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It was a day no parent should have to endure, and it was not the first time Joe Biden has had to bury a child.  At St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Wilmington, Delaware today, both the Obamas and the Clintons were there to show their support and share their sympathy.  President Obama delivered a heartfelt eulogy as did Beau’s sister Ashley and brother Hunter.

Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and former President Bill Clinton arrive for a funeral for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Saturday, June 6, 2015, at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del. Biden, the eldest son of the vice president, died of brain cancer May 30 at age 46.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and former President Bill Clinton arrive for a funeral for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Saturday, June 6, 2015, at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del. Biden, the eldest son of the vice president, died of brain cancer May 30 at age 46. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives before a funeral for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Saturday, June 6, 2015, at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del. Biden, the eldest son of the vice president, died of brain cancer May 30 at age 46.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives before a funeral for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Saturday, June 6, 2015, at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del. Biden, the eldest son of the vice president, died of brain cancer May 30 at age 46. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (R) attend the funeral of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Biden, at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilimington, Delaware June 6, 2015.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (R) attend the funeral of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Biden, at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilimington, Delaware June 6, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) watch as the casket of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Biden, is taken from his funeral at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilimington, Delaware June 6, 2015.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) watch as the casket of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Biden, is taken from his funeral at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilimington, Delaware June 6, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Fifteen and twenty years ago, every individual engaged in a battle of any kind, including Tony Soprano, was quoting Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.  That long-deceased author never enjoyed any royalties from the popularity of his work.  If Robby Mook’s strategy for organizing the Hillary for America campaign succeeds, Peter Senge of MIT might be thanking Hillary’s campaign manager for his book, The Fifth Discipline, published in 1990, experiencing a rebirth on Nooks and Kindles and in popular media dialogue.

Mook attributes his self-discipline, to Senge’s concept of “personal mastery,” and it figures large in Mook’s arsenal of organizing strategy.

Many readers here are getting involved in Hillary’s campaign at the grassroots level, and Ruby Cramer’s  brilliant, detailed analysis of Robby Mook’s methodology in Buzzfeed is a gleaming nugget shining in the murky mine of how to get stuff done.

If you are the one in your locale who is responsible for getting names and assigning tasks, this is a must-read, but even if, like many of us, you count yourself among the ground troops and foot soldiers, these insights into the nuts and bolts of how the campaign is organized and who is doing it will assist your “personal mastery” of your own personal tasks.  It is a gold mine!

Here are a few snippets, but I recommend that you pour yourself a glass of whatever you like and settle down for a bit.  It is not a short read  (not an unnecessarily long one either), and you will want to reflect upon and digest passages here.

Thank you, as always, Ruby Cramer!  Peter Senge should thank you, too!

The Robby Mook Playbook

In 2008, a young operative took the campaign philosophy of “organizing” — and won Nevada for Hillary Clinton. Now, Robby Mook is her campaign manager, bringing his big win, big risk system and all it entails, including his band of loyal followers, to the biggest stage possible.

But you really have to READ IT ALL!  There is so much more>>>>

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Receiving the Barbara Jordan inaugural Gold Medallion for Public-Private Leadership at Texas Southern University today, Hillary Clinton fired shots across the Republican bow.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) receives the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award  during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston June 4, 2015.   REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) receives the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Introduced by Sheila Jackson Lee, she recalled Barbara Jordan’s dedicated work to franchise eligible voters and her collaboration with LBJ on the Voting Rights Act.  Calling for increased early voting and early registration of 16-17 year olds, she went on to cite obstacles set in the path of voters and called out Republican legislators and governors for putting them there.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) greets Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee prior to receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) greets Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee prior to receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton receives the Barbara Jordan inaugural Gold Medallion for Public-Private Leadership from U.S. rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton receives the Barbara Jordan inaugural Gold Medallion for Public-Private Leadership from U.S. rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, talks with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, talks with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Hillary said that massive delays at the polls in minority precincts lacking sufficient machines in mandated numbers, like the proverbial turtle on the fencepost,  did not happen by accident and that government should be clearing the way for more to vote not putting up roadblocks.

Targeting likely opponents for the White House in 2016, she reminded Texans that Rick Perry, who declared today elsewhere in the state,  applauded the SCOTUS evisceration of Voting Rights Act calling the lost protections outdated and unnecessary.   She recalled  that Scott Walker cut back early voting in Wisconsin and made voting harder for college students.   In New Jersey, she continued, Chris Christie vetoed legislation to extend early voting, and  Jeb Bush in Florida authorized a deeply flawed purge of voter registration rolls prior to the 2000 presidential election noting that in 2004 another planned purge was headed off.

“What part of democracy are they afraid of?” She wondered.

She recalled her days on the 1972 voter registration drive in Texas and characterized eligible voters as eager to participate in democracy.

Reviewing the Count Every Vote Act that she sponsored in the Senate, she noted that it called for election day to be a federal holiday, mandated early voting opportunities, proposed making it a federal crime to deceive and mislead voters with fraudulent flyers, and restored voting rights to former offenders who had served their time and paid their debt.

Today, she said,  damage to the VRA needs to be repaired by legislators who put principle ahead of politics and are willing to implement the recommendations of the bipartisan commission to improve voting.

She called for reforms  including:

  • expanded absentee and early voting;
  • online registration;
  • cutting delays;
  • 20 days of early in-person voting;
  • weekend voting;
  • universal automatic voter registration at 18 (She noted that 1/4 to 1/3 of those eligible are not registered);
  • abatement of the blizzard of old-fashioned paperwork in favor of streamlined, technology-assisted documentation.

Reminding the audience that these reforms will require hard work and grassroots mobilization to build momentum, she also noted that on  SCOTUS we need  justices who care more about a person’s vote than about protection of a corporation.

Finally, she told the audience,  we need more elected leaders who will fight for everyday Americans.  Noting that  progress is built on common ground not scorched earth, on the anniversary of Congress passing 19th Amendment, Hillary Clinton sought to jump-start America’s stalled long march to a more perfect union, and she wants you to march alongside her!

Hillary for America

Friend  –Today, I went to Texas to talk about my vision for fair voting rights for every American — sadly, our current reality falls far short of this fundamental ideal.The right to vote is under attack — especially the rights of young people, poor people, and people of color. Here in Texas, you can use your concealed weapon permit to vote, but not your student ID.This kind of disparity doesn’t happen by accident, and I’m going to do something about it. Let’s send a message that we won’t stand for this brutal undermining of the right to vote: Sign your name right now to support equal voting rights for every American.Our nation has a long history of brave men and women fighting to expand access to the polls — we can’t let those fights be undone by elected officials acting out of fear and self-interest.Making it harder for Americans to vote is just wrong, and counter to the values we share. If you’re as outraged as I am, add your name right now to fight for fair voting rights for all:https://www.hillaryclinton.com/voting-rights/Thank you,

Hillary

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award  during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston June 4, 2015. U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee applauds at left.  REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston June 4, 2015. U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee applauds at left. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton delviers a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Thursday, June 4, 2015. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton delviers a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Thursday, June 4, 2015. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to the National Anthem before speaking Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to the National Anthem before speaking Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about voting rights during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about voting rights during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Thursday, June 4, 2015. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Thursday, June 4, 2015. Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award  during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston June 4, 2015. U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee applauds at left.  REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston June 4, 2015. U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee applauds at left. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about voting rights during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about voting rights during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands onstage before receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award and delivering remarks on voting rights during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Donna Carson

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands onstage before receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award and delivering remarks on voting rights during an appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

Here, thanks to Hillary For America, is the transcript of the speech.

 

Wow! Thank you so very much. I cannot tell you how personally honored I am to be here with all of you, to be at this historic institution. Let me start by thanking President Rudley, everyone at Texas Southern university. It’s a great treat to be here, to have heard just briefly from Dr. Rudley and others about the incredible programs and progress and the fact that you graduated more than 1,000 young people into the world not so many days ago. This institution is the living legacy, the absolute embodiment of Heman Marion Sweatt and the long struggle for civil rights. and for me, to be surrounded by so many here in Houston, Texas, and indeed from across our country, who were part of that movement is especially touching. I am delighted to be here with my friend, Sheila Jackson Lee, she has been a tireless champion for the people of the 18th District and state and the country.

I have to tell you though I thought she would tell you about the most important news coming out of Congress. And that is she is finally a member of the grandmother’s club. And as a member of now a little over eight months, it is the best club you will ever be a member of, Sheila. I have to tell you I was excited to come here and to talk about an issue that is important to Barbara Jordan and should be important to all of us. But to do so in front of Dr. Freeman is a little daunting. I mean anyone who knows what this man has meant, not only to Barbara Jordan but to so many who have studied here who have been in anyway effected by his brilliant teaching, elocution and delivery would be a little daunted too. I noticed that both Dr. Rudley and Dr. Sheila both got off before Dr. Freeman came up.

I also want to say my thoughts and prayers are with all the families in Houston and across Texas affected by the recent terrible flooding. And I am confident that this community will embrace them. I remember very well coming here after Katrina with my husband, and in fact we decided to invite along a young Senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama, along and with Sheila and other leaders in the community. We toured the facilities that Houston had provided to those who were fleeing that horrific storm. And I saw how people had opened their hearts and their homes. This is a city that knows how to pull together, and I’m confident you’ll do so again on behalf of those who are suffering from this latest terrible disaster.

And it is also a special moment to be here, knowing that Barbara Jordan was succeeded by Mickey Leland and the 18th District was so well represented for so long, and I am delighted to be here with Alison and to remember the pioneering work he did on behalf of children and the poor and hungry. So many issues that he was the champion of. And I want to thank Rosemary McGowan and all the friends and loved ones of Barbara Jordan here today. This is such a particular honor for me because the award is in memory of one of my true personal heroes—a woman who taught me and so many others the meaning of courage and determination in the pursuit of justice.

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I first met Barbara Jordan when I was a young attorney and had been given a position working for the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee investigating Richard Nixon, and it was such a profound moment in American history. And there wasn’t anyone who was a more effective eloquent inquisitor than Barbara Jordan.

As a 26-year-old fresh out of law school, as some of you are perhaps now having graduated from the Thurgood Marshall School here at TSU, I was riveted and not a little intimidated to tell you the truth by this unstoppable Congresswoman from Texas. I got to talk with her, which was thrilling, I got to hand her papers, which was equally exciting, but mostly I got to watch and listen to her.

At a time of shaken confidence, she stirred the entire nation with her words.

Remember what she said: “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete; it is total.”

It was that passion and moral clarity that took Barbara Jordan from the TSU and the halls of Texas legislature all the ways to the halls of Congress. The first woman and the first African American ever elected to represent Texas in the House of Representatives.

And she defended and continued the civil rights legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her friend and mentor President Lyndon Johnson—and in particular she was a staunch advocate for the Voting Rights Act, which had helped make it possible for her to be elected.

In 1975, in the face of fierce opposition, Barbara Jordan led the fight to extend the special protections of the Voting Rights Act to many more Americans, including Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans as well.

And like every woman who has run for national office in this country in the last four decades, I stand here on the shoulders of Barbara Jordan and so does our entire country.

And boy do we miss her. We miss her courage, we also miss her humor, she was funny and most of all her irresistible voice.

I remember talking to her and Ann Richards one time. And between the two of them, forget trying to get a word in at all. And they were telling me about how they would love to go to the University of Texas women’s basketball games. Right, and Barbara would be there by that time in her wheelchair, and Ann would be holding court right next to her. And Barbara would be yelling directions like she was, you know, the coach. “Why are you doing that? Jump higher! That’s not a pass!” You know, all of those kinds of sideline comments. And so Ann was telling me this, with Barbara right there and I finally turned to her and said, “Barbara, encourage these young women, don’t just criticize them.” And Barbara turned around and said, “When they deserve it, I will.”

We sure could use her irresistible voice. I wish we could hear that voice one more time.

Hear her express the outrage we feel about the fact that 40 years after Barbara Jordan fought to extend the Voting Rights Act, its heart has been ripped out.

And I wish we could hear her speak up for the student who has to wait for hours for his or her right to vote. For the grandmother who’s turned away from the polls because her driver’s license expired. For the father who’s done his time and paid his debt to society but still hasn’t gotten his rights back.

Now we know, unfortunately, Barbara isn’t here to speak up for them and so many others. But we are. And we have a responsibility to say clearly and directly what’s really going on in our country—because what is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.

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Because since the Supreme Court eviscerated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, many of the states that previously faced special scrutiny because of a history of racial discrimination have proposed and passed new laws that make it harder than ever to vote.

North Carolina passed a bill that went after pretty much anything that makes voting more convenient or more accessible. Early voting. Same-day registration. The ability of county election officials to even extend voting hours to accommodate long lines.

Now what possible reason could there be to end pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds and eliminate voter outreach in high schools?

We should be doing everything we can to get our young people more engaged in democracy, not less.

In fact I would say it is a cruel irony—but no coincidence—that Millennials, the most diverse, tolerant, and inclusive generation in American history, are now facing so much exclusion.

And we need look no further than right here in Texas. You all know this far better than I, but if you want to vote in this state, you can use a concealed weapon permit as a valid form of identification—but a valid student ID isn’t good enough?

Now, Krystal Watson found out the hard way. She grew up in Louisiana but came to Marshall, Texas, to attend Wiley College. Krystal takes her responsibilities as a citizen so seriously that not only did she register to vote in Texas, where she was living and would be for a number of years, she even became a deputy registrar to help other people vote as well. But this past year, when she showed up at her local polling place with a Wiley College ID, she was turned away.

Experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of registered voters in Texas may face similar situations.

And while high-profile state laws like those in Texas and North Carolina get most of the attention, many of the worst offenses against the right to vote actually happen below the radar. Like when authorities shift poll locations and election dates. Or scrap language assistance for non-English speakers—something Barbara Jordan fought so hard for.

Without the pre-clearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, no one outside the local community is likely to ever hear about these abuses, let alone have a chance to challenge them and end them.

It’s not a surprise for you to hear that studies and everyday experiences confirm that minority voters are more likely than white voters to wait in long lines at the polls. They are also far more likely to vote in polling places with insufficient numbers of voting machines.

In South Carolina, for example, there’s supposed to be one machine for every 250 voters. But in minority areas, that rule is just often overlooked. In Richland Country, nearly 90 percent of the precincts failed to meet the standard required by law in 2012. Instead of 250 voters per machine, in one precinct it was more than 430 voters per machine. Not surprisingly, people trying to cast a ballot there faced massive delays.

Now there are many fair-minded, well-intentioned election officials and state legislators all over this country. But this kind of disparity that I just mentioned does not happen by accident.

Now some of you may have heard me or my husband say one of our favorite sayings from Arkansas, of course I learned it from him. “You find a turtle on a fence post, it did not get there on its own.” Well, all of these problems with voting did not just happen by accident. And it is just wrong, it’s wrong to try to prevent, undermine, inhibit Americans’ rights to vote. Its counter to the values we share. And at a time when so many Americans have lost trust in our political system, it’s the opposite of what we should be doing in our country.

This is the greatest, longest-lasting democracy in the history of the world. We should be clearing the way for more people to vote, not putting up every roadblock anyone can imagine.

Yet unfortunately today, there are people who offer themselves to be leaders whose actions have undercut this fundamental American principle.

Here in Texas, former Governor Rick Perry signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters. He applauded when the Voting Rights Act was gutted, and said the lost protections were “outdated and unnecessary.”

But Governor Perry is hardly alone in his crusade against voting rights.

In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker cut back early voting and signed legislation that would make it harder for college students to vote.

In New Jersey, Governor Christie vetoed legislation to extend early voting.

And in Florida, when Jeb Bush was governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters before the presidential election in 2000.

Thankfully in 2004 a plan to purge even more voters was headed off.

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So today, Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of?

I believe every citizen has the right to vote. And I believe we should do everything we can to make it easier for every citizen to vote.

I call on Republicans at all levels of government with all manner of ambition to stop fear mongering about a phantom epidemic of election fraud and start explaining why they’re so scared of letting citizens have their say.

Yes, this is about democracy. But it’s also about dignity. About the ability to stand up and say, yes, I am a citizen. I am an American. My voice counts. And no matter where you come from or what you look like or how much money you have, that means something. In fact, it means a lot.

I learned those lessons right here in Texas, registering voters in south Texas down in the valley in 1972.

Some of the people I met were, understandably, a little wary of a girl from Chicago who didn’t speak a word of Spanish. But they wanted to vote. They were citizens. They knew they had a right to be heard. They wanted to exercise all the rights and responsibilities that citizenship conveys. That’s what should matter because when those rights are denied to anyone, we’re all the worse for it. It doesn’t just hold back the aspirations of individual citizens. It holds back our entire country.

That’s why, as a Senator, I championed a bill called the Count Every Vote Act. If it had become law, it would have made Election Day a federal holiday and mandated early voting opportunities. Deceiving voters, including by sending flyers into minority neighborhoods with false voting times and places, would have become a federal crime. And many Americans with criminal convictions who had paid their debts to society would have finally gotten their voting rights back.

Well today, with the damage to the Voting Rights Act so severe, the need for action is even more urgent.

First, Congress should move quickly to pass legislation to repair that damage and restore the full protections that American voters need and deserve.

I was in the Senate in 2006 when we voted 98 to zero to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act after an exhaustive review process.

There had been more than 20 hearings in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Testimony from expert witnesses. Investigative reports documenting continuing discrimination in covered jurisdictions. There were more than 15,000 pages of legislative record. Now that is how the system is supposed to work. You gather the evidence, you weigh it and you decide. And we did 98 to nothing. We put principle ahead of politics. That is what Congress needs to do again.

Second, we should implement the recommendations of the bipartisan presidential commission to improve voting. That commission was chaired by President Obama’s campaign lawyer and by Governor Mitt Romney campaign’s lawyer. And they actually agreed. And they set forth common sense reforms, including expanding early, absentee, and mail voting. Providing online voter registration. Establishing the principle that no one should ever have to wait more than 30 minutes to cast your vote.

Third, we should set a standard across our country of at least 20 days of early in-person voting everywhere—including opportunities for weekend and evening voting. If families coming out of church on Sunday before an election are inspired to go vote, they should be free to do just that. And we know that early in-person voting will reduce those long lines and give more citizens the chance to participate, especially those who have work or family obligations that make it difficult to get to the polls on Election Day.

It’s not just convenient—it’s also more secure, more reliable, and more affordable than absentee voting. So let’s get this done.

And I believe we should go even further to strengthen voting rights in America. So today I am calling for universal, automatic voter registration. Every citizen, every state in the Union. Everyone, every young man or young woman should be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18—unless they actively choose to opt out. But I believe this would have a profound impact on our elections and our democracy. Between a quarter and a third of all eligible Americans remain unregistered and therefore unable to vote.

And we should modernize our entire approach to registration. The current system is a relic from an earlier age. It relies on a blizzard of paper records and it’s full of errors.

We can do better. We can make sure that registration rolls are secure, up to date, and complete. When you move, your registration should move with you. If you are an eligible vote and want to be registered, you should be a registered voter—period.

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Now, Oregon is already leading the way modernizing its system, and the rest of the country should follow. The technology is there. States have a lot of the data already. It’s just a matter of syncing and streamlining.

Now, all of these reforms, from expanded early voting to modernized registration, are common sense ways to strengthen our democracy. But I’ll be candid here, none of them will come easily.

It’s going to take leadership at many levels.

Now more than ever, we need our citizens to actually get out and vote for people who want to hear what is on their minds.

We need more activists working to expose abuses, educate Americans about their rights, and hold authorities accountable for protecting them. Some of the worst provisions in recent laws have been blocked or delayed by tireless advocates raising the alarm and filing legal challenges. But they can’t do it alone.

We need more grassroots mobilization efforts like the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina to build momentum for reform.

We need more Justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen’s right to vote, I mean the principle underlying our Constitution, which we had to fight for a long time to make apply to everybody, one person, one vote and we need a Supreme Court that cares more about protecting the right to vote of a person than the right to buy and election of a corporation.

But of course, you know what we really need? We need more elected leaders from Houston to Austin to Washington who will follow in the footsteps of Barbara Jordan and fight for the rights and opportunities of everyday Americans, not just those at the top of the ladder. And we need to remember that progress is built on common ground, not scorched earth.

You know, when I traveled around the world as your Secretary of State, one of the most frequent questions I was asked was, “How could you and President Obama work together after you fought so hard in that campaign?”

People were genuinely amazed, which I suppose is understandable, considering that in many places, when you lose an election or you oppose someone who wins you could get imprisoned or exiled—even killed—not hired as Secretary of State.

And it’s true, I was surprised when the President asked me to serve. But he made that offer, and I accepted it, because we both love our country.

So my friends, here at this historic institution let us remember that America was built by people who knew that our common interest was more important than our self-interest. They were fearless in pursuit of a stronger, freer, and fairer nation.

As Barbara Jordan famously reminded us, when the Constitution was first written, it left most of us here out. But generations of Americans fought and marched and organized and prayed to expand the circle of freedom and opportunity. They never gave up and never backed down.

And nearly a century ago on this very day, after years of struggle, Congress finally passed the 19th amendment to give women the right to vote in the United States.

So that is, that is the story of progress, courageous men and women, expanding rights, not restricting them. And today we refuse, we refuse to allow our country or this generation of leaders to slow or reverse America’s long march toward a more perfect union.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to fight just as hard as those who came before us did. To march just as far. To organize just as well. To speak out just as loudly. And to vote, every chance we get for the kind of future we want.

That’s what Barbara Jordan would do. That’s what we should do in honor of her.

Thank you, and may God bless you.

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TSU will the present the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award to Hillary in Houston Thursday    Best compliments, Mme. Secretary, on this well-deserved honor!

Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton Visits TSU

live clinton streaming

THE BARBARA JORDAN-MICKEY LELAND SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND THURGOOD MARSHALL SCHOOL OF LAW TO BESTOW THE LEADERSHIP AWARD TO THE HONORABLE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

 THIS HISTORIC MOMENT AT TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY MAGNIFIES THE RESPECT AND HONOR THAT THE NAME OF THE HONORABLE BARBARA JORDAN COMMANDS

Houston, TX – The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law are honored to announce the presentation of the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award to the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Barbara Jordan Medallion will be bestowed on its first ever recipient which is conferred to a deserving woman anywhere in the world who shall have made the highest achievement during the preceding year or years in any honorable field of human endeavor in the public or private sector. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm on the campus of Texas Southern University in the Health and Physical Education Arena located at 3100 Cleburne Street (corners of Blodgett and Ennis).

“Thanks to the vision of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, this honor and award in the name of the Honorable Barbara Jordan will be presented to hundreds and even thousands of honorees for years to come,” said TSU Chairman of the Board Glenn O. Lewis. “We are thankful for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s continued leadership and service to Texas Southern University and the 18th Congressional District – the home of Barbara Jordan. As TSU is an urban-serving institution, we want to invite others to the campus for up close and personal conversations with our students and community about issues that are important to them.”

Read more  >>>>

Event Livestream here >>>>

When Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced the site of her June 13 rally today, the reaction had to be, “Of course!”

NYC_Rally

In 2009, the Roosevelt Institute honored Hillary with the Four Freedoms Award.

Hillary Clinton Receives the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Award

Remarks Upon Receipt of the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Award at the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Medals Gala Dinner

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria
New York City
September 11, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON:
… President Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms speech and the declaration, the real call to action that what he said still resonates through the years, shaped much of the work that Eleanor did on her own as she chaired the drafting committee for the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that enshrines the Four Freedoms in its preamble.
 SNIP
,,, I think that so much that President Roosevelt said and did during another challenging time in American history stands very large today. Looking at what was done with economic and other difficulties here at home, the rallying of a nation to continue to believe in itself, the optimism that marked everything he did, and the vision that he articulated that helped Americans transcend their personal problems and the troubles of a nation provided a lodestar for every succeeding generation as to how to move forward in the face of adversity.
We bear that responsibility today. And we are called to respond as courageously, as he and his generation did. We therefore should ask ourselves now, as you’ve heard from our four honorees, just what the Four Freedoms mean. Times have changed. Circumstances have certainly altered. But the fundamental truth of the Four Freedoms stands as a stark reminder of what is expected of us. So that even though the circumstances may be different, our response and how we are guided in acting remains the same.
SNIP
… In country after country after country, young men and women are persecuted, are singled out, even murdered in cold blood, because of who they love or just based on claims that they are gay. We are starting to track violence against the LGBT community, because where it happens anywhere in the world, the United States must speak out against it and work for its end. (Applause.) Through our annual human rights report, we are documenting human rights abuses against LGBT communities worldwide. And we are seeking out partners at the United Nations such as Brazil, France, Sweden and the Netherlands to help us address these human rights abuses.
 SNIP
In the future, we will be called to make sacrifices of our own. We may not be able now to foresee what they will be. But let us resolve to summon up that vision that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt provided for their times which still is as important to our times. Let us forge again our commitment to carry on in service of these four universal and uniquely American freedoms.

When this arrived in today’s email, the only possible reaction you could have was that once again Hillary made the perfect choice.

 

Hillary for America

Friend —

Start spreading the news: The Hillary for America Official Campaign Launch will take place on June 13th in Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park in New York City — and you can be there.

RSVP right now to secure your tickets.

This launch is going to be a truly special event — thousands of Americans coming together to hear Hillary lay out her vision for the future of our country, all at one of the most spectacular locations you’ll ever see.

Trust me — you don’t want to miss this.

RSVP to claim your free ticket:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/your-ticket/

Thanks,

John

John Podesta
Chair
Hillary for America

Of course!  Four Freedoms Park!  It is more than a nod to the Roosevelts.  It is a validation of Hillary’s values and very likely a foreshadowing of her platform.  There probably are very few voters alive who remember FDR’s Four Freedoms speech.  These are the freedoms.

 

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The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

As we know, since she announced she would run, Hillary has visited some early primary and caucus states and met with voters.   You probably did not have to be part of those conversations to be able to guess some of what Hillary heard.  We do not know what Hillary will say in 2015 in Four Freedoms Park.  We do know that in 1941 in his Four Freedoms Speech FDR said this.

… there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

Jobs for those who can work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege for the few.

The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment — The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

Read the speech and hear the audio here >>>>

He went on to outline a plan.  Hillary will be doing the same thing on Roosevelt Island in a park dedicated to FDR and that speech.  When you think about it, there was no more appropriate venue for this event.  None!

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Since she has been tweeting regularly, Hillary has begun to display a real flair for the concise social medium.  Here is her kick-off to Pride Month on Twitter,

 

 

Don’t let the brevity of the message fool you.  Hillary has a long history of support for the LGBT community.  As New York Senator, she marched in parades.

Hillary Clinton

As Secretary of State she heard the requests of LGBT Foreign Service members to extend domestic benefits to partners, promised to investigate the feasibility, found it doable, and within six months of setting foot at Foggy Bottom established those benefits.

Benefits for Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Foreign Service Employees

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 18, 2009

While a career in the Foreign Service is rewarding, the demands to serve our country require great commitment and sacrifice by Foreign Service employees and their families. As in American society, our Foreign Service families come in different configurations; all are part of the common fabric of our Post communities abroad. Family members often uproot their lives, endure hardship conditions, and put their own careers on hold to support our overseas missions. The Department of State acknowledges these vital contributions by providing certain family members with benefits, training, and allowances.
The same has not been true for domestic partners of Foreign Service employees.

Read more >>>>

By definition and job description, Foreign Service officials work in other countries some of which have been hostile to LGBT rights, so, as Secretary of State, Hillary brought the campaign for human rights of LGBT people into the international arena.

Remarks at an Event Co-Hosted by the Department of State and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) in celebration of LGBT Pride Month

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
June 27, 2011

… in March, the United States led a major effort at the Human Rights Council in Geneva to get other countries to sign on in support of a statement on ending violence and criminalization based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the end, 85 countries signed the statement, 18 more than ever had signed onto any previous UN statement on LGBT rights.And in the very next session of the Human Rights Council, just two weeks ago after another major push by American diplomats in Geneva as well as our teams from IO, DRL, EUR, WHA, and other bureaus, the Council passed the first ever UN resolution recognizing the human rights of LGBT people worldwide. And it was especially meaningful that we had South Africa cosponsoring that resolution with us. And with that we took a huge step forward in our work to refute the hateful suggestion that LGBT people are somehow exempt from human rights protections, and we made it absolutely clear that, so far as the United States is concerned and our foreign policy, and our values – that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

Read full speech and view video here >>>>

In December 2011 she delivered an historic address in Geneva commemorating Human Rights Day.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Human Rights Day Speech

December 6, 2011

Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland
December 6, 2011

She has come to support marriage equality and recently applauded Ireland’s ground-breaking vote with a laudatory tweet.

 

 

While her tweets are compact,  her rationale is rooted in broad investigation and deeply held values.  She was honored for her work in 2012.

Hillary Clinton: Video Remarks for LGBT Pride Award

Video Remarks for LGBT Pride Award

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 6, 2012

A big hello to all of you there in London. I am sorry I can’t be there in person to join the festivities and to say “thank you” for this special award.I want to acknowledge all the people who are working hard to advance human rights in their own communities around the world—people whose names may not be well-known but who are making a difference every day.

They deserve our gratitude and our deep respect.
As I announced in Geneva last December, we’ve launched a Global Equality Fund—a fund that other governments, companies, and foundations can contribute to—that will provide support for civil society groups around the world that are working to protect the human rights of LGBT people.

Read more and view video here >>>>

On a gloomy Sunday in the northeast, and gloomy in America at the heartbreaking, untimely loss of a promising young American leader,  I took my own sweet time going through the newsfeeds.  I really just wanted the post about Beau Biden to sit there for awhile.  I added John Kerry’s touching statement and a link at the bottom of the page so readers can sign the White House condolence book and send thoughts to the grieving family.  That was all I did today.  It was a day of shocked mourning for the big-tent Democratic family that probably has not been this united since December 2000.

Republicans, too, felt and shared the grief of this tragedy. From Jeb Bush  to Donald Trump, the sentiments poured in.  Sarah Palin, whose son, like Beau, served in Iraq,  quoted scripture.  I am sure Joe’s former Senate colleagues from the other side of the aisle also offered thoughts and prayers, even if I did not see them.

I did see Maureen Dowd’s latest RPG against Hillary and the Clintons.  Writers can have a “got you when” moment.  Umberto Eco got me when he explained in the foreword of The Name of the Rose  that,  although this foreword is long and tedious, you will have trouble following the story if you fail to read it.  I then pursued him through about 100 encyclopedic pages of doctrine and heresy that years later I still consider the most valuable information in the book.

Writers can also have a “lost you when” moment.  MoDo lost me when she compared Hillary to the Jennifer Jason Leigh character in Single White Female.  I will not link to her op-ed.   If you really want to know who the Bridget Fonda character is in Maureen’s scenario, you will have to go find it yourself.

Amid all the gloom, both meteorological and existential,  of this difficult Sunday, at the close of the day, I found a little gem glimmering at the end of the dark tunnel.  It was this reasoned and encouraging piece by Susan Estrich.  She makes a great point.  I do not share many op-eds here unless Hillary has written them, but this one is worth a read.

Susan Estrich: At a Time of Malaise, Hillary Clinton Brings Out Smiles While Republicans Frown

By Susan Estrich |

It’s “June gloom” in Southern California, that period well known to locals when the sunshine you expect doesn’t show until the end of the day, if at all. This year, the gloom couldn’t wait until June, and so it came in May.

That may also be true for the country

SNIP

The Democrats have a one-word answer to the national sense that our cup today is, sadly, half-empty: Hillary.

People smile when they say it. The idea of a woman who has paid her dues and then some and is so clearly qualified for the job finally getting that job is definitely a half-full cup.

Read more >>>>

I think Estrich has hit something here.  The idea of Hillary has positive power.   When I attended my county grassroots organizing event I heard 150 people joyfully and confidently share the words they associate with her.  In the small group I learned that they really do not know very much about her – and these are the activists.  Even the facilitator did not grasp that in this listening phase of the campaign there would not be any broad, sweeping messages.  But there was an optimism in the air about Hillary – about the idea of Hillary.

Hillary’s Strategic Communications Adviser and Senior Spokesperson, Karen Finney, has said “People think they know her,  but she’s the most unknown well-known person in the world.”  Most American voters will probably never come to know Hillary the way Karen does.  Getting them to know her that way – or feel that they do –  is Karen’s challenging  job.  Maybe, though, the optimism around her  – the idea of her – is really what the country needs – at least for now.  Look at this.  It is worth 1000+ words and descriptors.

05-27-15-Z-10

Many of us know that Hillary is patient, warm. concerned, understanding, dedicated, value-driven, empathetic, generous, sweet, and kind.  (I could go on.)  All of us here also know that she is brilliant, experienced, tested, adroit, prepared, and ready.   No 150 or 1,500 words  can sum up Hillary Clinton or portray her.  Maybe, though, if the idea of Hillary makes people smile  – maybe that, right now, is the important thing.

Susan Estrich is right.  Things are gloomy.  Hillary is the bright spot in a dreary season.  She has been listening.  Another thing we know about Hillary is that the listening continues, even when the listening tour ends.

05-27-15-Z-29

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