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Senator Kamala Harris encourages Black Michiganders to vote during virtual event

Senator Kamala Harris

Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) encouraged Black women in Michigan to vote early by mail this year at a virtual campaign event held Wednesday. 

Harris spoke with Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence of Detroit about the history of Black female leadership in the fight for voting rights. 


“We are so excited about the leadership and the vision of a Biden-Harris ticket,” Lawrence told Harris. “We need you so bad, and so the fact that you chose Detroit [for this event], it just energizes us more.” 


Harris said she and her running-mate, former Vice President Joe Biden, wanted to alleviate "suffering" in Detroit and Flint.


“And that’s part of what Joe Biden and I seek to deal with in terms of our priorities...with an emphasis on knowing which communities are going to need focused support,” Harris said — though she didn’t offer specifics. 


After she spoke, a panel of Black female leaders from southeast Michigan explained why Harris had their vote. 


Simone Lightfoot, the director of urban initiatives and environmental justice at the National Wildlife Federation, said she believed Biden and Harris would work to improve water infrastructure and affordability in Michigan. 


Riana Anderson, a professor of public health at the University of Michigan, said the team would support the health of Black Michiganders, who make up a disproportionate share of the state’s deaths from COVID-19. 


Anderson also referred to this week’s Republican National Convention, saying, “We cannot be fooled by promises made in recent days. Pay attention to what has been done in the past four years.”


Some speakers at the convention have cast the Republican party as a supporter of minority, working class, and immigrant rights. 


All of the panelists encouraged Michiganders to make a plan for voting and, if possible, to vote early by mail. 


Will Callan, a reporter for Michigan Radio, hails from the Bay Area, where he lived in Oakland and San Francisco and reported for local newspapers and magazines. He enjoys a long swim in chilly water (preferably followed by a sauna) and getting to know new cities. That's one reason he's excited to be in Ann Arbor, which he can already tell has just the right combo of urban grit and natural beauty to make him feel at home.
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