Joe Biden talks to New Orleans youth
(24 Jul 2019) Former Vice President Joe Biden talked to young people in New Orleans Tuesday in his first trip to Louisiana since launching his campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination
Biden and his wife, Jill, toured the New Orleans’ Youth Empowerment Project, or “YEP,” with Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans.
“A while ago I introduced money that I wanted to spend, $350-million-dollars-a-year for empowering youth to be able to avoid being caught in a neighborhood where there’s a lot of crime, and being – avoid – having an excuse to walk by the dealer and say, ‘no, I’m not gonna be a mule,” Biden told the crowd of about 50. “I’ve got something to do, boom, boom, boom. Boom. And so, getting operations set up around the country.
“We should have preschool for 3-, 4-, and five-year-olds. You know why? Studies show that anybody who goes through those preschools – no matter what their background, no matter how poor, no matter single parent coming out of a family that has real troubles,” Biden said. “Guess what? They have a 45% better chance of going all the way through high school and going beyond high school and getting into no trouble along the way. Because they learn what they know they can do. They learn and gain confidence along the way. And that’s what it’s all about – Confidence. And you guys get it. I can see it on your faces when I walk through to see you all. There’s no a darn thing – and by the way, I don’t think it’s easy. After this is over, some of you go back to tough circumstances in the neighborhood. Some of you go back to homes like a lot of homes that everybody knows. Black, white, it doesn’t matter, rich, poor – that are in trouble. And so, it’s not easy. But, it’s a hard transition. But what you’re going to do as you break out, as you become successful, you’re going to bring a lot of people along with you. And that’s what Cedric and I – if I’m president of the United States – that I’m going to spend the bulk of my time making sure there’s a path, a path, a path for everybody, everybody to make it. Because, your generation is the most capable generation in the history of the country.”
One of the YEP participants – a young singe mother – asked Biden how he might help young people like herself.
“Unless you have a really tight family that can take care of your child, it’s hard to work and be able to pay for daycare,” Biden responded. “And so one of the things I’ll do is we’re going to provide a – what they call – tax credit. It’s a fancy word for saying you get money back.”
Biden, 76, has emerged as the frontrunner in the heated race to take on Republican President Donald Trump on next year’s presidential ballot.
Louisiana, a traditionally conservative state, isn’t expected to play a game-changing role in the general election. Still, Democratic candidates have been courting Louisiana supporters, particularly African-Americans and other minorities, as they fight to lock up the nomination. Many candidates visited New Orleans during the recent Essence Festival held earlier this month.
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