tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 16, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
talked about the great respect and affection they have had for one another. is that one that you try and foster yourself? my experience and something i was happy to discover when i came onto the court. we have strong views on very important issues, and we have to discuss those and reach some type of a resolution. and obviously, on a lot these cases, we are not all in agreement. say, ine all like to the conference room where we nine a long table with chairs, we have very serious discussions. we sometimes have pointed
disagreements, but there has never been a voice raised in anger in that room, partly because of the nature of being a group thrown together to decide these important questions. i mean, think about it, pick nine random people and throw them in a room and say, ok, you will be working together for the next 25 years on some of the most portland and divisive issues the country faces. naturally, almost, you would come to the realization that you can't end up shouting at each other. this is more of a long-term relationship, and you do come to appreciate the good faith of the people with whom you work. that has certainly been my experience. to have a going knockdown drag out fight, you will know that there will be
some of the next year, and then the next year. the process of having to decide a bodyases and -- it has effect especially when you are , not opposites sides. it is a very unusual thing on the court. unlike most jobs or other situations, very rarely do people do the exact same thing. if you are in the same department of a corporation, responsible for different areas, you are faculty members, but teaching different things. then nine of us have the same job, take the same oath, read the same briefs, go to the same arguments, and are tasked with coming out with decisions. there is a strong bond that develops among the colleagues. we are very supportive of each other. i understand that does not always shine through in some of our opinions. and that is more a matter of
.tyle for some justices the one thing i will say is it is an awfully good thing that we get away from each other in july and august. said he couldis do the 12 months worth of work in 10 months, but he could not do it in 12 months. i think there was a lot of wisdom behind that. aside, it is just a wonderful collection of individuals. nobody on the court is like anybody else on that court. it is a fascinating group. they comment very diverse -- with very diverse -- they come very diverse interests, and it is an honor to work with them, most of the time. mr. o'brien: in crafting an
opinion, i'm very curious as to what your intention -- who are you writing for? obviously, it is the parties, lawyers, law students of the "jure, some of these judy" fans. roberts: i like to think of it as i am writing for my sisters. i have three sisters. i have three sisters, none of them are lawyers, and yet they are intelligent laypeople who keep up with what is going on. i would like to think they could pick up one of my opinions and be able to read it and understand what the issue is, understand how it's been resolved, and understand a general view of how. the reason we write our opinions is because we have to justify
the anti-democratic position we are in. if you don't like what the president is doing, vote him out of office. if you don't like what your congressman is doing, you throw him or her out of office. if you don't like what we are doing, it's too bad. [laughter] justice roberts: and because of that, the process has developed that we have to justify ourselves. we have to explain to you why we issued this decision. the congress doesn't have to if explain to anybody why they are pursuing a certain course. the president doesn't have to explain the actions he has taken. they obviously do, but they are are entitled to do what they do because the people elected them. we are entitled to do what we do because we are interpreting the law and not imposing our own views. and to make sure that is the case, we explain it to you. i would like to thank that intelligent laypeople can understand that explanation.
if people do not like the explanation and don't think it holds together, then they are justified in viewing us is having transgressed the limits. i like for people who are not necessarily lawyers but who do follow public affairs and can read the opinions intelligently -- there's no reason to think that's necessarily the right answer. my colleagues have different views about it. you could be writing for the lawyers, if it's a particular area of law that you're comfortable using the legal terms in the background principles. you could be riding for the academy, you want them to understand at a particular level why we have done what we've done. i like to think, and i'm sure it's not true whenever case, but i like to think somebody who's not a lawyer can pick up an opinion and read it and not necessarily follow all the nuances, but have a good idea
about what was at issue and how it was decided. mr. o'brien: in reading your opinions, you seem committed to clarity, but also to keep it interesting for the reader. for instance, in a case described by "the new york times" as an achingly boring dispute between telephone companies, you livened up your dissent by suggesting a lack of standing, quoting bob dylan, one of my favorites, by pointing out "when you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose." what was your objective in quoting bob dylan? justice roberts: it's consistent with what i said earlier. i think an intelligent layperson appreciates bob dylan, his poetry, if not his music. [applause]
justice roberts: second of all, it was after all in a dissent. so you have a little bit more leeway there. it may have been achingly dull to the reporter, but it's very important to me. it was a very important standing to send the -- standing decision. i would not have dissented if i didn't think it was important, and bob dylan captured the whole notion by saying if you don't have anything, you've got nothing to lose. in that case, the party didn't have any stake in the case and had nothing to lose, and the case should have been thrown out on that basis. i know bob dylan would have agreed. [laughter] mr. o'brien: but you did clean up his language because the original language, the double negative, when you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
justice roberts: i did get into a discussion about that with somebody. that is as performed. the liner notes show it does not have the "ain't" in it. i am a bit of a textural list, -- texturalist, so i went with the liner notes. mr. o'brien: are there justices you particularly admire for their writing, anyone in the past that comes to mind for you? justice roberts: yes, i think many here would have the same answer. robert jackson is probably at least in the modern era the most eloquent craftsman. he reads passages, the sort of things you say i wish i could do that. and most of us cannot. mostly because he has a very
understands, sees how things relate to other things in the world. there's a great passage in a first amendment religion clause case. he's making the point and he says what would architecture be like without a cathedral or music without -- he makes a point about the case that was before him. he is able to draw on those experiences that are familiar to people, and, again, it would speak to somebody who doesn't necessarily know about the law would appreciate the point he's making in that case. he is a very eloquent writer. it is nice to come upon one of his opinions and read it. the other thing, someone like john marshall, his opinions are very accessible.
you think marbury vs. madison, the old-style print and the pages are faded and it so long, but when you sit down and read it, it's something anybody can understand. it wasn't until this period in the late 19th century when judges in particular think the opinion was not legitimate. there are a lot of good writers out there and i think it improves the understanding of their legal judgment when they have that skill. can talk justf we a little bit about you, chief justice roberts. in high school, you were captain of the football team. [laughter] [applause] justice roberts: there were 24
boys in my graduating class, so half of them were on the soccer team. over'brien: why the law the nfl? my originalrts: ambition was to be the halfback for the chicago bears but somebody already had the job. as i say, we were in fact the smallest high school it played football in the state of indiana. so it wasn't that hard to be the captain. [laughter] mr. o'brien: you are regarded as one of the finest advocates of our time, arguing 39 times in front of the supreme court in the decade before being confirmed for a seat on the d.c. circuit. any advice for new england or boston students and alumni about
preparing and conducting an oral argument? justice roberts: yes, and the one thing i would say is i would be a much better oral advocate and brief writer today than i was before i became a judge. you really do get a very different perspective on the process when you're on the other side of the bench. brief writing is very easy, and i was talking about this with the students. the page limit in the supreme court is about 50 pages. we do the word count because we got tired of lawyers scratching everything in. it comes out to about 50 pages. you pick up the first brief and it's 50 pages. you pick up the respondent's brief and its 50 pages. the next one is 50 pages. 50 pages. all of a sudden you pick up one and it is 35 pages. can you imagine the impact of that? you are the lawyer, you're trying to reach the judges.
really, can you imagine it is just 35 pages? . the first thing you do is turn it over and look at the cover and find out who your new best friend in the bar is. [laughter] justice roberts: then you also realize that she probably has a good case. it only takes a 35 pages and she is done. she must have a lot of confidence in the strength of her argument. the second thing you realize, you read those 35 pages very carefully because you know that she went to the trouble of distilling it in a way that there obviously cannot be a lot of fluff to it, so you're going to read it more carefully. justices say it all the time and people think because they don't want to work so hard, but it's a very good idea tactically -- and think of it. if you really can't explain why you should win in 35 pages, do you really think you need the
additional 15 pages? and if you don't, then it does hurt you to have them. it's hard for lawyers. i spent many years having clients, and by the way, don't check my briefs and see how many pages they were. this is something i learned, not necessarily something i did. [laughter] justice roberts: it's hard to explain to client, this is what going to file in court. they're going to say, no, i paid for 50 pages. you are shortchanging me. but you have to have the professionalism and confidence to say you hired me to handle this for you. i think we have a better chance if it is 35 pages instead of 50. and on the oral advocacy part, it's the same sort of thing. everybody tells you don't avoid the questions judges wanted to ask, but you really have to take
that seriously. you do not need the windup. if the judge is asking one of the loggers a question, it's probably not a comfortable question, it's something they want to point out a flaw in your argument and get you to explain it, but welcome the question. john w. davis said that in a famous piece. you know the judge is concerned about it, and do it directly. if somebody says in this case, didn't the person at the end raise the same argument, and that was rejected, right? if it was, say yes. as soon as you say yes the judge is going to listen to what you have to say about it. as soon as you say, no, then
it's was very different argument that has nothing to do with the argument trying to make. now i get to pry out of this longer their position is on this particular case. he or she is not going to give me a straight answer. you develop an immediate hostile relationship, as opposed to being in a position where the judge says the judge understands were both engaged in this process, he's going to respond in a particular way that helps his client, but at least he's not fighting the question. it's not good when you leave as a lawyer and say, this was great, i had a big problem in my case and i did not get a question about it. that means you have not been given an opportunity to tell the court what your answer to the problem is. mr. o'brien: what are some of the attributes or qualities that president bush saw that led to his nominating you to be our chief justice? justice roberts: i don't know,
to be honest with you. [laughter] justice roberts: i don't know, but i do know that he gave a lot of thought. the interview process with him was very uplifting for me. not because of how it worked out at the end. frankly, at the end of the interview, i didn't expect it to work out as it did, but i was impressed with this understanding of the role of the courts and the government and his general view of the responsibility on him. there seems to be a strange and unusual story behind every appointment of the chief justice. for john marshall, for example, he was not john adams's first choice. john jay was. it was the time when the
jeffersonians had taken over, jefferson was about to be inaugurated, ellsworth had health issues, and john adams needed a new chief justice. his thought was john jay is the perfect person. he has got experience with it. he is done as governor of new york which he thought was a better job. john jay wrote back a fascinating letter, the gist of which was the supreme court is never going to amount to anything. i was well out of it before, and i'm not coming back. john adams' secretary of state brought him that letter. and adams read it. he looked up at john marshall and said, who should i nominate now? i guess i have to nominate you. [laughter] justice roberts: and the rest is history.
morrison waite was grant's fifth or sixth choice. everyone turned out to be involved in some financial impropriety. he literally said to his attorney general at one point, who is that guy in ohio who introduced him at that reunion of the army of the potomac? i liked him. the attorney general did not recall, but found out it was a guy named morrison waite and grant said, let's give him a try. he was confirmed in turned out to be a perfectly fine chief justice. it's interesting, his portrait in the east conference room, it's a picture of him,
obviously, and a little portrait enclosed in a portrait of grant. so think about that when you are asked to introduce somebody. edward white became chief justice because of a path assured -- he was appointed as an associate justice and assured that he would elevate him when the vacancy came available. he suddenly realize that hughes was 47 years old and if he appointed him chief justice, president taft would never be able to become chief justice, which is what he always wanted. his wife wanted him to be president and he wanted to be chief justice. so at the last minute he decided to appoint edward white instead, who was probably as surprised as everyone else. and it all worked out. taft became chief justice after white died on schedule. and then when taft left, charles evans hughes became chief justice again. so you never know quite how the appointments come about. mr. o'brien: the biggest
challenge you see for your court going forward, chief justice roberts? justice roberts: at least for me, i obviously can't speak for the others. i do think the incredibly rapid development of technology that is going on right now is going to be a challenge. it's not going to be any particular area, but it cuts across many different areas. we had a big case a couple of years ago about smartphones and whether police needed a separate warrant. if they arrest you and you've got a smartphone, do they need a separate warrant to access your phone? not all of us are as familiar with the technological devices are what different things are on them or all the capabilities. how does that fit the fourth amendment? there were not smartphones back
then. it's one of those things where you get a lot of guidance from history. in that case, the fourth amendment is there because the founders around this area didn't like british troops executing general warrants and kicking the door down and rummaging through their desks. if you think about it, right now today, which would you rather protect, if you had a choice? do you want to keep police out of your desk without a warrant, or do you want to keep them out of your smartphone? how many would say the desk? how many would say your smartphone? yeah, of course. because it is your desk, right? it has all your documents. it has everything, where you've been, what you've been reading, everything. so it's a new technology but you have to apply old standards. and it's not just that area. how does the first amendment work with respect to speech on
the internet? if everybody is a reporter, when they blog, how is the freedom of the press with respect to that? it's a challenge now as the technology is developing. what is the role of the tiny little chip that someone has that in fact controls how the entire system functions? what does that have to do for monopoly analysis and things of that sort? that's going to be the challenge across the board in all sorts of different cases. mr. o'brien: i often wonder, if someone who has attained chief justice of the united states would entertain doing something else. william howard taft was also president of the united states. i just wondered whether --
the primaries are just starting now. [laughter] justice roberts: what a horrifying thought. [laughter] [applause] justice roberts: no, it's a life term, and i intend to fill out the term. mr. o'brien: thank you, chief justice roberts. thank you for sharing. thank you very much. justice roberts: thank you very much. [applause] justice roberts: thank you. a look at the supreme court today. chair, antonin scalia's draped in black wool crepe.
paul ryan said today he supports blocking whomever president obama nominates to replace scalia on the court. ryan said the supreme court is not an extension of the white house. the president has absolutely every right to nominate somebody to the supreme court, but congress as an equal branch has every right not confirm someone. ou could read more at "the milwaukee sentinel." >> a way to track the government as it happens. >> is a great way for us to stay informed. >> a lot of my colleagues will say i saw you on c-span. to make sureo much that people outside the beltway is going on inside it. president obama is wrapping
out the southeast asia summit today. we will hear what came out of the press conference during his news conference schedule at 4:35 p.m. eastern time. discussion with entrepreneurs from tec startupsh. we workers from the editor of "self" magazine. -- we will hear from the editor of "self" magazine. lo, and welcome. i am the editor in chief of "self" anything. thank you so much for joining us today at 1 world trade. "self" topleasure at
host you guys here. i thought this would be the perfect place for us to hold an event like this because i believe big ideas on expensive air andike this deserve great heights. there are no glass ceilings here. coincidence that one of the most meaningful partnerships i have had in my first year here has been the one that we forged with the clinton foundation in support of the health matters initiatives. they hit on two of the things that we care about most, advancing the full participation of women and girls in all aspects of life promoting their health and well-being so they can achieve their utmost. we kicked off last fall with a women's series where we challenged female developers to apps to focus on
three health areas, nutrition, civic activity, and mental health. we wanted to empower women to be part of their own health solutions, and i'm proud to say apps are being developed. to build on that success, he wanted to convene this panel today so we can further the ch byssion on women in te bringing together the leading andes for the challenges opportunities and innovations in the field so we can continue to advance leadership in the field. ideas, we celebrate the -- itself-made, and it is makes me feel so warm to see so many women and men who embody that drive and ambition. -- qualitative
of self-made individuals is their willingness to share their experiences and their knowledge. mediaeve that the social reach in this room is ridiculously high. i encourage you to share your thoughts and comments on discussion in your own call to #selfmadeintech. it is a pleasure to introduce our panelists today. they are all doing their part to bring more women up in the tech sector. they are committed and inspiring. a person who is the founder and ceo of -- -- own andrew siegel, who is
of strategy and corporate development at "self" publications, and cofounder of change the ratio. we are thrilled to have them, and without further do, i am thrilled to introduce our speaker and our moderator, chelsea clinton, the vice chair of the clinton foundation. [applause] clinton: thank you for that terrific introduction. i apologize for my unusually shakevoice, so i will not any hands or give any hubs. that is just about me. even though i wash my hands before it came into the room. i want to echo what choice said from the clinton foundation perspective and say what a tremendously meaningful partnership it has been us as we worked to up and the normal
-- upend paradigms that generally attract up to 8% men -- 80% medicare and we are proud we are probably have had up to 80% of women focused on women health. it may seem that women developers should be the ones innovating on questions of women's health, so that was not always so obvious, and i have thrown the have proven again why it is important that women be enfranchised in innovating in these areas as well as well as well as reading in these areas. we think conversation like this are so important not only to highlight individuals and hopefully learn together what has and continues to work to empower and support women leaders in technology, but also to help close the imagination cap for those who are not in the room today.
there are probably a clear selection,, so those who claim -- came this afternoon, and it is so good to see so many and in conversations like this, and yet we know for so many, the image that comes to mind when we think of technology is someone who looks more like mark zuckerberg then looks like you sitting in the audience today. that is unacceptable and we want to build the world that i know we want to live in, that we want little rupee here who is so well behaved to grow up and the one i want my daughter, charlotte, to grow up and grow old and. i'm so thrilled we are going to talk to today about some of the different challenges that still exist, but also what is working in the vanguard as demonstrated by the stories of our panelists this afternoon. without further and do, i want to invite to the directors
--irs, the cofounder of alexa, the founder of -- rachel, the cofounder of change the ratio and a list and also andrew siegel,. while they are joining me in the director's chair, want to ask all of you to give a big round of a product -- plus two "self" was hosting us this afternoon. [applause] >> to continue a little bit from
my earlier introductory remarks, i must ask each of you why you think this conversation is so important and what we can do to help others understand why we have a vested interest -- interest in the conversation. . i often find people's eyes glaze over. what can we do to help everyone in the room today with why the conversation is a must-have. if anyone wants to go first. >> i can only speak from my experience. as a woman running -- first, i worked in personal finance out of college and back to business school. i dropped out to start a company. truly, very few women in either of those industries, but once you put them on top of each
other -- i just had a genuinely really unique experience, which was 24 years old, dropping out of business school trying to start a tech company. in so manyve been ways, being an entrepreneur is so hard, raising money, attracting talent. it is hard for anyone. but it would have been so much better if i was not constantly feeling like i was alone in the fight. i think there are so many things we could do to try to advance it. so that i do not have to be -- that is common question is i would like to be a woman in tech, but what is it like to be a woman in technology? i kept saying, this is the first question i keep getting and we have got to get past the question so we can get on to
other questions. it was a lonely place to be. my personal experience, thank goodness, it has turned out pretty ok so far. we really need to change the dynamic. women are amazing at everything. why wouldn't they be in finance or all these other industries? >> thank you for inviting me for being on the panel and letting me bring my daughter to show her that you can be a woman in business and be professional and still be a mom and have a child with you, even if it can be a little noisy. thank you for that. my own journey is it took me a long time to consider myself a woman in tech because i did not
know i was in tech. i was a woman in media working in startups before this notion was popularized. by the time i was the editor, i was like, this is a thing. i did not really understand it. despite the fact i was in my mid 30's and was a former lawyer, as sophisticated as a person could be, but i did not have the information of what it meant to be an early employee in the startup and what titles mattered. and so when i started getting into the tech world, it took me a lot of time to come up with curve and realize, i was employee number one, i had been part of numerous media startups and had no idea i should have
had equity, that there was a pattern that is followed for early employees, and arguably, i did not know i should ask for that title of founder. there was this unbelievable informational asymmetry for me. considering the fact i was in my mid 30's, a former lawyer, i felt like i should have known feels so clueless for me and i did not take the title i had also taken and sort of assumed the position of a leader early on, what will it like for women in their 20's who really do not have the same access to that information? as clueless as i may have been
in my 30's, i was way more clueless in my 20's. i am in my early 40's. i think this conversation is important for a number of reasons. number one, it is not to question women in tech as leaders but also, with that acknowledgment, to really to get to the expansion of the definition of what it means to be in tech. i do not code. i brought the html but i do not know how to code. that does not mean i was not an integral part of building the huffington post, being an advisor at numerous tech startups. i look around and see all of these women who have similar roles, but when it comes to the question of who gets to be in tech, the definition gets narrowed. you do not see that happen with men. the example i like to use is the
example of ben or gary. so when we have this conversation, i come out of it in a defensive position because i have seen the way women tend to be marginalized. i try to head that off at the pass. start off with a reminder that women are there at the beginning building, whether or not they are actually coding the code. women have to be treated in exactly the same way as male counterparts. ms. clinton: thank you for your candor. thank you for sharing. andrew, how do you think about this question from your perspective, given that you are in the position to hire and support so many different women, formally in tech, thank you, or,
as we were just hearing, maybe not tech but being in related fields. andrew: i am lucky because it is natural. i was meant toward by three women leaders who were the top in their field. and i am the father of two daughters. every so often, it will cross my mind to say you can be anything you want to be. i stopped myself because no one would say that to a boy. i want them to grow up in a world where no one says that to a girl. as it relates to technology, we live at a time where technology has jumped out of this vertical
where it was very specialized. everything you do as a consumer and executive is touched by technology. we need women leaders in technology because it is no longer vertical. it touches everything we do. the point you made about health care, for instance, you all need to be part of the solutions created by technology. ms. clinton: women make 80% of the health care decisions in our country and yet our partnership with ourselves is still viewed as innovative because it is so singular. like you hope no one says to your daughters you can be anything you want to be, i do not want us to be innovative in a year or two in these dimensions. what do you think about this conversation and how do we broaden it and what has your experience been like? >> as a founder in my 20's, every day i wake up thinking about using technology to
redistribute vital medicines we have available for people who otherwise would not be able to get it. when i think about coming to the panel and being a part of this, you do not get a lot of time as a founder running a business that is growing and scaling and is all-consuming to pick your head up and say, where do i fit in the world, in the atmosphere? i think a lot about, what is my identity in the sector. i'm a social entrepreneur, a woman in technology. i think a lot about the intersectionality. the reason this conversation is so important is because we have to be able to identify and embrace multiple identities. until you create a space where someone can say, yes, i am a woman in technology even though i am not a programmer, or yes, i'm a black woman in technology
running a social entrepreneurial endeavor , until you embrace all of these identities, that is the importance of the conversation, creating a space where we can do that, and talk about that as who we are as people. ms. clinton: do you find that more organic and natural in some places than others? kiah: i live in the san francisco bay area in the big hub of technology. there are small pockets. we are having, for example, i was invited -- and there were pockets of folks identifying as women in technology or women in of color in technology. there are a lot of different kinds of groups and it is more organic rather than facilitated by organizations. sometimes, that can be really positive because you naturally meet someone at an event and
start up a genuine friendship. i think there needs to be a little more infrastructure for people who are not able to attend an event like this. ms. clinton: i agree with that. i want to open the floor to questions. before we do that, i want to ask how we try to solve not only definitional challenge that all of you have raised, but also the pipeline challenge, whether we think women are narrowly defined through the fields or more broadly. andrew, i am obsessed with middle school. i am already worried about my daughter's middle school experience although she is clearly just trying to learn to walk, so i should probably be more concerned about that, but i am so worried about middle
school for charlotte for a few reasons. in kindergarten through third grade, in studies done across the country, in urban, rural areas, across the spectrum for children of color, every study yields pretty much similar results for the ambitions of girls and boys. girls want to be ceo's. they may not know what that means, but they want to be. girls want to be president, inventors, astronauts, they want to build things and design things. they have all these ambitions we can largely group together under leadership and that relates to technology, whether or not they will create the bounds of the market in which technology will be used or actually be innovators in technology or using technology if they will be astronauts. at fourth grade, that really starts to deteriorate. by eighth grade, the schism on
all of those dimensions is immense, where girls no longer at the same levels as boys want to be innovators or investors or leaders in whatever field or whatever profession they might be aspiring to. we know that is happening for a few reasons. in middle school, math and science teachers start calling on girls less. both female and male teachers call on girls less. that is the age where we know not from cognitive science that girls to impose themselves into the stories, that they are absorbing. the television shows they are watching, reality tv, on the news, and not their own imaginations. so we know part of fixing the pipeline challenge is changing that dynamic in middle school so more girls have parents again true and also parents and teachers and are in an ecosystem that is really supporting their dreams, whatever those might be. we also have pipeline challenges
at the high school challenge and professional levels as well. could you talk about what each of you are trying to do now to ensure that your pipeline is full of the most talented people possible, including women and women of color? alexa: i should have started when you asked what my experience was like. i started from the beginning of my experience, being a dropout at 24, trying to start a tech company. i should have said six years later, a few months ago, my management team got acquired by northwestern mutual, one of the biggest of the decade. it was a wonderful event. what was coolest about it is half the reason we got acquired was because the management team was. the female head of talent, she particularly hired tech talent.
a female head of financial planning. and a male cfo. one of the things -- my board was three females and one male. that never struck me as odd or anything. i was just always hiring whoever would the best for the roles. one thing helping the pipeline change is talking about where you are seeing good progress and no one ever said, your whole team is almost female or what does this mean? they said, your team is very talented. half the reason we are excited is because of the talent around the table. starting to see that change, in six years, i was kind of fun like a lone person to all of a sudden feeling like a lot of great people are there to choose from, to excel alongside and really be a team. i would say one of the ways we can change the pipeline and talk about the process is not only
what we do and saying to little girls you can be what you want, but just seeing success happen. the more we see success, the more we get to talk about it, the more normal it will be and the more it will be less women in tech. it will be people doing great things. that is the way i have always thought about it. kiah: i run a five-person startup team. ms. clinton: the good old days. great things happen. kiah: i hope i get to the point where i call that the good old days. things you did think about in terms of building culture appear at what is the culture we want? i have two co-founders that are both male. there are interesting conversations that arise because of that when we talk to investors or funders. i have been told in meetings i
should try to be softer by investors in particular. it is interesting. ms. clinton: what do you say to that? [laughter] kiah: when you are a startup who is trying to get funding, in some respect, there is a power mismatch. you pick and choose your battles around when you will a something and when you will let it roll and let your white male co-founder do the talking and do what has to get done. these are real-world challenges and everyone has, whatever you are limited -- ms. clinton: it is better to be candid about them rather than to attend they are not barely -- not there. i appreciate the candor. clearly heard in the room, the collective groan, when you have to defer when you should never have to. kiah: for every one of those conversations, i probably had eight to 10 conversations when people were very enthusiastic about the team and talent and it
is a non-issue. as we are hiring and growing, how do we do so in a way that is purposeful in bringing in talent but also recognizing that we do not live in a colorless or a genderless world. we have to make sure we are getting applications in the door that reflect the company we want to have. ultimately, for us, because we are trying to serve in the communities, trying to grow a culture of people who understand and maybe come from similar backgrounds. there are some things as a small business, some things we try to do, to get applications in an automatically remove names, look at applications without looking at gender, without looking at other telltale signs of things like the socioeconomic status, etc. once you get a good group, you have to be really proactive about it, proactively outreach to the community. you want to get applications from.
you need to then realize everybody has bias. we as a graduate, has a bias that i love fellow stanford graduates. that is amazing but at the same time i have to recognize i have a bias for certain people who may be look like me or have similar backgrounds. we all have biases, and the best thing you can do as a startup founder is put them in a place that tries to minimize some of the biases we all naturally have. rachel: i can't believe -- i should be able to, but even hearing you say it, you are so impressive, and you are from stanford. the whole package. if you still get that crack, we we really have a long way to go. collecting my thoughts here. it actually leads me into my
answer to your question, which was sort of like, how do we do this and what do we do for the pipeline. i cannot go back in time to high school and college and take computer science. cannot do that. all i can do right now is focus on being the tide that list as many votes as i can. i started something called change the ratio. the goal not just change in the ratio of women in tech and the media, but change the ratio of their visibility and assets and opportunity. the way i found that works best was with networking. how many people here have seen "hamilton"? do we love "hamilton"? please, everybody see it. i am canadian and i did not grow up with american history. >> we are happy to have you. >> thank you very much. the part where george washington tasked alexander hamilton to be his deputy and hamilton says great, here are my people.
i have got lafayette, hercules mulligan, john lawrence, yes? and he goes through and i was like, i do that. when people ask me, i know this amazing woman, this amazing woman, this amazing woman. that is networking. men have been doing that for centuries. they had been tasked with responsibility, and they say, i know this amazing guy and this amazing guy. these are my bros and let's bring them in. i did that with women. i am a huge fan of the interlocking -- i went from hamilton to taylor swift. that is a win. ms. clinton: and you have your daughter raising both hands for you. rachel: you have to get a posse who will think of you and recommend you and who will be able to draw upon you. when something like that happens to you -- i have women, i tell
women, i am in my 40's, i care a lot less. come to me. i have no problem smacking people down. you do it in public on twitter by backing up your sisters. you do it in private by sending the awkward e-mail they might not want to send. it is about having a posse and having a network and having each other's backs. that is how i think we can do it. that is how you get role models in place. >> yes. i think mentorship, to add to that. one thing that was invaluable to me and to rachel's point of being able to give someone an extra hand or arm, i definitely had mentors who helped me, mentors who really went out of their way to make my life little easier. i think that is one thing we can do.
we all get the e-mails about something, hey, can you help me with this? i found i will fill up with 15 quick minute phone calls to say, what can i do, and if i could send one quick e-mail to help somebody, it is a thing that could help the pipeline. andrew: back to your point about getting nervous about middle school, my daughters are in middle school, and i was lucky when they were young, male friends of mine turned me on to a couple of books. "queen bees and wannabes." i came home to put my older girl to sleep and i caught her reading it and it is a book for adults about what girls go through in their teen years. when the societal pressures and narratives come over, and i said what are you doing and she said, i want to know what is coming. i need to know. [laughter] what you have to do as a parent and a mentor and a role model is personally change that behavior. we are lucky enough and she is lucky enough to live in a town
where the library has 3-d printing. can go to the library and do that. there are a lot of programs for robotics. the school systems are not funding this because they do not have the money to. it is organizations who do this. luckily, we have people who understand that it is about rolling up your sleeves and being hands on. this morning i posed this question to one of the companies in our portfolio called compass. this woman's name is christina allen, one of the great product people. she was in the valley. she just moved to new york. she is a computer scientist and her daughter is a mechanical engineer. the difference is you get your daughters working early building things. they have to be building and they have to be making. that becomes their narrative.
>> women can do a lot to help other young girls in middle school move forward. so that's the type of thing we're involved in. >> great. thank you. yes, i'm obsessed with that narrative, admittedly because the peak years of women in computer science at the college university levels were in the mid-1980s. and i got a computer from santa claus in 1987. and in 1987, women were more than one-third of computer science graduates. and the year i graduated from stanford, far earlier than you did in 2001, women were more than 1 in 4. and last year, women were less than 1 in 5. even though the denominator has expanded, they're more university level spaces. for women to engage in computer science. women are participating at lower
levels. and we know that's largely because of what's happening in high school. also, over the last couple of years, there have been three states where not a single young woman has taken the computer science a.p. exam. we know we do have a lot to fix. and as said, there's a lot that's happening in the school system, but also outside the school system. here in new york city and elsewhere. >> a few things i know, stanford released that computer science is the most popular major for women at stanford. it surpassed human biology, economics, et cetera. there's definitely progress, i think, being made. >> did that happen partly because stanford made it a point? i mean, stanford started an effort literally a decade ago. that's a product of something that started a few years after i left. and they made a decade-long commitment to do a better job of recruiting students, to apply to stanford and supporting female students if their first year, which is so often when girls were discouraged by the culture that they were immersed in. and they were determined not to have the dropoff that was so
often happening even for freshmen women interested in computer sciences. >> one thing i wanted to add, pipeline building is so important, but there are so many other things besides being a programmer. i think it's important we embrace the fact that women can be a technologist. you can be someone in technology and not necessarily be a developer. you can be a product manager, in the media side of things. there are so many different roles. i also don't want us boxed into this notion that unless we have "x" percent of programmers in a company, then we failed. but i also want to lift up it will fact that there are amazing women in technology who are not necessarily getting the recognition or getting, you know, into leadership roles. there's a pipeline of getting women interested in some fields, but there's another pine line,
how do we create more women co-founders? maybe not the developer, but maybe the nontechnical co-founder. how do you develop big women leadership in big tech companies? that's a whole other pipeline of women right now in their 20s who are here, hungry and ready. and we need to be able to have that conversation, as well. >> andrew? >> and if i could add to that. 5 of 8 of the best-performing portfolio companies venture capitalists were run by women. it wasn't a conscious decision on our part. and none of those women are what you would consider technical. the lead sentence of the report your foundation issued on this subject says there's never been a better time to be born a woman. i don't think there's been a better time to start a company. there's so much capital and so many opportunities, the technology provides that you don't necessarily have to be a technical person to start a company. and i would encourage you to trust in yourself if the idea's
a good one and take the flight. i know it's easier said than done, but it's a wonderful time to get out and get financing. trust you understand the market. the reason why we backed these people, any help to anybody who is thinking of starting their own business is they were their own best consumer. they literally said, wouldn't it be great if somebody invented "x," and when nobody did, they did. >> can i just follow up? you should trust -- not to quote reagan here -- but i like to quote trust but verify. sorry. but trust but verify. trust that the market is there, but verify it, because women do have to be more prepared going in than their similar situated male counterparts because of what kia just said. so, just like, know your numbers. know what people are getting funded. and know what the other
investor, what they've funded, they passed on. have a sense of what exactly your needs are when you go in. so that you can go in and know your numbers cold. because if you don't know your numbers cold, then you can't be the fabulous, confident, dazzling entrepreneur that, you know, we all know you are inside. but if you're botheringed down by being called out on, like a stupid number, then it'll shoot your confidence. so just -- i do always try and tell people that there's no substitute for being super duper prepared. and it is, still, a fact that women do -- let's generalize, tend to have to be more prepared than similar situated men in, like, across the board. as long as we're speaking of unvarnished truths, i did want to just, like, jump on the word trust. because, you know, it's your life. so, yes, trust. trust is awesome.
but verify. >> other questions or thoughts in the back? yes, ma'am? >> hi, i'm the editor for "black enterprise" magazine. and my question is for kia. do you feel there are unique challenges for women of color in tech as opposed to women of noncolor? >> i think that being a woman of color, period, there are more challenges in life. so i don't think it's necessarily linked to technology in particular. i also think you add on so we talk about a lot of identities. i also am a social entrepreneur. so my company is one with a social mission. and i think, in particular, you end up with this weird -- you end up with kind of between the two worlds where, you know, traditional foundations, a lot of larger funders are very risk averse. and they want to fund a lot of very proven models. and then on the flip side, you have, kind of venture capital
dollar that is taking a lot of risks but not necessarily in things like serums, which are going to be beneficial for lower-income and communities of color. so i think that the challenges we face, and i face as a woman of color, entrepreneur, it has to do a lot with the intersectionalty of the fact that i'm not just a woman, i'm not just a person of color. not just in the social sector. i have all of these identities. and that gets messy for people who are used to looking at a person who looks different than me running a different type of company. and it is inherent in the life that i've chosen. and, you know, i'm kind of just determined to make it work and continue to grow in scale. >> other questions. yes? oh, gosh. in the red, yes. >> hi, my question is kind of --
yes. how do you think improving the level of interest and access to technology for women and girls would help improve, you know, kind of, like, their communities globally? bring up their communities, bring up their education? how do you -- what are your thoughts on that? improving access and interest in it. >> well, we know that if every woman in the world just learned to read, just learned to read, that 170 million people would be lifted out of poverty. women and their families. and given the gap that exists in the world right now between kids and also adults who want to go to school and school buildings and teachers and materials and safe in sanitary facilities to support teachers and students in schools. we know that technology has to be part of closing the literacy
and education gap. when you asked that question, i immediately thought of that challenge. but also that as of yet discovered solution, but also real opportunity. there's literally hundreds of millions of women around the world in places where there aren't available technologies, who don't have access to the technologies. who don't have access to the same mobile technologies that their fathers or their husbands do. who even if they have access to a mobile phone often still are on a 2g phone, not a smartphone because the men in their family are so uncomfortable with the idea of them being able to have access, unfettered, free access to information to answer questions about their own lives or also, again, in the whole candor. we know the closing technology gap is crucially important to
empower women and educate women and children that will help themselves and also their communities. yes, in blue? >> so, i'm the prime demographic for the mentorship question. and i wanted to raise an uncomfortable hypothesis, something that i'm struggling with. and when i talk to my peers, they sort of echo the same thing in a different variation. what do you think of the hypothesis that women who are successful in technology, specifically, are less willing or able to help their younger cohort? either because they don't know other people because they decided to have families and don't have time or they were so focused on themselves because it was so difficult to get access. and opportunity they just don't have the habit of doing that as men do.
>> rachel? >> i'd like to address that women don't help women. because it's not been true in my life at all. and therefore, that must be wrong because my life. no, but i do think it's a troupe. i think the reason you cite are legitimate. i have less time to engage with people and less time to mentor right now than i did six months ago. i'm a single mom, my baby's somewhere, i hope she's with someone. >> another baby. >> it's a baby palooza. >> oh. >> but i do reject the notion that women are less likely to help other women because of my experience being mentored, mentoring other people. i'm an adviser, and, you know, the list is -- the whole point of the list is for mentoring and
for lifting up women. so if you are having difficulty finding mentors, there's a couple things i would suggest. the first would be sort of find yourself digital mentors. there's unbelievable writing now. there's so much more out there from women entrepreneurs, amazing women that you can be mentored by just by reading, right? so that's past adventuring, that's different than us having a frank conversation. but if you engage people on social media, you will find that not everybody will be receptive. but you will find some people who will be receptive. and you can build organic relationships that way. i have made lots of sort of online friends. i've given money to people that i have met online that i still haven't met. it's not because i'm that crazy. but it's because i actually built a legitimate relationship
through social media. and so, it really can be done now more than ever. and then the third way is by coming to events like this and getting up and raising your hand and asking a question. because now we've all seen you, we know who you are. and by the way, what is your company, actually? >> well, it's a network for the 2016 election. >> oh. okay. >> cool. >> does it have a name? >> well, there's a -- the network is to support hillary clinton. and i want to -- anyway, the name is "madame president." >> what's your name? >> ashley biel. >> ashley biel. >> i like it. >> there you go, ashley. >> one other thing i think i want to bring up is the importance of alliship.
you know, obviously there's this audience right now is skewing female, which is great. but i think that's another thing you should just be aware of and really take advantage of and try to create is more allyship. some of the mentors i have in my life are men. >> mine, too. >> and i think that, one, bringing allies into the space, making them feel uncomfortable being -- comfortable being uncomfortable, i think is important. bringing them into these discussions and these dialogues. the other thing i want to say is, you know, as your company is getting started and, you know, thinking about your culture, i, for example, am not married. i don't have children. my co-founder who is a man is married with two children. and we've had to -- you know, part of it has been saying we want you to be a good father. we don't want to shoulder all the burden to your wife to take care of your children. and we're going to adjust meeting times. you're going to leave at 5:00 to pick up your kids. and maybe you'll be back online at 8:00 after they're in bed. but creating a culture where it
isn't the responsibility of women to be, you know, the only care givers. and making that intentional in your company. and bringing allies onboard who are men and creating a space for them, as well. it's been super important. you don't think you might have expectations of oh, how come your wife doesn't do that? but when the rubber hits the road on our company, we have to think, yes, we want him to be a good father. and i need to come in earlier to have a meeting in the morning to get him back out the door at 5:00. and create that reciprocity in the company. so i say allyship comes in multiple forms. it's getting male mentors, potentially, but also creating a space in the company that you're building to make sure you're treating men and women as equal care givers in their families' lives. >> in the back.
>> hi, i'm the founder of the women's choice award where mission-driven organization to empower women to make smart consumer choices. i want to address you because i was also the publisher of working mother and "working women" magazine for those of you been around for a while. they take work to find them. one of the things i'm going to share, because i've mentored a number of women over the years. when you go to speaking engagements, find the people speaking, make a note to reach out to them beforehand. do you think we can grab a cup of coffee? then follow up with an email. be persistent. i have one woman who this woman was so diligent that i finally started to mentor her how to build a business.
and i got her into walmart because somebody from my board sits on walmart. that's what it takes. but it takes perseverance. don't give up, be very specific on who you want. and, you know, we're there. we're going to find, you know, we're going to help you. you know, so good luck, i just wanted to share that story because it does work. >> thank you very much. other thoughts or questions? yes, ma'am? >> hi, i'm karen page. i am a former teacher, and i now produce professional development for teachers in technology teaching and learning with tech, especially in subsaharan africa. our education system is really responsible for a lack of confidence in women. and you guys have talked about middle school. i was a middle schoolteacher for a long time. and i feel like we need to take the start-up culture of paying
attention to culture and bring that to education. because until we do, until we completely move away from a test-driven breeding ground of competition and in, especially, the public schools where there is not a lot of making, not a lot of the work and creativity and confidence is coming outside. so i'm curious if anybody's doing any work with the schools in, hopefully national approach. because i think we need serious professional development for women and men teachers here in order to help women, young women grow. >> this is an area where there's lots of innovation and maybe it's also kind of more apt to say innovation and experimentation candidly happening at the local level across the country. so, you know, we have in my media lab working with the boston public school district on all sorts of different technology programs that they're doing, longitudinal tracking study of.
whether it's working with certain clusters of schools to have everything be moved to tablets and then kids having the right to take the tablets home and those being kind of wi-fi accessible and so they can also learn, explore on their own while still doing their homework to iowa, building kind of networks of teachers who are really interested in helping to ensure that girls engage in the sciences and stay engaged in the sciences. aggregating middle school teachers to educate the same girls as they transition the same girls from middle school to high school who have shown and expressed interest. kind of aptitude in the math and sciences. so much innovation happening, some built around technology, i don't think we know enough yet to really know what's working. i think in a decade, hopefully
even sooner, we're going to know a lot more than we know now. and hopefully, those of us who are citizens can put positive pressure on our local school districts. this is really something denominated and determined at the local level, not the national level. to hopefully take the best out of what we're learning from across the country. but i just don't think we know enough, yet. but there's some really amazing and very different programs looking to solve these exact questions. >> i think we have time for one more question. ma'am, over there, in the white, yes, ma'am. >> my name is lillian, i'm the founder and executive director of global connection for women. it's abbreviated gc4w. the organization is 3 years old, and we just won best 2015, best charity organization in manhattan, which is a big deal.
because 3 years ago when we started, i was very unsure. our mission is to connect, educate and empower women and youth. and we've had an opportunity to work with the clinton foundation on a few projects. my question is, now that we're kind of becoming more popular, right? there's a lot of organization both here in the u.s. and abroad that's wanting to partner with us, right? so we're at a different growth level. not that we've hit all our growth in terms of an organization. but we want to be able to help other organizations, especially younger ones. so my question to you, too, is when do you choose? how do you choose who you want to partner with next? you don't have enough bandwidth to help everybody. and i recently did an interview on television, and i have 200 emails i have to respond to on a daily basis because people want to partner with us. and i feel bad that i don't have
enough staff to help everyone. so when do you know when to partner and how do you make that selection? >> rachel? >> this is the continuous question i think you will have forever. you know, i think i'm right in the midst of this past year has been incredible. we've seen incredible growth. we went from a california-based program to a program that's distributed almost $5 million in medicine, enough for 80,000 people. that's awesome. but i spend pretty much all of my time trying to grow that business. and i think to some extent, you have to really -- this is where it gets difficult. you have to learn when to trim and really maintain focus. we get inquiries from the other countries who want to use our software. and we've had to make some strategic decisions and say, hey, we don't -- we're a five-person team, we don't have the bandwidth right now to work
in europe or south america. that's not where we're at. i think, you can carve out some time in your own personal schedule to, you know, really carve out a couple of hours a week. setting up a time, a dedicated time for you to work on kind of these out of the box ideas, and these partnerships which maybe will go nowhere, but maybe could be fantastic. i think as a social enterprise, i totally feel you. the challenge has always, well, these metrics a, b and c, but we have the potential other crazy opportunities that could be amazing for the business. i think the best you can do is really carve out and be intentional about how much time and resources you're going to put into that. i don't think you can ignore them, but you can't lose sight, seems like you're at a great opportunity for growth right now. you can't lose sight of your core mission and focus. because the businesses, i think, that often times fail at that juncture is because they're too all over the place.
>> yeah, i would add, now 200 people and, you know, going from 5 to 200, it is an important question. you need to make sure that you pick one partner, two partners, max, and then focus, you know, almost obsessively, we call it maniacal focus and make a big impact. because trying to have ten partnerships that get you nowhere, your actual core business can't possibly run, much less, you're not taking a step forward to the partnership. it's a great question. it's a hard one. doesn't go away, which, i think is her point. but maniacal focus is probably the best thing. just for people in tech trying to do really hard things, one of the best things that helps you move this conversation forward is getting one or two people that is just going to tell you the tough stuff you have to do to get better. that was probably the best thing that happened to me a few years ago, saying give it to me straight.
surrounding yourself with people that are much smarter, much more talented, and that can help you pick those partnerships but also help evolve your thinking and also just help evolve all of us trying to do tough things. being an entrepreneur, as you said pretty beautifully back there. you need tough skin and resilience. and, i think, we just need to fight every day and so, good question. >> i want to ask our panelists if there's anything they want to leave with us as food for thought. you can also feel free to use your minute to respond to the last conversation. >> all i was going to say was decision fatigue is real. it's something i've really noticed in my life since every single decision i make about my daughter seems weighty and huge. if you can outsource your decision making or just take some of it off your plate, you don't have to review every single one of the 3,000 emails
in your inbox. i know you want to. but in order to move forward, we do have to allow ourselves to, like, unmesh from the decisions we have to make all the time. we're talking about how to lift up women leaders in technology. and it's -- so i think it's not about taking this advice and being like how can i make myself more of a leader? what can i do with myself? if i leave you with one thing, i really want to leave you with the notion that the rising tide really does lift all boats. so if your mission is only to lift yourself up, but lift the community and the community of women up, amplify the women around you, support them, and start twitter fights with conferences that only have lineups of all white dudes. like all of that. that's important. it makes a difference. it is making a difference.
i really wanted to leave you guys with that. you ladies with that. >> i think we all know that we don't live in a colorless, genderless society. i think that each of us have a role to play in leveling, creating more equality, equity and more opportunity for women for people of color, for women of color. and i think you have to be a little bit intentional about creating, carving out a space for what is your own personal impact going to be? not everyone can create a fabulous network of women that's going to rise the tide for all of us. but all of us have a role to play even in our own daily lives. i think the other thing i would just add is really focus, you know, and it might just be, you bringing one or two more people into this conversation. having a conversation with a male colleague, having a conversation with an investor or with your boss or with an employee. you know, and i think the conversation has to get bigger. it has to include not just people who look like us. it has to include people who
don't know that this is an issue. and i think that at a very minimum, each of us knows someone who probably has no idea that this is going on. that this is a struggle. i would say at the very least, we each have a role to play in our daily lives in bringing more people to the table. >> so having been one of the people in the audience on so many different occasions listening to a panel like this, one thing that has been tremendous to helping me in my own career was that the big gap isn't knowledge, it's actually belief in guts. it's having to believe in yourself and actually having the guts to take the jump. and i'll share with you one thing that's completely changed my life, which was when i was an undergrad, i worked in the happiness lab. it was an interesting experience for me. but we took people who were 90 and had them look back at their life, and they never once regretted something they did. they didn't regret the person they dated. too many people they dated. they didn't regret x, y and z. but they also regretted the one thing they didn't do.
and they were like, i wish i had the guts to do this one thing. so since learning about that, little 9-year-old alexis sits on my shoulder. and whenever i don't have the guts to do something, i say, when you're 90 and you look back, are you going to regret this? and if the answer is yes, i don't think we've seen a decade like this. if you have a business plan, an idea, put little 9-year-old yourself on your shoulder, do write the plan to rachel's point. you can't just jump off with no parachute. >> my advice is to never let a guy have a last word. i'm sorry. follow my advice, and the remainder of my time to our esteemed moderator. >> turn off his mike. >> well, thank you, andrew. yes. thank you. your daughters are very lucky to have you. i want to thank all of you for
joining us. thanking our panelists for being so remarkably candid, but also clear. in their candor and their advice. we know this conversation is nested in a larger conversation. in this country and around the world, about race in this country and around the world. we know that, certainly, not in the united states or any country do girls and women have the same rights and opportunities that boys and men do. and while it is important that we continue to celebrate success and to share what has worked for each of us, it's also important that we continue to recognize the magnitude and the contours of the challenges we face. and there is so much else that we could've talked about today. we could've talked about the fact that the united states is one of only nine countries in the world not to have paid time off for new infants, we could've talked about our wage gap or any
country's wage gap. because even in the celebrated scandinavian countries, women do not earn as much as men. and we care so much about ensuring each of us is armed with whatever information we need, we launch the no ceilings participation that andrea was kind enough to reference, as was joyce, where we brought together the largest aggregation of data for women here and around the world. we hope you'll go to noceilings.org. you can search by your own country if you're not american and find out kind of what is really true and not yet true for girls and women in your country. you can search by issue area. and we brought some of the visuals to share with all of you during cocktail hour. so we hope that further keeps you engaged in this conversation. and hopes it brings others into this conversation. until this is something we're all talking about, we won't be able to stop asking questions, like the ones that kia and alexa
received. so helping us move forward is something we all have a vested interest in. and we're grateful all of you could join all of us here today. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> and president obama wrapping up a speech. we'll hear what came out of the summit during the president's news conference that's scheduled for 4:35 p.m. eastern time. i'll have that live for you right here on c-span. >> this weekend, the c-span
cities tour hosted by our charter communications cable partners takes you to greenville, south carolina, to explore the history and literary culture on book tv. >> in 1939, september of 1939, when europe went to war, our allies primarily england and france looked to washington, d.c., for goods and materials they needed. so washington, d.c. looks down to the textile capital of the world and all of a sudden government contracts came funneling into this area asking the mills here to begin producing for the war effort, initially for our allies. and then, of course, for the united states, as well. >> and on "american history tv". >> so we're standing right here, and this really was a nasty spot. hard to believe now looking at it, one of the best parks in the country. but this really was a very
depressed, nasty place. and it's a great story of how a community can get behind a park and start to appreciate and cherish its river and its waterfall, again. >> reporter: watch the c-span cities tour saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday afternoon on american history tv on c-span 3. the c-span cities tour, working with our cable affiliates and working with cities across the country. >> indiana congressman luke messer is the chair of the house republican committee. he spoke this morning about the republican legislative agenda this year and the campaign for president. this is just over an hour. >> welcome, everybody. i'm bob weiner with the news makers committee. and we are proud to welcome today congressman luke messer,
the house republican policy chair. before we get started, we have the high honor of having the president of the national press club, tommy burr from the tribune. and you wanted to say a few words, and please, do so. >> thank you, bob. thank you, good morning, especially on this rainy morning here in washington. i wanted to welcome congressman messer, as well. i would like to note you're amongst a long history of lawmakers and political leaders who have spoken at the club in recent years, including ben carson, john kasich and donald trump. and since you've endorsed jeb bush, i would like to note he's not spoken at the club. and we would welcome him if you'd inform him of that and his brother if he would like to come, maybe together. we'll continue to invite public policy leaders like yourself to speak at the national press club as we fulfill our role as the place where news happens. thanks, again, for being here. i have to attend to some other matters. but i'll leave you in the capable hands of bob weiner. thank you, bob.
>> thank you, tommy. >> thank you, congressman. >> so, hello, again, house republican policy member luke messer is going to be discussing governing issues in the election of 2016. what should, what can, what can't pass and why in the election year and what that environment presents as challenges and opportunities. so congressman messer's opening statement is about 25 minutes will be followed by questions and answers in this one-hour event from credentialed media and club members. and please, identify yourselves. elizabeth burke will be holding this microphone. and she will give it to you so you can ask questions into the mike and that way the media has better quality in terms of its questions and answers. congressman messer is the
congressman for indiana's sixth congressional district, a large 19-county region. he was elected to congress in 2012 and established himself as an emerging leader. in the first term, he was elected president of the freshman class by his peers. in his second term, he was elected house republican policy chair. he also serves on the house financial services and house education workforce committees where he leads issues ranging from k-12 education to banking reform. he is chair of the school choice caucus. prior to congress, congressman messer served as an indiana state legislator, led a not for profit as president and ceo and was partner in two law firms. he graduated from wabash college and earned his law degree from vanderbilt university where he served on the law review. he and his wife jennifer, who is here today, jennifer? there you go. they are the parents of two daughters, one son, some of those are here, right? who's here? okay. and he likes to add, i assume
both of you like to add two dogs. and what are their names? >> karlie and moose. >> okay. and -- okay. and luke and his wife are also the author and illustrator of a children's book about indiana entitled hoosier heart. an ex-middle linebacker, he remains a youth sports coach. the policy chair event as tommy, president tommy burke said, is part of governing on major issues. in addition, tomorrow, three national leading speakers will be addressing at 10:00 a.m. in this very same room at the national press club. the polarized politics of autism. we wanted to make sure everyone is aware of that. i'd like to do some introductions. first, the chairman of the news makers committee. and thanks for your support on
all of the news makers committee does. national press club interns and policy analysts, elizabeth burke if you could raise your hand, you'll be holding the mike, again. and also our on-site intern coordinator ben laskey. national press club staff was outside the door, richard burg, he's in the back corner. raise your hand, thank you. and i want to introduce my wife, dr. patricia berg who i say has a real job as the director of breast cancer lab at george washington medical center. so, pat, thanks for all you do to help human kind. and i want to introduce liz hill. where are you? in the back corner? which is where all we staffers always are. and thanks for all of your help in making this event happen, liz.
we will now have congressman messer give his opening comments. >> well, thank you, bob. thanks for the opportunity to be here today as bob mentioned, i'm congressman luke messer, and i'm chair of the house republican policy committee. i want to thank, not only bob weiner, the news maker's coordinator, tommy burr, the president of the club who you just heard from and jamie horowitz, the chair of the news makers committee for inviting me today. and i want to thank everybody who is here today for braving, braving the weather and the rain to find your way here to the club. as bob mentioned, i was asked to speak today on governing during
the 2016 election year and i'm excited to have that opportunity. but first, i wanted to start with a quick word about the unfortunate passing of supreme court justice scalia over the weekend. judge scalia was a brilliant jurist, a dedicated constitutionalist, and with a unique sense of humor and a knack for vivid language that made him a favorite of the conservative movement. his wisdom will, no doubt, continue to touch this country for years. i did not know judge scalia well. i only really had an opportunity to speak with him at length once. but when i did, my lasting memory was this conservative fire brand was such a gentle man, a gentleman, a person of clear faith, who treated everyone he met with dignity and
respect. judge scalia could be harsh in his opinions. but by his own admission, his favorite -- his favorite friend on the court was liberal jurist ruth bader ginsberg. and regarding the importance of civility, judge scalia famously said, i don't attack ideas. pardon me, famously, i don't attack people, i attack ideas. there's some very good people with some very bad ideas. and if you can't separate the two, you ought to get a new day job. so in the coming days is we celebrate judge scalia's brilliance, and his commitment to principle. i hope we'll also celebrate his civility. this town could use a big dose of both. now, turning to governing in 2016. new blood has rushed into the house over the last five years.
more than 150 of the 246 members of the house republican conference have been elected since 2010. in the senate, more than half, 29 of 54 republicans are in their first term. and it's a bipartisan trend all combined nearly half of both chambers have been elected in the last six years. and clearly, this turnover has changed the institution. and even though speaker paul ryan has been around a little while, he is uniquely qualified to lead this group. and many ways, paul ryan is the intellectual hero of this new movement. he fathered the responsible budget positions that were the inspiration for those who built these new majorities by running in 2010 and beyond. this is not my first time being a part of this kind of revolution. in fact, i was part of governor
daniel's sweep in indiana in 2004. governor daniels was a bold, transformative conservative leader. the kind of leader that you knew you'd better be ready to keep up with. and on the first day of the first session of the 2005 indiana general assembly, i told my colleagues a story that then i later repeated a year ago as the new republican policy chair when i spoke to our joint house senate conference that we put together in hershey. it's one of the best stories on leadership i know. it's a story i've heard attributed to yogi berra showed up as the manager of the new york yankees in the 1980s. in those days steinbrener was known as being a captain hook, four managers in one year. so when you came in to be the new manager, you knew it was going to be a tough job. he'd been left two envelopes by his predecessor. one to use in the time for the
first crisis and a second for the second crisis. so they got in the middle of the year and they lost ten games in a row. and in those days, it might be enough to be gone. so he hated to do it, but he had to open the first envelope. so he opened the first envelope and it said, blame me, the prior manager. so that's what he did. he called a press conference. and he said, hey, they left me no talent. these guys don't have much fundamentals. hang in here with me and we'll try to get through it. and for a while, they did. they started winning games, got into september. but then, they lost and became mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. and he hated to do it, but he had to open the second envelope. and he opened that envelope and it said, prepare two envelopes. i think it's such an important lesson that you can only blame your predecessor for so long. eventually, you've got to start delivering results. now, a little about my
background. i was born and raised in greensburg, indiana, by a single parent mom who recently retired from the delta faucet factory. i represent my hometown and 19 rural counties and east central and southeastern indiana. i've been married to my wife jennifer for almost 15 years. we, actually, met on a blind date. we've been together ever since. we have three great kids, eva who is with us here today, and their ages are 12, 11 and 8. two boys and one girl. two girls and one boy. forgive me, two girls and one boy. that's important to get that one right for everybody at home. two girls and one boy. you know, like most american families, our weekends and evenings are occupied with homework, school music concerts, ball practices and sports games. we're hoosiers so we like basketball. and to brag a little, last
weekend, our kids scored six points, ten points and 20 points in their three games respectively. and they're also all doing great in school. a few weeks back at the state of the union address, it was a particularly special time for me because my daughter eva was actually my date. and, of course, i also knew, for certain, that it would be president obama's last state of the union address. those experiences form who i am as a leader. when i approach the challenges that we face as the country, i think from the perspective of a kid who was raised in middle america by a single mom on a factory worker's salary. and, from the perspective of a husband and a father who loves his kids and wants them to grow up in a country full of opportunity. and now, i'm house republican policy chair. so far, i've been incredibly
impressed with speaker paul ryan's leadership. i agree with paul 100%. that we must reinvent ourself as a party of ideas. as paul likes to say, we have to become a party of proposition not just opposition. i'm excited by the environment of policy entrepreneurship that paul's trying to create in our chamber. this approach will be better for our conference, and for our party. and frankly, most importantly, it'll be better for the american people. so where do we start? from my perspective, there are two defining challenges facing america. first, we must win the war on terror. whether we like it, or not, we are now locked in a battle of good and evil against islamic extremists who want to destroy our way of life.
this is the cold war of our time. and as british prime minister tony blair has said, we have to be both wise enough to understand the true breadth and depth of the challenge we face and brave enough to build the intelligence, military and political capabilities necessary to defeat it. the second major challenge, shrinking paychecks. and that's where i want to focus my remarks today. the left speaks a lot about income inequality. but wage stagnation for middle income workers is the driver causing the collapse of the american dream. and i also believe it's driving the angst that you're seeing in the american electorate. now, don't get me wrong,
american life has improved a lot over the last 50 years. we have hundreds of channels on cable tv where in the 1960s, you only had 12. your cell phone that you carry around now provides more information than there was in a public library when i grew up. cars and consumer products are safer, the environment is cleaner, major medical devices keep us all alive and healthier. but when it comes to economic security, for low and middle-income workers, we flat lined. in fact, paychecks for most workers have frozen over the last 30 years. according to the bureau of labor statistics, since 1964, purchasing power for the average american worker in 2014, real dollars, increased by 84 cents, 84 cents over 50 years.
i applaud efforts by speaker paul ryan and others to address poverty. paul is right. the old approaches are not working. we've been fighting poverty for over 50 years. and trillions of dollars later, poverty is winning the war. we should seek ways to better lift folks out of poverty. but with all due respect, where i live, out in the middle of america, middle class workers are worried about falling into poverty. and they want to know, what's our agenda for them? people in the middle of rural indiana used to live under the premise that they may not retire and go to the beach, but they could, at least, buy a boat and drive the lake for the day and come home. now, they worry that they may never get to retire and they're worried that their kids and grand kids may never have a
chance to live the american dream. a year ago, no one would've believed that a reality tv star and an announced socialist would be the presidential candidates leading in polls across our country. like it, or not, the american people were sending us a message. it all reminds me of a 1980s sports book. in the middle of the year, darrell thomas, the hoosiers' power forward complained because coach knight was yelling at him. and one of the assistant coaches told darrell and more or less a quote, darrell, sometimes you got to listen to the wisdom of what coach knight says to you and ignore how he says it. today, establishment washington may not like how the american people are sending us a message. but the message is clear. the american people don't like
the product that they've been receiving from their leaders in washington. wages have flat lined over 50 years, folks want opportunity, they want their borders protected. they want their kids and grand kids to grow up in an america they know is safe. to me, it seems pretty simple. the american people want their leaders to focus on them. their hopes and dreams. several of the presidential candidates are channeling this anger. but frankly, anger is not a strategy. ultimately, we need solutions to the challenges of our day, keeping working people out of poverty. no american, no american should work a 40-hour workweek and live in poverty. so how do we do that? well, let's start with the third rail of politics. america's most successful antipoverty program, social security and medicare.
i make no apologies for working to protect and preserve social security and medicare. these programs are vital to keeping middle and lower income class americans out of poverty. if these programs collapse, the social construct of the last 50 years will collapse with it. and we can't let that happen. fixing these programs will be a heavy lift. but frankly, the american people are far ahead of their leaders on this topic. but entitlement reform is really just the beginning. washington has a long way to go to recognize today's economic angst and reconnect with the american people. and the spirit of paul ryan's culture of policy entrepreneurship, i offer five modest ideas that would help make that happen. first, school choice. i serve on the house education
workforce committee and recently helped lead an all too rare committee hearing on school choice options. simply put, this is the civil rights issue of our time. school choice gets to the very essence of the american idea that we are all endowed by our creator with the god-given right to pursue happiness and live the american dream. and that starts with a high-quality education. we should not rest as a nation until every child in america has an opportunity to go to a great school. we can take existing federal dollars and empower parents to decide how best to use them. and by the way, from my conservative friends, empowering parents is an unassailable way
to restore local control of our schools. next idea, something i want to call the rights act. here's the premise, republicans have long talked about the act. it's a macroeconomic policy that says if a regulation has more than $100 million impact on the american economy that congress should have to approve those regulations before they have the effect of law. it's great policy and something i support. it's actually authored by my colleague paul young in the house. but the people i talk to in middle class america are not focused on the macroeconomic implications of policy. instead, they're worried about what happens when the federal government shows up on their doorstep to close their business, trample their freedom or otherwise take a wrecking ball to their life. times have changed. this is not your grandfather's federal government.
constitutional lawyer jonathan turley recently pointed out that a u.s. citizen is ten times more likely to be tried by a federal agency than by an actual court. in a given year, federal judges conduct roughly 95,000 proceedings including trials, while remarkably, federal agencies complete more than 939,000 proceedings. these agency proceedings are often mockeries of due process with one-sided presumptions and procedural rules that favor the agency. and my idea is really pretty simple. every american should have the same rights in a federal government bureaucracy proceeding that they have in federal court. the right to council. the right discovery of evidence against you. and the right to not self-incriminate.
third idea, expand use of the earned income tax credit. it's a far better way to help low-wage earners than hiking the minimum wage. despite some of the heated rhetoric on the left, minimum wage hikes reduce opportunity and they eliminate jobs. the nonpartisan congressional budget office estimated that president obama's proposed $10.10 wage hike once fully implemented would, and i quote, reduce total employment by 500,000 workers. cutting jobs is no way to help low-wage workers. instead, let's expand the earned income tax credit and incentivize work by releasing the eitc in every paycheck as opposed to a once a year lump sum. we should also consider expanding that tax credit to childless workers. both policies may cost money.
but work is a blessing and encouraging work makes a whole lot more sense for the future of this country than wage mandates that end up cutting jobs. fourth idea, allow every american to pay for their health care with pre-tax dollars. for policy reasons rooted in world war ii era, wage and price controls, we don't tax employer-provided health care. . .