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Key Issues for Democrats in the New Year; Harry's New Year's Resolution; Durham Teacher Raises $100,000+ to Feed Students. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 31, 2021 - 08:30   ET



REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): Oh, absolutely. We've got -- this tax cut is critical. I mean, we have, for the first time in a long time, decades, finally cut taxes for working people, a significant boost for them. And I think we've got to keep that rolling, no matter what else happens here in the coming years.

Tax cuts for working class people has got to be front and center. So whatever else we can add on to that, early childhood education, capping child care expenses, these other things, family and medical leave, I would love to are those things in there.

We should have done those things 30 or 40 years ago, where we got to take what we can get and move along here. But it's got to be about putting money in the pockets of people and that tax cut does that directly.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: So, here's what's interesting to me, when you're talking about the child tax credit, I believe, is that Joe Manchin in West Virginia, his argument, centrist Democrat from a deep red state now, is saying that he's -- he doesn't want to support the current form of Build Back Better because he's concerned that all that government spending will lead to inflation, that it won't necessarily play well back home.

You're arguing the exact opposite. Also from some would say the center left wing of the Democratic Party. You got a totally different prescription. You think Democrats need to pass the bill to win back those voters. He's saying if they pass the bill in current form, they'll lose them.

Why is he wrong?

RYAN: I don't like to get in these arguments. I'm an independent- minded person. I look at the issues, what can help my people in my state and in my district. I've taken on Democrats, I've taken on Republicans.

This is about what's in the best interest of our people. When I look at these things, John, you know where I'm from. I'm from northeast Ohio, old steel towns that have been closed. We need reinvestment. We need to take care of the fentanyl issue and

stop this junk from coming into our country and killing our kids, Ohio ranks two in opiates. There is a lot of issues here that take a constructive smart government action and leveling the economic playing field.

I think, you know, to dismiss the government's role here would be wrong. We need to make sure average people have a shot and they haven't had a shot in 30 or 40 years. That's what this Senate race that I'm in, this is what I'm fighting for.

And so maybe there is going to be Democrats that agree, maybe there is Republicans, but I know what we need. I've been studying this China issue and this economic issue for a long time. If people want to support me, they can go to to get people in the Senate that really aren't going to apologize for this stuff.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Can you rank the Democratic priorities when they get back to -- when you -- all of get back to Washington, hopes to revive Build Back Better, got to fund the government, there are questions about voting rights bill that Schumer has promised to bring to the floor.

So, can you rank the Democratic priorities for us?

RYAN: Yeah, I mean, you know, you could probably interchange them, but the voting rights issue has got to be at the top of the list. But the economic issues that I just mentioned, we have got to rebalance this economy. We have got to put money back into the pockets of people.

So I think that starts with this tax cut. I think the tax cut has got to be front and center. Obviously, we got to pass these appropriations bills. I think, you know, the burn pits legislation for veterans who have been hurt by, you know -- and died because of their exposure to burn pits, we got to take care of them.

The fentanyl issue is front and center, went on the back burner during the pandemic. In places like Ohio, this is still overdoses, addiction, suicides, these are the deaths of despair are still huge. This means the government's got to reinvest, rebuild the middle class. And that's got to be front and center.

But I think it starts with money in their pockets. I keep coming back to this tax cut. We have got to get it extended for the next few years so that people who are doing everything right can have a little bit of breathing room.

COLLINS: It is a lot on the agenda.

AVLON: It is.

COLLINS: Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you for joining us this morning, and we look forward to seeing how January plays out.

AVLON: Happy New Year to everyone in Youngstown. RYAN: You guys have a great New Year, thanks.

AVLON: All right.

COLLINS: Still ahead here on NEW DAY --


COLL.INS: CNN gets ready to ring in the New Year with Katy Perry. Maybe not at the monument, but she will be there and she will be ready to go.



COLLINS: A live look at Times Square right now as we're preparing to say good-bye to 2021 and ring in 2022 with our special live coverage kicking off tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will return to co-host CNN's New Year's Eve live, the duo made this a tradition for half a decade now. This year they will be joined by some exciting guests. If you did not watch it last year, it was so funny.

So, joining us now to tell us what to expect tonight is our Times Square correspondent for the celebration, Chloe Melas.

So, Chloe, what is it going to look like there tonight?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Oh, my goodness, well, hey, I am so excited, we are just hours away from Times Square, allowing crowds into, you know, their spots. It starts around 3:00 p.m., a little later than in years past. About 15,000 people compared to the 50,000 people we were expecting, but that's due to the variant.

But a slew of celebrities, so you're going to want to watch tonight. We have Katy Perry, so she's going to be talking to us from Las Vegas, where she has her residency that just kicked off.


And so, she is going to sing her new song called "When I'm Gone," haven't heard it yet. So exciting. And we have so many other celebrities. David Arquette, Patti LaBelle, Duran Duran, Earth, Wind and Fire, the list goes on and on.

And some surprise guests too that I don't want to give away just yet.

AVLON: Oh, come on! One!

MELAS: Let's just say we have someone that is going to be joining virtually who I love, I write about all the time. She has many famous children who make a lot of headlines.

COLLINS: Oh, John, who do you think it is? AVLON: Wow.

COLLINS: Let's test your celebrity knowledge.

AVLON: My celebrity knowledge is limited. That sounds like a Kardashian tease, but, you know, could be Mrs. Partridge, I suppose. You know what I'm into is the Duran Duran cameo, along with Katy Perry. That's some good stuff right there.

MELAS: I'm telling you, we have great performers.

People tune in for Andy and Anderson because they are just so funny, but we also have Gary Tuchman and his daughter down in Puerto Rico. We have Richard Quest who is going to be at Hudson Yards doing something very special. I don't want to give that away. He's doing something that I would be terrified to do. Absolutely terrified.

ALVON: Oh, that's a good tease. That's a good tease. We got folks in New Orleans too, NOL action?

MELAS: Yes. I'm telling you -- we have Donie, we love Donie, right? He's going to be outside of an Irish pub and we have --

COLLINS: Of course he is.

MELAS: We have something special with him. I'm telling you, the night is going to be jaw dropping, surprise after surprise.

And, of course, Andy and Anderson, they're going to spill some tea, have some drinks, it is going to be fun.

AVLON: Spill some tea.

COLLINS: I don't know about y'all, but I'm tuning in for Donie and Donie alone.

AVLON: Yeah, no, just Donie cam is all I need for New Year's.

COLLINS: Donie cam. So good.

AVLON: Awesome. All right, listen, Chloe, thank you so much. Ball dropping, jaw dropping in Times Square. Be well, happy New Year.

Join Anderson and Andy for CNN's New Year's Eve live. The party starts tonight at 8:00 here on CNN.

All right. So what are the chances, really, that you'll keep your New Year's resolutions this year? Harry Enten has got and more, and I want to hear Kaitlan's resolutions as well.

COLLINS: I want to know what Harry Enten's resolutions are going to be.

Check out this incredible show in the night sky from Sydney's world famous Harbor Bridge as Australia rang in the New Year a few moments ago. They got ahead of us. And that show looks pretty good. AVLON: How about that?



AVLON: It's time for that age old New Year's tradition, making a resolution and struggling to keep it for more than a week.

But how many people are setting out goals for 2022?

Well, we are joined by CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten here at the magic wall with more.

Harry, break it down for us as you do.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: All right. I'm going to try my best.

Look at this, people making New Year's resolution, I basically took all the polls we had since 2015, and this gives you an idea. I think there's something really interesting going on here. Before the New Year, 43 percent of Americans say that they're going to make a New Year's resolution. After the New Year, when all of a sudden you have to realize, wait a minute, am I going to make one? After the booze wears off, just 29 percent say they actually made one.

So there's about 15 percent of the population that says they're going to make one and then doesn't actually make one.

AVLON: That's terrible follow through.

ENTEN: Terrible follow through.

Now, I will give you some good news, however.

AVLON: Come on now.

ENTEN: All right. Here we go. Among those who actually make one. So, that 28 percent, right, that 28 percent, 29 percent, look at this, do you keep it? Look at that, 68 percent say yes, at least partially.

AVLON: I got to say, that's the stat that stuns me the most. I understand it is a smaller subset. But 6688 percent keep the resolution, I not sure I've been in that 68 percent, but God bless them, that's great.

ENTEN: You know what? There are a lot of strong people out there. You and I perhaps are not one of them.

AVLON: All right. What else we got?

ENTEN: So, look, what are going to be these top New Year's resolutions? So take a look here. I think this is a fairly familiar list of folks. Exercise more, eat healthier, save more money, I'm not sure I need to,

I'm very cheap. Spend more time with family. I probably should do that. Be a better person. Yeah.

AVLON: We all can.

ENTEN: Get a new job. No. I like this job. I'm good with this.

Quit smoking, my mother would be very proud I never actually smoked. So, that's not one of mine.

AVLON: If you haven't quit smoking by now, yeah, that's a perfectly good thing to do for 2022 for like a million reasons.

ENTEN: Yeah.

AVLON: These seem like pretty obvious.

ENTEN: Yeah, I would say they're pretty obvious, pretty generic. There are a lot of folks who want to better themselves and perhaps you can do one of these and better yourself.

AVLON: What about optimism for the future? That's what the time of new beginnings portend may be.

ENTEN: Yeah. You know, will things get better in the next year in the country overall, just 26 percent say yes, 24 percent say it stays the same. Hey, that's not terrible, maybe. Forty-eight percent say no, things will not get bet-ter.

AVLON: We're basically 50/50, stay the same, get better or get worse. That's a nation on knife's edge.

ENTEN: Yeah.

AVLON: Same thing sort of -- is there a correlation with the economy?

ENTEN: Yeah. I think so. Look, the economy right now is one of the top issues and top problems facing the country. So, it is not a real surprise that views on whether or not the economy will get better, look at that, 30 percent is awfully close to that 26 percent up there.


So, if the economy gets better, perhaps people feel more optimistic about the country overall.

AVLON: Funny how those things work together. All right.

ENTEN: Here's what's so interesting to me. Optimism in the country at this point, you know, will things get better, 26 percent say yes. Last year, look at that, a lot more optimism at this point last year. It was 45 percent, unfortunately everyone was hoping that 2021 would be better than 2020, perhaps it didn't turn out that way for a lot of folks. We were back to where we were at this point in 2019. AVLON: So, that's fascinating to me. Is that about, you know, people

thought COVID was on the wane, Donald Trump would be -- had lost the election and there wouldn't be an attack on the Capitol, those are the constants that seem to be dragging things down to where they were?

ENTEN: Yeah, I would say so. I would say especially COVID. All this optimism, especially with the vaccines, that we would see case rates fall back, we would see hospitalizations fall back.

And while they have to some degree, the fact is COVID is still a part of our lives and I think a lot of folks are, like, when is this going to be done and it is just not done yet. I think there is optimism about the future has really sort of just come back from where we were a year ago, people thought maybe we're on our way.

AVLON: All right. I got to get personal. In addition to your sweater, which, by the way, is as personally lovely as I can possibly imagine, puts me in a very cheerful mood, what are your resolutions, buddy?

ENTEN: Here are my resolutions. So, first off, look at that photo.

AVLON: So, what I love about that photo, it is like some weird combo of your aspirations are to be a combination of a cat in the hat and Apollo Creed, which fits you really well.

ENTEN: I think it does fit me very well. Cartoonish in one sense, but, you know, maybe I could come in here and -- one of these, like, late 19th century boxes or early 20th century.

AVLON: Jack Johnson.

ENTEN: Not this. I can't do this, but this maybe I can.

AVLON: That's called fisticuffs, by the way.

ENTEN: Yeah, you know, I participate in that a lot. You know, but actually exercise. So, there you go.

AVLON: There you go. Right there.

ENTEN: I called it.

Be less passive. On TV I'm quite aggressive. But in real life, I tend to hold back a little bit. Maybe be a little more out there and honest about my feelings.

Of course, the key one for any true American is pet even more dogs. That's a big one for me. Shih Tzus, Lhaso Apsos, little toy poodles, there are two little toy poodles up in Ardsley (ph), Beacon and Preston, I love you guys. You're so beautiful. I hope to pet you more in the upcoming year.

AVLON: If my daughter was old enough to have resolutions, that would definitely be one.

ENTEN: It is a great resolution. You can't go wrong with little pooches.

ALVON: Beautiful. Harry Enten, happy New Year, my friend.

ENTEN: Happy New Year, buddy.

AVLON: Thank you.

All right. Be well.

COLLINS: Only Harry Enten would make his New Year's resolution, petting more dogs. It's not a bad idea, though, of course.

Up next, you'll meet a teacher who will warm your heart and feed your soul while feeding other people. The good stuff is after this.



COLLINS: All kids love their winter break off from school, for some it can mean several weeks of food insecurity for children and their families.

Our next guest raised more than $100,000 this year to help feed students in need at 12 different schools in her district in Durham, North Carolina.

Joining us now is teacher and founder of Mrs. Parker's Professors Foodfaiser, Turquoise LeJeune Parker.

And so, I just want to start with how you started this, because you said you texted everyone in your phone asking for any kind of donation, whether it's food, money, so how did it go from that amazing effort to text every single person you have in your contact list into this?

TURQUOISE LEJEUNE PARKER, FOUNDER, MRS. PARKER'S PROFESSORS FOODRAISER: Good morning. So in 2015 we were about two or three days away from our beloved winter break and one of my professor parents came and asked me if I knew anywhere they could get some food because she didn't have anything for her kids while we were going to be out for the two-week break. So I talked to my husband, he and I took care of that family and then he and I realized if this is a family who experiences this and is thinking about this, there is probably lots more.

So, I sent that text out and I sent that text to everybody and then from there it has grown to here we are, talking to you all on CNN.

AVLON: Well, it is because your compassion met with a sense of action and you were able to build this out in a way that is just exemplary.

Tell me how it has literally grown. I mean, from a text chain to $100,000 from initial conversation, that's an amazing demonstration of love for your fellow neighbor. PARKER: (INAUDIBLE) community. So, one of the people I sent that text

to was a local attorney, T. Greg Duset (ph). And he and I both graduates of the greatest historically black college and university in the land, North Carolina Central University, and I sent him that text and he came through major and ever since then he has just been an incredible partner.

We have done this together, and with the generosity of a lot of hearts, a lot of minds, a lot of hands we have gotten here because the last bag that I delivered on last week, I wrote on there, love Mrs. Parker from a whole lot of people who love you too. And it is the money that we have raised on Twitter, GoFundMe, and every way possible.

COLLINS: And can you talk about what do you want to go going forward with this? It has become such an expansive effort. This is so incredible, the work. I know how important this is.

My mom is a fourth grade public schoolteacher as well. What do you want it to look like in 2022?

PARKER: One thing we tried to start and we were successful is we did spring break. Spring break is another time that school is closed and there are no places where you can get breakfast and lunch. We were able to make that happen this year and so going forward we want to make sure we take care of winter break, spring break and then I call it the off season, in between, is making sure that we're there for families whenever they need help, period. And being able to do that in really good ways, not food that is just, you know, scraps, but food that is good for their body.


AVLON: Well, listen, Turquoise LeJeune Parker, one of the greatest names of all time, thank you very much, and happy New Year.

Happy New Year to you.

PARKER: Happy New Year. Y'all take care.

AVLON: To you all.

Kaitlan, I had a blast being with you this week. I hope you have a wonderful New Year. Here is to a great 2022 for all of us.

COLLINS: I was going to make a smart comment about my resolution is, but you know what? I think more people should try to be like Turquoise LeJeune Parker and do good in the world like she did.

AVLON: I'm with you. Turquoise LeJeune Parker for us all. Happy New Year. CNN's coverage continues right now, and there's Sydney, Australia, setting them off.