Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States, speaks at Keene State College.
Good afternoon I'm Stan you're a Savic president of Keene State College on behalf of the college and the greater kein community. I am indeed delighted and honored to welcome Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton today. But. We are pleased that she chose to speak at Cayne State College as a public college. It is our mission to provide forums for public figures to present ideas and it is in this spirit that we welcome Mrs. Clinton but we have much more in common with Mrs. Clinton than a commitment to the free exchange of ideas. We share a deep commitment to the lives of children most specifically the education of children. And I've just learned that we share a
personal connection to a member of Mrs. Clinton's advance team. Karen Maguires grandmother attended the cane normal school. At. Mrs. Clinton. Thank you for coming to State College. Thank you for risking New-England weather to be here today. After the weather you've seen in Washington these past few weeks. You're probably you're probably ready for almost anything we can dish up and welcome to all of you. I now turn the podium over to the mayor of the city of Kane the honorable Pat Russell. Wasting my time here. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Greetings from the city of Keene. It is with great pleasure to introduce a woman who is well known to all of us in Keene. I remember when she came to southwestern community services in 1992 and shook hands with every employee there and sat down and talked to department heads and spent a great deal of time with us. She was warm and sincere then and she campaigned for Bill Clinton who was the governor of Arkansas at that time. I know she is still warm and sincere in it. I am very very proud to present to you today the first lady of the United States of America Hillary Rodman Clinton.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much Dr. Y. Thank you very much my friend. You're a mayor. You know I have to say four years ago the people of New Hampshire made my husband the comeback kid. And today you make me feel like the come home kid. I am very glad to be here. I want to thank. You for your friendship and your appreciation of what the president is working to do. And so many of you who care about the future direction of our country and who
are actively engaged in your citizenship duties have such a special opportunity because you live in this state to get to know people on a personal level to have a chance to sit down across a table or as the mayor was saying at a meeting or a gathering and ask your questions and size people up. It's a very important part of the American political process. The service that the people of New Hampshire render and I'm very grateful to you for that as some of you know and as the mayor has said I have been to Keene before I went to Keene State before but my very first visit to Keene was in 1991 with my husband. We were here on a beautiful New England day. And I must say that whenever I think of Keene I think of that day it was glorious. The sky was this brilliant blue.
The sun was shining it was right before Halloween and the square was filled with pumpkins and children and costumes. And when Bill and I got here we went to the pub restaurant and met some of the people of Keene and the surrounding area. I was surprised because it happened to be my birthday so I not only got a cake but I got serenaded. Then we went down to the square and visited with a lot of the children and the mothers and fathers who were bringing their children and taking care of the displays and giving the children a chance to do some things there that day. So whenever I think of Queen I think of the glory of that day I think of cakes and pumpkins and happy children. And I also think of the warm hospitality and generosity of spirit that my husband and I have always felt when we've been here and throughout New
Hampshire. There's something about having a chance to spend as much time in a place like New Hampshire and in communities like Keene. That certainly gives me and I know gives my husband even more encouragement that we will meet the challenges that face us as a people. A few days ago in his State of the Union which I hope many of you had a chance to hear or to see. The president talked about the challenges we share as Americans what we've done to try to meet those challenges. What we need to continue to do to meet those challenges to seek and hold the common ground among us as he said. We live in an age of possibility whatever uncertainties or unpredictability as
any of us face personally or that we face together. We are also as individual Americans and as members of the American community blessed with unprecedented opportunities right here at Keene State. I am impressed that you are engaged in a process that you call Vision 2000 to determine how keen state can become an even greater public institution serving not only students but the entire community. And you have already evidenced that through your commitment to community service Keene State earned one of the very few. Learn and serve. Higher education grants to promote service in the Keene area. And I know that already 800 students have volunteered to help that kind of personal responsibility combined with mutual obligation that both learning for your own sake
and your own futures combined with understanding the role that you will play in building this new America really stands for what the president said we needed to do. I wanted just briefly to talk about these challenges because they go to the core of who we are as a people and how we will respond as a nation. The first challenge to cherish our children and strengthen the American family. I know that most of us understand now. There is nothing more important than what we give to our children how we spend our time with them how we invest our energy how we loved them and discipline them and each of us has a responsibility to care for our children whether or not we are parents and those of us who are parents have a special obligation to do all we can to make sure every American child
grows up with two parents in a stable dependable home and when the president talked about that the other night. He said that there were things we had to do in our own families starting with. Making sure we supported our children making sure fathers. And mothers committed themselves to children. But there were things that the community also had to do to meet this challenge and he mentioned a few of them to cut down on television violence which we now know without a doubt does affect the way children feel about themselves and how they see their society. Parents have to be the first line of defense. They have to be willing to turn off the television set. To regulate what their own children see. But parents need help in doing that particularly today when parents are both working or when single parents are having to be responsible and can't always be there in the home. That's
why we need to do something like the V-chip which the president talked about so that parents can control what comes into their houses. And I hope. I hope that Congress will accept the president's challenge to pass the bill that contains the V-chip so that more of us who are mothers and fathers will be able to regulate what our children see whether we are at home or not with them. We also have to protect our children by doing things like making it much more difficult for children to have access to tobacco. It is against the law but the laws are not enforced. And the president has stood up very firmly against the tobacco interests to say you cannot continue marketing to children. We know that there have been deliberate efforts over the
last years to market cigarettes in such a way that children will be lured into beginning to smoke. So those advertisers and those manufacturers also have to accept responsibility to cherish our children and not see little children as potential consumers for cigarettes and other tobacco products. We also know. That in addition to enforcing child support we have to do what we can to cut the rate of teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births. Now the good news is that for two years the last two years that rate has been going down. But it is still much too high and we need a grass roots campaign. We need programs in families and churches and schools and community centers that help children understand what their responsibilities are to face the challenge that comes at them from every direction every day in a society that is just
saturated with messages of sexuality that are inappropriate for children. So we need to do what we can to help all children learn to be responsible and to acquire the skills to say no no to tobacco no to alcohol no to drugs no to early sexual activity no do the things that will undermine their capacities to become the kind of adults and citizens Americans need. The second. The second challenge that the president outlined was to renew our schools for the new century and to open wide the doors of college. We need more than ever for every American to learn as much as he or she is capable of learning to be ready for the global economy. And the president talked about educational technology initiatives
to make sure that our students were hooked in to the Information Age and that will be important. Even though people like myself are still computer illiterate We know that that is not going to be an option for our daughters and our sons and so we have an investment as a nation and making sure that kind of knowledge is available. We also know that higher standards for students and teachers is a good thing. So that local schools will know what they're aiming for. In business and in sports. We set standards we hold people accountable. It would be unthinkable that the CEO of a major corporation would come before the public and say we didn't have a very good year because well look who our stockholders are look who our employees are. Look who all of us are with our customers. We have nothing to measure ourselves against because it's not our responsibility. Schools need standards. And what the president has done in making sure that we had what is called Goals 2000 is to lay out standards but then to say to local schools in Keene or Manchester
you go out and do what is needed to meet those standards we won't tell you how to do it. But here's what we think. A student in Manchester should know to be competitive with a student in Manchester England or in Cairo Egypt or anywhere in the world. We also believe. That there are critical elements that parents and teachers have to do for themselves. But they have to be given the tools. There should be more public school choice so that parents can choose the public schools and the good public schools survive and flourish and the others have to change their ways. That's the way it should operate. One of the. One of the important changes that the president has already brought about are what are called charter schools and he talked about them the other night. If all 50 states would enact charter school laws within the next 12
months like the 20 that already have then local community groups parent groups educator groups could come together to charter new public schools could come up with ideas for public schools that then would be evident to the public. Parents could choose among them and there would be standards by which we could judge whether or not they were meeting their mission their charter. But none of this will work without parental involvement. Again in the schools so it has to be made easier for working parents. More schools have to be willing to open up during hours when working parents can get there and more employers have to be willing to give working parents time off so they can go to schools for parent teacher conferences and to become involved in the work of the schools for their children. And parents. Have to support discipline in the schools you know in this book that I have in this book that I recently.
Published had published I wrote about my own father who was the kind of father who would say things like you get in trouble at school you get in trouble at home and there was this you know just fear of this united parental adult front against us as children we need that again. Parents and educators have to be partners and they must set structures and rules for children to follow. I believe strongly that should include in many school districts uniforms for public school students. We already know that wear uniforms have been tried in some districts such as Long Beach California school violence has gone down gang related disputes over the clothes the children wear have gone down academic performance has gone up. So there has to be more of a partnership between parents and teachers. And finally we must dramatically expand access to college. I know that in this college more than 60 percent of the
students have some kind of financial aid that has to remain available for every student who is willing to work. For his or. Her. Patient. And specifically the other evening in addition to what the president has already done to change the direct student lending program. He wants to do three more things. He wants merit scholarships for students who graduate in the top 5 percent of their high schools. That's over a hundred and twenty five thousand students annually. They need to be encouraged to go to college. We still have many good students who for financial reasons and family problems can't make that jump on their own. We also need to dramatically expand work study. It is the American way for students to work their way through college and at the very moment when we need it the most it is being cut back. And finally the president renewed his
call for a deduction of up to $10000 for the cost of tuition and training. This would provide much needed financial relief to families who want their children to be able to go to college but cannot afford it without that kind of tax relief. Those are the things that a nation can do in partnership with families and educators. The third challenge is to provide new economic security for the American family in this new global economy. Skills Matter. It matters very much. The workers of New Hampshire have to be able to compete with other workers because their skills are better not because they will get paid at the lower rates that workers in other countries can afford to be paid at. That means that the president's plan a new G.I. Bill for American workers would enable every American to take the money he's entitled to because of a layoff or a company moving somewhere else and instead of going through a mass of red
tape and many programs go out into the marketplace come to Keene State go to a community college go to a vocational program and use the money to get retrained to increase skills so that the person becomes employable again. In this economy. It is also important to remember that the United States Congress sets the minimum wage in America. It is not any longer possible for families to survive on for 25 an hour. Most. Most people working at minimum wage are not students. They're not temporary workers. They're working people supporting themselves and children very often they are single parents. They work in our restaurants they work in our gas stations. They work at
all of the jobs that keep things going that may not be very visible but are essential to our economic well-being. Our working families deserve to get paid a wage that rewards work and the minimum wage is now at a 40 year low in terms of what it would buy. That is not fair for all those working Americans who get up every day and take care of us. We should support a rise in the minimum wage from 425 to at least five dollars and fifteen cents an hour in two equal steps. We also. We also should do what else the president said keep the Earned Income Tax Credit. Don't take it away from working families. It has made a huge difference in lifting families out of poverty in the last three years. The president would also like to see us give a tax credit to families of $500 per child. It is
expensive to raise children in today's economy we should reward child rearing. We also have to make pensions more available and affordable. We have to simplify the pension rules and we must safeguard retirement savings. We cannot permit employers to use retirement savings for inappropriate uses. And finally. Economic security goes hand-in-hand with health security. Anyone who has ever had. A serious illness or knows of one in your family you understand why health security can't be separated from economic security. We should reform health insurance and we should do so in a way. That enables people to take their insurance from job to job and to keep it after somebody has gotten sick and not have it taken out from under them when they need it most. We also though.
We must protect Medicare and Medicaid. They are the safety nets for millions and millions of Americans. The fourth challenge is to take back our streets from crime gangs and drugs and we have actually been making progress on this count as a nation because of what local law enforcement officials are doing because of what citizens and neighborhood patrols are doing. We're making some progress. Much of it is related to the initiative called community policing because we have finally gotten more police officers on the street. That was one of the goals that the president had when he pushed the crime bill that was passed in 1994. He promised a hundred thousand police were moving in that direction. But we can see it already makes a difference because if we have more police interacting with people having them on the streets we can prevent crimes we can prevent petty crimes from turning into something worse.
But we also have to have an organized effort against gangs just as in a previous generation we had an organized effort against the mob. We need to take these people on. They are often connected to big drug cartels. They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called Super Predators no conscience no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heel and the president has asked the FBI to launch a very concerted effort against gangs everywhere. In addition to that he has appointed a new drug czar. You probably saw him Tuesday night he's one of the most distinguished active military generals that we have in our country. He's already proven that he knows how to interdict drugs because of his command of the South American activity on behalf of the United States. But General McCaffrey will make a big difference and I believe it is now time for all of us to know what we can do individually to be part of this anti crime anti gangs anti-drug effort. The fifth challenge is
to protect the environment for future generations. We must do that. It. It is not feasible. In today's world to give up on how far we have come in environmental protection. We really have made progress. There are lakes that 25 years ago had fires burning in them that now you can fish in again. There's air that you can breathe in streams you can fish in and rivers you can now swim in again. We have done this as a nation we have done it because we know that the environment is not the province of any interest group or business group or even any one state. If the oil spills off the coast of Rhode Island as it did last week it can wash up on the beaches of New York if there's a toxic polluter in one state. What flows from his polluting activities can cross a state
border. We cannot let anyone turn the clock back on environmental protection. That is one of the critical issues facing us. As a nation. The sixth challenge is to meet our responsibilities as a nation to lead the fight for freedom and peace. At the end of the Cold War we cannot become isolationist just because there are no longer any Russian missiles pointing at us. We have to remain active and involved and America can be a peacemaker. Not a global policeman going in trying to make people solve their problems. But a facilitator and when in Northern Ireland they're ready to talk. We can help make that happen when in the Middle East they are ready to talk. The United States can help make that happen. When in Haiti they want democracy.
The United States can lead and help that happen. When. Finally. After the worst carnage that we have seen since the end of World War II in Europe. The warring forces in Bosnia have had enough of blood. We can help them keep the peace. They say they want there is no. There is no way for the United States to stay engaged. To expect our ideals to continue to triumph against terrorism or multinational drug cartels or criminal groups there's no way we can prevent ethnic or religious violence from spreading and really undermining our direct interests unless we are prepared to lead. And as the president has said repeatedly he believes that it's more important if you look into the future to ask yourself what would happen to America if
America wasn't there. How would we ever be taken seriously if we said no we won't be part of making peace. No we won't lead in NATO because we don't think our interests are directly involved. But oh by the way come over here and help us stop the flow of refugees from Haiti. We have to stay engaged. And under this president it will be done carefully and thoughtfully and with as much foresight as possible. But under this president the United States will remain the leader of the free world and that is important for all of us. And finally. The second challenge is to reform our political system and make government work for people. We have to do this. Political reform is essential. We finally got to the president's desk for all Americans to applaud
a bill that regulated some of the lobbyists who influence the process in Washington. But we have much more that needs to be done. The president announced on Tuesday some of the great progress that has been made under Vice President Gore and reinventing government. He also said that he would issue an executive order to revoke the federal contracts of businesses that hire illegal workers. Everyone who does business with the United States government should obey the laws and everyone who serves the United States government should be doing so with the kind of. Political reform and campaign financing system that ensures the voters that they are being listened to. Not special interests. So that is the kind of agenda that we all have. To work on. Know. America was built on challenges as I was driving in from the airport at Keene I was talking with one of the people accompanying me
and I was saying how great another day I had in Keene how beautiful it was. But for some reason I thought about my father's parents. Why did they decide to get up and leave England and come here. What made them different from their neighbors or their relatives. Why did they brave that ocean voyage. Why did any of the people who came here do that. I don't know. I don't know if we will ever know except what they left behind in diaries or letters. The individual decisions that they made. But one thing they had in common. Is they were not afraid to take on a challenge. They were not afraid to summon up their resources and go into a new environment to live with change to make change their friend not their enemy. That is part of the American Heritage. None of us can predict. What the next year or the next century holds for us
individually or for America. But one thing we know with certainty is that if we meet the challenges that confront us we are more likely to make the future better for ourselves and our children. That's the challenge the president outlined. That's the challenge that I know the people in New Hampshire rise to on every occasion. If we meet these challenges I am fully confident that the next century will once again be an American century for us all. Thank you very much.
A college I'd like to present to mementos of today's visit. First of all a book of historical images of Keene and Cheshire County Central Square and beyond. And. For those cold snowy evenings in Washington. A cane steak. Sweatshirt.
Check check check. Check check. Time. I. Think.
It's. Good. To. See. You. Thanks for your hard work. Your work. Not. Never. Try. To find. Something. And I saw. That you don't like. Yes. It's. Nice.
To. See. A little. To. Get hired. How do you feel about. That. I've. Got to say.
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- First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Keene State College about President Clinton's seven-point plan to confront challenges facing the U.S. She discusses strengthening the family unit, reducing teenage tobacco use, pregnancy, and drug abuse; improving education standards, expanding school choice, and keeping pace educationally with tech sector growth; increasing middle class economic security by raising the minimum wage and reforming healthcare, reducing crime through community policing and anti-gang initiatives; protecting the environment, the U.S.'s role as global leader in peacemaking efforts, and campaign finance reform. Keene State President Stan Yarosewick gives welcoming remarks and Keene Mayor Pat Russell introduces Clinton.
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- 2012 New Hampshire Public Radio
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Producing Organization: New Hampshire Public Radio
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Speaker: Clinton, Hillary Rodham
Speaker: Yarosewick, Stanley
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- Chicago: “ Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States, speaks at Keene State College. ,” 1996-01-25, New Hampshire Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-503-zk55d8pb1z.
- MLA: “ Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States, speaks at Keene State College. .” 1996-01-25. New Hampshire Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-503-zk55d8pb1z>.
- APA: Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States, speaks at Keene State College. . Boston, MA: New Hampshire Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-503-zk55d8pb1z