Oct 30, 2020
Kamala Harris Campaign Event Speech Transcript Houston, TX October 30
Kamala Harris held a campaign event in Houston, Texas on October 30 with Senate candidate MJ Hegar. Read the transcript of the event with Harris’ speech here.
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MJ Hegar: (00:00)
It was wonderful, wasn’t it? God, I got to tell ya. That touched me. That touched me. It touched that spark of hope in me that says, “I love this country, even when she breaks my heart.” You know that? You guys hear this? You hear this over here? Guess what we’re going to do? We’re going to fight for their access to healthcare, too. They don’t know yet. They don’t know yet. That’s okay.
MJ Hegar: (00:35)
I got to tell you guys, I’m in this fight because I love this country. I lost my dad to a workplace accident when he was only 49 years old. And then I joined the military and risked my life in my job. And now we’ve got frontline workers across this country, teachers, healthcare workers, people keeping our grocery stores stocked, and our country’s asking them to keep moving and to keep risking their lives to keep our country moving forward. But we’re not giving them the support that they need. Luckily, we have voices like Senator Kamala Harris in the Senate fighting for us. But we need her in the executive branch, don’t we? I’m looking forward to working my tail off to go there and continue that fight while she moves over to the executive branch.
MJ Hegar: (01:38)
I want you to think about why she’s here, though. Why is she here? She’s here because Houston is more populated than 15 states around our country. She’s here because you’re the most diverse city in the nation, because you’re critical to our economy and our national security. But you know what? Those things have always been true. You know why she’s really here? You. She’s here because you voted in record numbers, because you worked your tails off getting other people’s to the polls. She’s here because of the work we’ve been doing and you’ve been doing, and that’s incredible. Texas is a battleground state. No longer will we be ignored and overlooked. No longer will small numbers of us choose our elected officials who act outside of our values. She’s here because of you.
MJ Hegar: (02:35)
I want you to think about a world in which you wake up on November 4th with a Democratic senator and a Democratic White House. A Democratic president and vice-president. A Democratic majority in the Senate. Think about that moment, waking up in that moment, because I got to tell you that the first thought I have is, “Whew, we got some work to do.” We’ve got work to do. We have a few years to extend access to healthcare for people, to get our immigration system more in line with our American values that honor the pursuit of happiness and the American dream and opportunity that is denied to too many right now.
MJ Hegar: (03:21)
We’ve got work to do. We’ve got to fight systemic racism. We’ve got to create jobs. We’ve got to build back our economy, the backbone of our economy. You think it’s the wealthy, special interest corporate donors, or the regular, hardworking folks like us that’s going to bring back this economy? I got to tell you, it’s not strategically smart to be the people not fighting for hardworking people, because we’re going to outwork them. Right?
MJ Hegar: (03:52)
It just makes sense to me. We’re going to outwork them. We’ve been out working them, that’s why we’re setting records. And I got to thank you for that, because we are in a position to do some real good. So it’s November 4th, we got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a short window in which to do it, to make sure that it lasts, because we’ve got to deliver on these promises. I am so honored to grace this stage with a couple of my heroes tonight. One is coming up after me, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who charged me with being the job creating mama. And it’s not a cute nickname. That is a job she gave me, make no mistake, and I will not let her down and I will not let you down.
MJ Hegar: (04:36)
But we have a lot of work to do. So now that you’re living in this world, and we have a Democratic senator, and a Democratic Senate majority, and the White House, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, bring yourself back now to four days before Election Day and ask yourself what you would do to make that a reality. Because I got to tell you, I can’t think of much I wouldn’t do to make that happen. Now, you’re already doing it, but keep it up. Some people are running on fumes. I get it. Keep the momentum up. Keep the pedal to the metal. Keep volunteering, keep phone banking, keep text messaging.
Kamala Harris: (05:09)
I got to tell you one last thing before I give up the microphone. Somebody asked me if their vote counted. If your vote didn’t count, they wouldn’t be working so damn hard to suppress it. They know your vote counts. Do not let them silence us. We are more powerful than the powerful few that are trying to maintain power, trying to profit, trying to exploit. We’re more powerful than them because there’s more of us than there are of them, and when we stand together, there is nothing we can’t do.
Kamala Harris: (05:48)
So stand with me. Stand with Senator Harris and future President Biden, because we’re asking you for a job. And in return, if you hire us for these jobs, we’re going to turn right back around and build back our economy and bring jobs to your community. And we’ll work together to heal this nation. Thank you so much. Y’all stay safe, and please don’t let up. Let’s maintain this momentum. Let’s kick some serious tail, and we are going to have so much to celebrate on November 4th, y’all. Thank you so much.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your hometown Congresswoman here at the University of Houston, Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (07:11)
I was wondering, where were all the Democrats? I needed to hear some noise. I needed to hear some noise. I needed to have the next vice president of the United States know what Texas is made of. Thank you so very much. What an honor and privilege to be here with the best congressional delegation in the nation. Give the Texas congressional delegation a big shout out, again. Oh, you can go louder than that. And We’re delighted to have Sima Ladjevardian, thank you. Sima is here. I saw she had on a pretty pink suit. Give her a very big hand. There she is, on the way to victory. Sri Kulkarni, on the way to victory. Michael Siegel, on the way to victory, and many of our colleagues up and down the state of Texas. You know, I want to make sure that the background noise is not louder than us. So I think I need another shout out, one more time. One more time.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (09:02)
Let me give you a moment to be able to understand the significance of this historical moment. Just imagine, whether or not when the song Impossible Dream was being written and sung, would they have imagined the state of Texas in 2020, long in the squalor of red states, to be able to be on the precipice, on the precipice of turning this state blue and electing the next president and vice president of the United States? Somebody needs to be happy about that. And so this is about the impossible dream. But we could not be where we are if we didn’t have all of you who are volunteers, and I want to give you a shout out. Thank you so very much. We would not be where we were without the outstanding election officials that have provided for three weeks of early vote, even tonight, finally ending at 7:00 PM, to allow the opportunity for 24-hour voting. We would not be where we were. Give them a big shout out.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (10:32)
So I want you to be able to know the impossible dream is right in the midst of our hands. In this outstanding historical moment, would you imagine that in the impossible dream, they thought that the vice presidential nominee would be one of Southeast Asian heritage, an African American woman by the name of Kamala Harris? Would the impossible dream have ever imagined that? Would they have imagined that it would be a young man growing up in the roots of working class America? Would they have ever imagined that? Would they have ever imagined that they’d come to a city like Houston that is the face of America, with people coming from all walks of life, from all communities and all nations, a multicultural community? Could they have ever imagined that? And would they have ever imagined that Texas Southern University and the University of Houston would unite together tonight, with their student leaders coming together to make this a unity event? Texas Southern University and the University of Houston, working together. Would they have ever imagined?
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (11:46)
So if you think this journey is over, it is not over. We have one more day. One more day of election, but three days of getting people to know that they’ve got to vote and vote early, people to know that they have to drop off their early vote. Don’t mail it, their mail ballot, bring it to the necessary location. If you’ve got your mail ballot now, you need them to deliver it yourself, because we can’t lose one single vote.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (12:22)
So Kamala Harris represents a strong and astute woman, who in the midst of confusion brings clarity. Someone who never gives up, never gives out, never gives in, brings a heritage that is unique. Know that she is a scholar, an attorney, a district attorney, but she has the compassion and the infectious laugh to embrace us all. So tonight, you’re going to get a double treat. One of our hometown sisters will be here in just a moment, but I wanted us to focus on the impossible dream.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (12:56)
No one thought that Texas could turn blue, and everyone is trying to pull us down. I tell you, I’m never going to give up, never going to give in and never going to give out. We’re going to win this state and work as hard as we can. This is our impossible dream. This is our mountain. This is our time to take the treats. So my challenge is that the sounds that are coming from there are protected by the constitution. We as Democrats believe in the freedom of speech, but we also believe in the power of our own conscience and self-worth, and the need to protect the most vulnerable and to eliminate children in cages. We want to get rid of someone who doesn’t understand that 200,000-plus dead is a big deal, and we want to fight COVID-19 and win against COVID-19.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (13:55)
So ladies and gentlemen, I wanted to remind you that when that song was written, they had no idea about this historical moment. And I’d like you all to be in the annals of history. A state that has not seen blue for almost half a century, and a state that they imagined it could never happen. They didn’t know that we were all a potpourri, a mosaic, from Black Lives Matter to individuals from respective communities, from Latinx to African Americans to Asians, to different religions. That is Texas. And they know that our historical record, with some of the greatest Democrats in the nation, our history is already set. Council members and elected officials and Mayor Turner, thank you for this great city, the work that you do. What we have to do is unify, and make that impossible dream the headlines of the early morning of November 4th, 2020. If you will do that, if you will raise your hand with me and say that we are going to do, as my good brother Common said, we’re going to have one day, when the glory comes, it will be ours.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (15:27)
Somebody say it with me. One day, when the glory comes, it will be ours. I can’t hear you. One day, when the glory comes, it will be ours. Ladies and gentlemen, as we hear from our wonderful sister who you’re going to hear from, to bring on my wonderful [Sora 00:15:46], and to all the Soras out there, tell her we love you. To all of the Soras out there, to all the doctors out there, to all of the people who’ve worked to give money, all of the campaign workers out there, I want you to realize that one day, when the glory comes, it will be ours. Get ready for the impossible dream, turning Texas blue, and never look back. God bless all of you and God bless the United States of America. I’m looking forward to Kamala Harris, the next vice president of the United States.
Speaker 1: (25:53)
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Houston’s own Miss Tina Knowles-Lawson.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (26:39)
Hello, Houston. Wow, I’m so happy to be here. As soon as the plane was letting down, I just started smelling Prince’s chicken, and Pappadeaux and all of that. But seriously, you know my daughter did a video, and in the video she called herself Miss Third Ward, and she also called me a Savage, and she said, she got this from Tina. Well, I’m the original Tina, and this was my city first.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (27:14)
I love you too. You know, you guys are all the reason why we are going to finally turn this state from red to blue. Now, I know it’s been a really tough year this year, with all the things that have happened, but I’ve seen tens of millions of our people to go out, all people to go out and stand up for what is right, and to stand up for justice, and that has been a blessing.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (27:54)
I feel like, in this election, that our votes are our voices, and those voices will be heard loud and clear as we elect Joe Biden for President of the United States. And Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (28:26)
But first, we have to go out and vote, we’ve got to do our part. I’ve been so proud of Houston, because I’ve been seeing the lines, and the participation, and the people showing up and showing out at the polls. And we have to keep that up, guys, we’ve got to get our family members, our relatives, even neighbors we haven’t spoken to in a long time, to come out and vote, and that’s the reason for people like these, who don’t allow people to have a different opinion than theirs, that’s why it’s so important. They want to drown us out, but they’re not going to.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (29:06)
Yes. Okay. Because voting matters. At the local level, I mentor kids, and my kids were so sad and so depressed, because they were like, “Miss Tina, it doesn’t matter if we vote. Nothing’s going to change, nothing’s going to be better.” And what I tell them, is I have to connect the dots for them, and how I connect the dots is locally, because a lot of their relatives are incarcerated. And I say to them, “The judges that your relatives are going before are … we elect a mayor, and the mayor hires the police chief, and the judges, and the district attorneys, and the attorney general, we elect.”
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (29:59)
And when you make it clear that this does connect to us personally, then I think they get it, they connect the dots, and so they’re doing a drive to get relatives and friends to vote as well, and I’m really proud of that.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (30:18)
That’s why I can’t wait for Texas to be the deciding state in this presidential election. Because you all know, if weren’t in Texas, it’s game over. But to get there, you and I have to do our part, we must vote. So go to, ourvote.com, and make a plan to vote.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (30:51)
The future of our country is in our hands, and we can’t let each other down. Now, I have the honor of introducing a fighter for justice, an advocate for the people, a leader, who is so inspirational to young girls and boys around the world, I told you, I mentor her kids, and do you know what joy I had to say, that we were going to have, not only a female president, but an African-American female president. That gives my kids hope that they can be anything that they want to be. And it’s so important.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (31:38)
Just imagine all those girls and boys in January, looking up at that stage and seeing Kamala take the oath of office. That’s a barrier we can break together. Let’s hope we can usher in right now.
Sen. Sheila Jackson Lee: (31:56)
Ladies and gentlemen … is she ready? She ready. Ladies and gentlemen, the next Vice President of the United States, my friend, Kamala Harris.
Speaker 2: (35:46)
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.
Kamala Harris: (36:16)
[inaudible 00:36:16] Harris County. Oh, oh, it’s so good to be back in Houston. It’s so good to be back in Harris County. Oh, it’s so good. There’s so many long, long-standing friends, so many long-standing friends who are here and I cannot thank you for what you are doing to hold it down, to hold it up and to elect Joe Biden the next president of the United States. And that’s what we’re about to do. And that’s what you are about to do.
Kamala Harris: (37:32)
And I’m here in Texas, been here all day today to thank you. To thank you, Houston, for all that you have been doing over these months, over these weeks, over these days. Today, of course, is the last day of early voting. And now we are four days away from the election that is going to change the course of our history. And we can’t do it without you. We cannot do it without you. And of course, there is so much at stake, but before I continue, I want to thank Tina Knowles for that incredible introduction. Tina, you are amazing. You are amazing. You always have the courage to step up and speak out and lead, and I cannot thank you enough for that.
Kamala Harris: (38:24)
So, here we are. And within our power and in our hands, through our voice, that will be reflected in our vote, we have the ability to make a statement about who we are as a country knowing we are better than what we’ve been seeing and that we who love our country are willing to fight for it and fight for its ideals. That’s what’s before us. And you know, we’ve been going through a lot. There are at least four crises that are impacting us right now as a country, all converging at the same time.
Kamala Harris: (39:12)
We are in the midst of a public health crisis, a pandemic brought about by this virus, COVID-19, where we are looking at a public health crisis to the point that over 220,000 people lost their lives in just the last several months, many of whom tragically couldn’t even be with relatives and friends holding their hand, speaking to them in person in their last hours on earth. Nine million people who have been infected by this virus, who are going to have by most doctors’ accounts long term health conditions that include potentially things like lung scarring.
Kamala Harris: (40:05)
This is Houston, one of the greatest mass casualty events we have ever experienced in our country, probably only at the same proportion as World War II. And we have witnessed the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of the United States. And, here’s the thing about this. Thanks to a fellow by the name of Bob Woodward, we know that back on January 28th, Donald Trump was informed about what this is and what it would be. He was informed that it is a deadly virus five times more deadly than the flu. He was informed that it would hurt people of every age. He was informed that it was airborne. And what did he do with that information? He sat on it, he covered it up. He did not share it with the American people. And can you imagine what you might have done as a parent, as a teacher, as a small business owner, if you had known on January 28th what he knew on January 28th, what you might’ve done to prepare, what you might’ve done to limit the harm?
Kamala Harris: (41:36)
You know, because even before this pandemic, let’s all be clear. On this issue, we know that folks weren’t doing so well before. We know that before this pandemic, far too many Americans had to work two and three jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table. And by the way, in Joe Biden’s America, you should never have to work more than one job to pay the rent and put food on the table. And even before this pandemic, we knew that far too many American families had less than a thousand dollars in savings. What they might’ve done to prepare, what teachers might’ve done to prepare their students so many of our children in this country are now missing substantial and critical phases of their education. What folks might’ve done to prepare to frankly to buy a couple of extra rolls of toilet paper?
Kamala Harris: (42:35)
But, we didn’t have the information. He covered it up. He called it a hoax. He said you’re on one side of his ledger if you wear a mask, you’re on the other side of his ledger if you don’t. And on top of all of this, in the midst of a public health pandemic, the president of the United States with his boy, Bill Barr are in the United States Supreme Court suing to get rid of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act brought to us by President Obama and Vice President Biden, that brought healthcare to over 20 million people who didn’t have it and covered people with pre-existing conditions.
Kamala Harris: (43:21)
Raise your hand if you know somebody with diabetes. Raise your hand if you love someone with high blood pressure. Raise your hand if your relative has lupus. Raise your hand if you know somebody who has breast cancer and is surviving. Raise your hand if you know somebody who got COVID. And the man’s in court trying to get rid of the protection for people with pre-existing conditions here in Texas, 10 million people have preexisting conditions.
Kamala Harris: (43:50)
So, there is a real choice in this election, on this point. Because you see, on the other hand, you have Joe Biden, who is saying we need to expand Obamacare. We need to expand the protections for folks with pre-existing conditions. We need to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. We will lower the cost of premiums. We will bring down the age of Medicare eligibility to 60. We understand that when you’re talking about healthcare, let’s be clear. The body doesn’t just start from the neck down. It also includes the neck up and we need to deal with mental health care in America.
Kamala Harris: (44:38)
Joe understands these issues. There’s a clear choice in this election. We are dealing with an economic crisis, of a proportion that parallels the Great Depression. Over 30 million people in the last several months had to file for unemployment. One in five mothers is describing her children under the age of 12 as being hungry in America. We are in the midst of a hunger crisis. People aren’t talking enough about that. Here in Texas, 1 in 10 households is describing members of their family as having been hungry. One in six households is describing an inability to pay the rent. Here in Texas, one in four small businesses is describing having to shut down with concerns they will never be able to reopen.
Kamala Harris: (45:35)
And then on the one hand, you have a Joe Biden who says on the issue of the economy, if you want to know about how I think the economy is doing, then tell me how working people are doing, how are working families doing. Joe Biden says let’s get $150 billion in low interest loans and access to capital to our small businesses with an emphasis on minority owned businesses. Joe Biden says we will not raise taxes on anyone that makes less than $400,000 a year and we will cut middle class taxes. Joe Biden says you’re a first time homeowner, you will get a home, first time home buyer, you will get a $15,000 tax credit with downpayment and closing cost because we know home ownership is one of the greatest ways that any American family accumulates wealth. Joe Biden says if you are a student that wants to go to college coming from a family that makes less than $125,000 a year, you will go to a four year public college for free including an HBCU and a private HBCU.
Kamala Harris: (46:51)
On the other hand, you have Donald Trump who when asked about the economy asks, well, how are rich people doing? How is the stock market doing? To the point that one of his first and in his mind signature initiatives was to create a tax cut for the top 1% and the biggest corporations in America, which is going to cause us to have to deal with the $2 trillion deficit.
Kamala Harris: (47:34)
Well, I’m going to tell you something. If we win this election, Joe Biden and I are about to get rid of that tax cut and invest that money in working families. We’re about to put that money into an investment in infrastructure so we can build back up our roads and bridges. We’re about to say that no family, working families should pay more than 7% of your income and childcare. We are about to say and put in place a commitment to support working families knowing that if you want to talk about growing back up America’s economy invest in workers, invest in families and all of us will benefit. We are in the midst of many crises. We are in the midst of a long overdue reckoning on racial injustice in America.
Kamala Harris: (48:36)
And on the one hand, you have Joe Biden who being a student of America’s history has the courage to speak the phrase black lives matter. George Floyd’s family is here tonight. George Floyd’s life mattered, those eight minutes and 46 seconds. So, Joe has the ability to understand that there is a long overdue reckoning taking place. Joe Biden says we need to deal with this. We need to deal with racial disparities in terms of the healthcare system, knowing that African-Americans and Latinos are three times as likely to contract COVID and twice as likely to die from it. Knowing that black women are three to four times more likely to die in connection with childbirth than other people. Knowing that our native American brothers and sisters had the highest rate of diabetes of any population in our country.
Kamala Harris: (49:44)
Joe Biden says we need to deal with these issues. We need to reform the criminal justice system, decriminalize marijuana and expunge the records of the people who have been convicted. We need to shut down private prisons. We need to end cash bail because, by the way, it is an economic justice issue as much as it is a criminal justice issue. Joe Biden says we’ve got to reform policing to the point that we all agree everyone should face accountability and consequences if they break the law. And so Joe says we will have a system that bans chokeholds and carotid holds because George Floyd might be alive today if that were the case. We will have a national registry of police officers who break the law. Why? Because it’s not right that somebody can get fired one place for doing the wrong thing and move somewhere else and get hired. Joe has the courage to speak truth about this. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump who stood on a stage in front of 70 million American people at a debate-
Kamala Harris: (51:03)
In front of 70 million American people at a debate and refuse to condemn white supremacists and then double down and said, “Stand back and standby.” And here’s the thing, Houston, it’s a pattern. Let’s not forget, he came to fame as a candidate for president by questioning the legitimacy of America’s first black president. Let’s not forget that at Charlottesville, where there were peaceful protestors, protesting racial injustice in America, where a young woman died. And on the other side, there were neo-Nazis wearing swastikas, carrying Tiki torches, spewing racist and antisemitic slurs. And when the President of the United States was asked about it, he said, “There were fine people on both sides.” A president who called Mexicans rapists and criminals. A president who came into office and as one of his first orders of business put in place a Muslim ban.
Kamala Harris: (52:26)
We are better than this. We are better than this, and we deserve better than this. We need a president who reflects who we really are. A president who understands within the beautiful diversity of who we are, wherever you live, whatever your race, whatever language a grandmother speaks. That we need a president who sees that we all have so much more in common than what separates us and ends this continuous thing that’s about trying to sow hate and division. We need a Joe Biden who wants to come in and unify us as a nation.
Kamala Harris: (53:18)
And then when we look at the crises, there is the crisis of this climate crisis, right. Now, Texas knows what I’m talking about. Y’all know I come from California. The West has been burning from California with these wildfires to Oregon, to Washington, Colorado. I’ve met with families who’ve been evacuated because their homes have burned to the ground. I’ve met with firefighters who are fighting fires while their own home is burning. In fact, my brother-in-law’s a firefighter.
Kamala Harris: (53:58)
You look at what’s happening, the neighbors to Texas and the Gulf States. We are now on the fifth named storm this year, hitting the Gulf States. You know why you name a storm, cause it’s really bad. So now this one is Zeta. With all due respect to my Zeta sisters. There you go. But it’s a crisis.
Kamala Harris: (54:26)
What is we’re dealing with in the Midwest? The storms have caused flooding to the point that farmers have lost a whole season of crops. And so Joe understands this, and Joe says, “Hey, we need to embrace the science.” Let’s deal with this, let’s deal with the fact it literally represents an existential threat to who we are as a species. Joe knows that if you deal with this in terms of investment in renewable energies and investment in the technologies that are about solar and wind power. Texas is one of the leaders. That you also invest in jobs, millions of jobs, good paying jobs. Jobs that will be the function of the training programs, from the building trades, from the carpenters and the electricians. Joe knows that.
Kamala Harris: (55:17)
Joe has the courage to say the clock is ticking on this and we need to approach this with a sense of urgency. Joe knows that this is also an environmental justice issue, which is a civil rights issue, which is a human rights issue. When you look at the fact that of all areas in our country with poor air quality, 70% of the occupants in those areas are people of color. Joe knows. And we’ve met with the folks in Flint. Joe understands the seriousness of this crisis.
Kamala Harris: (55:49)
On the other hand, you have Donald Trump. Who, when interviewed by a journalist about what was going on with the wildfires in California. So the journalist asked him something like, “You know, these wildfires are raging and the scientists are saying this thing and that thing about just the human behaviors are contributing to these extreme weather conditions. What do you have to say?” The President of the United States, who is also the Commander in Chief, responds to the question by saying, “Science doesn’t know.” He’s the president of the United States.
Kamala Harris: (56:38)
Well, science does know Mr. President and science knows so much that the leading science publication has in the worst job for President of the United States. So there you go. And these are just a few of the challenges that we are facing as a nation. And that brings me to this moment, which is the last day here in Texas for early voting. And now getting prepared for in four days, the election on Tuesday, November 3rd. And you know, people have been asking me like they ask all of us, because I’m sure they’ve been asking you cause you are leaders among this. And so the people probably come up to you and saying, “Well, why should I vote? Why should I vote?”
Kamala Harris: (57:26)
I think there are three reasons that people should vote. One is to honor the ancestors. Let’s honor the ancestors. This year we lost the great John Lewis, who is now among the ancestors. Who, while a hero on this earth, shed blood on that Edmund Pettus bridge for our right to vote. Let’s honor the ancestors. Let’s honor the fact that we just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. And all those suffragettes in their white just marching, marching, and shouting for a woman’s right to vote. And then, you know, let’s always be accurate about history, black women couldn’t vote until 1965. But it’s time, and we can now. I heard that. So let’s honor the ancestors, reason one to vote.
Kamala Harris: (58:38)
Reason number two, everything is at stake. Everything. You can go down the list we just discussed. You can talk about our public schools. Joe and I are going to triple Title 1 funding, understanding that our children are in these schools with incredible God given talent, but they need the resources to achieve their talent. We are going to put $70 billion into HBCUs because as a proud graduate of an HBCU, I know what they do to contribute to national and international leadership. You know.
Kamala Harris: (59:20)
So much is at stake. It is at stake that right now there are 545 children, who because of the United States government, don’t know where their parents are. Because of a child separation policy at the border, which is a human rights offense that was committed by the United States government. What is at stake is creating a pathway to citizenship. Renewing a promise to our Dreamers by renewing DACA protections. Everything is at stake, so that’s reason number two to vote.
Kamala Harris: (01:00:04)
Reason number three. I’ve been traveling all over the country. I’ve been in North Carolina and Georgia and Florida. In fact, I’m going to Florida when I leave here. Ohio, you name it. All over our country, and especially after 2013 when the Supreme Court gutted Shelby V Holder, gutted the voting rights act. We’ve seen States, at least two dozen States, put in place policies and laws that have been designed to suppress the vote in North Carolina. In fact, the court that reviewed their law said it was written with quote “Surgical precision,” to make it difficult for black people in North Carolina to vote.
Kamala Harris: (01:00:49)
Around our country we have seen policies and laws that have been designed to make it hard for folks to vote. You know, here in Texas where they pulled up the drop boxes, and so in Harris County with 11 million people there is one drop box. Are you kidding me in? In States where if people vote by mail, well you got to fill out the thing, the ballot, and then put it in one envelope, then you got to be sure to put it in the second envelope. And then be sure you sign that envelop or get somebody to sign it for you.
Kamala Harris: (01:01:24)
The president of the United States on the debate stage, who openly solicited voter suppression. Not to mention they’re messing with the post office. I mean the post office. Rodney, Alice, where are you? The post office. The nicest people work for the post office. They’re messing with the post office. And so all of this has to lead us to ask the question, why are so many powerful people trying to make it so difficult and confusing for us to vote? And I think we know the answer. The answer is because they know our power. They know our power.
Kamala Harris: (01:02:29)
They know our power to stand up and exercise our voice through our vote. They know that we know that when we vote things change. They know when we vote we win. So let’s not let anyone, not this election or ever, take our power from us. Let’s not let anyone make us feel a concern or anxiety about whether we matter. Let’s not give anybody that power over us to ever make us question whether we matter. Whether we count. We have the power, we were born with it. They didn’t give it to us, it wasn’t granted to us. It is ours. So we know what we have to do. We have to get everybody out in four days on November 3rd, that Tuesday, and make sure that especially during this pandemic when people are feeling alone and we’ve got a social isolate and people are wearing a mask so you can’t really see their full face. And you’re just feeling like, I don’t know, feeling kind of alone. Let’s remind people they are not alone, and we are all in this together.
Kamala Harris: (01:04:08)
And then my final point is this. This moment will pass. This moment will pass. And years from now our children, our grandchildren, others, they will look at us. They will look in our eyes, each one of us, and they will ask us, “Where were you at that moment in time?”
Kamala Harris: (01:04:40)
And what I know we will be able to tell them is so much more than just how we felt at this moment. We will tell them what we did. We will tell them we were hanging out this one Friday evening in Houston with Kamala and all these incredible elected officials. We will tell them we were bopping a little to Common. We will tell them Tina Knowles graced us with her presence. We will tell them that we were organizing folks, that we were telling them what was at stake. We were reminding them of the sacrifice of our ancestors. We will tell them that we called and we texted and we emailed everybody multiple times till they got sick of us, but they got over it. We will tell them we elected Joe Biden the President of United States.
Kamala Harris: (01:05:39)
Thank you Houston. Thank you.