Hillary Clinton met with African American Civic and Community leaders on Friday, May 5, 2016, at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park where she was introduced to wildly, enthusiastic chants of Hillary, Hillary!
Clinton thanked “two dynamic members of Congress, Representatives Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, both D-California for their passionate and committed work as members of Congress during what can best be described as tumultuous years of partisan politics. Representative Waters lauded Mrs. Clinton as one “who walks the walk and talks the talk and has the ability to take the licks and keep on ticking.” Representative Bass cautioned those in attendance to be aware of the “coded language” coming from the Republican Presidential candidate amid cheers that Californians are “ready to go” in the upcoming primary and general election.
Mrs. Clinton spoke of her heartfelt commonality with Representative Bass as it relates to “what happens to children in foster care.” “What I am trying to do in my presidential campaign and what I will do as president is to lead a concerted effort to break every barrier that stands in the way of people living up to their God-given potential. That has been my North Star ever since I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund right out of law school.”
Clinton did not shy away from discussing the current political climate. “Most people are getting a wake-up call about this election,” Clinton said and “a house divided cannot stand.” Clinton affirmed her commitment to raising the minimum wage. She criticized her Republican opponent for saying that “wages are too high in America,” even though as Clinton pointed out “most Americans haven’t had a raise in 15 years.” “We have got to raise the minimum wage and guarantee equal pay for women in America, these are extremely important issues.”
Clinton also discussed mental health, and gun control, issues that she said are important not only to her campaign but would be a focal point of her presidency. “I’m running to build on the progress that President Obama has made, and I am very proud of that progress. I am very concerned about systemic racism that exists and what it means for people who are competing for jobs and promotions, and for our children who deserve to get an education that will put them on the path to a brighter future,” said Clinton.
Reporters were escorted out of the room during a question-and-answer session between the leaders and Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton thanked Herb Wesson, President of the Los Angeles City Council and the other leaders who were present for their support throughout the years. Clinton spoke of her understanding of the Presidency saying that I have no illusions about the presidency because I’ve seen it up close.”
“I know we have work to do, but we must do it together. We have to bring people to the table and roll up our sleeves. It is not enough to diagnosis the problem. I am interested in results.” Clinton said that she will “go anywhere, meet with anyone at anytime to find common ground.” To the delight of the audience, Clinton recounted how she has “worked with practically every Republican” she has served with. “Now I have to tell you that when I’m working with them, they actually say really nice things about me.” After the event, Mrs. Clinton moved on to a Cinco de Mayo visit in East Los Angeles.