Vice President Kamala Harris in Chicago for Latino leaders' conference, Biden fundraiser

Craig Wall Image
Monday, July 24, 2023
Vice President Kamala Harris visits Chicago
Vice President Kamala Harris was in Chicago Monday, courting votes with an eye on the 2024 election.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Vice President Kamala Harris was in Chicago Monday, serving as the keynote speaker at a national conference for Latino leaders as well as for a political fundraiser.

The Gold Coast fundraiser was hosted at the home of Desiree Rogers, social secretary under President Barack Obama, but adding votes to the Biden reelection effort is perhaps even more important than dollars.

WATCH: Full speech from VP Harris at Unidos US conference

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks to the UnidosUS 2023 Annual Conference Monday.

Harris was greeted with a standing ovation by 1,300 people attending the luncheon on the final day of the Unidos US national conference.

"Diversity in our nation is not a weakness, or an afterthought, but instead our greatest strength. And we all have so much more in common than what separates us," she said in her keynote speech.

Harris was working to build support among Latino voters seen as critical to the reelection efforts of the Biden-Harris ticket in 2024. Latino leaders in return wanted to hear what their priorities would be.

"We want to hear a vision that includes Latino economic empowerment and a protection and upliftment of Latino civil rights," said Rafael Callazo, director of political campaigns for Unidos US.

The vice president touched on key Democratic political issues including abortion and other recent conservative decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. She never used the word "Republican," but frequently went on the attack against opponents, saying they present many challenges for the moment.

"We are in a moment where extremists, so called leaders have a blueprint to attack hard won freedoms and rights," Harris said.

Harris also touted accomplishments like reducing the cost of insulin, and she invoked "Bidenomics" as a key to future economic success for Latinos.

"The leaders in this room helped to make this progress possible. And so I am here, first and foremost, to say thank you, and I'm here to say we have more work to do," she said.

Harris' message resonated with attendees.

"I think she hit the key parts, like sounds like she's aware of what the needs of Latino and the Latina community are," said Denie Serrette, who was attending from Los Angeles.

Harris also talked about fighting for immigration reform, something that has eluded President Biden during his first term.

The Gold Coast fundraiser was attended by about 100 people, including Mayor Brandon Johnson, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and former education secretary Arne Duncan.

Suggested donations ran from $3,300 to $20,000 if you wanted a picture with the vice president.