The Democratic vice presidential nominee made her first in-person campaign trail stop in Wisconsin, where she visited Blake’s family and met with union workers to mark Labor Day.
Kamala Harris made her first in-person campaign stop in Wisconsin over the long weekend, where she visited with local union leaders, Black business owners, and had a private meeting with Jacob Blake’s family.
Her trip was a stark contrast to Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the battleground state, where he never mentioned Jacob Blake’s name. Blake was shot by a police officer in the back several times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which prompted a resurgence of protests against police violence and racial injustice throughout the country.
Since Harris was selected as Democratic vice-presidential nominee last month, she has spent time holding virtual meetings with Black organizers and activists in areas that saw lower voter turnout in the 2016 election. This was an effort from the campaign that aimed balance traditional campaign trail events during a global pandemic. But with less than two months until Election Day, both Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Harris have started visiting battleground states.
Harris began her visit with a private meeting with Jacob Blake’s family. The police shooting left the 29-year-old paralyzed from the waist down. Biden also met with his family during his trip last week.
“[Blake’s family], they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders,” Harris told reporters after the meeting.
Neither President Donald Trump nor Pence have met with Blake’s family. Pence spoke at Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse.
Harris then celebrated Labor Day by visiting an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) training facility, where she spoke with workers.
“What we know about small businesses and small-business leaders is they are not only leaders of business, they are civic leaders. They hire locally,” she said in a meeting with Black small-business owners. “We see you. We understand you. We understand the significance of what you are in terms of the health and well-being of communities,” Harris said. “We see the benefit for the entire country to invest in our small businesses and small-business leaders.”
The Biden-Harris campaign has received the endorsement of large labor unions like the American Postal Workers Union, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the AFL-CIO, among about 50 other labor unions.