“Her failing is not an option,” said Shavon Arline-Bradley, president and chair of D4 In Action. “One thing we talked about is ensuring that she has ambassadors that can actually speak to this. Kind of connecting to her personally, who is Kamala? The entire person, the politician, the leader, the wife, the mother. Connecting [all of] that does make our mission as black women fighting for this work even more important than ever.” The talk was half-strategic, half-cathartic for the group. It came amid the beginning of a new chapter for the vice president, one in which she will soon bring on new staff and hopes to fine-tune her role in the administration. But it also was a reunion of sorts. Harris had last convened with the group over the summer. Monday was the follow up. Harris urged those in attendance to give it to her straight, attendees said: What are people saying? she asked. And when they suggested the need for more public updates on what she’s been working on, Harris seemed receptive, including expressing openness to holding town halls on various topics she’s working closely on — from voting rights to other issues facing Black people in the country. At another point, she said she’d have aides look at the calendar for the remainder of the year to see if there were already scheduled events at which she could possibly appear, attendees said. “She said she was Zoom’d out,” said Ebonie Riley, senior vice president of Policy & Strategic Partnerships at National Action Network. “We offered a town hall. Have her come and answer some of the questions for our community and that could range from Black women and young Black people, and the community as a whole. And that way, she’s not put in a position to kind of have it come through the administration. She's invited to an event where we can kind of give our community an update, and she was open to that. She wanted to explore that.” White House aides say the conversation is part of a “whole of government approach” to shoring up voting rights and other issues. It took place as stories of internal discord in the vice president’s office have become the norm, fed by exits of key aides and concern from allies that Harris is being forced to walk a tightrope while serving as Biden’s No. 2. When Harris is at work on Biden’s largest priorities — namely a package of infrastructure and social spending bills that’s been moving through Congress all year — her own presence often isn’t noted. But when she’s leading on other issues not always on the national radar, it can be hard to get attention. “Stories [about Harris] focus more on style than substance,” a source familiar with the meeting said. “Naturally, there’s an element of creating a new construct. That’s part of what she’s doing — [along with] the team. And she’s doing a lot more than she gets credit for.” Harris started Monday’s meeting by discussing changes on voting rights reform from agencies including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Bureau of Prisons, according to women who attended the meeting. The latter agreed to do more voter engagement for people after they leave federal custody while HUD is going to do more voter engagement and nonpartisan education using its housing authorities. More voter engagement was on the list of recommendations the group of women provided Harris’ team. “So those are some of the ways that we make sure people have access to the ballot, access to registration, access to information,” said Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participat . . . read the full article here.
Keywords: path, failing, ahead, women, charts, shes, doing, vice, voting, working, option, black, meeting, president, convenes, harris
ORG: HUD, Merck, Senate, Campbell, Congress, White House, the Bureau of Prisons, National Action Network, Health and Human Services, Policy & Strategic Partnerships, Maternal Health Day of Action Summit, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation,
DATE: Monday, Tuesday, the year, the summer
NORP: Black, American, Americans, Democrats
MONEY: more than $150 million
CARDINAL: 2, One, one, half, 50/50