Sep 28, 2020

Kamala Harris Roundtable Campaign Event Transcript in North Carolina September 28

Kamala Harris Roundtable in North Carolina
RevBlogTranscriptsPolitical TranscriptsKamala Harris Roundtable Campaign Event Transcript in North Carolina September 28

Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris took part in a September 28 “Sister to Sister meets Shop Talk” roundtable in North Carolina, campaigning for her and Joe Biden’s presidential bid. Read the full event transcript here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

La’Meshia Whittington: (00:00)
… President of the United States of America, Kamala Harris. To God be the glory.

Devonte Wilson: (00:20)
Good to see you, Senator. Good to see you. [inaudible 00:00:21]

La’Meshia Whittington: (00:30)
Good afternoon. Good afternoon. So I guess we’ll begin. Good afternoon and welcome. My name is La’Meshia Whittington, or as many know me, as LA. And I’ll be your co-moderator for this afternoon’s brief Q&A. I am the deputy director of a statewide voting rights organization, a descendant of the kingdom of the happy land, hailing in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and above all, a Black woman hailing from the great state of North Carolina. All right, so I’ll pass it over to my co-moderator.

Devonte Wilson: (00:59)
Well, hello everybody. My name is Devonte Wilson, and I hail from the Piney Woods of Eastwood, North Carolina. I currently serve as the 75th president of the Young Democrats of North Carolina. We are the founding state of the Young Democrats of America. And I also have the wonderful opportunity of serving as a middle school educator. Shout out to Southern Middle, home of the dragons. And I’m so thankful to be here. And Senator Harris, we want to kick off to you for opening remarks.

Kamala Harris: (01:24)
Thank you. Thank you. Well, first of all, I just want to thank everybody for your leadership, for your friendship, and for your time. To the White family, thank you for hosting us. This historic, this legendary business that you have been running as a family for 53 years, we spoke earlier, and this is just true of so many of our businesses, but in particular, this business, which is that our business leaders are, they are leaders in business, but they’re so much more than that. They are civic leaders, community leaders, role models, the people who nurture and who take care of the community, and create a warm and safe place for folks to go. And there’s nothing like going to the barbershop to know what’s really happening. I always say to my team, “Okay, that’s fine. You can talk about polls. You can talk about this and you can talk about that. What are folks in the barbershop talking about?” Because that’s about real talk.

Kamala Harris: (02:25)
So I want to thank you all for the honor of having us here today on behalf of myself and Joe Biden. GK, did he leave already, and Alma Adams? I want to thank the two incredible, not only North Carolinian leaders, but United States leaders. We serve together in the United States Congress. We are all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and they, each of them, are powerful, powerful voices, not only for the people of North Carolina, but for all people in our country, so I want to in their absence thank them. They greeted me earlier. Councilman Corey Branch, I want to thank. There you are. Thank you for your leadership, and so many others.

Kamala Harris: (03:08)
So listen, I wanted to be here in Raleigh and North Carolina as one of the first trips that I’ve taken now officially on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee, because one, I love North Carolina, and it’s so great to come back. But two, there is so much about what happens in North Carolina as a bellwether, as a measure for what’s going on in our country, both in terms of its historical strengths, but also in terms of the challenges. The other thing we know about North Carolina is this. North Carolina is a road to the White House. There is no question about that. North Carolina is a road to reaching majority in the United States Senate, where I now serve. There’s no question about that. And so it is you, the leaders of North Carolina, that are going to make a difference, and make a decision that is not only about the people of this state, but the people of our nation, because with you, when you drop that ballot in that box, or walk into the polling station, with you, you will carry the future of so many others.

Kamala Harris: (04:15)
So I wanted to come here to pay my respects, but also to thank you and to listen to you and to talk with you, because we are all in this together. We have 36 days to get it done. Early voting in North Carolina starts on Thursday, October 15th, so there’s not a minute to waste. And with that, let’s get started with our conversation. Thank you.

La’Meshia Whittington: (04:34)
Wonderful. Wonderful. Thank you again, Senator Harris. We love having you in North Carolina. So welcome to Sister to Sister Meets Talk Shop, where we are engaging African-Americans under 40 in critical conversations about the future of our communities. So for the first question up today, I’d like to welcome John [inaudible 00:04:55] for his first question, Senator Harris, for this brief Q&A.

Kamala Harris: (04:59)
Thank you.

John: (05:07)
Senator, thank you for coming to North Carolina. It’s an honor, honor for you to be here. Thank you. My question to you is this. Speaking as an Afro Latino, a Black Latino of Puerto Rican descent, Latinos have been constantly overlooked until election season. How will the Biden/Harris administration ensure that all are included, especially the Black and Brown community?

Kamala Harris: (05:29)
That’s a wonderful question. And it really does highlight what’s at stake in the outcome of this election in so many ways. So let’s start with one of the crises that we’re facing as a country, which is the COVID pandemic. I think of it both as a crisis that is about a public health crisis. I think of it as an economic crisis. And in many ways, it is about the crisis of long-standing disparities in our country that have been only exasperated, only highlighted, which speaks to the crisis of systemic racism in our country.

Kamala Harris: (06:08)
So on your point, right now we are looking at the fact that Black folks and Latinos are three times as likely to contract this virus, and equally three times as likely and twice as likely to die from it. And when we look at those disparities, we know that it’s connected with the fact that there’s a reflection between those numbers and the preexisting conditions that existed before the virus hit. This virus is a predator in many ways. It preys on people who have preexisting conditions. So when you look at the Latino community, when you look at the Black community, and you know that similar in many cases, in terms of the preexisting conditions, things like high blood pressure, things like diabetes, are real. And so part of the perspective that Joe and I share is one to acknowledge those racial disparities and then address them. And that’s about a plan that we have, for example. By the way, Donald Trump has no plan. Let’s just start there. So it’s not even like we’re contrasting plans. He actually does not have a plan. But our plan, which includes what we need to do around testing, around treatment, and I pray every night that we get a vaccine as soon as possible that is safe, and about distribution of that vaccine. It’s about addressing the fact that we need to grow what Barack Obama and Joe Biden created with the Affordable Care Act.

Kamala Harris: (07:40)
And we need to expand it, so even more people have coverage, that we need to deal with the expansion in a way that we are dealing not only with the healthcare from the neck down, but let us also realize we need to also expand healthcare from the neck up. That’s called mental health care, which particularly is an issue for us in our Latino and our Black communities, especially when you look at the high rates of undiagnosed and untreated trauma, right? I mean, think about it for a moment. Just step back on that point. Poverty is trauma inducing. We need to diagnose and we need to treat it. It is trauma inducing that you experience all of the effects of poverty, including violence in communities. All of these things must be addressed, and done in a manner that is conscious of the disparities based on race, based on historical disproportionate distribution of resources.

Kamala Harris: (08:42)
One of the biggest issues that we face, again in terms of disparities, I can go into the history. North Carolina knows it better than most. But one of the issues is what is a challenge in terms of access to capital. So the Whites, I’m sure they have long stories about what they did to be smart around acquiring capital to build up your business, knowing that a lot of the traditional sources of access to capital were unavailable, and still are unavailable, to Black and Brown communities. So Joe Biden and I have a plan that is about $150 billion that is going to be focused on low interest loans and access to capital, with an emphasis on Black and Brown communities, knowing that our businesses have always traditionally been, again, the source of our economic lifeblood and vitality.

Kamala Harris: (09:35)
So those are a couple of things. I can go into the topic of criminal justice. I think we’re going to talk about that in a minute. Education, the disparities there. You look at the fact that our children are supposed to be learning from home right now, but in poor communities, in Black and Brown communities, urban communities, as well as rural communities, access to broadband is a real issue. I know it’s a real issue here in North Carolina. We’re talking about how our children should be learning from home, but first of all, that requires that you have affordable access to broadband, if you have access at all. Then, if you have more than one child, do you have access to the technology? Are you going to have that many laptops? So many of our families who have access to wifi, it’s on their cell phone. A child can’t learn remotely on a cell phone. These are real issues that will have longterm impact on our communities, if we don’t see it and address it. And that’s part of the plan we have. So I appreciate your question. Thank you.

Devonte Wilson: (10:39)
Thank you so much, Senator Harris. And again, just your answer to that, being a middle school teacher at a Title I school, definitely all the points that you have made are definitely spot on, especially about mental health, which is so important in the African-American community. We want to turn it over now to our next question, Mr. Lavon Barnes.

Lavon Barnes: (11:00)
Good evening, and welcome back to North Carolina.

Kamala Harris: (11:02)
Thank you. Thank you.

Lavon Barnes: (11:03)
And as a proud public school…

Lavon Barnes: (11:03)
Good evening and welcome back to North Carolina.

Kamala Harris: (11:03)
Thank you.

Lavon Barnes: (11:03)
And as a proud public school teacher in Durham Public Schools, I got a shout out the school for Creative Studies before I get in trouble.

Kamala Harris: (11:08)
Yeah.

Lavon Barnes: (11:10)
My question to you is how will the Biden-Harris ticket propel young men to be able to have a seat at the table of leadership?

Kamala Harris: (11:22)
All right. So first of all, it requires that you see young men and seeing young men leaders. I find myself… It was actually after the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision that came down last week. I was reminded of one of the many sayings that my late mother had. And one of them is she would say to me, “Kamala, don’t you ever let anybody tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.” So when I say that to you, I’m not suggesting I will tell you you are a young leader and until I anoint you young leader, you are. You’re already a young leader.

Kamala Harris: (12:09)
And I’m talking about the fact that I recognize that and I see that and I honor that. It means then creating not only access, but an open door with constant access so that your role of leadership can inform the decisions that I make and that we make. So that’s about being not only able to walk through the door, but having a seat at the table. On issues, again, like what we were talking about around access to capital. You are both teachers. Title I funding, Joe and I have a part of our plan for Title 1 funding is that we will triple Title I funding.

Kamala Harris: (12:52)
And for everybody, everybody knows Title I funding is about funding that goes to inner city schools, to schools that have low tax base, schools that have the highest rates of need. It’s about what we need to do in terms of leadership on issues that are about education, not only K through 12, which you are both leaders as educators, but also what we need to do around creating access to employment opportunities based on providing the education that is necessary to have those kinds of jobs. The way I think about it is we got to stop talking just about higher education.

Kamala Harris: (13:33)
I like to say instead, let’s think about it as education after high school and making sure that there are paths that are available for education after high school because the good jobs, most of them as we go forward are going to require education after high school. And for some, that’s going to be the ability to at some point then walk across the stage with a diploma and a four year degree, but for others, that’s going to be getting the education so they can get the certificate to qualify for the job that requires that skill. I’m going to need your help figuring out how we make that relevant, how we actually create it as a policy in a way it hits the streets.

Kamala Harris: (14:16)
Because the policy on high means nothing if it doesn’t hit the streets and that’s where access in terms of real leaders who are on the floor, on the ground will make all the difference if we’re going to be relevant. And I can go down the list of the policies that make that so. But also it’s about encouraging you, if you’re interested in running for office. It’s about being mentors. My mother, again, I’ll give you another one of her sayings. She had a lot of them. But she would say to me, “Kamala, you may be the first to do many things. Make sure you’re not the last.”

Kamala Harris: (14:55)
And you can look at both Joe Biden’s career and mine to know that mentoring and legacy are very much a way of how we think about our responsibility as leaders. So thank you for that.

Lavon Barnes: (15:09)
Thank you.

Kamala Harris: (15:10)
Thank you.

Speaker 1: (15:10)
Thank you, [inaudible 00:15:12] for such a critical, critical question. So next as we keep this ball rolling, I’d like to introduce Mr. Marcus Bass for the next question.

Marcus Bass: (15:24)
Senator Harris, welcome to North Carolina. Thank you for putting yourself out there as a black woman in such a pivotal way. We see so much uncertainty in this moment, but one thing we are sure of is that leadership is needed. My question, the perception among many young black and brown voters is that a Biden-Harris ticket may not be reflective of a hard line on the true reforms necessary in our criminal justice and social economic systems. The better than 45 message alone with six weeks to go needs a sharper hard line for the base of voters protesting in this moment right now.

Marcus Bass: (16:02)
How will a Biden-Harris ticket move past the lesser of two evils narrative being used to promote them to young black voters and get in tune with the issue base of the criminal justice community?

Kamala Harris: (16:15)
I appreciate the question and the point. So first of all, the premise of your point is something I couldn’t agree with more, which is we have to earn the votes. Nobody is supposed to vote for us. We need to earn it. The other point that I think you’re raising is something that I agree profoundly with, which is let’s step back and decide how we’re going to declare a win and how we’re measuring the win, how do we define the win. Because here’s what I mean. If you define the win as just simply beating Donald Trump, then the job is over the day we get sworn in. But if you define the win as winning to actually confront the issues, then the job begins the day we’re sworn in. So I couldn’t agree more with the spirit with which you make the point. Now specifically on topic. I know as a former prosecutor, and let me give you the background on that. My parents met when they were active in the Civil Rights Movement, marching and shouting. There is not a black man I know, be he a relative or friend who has not been the subject of some form of racial profiling, unreasonable stop or excessive force.

Kamala Harris: (17:40)
I grew up understanding how the system works and it was the very distrust that so many have today that propelled me to become a prosecutor. Because I decided, well, there are many ways to deal with the system, I’m going to choose to go in the system to see if I can’t help reform it from the inside, which is why I created some of the first in the nation initiatives. For example, one that focused on young men who were arrested for drug sales and getting them jobs and counseling. It became a national model. So I’m committed to this.

Kamala Harris: (18:13)
This is part of my life’s work. Joe and I are very specific about what we will do as a start, ban chokeholds and karate holes. George Floyd would be alive today if they had been banned. We will create a national policy for a standard for use of force. What’s that about? Well, excessive force right now when it happens in many jurisdictions, the question to ask is, was that use of force reasonable? Well, as we all know, you can reasonably just about anything. The more fair and just question to ask is, was that use of force necessary?

Kamala Harris: (18:51)
Joe and I also have a plan to have a national registry around police officers who have broken the law. Why? Because in many places where there has been excessive force as an example, because the burden of prove it, see the earlier point I made, is so high, sometimes those cases just go by administrative process. So there’s an administrative process and the person gets fired. Well, there’s nothing that then follows that person when they move to a different jurisdiction and go get hired there. So we’re talking about a national registry.

Kamala Harris: (19:28)
We intend to get rid of the federal death penalty, to decriminalize marijuana and expunge people’s records who have been convicted and to get rid of the private prisons. Why is that important? Because let’s be clear about the business model on the private prisons, and this also relates, brother, to the private detention centers. The business model is that certain human beings are making money off the incarceration of other human beings. Right? So these are some of the specific things that we will do as a start, but there is a lot of work to be done.

Kamala Harris: (20:15)
When I do national news press conferences, whatever, I say, look, I know having worked inside the system, we have to reimagine public safety and how we do public safety in our country. Because here’s the thing, you go into any upper middle-class suburban America, you will not see the kind of police presence you see in other communities, but what you will see, well-funded public schools, high rates of home ownership, access to the capital for small businesses, people who have jobs that allow them to get through the end of the month without worrying about whether they can feed their children, access to health care, including mental health care that is affordable.

Kamala Harris: (21:08)
Healthy communities are safe communities. And so that’s part of what Joe and I’m talking about. So when the conversation we had about access to capital, I didn’t even get until I was at Shaw earlier. That was my first trip, my first visit when I came to the state this morning. But I’m a proud graduate of an HBCU, Howard University. Yes. I have any bison here? Not one. But we also are going to put $70 billion into HBCUs, 70. Because we know our HBCUs, like Shaw, and so many that North Carolina has the largest number of HBCU students of any state.

Kamala Harris: (21:52)
We know that that is a pathway to national and international leaders in all the professions. And part of that 70 billion is also about invest-

Kamala Harris: (22:03)
And part of that 70 billion is also about investing because of the question about young leadership, right, investing in so many of our HBCUs that have research components, right? Because we want to have a presence when we’re talking about researching and figuring out how we’re going to develop things like AI. You know what AI is? Artificial intelligence. You know the other way you can think of it is machine learning. Let’s break that down for a minute because it’s so important. Machine learning. Machine learning, the educators know, that often what you learn is a function of who’s teaching you. So the machine is going to learn based on who’s teaching it. We need to make sure everyone is present in teaching the machine how it makes decisions about who does what and who can do what.

Kamala Harris: (22:57)
Investing in HBCUs around things like research and development, it’ll have a profound impact. So these are some of the ways that we think about it that are about the criminal justice system, but it is also about the investment that we need to make in healthy communities. I talked about home ownership. Again, North Carolina, you know the history of red lining, the history of folks being denied access even when they built up and saved the capital to being able to buy in neighborhoods where they would appreciate the value of their home. We’re talking about a $15, 000 tax credit, and this is again for young leaders, a $15,000 tax credit for new homeowners to help for downpayments and closing costs, because especially for us and for most Americans, home ownership is their greatest source of wealth and intergenerational wealth. Right?

Kamala Harris: (23:51)
But we need to give people a leg up on being able to actually just close on that place to develop that intergenerational wealth. So those are some of the things and I appreciate your question.

Speaker 2: (24:03)
Thank you.

Kamala Harris: (24:03)
Thank you.

Speaker 3: (24:06)
Thank you so much, Senator Harris. At this time, Lori Jones.

Lori Jones: (24:16)
Thank you so much. Thank you so much for coming out to North Carolina. Again, my question for you is what resources will be made available for small black owned businesses and for startup businesses, especially in the light of challenges faced in the recovery time from the COVID pandemic?

Kamala Harris: (24:35)
Yeah, that’s a wonderful… So that’s about the 150 billion going for low interest loans, as well as for capital for reinvestment. There’s also a big part of what we’re doing that’s about basically helping people start back up. So small businesses, to your point, I’ve seen numbers that as many as 50% or half of black owned businesses during the course of this pandemic have suffered to the point of shutting down. And the concern I have there is to shut down and never to reopen. So there’s a big part of the plan that Joe and I have, that’s about helping people restart, so that’s about rehiring and building back up.

Kamala Harris: (25:20)
Also with, I mean here, the white family will probably appreciate this, helping businesses have the capital to restart in a way that they can also get the grant funding to do things like build plexiglass barriers in their businesses, right? To equip their workforce with the PPEs in it, because otherwise that’s extra money out of their pocket, not to mention what we need to do for our teachers to give them that extra support, and our frontline workers, but those kinds of things. In the PPP, which is the Paycheck Protection Program, not to be confused with PPE, which is the personal protective equipment, for the PPP plan, the last numbers I saw, 90% of black minority women owned businesses did not get the benefit of it. Right?

Kamala Harris: (26:12)
So another component of our plan is also about reinforcing and strengthening community banks, right? So CDFIs the community development financial institutions, so they have more assets because what we know is that when our entrepreneurs decide they want to open a business and go get a loan, it’s the community bank that will know them, know the culture of the community and also give the assistance an entrepreneur needs to run a business. Because if we’re just relying on the big banks to do that, that’s not going to happen. So that’s a component of our plan as well, which is to reinforce and put more resources into the CDFIs, the community development financial institutions, because they’re the ones on the ground, so that our businesses have real access in a way that is culturally competent. So thank you.

Lori Jones: (27:11)
Thank you.

Kamala Harris: (27:11)
You’re welcome.

Speaker 4: (27:11)
Thank you so much. Again, Senator Harris, thank you so much for taking the opportunity to answer our questions this afternoon. So for our last question, I like to ask Ms. Robin Sanders to give the remaining question for this afternoon.

Robin Sanders: (27:24)
I’m going to take off my mask. Hi, Senator Harris. My name is Robin Sanders. I’m here with my twin sister, Ashlyn. I’m in my last year of law school right now and I’ll be clerking when I finish, and I will one day run for public office, yeah, and I’m honored to vote for you in this election.

Robin Sanders: (27:51)
I’m deeply troubled by the state of our nation, specifically in with respect to the law and the criminal justice system as has been stated here today. There have been ceaseless murders and executions of black Americans on video. And the most recent travesty in my mind is the Breonna Taylor murder. And my question involves accountability and equal protection, because as I watched Daniel Cameron deliver his press conference, I couldn’t help but be disturbed by the perversion of the law. He stated that the constitution affords equal protection to all citizens, but yet in the same breath, urged that Breonna Taylor would not receive justice, even though the law was clearly broken in that case. So my question is what are the priorities of the Biden Harris administration to not only demonstrate that there’s a real need for policy change, but what about the accountability piece and the equal protection piece, because black Americans deserve equal protection under the law and due process. So that’s my question.

Kamala Harris: (29:07)
That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. And you must run for office, just first get through law school, pass the Bar. And thank you. It’s you and your sister, both. So, I couldn’t agree with you more. Here’s here’s how I think and talk about it. There’s a phrase that’s used often in the criminal justice system, which is there needs to be accountability and consequence, accountability and consequence. And that phrase is almost entirely and totally and only used in connection with the person arrested, and not in connection with the system itself and the actors and players within the system. And that’s part of what is broken and unjust about the system.

Kamala Harris: (30:03)
So to your point on the accountability and consequence piece, if we are going to be true to those words, we just honored the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, equal justice under law, she who follows in the path, one of my personal heroes, Thurgood Marshall, equal justice under the law, the fight that we are continually waging, which we will one day win, especially when you become a lawyer, we have to agree that there has been a failure to have equal application of accountability and consequences in the criminal justice system.

Kamala Harris: (30:39)
So that’s why, as we were discussing earlier, we have in our plan those things that are going to be about accountability and consequence. On the case of Breonna Taylor, it was a gut punch for all of us to hear that. You know, I’ve talked to Tamika Palmer, her mother, starting months ago, and most recently, just a couple of days ago. You know, and what I said is what we started to talk about that Breonna Taylor’s life, we will never allow other people to measure. We know the measure of her life and the value of her life, but we still have to fight for the system to recognize.

Kamala Harris: (31:26)
As we often and always say black lives matter. I have said many times, in many speeches, and many situations, but America has yet to value the sanctity of black life, and has yet to treat black life as fully human, and her case couldn’t be a more recent example of that. So accountability and consequence needs to happen.

Kamala Harris: (32:07)
What would we do? So it’s everything that I talked about earlier. And as a former attorney general, I was elected as only the second black woman, I think, in the history of our country to be elected and attorney general of any state. I created, when I was attorney general, I actually implemented pattern and practice investigations of law enforcement agencies. Joe and I have a commitment to doing that, which is that the United States Department of Justice, under our leadership, will have the responsibility for seriously engaging in pattern and practice investigations, putting resources into not only the pattern and practice of discrimination of excessive force, but also putting resources into the consent decrees. Right? So after a court has found that there is a problem, there-

Kamala Harris: (33:03)
… court has found that there is a problem, there usually is a responsibility to fix it but if you’re not supervising that, that’s called the consent decree, it’s likely to not happen. The other thing we’re going to do is not only as has been done in the distant past, which is to have pattern or practice investigations of law enforcement agencies, that’s going to include prosecutor’s offices because that needs to happen also.

Kamala Harris: (33:26)
In addition, I do believe that in the Breonna Taylor case, there needs to be a civil rights investigation of what they did by the United States Department of Justice. We’re just going to have to keep fighting and we’re going to keep saying her name, but we say her name not just to speak her name, we say her name to motivate action. And that’s what’s most important.

Speaker 5: (33:54)
Thank you.

Devonte Wilson: (33:54)
Wonderful. Thank you so very much, Senator Harris for coming to the great Tower Hill state of North Carolina, and a lot of the issues that we touched today, my grandmother has a saying, “Real change is hard change, but it’s necessary change.”

Kamala Harris: (34:09)
That’s right.

Devonte Wilson: (34:09)
And that is the epitome of the campaign that we see. And so we’re just so thankful and we want to turn it over to you for closing remarks.

Kamala Harris: (34:15)
Thank you. Well, I’m just honored to be with so many leaders. I appreciate the candid and the direct conversation we’ve had. I hope to have many more. There’s so much to get done. There’s so much to get done and we can get it done. I do believe that, but everything that we’ve talked about and so much more is at stake in this election. I mean, not to mention the man pays $750. Come on now, on top of all of that, adding insult to injury, but there’s so much at stake. And when I think about all of our leaders of every generation, I’m here to ask you for your help. Joe, and I need your help.

Kamala Harris: (35:14)
I guess my final point would be about voting. The brother here has his Vote 2020 mask on. North Carolina has a specific and a particular history with this issue that has been going on since the ancestor were fighting. Shaw, right? Southern Christian Leadership, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, which John Lewis led and shed his blood on that Edmund Pettus Bridge. In fact, that was the last big public event I attended before the pandemic was to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis.

Kamala Harris: (35:58)
So there is the historical piece of this. Of all of those who marched and died and shed their blood, there is the piece of it that is about what happened in 2013 when the United States Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act with Shelby County v. Holder. And as you in North Carolina know, legislators then and in North Carolina’s case with surgical precision pass laws to prevent and to make it difficult for black people to vote. So we’ve got the reason to vote, which is to honor the ancestors like John Lewis, we’ve got the reason to vote, which is knowing that there are people who are putting so many powerful obstacles in our way when we have so much at stake. And then here’s the other piece that I would just add to close out our thoughts. You got to sit back at some point and ask, “Why are so many powerful people trying to stand in our way to vote?” Like why? Why are they trying to make it difficult? Why are they trying to confuse people? Why are they trying to suppress the black vote? And here’s the answer I believe. Because they know when we vote things change. They know when we vote, things get better and they’re scared of that.

Kamala Harris: (37:41)
And so I say, let us not ever let anybody take our power. Not now, not ever, let us not let anyone stand in the way of the power of our vote, no matter how difficult they are trying. And they are trying. So let’s make sure everybody in North Carolina votes early, early voting starts Thursday, October 15th. Let’s let our voices be heard. Yes, in the name of the ancestors. Yes, because there is so much at stake and yes, because we’re not letting anybody messing with our power. Thank you, all. Thank you.

La’Meshia Whittington: (38:39)
Thank you, everyone for joining us this evening. We’re going to take individual photos. So at this time you will be seated. We’ll call you all one by one. We’ll make sure that we stay socially distanced from the Senator as we begin the photo line.

Kamala Harris: (38:54)
And she will be socially distanced from you.

La’Meshia Whittington: (38:56)
Right. She will be socially distanced from you as well. And so going to start on moderators since they’re right here in front. Please keep your mask on. Also, no personal phones. We will send you your photos.

Speaker 6: (40:12)
[inaudible 00: 06:21]. (silence)