Home Politics The Biden-Harris campaign is launching an initiative to court Black voters

The Biden-Harris campaign is launching an initiative to court Black voters

The Biden-Harris campaign is launching an initiative to court Black voters

In preparation for the 2024 election, the Biden-Harris campaign launched its black voter initiative Wednesday at Girard College in Philadelphia, a majority-black boarding school.

Around 2 p.m., in an auditorium filled with hundreds of Black Philly residents, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris approached the stage to applause and an audience shouting “four more years.”

As the president listed his achievements that influenced Black voters during his presidency, Biden repeated the refrain “a promise made and a promise kept.” He said he canceled the student loans of nearly 5 million Americans, banned police chokeholds, created police misconduct databases and appointed the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

These achievements, Biden said, were made possible by the “tremendous trust” Black voters placed in him in 2020.

Harris told the crowd that as a candidate, Biden gave his word on combating some of the biggest issues facing the Black community, such as capping insulin costs at $35 a month for seniors, and eliminating medical debt as a factor for the credit score. .

“Thank you!” shouted an audience member.

As for the election, Biden said, “We’re going to make Donald Trump a loser again. I’m still optimistic, but I need you. His only question to black voters: “Are you with me?” The crowd stood up and shouted back “yes.”

A few blocks outside the event, a small group of protesters wearing keffiyehs recalled many younger voters’ dissatisfaction with Biden’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza.

But back in the room, gospel singers dressed in black sang Oh Happy Day while standing under a large blue poster that read “Black Voters for Biden-Harris.” Girard College students dressed in maroon shirts clapped from the stands. The crowd grew older, with some attendees holding signs that read “Historically Black.”

Verna Hutchinson-Toler, a 75-year-old voter from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said she supported Biden because she is “passionate about voter registration as a social determinant of health.” She pointed to research showing that communities with large numbers of registered voters receive the most attention to their environmental and health care needs.

As a chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Hutchinson-Toler has seen patients affected by gun violence, which has fueled her advocacy for gun control. “Personally, I think his record is great,” she said of Biden’s crackdown on ghost guns.

Zelma Carroll, a 57-year-old certified nursing assistant from Philadelphia, was grateful that Biden had wiped out some of her daughter’s student loans from Penn State University. Carroll had campaigned for the Biden-Harris campaign four years ago and plans to do so again soon. “I just hope they come into our neighborhoods and let people know where we’re going, where we need to be and that we can’t go back,” Carroll said. “We can’t let Trump in.”

Winston Cameron, a registered independent, said he came to the event to “hear from the horse’s mouth”. Cameron voted for Biden in 2020 and was unsure whether he would vote for him again. For Cameron, a 35-year-old student originally from Jamaica, immigration and the economy are the issues he worries about most. “It could be better,” Cameron said of Biden’s performance in those arenas. “I see the positive changes he is trying to make, but I think it is still a weak position.” Still, Cameron said, he was pleased with Biden’s attention to Dreamers, immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Earlier this month, the Biden administration finalized a rule that would give health care coverage to Dreamers.

Overall, the crowd at Wednesday’s event was energized by the government’s black voter initiative. But perhaps above all, they wanted to ensure that Trump would not win the election again. “My only problem I’m worried about is this other guy coming back,” said 77-year-old Philadelphia resident Rick Harper, a delegate to the Democratic national convention in August. “I am very pleased with President Biden and Vice President Harris.”



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