Former Secretary of State, First Lady and Native Daughter Hillary Clinton is in Chicago today. She appeared this morning at an event put on by her husband Bill’s Clinton Global Initiative that many dubbed as her reappearance onto the public stage after leaving her post of Secretary of State. Clinton outlined what she'd be doing for the next few years.
Running for president was not part of her plans, at least not yet. But Clinton did announce that she would devote her time now to three major issues: increasing access to early childhood education, advancing girls and women’s rights across the globe, and working on economic development issues.
Mrs. Clinton emphasized why she feels women’s issues will need her full thrust over the next several years.
“It’s not only the right thing to do, it is the great unfinished business of this century. It will enhance our competitiveness and stability of the world at large,” she said. “Research shows that when women participate in the economy, everyone benefits. When women participate in peacekeeping, we are all safer and more secure. And, when women participate in politics, the effects ripple out across society.”
Clinton mentioned that the primary vehicle for her philanthropic work will be her husband’s foundation, which will be renamed the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation.
It’s an organization that brings together big ideas with private funding to help solve some of the world’s issues. For the last three years, it has held an annual conference in Chicago focusing on major national issues.
Today, the focus was on Early Childhood Education. Bill Clinton highlighted its importance, as did the event’s chief sponsor, Chicago billionaire JB Pritzker who announced $20 million toward what’s called a “Social Impact Bond,” to fund new early childhood education programs in Utah. Basically, it’s a loan that gets repaid if it’s successful; if it ends up saving money and increasing access for kids. If it doesn’t, the loan isn’t repaid.
I ran into City Treasurer Stephanie Neely who said that she was exploring this new financing vehicle to help fund things in Chicago like education and public safety.
Hillary Clinton also focused a major part of her speech on early childhood education, saying that every $1 we invest in early childhood development can save $7 down the road.
She also couldn’t leave without pledging her allegiance to the Blackhawks, recounting that she used to listen to all the games on the radio as a young woman growing up in Park Ridge.
Watch a live feed and recap of events from the Clinton Global Initiative: