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pd04no96 Telephone Remarks With Religious and Community Leaders in Atlanta,...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, November 4, 1996
Volume 32--Number 44
Pages 2181-2264

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Anti-cancer initiatives, announcement--2193
    Arizona, Arizona State University in Tempe--2251
        Community in Denver--2246
        Democrats in Denver--2241
    Democratic National Committee Saxophone Club Presidential victory 
        Religious and community leaders, telephone remarks in Atlanta--
    Henry Ossawa Tanner painting, presentation--2233
    Illinois, Chicago--2217
    Michigan, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti--2235
    Minnesota, Minneapolis--2211
    Missouri, University City--2207
    Nevada, Las Vegas--2256
    Ohio, Ohio State University in Columbus--2220
    Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia--2225
    Radio address--2191

Addresses and Remarks--Continued

    Tennessee, Vanderbilt University in Nashville--2200
    Virginia, Springfield--2195

Bill Signings

    National Invasive Species Act of 1996, statement--2193
    Presidential and Executive Office Accountability Act, statement--


    National Adoption Month--2230
    National American Indian Heritage Month--2234
    To Modify Provisions on Upland Cotton and for Other Purposes--2231

Statements by the President

    See Bill Signings

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--2264
    Checklist of White House press releases--2263
    Digest of other White House announcements--2262
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--2263

Editor's Note: The President was in Las Cruces, NM, on November 1, the 
closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the 
Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in 
this issue will be printed next week.


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Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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[[Page 2181]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2181-2185]
Monday, November 4, 1996
Volume 32--Number 44
Pages 2181-2264
Week Ending Friday, November 1, 1996
Telephone Remarks With Religious and Community Leaders in Atlanta, 

October 25, 1996

    Thank you very much, my good and long-time friend Andrew Young. And 
I want to thank all of those who are gathered here at Paschal's in 
Atlanta. We have a good crowd of folks here. I know we've got about 300 
ministers and 600 elected officials from across the country. We've got 
people in homes and churches and church conferences.
    I'm glad to be joined here by two of my good friends and associates, 
Alexis Herman, who is the Special Assistant to the President for Public 
Liaison at the White House; and Carol Willis, who is with the Democratic 
National Committee, who helped to put this phone call together.
    I know that Mayor Cleaver is on the phone; Congressman Donald Payne, 
the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; Congressman and Reverend 
Floyd Flake, my longtime friend and one on my earliest supporters; our 
campaign cochairs, Alma Brown and Congressman John Lewis, who was just 
with me at this rally in Atlanta. And I understand that Reverend Henry 
Lyons, the president of the National Baptist Convention, is on the 
phone, and I want to thank you, Reverend Lyons, for your efforts to 
restore calm in the aftermath of last night's unfortunate events in St. 
Petersburg. We all have a responsibility to foster a climate of 
reconciliation and peace and to address the underlying causes of this 
outbreak of violence as well, and I thank you for what you're doing 
there in St. Petersburg; it's important to all of us in America.
    And I want to say a word of recognition to Bishop Chandler Owens of 
the Church of God and Christ and to others in that congregation. Let me 
say one of the oldest and most distinguished pastors of the Church of 
God and Christ, from my home State of Arkansas, passed away the day 
before yesterday, Elder Famous Smith, and I want to extend my sympathies 
to all of you who knew him.
    We just have a few days to go in this election. We just had a great 
rally in Atlanta, and we had several thousand people there, and we 
focused on young people and their future. I talked about my plans to 
open the doors of college education to all Americans. I also challenged 
these young people to take some time to serve in their communities, 
especially to teach young children to read.
    And I guess that I'd like to begin by saying I ran for President not 
only to enact certain policies that I think are important for the 21st 
century--to give us a strong economy, a clean environment, the world's 
best educational system, a way of dealing with the problems abroad to 
make America safer and more secure and a way of driving down the crime 
rate and the violence rate here at home. I had certain policies I wanted 
to implement, but I also wanted to change the way our country was 
    Politics for so long in America has been about dividing people. And 
at the national level, especially, the whole rhetoric, the language that 
you use, the labels that are put on people, always about dividing us one 
from another, whereas that's not the way we run anything else. Those of 
you that are listening to me, you couldn't run a church that way. 
Atlanta couldn't have put on the Olympics that way.
    We're having a brilliant Major League World Series; if all of a 
sudden one of the teams starts calling their own team members names in 
public, they're not going to win. I tell you, whichever team does that, 
the other team is going to win. And so our national politics had gotten 
to the point where we were running it the way we wouldn't run our 
families, our businesses, our churches, our common community endeavors.

[[Page 2182]]

    Yesterday I was in the town of Lake Charles, Louisiana--has a very 
dynamic young woman mayor named Willie Mount. And she got the community, 
which is a very biracial and increasingly multiethnic community, to 
adopt the slogan of ``moving forward together.'' Atlanta now, I think, 
is one of the, literally, the urban centers of the world, because 40 
years ago it became the city too busy to hate. And yet, national 
politics was dominated essentially by negative political ads and name-
calling. And we changed all that.
    I wanted to have an administration that looked like America and an 
administration that worked more like the other things that worked in 
America. And one of the reasons I spend so much time on community 
colleges and one reason I try to open the doors of college to every 
American, to make sure every person would be guaranteed at least 2 years 
of education after high school is that I think our country ought to work 
more the way these community colleges do. If you go to one, they're not 
bureaucratic; they're flexible; they're changing all the time. They have 
to meet high standards of performance or they go broke. Everybody that 
graduates from them gets hired. And they're open to everybody and 
everybody is treated the same. That's what I'm trying to do for America. 
So I'm proud of the results we've achieved.
    It's not only true that the overall economy is better, but we have, 
according to the Government statistics from the Census Bureau just last 
month, the biggest decline in inequality among working people in 27 
years, the biggest drop in child poverty in 20 years, the biggest drop 
in poverty among female head of households in 30 years, and the lowest 
overall poverty rate among African-Americans and American senior 
citizens ever recorded.
    Now, African-Americans have had a higher increase in their average 
earnings in the last 2 years, even in the overall economy. And things 
like homeownership, which is at a 15-year high overall, are much up 
among African-Americans. The Small Business Administration has doubled 
its loans overall and tripled its loans to women and minorities. And we 
haven't been making loans that violate our standards of quality. We're 
just outreaching, working hard, trying to move this country together and 
move this country forward.
    I'm sure most of you on this phone call know, we have appointed more 
African-Americans to important positions in the Cabinet and the White 
House, in the administration, on the Federal bench than any other 
administration in history by a good long ways. And yet, I'm proud of the 
fact that my Federal judges, even though there have been more women and 
minority appointments by far than any previous administration, the 
American Bar Association has given higher ratings to my Federal judges 
than any other President since the rating system began, which proves 
that we can have excellence and diversity, which proves you can have 
affirmative action and equal opportunity and high standards.
    When we were fighting for the battle over affirmative action, the 
battle which still rages in our country, and it became all the rage to 
just say, ``Let's get rid of it,'' I said, ``No, we ought to mend it, 
not end it.'' And I believe my view is beginning to prevail in the world 
and in the United States.
    I was in Houston the other day, which is hardly a bastion of 
strength for the Democratic Party and the mayor there, who is a very 
talented mayor, explicitly, forthrightly, and aggressively defended the 
city's affirmative action policy and still won support for reelection 
from over 80 percent of the people in his city. And so I think our 
``mend it, not end it'' policy in the end will prevail.
    I believe that the economic efforts we have made are important. You 
know, our campaign became the first campaign ever to invest some of the 
money that we have to save that we get from the taxpayers and we have to 
save to pay bills and make up for any mistakes that have been made and 
make sure all the accounting is right. Peter Knight, our campaign 
chairman, announced that we were going to deposit millions of dollars in 
four leading minority banks in America; no campaign had ever done this--
two African-American banks, including the Citizens Trust here in 
Atlanta, and two Hispanic banks, and I'm proud of that.
    The empowerment zones that we created and the enterprise communities 
we created, and the community development banks that

[[Page 2183]]

we created, including one worth almost $500 million in Los Angeles--
these are beginning to loan money to people and to create jobs. In 
Detroit, under the leadership of Mayor Archer, when I took office, the 
Detroit unemployment rate was nearly 9 percent. Today, the unemployment 
rate in Detroit is 4\1/2\ percent. The empowerment zone has generated $2 
billion in private sector capital. So we can turn our cities around. In 
virtually every city in the country there has been a big drop in the 
violent crime rate as we put more police officers on the street and 
adopt strategies to prevent crime from happening in the first place.
    So I believe we're moving in the right direction there. We still 
have a lot of challenges in the future, and I would just like to mention 
two or three, if I might, that you can play a particular role in.
    Our young people are still faced with a lot of challenges. And you 
know that as well as I do. If anyone had told me 4 years ago we could 
bring the violent crime rate in America down 4 years in a row to a 10-
year low, but we just barely make a dent in crime among young people, 
people under 18, I would have had a hard time believing that. If anyone 
had told me 4 years ago our efforts would stem a lot of the flow of 
drugs into America, we'd have a 30 percent decline in cocaine use and a 
13 percent decline in overall casual drug use among adults, especially 
young adults, but drug use would go up among children under 18, I would 
have had a hard time believing that. So we've got some challenges to 
meet there, and let me just make some suggestions.
    First of all, we should do no harm; we should keep doing what we've 
been doing, getting that message out in our churches and in our schools 
that drugs are illegal and wrong and can kill you. We definitely should 
not do what the other side wants to do, which is to cut the safe and 
drug-free schools program. We need more things for our children to say 
yes to. We shouldn't cut our school programs that--we're giving funds 
now to schools to stay open after school so kids will have something 
else to do. We're trying to help our cities start things like sports 
leagues to give kids positive things to be involved in, to increase 
recreational opportunities.
    And so the fight I had with folks in the other party when they 
wanted to cut out the summer job program or cut back on the safe and 
drug-free schools program and undermine that is that I just don't think 
you can punish these children into obedience. I think we have to lead 

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