Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris' campaign and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee finished the last stop their Turn Up and Turn Out the Vote virtual bus tour on October 5. As Blavity previously reported, the Biden-Harris campaign and the CBC teamed up for the virtual bus tour as an outreach effort to Black voters.
After two weeks of visiting a number of battleground states, the tour wrapped up Monday in Georgia. US Representatives Lucy McBath, Hank Johnson, and Sanford Bishop and actress Anjelika Washington came out to promote voting among Georgia’s Black residents and highlight the Biden-Harris team’s plans for economic recovery and racial justice.
The event occurred exactly one week before early voting starts in Georgia on October 12. In addition, Georgians are already submitting mail-in ballots, making the entire period between now and November 3 crucial for getting out the vote.
The Biden-Harris/CBC tour kicked off two weeks ago with a September 18 event in North Carolina. That event, led by Senator Harris, coincided with the first ever National Black Voter Day, an initiative launched by BET, the National Urban League and other partners to encourage Black voters and battle voter suppression tactics.
Since then, the Biden team and the CBC have hosted several events in Florida and Texas, as well as Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Virginia before wrapping things up in Georgia. Along the way, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, such as Reps. Val Demings, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ayanna Pressley and Maxine Waters, were joined by state legislators and officials and by celebrities including Power star Omari Hardwick and hip hop artist Jasiri X.
In addition to voter education activities and voter turnout campaigns, the various stops focused on a wide range of issues that are important to Black communities, including HBCUs, criminal justice and economic security. The discussions centered around two initiatives that a Biden-Harris administration would implement.
The Build Back Better plan would focus on post-COVID-19 economic recovery in general through an approach focused on job creation. The plan also aims to narrow the racial wealth gap through policies such as expanding affordable housing and increasing educational opportunities for Black, Latino and Native Americans.
As covered during several stops along the tour, closing the racial wealth and education gaps are among the pillars of the Biden Lift Every Voice Plan for Black America. This multifaceted plan also puts in place policies to increase Black Americans’ access to healthcare, and emphasizes criminal justice reform, environmental protection, and protecting Black voting rights.
The Biden-Harris campaign has prioritized reaching out to Black voters through a variety of initiatives in addition to the virtual tour. The campaign has released several Shop Talk ads featuring Black men discussing issues that impact them most. Meanwhile, Senator Harris launched a series of Sister to Sister events to appeal to Black women, and the campaign has also focused on HBCUs and Black students more generally, among other segments of the Black community.
Vice President Biden and Senator Harris are hoping that high Black participation in early voting and high Black turnout on Election Day will drive the ticket to victory in key swing states and in the national election as a whole. With millions of voters sending in their ballots now and Election Day only weeks away, the campaign will continue to push for high Black voter participation through November 3.