Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris visited Detroit Tuesday to participate in a voter mobilization event for National Voter Registration Day.
In a press release made by the Biden-Harris campaign, supporters said the event was designed to “elevate the importance of voting and educate voters on how they can vote starting this week.”
Harris’s stop outside the Detroit Pistons Performance Center was her third public appearance of the day. Michigan Chronicle previously reported on the VP hopeful’s plans to visit.
“I love Detroit. It reminds me so much of my hometown of Oakland, California, just so much here,” said Harris. “So many who have come from Detroit, so many who have been part of the national character and the leadership of who we are there. So much that is about Detroit as not only a measure of our country and its excellence, but also as a measure of the challenges that we face as a nation.”
The statements described Democratic support in Michigan as follows:
“There are signs of high Democratic enthusiasm heading into November. Biden was incredibly successful in the March primary, generating all-time high turnout for the presidential primary in Michigan. And in Michigan’s August primaries, despite being during the pandemic, there was an all time high turnout which was 79 percent higher than in August of 2016. Wayne County doubled turnout from 2016. And in Detroit, there are signs of increased turnout among Black voters. In the 2018 midterm election, Black turnout in Wayne County, where Detroit is located, rose sharply compared to the previous midterm election in 2014 — from 38 percent to 54 percent.”
Tuesday’s rally was Harris’s second mobilization event in the state. On Aug. 26th, Harris participated in a virtual event to launch a mobilization program for Black women voters. Harris says she and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden feel a particular sense of responsibility to Michigan.
“So goes Michigan, goes the rest of the country as far as we are concerned,” said Harris. The daughter of a researcher, Harris has taken a specific interest in the virus and it’s effect on Detroit.
“[When] I look at what this pandemic has done to change the lives of all Americans, what it has done to put us in a place where collectively we are mourning and grieving the loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of normalcy, the loss of consistency…,”said Harris.
The former senator also spoke on, what she believes to be, negligence on the part of President Trump. The public recently discovered Trump knew about COVID-19 in January.
“The President of the United States, having this knowledge… and the duty to be the Commander in Chief of the United States of America, and thereby having the responsibility to concern himself…with safety and the well-being of the people of our country…went on to call this virus a hoax…,” said Harris.
COVID-19 has had severe impacts on Detroit and it’s citizens for months. Thousands of Detroiters have died, Black businesses have suffered, and conversations on racism have occurred.
While speaking to the youth present, Harris encouraged them to exercise their right to free speech with great honor and responsibility.
“You have such beautiful voices and know that the strength of your voices always, no matter whether you are singing, are so powerful,” said Harris. “And yours are the voices of our country and our future. Always use them in a way that owns the power that you have…”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Mayor Mike Duggan, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, MI-14, Arn Tellem, Vice Chairman, Detroit Pistons, and Ben Wallace, Former Pistons Player were also in attendance.