The impression presidential candidate Kamala Harris left at her town hall meeting in Ankeny, Iowa on Saturday afternoon was of a positive and deeply patriotic politician prepared to lead our country in exciting and necessary directions.
Senator Harris believes we need to gauge “how we pay bills as government – is it an investment or not?” Based on the business concept ROI – return on investments, the idea is if we invest in families, local communities, public schools, and healthcare then we will see positive returns and outcomes. “Investing in working families will lift up families and lift up communities.” Hers is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure approach that makes sense. “Invest in infrastructure, and you create jobs.”
She raised her concerns over rural communities closing their schools because they can’t afford to educate their children. She wants to invest in these communities because helping local communities that are suffering will make us all successful. Part of this plan provides working families making under 100,000 dollars a year a monthly tax credit of 500 dollars.
Harris struck a chord as she stated these stunning statistics: “Half of American families are 400 dollars away from upheaval” and “99% of American counties have people working at minimum wage who still cannot afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment – that isn’t Justice! Neither is it justice “when a parent has to look online for a bulletproof backpack for their child!”
Harris kept to the issues with a fierce passion inflamed certainly by our current administration’s policies. Although she joked that foreign policy is not a concept in a tweet, she spoke seriously about our role globally. “We start with our good values and morals – human rights, civil rights, freedom of press when we engage with our allies and the rest of the world.”
We are stronger, she believes, when we work with our allies, as we did with “Yemen, Syria, and NATO,” and we must work together against cyber-security threats and rage alongside each other against climate change. “We will lead with our values and know the significance and the power of our words, our words carry weight, our gestures carry weight.”
Questions asked concerned Medicare for All. She explained it would be phased in and that private insurance can be used as a supplemental option. “Investing in healthcare means we will all save. Prevention not ER visits!” When one in four Americans with diabetes cannot afford their insulin, that isn’t justice.\
On climate change, Senator Harris stated she supports the concept of the Green New Deal and believes if humanity doesn’t step-up we face significant disasters. She advocates replacing our reliance on fossil fuels, creating smarter water policies and investing in renewable energies, such as wind turbines and solar, all of which create essential jobs.
She wants to invest in public colleges and universities as they are producing important research, and for us to “rethink how we think” of higher education. There are other, equally important educational needs in the form of apprenticeships. “There is no unskilled labor.”
When a high-school girl asked Harris if she would, as president, protect the right for a woman to choose her own birth-control and women’s right to autonomy over their own bodies, the Senator provided a kind and passionate answer summed up as “Always”.
We rose to our feet.
Senator Harris appears to “get it” more than other candidates I have seen. She manages to remain personable and intimate while standing on solid ideas and her beliefs in the goodwill of the people and that every American deserves justice in pursuit of a healthy and successful life.