Politics

Kamala Harris visited Milwaukee to talk about lead pipe replacement, a touching moment was captured

Harris delivered her remarks at the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP, a program that recruits and trains people in skilled trades such as construction and plumbing. While there, she met with activists, community and health leaders, and union workers. 

“This is an issue that we should as a nation commit to ending,” Harris said.

She was joined by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, and Gov. Tony Evers, and met with union members who are working to replace the lead pipes.

Harris also spoke with Milwaukee’s chief medical officer, Dr. Heather Paradis, a pediatrician.

“Any amount of lead in the blood is too much. There is no known safe level, and unfortunately, even low levels of lead in a child’s blood can have lasting effects on their growth and development and behavior,” Paradis said. 

The most touching moment of the stop came when mother and activist Deanna Branch talked about her own health journey, overcoming devastating health Issues, her son’s battle with lead poisoning, and his numerous hospitalizations. 

“Aidan was hospitalized not once, but twice. So, many moms are going through the same thing,” Branch said. Branch showed off a picture book, she created with her son, featuring a superhero who fights the “lead monster.” 

“It means a lot to me and my community that I am hearing and talking to you on their behalf,” Branch told the vice president. 

”You put out the call and it was heard,” Harris replied. 

“I’m glad it was heard,” Branch responded.

When Branch finished speaking, she and the vice president shared a private moment, where Harris comforted Branch.

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The White House estimates between 6 million and 10 million U.S. households and 400,000 schools get water through lead service lines. According to Science, Americans are at risk of lead leaching from old pipes in their homes and city water systems. Exposure to lead can cause neurological problems in adults and delayed or stunted brain development in children.

In recent years, lead pipes and the dangerous health impacts have come into focus, particularly as it impacts a majority of Black and brown communities, most notably the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. 

“And here in Wisconsin, as has been said $48 million will be dedicated in the year 2022. These investments will create good union jobs, these investments will address the needs of our children, these investments will result in improved public health, the creation of more jobs, the infusion of support for important mentorship programs, and it’s just simply the right thing to do.” Harris said. “We are long overdue to get this done. And we will get this done. And generations of Americans will forever benefit because of the work that is happening right here in Milwaukee. Thank you.”

Of course, many of the Republicans who voted against the infrastructure law were critical of Harris’ trip. 

“Wisconsinites deserve to know how the Biden administration’s plan to eliminate cash bail will keep their families safe and address the issue of rising crime rates, not listen to Kamala Harris shill Biden’s floundering agenda,” RNC spokesperson Rachel Reisner said

But not all Republicans who didn’t sign the law are critical of it. Some who bashed it are now praising it, like the true hypocrites they are. 

As The Los Angeles Times reports, Rep. Kay Granger of Texas made no bones about voting against the measure, calling it a “socialist plan full of crushing taxes and radical spending.” But, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that the very same infrastructure bill would be funding a $403-million flood control project in her district in the Fort Worth area, she swiveled her head faster than Linda Blair in The Exorcist

“This is a great day for Fort Worth,” she said in a statement, failing to mention the bipartisan bill that allocated the money to her. 

Rep. Steve Scalise, the House minority whip from Louisiana ripped the law apart. Now, he’s taking credit for it, highlighting the $400 million set aside for his state to mitigate flooding. 

To see the moment where Harris comforted Branch skip to 17:56. 




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