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tv   New Member Interviews - House Freshmen  CSPAN  February 17, 2021 4:29pm-5:22pm EST

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control and prevention update the house subcommittee on the agency coping response. watch live thursday at 11:00 a.m. on c-span2. >> divided administration leading the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic although the latest at search c-span coverage of news conferences as well as remarks from members of congress use the gallery of maps to follow the cases in the u.s. and worldwide. go to >> on january 3 more than 60 new members of congress were sworn to serve in the u.s. have house of representatives in the weeks of taking oath there been part of history the first few weeks included debating challenges to electoral college vote surviving an attack on the u.s. capital and voting on whether to impeach the president of the united
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states, before the historical events we spoke to several new members about what brought them to congress and what life experiences and influence have shapeded them here are four of e new members teresa leger fernandez is a democrat representing mexico's congressional district she studied lawn and worked as an advocate for tribal issues in her state she help division in the clinton and obama administration she is one of 13 new democrats in the house. >> i read somewhere you grew up with seven siblings is that correct? >> i have five older brothers and i was the first little girl so you know how much i was adored by my father and then i had a baby sister but i come from one of the huge northern new mexico families my father had 14 siblings who worked the ranch, worked the farm 17 generation new mexican honor european side and of course you have a lot in our marriage with
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her indigenous with her brothers and sisters. >> what are some of the memories you have what sticks out in your family. >> i had such a marvelous childhood my parents were bilingual education pioneers they really recognize the importance of keeping our language intact but that was true for everybody, they got past the multi-cultural bilingual all the native american language in spanish spoken in schools so you can imagine as they were pushing and fighting to have this accomplished we had musicians and artists and a wonderful group of people going in and out of our house and worry are landed people we love our land so we spent a lot of time going out going and flipping burgers
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and it's a really full childhood i went to headstart and it was a very in turn of monetary value but incredibly rich in terms of culture and connection to what i call this beautiful place we call home in northern new mexico. >> did you grow up in a political family. >> yes, my father eventually ran for a couple of things but he did serve as a state senator andy really believed that the reason to bring the power of your service to make things better for your community and he did that in a beautiful way but i sometimes tell the story of my grandmother in hospice, they didn't call her back then in her hospital bed in one of those
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long calling people right before election day, have you gone to both, if you have it i'm sending my grandchildren to pick you up to go togr the polls northern nw mexicans for a long time have understood who you elect from city council to school board to president matters so northern new mexico is a very engaged constituency. >> let's ask for your 17 years old and i read that you madeea a decision to move out of your home at that age. >> somebody had told me about a school called yale university i did not know what that was but they said it was great and they said all go there, it gives you a sense of the school that i went to and they didn't give the
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sat at the school and the time that was only test to be able to apply to yale and i will go to santa fe, texas ast and go to the school, i actually did each of those things but didn't realize the culture shock i would get when i got to yale but i lived on my own and this is before i got to school, now they call it a gap year back then i needed to save some money to go to this amazing institution i had no idea what i was getting myself into and basically changed anytime you do something like that it changes your directory. >> you show up at yell and talk about culture shock, give us an example of that. >> for one thing i am used to speaking with a spanish accent and then you go to yale and the texans were used to see a new mexico were tours so they would say y'all and then i ran in and they would say y'all but wait a
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minute, it was hard. i haven't had the prep classes that most of the students have had, there was a little bit i was in a further minimum action baby, i'm proud of it but black students and latino students we were there on affirmative actior and we might not have had the same preparation none of us went to prep school some of us were migrant farmworkers but what we did was take advantage of the opening and fred used to stay we started behind but we ended up at the same time which means were darn fast so we took advantage of every opportunity from asking for help, using tutors but also becoming a leader in that community. [speaking in foreign language] i took chavez to yale and everybody showed up to listen to
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him. and that was what was important, we were there to help others learn about part of the united states that they did not know and that was the beauty of affirmative action that was the beauty of o representation of having each other learn about your history and your story and get a better sense of what america is. it was a marvelous opportunity. >> what did you study? >> i got my degree and a latin american study which meant i could study as an economy like economic development was a big issue but also the amazing writing and literature that was coming out of latin america at the time we all love. [speaking in foreign language] , i studied all of that and then
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i did think it would continue to do economic development i did economic development at ut austin where i attended graduate school but i found my true voice, i applied to stafford and god in and i found my true voice as an advocate not really graduate school i wasn't made out for that we don'tfo always know what our paths d should be somebody encourage me to go to law school and i agreed to apply and i went to stanford and this is what i'm good at in stanford i was trained as a lawyer and your viewers might ask what is rebellious what does the rebellious lawyer do the most rebellious thing we can do is listen because we don't listen were not going to understand what the issues are of those we want to work within those we want to represent so that's what i'm going to do very well at stanford. >> there's a profiled albuquerque journal and it listed your occupation as social
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n impact lawyer, what does that mean to you? >> that means the work that i do is going to have a larger impact orher than on one individual one business, i have helped start multiple businesses and disadvantages communities but they get back to the communities and they were doing this and now we have something called the c corporation, ben & jerry's was a b corporate corporation a b corporation a benefit corporation you don't think of the short-term monetary gain but how does this company serve the community in terms of providing income providing vibrancy, if it's on the business and it's something like that and if it's protecting voting rights, voting rights expert i fought against gerrymandering and fought to make sure there is access to the ballot but they are placing ballot boxes in the rural areas and native american communities
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i representative tribes in native american communities pueblos, nations,s. for decades but i also did a lot of affordable housing because when you create homeowners in the community you strengthen the community and it becomes more vibrant so the things i worked on or the things i want to work on in congress which are one of the things that we need at a foundational level to help our communities, our businesses, our families thrive, that is what i mean by a social impact lawyer and the other thing it is a lot of fun when you do that work i had a lot of joy in working with people i have you never do anything on individual basis it is always a collective and collaborative work. suzanne: too that end you've had some experience with administration particular under the obama administration, you help advise them on cultural ana historic preservation can you talk about that?
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>> president obama named me to the advisory council on historie preservation and after a year or two elevated me too vice chair and with the ac hp the advisory council advises congress and the administration on issues of preservation because we need to be able to understand our history and to preserve it and it cannot be the mayflower and needs to be all of those things difficult or beautiful it means preserving our history at ellis island the immigrants coming through in angel island where immigrants came through but we incarcerated them because they were chinese and we had the chinese exclusion act and mean celebrating the work in the park of los angeles i tried to expand to make historic and cultural
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preservation more inclusive we need to remember all of our stories are part of the american story and the only way we get past this moment, there is too much demonization is if we recognize there is not another, we are different we have stories and for cultural backgrounds and our strength in our unity, that is the work that i focus on their i was appointed because i had done some of that work and sued the united states successfully about trying to protect our cultural resources at the rio grande, the colorado river along the grand canyon and some other work i had done and i think that's an important part the way we say in spanish is there's not another just and
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asked. >> what prompted you to run for congress? >> i'll be honest i have a lot of experience in a lot of different areas and i've been trying to make a difference in my community in new mexico, i came home this is where my heart is and so i started getting calls and this just opened up and they picked up the phone immediately after and called me and this is the firste time evr felt like i was responding to a call not a phone call but a call and my father behind me when he wanted to get something done and make life better for the community he said let's do it now we've got to do it now and i felt like now was the time i had to answer the call to take my experience and take it to a larger level because i did have
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insight of what struggles were on the ground we sometimes talk about for representation that we need to have people who at the lived experiences in my lived experiences from working on the ground and in the trenches and on these issues i know where the obstacles are i've been creating opportunity and places of poverty for decades and i been looking at those things that heal us and i realize this was a calling and this was something that it was my time to do this and i was bringing some experience and insight and some empathy but more importantly connection with my community points to this job and i add to call and i ran on a platform and i want to put love at the center my campaign so when you act at a place of love and you will put
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others of community first so i felt like now is the time that we had to act to take some of the bold action that wee all recognize we need to take now to protect the places in the issues that we love, this pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we all are but especially that there has been an undue burden of suffering on minority communities, communities of color, poor communities and we need to address those so we have a more fair and equal society in the future we need to invest in our future so i wanted to be able to participate in steering the country hopefully in that direction. >> one area you areu interested in energy your state has two
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national labs that deal with these issues how do you hope to incorporate their resources now is you're going to congress to represent your state to represent those issues. >> i had briefing with theef las and they do a lot of work with nuclear nonproliferation in the area but a lot of their work can be dedicated to solving other national crises the climate crises is a national security issue and for new mexico we are a fragile environment if we do not address the climate crisis with strong action new mexico will not be what it is today because we are at the edge too long of a drought will destroy our ability to enjoy the beautiful place we call home same way the coast is at n risk their places in the united states more at risk in new mexico is on their we need to marshal all the resources we have two address that part of it is stuff we already know we need to do we need to go to renewable
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energy and move our energy grid away and move our tax policy away from fossil fuels but we need the innovation and those labs are going to help us get there and they're already working on it so we need to increase the funding so they start working on those issues that will address that climate crisis because the climate crisis is going to have a disruption that is so much greater then all the pain were going throughgo right now so we must address that with the bold action because we lost too much time. >> were talking with representative fernandez new mexico serves the third district thank you for talking with us in introducing. >> thank you so much for the invite. >> deborah ross was born in philadelphia 1963 a civil rights lawyer she served more than ten
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years in the north carolina house of representatives she became interested in politics as the league of women voters a democrat she represents north carolina second congressional district. >> do you remember when you first became interested in r politics? >> yes, thank you for reaching out and asking these questions to let your viewers know a little more about this incoming class i remember my mom being so involved in the league of women voters and working to get women elected to local government in the 70s and my mom was more of a grassroots person, less than 20000 people she would go door-to-door raising money for a good cause or letting people know that somebody wonderful was running in our local community
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and she had me go with her and sometimes i would be on one side of the street and she would be on the other side and we would connect with our neighbors and tell them how much it meant to get involved inet their communi. >> how old were you what reaction did you get knocking on the door of your neighbor. >> i've always been an outgoing person and friendly, i was around ten years old i was around ten years old and her and her other local governments and that the first time i ran with student government and middle school and i like going door to door as a matter of fact not being able to do that was one of the downsides of this campaign season, i've been in eight
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elections and i love meeting people and their communities, this time around it was all the telephone and the big telephone person as a teenager so those came back to. >> you spent a lot of hours on the phone. >> did you always think i'm going to run for office someday. >> like i said in middle school i started getting involved in student government what i would say, i realize now how unique it was but there were a lot of strong female leaders setting an example for me and showing me that anything was possible and education and in my career and that in government way but i was born in philadelphia and i grew up basically from second grade on in connecticut and ella grasso was the governor of
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connecticut and barbara was in congress and it was normal to me that there would be women occupying very significant roles, political rolls in government roles and i realize now how unusual it was for that time but i think they in my mom and my junior high school civics teacher told me anything was possible and they lead by example they got me involved in the community which is the best way to learn whether or not you want to serve. >> any other political mentors inme your life. >> one of my biggest political mentors in the general assembly and i served in the north carolina legislature for moremo than ten years was a two turn speaker of the house joe hackney he was a mentor to me when i was an advocate for the civil
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liberties and the chair of the judiciary committee i got to know him there and then i started to serve and he gave me a lot of positions off leadershp very early on cochairing constitutional committees, i ultimately share the judiciary committee twice and we have very different personalities i'm much more outgoing ready to move and he is a farmer and a lawyer, verywy patient keeps his own counsel and he taught me there are lots of different ways to get things doneli in politics ad he taught me the importance of patience and grace as well. >> did he have anything he would say to you or do you remember a piece ofme advice? >> he would say sometimes it is better to wait so if something was getting very hot and there was a lot of people on different
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sides rather than trying to immediately pickn a side or immediately, but the solution he would really let everybody speak, let everything get out on the table and give it a night and ask people to talk to each other and frequently things could be resolved not in the heat of the moment but after mogood night sleep and after having good conversation. >> you have been in eight elections and you served in office on the state level, you ran for the u.s. senate, any moment along the way where you think or you experienced any sexist pushbackk from men and hw did that shape you? >> all the time i grew up in a different generation i'm in my 50s and i let it roll off my
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back sometimes i would handle it with humor, it was sexual in nature i would push back hard, i was framed in shaped by watching the anita hill hearing and a number of women in my generation said you have got to speak up earlyom, if i saw something or felt something that was inappropriate i would always tell people in real time what was going on to protect myself, i was a different time when i started in politics i was the youngest woman in the north carolina general assembly and sometimes the pushback i got was from the women i remember i tried to go into the members cafeteria at the very beginning and the woman who ran thee membersot cafeteria did not thik i was a member because i was a woman in her 30s and there were not very many of those in our general assembly.
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>> how are you framed and shaped by the anita hillth hearing? >> what i saw people who did have an understanding of what goes on in the workplace and in society for women what we hear sometimes just walking down the street, i am not the only person that was the year of the woman forgetting a woman getting elected to congress senator patty murray tells us how she those hearings but the way i was framed in shaped to know it is important to speak out, it is important to seek change, it is important to be in the halls of power that we cannot just expect somebody to protect us we have to protect ourselves and even more
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importantly women have to protect others. >> he practiced law for 25 years, what issues did you work on and will you continue that work in congress in washington? >> i have loved practicing law and i taught law at duke university primarily to foreign lawyers sharing our legal system with people who come from other legal systems. as everybody knows i ran the civil liberties union in north carolina for more than seven years so i have a history of working on constitutional law, civil rights, civil liberty, the first amendment and those are very, very strong values that i have and i have a lot of success both in court and advocating at the legislature on issues affecting civil rights and civil liberties. at this moment in our nations history we need champions for civil rights and civil liberties
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and i plan to be that champion again as i have been throughout my career, i also practice in private practice primarily in infrastructure, economic development and renewable energy and right now i'm closing about law practice with a dozen renewable energy climates and people who are small hydroelectric plants to solar energy to biogas in north carolina we have plenty of swine and culturing waste were trying to use in an effective way so i'm going to bring all of that experience to congress to i'm hoping this will be a big session for infrastructure and renewable energy and modernizing. >> deborah ross representing north carolina second district thank you for your time.
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>> frank is a democrat representing indiana's first congressional district he is a second-generation politician his father served for 39 years in indiana state senate, he worked out as a mortgage broker in pharmaceutical sales and enter politics in 2005 with a successful run of north township indiana he is one of two new members from the state. >> first tell me what is a hoosier. >> a hoosier is a bird but most importantly it is the name that we take, indiana hoosiers are resilient, hard-working and always seeking out a better quality of life to help their neighbors. >> your representing indiana first district which differs for much of the state, tell me why? >> it differs for much of the state simply because it's at the northern where northwest indiana and closed to the chicago market and most importantly what
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differentiates us is a steel producing region in the nation and so are steel mills in indiana and along the lakeshore are vital to not only our national security but northwest indiana. >> how is a steel industry ferrying in your district? >> the covid-19 has its impact on the markets globally and also an impact ono production so currently it's running at 67% of production rate and ultimately we want to get into the high '80s and 90s and get all of our men and women who work in our steelworkers back to work and ultimately do what we can to protect the steel industry through very solid and good trade agreement and making sure were protecting the global market and that were not getting steel from foreign countries
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dumped into the united states because they have a surplus, as a member of congress i intend to work extremely hard to make sure the case that we protect is a national security key phrase that we've learned in 2021 supply chain the last thing we want to do is be dependent on the american steel when it comes to defending our nation, building ships, airplanes, building tanks so we have to make sure we protect our steel industry and going down the road we hope to pass an infrastructure bill that would have an american provision and it that would clearly when were investing public dollars make sure were investing in our industry you're in united states and the most effective on the planet earth. >> you were among the workforce before entering congress, what
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did you do and what industry did you work within. >> as an elected official for the last 15 years i was in north township in northwest indiana and chicago highland which is a very diverse socioeconomic and it was 180,000 people and what my responsibility was was emergency relief and families who lost their jobs or people underemployed over the last 15 years and we service thousands of people every year to make sure we stabilize their homes and to make sure that we work with social services and all different agencies to make sure those individuals who were vulnerable or living in the margins or needed a job . . . giving them a handout, but a hand up in order to become employed. we are in a national crisis.
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people are losing their jobs, facing health care crises. that is what i have done for 15 years. i bring skill sets of working with people who don't know where to turn. we offered direct relief and worked on workforce development, community colleges making sure people were prepared for the next generation of jobs. that is what i intend to do as a member of and to make sure we get to this health crisis, stabilize the economy, stateless peoples homes get people back to work look to see what the next generation of jobs are in train those workers to be prepared for that's ultimately whatrked i have donea trustee is exactly the training necessary for the conditions are the times that we face currently in o our nation in indiana, in y district in northwest indiana. >> tell me a little bit of. we are your born and raised.
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understand your father was in local politics for a number of years. talk about that.t. >> absolutely. my father state senator frank mrvan is a leader representing the first senate district in indiana in indianapolis to make state laws. ultimately he has fought hard for labor working men and women, education and he's been someone who's been invested and poured his life into making sure that people have opportunities and property owners and individuals are treated fairly and ultimately making indiana a better place. so i would go to the union halls with him. ii bogota the churches and i would go to the parades growing up and they gave me the skill set to make sure use my skills and talents to assist people as i mentioned over the last 15 years of my life. what it has taught me the lesson i'm walking away from with my
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father is stay close to your constituency, make sure you are communicating with them understand what's on their mind and take action so find out what the needs of the community are. >> tell us about your family life now at home. >> absolutely. they married jane, my wife. we were high school sweethearts. we went to morton high school. we met in high school. i was a sophomore and she was a freshman and i was 16. we dated and have been together ever since, i'm 51 years old. i went to ball state as she went to perdue. we went to two different colleges but we have always been together and connected and have been soulmates. so that is my will wife. my daughter's i have genevieve who is 17 and scarlett who is 13 so a senior in high school and an eighth-grader. these are challenging times to
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go through school with the e-learning especially for senior. it's all that generation is going through so as a family we are going through that they genevieve loves art, photography and fashion kuchis a phenomenal writer and scholar of science and history and social studies and language arts. that's my home life. a dog named truman. he is a golden doodle. best friends and that's my home life. >> how do you plan to make the family and home life balance work while you were on the hill where you have wrought your dog with you? >> i'm not sure about truman. if we drive back and forth, to 11 hour drive but i'm going to balance my home life and my work life the same way millions of families do that every single day. i have a strong support of my
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wife and my family who wants to see me be successful so that our district is successful and so that people can get back to work and we get through this health carere crisis. and ultimately doing everything we can to include each other and are lives in washington d.c.. with the e-learning we hope my wife and children can come out more frequently and we incorporate that into our lives. with what life and work now is an important issue making sure your connected and making sure you involve the family and no matter how big the subjects are whole -- how overwhelming the challenges are as we "face the nation" and the district we come home to our families and we have to remember that and i have too always keep in mind a support system that i have for my daughters and for my wife and do her thing i can to stay connected. >> how assure district faring with the covid-19 pandemic with the crisis now?
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>> it's a faring equal to what the nation is faring so the numbers are on the rise. inin indiana we are a red county which means we are at agh higher percentage of positivity rate than most states and people are suffering. it's real so the messages today that a member of congress is to make sure we continuously listen to the cdc and things i want to work on in making sure the logistics of the distribution of the vaccines going forward are understood, communicated clearly and we have a national plan. i want to make sure that the cdc fema and homeland security work together in conjunction with our state agencies, our state health professional agencies and their county health professional agencies and when we do that i believe we will have the best approach towards covid-19. to those families were suffering
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and have lost loved ones my condolences. we are going to do everything we can to work on this health care crisis in my district in the state of indiana and in the nation and do everything we can as, a member of congress to get people back to work on an economic stimulus package that gets direct relief into the individuals and a former ppe to businesses and business owners in making sure our schools hospitals and first responders in their state local and federal state local and county government are properly funded based on the reduction of the revenue they have seen. >> is a new member to close close up our interview is there anything that you look forward to or excited about in joining the 117th congress? >> you know, what i'm looking forward to or excited about is
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using my skills and past experiences coupled with my attention as far as getting people back to work, making sure my district gets through this health crisis along with the nation, making sure that we can stabilize people's homes, stabilizees businesses and get r economy back on track. i'm looking forward to the opportunity to participate in our government and the greatest nation in the world and face with one of the greatest challenges we have hadad in 100 years. i believe i am up to that challenget and these are very serious times and i'm going to approach it in a serious way but still try to have joy in my heart because i am serving and ultimately but i'm looking forward to is taking the steps necessary to get through this crisis, taking the steps necessary too get to the other side so we have economicve stability, we have a handle and control over covid and that we
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are working every single day towards safe measures and just enjoying the challenges of the job. >> congressman frank mrvan thank you so much for joining us today on c-span. f >> thank you very much and you have a wonderful day. >> carolyn bourdeaux is a democrat representing georgia's district seventh district. she worked in local government and as a political aid to oregon democratat want -- ron biden a member of the u.s. house. now professor at georgia state university the first democrat to flip her seat held by republicans since 1995. you are born in roanoke virginia and raised there as my parents have a passionate commitment to public education.
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the turning point in my life though was when i was in high school my father burned out of teaching and decided to go into oubusiness for himself selling n the streets large animal hats. we would do 64 shows a year and wear would go out to the drivewy and i would stand out on the streets and hawk animal hats. that was one of very formative events of my life. >> what did that teach you, leading his profession to start a new business? >> while the story had many twists along the way. i was getting ready for college and wrote this cheeky essay aboutin -- and young people from my community never thought about ivy ivy league schools that someone handed me an application to yale university and i thought oh heck i'll give it a try. i filled outa thehe applicatiod
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i slapped on that essay which was about five pages and i sent it in and i got in. i was a very good student of course but i attribute getting into yale and part in having a unique storyun about the paper hats. i went to yell a wonderful experience in my family and community this local girl that made good. it was the recession of the early 90s and the hats 100 we went bankrupt and lost everything including our house. i would had stafford and perkins loans and people not community help me make it through. alert -- worked long hours and i made it. when i graduated an officer sat me down and said young lady you haven't lot of debt and you need to get a job right away but my father sat me down is a carolyn i don't want you to forget you need a world-class education with that comes responsibility.
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that was the core of my commitment to public service. i've learned a lot of things in the hat business. one is you take risks and it might take you to unexpected places. hard work and perseverance and a recognition of a community that has invested in me and invested in all of us and the responsibility that comes with that to lead a future for our children. >> when your father had to declare bankruptcy what affected that have on you? >> it was a very dark time for my family. we did not have anything better member thinking i could never get the sense to buy a coke so there was a real struggle where we had to think and work our way through it. at the end of the day i knew i had a really good education and i would be able to make it because of that. that was also a very important lesson for me and for my family. >> how do you think that experience shapes you today?
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>> i'm somebody who is very good in common places. i was fed georgette -- georgia senate evaluator.pu i worked under republican leadership and georgian works with both parties and balance the budget in this tough fiscal crisis. at the end of my time there i was honored with a special resolutiond for significant services in the state of georgia. the georgia's seventh district was a tough race. i had run five races in the past three years and we have worked very hard to make reform performative change in georgia and all of that comes from the toughest learning about how tough you have to be to make it through really hard times. >> after you got -- and you and your father had that talk with you what you did do next? >> my life in public service predicted the train to new haven connecticut down to washington d.c.. i did know where to start. i had to make a little bitro of
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money because i have a lot of student debt and i went to washington and i went door-to-door to any member of congress with whom i had some connections andnt i said i'm yor constituent, hire me. eventually my grandmother's congressman the chief of staff ron biden from oregon i ended up working for him. at what was that experience like? >> that was wonderful. i learned a lot working for ron. he is someone whose progressive. he is fiscally responsible and every single piece of legislation that i worked on had a republican co-sponsor and had a commitment to good public policy and building the coalition to get it done. >> how did you end up in georgia >> after working for wyden i went back to school and got a masters and ph.d. in public demonstrations with a focus on public finance and i came to georgia in 2003 to teach at
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georgia state in policy studies and had been very involved in the policy life of georgia ever since that time. >> how do you think being a teacher will help you in washington d.c.? what traits do you bring to the table and having that background? >> it is very important and being a teacher learning to listen to your students and understand where they are in learning something that they are trying tou convey to them. one of the things i believe in and public policy is sitting down and really having it dialoguett with people in the community about what they need and how we work our way to a solution. a lot of my experience with that is grounded in learning how to teach. >> when you do decide to run for office and why?
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>> i got into this race in july of 2017 and there were several pushes that got me into it. the first was the destruction of the affordable care act and just the sense that our representatives had lost their line of sight for people of the seventh district of georgia. they are there are over 120,000 people in the seventh district without health insurance. it was just inconceivable to me that our elected representatives would not be working hard to try to address that issue and uninsured people pay a very heavy price for not having health care, not having access to ain doctor. all of us pay for it as well because we pay for that uncompensated care and their own risingow health insurance premiums. everyone needs quality affordable health care. the other big push was the election of donald trump and a
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president who is racist, sexist, anti-immigrant and someone who didn't seem to understand or respect democracy itself. after that election i sat down with friends and neighbors and i said we are not going to go down this way and we set up the race for george of. >> and 20 team you ran against republican incumbent and you've lost that election by 433 votes. what did it teach you? >> so, in that race we closed a 20 percentage point gap. representative warnock had never gotten 60% of the vote of thehe huge effort to close that gap and came to the board at 33 votes so for people in the seventh district this was like a victory for many people. nobody thought that could be done and so most people would congratulate me on that race
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just because it was such a huge shift in people's expectations in people's understanding of their community and what could be done there. so we turned around after that and congressman woodall decided to retire. i got back into the race and we all determined that wee were going to finish the job. >> in fact you are one of the only democrats to flip a republican seat. but if youre told leadership abt the next two years what and what you need to hold onto this seat? >> what i w want to do is to hep build the community in the seventh district to get things done on their behalf and that is really why iran. we need some investments in our community. health care obviously very important issue. but we also our community highly
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values education and be really neat infrastructure investment not only for quality of life but also to unlock economic opportunity. key issues for me are health care education infrastructure investments and the democratic reforms making sure we have campaign-finance reform and other key issues for people in the district. >> when did you become a democrat and how do you define its? >> well i was a democrat and i worked for ron wyden and we believed in many of the policies we when i came to georgia i was faculty at the andrew young school in ways provided a lot of support for the state legislature and the governor site tried to take a more
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nonpartisan stance and just focus on educating people about this policy and things changed and i saw the destruction of the affordable care act in the election of donald trump i turned back to my roots. democrats care about people and want to find ways that we can use government respectively efficiently to solve problems for people and that is what i'm committed to doing. >> representative carolyn bourdeaux thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me.
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