With the upcoming General Election fast approaching on November 7, 2023, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris called in to talk with Audacy's Mike Street to discuss the importance of voting and researching the issues on the ballot before Election Day.
LISTEN NOW: Mike Street talks with Vice President Kamala Harris
"First of all, we can talk as we always do about the importance of voting to honor the ancestors," Harris, the country's first Black female V.P. explains. "There's so many people that marched, shouted, and died for our right to vote. So, it is about honoring that."
"It is also about the fact that right now," Harris adds, "there are some powerful forces that are trying to make it more difficult for us to vote. They don't want us to vote and we should never allow our voices to be silenced. One of the ways, during election time, that we exercise our voice is through our vote."
"The other point is this: Elections matter," says the Veep. "If folks had not gone out and voted in the height of a pandemic in 2020, I would not have been elected the first Black woman Vice President of the United States. It matters, and because we have come in office we have now put over $7 billion in HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Because as a proud graduate of an HBCU, I know what it means to put those resources in."
"We have capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors," Harris continues, "because we know Black folks are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, and too many of our seniors can't afford their insulin."
Dialing in her focus on Virginia, Harris explains, "We're looking at a situation... there's a two-seat majority in the Senate and we need three more seats to take back the House of Delegates. Right now, the state of Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the last state in the South that says a woman has a right to make a decision about her own body and not have her government tell her what to do. This issue is very much going to be determined by who ends up getting elected into the General Assembly this November."
Many voters walk into their polling place on Election Day and can be surprised by some of the issues on their ballot, but this certainly doesn't need to be the norm. "The issues are very much what you're voting on -- So do your research and understand, and ask the questions of the people that are up for election: How do you feel about whether women can make their own decisions about their body and not have their government tell them what to do? Do you agree with me [that] one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held belief to agree that the government should not be making that decision for her? Do these folks believe that we can support the Second Amendment but there is no reason for assault weapons to be on the street of a civil society? Do they agree that voting should be a right that is accessible to everyone who is authorized and can vote?"
“That's about doing your research... It will not take very long to figure out where these candidates stand on these issues and so many more,” Harris points out. "The outcome of the election in Virginia really is consequential, it really matters. I would not be talking with you Mike, as Vice President of the United States, about this election were it not for the importance of Virginia voters and what kind of difference Virginia voters will make in the outcome of this election that will have an impact on a whole lot of people."
Listen to Mike Street's full talk with Vice President Kamala Harris above, and stay tuned for further conversations with today's influencers, artists, and more on the free Audacy app.