Vice presidential nominee and Sen. Kamala Harris hosted a Latino Get Out the Vote drive-in campaign event in the Lehigh Valley on Nov. 2. While the event was invite-only, viewers were able to tune in via livestream.
“What’s up, Bethlehem?” Harris addressed the crowd as she entered the stage. “The path to the White House leads through Pennsylvania. In about 24 hours, Pennsylvania will determine who will be the next president of the United States.”
Pennsylvania is a crucial battleground state for the 2020 presidential election, with a major focus on Lehigh Valley. With 20 electoral votes at stake, President Donald Trump, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Harris and other political officials and their families have all zeroed in on the state in the run-up to the election.
Harris said she “is done talking about the guy in the White House” and instead focused her remarks on Biden and the Democratic platform.
Holding the rally just one day before the election, Harris focused much of her speech on the importance of voting to drum up support for Nov. 3. She said she is often asked, “Why should I vote?” to which she has three main responses.
First, Harris said she votes to honor the ancestors who fought for the right to vote.
“Reason two: everything is at stake,” Harris continued. “The future of our democracy, our standing around the world.”
Harris said her third reason for voting is nation-wide voter suppression. Harris said she has noticed national efforts to complicate the voting process.
In Houston’s Harris County, a county of four million people, Harris said, for instance, there was only one ballot drop box.
“They’re even messing with the post office,” Harris said. “The post office! The nicest people work for the post office.”
Harris urged the crowd to ask themselves why such powerful people are trying to make voting such a difficult and confusing process.
“I do believe it is because they know our power. They know when we vote, things change. They know when we vote, we win,” Harris said. “ So let’s not let anyone take our power from us. We will not be side lined, we will not be silenced. We know our power.”
Harris was supported with blasts of car horns and shouts from the crowd throughout her remarks. The drive-in event was designed to follow guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harris highlighted four crises that Joe Biden has focused on in his campaign: the public health crisis, the nation’s economic crisis, racial injustice and the climate crisis.
Harris emphasized Biden evaluates the economy’s success based on how working people are doing and believes no one should have to work more than one job to feed their family. She continued that if elected, the Biden Harris ticket will eliminate the tax bill that benefits corporations and the top one percent.
And she said Biden has the “courage” to say the words “Black lives matter.”
“Joe knows that we are done with a so-called leader who has spent full time trying to sow hate and division between us, trying to get Amercians to turn on each other,” Harris said. “Joe knows that the true measure of strength of any human being is not measured based on who you beat down. It’s measured based on who you lift up.”
Harris concluded her speech with an anecdote about the future. She told the crowd that years from now, children and grandchildren will look them in the eyes and ask where they were at this moment.
“We will tell them so much more than just how we felt. We will tell them what we did,” Harris said.
Other featured speakers at the event included U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), who is in her own re-election battle against Republican challenger Lisa Scheller, and Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey.
Casey said four years ago before the last presidential election, Trump promised to prioritize workers.
“He is no doubt the most anti-worker, anti-union president in the history of the country,” Casey said. “One of the reasons we’re going to win this race is because in a time of crisis for our country, Joe Biden knows how to lead. He’s prepared to lead, he’s got the plans to lead, and we’re going to make sure that he wins so America wins.”
Wild similarly expressed support for Biden and Harris.
“They represent what this country is, and everything that it can be,” Wild said. “They represent the better future that we all choose. We just have to get them elected.”