Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom hold a rally for Katie Hill & Christy Smith … and the Democrats in the audience put GOP crowds to shame.
Something happened at this morning’s GOTV-weekend kickoff rally for U.S. House California District 25’s Democratic candidate Katie Hill and California Assembly District 38’s Democratic contender Christy Smith that you’ll never see at a Trump-inspired GOP political event.
And the crowd didn’t even wait for keynote speakers (U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and California Lt. Gov. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom) to speak, before doing their distinctively Democratic thing.
As opening speaker Smith declared, “This is our moment to demonstrate to California and to the nation that, here in California, we vote our values. And we stand with the press…the defenders of our democracy,” a standing-room-only crowd in the Newhall Family Theater instinctively turned to reporters assembled at the back of the auditorium and gave them a long, enthusiastic round of applause.
But that was just the first thing the morning’s speakers mentioned that set Democrats apart from the GOP in this time of political discordance.
There was Smith, contrasting American Democrats with their Republican counterparts by telling a cheering crowd, “We vote our values! We will stand with immigrants, we will stand for our environment, we will stand for the future of our children, we will stand for the truth!”
There was Jennifer Siebel Newsom, drawing loud applause as she drew a clear gender distinction between the parties. “We’ve seen a resurgence of the women’s movement…We’ve seen people like Christy Smith and Katie Hill step up, step in and run for office. We need the leadership of progressive women like them…and a few good men like my husband, Gavin Newsom!”
There was Hill sharing stories from her campaign team. “We’ve registered people who never voted before. Our canvassers helped a disabled man register for a vote-by-mail ballot, and then went back and picked up his ballot” to deliver it to county officials to be tallied. “We’ve had people say ‘thank you for sending people to my door…no one has ever done that before’. We’ve ignored no one. We’ve talked to everyone. Every person will have a voice!”
And, addressing the youth vote, Hill continued, “This election isn’t just about the people who can vote today – it’s about who will vote tomorrow. Complacency led us to where we are today – it’s been a wake-up call for us, and this is just the beginning of the fight!”
There was Sen. Harris, declaring this “an inflection point in the history of our country. We’re asking ‘Who are we?’ Part of the answer we’re giving is that we are better than this. If Charlottesville, if the Tree of Life…didn’t make it clear, if the Kavanaugh hearings didn’t make it clear, we have to speak truths…about racism, about anti-Semitism…about homophobia…about violence against women.”
And, Harris continued, Democrats need to counter the GOP’s message of division. “The vast majority of us have so much more in common than not. We know who we are. We will speak our truth.”
And then there was Lt. Gov. Newsom, who applauded the capacity crowd, calling them “the antidote” to the GOP’s politics of division. “The world is looking to California at this moment…we’re 27 percent foreign-born, we’ve brought in 112,000 refugees to California in the last 15 years…we don’t just ‘tolerate’ diversity, we celebrate that diversity! Because it’s what makes California great, what makes America great.”
Closing the rally before he and Sen. Harris returned to the Newsom campaign bus, heading to three more campaign stops in hotly contested Southern California House districts, Newsom exhorted the crowd to “get out and vote in record numbers!”
But don’t just vote, he directed them. “Head out that door,” pointing to the side exit, “and sign up to get your assignment! Call voters. Knock on doors. We’ve got three days left to win this!”