Kamala Harris Seeks 'Justice' On Presidential Campaign Trail In Georgia

Mar 24, 2019

California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris campaigned in Atlanta Sunday, making public stops at two historic African-American institutions in her bid to become the Democratic nominee for president.

At Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College, the former prosecutor and California Attorney General spoke on the theme of justice as she tried to make the case that she is best suited to defeat President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election.

Harris began the morning with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at Ebenezer, the pastoral home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She delivered remarks as part of the church’s youth day, telling the congregation she is running because the country is at an inflection point.

“This is a moment in time that is requiring us each and collectively to look in the mirror and ask a question,” she said, that question being “Who are we?”

The senator said the answer in part lies in fighting for justice, and listed several examples of injustice that needs to be addressed like the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Understand that America’s greatest promise was built on building bridges, not walls,” Harris said to applause. “This is what I’m seeing from our country which gives me a great sense of optimism about where we can go.”

Later in the day, the basketball scoreboards read “20:20” as a slew of local and national Democrats warmed up the crowd at Morehouse College’s basketball arena.

Former candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District Jon Ossoff told the enthusiastic crowd of 3,000 that Harris was in Georgia because she knows Georgia can help elect a Democrat in 2020.

“Georgia has the power to throw Donald Trump out of the White House,” Ossoff said. “Because if we win Georgia, we win it all, folks!”

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson reminded the crowd of Atlanta’s history with the Civil Rights movement and the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Morehouse and Howard University, where Sen. Harris graduated from.

During the rally, Harris spoke of the need for different injustices to be corrected, like gun violence. She also spoke about the importance of education, calling for federal investment into raising teacher pay.

"Our teachers are on average receiving 10 or more percent less than other college graduates in pay," she said. "And we need to close that gap to invest in our collective future."

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is pushing for a $3,000 pay raise for teachers and other school staff as part of the 2020 fiscal year budget, as part of what he calls a "down payment" on his campaign promise of a $5,000 raise. Recent data from the National Education Association says Georgia ranks 23rd in average teacher salary.

At both Ebenezer and Morehouse, Harris returned to the idea of America at an inflection point in her closing remarks, saying future leaders will ask ‘Where were you in that inflection moment?’ of current-day America.

“We will tell them more than just we felt,” she said. “We will tell them what we did.”