Rep. Jahana Hayes talks Sen. Kamala Harris’ historic speech during DNC; says she will be a ‘beacon of hope’


(WTNH) — It was a historic night as Senator Kamala Harris accepted the democratic nomination for Vice Presidents of the United States, running with former Vice President Joe Biden.

This moment, on many levels, represented a full-circle moment for generations of Black women and women of color in general who have struggled and fought for their political contributions and aspirations to be recognized.

“When we vote, things change,” the California senator and daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants said while taking her turn in the spotlight on day three of the Democratic National Convention. “When we vote, things get better. When we vote, we address the need for all people to be treated with dignity and respect in our country.”

But before that moment, an all-star Democratic lineup including speeches from Hillary Clinton and Former President Barack Obama both working to make the case that Donald Trump has proven that he is not fit for the presidency with Obama saying he’s treated it like a reality show. 

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News 8 spoke exclusively with U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes about this moment and what it could mean for the country as we move closer towards Election Day.

“I think it says to the American people that ‘I hear you,’ and for so many people its an opportunity to have those difficult conversations but to move forward to a place of healing,” Hayes explained.

It was a personal moment for the Connecticut congresswoman as she spoke to her friendship with california senator kamala harris the next democratic vice presidential candidate of the united states.

“Outside of the congresswoman, just as a Black woman, to think that it’s 2020 and it’s the first time a major party ticket has nominated a Black woman,” she said of her friend. “To know that, you know, never again will it be said that Democrats or a Black woman has never been nominated. Never again, after tonight, you can’t say that.”

Poltical experts said the nomination is a moment of unity across party lines.

“Harris is taking a different route,” said Quinnipiac University Professor, Scott McLean. “She’s tried to run for president. It didn’t work out. She’s got a second chance here, and I think one of the things that it means when someone is selected as a running mate, especially when they’re younger than the person at the top of the ticket, that this is the future of the party.”

“In a symbolic way, she symbolizes that Joe Biden says to all of America, ‘I hear you because she is the intersection of so many of the realities and she will partner with him and provide him a unique perspective,'” Hayes added. “I think the fact that she is not afraid to challenge his ideas or his perspective and open doors into different communities and perspectives is necessary right now.”

Congresswoman Hayes told News 8 she hopes the country gets to know the Kamala Harris she’s come to know and respect as a leader in Congress and a beacon of hope for women and communities of color.

“She really embodies this idea that all people have value and that communities that have been left behind need to be lifted up, that women need to be empowered, and I think that’s the way that she will lead.”

Tonight, Joe Biden will officially accept the Democratic nomination for president. Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong and delegates will be watching as he does behind.

A major theme throughout this virtual Democratic National Convention so far has been the push to get people out to vote and we saw much more of that in last night’s speeches as well. Clinton saying that if you’re voting by mail, request it right now  and send it back ASAP.

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