what the special counsel doesn't write was there substantial evidence to show that he committed a crime but you heard some
more colleagues actually asked the special counsel during his time on Capitol Hill does one plus one plus one equals three because that's what he wrote and yes it was fresh shortening hear him say I I know what you're doing I don't disagree with your analysis but I don't necessarily agree with it either director I don't know what that means these are your words and so if there's a real issue there then tell me what the real issue is but otherwise I'm quoting your
words back to you and the last part of it which is the only part that I could say okay well that's what you found now there's constitutional defenses that the president could raise because of his office and the special privileges afforded to that office that you could say some of this doesn't work they take all of the affirmative defenses raised by his President's Council and dismiss every single one of them so if you're at that point and you believe that there's this
investigator believes that there's substantial evidence to show that the president obstructed justice off of an investigation into whether the president asked a exceed benefited from foreign interference in an election which he directly asked for on national television like literally what else are you supposed to do say what might be him an election better luck next time not for nothing that's what a bomb administration did there wasn't evidence that he at this point the obstruction
at that point but they looked at and said hey we could go public with it John Brennan directors CIA at that point went forward to McConnell and sudden Russians interfering the election and he said you go public with this I'll tell him it's a partisan witch hunt so they didn't because my understanding of that don't want to didn't come from them but my understanding there was a risk at that backlash we thought they thought we were gonna win you want to make that gamble twice
what do you at least show that you know what our system matters and if somebody's gonna present I'd say it's gonna blatantly violate the law over and over and over again what else you supposed to do hi

congressman

thank you for being here my name is Luke I'm a sophomore at the college following senator Elizabeth Warren's announcement for her candidacy to be the nominee you were one of the first elected officials to endorse her so as a fellow supporter of our next president
I'd love to hear why you chose to support him and if and how she might have reinforced your confidence in her over the past eight months of the campaign it's great question I had the honor of introducing her at her announcement up in Lawrence I would say she hasn't done anything to heighten my confidence in her over the past eight months because I had an awful lot of confidence in her to begin with I've known the extraordinaire privilege to know senator Warren for the past decade
or so I met my wife in her class with all due respect to all the other teachers here she was a kick-ass teacher she she was the hardest teacher I ever had without question she's scared that kravid everybody but what was amazing about an experience with her she was our first year contracts professor she then I took bankruptcy law just to get another class with her not because I was interested at a whole bankruptcy but just because because of what that intellectual experience was and the
amazing thing about it more than anything and what I see her actually going through at this moment the kind of unread or unwritten part of the campaign there's about 80 questionnaire 80 students in her class she asked every student a question every single class and almost every person got the question wrong it was just brutal yeah but I still got married out of it so like her Rafer at least that worked out what she did was she won't put you in your place but she got you pulling in a
place that's not always altruism doesn't necessarily isn't the first thing that you think of when you thought to think about a Harvard Law student always um she got her class pulling for the person next year and she challenged every student in that class because she actually believed that if pushed you would be better and that she wasn't gonna let you get away with oh I'm not gonna be on call this week so you can sit there and you know check her email she did allow peers in
the room there are blackberrys iphones didn't exist was way long time ago um but she pushed you hard but she pushed you hard because she believed that you were all for it and that when you came out on the back on the other end of that class and the other end of that semester you actually knew something you didn't know going in and you understood how these pieces fit together and she knew that if her students were challenged they could rise to that occasion and I see that same impetus in
her policy discussions in the way she's running that campaign she is putting out her interpretation that I think is right about the structural inequities 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've got the confidence enough in my plan to say debate it and you can ask some questions but I got answers but we'll engage in it because you know what that's what this supposed to be about
and I will check we're gonna force you you're not gonna be able to look away you're not gonna be able to escape off of something like hey my dog ate my homework I'm kind of sick it's snowing out whatever else I ain't gonna cut it but a good faith effort to meet that challenge that's what this is supposed to be and I can't think of a more important time than for our country to actually be challenged in that way and to see people answer that and say yeah I might not
agree with all at the heart of it but thank you for believing in a country that actually believes in itself and I think we're gonna make a great president one last one yeah

congressman

thank you so much I'm a longtime constituent and I actually had the pleasure of working in your district office off and on throughout college and grad school what's up hi are you very well and I would just like to end on a quite philosophical tone you've talked a lot today about everyone needs a
voice everyone needs to be heard democracy and I'm wondering about what people are hearing and asking if our engagement with politics screen to person not person to person is at fault and what if any role civics education has going forward in to remedy this national disinterest in debate and this culture of hearing what you want to hear it's always the last question and it's a great one so look I think a big part of 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 yes trying to meet people where they are and one way to do that is literally in your pocket the challenge is how do I get you to pay attention to it something in your pocket and that's not really 10 seconds and it better be quick and pithy and funny or whatever else democracy isn't always quick and 15 funny I think book that is on the hole where we are at technologies enable that it's hard for any politician to fight that
but I will say it's one of the reasons that in part is one of the reasons why we do do office hours so I represent 34 cities in town south and west of Boston um over the course of my term I will go to every single one of those towns and have only at the Town Hall or public security office library yep library library and just hang a little shingle on whoever wants to come in and talk about whatever you want to talk about you guys might be too young for a West Wing some of you it no great
thank you um they have that big block of cheese day where you can come on and talk about whatever you wanna talk about like we do big block of cheese day right there's no cheese um come on in just ask whatever you want to ask and if it's a personal thing for you and Medicare great well we've got caseworkers there to work on you and Medicare but if it's a philosophical question about the Kurds or China or education policy or gun violence or whatever then I'll to give you the
best answer I can but part of that it's just about yes it's extremely impactful for me to hear those stories but part of that we do even if nobody shows up and sometimes very few people do but just to be able to say that we did so that my constituents hopefully know that this isn't just about some job that you see in Washington and somebody that ends up running around offices and you know ribbon cuttings but that I'm making a commitment to you that your voice actually matters and
that it's gonna play a role in the policy and it's I'm gonna have to pay I want to pay attention to it I will have to pay attention to it it doesn't mean that we're gonna agree on everything or it's gonna influence every single vote that I cast but it is to make the point as best I can that I'm doing my best to actually make good that promise that you count many of our my Republican colleagues do the same and I think one of the challenges we have to get to is
recognizing that even in these massively polarized times if you took the media spin out of some of this we actually agree on an awful lot more than people think it's really not everything and not some of the big topics of the day but an awful lot more of them we do but it's also on us in it to try to get there last thing because I'm late for my next thing which is sad but next thing that I got to do for all of you in the crowd can I assume almost all of you are gonna be able to vote
no almost all huh look I voted for it there you go this for students throwing this election you guys are gonna cite it you're gonna static is your vote you're gonna sign it because you don't but this moment that we are in more than anything whether you agree with what I said that I do you disagree with what I said tonight or take the Senate race out of it any other race that you're looking at this country is at a tipping point and you all have it in your hands to actually send a
message to every single other person the United States and every single other person 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 moment of a vacuum of world leadership and that is literally what is in your hands in 13 months and my god I hope you take it and I hope you run with it and I hope you've recognized that well it might seem like you're one little vote doesn't matter all that
much one little vote plus one little votes this one little vote matters an awful lot and this election could not be more critical because five more years of this it's awfully hard to come back from it's one thing to say and yes they'll be partisan for a second here it's one thing to say that hey system wasn't working we tried one way that didn't work we came back it's another thing to say hey you know what enough people thought this way was right that we did it again
if you agree with him fine and if you'd be with the policies but forth by this administration fine support him if you believe that our country our people our planet deserves a different direction make that voice heard we are counting on you I'm grateful for you guys being here tonight thank you