A fifth-grade student from the elementary school that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) attended kicked off Harris’ Oakland town hall event on Wednesday by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in English and Spanish.
Harris announced at the event that she intends to co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) single-payer “Medicare-for-all” healthcare bill. She spoke about issues regarding racial and social justice, passionately defended former President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty programs, and got the ball rolling on mobilizing various communities to ensure that they are properly counted in the 2020 Census. She implied that President Donald Trump may not care about the 2020 Census after highlighting that Trump has not named his pick to be the new Census director.
She got a long-winded question from a medical student from Nigeria who attended private schools. An anti-Trump “indivisible” member from Sonoma County (California’s posh wine country), a law student from Boalt Hall (U.C. Berkeley School of Law), an owner of a sex shop in Oakland, someone from the non-profit Alameda Health Consortium, and another “indivisible” (the anti-Trump resistance movement) member from San Francisco who was wearing a t-shirt with a rainbow logo on it asked Harris various questions. She also got an online question from someone on Twitter about Russia and another online question about the lack of seasoned professionals serving in the government.
Harris also discussed criminal justice reform. She told the audience that she and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) want to reform the cash-bail system with a risk-assessment system because the criminal justice system today is essentially a “debtor’s prison system” that incarcerates “people because they cannot afford” to pay their bail. Harris said it was an “economic justice matter” instead of a “criminal justice matter.”
She told the audience that after they co-authored a New York Times op-ed on criminal justice reform, Paul told her that “Appalachia loves it” when she asked if teaming up with her had gotten him in trouble with his constituents. Harris said reforming the cash-bail system with Paul is another example of Americans having “so much more in common than what separates us.”
— Marisa Lagos (@mlagos) August 30, 2017