Hillary Clinton returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday for another round of fundraising and a town hall in Hollywood before a group of digital content creators, as she tries to reach millennials who flocked to her rival Bernie Sanders during the primary.
Clinton, appearing at the workspace Neuehouse at Columbia Square, said Sanders ran a “terrific campaign, and it was good for the Democratic party and it was good for the country.”
“The debate is much broader and deeper than it would have been otherwise,” she said.
She said that there were “a number of lessons to be drawn” from his campaign, and noted that many of his young supporters were drawn to his plan for free college tuition. She is not proposing the same, but outlined a number of initiatives to reduce college debt load.
“We have got to do a better job of getting the cost of college down for a majority of young people,” she said.
Clinton’s agenda also included fundraisers later on Tuesday at the home of Sean Parker and his wife, Alexandra, and later a dinner at the home of Marc and Jane Nathanson. Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin are co-hosts of the latter event, where tickets started at $33,400 per couple and benefited the Hillary Victory Fund.
The town hall was organized by Beautycon Media, which is staging an event next month at the Los Angeles Convention Center. About 90 people were in the audience, and they were almost all millennials, including so-called digital “influencers” and YouTube personalities.
Among those who asked questions was Chrissy Chambers, who queried Clinton on what she would do about revenge porn. Chambers is the victim of revenge porn, and is pursuing the first civil lawsuit in the United Kingdom. Clinton said that she would “do everything I can as president to try to figure out how we can give victims like you the tools you need to protect yourself.” She also cited problems with cyber bullying and cyber-stalking.
One woman said that Clinton had “garnered a lot of mistrust from the black community based on unfortunate and detrimental past events.” She asked what Clinton’s concrete plans were to “win back the trust of black America.”
Clinton pointed to her experience throughout her career, including her work with Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund, and cited her strong support from African Americans during the primary.
“I also do respectfully ask that people know a little bit more of what I have done,” she said.
Moj Mahdara, the CEO of BeautyCon Media, said that the issues raised at the event were probably different for Clinton than other audiences.
“The way those issues are experienced are just changed now,” she said. “For us it is so visceral. You see it on Instagram and social media….This is an audience that understands their life to be an ‘on-demand’ experience, so I think politics has not necessarily caught up to this generation in the sense that politics is not ‘on demand.’ You see it takes many many years to pass laws in the legislature, but this audience is just coming to terms with what our government looks and feels like.”
She thought that Clinton did well in addressing some of the issues. “I think they were learning from her, but I think she was also learning from them.”
Mahdara said that she was open to inviting presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump to do a town hall as well.
Clinton also was asked what she would say to those who are supporting Trump.
“I am sympathetic to a lot of people attracted to Trump’s message who are really feeling left out and left behind,” Clinton, sitting on a stage in front of a giant campaign “H” logo and the slogan, “Stronger Together.”
She said that some of those who are backing Trump see the challenges in the economy yet “they don’t know how they are going to create a better future for themselves.”
She warned supporters, however, not to look for “easy answers and misleading promises that cannot deliver what you are hoping for.”
She criticized Trump’s message “Make America Great Again,” characterizing it as a “code” when a lot of Americans, like African Americans, were not included. She cited Trump’s rhetoric as xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic and Islamophobic and “all the other sort of dog whistles that Trump uses to create a fervor among his supporters.”
Earlier in the day, Clinton was in Denver, where she gave a speech at a technology innovation hub and outlined a series of proposals, such as a plan to make high-speed broadband available to every home by 2020. She also outlined plans to allow young entrepreneurs to defer their student loans, and to create more free wireless hotspots in public places. She also backs the FCC’s net neutrality rules, as a court challenge may make its way to the Supreme Court.
At the Hollywood town hall, she also cited Sanders’ message on income inequality, noting that during her husband Bill Clinton’s presidential term “incomes went up for everybody, but we were on the right path.”
“I am not saying we closed the income gap, but we were on the right path,” she said.
The town hall ended with a group selfie, and Clinton quipped, “This could be better than the Oscars.”
At Parker’s Holmby Hills home, Clinton spoke to a crowd of about 300 people about the need to have a positive message to counter Trump, according to an attendee who was there. She also talked about the British vote in favor of leaving the European Union — known as Brexit — and lamented the campaign of the pro-leave side. She noted that supporters of Brexit already were backing away of some of their campaign promise in the day after the results.
Parker did not speak much at the event, as he was suffering from laryngitis, according to the attendee. Instead, talent manager Scooter Braun read his comments, which included a few Trump jokes.
Clinton is expected to make multiple return visits to Los Angeles to raise money before the general election. This was her first appearance since she was in Los Angeles to campaign for the California primary.