Sen. Kamala Harris visits high school in Greensboro for campaign event

On Sunday, Aug. 25, Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris spoke to a crowd of hundreds at Greensboro’s Ben L. Smith High School. In spite of declining poll numbers, the California senator’s campaign shows no signs of slowing down. After delivering remarks as the keynote speaker for the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People’s Founders’ Day banquet on Aug. 24, and speaking at a Durham AME church the next day, Harris stopped in Greensboro as part of her “We The People” campaign organizing event.

In talking to those assembled at Smith High, Harris illustrated how she plans to focus on what she calls the “3 a.m. agenda”– the problems that keep Americans up at night.

To weave her primary points together, Harris used the motif of “the America we believe in.” Despite having waited several hours for her appearance, the audience was not only listening, but they were also deeply engaged. Harris generally draws a primarily older, African American base of supporters. However, the majority if not all of her on-site volunteers in Greensboro were of college or high school age.

“We must be prepared to write the next chapter of the America we believe in,” Harris said. Although her speech was brief, she managed to outline the fundamental goals she believes will work toward achieving her vision of American society.

The senator first spoke on the crucial need for a nationwide teacher pay raise, as well as her plans to combat climate change by reentering the Paris Agreement. Within her first 100 days in office, Harris promised she would lobby Congress to pass “common-sense gun laws”–an issue she said has been left unsolved for too long. However, if Congress remains stagnant, Harris vowed to issue an executive action for comprehensive gun laws, as well as a ban on importing assault weapons.

The senator criticized the lack of courage within Congress — a point that sparked an outpouring of applause. Closing wage gaps that exist along racial and gender lines was the last major policy point Harris covered, as she spoke about her plan to tackle the issue head-on as president.

Greensboro is the third-largest city by population in the state, and North Carolina’s history as a swing state indicates its strategic importance on the 2020 campaign trail. Harris is the second 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to visit Greensboro this year, as Beto O’Rourke hosted a rally at Natty Greene’s in April.

During her talk, Harris explained the history of the civil rights movement and its role within her family, tracing back to her parents’ involvement. She then spoke about the significance of Greensboro’s role in the movement.

Since the Aug. 25 rally, Harris has unveiled a new criminal justice reform plan and also has pledged $10 trillion in investment over 10 years toward a transition to clean energy in the U.S.

As the election nears, all of the 2020 Democratic candidates want to build a case against Trump. But Sen. Harris, the former attorney general of California, is the one who has summed up her argument in these three words: “Dude’s gotta go.”

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