A day after standing behind the president as he gave the annual State of the Union address, United States Vice President Kamala Harris was front and center in Atlanta to moderate a conversation on the Biden Administration’s historic investments towards the ongoing climate crisis and the creation of jobs and opportunities in that space. 

During the State of the Union Address Tuesday, the president mentioned the 12 million jobs that have been created during his time in office. On Wednesday afternoon Harris doubled-down on that fact, and added, “This is a transformational moment.”

Harris, the first Black and female Vice President in United States history, spoke of climate issues and how the government is working to solve those issues while creating jobs in that space. Photo by Julia Beverly/The Atlanta Voice

Vice President Harris was introduced to the crowd – many of whom were women dressed in the green and pink of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in honor of Harris’ sisterhood- by Georgia Tech President Angel Cabrera. “We are very proud to host Vice President Harris,” he said. “I believe this is a perfect place for this conversation.”

Harris was interviewed by Georgia Tech’s Dr. Isaiah Bolden, Assistant Professor, School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences and University of Georgia professor Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, director of the university’s atmospheric sciences program. “We can geek out about this stuff all day,” joked Harris about climate sciences and water policy. 

The first female and Black vice president in the history of this country, Harris spoke about being passionate about climate issues and the work that is taking place to change things. “It’s going to take a whole country and government approach,” she said of solving the current issues, such as clean drinking water for all United States citizens. 

“Access to clean water should be a right,” she said. “It is an essential component to life.”

Harris talked about growing up in Oakland, California and being raised in a household that saw great value in fighting for the rights of all people. “I was raised to think about fairness and equity,” she said. 

Some of the goals she listed the Biden Administration is looking to put the country in a better position to accomplish within the next nine years are the elimination of lead pipes and service lines, and more electric school buses taking millions of kids to school every day.

“Here’s another piece about electric school buses,” she said, sitting up a bit in her seat on stage. “We are building them right here in the United States.”

The job creation will go along with what Biden spoke of during the State of the Union Address Tuesday night. More than 12 million jobs have been created since Biden and Harris took office. “It can fuel our economy,” Harris added. 

She continued, “It should not be that only the people with wealth can have access to electric vehicles.”

Stacey Abrams sighting

The two-time Georgia gubernatorial candidate made her way to her seat under Tuesday afternoon and was bombarded with applause. One of the state’s most popular and polarizing political figures, Abrams took time to take selfies and sign autographs a half-hour before Harris took the stage. 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...