Senator Kamala Harris made her first campaign trip as the Democratic nominee for vice president on Monday, spending the day in Milwaukee.
According to pool reports, she first met with the family of Jacob Blake, the man shot in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey. Harris met with Blake’s father and sister as well as other family members and attorneys, and spoke with Blake by telephone.
The meeting with the family was not on the press schedule, and reporters were not aware of the meeting until after it had happened.
“They’re an incredible family and what they’ve endured and they do it with such dignity and grace,” Harris said after the meeting. “And you know, they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.” She added that the message to the family from the campaign was “just to, one, to express concern for their well-being and of course, for their brother and their son’s well being and to let them know that they have support.”
Harris toured an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training facility, then held a round-table discussion with Black business owners.
Those in attendance included Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, real estate investor Que-El Amin, Sherman Phoenix co-founder Joanne Sabir, City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention — all of whom have been included in Madison365’s Black Power lists of the state’s most influential Black leaders — in addition to Jet Constellations founder Nadiyah Johnson and JCP Construction vice president James Phelps.
“Today, of course, is Labor Day,” Harris said after the discussion. “And so part of the work that we’ve been doing today is to honor the men and women of labor, including — and we talked about this — the pride that Milwaukee and so many of us have in organized labor, and the Lieutenant Governor talked about that. And what we must do to always support the working man and woman to be able to collective thinking and collective bargaining and have all the wages and benefits that come with a hard day’s work. And the acknowledgment of the dignity of work.”
Harris stopped to greet about 50 supporters outside the meeting, several of whom wore pink and green — the colors of the AKA sorority, of which Harris is a member.
“We’ve got to get this done,” she said, urging everyone there to vote early.
Back at General Mitchell International Airport, Harris met with leaders and volunteers of Voces de la Frontera, including executive director Christine Neuman-Ortiz, board president Jose Flores and several volunteers.