Hillary Clinton: Up Close

Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential nominee

Hillary Clinton: Up Close
July 07
17:45 2016

Editor’s note: Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton visited Charlotte with President Obama on Tuesday. The Chronicle gives a glimpse of the candidate via The Chicago Defender. She sat with The Chicago Defender, a member of the National Newspapers Publishers’ Association, to discuss her vision for a better America.  The full story can be found at



Hillary Clinton came to Chicago on her Midwest campaign jaunt to address the Women’s International Luncheon at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 45th annual convention.

Afterward, The Chicago Defender got up close and personal with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to get greater insight into her vision for a better America.

“I have an old-fashioned belief that if you run for president, you should tell people what you’re going to do,” Clinton said as she revved up. “Listen, the next president of the United States can have the opportunity to select one, two, three Supreme Court justices … and we don’t want that president to be Donald Trump.”

Backstage at the luncheon, Clinton said that she has a personal commitment to working with The Black Press and all local press; however, she has noticed in particular the assumption of some in various parts of the country where she has traveled that it is assumed that The Black Press will show up.

“And that’s not always the case, so we want to make sure that we make the effort to reach out, and not only during the campaign, but even in the White House,” Clinton said. “I see The Black Press playing an active role in getting our message out directly to its readers, participating in the various activities such as today’s luncheon, and making sure that it has access as well as being included in the advertising buy.”

Clinton has made it clear that she will continue the initiatives that President Barack Obama implemented and work to enhance affordable health care. She credits the president with saving America from another depression, having inherited the worst financial crisis in American history since the Great Depression. And he’s done so much more that he is not given credit for, she said, and she plans to continue support of those efforts of great concern.

When asked about the underserved communities (black, brown, LBGT, etc.), Clinton said she has plans to address the issues that pertain to each, and one can actually go to her website and read exactly what her vision is. However, she provided insight and began, “First of all, we need more good jobs with rising incomes, because we’re just not seeing enough of them. There aren’t enough employment opportunities in Chicago’s underserved communities.”

It’s clear  that Clinton recognizes the disparities that plague the marginalized.

“We need to make sure that there are some big, bold programs like infra-structure, like clean renewable energy, like advanced manufacturing, that are within the reach of those people who need those jobs and have to be given the chance to compete for them,” she said, noting in the past 10 to 15 years, a lot of the jobs in the country are not within reach of those who live in the most distressed urban or rural areas.

So Hillary Clinton says she wants to make jobs available first. Second, education. She is adamant that young children be better prepared to go to school and supported throughout so they will be successful.

“There are a lot of ways we can do that. I am committed to working with communities, churches and educational systems to try to figure out how.” But it’s clear that she gets the com-prehension thread that makes it all work.

“But parents and grandparents have to be supported in doing the most important job of raising the next generation of children, and we need to do all that we can to see to it that we do that,” she said.

Clinton spoke to her vision to re-create “schools that people believe in, that they are passionate about, and we have that in a lot of places and I know that you don’t have that in Chicago.”

“We need diversionary programs so that we’re not suspending and expelling 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-year-old kids who are acting out,” she said. “We have a terrible disciplinary divide where kids who are either having problems or are just acting like normal kids being suspended if they’re African-American or Latino and white kids doing the same thing aren’t.”

She paused and continued, “That starts the whole cradle-to-prison pipeline.”

In her effort to end the cradle-to-prison pipeline, Clinton envisions doing more to intervene in help-ing the little kids be successful, which would include after school sup-port intervention programs.

For the older youth, she recognizes that there is no place for teenagers to direct their energies and how easy it is for them to be misdirected, often leading to gang affiliation or some other form of violence of destructive behavior.

“There are no organized activities,” Clinton said. “There’s nothing that breaks the attraction of a gang, where their thinking is ‘at least I’m on a team’ if they’re in a gang, as opposed to having options to choose from like being on a team (sports, academics, etc.) that may advance their life rather than end their life.”

She then segued to comment on Chicago: “I am really confused as to why Chicago has so much more violence year after year. And we have to factor that into federal programs. Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina has an excellent program that he calls 10, 20, 30, where 10 percent of federal money would go to 20 percent of the communities that have had 30 years of poverty. We have to focus on these places and it can’t be one size fits all. What may work in Chicago may not necessarily work in Miami or New Orleans.”

Regarding the gun-control issue and the associated violence, Clinton speaks passionately: “It’s a civil rights issue and I will do everything I can: legislation, regulation, litigation because I think we have veered off the track. We are intimidated by, controlled by and directed by the gun lobby in Washington. Members of Congress are scared to death, governors and state legislatures are scared to death, and why?Because the gun lobby represents a dedicated focused group of voters. And they will make anybody who doesn’t vote with them pay the price.”

However, she noted that yet the vast majority of people want these changes, so we’ve got to start acting like they are a voting issue to us.

She also pointed out that she promised the parents who have lost children to gun violence that, “I will do everything I can to change the gun laws. I will work continuously to do so.”

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