Biden and Harris tout accomplishments for Black communities in Philadelphia stop

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaking at Girard College in Philadelphia on May 29, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

May 29, 2024

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were in Philadelphia on Wednesday promoting their first term accomplishments for the Black community.

President Joe Biden traveled to Philadelphia on Wednesday to launch the Black Voters for Biden-Harris at Girard College, a boarding school that was desegregated during the Civil Rights era, in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood.

Biden was joined by prominent local and national Black Democrats such as Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“If anyone wonders whether their vote matters, remember this,” Biden said.

“Because Black America voted in 2020, Kamala and I are president and vice president of the United States because of you. That’s not hyperbole. Because you voted, Donald Trump is a defeated former president, and with your vote in 2024, we’re going to make Donald Trump a loser again.”

Black Voters for Biden-Harris is a nationwide organizing campaign to strengthen support within Black communities across the country and promote Biden’s economic record, which includes the lowest Black unemployment rate within the past 20 years.

Black Americans have more health care coverage than before and wealth within Black communities have increased by more than 60% during the past four years, according to the administration.

Biden told the crowd that he wants to cap insulin prices at $35 instead of $400 for all Americans in his next term.

“I’m determined to make that apply to every American, not just seniors in the second term,” Biden said.

During their speeches, Biden and Harris focused on their record erasing student debt and preserving healthcare for millions of Americans. The Biden administration has canceled over $165 billion in student loans for more than 5 million Americans

“So far we have forgiven over $165 billion in student loans debt for more than 5 million Americans,” Harris told the crowd. “On average more than $30,000 per person and $70,000 for our public servants like nurses, firefighters and teachers.”

Wednesday marked Biden’s third trip to the City of Brotherly Love, and his sixth trip to Pennsylvania, since the beginning of this year and it comes less than one month after Harris hosted an reproductive freedom event with Emmy Award winning Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph.

The Biden-Harris campaign will kick off an eight-figure outreach program designed to engage Black student organizations, community groups and churches in key swing states across the country following Wednesday’s rally.

Wendell Royster, Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, explained the significance of the Black vote and how it can put Biden over the top in the upcoming election.

“We know that the path to victory to the presidency comes through Pennsylvania and Philadelphia like it did in 2020,” Royster said in an interview. “We also know that it’s important that Biden actually talks to us about what’s important to us as black folks.”

Royster went on to talk about how our democracy is at risk and what it means for working Americans.

“I actually know what’s at stake this year,” Royster said.

“Our democracy is at stake this year. It’s on the ballot along with Joe Biden being a pro-worker president. We know that the opposition will take away a lot of our different entities as far as organizing unions.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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