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In Charlotte, Vice President Kamala Harris speaks about medical debt

Kamala Harris speaks on stage
White House
Vice President Kamala Harris, right, speaks at Johnson C. Smith University on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, during a moderated panel with commentator and former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers, left, and actor Michael Ealy.

As election season ramps up, Vice President Kamala Harris made another stop in North Carolina on Wednesday. She spoke at Johnson C. Smith University, an HBCU, as part of a nationwide tour highlighting economic opportunity.

During a moderated panel with commentator and former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers and actor Michael Ealy, Harris highlighted the administration's focus on investing in local communities, building wealth and promoting equity. Harris said a new proposal that would prohibit medical bills from being included in credit reports could be key for people crippled by debt.

"This is gonna be a game changer for so many people," Harris said. "And, again, it's about debt — it is not just about a financial number. It's about how it weighs on people to keep them back when they're working hard and want to move forward. And so I'm particularly proud of what we've done on medical debt."

With housing prices soaring, Harris also emphasized that owning a home is a major key to American families being able to afford other needs.

"If your child says I want to start a business, you can say, 'Honey, I can take some equity and out of the home and help you with some start-up capital.' Home ownership is one of the best ways that we achieve intergenerational wealth," Harris said.

Democrats are pushing to make North Carolina competitive and hope they can sway the state for Biden. The campaign has been focusing on Black voters, including launching a "Black Voters for Biden" group with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and other leaders last month.

Polling averages show Democrats have an uphill climb in North Carolina, with former President Trump leading by about 6 percentage points. Democrats are also hoping to hold onto the governor’s mansion and the attorney general’s office.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.