ST. LOUIS – Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States of America, spoke in Downtown St. Louis on Friday during the fall DNC meeting, addressing gun control, abortion rights and other topics.

Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff paid a visit for the fall meeting of the Democratic National Committee. On Friday, they met supporters at the Marriott Grand Hotel on Washington Avenue and delivered remarks at a campaign reception.

Joined by Donna Brazile, former acting chair of the Democratic National Committee, Harris spoke for nearly half an hour about what to expect heading into the 2024 election season.

“We are fighting for our democracy,” Harris told the audience. The vice president said issues such as climate change, gun safety, student loan relief and abortion rights are all issues that favor Democrats, especially among younger voters.  

“Everything that you are doing, please know, is so important,” Harris said to members of the DNC. 

Some local Democrats hope the DNC conference will give Missouri Democrats a boost in a state where Republicans have dominated statewide elections in recent years. State Rep. Richard Brown (D-Kansas City) believes the state includes enough independent voters to reverse recent trends.  

“We just have to go out and find those folks, talk to them, and tell them why they need to be voting for Democrats in Missouri,” said Brown.

Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, is running for governor. She said, “We’re a state that Democrats can win, and we’re seeing that by the excitement that we’ve had every day this week.”  

Vice President Harris began her speech by thanking DNC members for their efforts.  She said, “The work that you do to uplift the voices of the people, all of whom should be seen, heard, and respected, is extraordinarily important, especially at this moment in time.” 

Harris’ visit there comes just after the drama played out earlier this week with the dismantling of the homeless encampment outside of St. Louis City Hall.

The camp had been growing for some time but wasn’t completely cleared until Tuesday evening. Some have raised questions about the timing of the decision to remove the camp just before the DNC gathering. However, Mayor Tishaura Jones says the move to shut down the camp this week had no connection with the DNC meeting.

The mayor shared in an earlier statement that the city acted to protect people and save lives.

Aldermanic President Megan Green also spoke at the DNC meeting on Friday during a poverty caucus and took part in a panel discussion.

The three-day DNC event is open to all Democrats and runs through Saturday, but organizers ask that you register online.