The announcement comes a week after the Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s restrictive voting laws, and after 17 states enacted dozens of new laws this year that restrict access to the vote, according to the most recent count. Almost 400 restrictive bills in 48 states were also introduced.
Investing is a way to “fight back” against these restrictive laws, Harris said Thursday.
“It’s never too early to stand up for your rights,” she said.
The event opened with remarks from Jaime Harrison, chairman of the DNC, who criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling last week.
“My friends, we all know this is nothing new,” he said. “It’s the ghost of Jim Crow.”
Harris was then introduced by Howard University Student Association President Kylie Burke, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was awarded a Congressional Fellowship from the university that brought her up. placed in Harris’ Senate office in her sophomore year.
“She was then, and continues to be, a shining example of excellence in leadership,” said Burke.
“Howard teaches you a thing or two about grain,” she added. “It teaches you to stay focused. It teaches you to be persistent, regardless of the inevitable obstacles that stand in your way. As you can imagine, all of this comes in handy when you’re pioneering a way forward for women at the highest level of American politics. “
Harris’ announcement was followed by a meeting with eight leaders of civil rights organizations at the White House, where they discussed the franchise, police brutality and gun violence with President Joe Biden, the vice president and several White House advisers.
Outside of the West Wing afterwards, several executives said the meeting was positive and that Biden made it clear he understood how important voting rights issues were to the group.
Sherrilyn Ifill, of the NAACP, also said the cohort of civil rights leaders felt it was important to act now.
“What we have stressed to the president is that we are back to the wall,” Ifill told reporters. “Now is the time. There is no more time. We must have a law. We must make the president use his voice, use his influence, use his power and use what he clearly understands to About this moment. ”
Rev. Al Sharpton, of the National Action Network, also said the group told the president there would be a summer of grassroots action to push for change and legislative movement on these issues. Although he said he felt Biden understood the importance of what was discussed in the nearly two-hour meeting, progress would take more than “high-level meetings in the Beltway or in the towers. ivory “.
“It will be a summer of activism, a summer of returning to the streets, a summer of declaration in the Senate and Congress: you may be going home, but it will be hotter politically than you think on the ground” , Sharpton said. “And we want that to be clear.”