D.C. locks down as inauguration events kick off

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The first official Presidential Inaugural Committee event for the Biden-Harris inauguration on Saturday night was a virtual 90-minute affair where a diverse group of supporters — including actress Whoopi Goldberg, musician Darren Criss,musical groups and national labor and civil rights leaders —  lauded the victory of Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. 

Harris, on the precipice of history, welcomed and thanked the audience to the event “to celebrate and mark the start of a new administration,” while emphasizing that the country was still in the midst of an ongoing public health crisis.

“Of course, even as we celebrate, we must remember the work, the fight that lies ahead. The fight to save lives and beat this pandemic,” Harris said.

The event, Harris said, was also to honor the work of their supporters “from the primaries to the general election, right up to this very moment.”

“From Zoom grassroots fundraisers to union meetings on Google Meet to our drive-in rallies, you were there every step of the way,” she said in the concluding segment of the livestreamed program. “And on the eve of this inauguration, the president-elect and I thank you for all you have done for our country. We would not be here without you.”

Harris also again expressed her gratitude to those who came before her, paving the path for to become the next vice president.

“I also would not be here without the generations of Americans who struggled and sacrificed to open up opportunity in our country. I stand on their shoulders,” she said. “And as I’ve said before, while I may be the first woman to serve as vice president, I will not be the last.”

“So to all of the young people watching this dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourselves as future leaders, as the very best of our country, because that is who you are,” she continued.

The program included speakers from Latino advocacy groups, civil rights and labor organizations, part of the broader national coalition that helped Mr. Biden win.

Janet Murguía, president of UnidosUS, the country’s largest Latino advocacy group, was one of the few to mention the current president by name during the program, when discussing “groundbreaking and decisive” turnout by women of color.

“That is why it was so deeply disheartening and enraging to see a mob of violent extremists incited by President Trump attempt to overturn a fair and certified election,” Murguía said. “It was an ugly day and low moment for our country.”



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