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Vice President Kamala Harris at La Crosse Center, speaking on reproductive freedom, nursing home staffing



The presidential primary campaign came and went quietly in the La Crosse area this year, but high-ranking candidates are now starting to travel to the Coulee Region ahead of the November vote.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited La Crosse on Monday, to speak with area residents about reproductive freedom, and the need to fight for that freedom.

“I know we’re gonna be okay,” Harris told supporters at a rally inside a La Crosse Center exhibition hall, “because we know what’s at stake, and we’re prepared to fight for all that we know is right and good.”

After flying into La Crosse just before noon, Harris attended a meeting with area residents at the Hmoob Cultural and Community Agency on Ward Avenue, where she talked to representatives of service unions about needs at nursing homes.

The Vice President said more than a million Americans live in federally financed nursing homes, and the majority of those are understaffed.

Harris used that meeting to announce national minimum staffing standards for those federally-funded facilities.

“Now, we are requiring that 80 percent of that (federal) money be spent on paying workers, as opposed to administrative overhead,” Harris told attendees at the roundtable discussion.

Later, during a speech at the La Crosse Center, Harris told the invited audience “there is so much at stake in this election.”

She criticized the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade, and the conservative court appointments of former President Donald Trump.

“The promise of America is the promise of protecting and respecting individuals’ rights, and liberty, and freedom, to make certain decisions, including those of heart and home,” Harris said.

Medical student Charlotte Urban of La Crosse was chosen to introduce the VP, after writing a newspaper opinion piece about rural health care and reproductive health.

“I got a call on Friday, asking if I wanted to come speak at the event, and I said, sure, I’d love to do that,” said Urban, who was later asked to make the introduction for Harris.

The Harris event also featured appearances by US House Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), and Wisconsin superintendent of schools Jill Underly.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mikey

    April 24, 2024 at 11:22 pm

    Little or no pre-visit publicity. No public audience; only a curated friendly few and friendly press. No audio/video. No interview.

    Just weird; a non-visit. Apparently Harris’ handlers are afraid of another foot-in-mouth episode?

    How much did the City charge the Harris campaign for use of the Center exhibition hall?

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