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The Role of Philanthropy in Resuscitating Local Journalism

The Role of Philanthropy in Resuscitating Local Journalism


(bell tolls) – [Announcer] This is Duke University. – Well welcome all of you
all and now a special welcome to Julie Sandorf. Julie has had the good
fortune for working for a number of non-profits, leading them. I think I first me Julie
when she was working at the Ford Foundation
and was a prime mentee of Mike Spierdoff who was
really one of the great foundation program
officers in the country. Now, he was the vice
president for National Affairs at the Ford Foundation. He was the person who started
God knows how many non-profits in the United States and
supported them over many years. Very creative guy from New
Haven, Connecticut who, I think, didn’t go to college. He worked his way up
through the Labor Movement. – [Julie] He didn’t even
graduate high school. – He didn’t even graduate
high school, but he went on to head the Commission of Human
Services in New York City. He was one of the architects of the War on Poverty in Washington. And, Julie had the good
fortune of working with him for many years. And then, she proceeded
to go out on her own and spread her wings and
establish an organization called the Corporation
for Supportive Housing. Supportive Housing she
really invented, supported the idea of Supportive Housing. The idea of housing for infirm poor people that provided services that they needed. And, it wasn’t just a
place to live, to sleep it was a place that gave
them medical services, counseling, psychological
counseling, food, what else, everything, right? – All you need so that you can be stable and be part of community life. – So, she started that
organization and ran it for 10 years. And then decided that it was time for her to take a change. She has a philosophy to
not sto stay in any place for more than 10 years. And, she was then recruited
to run an organization called Next Book, which
was founded by a foundation that focuses on Jewish
culture and was in charge. Next Book was a program
that commissioned books of Jewish interest, has
everything from prize fighters to King David, which runs
the span in any event. And they, how many books did you publish when you were there? – Close to 20 and we had
programs in 250 libraries all over the country. – So, a really wonderful program
– Jewish culture and literature.
– That still exists. Coming in the door now is one of our local entrepreneurs, Ben Abraham. (laughs) And finally, Julie was then
recruited by a head hunter to be the president of the the Revson, the Charles Revson Foundation. She’s talking about a
very interesting subject that’s topical and one
that desperately needs some creative cures. And so Julie, welcome,
good to have you here back. Julie sat in to my class this
morning which was dealing with governance of
non-profit organizations and had a number of very practical things to say to the students in
response to their ideas because they were all
challenged to remark, think that they were Czars
of the non-profit sector and gonna fix everything. – And, they might some day. – They might, let’s hope. – I hope they will. We’ve a lot fix in our world right now. Well, thank you all and I
will admit to two things. One, I am not a journalist. I am a complete journalist
junky and groupie. I believe great journalists
are not only the most important storytellers and keepers
of the flame of Democracy in our country but they
are also among the most important chroniclers of
history in the moment. And so, I’ve come to
this work with great love and admiration for the
practice of journalism. I will also say I am
completely intimidated and cowed by this group
and want to ask you to ask the hardest questions, force me to think in different ways. And, I would be very,
very grateful for that ’cause I know I’m sitting
here in the company of a whole lot of smart
and talented people. So, first I just wanna start by thanking Professor Fleishmann. Joel and I have been
good friends for, gosh, 25, 20 something years and
I’m very lucky for that. Lisa Buckley who organizes all of this. Pam Ladd.
(applauds) (applauds) Pam Ladd, Tony Pershio
who is a senior fellow at the center and is the
author of Out of Print, the Case for Philanthropic
Support for Local Journalism in a Time of Market Upheaval. And, if you haven’t received
a copy of Tony’s paper I urge you to get one
and I urge you to read it because it’s really an
important timely piece of work. Two seconds on the Revson
Foundation, it was established in 1976 from the estate
of Charles H. Revson, the founder of Revlon Cosmetics. Mister Revson was quite philanthropic in his life and he left a
very open mandate to innovate. And, the executor of his
estate, Judge Simon Rivken, looked at what the giving
he did during his life and created four program
areas: urban affairs, education, biomedical
research, and Jewish life. And, I’m so pleased Imam Antepli is here because one of our most important projects at the foundation is the
Muslim Leadership initiative which is co-directed by Imam
Antepli and Yossi Klein Halevi at the Shalom Hartmean Institute. And, I urge you to just look it up. It’s, I think, one of the most important efforts to create strong,
Muslim Jewish relationships in America that exist. The foundation has had
a very long standing interest in media. In our early years under
the first leaders son of Durham, Eli Evans, who
many of you probably know Eli had a very strong
interest in the power of media to tell stories, create culture, change culture, some of the earliest was Abba Eban’s Civilization History
and the Jew series on PBS, bringing Sesame Street to
Israel, public television series such as Bill Moyers
Genesis, and documentaries that Lisa Goldberg initiated
who was the second president, such as Makers: Women Who Make the World. The foundation is relatively small. We have an endowment
of 177 million dollars. Our focus is in New York
City other than our Jewish Life Portfolio, it is
focused in New York City. And, over the past 10
years our Urban Affairs and Education programs
have been focused on providing access to information
in two primary ways, revitalization of branch
libraries in New York City and investment in local journalism. And, the first question
I think someone would ask is given all the competing
demands on very limited philanthropic resources and
in a foundation our size in a city as large as New
York why should journalism, which for centuries has been
the province of profit making and quite profitable businesses
be an issue of concern and worthy recipient of philanthropy. And, that’s what we’re
talking about this afternoon. And, I just wanna start
with sort of some basic premises and assumptions. First and foremost I argue
that rigorous, robust, authoritative journalism is the life blood of our civic infrastructure. It has functioned and I will
argue continues to function as our society’s civic connector. It supplies information
both momentous and routine, holding institutions of power accountable, institutions both in the public
sector and private sector. It provides an account
of day-to-day events in our communities. And, by doing that it
provides a platform for public discourse, for opinion,
a base for common knowledge, and a public square for dissenting voices. It is a public good,
it is a public service. As the Washington Post’s
mission statement says, “Democracy dies in darkness.” What’s happened? The digital revolution
has completely transformed how news is created, how it’s distributed, how it’s displayed, and how it’s shared. And, the internet has literally
opened the world to us and at the same time it has
totally upended a longstanding profitable business model that
enabled news organizations to literally cross
subsidize the cost of this public service, public affairs
journalism with profits earned from advertising
and circulation sales. And, as those markets were
advertising and the technology for distributing consuming
information are totally upended in wave after wave of
disruption the news workforce has suffered mightily
everywhere and at every level since the financial crises
and the recession of 2008. And, the downsizing of
local journalism has been steep and widespread. In short, the news
industry has experienced a total market failure. A market failure, but
a total market failure with it’s biggest
casualty being local news. As digital revenue continues
to make up increasingly larger and larger portions
of news industry income there is huge pressure to report stories that will earn as many
eyeballs and as many clicks as humanly possible. And so, for local newspapers with very circumscribed
geographic boundaries those eyeballs and
clicks are very limited. And so, limited geographic
scope means less eyeballs, means less clicks, and it
means almost no revenue. Secondly, the once great sources
of revenue for local news, classified ads, local retail
ads, have largely migrated with their revenues to Craig’s
List, Google, and Facebook. In 2017, Google and Facebook
alone took in more than 60% of all digital ad spending the US. And, in New York City, the
media capital of the world, consider these statistics,
well over 90% of the digital subscribers to the New
York Times live outside of New York City. The New York Times is
not a hometown paper. It is national and increasingly an international news operation. So, it’s not surprising
that the New York Times metro staff has been reduced by over 50%. In 2001, the paper produced 153 metro stories a week, in 2009, 102 metro stories, and by January of 2017 48 metro stories. The Daily News, which
has historically been New York’s hometown paper
has closed all of it’s borough news desks. It’s investigative team
is down from six reporters to one reporter. Gone are the days of
eight reporters covering municipal government out of city hall. They’re down to one bureau
chief and one reporter. (laughs) The Daily News’ post World
War II print circulation was over 2.4 million. It’s now less than 300,000. And, while their digital
circulation is impressive, at over 25 million viewers less
than 18% are from New York. The News was recently sold
to Tronc for a dollar. – [Joel] Do you know what Tronc is? – Do you guys know what Tronc is? It’s a news that’s sort
of a news organization that was the Tribune company
and they had renamed it this God awful name, but
also see themselves as a national platform focusing
much more on celebrity and entertainment news. Don’t know if you’ve
covered the recent scandals at the LA Times. They own the LA Times,
the publisher’s on leave for sexual harassment charges. The editor was just fired last week. The Daily News is literally
a shadow of its former self. And, the chances are we’ll
never return, even remotely, to where it was at its height. The Wall Street Journal’s
greater New York section that was created in 2010 to great fanfare. Great, let’s bring on the
competition to the New York Times. Six years later section’s
folded into the national paper, reduced to one page five days a week. The staff’s been reduced by half. The reporting is literally
kind of go to the press conference report what
the mayor said yesterday. There’s not a single
news operation covering courthouses in New York City,
a city of nine million people. The Village Voice, which
was the independent, take no prisoners, investigative
alternative newspaper is barely a shadow of its glory days. It is only digital. The great reporters of
years gone by are no more. The new owner is planning
another round of staff cuts and is steering the paper to
celebrity and entertainment news. In early November GNA
Info Gothamist, which was, we had all hoped sort of
the savior for community hyper local news was
unprofitable and shut down by its owner. Totally pulled the plug in November. El Diario, the oldest
Spanish newspaper in America is a shadow of its former self. In 2016, their staff was
reduced from 35 to 13 and they run at a loss
of two million a year. We’d say, “So, does this matter? “The big stories consuming,”
some argue, would say, “The big stories consuming
us are at the national level. “They’re not at the local level. “Why should we care if
these things just sort of “slowly go into a drip, drip
slow motion death march?” I think actually, Tip
O’Neill said it the best which is, “All politics is local.” And, that local news, if
we’re not informed locally how do we understand the
story at the national level? We don’t because local news
is proximate, it’s most relatable, it’s recognizable,
and it’s susceptible to direct civic action. It invites local communities
to draw and act on connections between local
acts of public institutions and the real quality of
life they see around them. They can directly connect to it. Secondly, the lack of a
steady diet of local civic information research
shows both depresses local voter turn out and leads
to less informed voting. Awareness of local news has been shown to increase civic engagement. And, as Tony Pershio cites
in his report the shrinkage in local reporting might be
creating a vicious cycle. Fewer local stories leading
to less informed readership which then grows less
interest in local news thus furthering the disincentives
to report local stories. The decline in information contributes to a corresponding drop in civic engagement and an increase in political rancor. As more and more of the
coverage and commentary in local affairs is left
to fringe activist media and ideologically oriented outlets. And thirdly, and this
brings us back to why should philanthropy care is the
evisceration of local public affairs journalism
has a profound impact on philanthropic efforts
to advance public policy, to help motivate social
change, and to help motivate civic engagement. For foundations and the
non-profits they support local news media is the
amplifier of new ideas, of policy solutions, of
advocacy on behalf of those who are increasingly rendered
voiceless in a community. Good journalism remains
among the most powerful tools for creating public policy impact. And quite frankly, our
best insurance policy for the investments we make
by holding institutions in power accountable
for both their actions and their inactions. And, as an anecdote I was
sitting in a room several months ago with a group of foundation
presidents who were talking about how their foundations
engage civically. And, they mention two things,
everyone around the table, we work to place op-eds in newspapers. And then secondly, we really
encourage our grantees to create relationships
with local journalists so that they can get their stories out. And, I’m sitting there
saying, “Don’t say anything, “don’t say anything until it’s my turn.” And then, I said to all
of them around the room, “Guys, the next call you
make nobody’s going to be “at the other end of the phone. “This is your construct
for civic engagement, “but unless you support this institution, “these institutions who now
serve the public interests “they’re no longer going to exist.” And, it was sort of a bracing
wake up call because it has been this slow, slow drip
death march, quite honestly. So, how did we get involved in
this, in this giant problem, in this giant city that
is the media capital, the news media capital of
the world, a foundation that is making on average between seven and nine million dollars
a year in grants in total in the four program areas. So, in 2008 we saw the first
signs of this downward spiral. And, it was evidenced
in a wave of reductions in legacy news reporting
at the local level, the demise of smaller publications
like the New York Sun, Blade, Hoy, and Ming Pow
disappeared entirely. And for us, with our decades
long interest in media funding and also with decades long
support for public policy organizations working to
hold government institutions accountable to the public
concern about the diminishment of a strong and
authoritative fourth estate was just naturally aligned
with our longstanding interests and concerns. And so, we began by funding
the Columbia journalism school to commission former Washington
Post editor Len Downey to produce a report that
fundamental, on the state of local public affairs
journalism that predicted a the continued erosion
of local journalism. And, he proposed a number
of remedies including hybrid models that would
foster commercial non-profit and university partnerships,
a deeper investment in the expansion of newsroom capacity, and particularly a deeper
expansion in newsroom capacity in what was at that point
one of the few financially sustainable business models in journalism, which was local public radio. And so, we entered this field, mindful of first and foremost that we
by no means had the resources to reproduce the range and
depth of reporting made possible by journalism’s golden
age of profitability. That was not ever going to be. Secondly, but what we did both recognize and identify
an opportunity to help build what we called the
scaffolding of an emerging infrastructure of news outlets, all of them non-profit, that
both were content providers, distributors, megaphones,
community based, citywide, and investigative that
perhaps, but in aggregate, could constitute a
framework of a resurgence in local journalism. A wildly audacious goal. Thirdly, we invested over
from 2010 to the present day about 4.5 million dollars
in helping to recreate this news ecosystem that could
start filling in the gaps. We made a total of 27
grants to 11 organizations with individual grants
ranging in size from $5,000 to well over a million to
expand content, distribution, and sustainability of both beat
and investigative reporting. Included in that portfolio
was our largest investment which was to help build out the news room of WNYC which was New York’s local radio station, which prior to 2009 was basically a tiny news operation, fundamentally reading the front
page of the New York Times. And, our first grant of a
million dollars helped them start building out a
serious local newsroom. We’ve invested a total of
2.3 million dollars in WNYC. Since then they’ve grown
their newsroom from 30 to 72 people, and have
grown their membership base from 120,000 to 200,000. We provided cooperating
support and we also supported the creation of their
data journalism operation and their mobile technologies. The thinking behind this
was when we looked at all the business models in
2009 both commercial and non-profit media WNYC through its extremely diverse base of support from individual memberships,
corporate sponsorships, foundation giving, and
individual giving had a business model that had the
most promise, quite frankly. They had a much better business model than the New York Times in 2009, quite frankly. And so, we placed that bet. We then went on to help
establish the first local news desk for Propublica,
which is a national investigative news reporting. We twisted their arm
and they created their first local news desk in
New York, which I’m very proud to say in 2016 won
the Pulitzer Prize for their partnership with the Daily News. The Pulitzer Prize in
Public Service for an extraordinary series they
did on nuisance abatements, which was the New York
City Police Department were basically evicting
people without cause for what they considered, “nuisance.” And, the result of that is that law has been completely upended. There is no longer an ability to evict for nuisance abatement anymore
in the city of New York. We also invested in the Marshall Project which is also a national
non-profit news operation focusing on criminal
justice on a very innovative video journalism project
called We Are Witnesses where they took everyone
who had touched the criminal justice system and did many videos from the court clerks
to the bail bonds people to the parents of perpetrators
to the parents of the victims to the judges, you name it, 80 people. And, did this and then
gave it to the New Yorker and it’s been a very
successful sort of new way to produce local journalism
by a national organization. We then funded very kind
of community based efforts. City Limits, which is a
community based news operation doing investigative
reporting on public housing, public libraries, the rezoning
of New York neighborhoods. CUNY Journalism school, and
created an investigative reporting unit there
where seasoned journalists work with students to produce
terrific investigative news that is picked up by
mainstream distribution outlets like WNYC, The Daily News,
New York Times, and so on. We also, I’d say, the
most challenging piece of this portfolio is we
invested probably close to a half a million dollars
in trying to strengthen both the editorial capacity
and the fiscal capacity of the 250 ethnic
newspapers in New York City because for many, for a city
where three million residents are immigrants the ethnic
newspapers are their first read. And, that has proven to be,
I think, the most challenging piece of our work because
these papers are also staffed by one or two people. They are hugely reliant on a
hyper local advertising base. And, they are very resistant to taking on controversial issues. (laughs) And so, to kind of strengthen
their editorial capacity and their fiscal capacity has been a challenge. One bright spot in that is
we funded a report by the now Dean of CUNY Journalism
School, Sarah Bartlett, that showed the city was
spending close to $20 million in buying ads, but they
were spending it in the four main papers. And, that constituted
about 94% of their ad buy and if they just moved
10% of those ad buys to buying advertisements
in the local community and ethnic press it would
make an enormous difference in the sustainability of these papers. And, to their credit the
De Blasio administration has started to do that. So, what have we learned? Well, I think we’ve learned a few things. And, I think that the first is that the most sustainable business
model for local journalism is going to be non-profit. To think that you are
going to create rigorous, sustaining coverage of
the affairs in a city the size of New York
purely by commercial means is a pipe dream, pure and simple. And, I think that how you can create a sustainable model of
non-profit journalism is through creating as
diverse a funding base as humanly possible. Which means individual
subscriptions and memberships, corporate sponsorships,
civic minded individuals of means contributing,
foundations contributing, and that is going to be how
this is going to be done until somebody comes up with
a commercially viable model. And, I don’t see that happening
anytime in the future. I wanna quote a colleague
of mine who was the founder, the first investor in what
is the most successful local non-profit news
operation in the country, The Texas Tribune in Austin. And, two days ago John Thornton,
who’s a venture capitalist, who saw this crises coming in Texas put up the first $2.5 million
to create the Texas Tribune, which now has an annual
budget of $10 million, 40% of which is from corporate sponsorship and events revenue. John Thornton said to me,
“Would the New York City Ballet “be a world class
performing arts organization “if they relied solely
on their ticket sales?” And, I thought that captured it all. That to me was, “Of course not.” And, that we accept as a
culture that first rate performing arts is a
philanthropic activity, is a public good, is a public service. Why are we not asking the same question of what is an essential
public good and public service that effects everyone’s
lives on a daily basis and that is, quality, civic
affairs local journalism. I’d also argue that the
Texas Tribune is a model to look at and be reckoned
with because they have passed what Mike Spierdoff or my
mentor, Joel’s dear friend, would call the philanthropic market test. They started with one donor and went to about 30 different
corporations asking for very, kind of, low cost sponsorship,
low five figure sponsorship because they wanted a
broad base of support. They delivered a product
of such high quality that it became the
authoritative paper of record covering the state house
and started to attract more and more both national
and local foundation support and individual funder support. And, they did it, they
were able to attract donors from the left and from the right. T. Boone Pickens is a
donor to the Texas Tribune and foundations and individuals
who people would consider on the left are donors
to the Texas Tribune. That’s where you wanna be,
that’s where you wanna be. So, I will argue strenuously
that there is no magic bullet in ad revenues and
we can see this even in the large digital operations
like Buzzfeed and Mashable. Buzzfeed, its revenue projections are 25% lower than expected. It does not look pretty out there. I’d also argue that organic
partnerships, that partnerships are very important because
we don’t have the luxury of news operations being
competitive with each anymore on the local level. But, what we’ve seen
is that they happen on a story by story basis. And, what they are based
on is developing trusting relationships between the
different news operations and an insistence on quality journalism. You’re not going to get the
New York Times metro section to take a piece from
a journalism operation that they’ve gotta spend
unending hours editing. It’s not going to happen. They don’t have the
editorial staff anymore. I’d also argue that the
biggest, by far, gap in local journalism is sustained coverage. Beats are dead. The time it takes to
cover an issue and to stay with an issue and to develop
relationships with sources and to develop enough
credibility to actually time in and time out
report on an issue is gone. And, what that means is our civic, cultural, economic lives
in our communities, we’re not informed of them. I’ll give you just a couple of examples the past couple of weeks in New York. So, there are three million
immigrants in the city of New York. There is no beat in the
city of New York in any news operation that covers immigration or immigrants, not one. I just received information
from the mayor’s office of Immigration Affairs
last week at a meeting that between September of 2016 and the
inauguration of Donald Trump 59 immigrants who don’t
have criminal records were arrested by ICE. From inauguration until
the end of August 2017 615 people without criminal records have been arrested by ICE. Was this in any newspaper, any
news operation in New York? No, it wasn’t. New York City’s
infrastructure is collapsing. The former editor-in-chief
of The Daily News has just stepped down, retired
in December, Arthur Brown said to me, “Had we had
our full reporting team “covering the metropolitan
transit authority “for the past five years there is no way “this mayor or this
governor would have ever “gotten away with allowing
for the vast deterioration “of the transit system,” which effects six million people a day. No one is doing sustained
reporting on the impact of the tax bill on New York
State or New York City. I think we can reimagine a
newsroom for the digital age and we can create efficiencies
but I will also argue that you cannot replace
experienced and expert journalists and the shoe leather it takes to deliver quality journalism. That’s needs to be paid
for, it is a pubic service, it is a public good, and
philanthropy needs to step up. I do not believe that
contributor content models, where people basically
get paid for the number of clicks they have, is a viable model to deliver quality journalism. And, I truly don’t believe,
this was another fascinating anecdote that was somebody
I know who invests in media. I asked him, I said, “Can
you tell me if there’s any “viable commercial model.” And, he said, “Yes, there
are viable models where “you pay underemployed
young starving journalists “on a per article basis. “You don’t pay their benefits. “You don’t pay for any
healthcare, you pay for nothing. “You just give ’em $100 for an article “and then you can make
money in local journalism.” And I said, “That’s immoral,
we’re not doing that.” But, that’s the commercial
model and that does exist. Patch, that’s how Patch survives. That’s not a viable model. Success also depends on civic engagement. You’ve gotta involve consumers
of news, in local events, in social media. You’ve gotta encourage their participation in the collection of data. And, you’ve gotta seek their opinions on the pressing issue of the day. You’ve gotta buy loyal customers. They’ll pay if they’re loyal customers. And success, first and
foremost, means pursuing important stories, providing
information the people want and can’t get elsewhere. And, to succeed as a
civic connector local news needs to be rigorous, authoritative, and it has to capture the
attention of the public and powers that be. Success is not measured
on we got five million page views this month. It really, first and foremost,
when you’re starting out is measured on who’s reading
this and are the actions of institutions of power
changing as a result? As Evan Smith, who’s the editor
of the Texas Tribune said, “They know we’re watching
them and their behavior “has changed accordingly.” In 2011 report on the status
of public access to information resources the former FCC
commissioner, Steve Waldman, summarized the indicators of what he calls the information health of a community. And, it includes, these
indicators are the level of resources invested, and
the number of reporters, the number of news outlets,
and the public access to those outlets, the
diversity of those outlets, and the healthy competition
for news consumers. By these measures what the
Revson Foundation has done far more resembles Hans
Brinker putting his finger in the dike to save his
country than the resuscitation of a critical public
good and public service. I will fully admit that. The patient isn’t dead
yet, but it’s gonna take a much larger cross section
of philanthropic resources from civic minded
individuals, from businesses, as well as from foundations
recognizing that our civic culture
absolutely depends on it. Now wait, I think I may
have one more thing to say and then I’m going to be quiet. What could be done, how
could I forget that. What could be done? (laughs) Well, I have two thoughts. One is I do think we have
to establish new models of local news production and delivery. I think we can learn. There are a handful of
success stories out there, far too few. Texas Tribune being by far, I think, the best model so far. I think we can enlist the talent offered by journalism schools to
assist professional journalists in expanding the number
and diversity of stories. We’ve seen that in New York. And then, I have this
wildly audacious idea which is could philanthropy
at the local level create funds for local
journalism both by investing in a fund that would
have very clear criteria for the kinds of news they would like to invest in and sustain
and build the capacity of. But, I have an even
more audacious idea that I will fully admit will
probably won’t catch on which is certainly in New
York and I think this is true in many other communities, foundations do a certain level of tithing. We make grants to the Foundation Center, to the Regional Association
of Grant Makers, to several membership organizations. Here’s the thought, if
foundations are investing in the health and welfare,
it could be education, it could be healthcare,
it could be housing, it could be any topic, immigrant services, any topic, if they are
investing in the health and welfare and future
of their communities perhaps they oughta be taking
2% of their grant making and putting that into the
fund for local journalism, because the one hand isn’t
going to work without the other. And, most likely in may
communities it will be a variety of answers. I don’t think there will be any community where there will be just one
answer and one silver bullet to solve this problem. I don’t believe that journalism can depend on commercial subsidies for
existence at the local level. It is a public service and
it’s where philanthropy must step in in the public
interest and for their own selfish sakes of advancing
their missions and really for the sake of our civic culture. I think this is a national
crisis that is playing out at the local level every single day. I, honestly, cannot
imagine a more compelling philanthropic call at this point. Thank you very much.
– Thank you, Julie. (crowd applauds) So, I wanna thank Julie for coming. (applause drowns out dialog)
(crowd applauds) (crowd applauds) – Thank you all for being here. (crowd applauds)

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