Sen. @KamalaHarris stops in Flint at Magnificlips- a local downtown barber shop owned by Earl Jones and Tim Tyler. Due to the pandemic, their business was forced to shut down for a period of time one week after opening.
Harris was greeted by Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is wearing a black Biden/Harris face mask. Hard to hear but Harris talked to them about the challenges minority businesses owners face.
Sen. Kamala Harris taking a photo with a local business owner and her daughter. (Sen. Stabenow snapped the photo)
Crowd waiting with signs for Sen. Harris. She stepped inside a local business. @SymoneDSanders getting a shoutout from Flint residents though.
Sen. Kamala Harris stopped at a farmer’s market in Flint, talked with biz owners and residents. She stopped to chat with Flint mayor Sheldon Neely.
Worth noting Harris spent a significant amount of time speaking with biz owners in Flint. Across the country, Black owner businesses were especially hit hard by the pandemic. I wrote this June story detailing the impact in MI.…
Sen. Kamala Harris stopped at Drought in Royal Oak, a woman-owned cold pressed juice company. It’s in Oakland County — Michigan’s second largest county. Talking about the election, Harris said: “Everything’s at stake.”
Sen. Kamala Harris is now in Detroit at the Headliners Barbershop on the city’s west side for a socially distanced conversation with Black men. We’re in a part of the city that was hit especially hard by the Great Recession and has yet to fully recover — lots of blight remains.
“Shop Talk” program kicking off in Detroit with Sen. Kamala Harris, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist & Rev. Wendell Anthony. Harris: “MI starts voting in 48 hours & the outcome of this election will determine, I believe, the course of our country for generations to come.”
In response to a question from a Black college student who asked about racism in America, Harris says: “One of the biggest problems on the topic that you have raised is the failure to speak truth about America's history with race.”
On Trump: He can walk around, prancing around talking about he's for working people. What has he done for working people?" Notes the pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black & brown people. Says Trump is more concerned about how the pandemic has "hurt the stock market."
Lt. Gov. Gilchrist new 23 people who died of COVID, most were Black men. He notes Trump won MI in '16 by less than 11K votes: "The stakes are higher in this election for Black men than it has been in any of our lifetimes .. There are 11K Black men in MI who can turn that around."
Wrapping up, Sen. Kamala Harris talks about misinformation targeting Black voters. "They know when we vote we are powerful ... let us not them take our power ... in any form, including the power of our vote."
Best moment of the day: After the shop talk wrapped, a Detroiter who was watching beyond the fence yelled “7 Mile the better mile.” Only Detroiters will understand why I almost hollered.
The last stop for the day is a voter mobilization event at the Detroit Pistons Performance Center in Detroit. Event kicked off by the Detroit Youth Choir.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on National Voter Registration Day urges residents to vote: “COVID-19 has shown us, who is in office can be life or death, who is in office determines whether or not we have leaders who are going to be focused on the people.” In MI, 6,680 have died of COVID.
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence on Detroiters: ”In Detroit, you know we're tough. People talk about us all the time so we don't take no mess.”
Sen. Kamala Harris on Detroit: “There's so much that is about Detroit, as not only a measure of our country & its excellence, but also as a matter of the challenges that we face as a nation. And so Joe and I feel a particular sense of responsibility to be here and to be present.”
“We will keep coming back. Because so goes Michigan, so does the rest of the country as far as we are concerned.”
Harris now hammering Trump’s COVID-19 response & notes more than 200,000 have now died of the virus. “We have a commander in chief of the United States of America who is holding rallies with no masks ... We're talking about the president of the United States. We deserve better.”
Sen. @KamalaHarris: “I'm here in Detroit ... to honor the fact that the impact of these issues will have a grave consequence & impact in the state of Michigan & the city of Detroit ... I do believe that a path toward victory in this election runs straight through Michigan.”
I was wrong! One last stop at a campaign materials distribution location at the 14th congressional district office. AKAs out in full force this evening to support Sen. Kamala Harris with the pink and green.
And it’s a wrap on Sen. Kamala Harris’ Michigan trip tonight. Reporters tried to yell questions at Harris — she said she couldn’t hear us over the plane. Thanks for following along today.

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More from @kat__stafford

19 Feb
A white neighbor displayed a KKK flag in a window facing a Black neighbor in a suburb near Detroit. "I was furious. How dare he feel comfortable putting a symbol of hatred, violence & domestic terrorism at his window facing my house? How dare he.”…
I know y’all remember what I’ve been saying about Michigan’s dark history of racism that folks try to gloss over and deny. Guess what? Racism is still a problem here. Everywhere.
Grosse Pointe Park, as well as the other Pointes, are examples of places that Black parents warn their children about in Michigan. They’re located right next to Detroit.
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
NEW: Communities of color are disparately impacted by environmental & climate issues. But philanthropic funding rarely goes toward environmental & climate justice groups led by Black, Indigenous & other POC.

There's a growing movement to change that.…
Stunning: A 2020 study by the Tishman Environment & Design Center at The New School found between 2016 & 2017, 12 national enviro grant makers awarded $1.34B to orgs in the Gulf and Midwest regions.

Just $18M — 1.3% — was awarded to groups dedicated to environmental justice.
The Donors of Color Network launched a Climate Funders Justice Pledge Thurs, challenging the nation’s climate philanthropists to shift 30% of their donations toward environmental efforts led by Black/Indigenous/POC. The Kresge Foundation & five other top funders have committed.
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan

Flint mother Ariana Hawk struggled to find words.

Bittersweet came to mind, as did frustrated when she learned charges were forthcoming in the Flint water crisis.

And repairing the physical & emotional scars of Flint residents could take…
You may remember Ariana Hawk's story. Her son, Sincere Smith, was two when his picture, captured by the talented @reginahboone, made the cover of Time magazine in 2016. Sincere suffered painful, severe rashes & dry patches because of Flint's water --A trauma impossible to forget.
I spoke to Hawk after the @AP broke the news. She's hopeful but said justice delayed is justice denied. Sincere is 7 now. He remains skeptical of all tap water.

The family went to FL recently. The children asked if the water was safe to drink.

"It's heartbreaking," Hawk said.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
DETROIT (AP) — The AP has learned ex-Michigan Gov. Snyder and others have been told they’re being charged in Flint water scandal.
Read 4 tweets
12 Nov 20
NEW: Black policy leaders will play a pivotal role in President-elect @JoeBiden's transition, marking one of the most diverse agency review teams in history. My latest for @AP:…
Of the 500+ team members announced, more than half are women -- & Black men & women are leading more than one-quarter of the teams.

Diversity is significant: The teams will be responsible for evaluating the operations of federal agencies that have a broad impact on Americans’.
More on why it matters: Biden will take office at a time when the nation is confronting a historic pandemic, joblessness & police brutality -- crises that have disparately impacted Black Americans.

Black voters powered his victory. They want action now.
Read 5 tweets
1 Oct 20
Michigan AG Dana Nessel has filed felony charges against two well-known out-of-state Republican operatives for allegedly orchestrating robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in the Detroit area.…
From the story: The calls were made in late Aug to nearly 12K residents with phone numbers from the 313 area code. They stem from a false robocall that discouraged mail-in voting by saying their personal info would be part of a public database used by police if they vote by mail.
Why is this significant? Detroit is the nation's largest Black-majority city, it will play a major role in deciding which way Michigan goes in Nov. & in turn, a role in the overall outcome of the election. Suppression tactics like this could impact turnout.
Read 4 tweets

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