>>I think people believe the system has left them.
I believe they think the corporations have bought them
out. They’re actually working for the
people who have rigged the system.
Really what we’re doing is trying to just make democracy
work by pushing power down to the people.
>>California voters are getting a chance to do what California
lawmakers failed to do. >>It got a lot of support at
the polls. >>The company sponsored a new
ballot initiative to halt California’s new law.
>>I was born in 1957. I grew up right in the middle of
the civil rights revolution and the Vietnam war.
The underlying justice in America was coming under attack.
My father graduated from YALE law school.
He went into the Navy because of Pear will Harbour.
I believe he thought of being in the service as, you have your
duty, you do it. My parents were very
uncompromising about doing the right thing.
>>They’re worth an estimated billion and a half dollars.
They’ve pledged to give half of their fortune to charity.
>>We signed the giving pledge which is a promise to give away
half of your wealth while you’re alive to good causes.
We have a society that’s very unequal.
And it’s really important for people to understand that this
society is connected. If this is a Ba inn a inn aRepub
will I-c with very few people living, that’s a problem.
Some say corporations aren’t people and therefore they have
all the rights in the constitution given to people.
Obviously corporations don’t have hearts or souls or futures.
They don’t have children. They have a short timeframe and
they really care about just making money.
If you give them the unlimited ability to participate in
politics, it will skew everything because they only
care about profits. You know, you look at climate
change. That is people who are saying,
we’d rather make money than save the world.
That’s an amazing statement and it’s happening today.
And there are politicians supporting that.
I mean, I think 82,000 people died last year of drug
overdoses. If you think about the drug
companies, the banks, screwing people on their mortgages, it’s
thousands of people doing what they’re paid to do. At the back of it, you see a big
money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is
really important to their bottom line.
Americans are deeply disappointed and hurt by the way
they’re treated by what they think is the power elite in
Washington, D.C. and that goes across party lines
and geography. You have to take the corporate
control out of our politics. All these issues go away when
you take away the paid opposition to corporations who
make trillions of extra dollars by controlling our political
system. What do we care about?
We care about improving the world and handing it off to the
next generation in ways they can lead better lives than we have
in a way that’s more safe and prosperous and beautiful and
more creative. And if we don’t do those two
things, then shame on us. If you think there is something
absolutely critical, try everything you can and let the
chips fall where they may. And that’s exactly what I’m
doing. My name is Tom Steyer.
I’m running for President. [ music ] >>>Hi.
I’m Aaron Burgess. I’m his climate director.
Tom has a strong record of holding corporations
accountable. In 2012, tom helped design,
finances, and win an initiative that closed a tax loophole in
California. Schools received $1.7 billion
for energy upgrades which reduced utility costs and
greenhouse gas emissions. And the new projects helped over
19,000 jobs. Imagine what we could have
accomplished if corporate power was checked at the national
level. If you believe we need a
President that takes the climate crisis seriously, join us at
TOMSTEYER.com. >>Human activities are the only
factors that can account for global warming over the last
century. >>Massive amounts of water —
>>There’s nothing we can’t achieve.
The right to health care, the right to free educate from preK
through college, the right to a living wage, the right to clean
air and clean water. When the people are in power,
our future is brighter than anyone in this audience can
imagine. [ music ]
>>Human activities are the only factors that can account for the
observed warming over the last century.
>>Massive amounts of water rushing by —
>>As you can see, this is absolutely devastating.
>>Catastrophic fires burn. >>Completely underwater.
>>President Donald Trump isn’t convinced by it.
>>I don’t believe it. No. >>We can’t continue to deny
science and roll back this. We must treat the climate crisis
with the urgency it demands. That’s why on day one of my
presidency, I will declare the climate crisis a national
emergency. I’m prepared to use the
emergency powers of the executive office to protect
Americans from the health, safety, and security dangers we
face. A better and a safer future is
possible if we act now. We will boost local economies.
We will support diverse businesses and we will create
millions of good jobs while we ensure justice and protect the
planet. Welcome, everybody!
Welcome to Oakland, California, for folks that are in person and
welcome to folks who are participating online.
I’m a local girl from Oakland, California.
[ CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ] I’m just really proud because we’re
in the historic ballroom and my family actually worked in a
sweatshop when I was growing up a few blocks away from here.
And I’ve been here ever since and we now have kids raised in Fru I-tva will e,
California. — fruitVALE, California.
We’re projected to live less than others just miles away.
Because of the toxins in our air and water and community.
So I’m really proud to be having Tom Steyer join us in just a few
minutes to talk about how he’s going to help us move forward by
having a strong plan as President of the to tackle
climate change and to build up our economy.
So please welcome Tom Steyer! [ CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ] Am I that side?
[ CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ] Hi! Hey, guys! I’m so excited to
have you here in my hometown in Oakland here.
For those that don’t know you — because I’ve known for years
now. Tell us who is Tom Steyer and
what made you decide this is the time? I should point out that my
partner in crime, Kat Taylor is sitting in the front row right
next to our oldest son, Stan. Let me say this.
I started a business from scratch in 1986 from basically
nothing to an international business.
And along the way, I started to see that although business did a
lot of things well, we were creating problems,
unintended problems, for the rest of society.
And in particular, I could see this happening in terms of
pollution, in terms of the environment and in terms of
climate. So Kat and I took the pledge.
We divested from all fossil fuels and I started to build
coalitions of ordinary citizens to take on corporations when
they had unchecked power and I thought they were acting against
the interests of normal citizens.
And let me say, this is not — that may seem a strange thing
for somebody who’s a professional investor to do a
business person. But if you know my family —
both the one I grew up in and the one I have now — you’d
understand that it’s not weird. My mom was a — started as a
journalist. She taught in the New York
public schools and the Brooklyn house of detention.
My dad was a lawyer. He and his brother and sister
were the first generation of their family to go to college.
He was a lawyer. He interrupted his law practice
to go in the Navy in World War II and he prosecuted the snazzies in NURENBURG.
They believed it was every citizen’s responsibility to
participate in their society and do what’s right for the United
States of America. And let me say this.
My partner in all things, Katherine Taylor,
has been doing this since long before I knew her.
And she owns a bank about a quarter mile from here in
Oakland that’s dedicated in economic justice, sustainable,
women and minority owned businesses.
So I’m running for President because I believe these
corporations have bought the democracy that they have that
basically we have a completely broken government and the only
way we get the things that we want is by breaking their
stranglehold. That we have to get back to
government of by and for the people.
And I — I really started on this through climate.
Oil and gas companies are the perfect example of companies
that have bought the government for their bottom line and
they’re willing to risk the method and safety of every
single American alive today and every American that will ever
live so they can make a bit more money for a number of years.
And we started beating them — I mean, we’re in Oakland,
California. We started beating them in 20102010 when we had a
campaign against oil companies. They were trying to roll back
oil laws in the world. They said they could never be
beaten, they have infinite money.
The last environmentalist versus business fight was years before
that. Someone spend $72 million of
their own money and got creamed by the oil companies.
No one wanted to run this campaign.
We ran it completely differently.
We got 70% of the vote. I’ve been taking on the
companies in climate but in other things as well.
The tobacco companies, utilities.
If you guys remember in 2012, I ran a campaign to close a
corporate tax loophole for a billion dollars, fix public
schools from an energy standpoint and be able to
averred more books, more teachers, put the money in the
hands of schools. So I view this campaign of a
complete continuation of what I’ve been doing for ten years as
an outsider in government, which is trying to organize the people
in this room and the people across this country to take on
these corporations and get back our government because until we
do that, I don’t believe we’re getting anything.
I don’t believe we’re getting the health care we deserve for
everybody. I don’t believe we’re getting
the education from pre-K through skills training and college
education. And we can do that — that’s why
I’m running for President. And climate is the most urgent
part of this and it’s also the poster child for what we have to
do, for what they’ve done for us and what we have to do to get
back our government. >>I want to pick up on that.
I want to pick up on that because I’ve known you for over
ten years and in the work that you’ve been doing, you’ve always
walked the talk. And we’re kind of done with a
lot of politicians, career politicians who have just been
talking and talking and you have been about action.
So can you talk a little bit about — share with us your
solutions and actions on day one.
>>So on day one, I would declare a climate emergency. We’ve waited —
>>Halleluiah. >>We’ve waited 28 years for the
Congress of the United States to do something and they haven’t
done anything. Now, I will say — I think
officially I’m going to give them 100 days to pass some
version of the green new deal. But actually I’m going to
declare a climate emergency. And what’s that really mean?
It means we can set standards and regulations.
It means we can say we’re going to have all clean generation by
2040. It means we’re going to have
building standards for net neutral buildings by 2030.
It means we can set standards for new car sales, all clean by
2030. We can set rules.
We can also undo what trump has been doing.
No drilling on public lands. We’d get — I’d make sure we get
rid of these permits for these pipelines.
There is no reason at this point to build a fossil fuel
infrastructure. It’s insane!
We would do all the things on day one to get it in — to get
this going. And the reason we’d be doing
that is because; A, it’s the right thing to do and it’s
necessary. But B, this is a global problem.
The only way we solve this is if a coalition of countries around
the world decides to solve it together.
And that’s never going to happen without American leadership.
It is never going to happen. So if you think about us, how
are we gonna go to the other people of the world?
How are we going to go to India? How are we going to go to china?
How are we going to go to countries that are much poorer
than we are and ask them to join a coalition to save the world
from this climate crisis if we don’t have our house in order?
[ APPLAUSE ] I mean, we’re already going to them and asking
them to forget Donald Trump ever existed.
Like, let’s just pretend that didn’t happen.
Okay? Can we agree to that?
But then, we have to be credible.
We have to go to people and offer them something better.
And that’s going to include technology.
That’s going to include finances.
That’s going to include the partnership of the United States
of America. That’s the leadership we need.
And how do we go to them if we don’t have our house in order?
How do we go to them and say, we want you to solve the problem
for us? As opposed to us just solve the
problem together? It’ll never work in a million
years. So this has to be the way that
we re-establish who the United States of America is in the
world, who we are, what we stand for, a value driven society
leading the world towards good things that makes us all better. Uh-huh, absolutely.
I like the sound of that. I, of course, like the sound of
that. As I mentioned, my 6-year-old
twin boys live just a few miles away from here.
And because of where we live and the pollution we’re telling
with, they’re projected to live 12 years less.
Now, we’re also seeing really scary images from the Bahamas.
We’re seeing families terrified in Florida right now.
So we know the gravity and seriousness of the emergency
we’re dealing with. But a lot of people, when they
look out the windows, they don’t see a storm.
They see a broken educational system.
They see a broken health care system.
They see a need for us to really create good jobs.
How would you explain to them the importance of climate
change? So, starting in 2010, we talked
about this completely differently and we talked to a
completely different group of people than traditional
environmentalists. What we said was, we don’t want
to fit in people in the communities where companies have
focused their pollution. We want to start with those
communities. So those are the communities
where companies have placed their dirtiest plants.
Those are the places where the roads go by and the trucks make
the air bad, where there are really bad asthma rates.
We want to start with those communities and have them be
leaders. That’s what environmental change
is about. Viena was talking about the place she lives.
Where there are shorter life expectancies because companies
think they can get away with. We need to figure out the policy
because actually that’s how you get the best policy.
And it’s also how you get the coalition that you need in order
to push it through. So when people say to me, how do
I think about this? We’re talking about in the plan
that I’m putting forward, creating 46 million jobs over
ten years. That is — and those have got to
be good-paying, living wage, organized labor jobs, around the
whole country. But — so that is a huge fact
because that is gonna imply education and training.
You know, we’re gonna have — there are a whole bunch of
people that are going to have to be trained to do those jobs and
it’s going to change their lives forever.
This is a gigantic change.
>>It was so powerful his MIC went off.
>>Is it back on, you guys? Not yet.
This is real life. This is what happens.
And while we’re doing that, for folks watching online, a
reminder, please ask your questions with the hashtag tom
on climate Viene was great.
We have millions of people on asthma.
For us to do this, this is not a narrow climate program.
That’s going to cut across everything.
It’s going to cut across jobs. It’s going to cut across health.
The it’s going to cut across training.
We are going to have to rebuild the United States of America.
Literally! In a much better way!
And so that is going to give us an opportunity for every
American really to be trained in a new way for a new job.
And we’re gonna make sure one of the things that my plan is —
we’re a grassroots, environmental justice plan.
This isn’t new for us. I didn’t just meet Viene.
We met ten years ago. We’ve been doing this for ten
years. For ten years, we’ve been going
to these communities and trying to make sure that every piece of
legislation, every proposition starts with the communities
where the pollution is focused and that the people from those
communities are leaders, that they’re not along for the ride,
that they’re out front. And if you look at from where we
redid cap and trade in California in 2017, there was an
attendant bill that made sure that the money from cap and
trade disproportionately went to the communities that had been
disadvantaged by pollution over the years.
And that was an absolutely critical part of that
legislation. And the people that led that
legislation in California came from the poorest legislative
districts in the state. They are the people that pushed
the legislation and made it happen. >>Just a followup on that —
>>And just to be clear, Viene is probably the leader in changing in the
country. >>We spent $1.5 billion since
2013 and not money from taxpayers.
Money from big polluters, yes. So you said some really good
stuff earlier. Jobs, investments, economy.
But a lot of folks say the green new deal is a jobs killer.
So prove it. How are you going to show us
that there are going to be jobs? So the traditional lie that is
sold is, sure, it’s great to breathe.
We like to breathe. >>But we did that five years
ago. Had a big press conference.
We’re in the New York times. There is no Republican that
listened to that. They for sure will come back and
make the argument that we can either have a healthy
environment or we can create jobs.
To create jobs, we need a healthy environment.
>>Uh-huh. >>And honestfully, I would love
to take them on. This President is incompetent.
People love to talk about the fact — and it’s true — that
he’s immoral. But when we are talking about
the environment and when we’re talking about the economy
specifically, he’s incompetent. He’s a fraud.
He’s a failed businessman. He’s a failed President
economically. He sit there is and runs his
mouth but he actually doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
And I’d love to have this conversation because we went
into this in depth five years ago and the case is much
stronger now. >>We now have questions coming
in from online. We now have our first question
from video. >>Hi, I’m a 17-year-old climate
adjustment activist. I am currently living in New
York City. My question is: What are you
going to do on your first day of your presidency to ensure that
youth across all sectors of society have a livable future in
light of the climate crisis? So that is a profound question
for young people but also for every citizen of the United
States of America. What are we going to do on day
one to make sure we have a livable future?
And that’s why I said, declare a climate emergency on day one.
First of all, we don’t have anymore time to waste so that we
have to get going. But it’s also a statement about
This, from my standpoint, this is job one for the United States
of America with me as President. We’re going to — on day one,
making that statement is a question about what is the most
important thing we all have to do together; how is it going to
pay off for everyone in this society, particularly people in
low income communities and communities of color.
And so when I listen to that, the answer is, we can do this.
I’m a businessperson. I can take you through all the
numbers on costs. This will be cheaper for us than
continuing the way we’re continuing. We can do this and be richer for
it and create more jobs. But the other is, we must do
this. If you take a look at what’s
happening on the other side of the United States of America in
the Atlantic. If you look at the hurricane
that just landed on the grand Bahama island, that is our
future. In fact, that’s not a bad part
of our future. That’s just our future.
It gets worse than this. If you see a category 5
hurricane devastating that island and now it’s a category 2
hurricane, we have to recognize that not only can we do this and
will it make us better off and healthier and create more jobs
and give people a chance to really raise their lives?
We have to do it. We absolutely have to show up
and make this happen. And as a person, I assure you,
I’ve looked at the numbers. If you want me to, I can go into
details about costs of all these things.
This is the kind of innovation and creativity that California
is famous for, that America is famous for.
And it’s necessary. And we can do this and we’re
going to do this, as a matter of fact Let’s turn to our
N question. Do we have one on social?
From John in California, how important is environmental
justice for low income and minority communities? First of all, it’s justice.
But it goes across so many things.
People tend to think of environmental justice as just
clean air and clean water. Let’s talk about those for a
second. It’s not just the air pollution that Viene was talking about.
If you go down California from Fresno south, you see
communities with unsafe drinking water.
A million people in California drink water that doesn’t come
close to the specifications of being safe.
Those are communities of color. So start with health.
And let me say this; how important is it if you want to
see who cares about these issues, it is not what the
people in the press expect. The number one group in the
United States that cares about the environment, that cares
about pollution, that cares about energy is Latinos.
Number — yeah! Number two group is African
Americans. And the number three group is
Asian Americans. So when you want to know how big
it is, they are the people that show up and say, we really care
about this. But more than that, when we’re
talking about what we’re going to try and do here, this is a
gigantic change in the economy of the United States.
We haven’t had wages stay up for working people for 40 years.
We have two generations of no increase in wages for the vast
bulk of Americans. This is a chance for us to
change that. This is a chance for us to
rebuild America with jobs that people can live on, holding one
job. I was in Cleveland which has
some very depressed parts of it, talking to African American
ministers I think in 2015. And we started to talk about
jobs and you could see, that was a place where people knew we
need the training, we need a chance for people to change
their lives and re-establish themselves and those ministers
are like, if you can really do this, we will get 100% behind
you. This is the kind of thing our
community desperately needs. >>Absolutely.
Well, let’s take another question.
Do we have anyone that wants to ask a question in this room?
>>Yes, please. >>I saw the firsthand get
raised back there. Yes.
Do we have a mic ready to go? At any rate, your climate
program actually is a real bona fide trickle down economy.
>>Trickled down? >>You know how they have always
B.S.-ed us. You’re saying that working on
climate change is going to be a real trickle down economy where
it affects all people at all levels? Yes.
Let me say this. From the very first time I’ve
worked on this, I believe believe — I would describe it
as a trickle up. That, in fact, we’re going to be
at the grassroots. Part of this program is to get
leadership and ideas from communities.
It’s an absolute critical part. When people ask me why this plan
is different, I’d say, one, declare an emergency on day one.
Two, this is a ground up plan. We’re going to go to communities
and ask them what they — how they want to do this.
One of the things that’s true is we’re going — for the people
who work in fossil fuel communities, we’re going to ask
them how they want that money spent. Trickle down is people that say,
A, I’m smarter than you and I’ll tell you what we’re going to do.
This is trickle up. We’re ask people at the bottom
how is this going to work for your community in the way you
want? That’s the second thing.
But also everything we’ve done in this has been done starting
at grassroots to get the wisdom of people about their lives.
People know more about their lives than anyone else does.
So if you listen to them and take their wisdom, you get a
program that actually solves problems.
And if you don’t do that, then you’re basically coming to them
and saying, I know more than you do.
But also, trickle down tends to — it hasn’t trickled down.
For 40 years, we’ve been hearing from Republicans that the growth
is going to trickle down. After 40 years, I think we
should start saying, we’ve run the experiment.
It failed. Now we’re going to do the
opposite and see if that works. Because I know you, I’m going to
brag on you a little bit. What you’re saying, you’ve
already done! In California, we have the
transformative climate community that is came from AB32 as using
a little bit of public money. It’s rev Rejing against private
capital and it’s allowing the community to create a plan
that’s supported by the public and by different levels of
financing. So I just want to say — brag on
you a little bit because you’ve already done this.
You’ve already proven the model >>Well, it’s funny because in
2010, we were working on that campaign that got 70% of the
vote. The exact same argument that’s
taking place in Washington, D.C., and they never even
brought it to a vote in the senate.
They had a completely different plan.
They were doing top down. Nobody understood in the United
States of America what a cap and trade system was.
They had no community support or community understanding or even
community involvement. This is something where we’ve
beaten the corporations repeatedly.
I went after them not only in California but in Arizona,
Michigan, and Nevada. We wanted to go to purple states
and prove that we can win on energy clean energy around this
country and we can. And that’s what we know.
>>So let’s bring in — yes. Absolutely.
Let’s bring in other voices. Do we have one on social?
I want to make sure that we’re giving folks space to do that.
>>Hey, tom. My name is Frida.
I help low income individuals how to cook and source healthy
food. The climate crisis is
contributing to that exponentially.
As we approach 1.5 degrees Celsius, tens of thousands of
lives would be affected by food. But yet the way we grow and
distribute food on a large scale is affecting global warming.
So how would you attack the issue?
>>So part of our plan is to turn from an extractive economy
to a regenerative economy. And we know that there are
better ways to do agriculture that are more productive but
will also restore the soils, that are much more thoughtful
about water and also can sequester large amounts
of moisture in the ground. Kat Taylor has been running one
of these experiments about an hour from here on a cattle farm
to show you can raise animals that actually sequesters carbon
in the soil where you produce healthy food but in a way that
restores the soil in many ways and reduces the carbon in the
atmosphere. So we know — that’s 15 years.
That is 15 years of talking about, what does it actually
take in the real world to do regenerative agriculture.
Because if you look at our food system and you look at the
health of Americans, you look at the water runoff and the health
problems we have from the runoff of fertilizers and pesticides
and you look at how people are eating and the kind of food
we’re eating and what’s that doing to our health, we know we
have to make a change here and get to a more healthy planet and
more healthy Americans. So this is going to be — this
is not news. We have been doing this for 15
years. We know we can do this in a way
that will make farmers richer. Farmers take home a very small
part of the money that you pay in the grocery store for
tomatoes or sweet corn or meat and that’s got to change, too.
>>Absolutely, yes. I see a question here.
Can we get a mic over here? Here we go.
>>Tom, I’m really impressed with what you’re seeing.
And I’m pleased to hear someone who is actually talking about
the right ideas. But I would like to know as we
talk about environmental justice, as we talk about
climate justice, how — what is your plan for actually creating
the business leadership within the communities of color and
supports this idea of environmental justice from the
point of view from the health of the whole economy.
How are you developing a plan that will engage our communities
and actually getting the benefits that come from
providing a leadership that we know we need.
>>Okay. So that is a great question. We know we’ve always gone to
those communities for thought and design for the program and
make sure the program works for the community.
But more broadly, how are we going to make sure that those
communities have their own businesses that they run and so
that they actually get the kind of progress internally that
brings them up to standard with the rest of the country.
So let me just tell you a story about that.
I would say 15 years ago, Kat Taylor and I started a community
bank really near here. And our point was to make sure
that there were women and minority owned businesses in the
community, to make sure that the banking system didn’t overlook
the needs of the people in those communities so they actually
could own their own businesses and run their own businesses and
prosper. I think it has to be
cuppeddalled with a program to make sure the education and
money and support is there so we specifically make sure that the
people get a chance in those communities have the
capability to live up to those capabilities capabilities.
And I look at the bank that Kat’s running and until recently
I was the chair of and say, that is the model for what we’re
trying to do, a bank that has a triple bottom line that
includes, we need to make enough money to please the federal
deposit federation companies to ensure our deposits.
Then we need to make sure we’re pushing for economic justices in
the community and we measure it and we need to make sure that
we’re pushing for environmental sustainable and we measure that
too. This is an attitude for what
we’re trying to do in communities to make sure people
have the opportunity to live up to their capabilities.
>>I want to make sure we take a question from social.
Timothy asks: What did you learn as a fund manager about
what it means to take on corporate power?
>>So that’s a funny question. Let me say this, Timothy.
I learned to be skeptical. My attitude on this is, I believe that the people
that run corporations have a legal obligation to maximize the
profit for their shareholders. Wasn’t always true.
The law actually changed in the mid-80s.
But when a corporate President or corporate C.E.O. or director
tells me they’re really interested in the community, I’m
wildly skeptical. And I’ll believe it when I see
it. My attitude is, the rules and
laws of the United States should be on behalf of the people of
the United States, not the corporations of the United
States. And when they explain that what
they’re doing is really in our interest, I don’t believe this.
And for me, this is a story that drove this home in a way that
was stocky. I was one of the people that
pushed really hard in allowing the keystone pipeline.
I thought it was strategically a terrible thing for the world,
for the United States, and it would be devastating for us to
allow that pipeline to be built. But I also thought since I live
in northern California, that I should go and look at it and
visit the place because I was talking about it all the time.
I thought I should see what it looked like.
And it looks like the mountains of the moon, just so you know.
But I was staying with the first nation’s chief.
And he lived nearby. And he was a construction — he
was 40-ish construction worker. But he was responsible for about
a 2500-person tribe. And he was fighting the oil
companies because they had become a cancer cluster.
Because the oil companies were dumping all the sludge into the
water and the people in his tribe were hunted and fished and
drank water and all of that was polluted by the chemicals that
were going into the water supply.
So it’s a huge cancer cluster. Never had been before.
He had access to about half a lawyer.
These companies had about 40 lawyers.
Every now and then, they would say, okay, we will build you a
new gymnasium. We will build you a new
community center. But basically he just kept
losing in court. He didn’t have the fire power to
really fight them. Lead lawyer who had been
fighting him for 20 years, the guy leading the negotiations and
just beating the heck out of this guy and watching it after
20 years, the guy retires on Friday.
Calls up the chief on Monday and said, never stop fighting.
You are the only thing between your tribe and extinction.
So my point is, for 20 years, he took the money and did his job.
And his job was to make sure that they hit extinction.
And he knew the whole time that what the truth was and he felt
bad about it. But he did his job.
And that’s my point. It’s like, okay, I don’t say
you’re a bad person but you’re taking the money and doing the
job. And as far as I’m concerned, the
laws have got to be protecting the first nation’s people.
That’s period. And there’s no compromise on
that. You know, right now, there’s a
fight about Lyft and uber because they’re paying people 5
1/2 dollars an hour in a gig economy.
And I’m sure they’re gonna say, you know, we can’t be profitable
unless we pay them 5 1/2 dollars an hour.
Imagine this, I don’t care if you’re profitable!
I don’t care. That is the argument for
plantations and savory. I can’t be profitable without
slaves. I don’t care! >>Well, we have another
question coming in. >>You’re truly a spiritual
bomb. Ingenuity and spirit so the
whole world will hear it. I provided your son an action
plan based on prophecy, requiring all hands on deck that
sets the earth and children free and Robert Redford agrees that
climate should be paramount but also central to the prophecy and
him being set free sets us all free and we as important as tom
have the power to shut down this corruption by not participating.
Einstein said — >>Thank you, sir.
I really appreciate that. We do have other — we’re
running out of time. So we’re going to —
tomsteyer.com if you want to engage.
>>Listen. We are — when I think about
this system, we have to break this corporate stranglehold.
They are writing laws that are in their interests and against
the interests of the people of the United States.
And they’re absolutely against the constitution.
And until we break that, literally they’re willing to put
us all at risk. That’s what the — the climate
crisis is very simple. People want to make tens of
billions of dollars for another ten years and if that absolutely
puts Viene’s children at risk for their whole lives, if that
puts their entire family at risk, everyone in this room, and
everyone in this room they love at risk, that’s fine with them.
They know it! You know, this is not a question
of, I thought for a long time. We ran these studies to say we
can prove it’s better. We can prove we’ll be richer.
We can prove we’ll create more jobs.
We can prove we’ll be healthier. We can prove it’s better for the
United States on every single measure.
They did not care. They don’t care.
I was foolish. It was the — it was my
education to find out, no. The only thing we can do is win
at the ballot box. The only thing we can do is
organize, show up, beat them! Not — not convince them!
They’re not convincible. If they were — wanted to have a
fair discussion, this would have been over 20 years ago.
This isn’t about a fair discussion.
This isn’t about the facts. This is about money.
Their money. And you know what?
The only thing we have going for us is the truth and the fact
that there are many, many millions more than us.
So if we show up, we win. If we don’t show up, they win.
>>Now, I see — I see a lot of hands raised in the air.
And I want to call in questions but because our live stream is
about to come to an end pretty soon, in just a couple minutes,
I want to make sure we ask this question here.
What difference would you propose from the ten candidates
that’s going to be on the debate on the hall stage tomorrow?
>>What am I doing that’s different?
To me, the question on climate is pretty simple.
Where do you prioritize it? Where does this fall for you?
How broadly do you see this change in terms of how it helps
people? Not just how do you — because
if you have a great plan and you’re waiting for the Congress
to pass it, we can’t wait. If you have a great plan and
you’d like to solve everything else first, we can’t wait.
The question to me is, where do you prioritize it, what are you
willing to do. And I’ll give you — I’ll tell
you another story, a historical story.
In World War II, obviously people in the United States were
worried after pearl harbor that we were going to die.
And so we were way behind in everything.
You know, we didn’t have enough planes.
We didn’t have enough ships. We didn’t have enough tanks.
We were way behind because the Germans and the Japanese had
been working on it for ten years.
So F.D.R. went to the big three auto company and said, you’re
our manufacturing capability. What can you do for us?
We need to catch up. And so these were patriotic
Americans. They were at risk too.
They thought about it and came back and said, we can do 20%.
We’ll dedicate 20% of our production to the government to
make sure that we win World War II.
And F.D.R. said, okay, I have a different number in mind.
It’s going to be 100% or I’ll shut you!
That’s where we are. We can’t ask them what they
think! >>I see some questions in the
room and I really want to turn to you guys but I know we have
three minutes left and I want to make sure that tom gets to have
a closing statement. So what will you leave us with?
>>Listen. I do think we have two big
challenges in front of us. And I’m trying to call them out
because as President I want to go right after them.
One is to break this corporate strangle hold and one is to
stabilize the natural world because I believe if we do those
two things, then we’re gonna get everything.
Then we’re gonna get health care as a right for every American.
We’re gonna get the education that our kids deserve.
We’re going to get pre-K. We’re going to get college.
We’re going to get skills training for a lifetime.
We’re going to get a living wage.
We can afford all of this stuff. We’re gonna get clean air and
clean water. We are going to be able to
guarantee a standard of living for every American that is
better than people understand. We’re rich enough.
Other countries that are much less rich than us provide a much
higher standard of living for every member.
We can do that. We’re gonna do that.
We’re gonna have to break the corporations to do it. But so — I feel as if there’s
this sense in the United States of kind of panic, a little bit
of — a lot of negative talk. Look.
Our government is broken. Our country’s not broken.
The United States is TSAic — I promise you.
I travel around this country. We did 50 town halls on
impeachment. We went all over the country,
red states, purple states, blue states to talk about impeaching
and get this criminal out of the White House.
The people in this country are fantastic.
They’re fantastic. I’ll tell you one story from
yesterday. I was at a labor lunch yesterday
like a picnic in Oakland, California.
So I was talking to a bunch of people from unions, bunch of
different unions. It’s labor day.
And I talked to a kid that’s 27 years old.
Name is Davin. I said, what are you doing?
He’s part of SIU. He said, I clean up homeless
encampments. I said, okay.
How did you get that job? He said, I was homeless three
years ago, living in a car. Decided to make better
decisions. Got my high school degree, got
back my driver’s license. Got a job with the city, joined
the SCIU. And I said, that is impressive.
That is inspirational. That’s so American.
I just loved it. That kid did something with his
life that was amazing as far as I’m concerned.
And I hear that all over the United States.
We are so much better than our government that it’s crazy. I know that was your closing
statement but we have such an important question here.
How will you do that internationally?
>>The question is, what do you see links between climate change
and national security? Look.
When you think about what’s going on in terms of
immigration, Syria involved a quarter of the people of that
country leaving — it started with a gigantic drought.
The farmers had to move to the city.
They experienced extreme injustice there and then they
spread all over Europe. And that was 5 million people.
The people who are coming to us from Honduras, Guatemala, El
Salvador experienced an extreme drought and are ending up moving
to the city and coming here. We’re talking about if climate
goes wrong, having 2 billion people who need to move.
2 billion people. That’s — if that happens, we’re
talking about 5 million people in Europe and less than that
here. So when we talk about what this
national security, think about the implications of that kind of
forced movement of desperate people who are dirt poor.
When you want to talk about political chaos, that’s
political chaos because when your kids have no water to
drink, here’s what you will do; anything.
That is a level of panic and chaos and fear that we have to
avoid. And we can!
Look. I don’t want to sit here and
paint this terrible picture. The truth is we can do this.
I guarantee we can do this. But in order to do it, we’re
going to try to do it, say we’re gonna do it, and then we’ll have
to do it. And that’s exactly what I’m here
I’ve been seeing — I’ve been seeing these three gentlemen in
the back. Let’s have a mic runner go back
there. >>I’ve been waiting three
hours. I want to ask him a question.
>>Deal. Ask him.
>>Can we get to this gentleman in the red first?
>>Yes, you said earlier that the way we’re going to defeat
them is at the ballot box. 77,000 votes in three states;
Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.
In the next 30 days, if you mobilize your forces to go in
and register 11,000 people in Detroit, 19,000 in Milwaukee,
and 24,000 in Philadelphia, they will cry for you to be on the
next debate stage. >>Can I give you some numbers?
Listen. I started an organization called
next GEN America that is registered way over a million
people. In 2016, we registered with our
partners in California over 800,000 people.
Just in this state. And we did it for this very
reason; we felt like — we can’t change every election but we can
change who turns out in every election for just the reason
you’re saying. And we’re in all those states.
Next GEN America, the organization I started, did the largest youth mobile
organization in 2018. With our partners, we have
knocked on tens of millions of dollars in the swing districts.
We are going to — I guarantee you we’re — I think we’re on
literally — gosh. Way more than 50 college
campuses in Pennsylvania. We’re on — we’re in Wisconsin.
We’re in Michigan. We’re going door to door in
those states. All the things you’re talking
about; register, engage, turn out.
We’ve been doing it for years. We’re going to do it more
intensely. And we’re going to do it — we
do it with our partners. In California, just so you know,
our largest partner in registration engagement and
turnout is the African American voter, registration,
organization, and participation project in L.A.
We do all the things you want us to do, we’re dying to do and
we’ve been doing for years. Want to make sure we get this
gentleman? >>I do.
Let’s go to this gentleman and we’ll go right back. >>Oh.
I just want to talk about the children.
I recover about five kids to family.
We have about 13,000 — we have a number of how many are in the
immigration camps. What we don’t have a number on,
is there are three countries in the world or four that don’t
prosecute adults children. Donald Trump has a Trump tower
in each of those countries probably paid by Russians.
When you own it, you don’t have to sign in.
And I’m working with international people helping
them get their book out. Those are the ones rescuing it.
But we don’t have a number. The university — American
association of university women have the documentaries that show
you the intensity. We don’t have the number.
But I — I’m not going accuse Trump of eating his doughnuts
from his own bakery because I don’t have that evidence.
But he certainly is putting his name on the hotels.
They don’t have the money. They’re putting those hotels in
the countries that permit it. And the volume — all we need is
a huge embarrassment. The people don’t want to know
that they’re walking into this particular hotel and people take
vacations, three-week vacations, to go to these countries.
They don’t take a vacation to Mexico.
Donald Trump is stopping — >>Can I address this?
Let me just talk for a second about this question about kids
and immigration. I think we all know from a value
standpoint from the President is doing the opposite of decency,
the opposite of human rights. The opposite of anything we’d be
proud of or stand for as a country. The second point is it’s
illegal. He’s breaking the laws in terms
of asylum seekers and what we pledge to do under the law.
And the third thing I’d like to say is this.
Kat and I came down in Texas where they were separating kids
to see what was going on. We felt like it was a tragedy.
It’s a human rights crime. Let’s see what it looks like and
see if we can help. And we went down.
And we were really visiting a shelter run by Catholic relief
services. And what we saw was this:
Americans coming from all over the countries to help.
The truth was the American people were doing exactly what
you would hope and expect they’d do, which was rising to the
occasion. And so I know that what the
President and this administration have done is a
crime and it’s also a crime against humanity.
I know that. But the American people know
that too. And in fact, the nun running
this shelter told us specifically that not only were
people coming from all over the country and sending money and
sending supplies for the kids, but also the people of the town,
including the Republicans, including the Republican elected
officials, also were showing up for kids.
So just so you know, when you think about Americans, we are so
much better than this government! >>Cathryn from — this is a
question from YouTube. How would you address
infrastructure issues in rural community that is cannot treat
raw sewage or have failed waste water treatment systems and
certainly are not prepared for climate change?
>>So I specifically had this experience, just so you know.
I was in South Carolina and I went to a place called Denmark,
South Carolina, which is a small, rural community
overwhelmingly African American. And the government of South
Carolina which is a deeply Republican government would not
buy them a water treatment facility.
And as a result, people were getting sick and dying.
And it was — you might think, wow, a water treatment facility.
That’s a lot of money. There’s no way you can justify
it in that community. Some argument.
Let me say this. They were paying $16 million a
year for water in this community.
A water treatment facility costs $12 million.
They could afford it. But people were dying.
And what we see in the places where there’s dirty water like
Denmark where the people were fantastic — they’ve been
organizing and fighting for this for years and getting shut down.
What will we see in flint, Michigan.
There is no way to separate this from race.
There is no way to understand what happened in flint,
Michigan, and not understand that’s an overwhelmingly African
American city that was treated illegally and criminal y.
There’s no way to look at Denmark, South Carolina, and not
understand those people are explicitly being discriminated
against to the extent of their lives. No way!
And there is no way — if you if you think about it, there is no
way that should ever be happening.
When we talk about environmental justice, this is the heart of
environmental injustice. It’s — well, with the local
water — it’s not that. The people in the state
government are unwilling to do the right thing for those
communities. I mean, the funny thing — it’s
not funny. If you look at flint, Michigan,
they took them off a very safe water supply and put them on the
flint river because it was cheaper.
And they also took one GM plant and put in on the flint river.
And GM called up and said, you know, the water is corroding our
metal. And they took the GM flint off
the flint river but not the people.
So if it’s corroding metal, what do you think it’s doing to a
3-year-old kid? That’s what’s — that’s
environmental injustice. >>Tom, we have 30 seconds.
This is so good. We’re going to — tom’s going to
remain here as you may recall, after the live stream is ending.
But we have 30 seconds before the live stream cuts.
What will you leave us with? >>Look.
When I think about this, I view this as a challenge where all of
us are going to have to show up to win.
We’ll have to show up politically.
I remember my parents who were Depression babies and World War
II babies. You had to show up.
They looked at their friends. And you didn’t have to do a
specific thing but you had to do something.
You couldn’t miss the big — if you didn’t show up when
everybody was in trouble and everybody had to dig themselves
out, then you had no self-respect and no one
respected you. So when I look at this, my
attitude is, that’s what I’m trying to do.
I’m trying to be one of the people who shows up to put us in
the place where we get that almost indisscribable good
outcome and avoid the problem we’ve made for ourselves.
And that’s what I’m asking you guys to do!
I’m asking everybody to show up please!
If we show up, we win. And that’s the — and that’s
what I’m asking for. Thank you. [ music ]