Today, Vice President Kamala Harris held a roundtable in Los Angeles, California with faith leaders to discuss some of the most urgent challenges facing our communities, including protecting reproductive rights and addressing the epidemic of hate that is gripping our nation.
Attendees discussed the importance of protecting access to reproductive health care, preserving the right to self-determination for individuals and families, and working together to chart the path forward. The Vice President affirmed the key role faith leaders play in bringing people together to move our country in the direction of justice, and she highlighted the constitutional rights affirmed in Roe, including the right to privacy, which protects the right to use contraception and the freedom to marry the person you love.
Participants underscored the importance of ensuring that health care decisions are made by women without government interference, and the need to work together as a coalition to safeguard this right. The Vice President raised that the Louisiana legislature passed a bill that would ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest, saying the bill illustrates that there is a clear and imminent threat to the shared principle of allowing women to make decisions about their own bodies.
During the conversation, the Vice President also raised the issue of gun violence that has been plaguing our nation. The Vice President thanked the faith leaders for the important role they play in working toward healing, hope, and unity in their congregations and communities.
The Vice President affirmed that faith leaders are essential partners to the Administration and that she looks forward to continuing to work with them to build coalitions across faiths.
- Pastor Demetries Edwards, Pastor, 23rd Avenue Church of God (Oakland, CA)
- Rabbi Dara Frimmer, Senior Rabbi, Temple Isaiah (Los Angeles, CA)
- Rev. Edgar Boyd, Senior Minister, First AME Church (Los Angeles, CA)
- Nitasha Kaur Sawhney, Sikh civil rights advocate and lawyer (La Cañada, CA)
- Edina Lekovic, UCLA Community Scholar in Residence, Islamic Studies Program (Los Angeles, CA)
- Claire Lipschultz, VP of Board of Directors, National Council of Jewish Women (Sacramento, CA)
- Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, Pastor, Third Baptist Church (San Francisco, CA)
- Jackie Dupont Walker, Director, Social Action Commission, AME Church (Los Angeles, CA)
- Reverend Dr. Young Lee Hertig, Executive Director, Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (Los Angeles, CA).
- Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, Assistant Director of Community and Public Engagement, USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (Los Angeles, CA).
The Vice President was also joined by:
- Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA)
- Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34)
- Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis
- Mayor Eric Garcetti