U.S. Senator Kamala Harris held her first town hall after just 4 months of being in office.
I've been getting pretty involved with the Indivisible movement and joined Indivisible East Bay (IEB). As part of IEB, I work on the Senator Harris action / research team & we've been in constant contact with Daniel Chen, the Director of Constituent Services and head of her SF office. One of the items that we have been pushing for was for the senator to hold a town hall. During her first recess we were told that it was too short and that she wouldn't be able to hold one and we were okay with that. Now that she was in her second recess and it was longer, we were determined to find out if she was going to hold a town hall. After constantly contacting her office in SF and through networking with other Indivisible chapters throughout California, we found out that she was holding her town hall in LA. I immediately jumped at the chance to get a ticket just in case it sold out, which it did.
Since it was on a Friday at 3:30 in LA and most of our members in the Bay Area wouldn't be able to attend in person we planned a viewing party so that people can watch the Facebook Live stream. We also planned to have a videographer record messages from attendees who wanted to ask Senator Harris a question. I planned to go there myself because I wanted to try and connect with other indivisible groups in southern CA and I also wanted to hear her speak in person and get a little shot of photojournalism as well with her as a subject. I was speaking with my wife's cousin at a family party about how I'm trying to use my photography to spark my political activism and how its hard to do one job effectively without compromising the other. Here are a few shots from the Event:
It was pretty good turnout and she was received very well. The crowd was made up of a variety of people, some school aged children, other Indivisible groups and activist groups, people from the Holman United Methodist Church, people from the Service Employees International Union, and other concerned citizens.
Kamala Harris spoke about a lot of issues and answered a lot of questions that everyone agreed with. Here is list of questions that IEB had prepared with my notes on her position or answer to a similarly asked questions.
I was able to stream it via Facebook Live Part 1 & Part 2, which was our backup plan if their stream failed (which it did). It wasn't the best since the audio was from a cell phone mic picking up what was being played through speaker and I am terrible at anything facebook. I guess that is one of the reasons why we want her to have a town hall in the bay area - so I don't have to take time off work and drag my family down to LA to hear her speak.
Here is a link to the gallery of the pictures I took from the event and here are some photos of the viewing party that IEB hosted with some pictures from Pro-Bono Photography (another group I've been getting involved with).
Here is a link of the video that IEB produced from the questions asked at the live viewing party.
She told us that we need to think of this as a relay race and not a sprint or marathon, which I need to remind myself so that I don't burn out - as it took me almost a week to finally write about it.