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UAW Resumes Negotiations with Two of Big Three Automakers; Report: Border Patrol Separated Some Children from Parents; Hunter Biden Indicted on Three Gun Charges. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 17, 2023 - 15:00   ET


DEION SANDERS, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO COACH: When we started off, we were like hot garbage, but we got it right and we got to victory again. That's all that counts. We got the W.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS HOST: MLB now. Angels two-way star, Shohei Otanih, officially done for the year, placed on the injured list with an oblique injury, the 29-year-old hasn't played the last two weeks and is reportedly contemplating surgery on his previously injured elbow.

The Dodgers continue their decade of dominance in the National League West erupting for five runs in the 11th inning to beat the Mariners six-two. They clinched the division for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons.

Finally, the University of Iowa beat the pants off Western Michigan 41 to 10.

And the pants were off, one of Iowa's cheerleaders, too, his drawers dropping down while doing flips, but he still sticks the landing. That is impressive, pulling his pants back up about as quickly as they fell down, Fredricka. His teammates, absolutely loving it.

Fred, that was my favorite player of the day, pants down.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Oh, me too. That's my favorite. All right, Coy, thank you so much.


WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, there is a new round of talks today between striking auto workers and representatives from two of the three Big 3 automakers.

The historic strike is now entering its third full day. Today's talks are expected to be with Ford and General Motors. The UAW said it had reasonably productive talks when it met with Ford yesterday. And for the first time ever, workers are striking at plants from GM, Ford and Stellantis all at the same time. Workers say they want big raises -- pay raises and other benefits after years of concessions during rough times for the industry. The carmakers say despite big profits in recent years, the raises being demanded would drive them out of business.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is at a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan.

Vanessa, any new optimism at this hour?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's good news that Ford and General Motors are back at the negotiating table for a second day in a row after this targeted strike plan rolled out by the UAW. A Stellantis spokesperson said they're going to get back to the table tomorrow.

We heard from Shawn Fain, though, this morning on a couple morning shows, and he said that there has not been a ton of progress in negotiations. It's been slow.

And he also said it's a no go on these historic offers by these big three of 20 percent wage increases over the next four years. The Union wants 40 percent.

I want to bring in Rose Sedlecky, she has been working at Ford for over 30 years. You know what the union is demanding, 40 percent in wage increases, return to traditional pension, four-day workweek, protection against the EV transition, what is the number one priority for you?

ROSE SEDLECKY, FORD EMPLOYEE: To help the lower seniority people.

YURKEVICH: So tiered wages, folks who are coming in at lower pay. That's important to you. Why?

SEDLECKY: I came in at $12.77 an hour back in 1993. They're making just over $17.00 an hour coming in 30 years later. There is no way that they economy with the cost of everything that they can handle, they can handle it.

I have a 21-year-old and 25-year-old and they have to live at home because they can't afford an apartment.

YURKEVICH: Do they work for Ford as well?

SEDLECKY: No, I don't want them to.

YURKEVICH: You don't want them to?

SEDLECKY: I don't -- the wear and tear on your body. Just --

YURKEVICH: I want to ask you about the 40 percent that the union has been holding steady to, those wage demands. Obviously, the Big 3 have offered 20. Negotiations are about compromise. What's a fair compromise for you?

SEDLECKY: I'd say 25 to 30. You know, it's right down the middle. We gave up a lot in 2008 to help Ford out during the recession. We didn't get any raises for three contracts, so it is time for us to get something.

YURKEVICH: How much patience do you see here on the picket lines? People willing to wait this out? You willing to wait this out?

SEDLECKY: Yes. Yes, everybody has been awesome. Morale is high. We've seen union nurses and teachers and everybody come by and tell us that, you know, "Good for you."

YURKEVICH: Thank you so much, Rose.

SEDLECKY: No problem.

YURKEVICH: Appreciate it.

We know that Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries just arrived across the street at the UAW local. We're also hearing from a Biden administration official that acting Labor secretary, Julie Su as well as a senior White House adviser, Gene Sperling are actually headed to Detroit at some point in this coming week to try to help move these negotiations along.


President of the UAW, Shawn Fain says that he wants to work out a deal with the Big 3 without help, but President Biden is sending these two administration officials to try to get these two sides to come to a deal before this escalates even further -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Wow. And you know, Rose's comments there, I mean, they really hit home.

I mean, big appreciation to her honesty and candor there on what life is like, and the purpose of why she and so many others are striking.

Vanessa Yurkevich in Michigan, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

All right, let's get more analysis now on the strike, and the hope and the negotiations. I'm joined now by Cindy Schipani. She is a professor of business law at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Professor, great to see you.

I think Rose put it really succinctly there about what is behind the demands, and why she doesn't believe it's unreasonable at all. So how is this being interpreted if you're one of the Big 3 automakers?

CINDY SCHIPANI, PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS LAW, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN'S ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Well, her comments really go to the big pay disparity between the CEO, the high level executives and the rank and file. And I think that 40 percent number comes from the amount of raises that the executives were enjoying over the last four years or so. So I think that kind of locked in to that on if they can get it, you know, why can't we in the rank and file where, as I understand it more like six percent over that period of time? And this really brings up an issue that I think is burning in the popular press, in financial press, in academic circles, should the pay gap between top executives and average workers be so high?

We're running about 300 times -- the CEOs are earning about 300 times the salary of the average worker in the United States and that's a pretty big number.

So how do you close the gap? Should you close the gap? Are we comparing apples and oranges? In some ways, we really are; in other ways, when the rank and file sees that the company can afford it for the top executives, sort of like, why not us?

WHITFIELD: Yes. And then who is going to resolve that pay gap, if not, the people who make decisions for those Big 3 automakers who are enjoying very sizeable profits?

SCHIPANI: Exactly. And it's been a tricky, tricky issue for a long time. So on one hand, you have -- you want to get the best talent for your executives, and you have to pay a market rate for that, and you're comparing the market. No executive wants to be at the low end of the pay scale, so you've got that competition.

Companies want to roll out that we've got the best, the brightest, the most talented, so there is really pressure on the high pay scales for that.

We've got the SEC trying, I think to roll it in a little bit. In 2018, they required companies to publish this pay ratio, but afraid that actually publishing it, it tells the executives what everybody else is making, and it may end up feeding the increase along the way.

WHITFIELD: So when representatives of the carmakers say the demands of the UAW, you have a 40 percent pay increase, that that would drive them out of business. Is that to be believed? Is it that extreme? Is there some middle of the road then if that is the case, that it would drive them out of business? How do you get at least closer to 40, if not 40?

SCHIPANI: I would think you could get closer, but I don't have the numbers, so I couldn't tell you. But I do know if labor costs become too high, then either there's the threat of going out of business or the threat of moving labor operations to a more affordable jurisdiction. So there's always the threat that they could move labor abroad.

But you know, a big problem is that you want to have happy workers. People that are happy, they're more productive. They're going to be giving the company their all and as we've seen in rough times, they've been more likely to make concessions when they had to, but if they feel like they're being trampled on, that's a whole another story.

WHITFIELD: Hmm. And then what is to be understood by at least one of the automakers who is now saying layoffs are coming for non-striking workers, but it's about to happen. What is the message that these automakers are sending now while they are in the midst of these negotiations with the union workers?


SCHIPANI: I think they're saying that the strike has consequences and if there are workers who are on strike, that may mean other jobs are not needed in this moment, because of the strike they can't get that particular part of production going if the other workers are on strike. So I think they're just maybe reminding the UAW and the striking workers that strikes do have consequences beyond the individuals on the picket line.

WHITFIELD: Professor Cindy Schipani, thank you so much.

SCHIPANI: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, crews in Maine and Canada are working to restore power for tens of thousands of residents who lost their electricity when post tropical cyclone Lee hit the area this weekend.

The storm made landfall on Nova Scotia yesterday bringing heavy rain, destructive winds and of course, coastal flooding. Lee is expected to weaken today before moving into the North Atlantic by tomorrow.

All right, still to come, a new report says the US Border Patrol separated some migrant children from their parents while the families were in custody and being processed. Some of the children as young as eight years old.

Plus, a big setback for DACA this week after a federal judge in Texas ruled a regulation meant to preserve the Obama era policy is unlawful. We'll take a closer look.



WHITFIELD: A new court filing says the US Border Patrol separated some migrant children from their parents while the families were in custody at a facility in Donna, Texas. Some of the children were as young as eight years old. Border Patrol officials cite overcrowding at the short-term facilities as the reason for the separations.

CNN White House correspondent, Arlette Saenz joining me live now from the White House.

Arlette, what is the administration saying about this?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, this episode really highlights the humanitarian and logistical challenges facing the Biden administration as there has been an increase in migrant families coming to the US-Mexico border, and it comes at a time that many of these facilities that are housing these migrants aren't intended to house people for long periods of time, and it's leading to strains like overcrowding.

Now, this report that was filed with the court found that a pediatrician named Dr. Paul Wise visited several facilities over the course of the summer and at one of those facilities in Donna, Texas, he found that there were children who had been separated from their families, some of these children as young as eight years old and some not seeing their parents for four days.

Now, the Border Patrol officials say that the reason for this is due to overcrowding. Typically, they have families, single adults and unaccompanied minors in separate areas and they have acknowledged, a CBP official, that there are limited times where they temporarily have to move children from their parents.

In a statement from the Customs and Border Protection spokesperson, they wrote: "The health and safety of individuals in our custody, our workforce and communities we serve is paramount. DHS and CBP prioritize keeping families together at every step of the immigration process and have protocols to that end. CBP appreciates Dr. Wise's oversight. We will continue to review the report and associated recommendations, and we'll respond as appropriate."

Now, it's important to know that this is different than the policy from the Trump administration, which was separate children from their parents and at times, even deport parents back to their native countries without their children with them. But it does highlight some of the strains that the administration is facing, as they have seen this increase in individuals coming to the border.

Recent numbers have found that more than 7,000 migrants are coming daily. That's pretty close to the numbers back in the spring when Title 42 had been lifted. And of course, Republicans have tried to make this issue of the administration's handling of the border into a campaign issue for President Biden.

So this is one of the challenges that they're facing, not just today, but leading into the election next year.

WHITFIELD: All right, Arlette Saenz at the White House, thanks so much.

All right, DREAMers are facing another legal setback. A judge has ruled against the Biden administration's efforts to preserve the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The order won't impact those currently protected under the program.

Here now is CNN national correspondent, Camila Bernal.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The success of this Mexican candy family business is in part thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA.

IGNACIO VIRAMONTES, BUSINESS OWNER AND DACA RECIPIENT: When we got DACA, it was like -- it was a boost. It was like a catalyst, and then things just happened faster, things were easier.

BERNAL (voice over): Licenses, loans, leases, all possible after Ignacio Viramontes began benefiting from this Obama-era program.

Now Ignacio and his two siblings benefit from DACA.

(PEOPLE chanting.)

BERNAL (voice over): They make part of the more than 580,000 so-called DREAMers in the US, undocumented immigrants often arriving to the US at a young age, eligible for work authorization and shielded from deportation.


But a federal judge in Texas this week ruled that a regulation intended to preserve DACA is unlawful.

JEAN REISZ, CO-DIRECTOR, USC IMMIGRATION CLINIC: The time is running out, and I think that even if the Biden administration appeals, which I believe they will, and I think it'll go all the way up to the Supreme Court, looking at our Supreme Court and looking at the law, I think it's likely the Supreme Court would find it unlawful, and then it's over.

BERNAL (voice over): Jean Reisz, professor and co-director of the Immigration Clinic at USC's law school says the ruling could force a more permanent solution.

REISZ: People are reminded of the uncertainty, how many -- how much time do they have left, years maybe, and I think it really puts pressure on reform.

BERNAL (voice over): At the center of the issue is the scope of the president's authority, which is why for years, congressional leaders have tried to come to an agreement over immigration reform and failed.

ALEX GALVEZ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: I think the agreement is there, but I think because certain factions of Congress have taken such a position against DACA, that it is very hard to come back to the middle and save face.

BERNAL (voice over): Immigration Attorney Alex Galvez says that at the end of the day, it's the beneficiaries of the program that suffer.

GALVEZ: The DREAMers are in limbo once again. It's a political ping pong. Yes DACA No DACA. Yes DACA. No DACA.

BERNAL (voice over): The Texas ruling does not impact current beneficiaries, but it does prohibit new applications. Yet, the reality is that Ignacio does feel impacted.

VIRAMONTES: Even though I'm living like comfortably right now, always in the back of my head, it is like, what if one day somebody decides to come and end DACA?


WHITFIELD: Camila Bernal, thank you so much for that report.

All right, for the first time in history, a president's son is facing federal indictment. What Hunter Biden's gun charges could mean and what happens next?



WHITFIELD: All right, this week in a historic decision, the Department of Justice filed three gun charges against Hunter Biden, President Biden's son. The special counsel charges include two counts of making false statements on a federal firearms form and one count of possession of a firearm as a prohibited person.

This stems back to 2018 when Hunter Biden bought a gun from a Delaware gun shop and he allegedly lied on a federal form when he swore that he was not using and was not addicted to any illegal drugs. Hunter was at the time struggling with a crack cocaine addiction.

Stephen Gutowski is a CNN contributor and a gun safety instructor and firearms reporter for

Stephen, great to see you.

So, you know, is it your feeling that it is an uphill battle for prosecutors going after Hunter Biden on these gun charges in connection with his alleged drug use?

STEPHEN GUTOWSKI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think he's probably made it a lot easier on them by admitting a lot of these things in public. As far as his drug use goes, he wrote a whole book about it, which probably led to this prosecution in the first place, but there are some unique constitutional questions at play here.

WHITFIELD: And those being?

GUTOWSKI: Yes, well, so the Supreme Court last year ruled in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen that the Second Amendment extends to gun carry, and also that for law -- a gun law -- to remain constitutional, it has to have a historical analogue that dates back to the founding era and in the wake of this, this new standard that they set, you've seen a lot of gun laws really be challenged in court, and one of them is this drug user prohibition.

WHITFIELD: Have you been hearing from your readers of

GUTOWSKI: Yes, certainly. I think a lot of people are interested in this. Obviously, there's the whole aspect of this being the president's son, and the president being himself a very staunch gun control advocate and this sort of spectacle that perhaps his own son may challenge these gun laws under Second Amendment.

WHITFIELD: So what do you see, you know, the potential impact to be if prosecutors are successful in this Hunter Biden cases, especially as several lower courts concluded the drug user gun ban is unconstitutional?

GUTOWSKI: Yes. I mean, I think that's the key question here as far as like the big the biggest possible implications of this case could be that Hunter Biden sets a new Second Amendment precedent either that drug use is not inherently incompatible with gun ownership under the Constitution or the other way around. And it's really not clear how it would come out.

But I think that is the ultimate question this could really raise once it gets to the courts.

WHITFIELD: Right. All right, Stephen Gutowski, great to see you. Thanks so much.

All right, still to come, former President Trump making some astounding claims in a national interview today. Our Daniel Dale is here to separate fact from fiction.



WHITFIELD: Donald Trump says he was and will be again the most pro- life president in history, but Trump made some new highly disputed comments about abortion in an interview this morning with "Meet the Press."


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have New York State and other places that passed legislation where you're allowed to kill the baby after birth.


WHITFIELD: Here's CNN's Daniel Dale with our CNN factcheck.

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: It was an interview filled with false claims, some of which I'm comfortable calling lies and I think abortion was one of the topics on which he was most dishonest.

So he claimed during this interview that New York State and others have passed laws allowing people to kill babies after birth. That is out and out wrong. No state has done so, Republican or Democratic, that is infanticide, illegal in all 50 states.

New York in fact passed a 24-week abortion limit with exceptions after that for the health and life of the pregnant woman and the viability of the fetus.

That of course was not all. He repeated his false claim that Nancy Pelosi had been in charge of Capitol security on January 6, 2021. That is false as is his claim that Pelosi rejected an offer of 10,000 National Guard troops that he made. There was no evidence even made the offer. Pelosi says she never received such an offer.


And in fact, it is Donald Trump, the president of the United States who had the authority to order the National Guard to the Capitol on that day. He repeated his out and out lie that he won the 2020 election, that he was cheated, that it was rigged. Of course, we know this is false.

He made a claim that he had heard that there were no people on the terrorist watch list encountered at the southern border under him in 2019, that the number has exploded today. In fact, the number in fiscal year 2019 was actually higher to this point in the fiscal year than it is this year under President Biden.

He repeated his false claim that he had killed the Nord Stream to Russian gas pipeline until Biden revived it. In fact, he never killed it, it was about 90 percent complete before Trump imposed sanctions on it during his presidency. And then still during his presidency, Russia announced that it was going to resume construction.

He also exaggerated even on facts where the actual truth, the actual facts would be helpful to him. For example, he claimed talking about inflation that the price of bacon has gone up by he said five times under Joe Biden. Well, it has gone up, like a lot of things, but it's gone up about 11 percent, not five times, not even close. He also said that the US left behind about 85 billion -- he said $85 billion worth of military equipment upon the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The actual number is significant, but again, nowhere close to what Trump said. It is about $7 billion.

WHITFIELD: Daniel Dale, thanks so much.

All right, he is the man behind some of the most memorable rock and roll songs around. Up next, a candid conversation with Grammy winner, Desmond Child about the anguish, the joy, the challenges of writing music for some of the biggest stars in the business.



WHITFIELD: All right, they are some of the greatest songs to ever top the Billboard Music Charts.


WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh. You just want to get out there and dance, don't you? I mean those iconic songs are just some of the musical credits of songwriter, Desmond Child. He is a decade's long mega hitmaker, as you saw right there collaborating with some of the world's biggest musicians.

And guess what? Now he has written about his amazing journey in his new memoir "Livin' on a Prayer: Big Songs Big Life" releasing this Tuesday and we are hugely happy and excited that he is with us right now.

Grammy winning and Emmy nominated songwriter, Desmond Child. Hey, good to see you. Looking good.

DESMOND CHILD, AUTHOR: Good to see you, Fredricka. Wow.

WHITFIELD: Fantastic. Well congratulations on everything.

CHILD: I am so happy to be here. Thank you. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: So among the biggest songs in the last years. We saw a little taste of it there, just a reminder for some of the folks who maybe didn't know the titles or the artists Bon Jovi, "Livin' on a Prayer," Aerosmith, "Dude Looks Like a Lady," Ricky Martin "Livin' La Vida Loca," Cisco's "Thong Song."

I mean, come on. How do you explain this incredible diversity of music artists, genres, and styles. How do you do this? How have you done it?

CHILD: Well, my mother was a songwriter, Elena Casals. She was a Cuban exile and I was born in the States. But she was always struggling to get her songs out there, even though we lived in the Liberty City section of Miami. And I just had this drive, this hustle inside of me to make it.

You know, I think, they always say it takes 50 percent hustle and 50 percent talent. I think it really takes way more hustle than talent.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. I mean, so share a little bit about your songwriting success. I mean, thank goodness for the great genes of your mom that she was a songwriter. So you kind of, you know, had a framework, I guess you grew up with a kind of framework of how to make it happen.

But what is the process? Do you have like an artist in mind, sometimes, you know, like a Ricky Martin or Steven Tyler, where you kind of channel them and say, I think they would sound like this. They would really appreciate these lyrics. I mean, do you visualize as you're trying to write?

CHILD: Well, most of the time, I'm collaborating with the artist. Because, you know, I think that's the best way to get on a record. Because the artist is going to want to do something that's personal to them. So that's how I do it.

I don't stick with a style. I stick with the story. It's all about the story. What is going on with that person? And usually, you know, I am there, within a few minutes, they're telling me everything that's going on and they're crying or laughing and that goes into the song.


WHITFIELD: How much of your story ends up in the song even though you're collaborating with an artist? I mean, how much is there kind of an exchange of personal experiences to make a song just right? CHILD: Well, I think all of us in a writing session are bringing our story to the table. When I co-wrote "Livin' on a Prayer" with Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora, Jon was talking about doing a song about a working class couple that was struggling to make ends meet. And he knew Bonnie and Joe from high school, and I had a girlfriend at the time, Maria Vidal, and we had our group, Desmond Child and Rouge and she worked as a waitress at a diner, and her waitress name was Gina. And so that's how Gina got into the song.

WHITFIELD: Oh, fun. Oh, that's so fun. So you really have a personal relationship with these songs, too. I mean, these really are your babies, aren't they? You know, they come out of this collaboration, the storytelling. It sounds very personal.

And I also read that, you know, Joan Jett said that, while there can be all these great successes like that, sometimes there can -- you know, and even with the collaboration, there can be some resentments too, meaning some of the singers may want to see more of their own and perhaps, ghost you in a way.

I mean, explain how that happens, or how you have coped with that and if that's ever taken a toll on you.

CHILD: I think that the critics really did that to performers, because a lot of them are really naturally songwriters. So you come to the table, and you try to pull it out of them, pull the story out of them.

And so then later on the record company, the publicity companies, oh, don't talk about Desmond. You know, it's like nobody cares about that.

And so, in the end, you know, I sort of -- you know, now, of course, people can see that I'm a real person, and that I helped, that I collaborated, I was part of the creative process. And so that's how that happens.

I'm not resentful at all, really, because people have to get out there and do what they have to do. And, you know, they are the ones that have to be at the television station at CNN at six in the morning and really work hard on tour to make those songs hits.

WHITFIELD: Yes, well, I know so many of the artists in the industry is so grateful for your dedication to the craft, your creativity, how you have really made this journey a very personal one.

And so I wonder now how you were able to make some decisions about how to put this in book form? And you know, the craft of putting together a memoir. Did you borrow from some of the process of lyrics, of song writing, and transfer it to now book writing, how did you do this?

CHILD: Well, I had a magnificent collaborator, David Ritz was written some of the biggest books, and sometimes he's ghosted, sometimes, he is given credit. He did respect the one they made the movie out of, you know, with Jennifer Hudson about Aretha Franklin. And, you know, I knew when I read a review of one of his books that he was the one.

So I went to be interviewed. That's right, me being interviewed and he asked me two questions and I burst into tears and I knew he was the one that be the one to do the book with me and it took us seven years to write it.

We wrote it in Greece, we wrote it in New York. We wrote it in LA. We wrote it in Nashville. And bit by bit, he would ask me questions, and that was transcribed, and then he'd weave it all together and he is a magnificent writer.

WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness.

CHILD: So I can't -- I can't take all the credit.

WHITFIELD: Oh, that's funny.

CHILD: I learned my lesson with that.

WHITFIELD: Yes, I was going to say. Well, I mean, it's full circle. Right?

So you're kind of dishing about yourself, you know, in a lot of ways, right? Are you dishing about others, too in your book?

CHILD: Well, for me, it's been like a seven-year jailhouse confession, a real reckoning about who I am and all the things I did, right and a lot of things that I did wrong. And so, you know, I'm not at all concentrating on what so and so did in that, it is my reaction to everything that happened in my life. So that's where the story is and it goes pretty deep, it really does.

WHITFIELD: Oh, I look forward to jumping into that memoir. So meantime while this is the focus of your memoir, are you already thinking about you know the next song writing project? Are you envisioning anyone that you would love to collaborate with? Work with? Any kind of new artists out there that you think would appreciate your talent?


CHILD: I've been working with the greatest artists of all time, Barbra Streisand, and I solely wrote a song for her called "Lady Liberty," which was on her last recorded album "Walls." And I've been quietly writing more songs for her. So she hasn't heard them yet, so I'm on pins and needles and I'm waiting for her to finally say, okay, let me hear the songs.

WHITFIELD: I'm sure she is going to be giving you a jingling-ling call very soon about that kind of upcoming collaboration and project making.

Desmond Child, great talking to you. Congratulations on the book "Livin' on a Prayer: Big Songs Big Life," releasing this Tuesday.

All right, coming up, all this week, our special Champions for Change Series, stories that spotlight everyday people who don't make headlines, but smash barriers and inspire others to do the same. Here's a quick preview


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, let's go.

It was about how many people getting help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join us for Champions for Change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel a source of inspiration and pride just coming together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you guys truly forget the word can't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As CNN journalists spotlight, the changemakers who inspire them.

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She teaches you to break through that fear to get to where you need to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It turns out that one human being can do a lot.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: She's opening a door for people that are desperate for freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These aren't throwaway animals. These are precious beans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See how these community champions use creativity, heart, and grit to lift society up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the music starts, something happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I surround myself with positive people. They help me be that inspiration,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Champions for Change, all this week on CNN.




WHITFIELD: All right in San Francisco, the fentanyl crisis is under spotlight right now. A multi-agency effort to crack down on rampant drug dealing shows mixed results.

CNN's Veronica Miracle has the story.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Tenderloin of San Francisco considered ground zero for the city's open air drug market.

Within these 50 square blocks, you will see people using and selling drugs. You'll likely step over human waste and used needles. These tourists spotted bullet casings along the sidewalk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I knew the condition of this area, I probably would have taken a much longer path around it.

MIRACLE (voice over): The situation has become so acute that this has become a regular sight. California Highway Patrol officers, normally on the state's freeways, now patrolling San Francisco's streets.

During our ride-along, they arrested a suspected drug dealer accused of selling meth and fentanyl. What appears to be a tiny amount of white powder in this bag, officers say, in a worst-case scenario, could kill thousands.

UNIDENTIFIED CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER: We're looking at around 16,500 fatal doses of pure fentanyl.

MIRACLE (voice over): This new crackdown in the concentrated area of San Francisco involves federal, state, and local agencies and is spear-headed by Governor Newsom.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): The CHP will allow us about 560 hours a week, which is not insignificant.

MIRACLE (voice over): Newsom says those CHP officers, in the first two months of the operation, seized so much fentanyl that, at its worst, has the potential to kill more than two million people.

But some residents and business owners aren't seeing the results, telling us the situation seems to be getting worse. No one wanted to go on camera for fear of retaliation.

Except for Martha Hughes.

MARTHA HUGHES, SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENT: I'm not scared. I'm not scared of them. I'm not scared of anything.

MIRACLE (voice over): A resident who has watched the neighborhood deteriorate over two decades.

HUGHES: Drug addicts, more drug dealers. It's just bad.

MIRACLE: She supports the police crackdown but doesn't think it's working.

HUGHES: I blame this all on the politicians. They don't really seem to care. They are a lot of big talk but there's not enough action.

MIRACLE (on camera): They're blaming people like you. They're saying it's your fault.

BROOKE JENKINS, (D), SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We do. We appear to be failing as city leaders.

MIRACLE (voice over): Brooke Jenkins, San Francisco's district attorney, elected last year, after voters fed up with crime recalled the previous DA.

JENKINS: Since I took over a little over a year ago, we filed almost a thousand drug dealing cases. Unfortunately, they're cycling back out on to the street almost immediately.

MIRACLE: The problem, Jenkins says, lies with local judges.

In the last year, she said her office has filed motions to keep 200 of the most egregious suspected drug dealers behind bars while they await trial. Of those 200, only 17 were held in jail.

San Francisco county superior court judges, she says, allowed the rest to walk free.

JENKINS: I'm not going to take the blame when my prosecutors are going in and arguing that these people have to remain in custody.

Unfortunately, like I said, the judges are not doing their part and that has to be revealed.

MIRACLE: CNN was unable to independently confirm Jenkins' claims.

We asked the San Francisco Superior Court to respond, but it had no comment.

Jenkins acknowledges new California laws have decriminalized lower- level drug offenses. But she argues, these 200 cases involve reoffenders and people dealing significant amounts of fentanyl.

In one of those cases, prosecutors say the amount of fentanyl one dealer had across all four of his arrests had the potential to kill 38,350 people.

MIRACLE (on camera): Do you think you will ever get to the point where you will call these judges out by name?

JENKINS: I've tried to maintain a level of decorum as a former prosecutor and not do that, but only time will tell.

MIRACLE on camera: And San Francisco Mayor London Breed just announcing local agencies have arrested 300 suspected drug dealers over the last three months.

But is it making a difference in the quality of life for the people that live and work here? According to those we've spoken with, not yet.

Back to you.