Hillary Clinton Speaks to Graduates of Medgar Evers College

On Friday, Hillary Clinton received an honorary degree and spoke during the commencement ceremony of Medgar Evers College. Clinton acknowledged the college’s diverse student body during her speech and urged everyone to fight for voting rights and civil rights. Clinton focused on encouraging the graduates to fight for their rights and the rights of others as they venture into the world. She said, “Never let anyone silence your voices. Make your voices heard every single day. And when they even try to dismiss your lived experiences, maybe they’ll call it ‘identity politics,’ stand up and say your identity is as important and valuable as the identity of anybody else who lives in the United States of America.” A clip of Clinton’s speech is below, and a full video will be posted when/if available.

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News Source: Brooklyn Reporter, The New York Times


Hillary Clinton Interviewed by ESSENCE Magazine


An interview with Hillary Clinton is featured in the October issue of ESSENCE magazine. Clinton was interviewed by ESSENCE Editor-in-chief Vanessa K. De Luca, and they discussed how Clinton’s proposals would benefit black women. Clinton spoke about a number of her plans including ensuring equal pay for women, ensuring that students graduate from college debt-free, and her plans to enact criminal justice reform. Read the full interview below.

In ESSENCE Magazine’s October Issue, Secretary Hillary Clinton sat for an exclusive interview with the editor-in-chief Vanessa DeLuca to discuss her agenda for Black America.  She outlined her commitment to support women business owners, equal pay, criminal justice reform and to protect President Obama’s legacy.

ESSENCE: Thank you, Secretary Clinton, for spending time with ESSENCE. Let’s jump right in: In 2012, more than 70 percent of eligible Black women voters went to the polls and 96 percent of them voted for President Obama. How do you plan on energizing this bloc to vote for you in 2016?

HILLARY CLINTON: First, thank you, Vanessa. I’m delighted to be talking with you today. I think what’s remarkable and worthy of great attention is the percentage of Black women who vote. Black women understand that politics and government have a direct effect on their lives. I want to build on the progress that has been made under President Obama. I am absolutely unabashed in saying that I don’t think he gets the credit for what he’s achieved.

There is a very clear set of issues that are particularly important to African-American women. I will continue to reach out to say, “Look, we’ve got to build on the progress. I can’t do it without you. I want to know what you need, and I want you to know that I’m going to do everything I can to respond to those needs.

ESSENCE: In a poll we conducted with civic engagement group Black Women’s Roundtable last year, we asked our audience to tell us the top three issues they found to be the most critical in deciding whether they would vote for a particular candidate. The issues were affordable health care, living wage and college affordability. How can the middle class participate in the affordable health care plan in the ways they are prevented from doing right now?

HILLARY CLINTON: I was thrilled when President Obama got the Affordable Care Act through. I will be looking to see how we make it truly affordable so that the co-pays, the premiums and the deductibles don’t take such a huge chunk out of a woman’s or a family’s budget. Women are eligible for Medicare starting at age 65, but what about the women between 55 and 65 who are maybe facing health challenges but don’t have Medicare? What about caretakers, all the women who cut back on their work hours or stop their work life to care for a child, a spouse or an elderly relative? They are hurt when it comes to social security, so how do we take care of that? I want to look at this broadly to figure out how we help people get the quality affordable health care that everybody needs and deserves to different points in their life.

ESSENCE: Let’s shift to the second issue. Black women with a bachelor’s degree are making $10,000 less than the average White male with an associate’s degree. How do you plan to address the significant pay gaps for us?

HILLARY CLINTON: More good jobs with rising incomes is the centerpiece of how we’re going to provide a higher standard of living for people. There is still too much explicit and implicit bias in employment, hiring and promoting that, again, disproportionately affect the African-American women. I am in favor of raising the minimum wage, and support the efforts that have already been successful in New York and California to raise it to 15$ per hour. I want to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so that you’re not retaliated against if you try to find out what you’re paid. Right now if you and I are working for the same company and we’re having lunch together and I say, “Well I’m making X an hour or my salary is Y,” and you say, “But we’re doing the same job and I am making X minus or Y minus,” we could both be fired for that.

ESSENCE: A lot of our readers are excited about your student loan plan. How will it assist those of us with college loan debt, especially those who attended historically Black colleges and universities?

HILLARY CLINTON: From the very moment I rolled out my college affordability plan, I made it very clear that I wanted to get back to where we used to be, where it was possible for someone for someone from a modest-income family to afford to go to college. I have a plan to make four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free. If you make less than $125,000 a year, you should not have to borrow a penny to pay for all their other costs. I also have a really strong commitment to historically Black colleges and billion fund set aside that will help HBCUs be competitive, be able to upgrade their laboratories and be able to provide more financial support to make sure they remain a viable option.

ESSENCE: Why is that important to you?

HILLARY CLINTON: My first boss, Marian Wright Edelman went to Spelman, and another great friend of mine, Vernon Jordan, got his law degree at Howard. I’ve has close friends talk about how that experience was so important in their maturing and that they felt very nurtured—challenged, but nurtured. I have visited a lot of HBCUs and the ones that are the public colleges and universities in a lot of states are being shortchanged when it comes to funding, so they’re having to close departments and buildings. It’s not that these schools don’t have the demand; they still do. They don’t have the resources. I want to provide a floor underneath them. I have a plan to help refinance your debt, to get it paid down, to ensure you pay no more than 10 percent of your income for your debt and to provide relief. If you go into public service, and that includes teaching and law enforcement, we will forgive the rest of your debt after ten years.

ESSENCE: How will you deal with the ongoing issue of police brutality and racial profiling should be elected president?

HILLARY CLINTON: I think there are four issues that we have to address simultaneously. One is policing reform and I think President Obama’s policing commission has excellent recommendations. What I intend to do is use the federal budget to incentivize and catalyze the 18,000 police departments we have in America to follow those kinds of recommendations. I want there to be national guidelines on the use of force, particularly lethal force, that every department would accept and that they would then train their police and hold them accountable. I want independent investigations of any police incident that results in the death of any person.

ESSENCE: Beyond a grand jury?

HILLARY CLINTON: New York, after some of our regrettable, terrible incidents, made the right decision by legislating that the attorney general of the state would take over these investigations. I want to have a better approach to accountability and justice. I want to provide second-chance programs for people coming out of jail and prison, but I want to do much more to divert people from ever getting their in the first place. Honestly, young, Black kids, particularly young Black boys, for being kids. I want to replace the cradle-to-prison pipeline with a cradle-to-college or –career pipeline and really emphasize that.

ESSENCE: Obviously the country is in a very precarious state right now. There’s lots of division and failure to see the other side. How would you bring us all together?

HILLARY CLINTON: I hope that by reaching out to people—especially across the aisle to Republicans as I did when I was First Lady, as senator and as secretary of state—I will demonstrate that I’m walking the walk as well as talking the talk. I know that it takes time and investment of your energy to build relationships, but investment of your energy to build relationships, but there’s no substitute for that. I intend to begin doing that as soon as I possibly can. This will determine what kind of lives we have and certainly what kind of lives our children and grandchildren will have. Are we going to be fairer, more just society with opportunity for all, one that builds an inclusive economic prosperity that people can feel is helping them get ahead? Are we going to stand against discrimination, bigotry, bluster and bullying? Those are all core beliefs that I have about the kind of country that I think we must be, and in our better moments, we are.

ESSENCE: Should there be resistance, how will you push back against that?

HILLARY CLINTON: I expect there will be resistance, but you have to work to find whatever common ground you can. I don’t know if you have seen the wonderful musical “Hamilton” but there is a point where George Washington says that he is going to step down and people are shocked.  But he said, “It’s the right thing to do,” and then he said, “History’s eyes are on us.” I think history’s eyes are still on us. We’ve got to keep working together and that means creating common ground and common purpose wherever we can. There will always be naysayers; there will always be haters. But we can’t let them drive our agenda. What we’re trying to do is much bigger than them and much more hopeful than they even understand. I am going to keep reaching out, and based on my experience I think we can make progress.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow Clinton on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, be sure to subscribe to the campaign’s official Podcast, With Her.

News Source: ESSENCE

Tim Kaine Pens Higher Education Op-Ed


Time magazine published an op-ed from Tim Kaine today in which he touted the education plan proposed by Hillary Clinton. Kaine writes about the rising cost of a college education and the importance of being college educated in today’s workforce. He explained that the Clinton-Kaine plan will help students reduce their current debt and will provide tuition free education to students whose families make less than $125,000 per year. Kaine says, “The Clinton-Kaine ticket is fully committed to sending every child in this country to world-class schools with great teachers, no matter where they come from. But higher education is a distinct challenge—which is why our plan will help anyone willing to work for a quality, affordable college degree.” The full text of Kaine’s op-ed is below.

When I graduated from college in 1979, education costs were manageable for many working families. By the time my own kids started college in the 2000s, it was a very different story.

So what happened?

The cost of a higher education skyrocketed by every measure. American students and graduates hold more than $1.2 trillion in debt today—and each indebted graduate can expect to owe nearly $30,000.

If you’re a current college student reading this, I want you to know that Hillary and I know what you’re going through. As the father of three, a lifelong supporter of educational opportunity for all and a former teacher at the University of Richmond’s Law School, I want to make one thing clear: We can do better.

These questions of access and affordability aren’t new to us. Hillary Clinton’s first job out of law school was working for the Children’s Defense Fund, where she went door-to-door in the fight to help kids with disabilities get the schooling they deserve. I ran a technical school in Honduras, an experience that inspired my ongoing support for those kinds of programs here at home. And my wife Anne’s decades-long career fighting for kids and families recently culminated in her service as Virginia’s Secretary of Education.

The Clinton-Kaine ticket is fully committed to sending every child in this country to world-class schools with great teachers, no matter where they come from. But higher education is a distinct challenge—which is why our plan will help anyone willing to work for a quality, affordable college degree.

Our plan would make debt-free college available to everyone, and make tuition free for in-state students from families with income under $125,000. It will free millions of Americans from the existing debt they’re struggling to pay off. And because I know that a four-year degree isn’t the only path to success, we’ll open up new opportunities for students beyond traditional degrees.

Meanwhile, institutions and states alike will have to commit to lowering costs and raising their own investments in education if they want to continue receiving federal funding. From restoring year-round Pell Grants to supporting HBCUs and on-campus childcare, our plan leverages commonsense, sustainable changes for the public good.

After all, an American with a college degree will earn about $570,000 more in their lifetime than one without—but they’ll also be expanding our national economy and building up our middle class along the way. That’s the real beauty of this plan: When everyone does their part, it’s a win-win all around.

But then there’s Donald Trump’s plan—or lack thereof.

Though he brags about his own four-year degree from an Ivy League school, he has no intention of offering anyone else the same opportunity. Trump University, currently the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits, made a mockery of higher education while its namesake and his cronies unapologetically scammed thousands of student out of thousands of dollars.

Trump has long said that the United States spends too much on education. Instead of reconsidering how that money should be spent, he wants to all but nix the Department of Education, an agency that offers an array of resources to support our most vulnerable students. Hillary wants to build on what works there; Trump wants to pull the rug out from under everyone not in his tax bracket.

Hillary and I believe passionately in advancing educational opportunity from pre-k through higher education and career and technical training. Trump chose a running mate, Mike Pence, who as Governor of Indiana turned down millions of federal dollars that could have expanded access to preschool for low-income kids and cut funding for schools serving Indiana’s most vulnerable students.

When it comes to expanding access to higher education, the choice in November is clear. We’re siding with students and with every American seeking an affordable college degree.

I hope you join us!

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow Clinton on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, be sure to subscribe to the campaign’s official Podcast, With Her.

News Source: Time