Former U.S. President Barack Obama tells an audience in Milan, Italy, that if you don't vote, ''you get the politicians you deserve.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged active civic participation on Tuesday (May 9), telling a crowd in Milan, Italy, that if you don't vote, participate and pay attention, "you get policies that don't reflect your interests." Obama was recounting his experience working in Chicago as a community organizer and offered a lesson for those who want to be able to make change. "The mark of a good leader is somebody who is able to empower other people," Obama said. "So often we think of leadership as somebody at the top who is ordering other people around, but it turns out, for me at least, what made me understand leadership was when I could see somebody who thought they didn't have a voice, thought they didn't have influence or didn't have power, and teach them how they could speak up on the things that were affecting their lives." "People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don't work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve. If you don't vote and don't participate and don't pay attention, you get policies that don't reflect your interests," he added. It was one of his first public appearances since the end of his tenure on January 20, 2017.