Vice President Harris visits Aldine

Holds Forum discussion at Hardy Senior Center with Hispanic Caucus

Kamala Harris touts White House record

ALDINE – Vice President Kamala Harris visited Houston on Monday, speaking at a Forum held at the Harris County Hardy Senior Center in Aldine. She pitched Latino Texans on the White House’s record of advocacy for them, as President Joe Biden prepares to face voters again next year.

Several hundred invited guests listened to the Forum speakers, which lasted for over 30 minutes before Harris left for a fund raiser in Houston.

“We are living in a moment where there is a full-on attack on hard-won freedoms and rights,” Harris said, addressing the challenges ahead. “In the next 11 months, we’ve got a lot of work to do to make true the promise of who we are as America.”

Harris spoke as part of a moderated conversation with U.S. Reps. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, and Nanette Barragán, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Harris attended a Biden campaign fundraiser afterward.

Harris specifically touted the administration’s efforts to help minority-owned businesses, saying she and Biden “understand the history of disparity.” She noted the White House has committed to a 50% increase in federal contracts for such businesses and has invested $12 billion in community lenders to expand access to capital for entrepreneurs.

But Harris also spoke more broadly about what she called an “intentional full-on attack” against people’s rights, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year. She harshly criticized states like Texas that after the ruling instituted abortion bans without exceptions for rape victims.

“The idea that after someone has survived a crime of violence to their body, a violation of their body, that they would be told, ‘And you have no right to make a decision about what happens to your body next’ — it’s immoral,” Harris said. “It’s immoral.”

The conversation was introduced by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who spoke about her recent struggles with mental health and the stigma attached to it, especially in the Latino community. Hidalgo took a nine-week leave of absence earlier this year to check herself into an inpatient treatment center in Ohio.

“It’s just something we don’t talk about in our culture, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo said Harris contacted her while she was receiving treatment and was “such a source of support for me.”

The event took place at Hardy Senior Center in Garcia’s district, one of the most heavily Hispanic congressional districts in the country.

Harris headed to a private residence afterward for the fundraiser, which was also attended by her husband, Doug Emhoff, as well as Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. According to a pool report, Emhoff paid homage to famous Texas Democrats and alluded to the decades-long Republican control of the state.

“We will never give up on Texas,” Emhoff said.

Harris’ visit comes as the Biden campaign works to shore up Latino support ahead of a potential rematch against former President Donald Trump next year. In Texas, Republicans have been making an aggressive push to win over more Hispanic voters, particularly in South Texas.