Meeting with Senator Kamala Harris’ staff, June 25, 2019
From Sen. Harris’ office: Daniel “Dino” Chen, Deputy State Director
- Iran & the Middle East: We thanked Senator Harris for cosponsoring the Protection Against Unconstitutional War on Iran Act and demanding the status of mobilizing troops for war from the Administration. Dino said he’d check with the DC team regarding the Senator’s position on nuclear force
- National Defense Authorization Act: we thanked the Senator for voting no. Dino will get back to us regarding the Senator’s position on the Udall-Paul Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to prevent illegal military action in Iran. (As of publication, Sen. Harris voted for the amendment, according to Senate records)
- Migrant Detention Centers: Advocates expressed concern regarding lack of Congressional oversight of federal detention centers, especially private ones. Dino indicated that the Senator was a leader in a rapid response network to provide legal counsel to detainees and that her “number one priority” right now is addressing the immigration crisis. He’ll get an answer for us on our request for a commitment from the Senator to vote NO on any emergency response bill that does not specifically address migrant youth. He’ll also find out if there is still Congressional oversight if migrants are transferred to Fort Sill, OK.
- Election Security: We discussed the $600 million appropriation in the House to enhance election security that Senate leadership is unwilling to take up.
- American Family Act: We thanked the Senator for cosponsoring
- Impeachment: Dino indicated that the Senator would support opening impeachment proceedings. He did not commit to whether or not the Senator would ask Speaker Pelosi to start these proceedings.
- Census: Sen. Harris agrees with us about the importance of building trust in under-represented communities and ensuring we are set up for a complete count in the 2020 census. Dino recommended that advocates connect with their local Complete Count Committee to support these efforts.
- Public Appearances by Senator Harris: We expressed concern about the Senator’s lack of presence in the community in her official capacity, and asked that her team consider organizing periodic town halls/forums to help her connect with constituents. Dino said they’re trying their hardest to get her to the Bay Area but it’s hard because they aren’t allowed to coordinate with the campaign, who obviously want her in key primary states. She is, however, almost confirmed to attend the Lake Tahoe Summit.
- Healthcare: Dino indicated that next month’s focus will be on health care, and they’ll be doing some story banking on that subject.
– By IEB member Zach