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VP Kamala Harris in Jax! An IM member report: by Pat W.

Yesterday afternoon, several Indivisible Mandarin members carpooled to the Prime Osborne Center downtown to attend Vice-President Kamala Harris’s visit to Jacksonville.

While we stood waiting for our Vice President to speak, we ran into Dr. Tracye Polson and Melissa Ross (both now working in the Mayor’s Office), Audrey Gibson, our former State Senator, Daniel Henry, President of the Duval Democratic Party, and Kelly McBride, our representative to the Democratic National Convention.

Minutes later, the Edward Waters College Band marched on stage in their cheery blue and orange uniforms and entertained the waiting crowd to some rousing tunes.

After a two-hour wait, first speaker Mayor Donna Deegan got a loud, cheering welcome as she walked to the podium. Mayor Deegan, Senator Tracie Davis, and two others spoke about Florida’s new law to limit access to abortions to within the first 6-weeks of pregnancy, when most women don’t even know they are pregnant.

Mayor Deegan went on to discuss the impact this new abortion law will have on local women and local doctors across the State of Florida, and that the women who will suffer the most will be those who cannot afford to travel to another state that provides legal abortions.

Then Florida State Senator, Tracie Davis, reminded the crowd that prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify Rowe vs Wade, women and their doctors had reproductive freedom. Senator Davis then revealed that she and her husband, with a doctor’s input, chose to have an abortion several years ago. Now no woman in Florida will have freedom of choice again until Election Day, November 5, when Amendment 4, on the ballot in Florida, will provide the option to make abortion legal again and restore reproductive freedom to Florida's women.

Finally, VP Kamala Harris was cheered and applauded as she took the stage! In her 20-minute speech, she emphasized that this fight for women's bodily autonomy is a fight for freedom, as the new law begins at midnight May 1st, 2024. She emphatically noted that there are no states which have laws limiting men’s healthcare, yet legislators across America have removed women’s choice to make decisions about their own reproductive healthcare. She emphasized that former President Trump has committed to signing a nationwide ban on abortion if Congress passes that law while he's in office.

Again, VP Harris stated that the election on November 5th, 2024 would be women’s opportunity to take back their reproductive choice by voting for the Biden-Harris ticket and approving Amendment 4 on the ballot in Florida. A standing ovation followed VP Harris off the stage!


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