“If you don’t come to Greenwood, you can’t win,” state Rep. Anne Parks said. “If you don’t believe it, ask Obama.”

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris visited American Legion Post 224 to discuss her policies and to honor Greenwood veterans.

“It’s been about visiting large communities, smaller communities and rural communities to talk with the folks about the challenges that they face in the communities in which they live and here being in Greenwood today was to talk to with our veterans about the challenges they face,” said Harris, who represents California in the U.S. Senate.

Harris had a panel consisting of Greenwood Democratic Party Chair Charles Lewis and J & W Transportation Services CEO George Jones, who are both veterans.

Lewis and Jones both brought up issues that are plaguing Greenwood residents like gun violence, affordable housing, public education of students, mental health and veteran-specific dilemmas.

Public educationLewis shared with Harris the status of Greenwood County School District 50, and he mentioned the calendar change and how it may be implemented to improve student test scores.

Harris responded to Lewis by describing her education agenda, which includes: increasing teachers’ pay, nurses and social workers in every school and minimizing child care costs. She also mentioned how she and fellow Democratic presidential nominee Marianne Williamson are the only two candidates with an agenda that “relates to our children.” Williamson is the only other 2020 presidential candidate to visit Greenwood.

Gun violence

and mental healthLewis also brought up the issue of gun violence in Greenwood, in which Harris responded by making clear that she doesn’t want to get rid of guns, but she does want background checks and she’d make an executive order to enforce them.

She also emphasized mental health care throughout, especially for veterans and children in poverty-stricken areas.

“The failure to fund mental health care in America, I believe is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, public policy failures in America,” Harris said.

Affordable housingJones asked Harris about what she would do in relation to affordable housing, especially for the elderly.

“They say the economy is good, but I don’t see what’s good around our area,” Jones said.

Harris responded by detailing her $135 billion federal investment that she has in local communities, which encourages local development and helps “develop the skills for local folks to actually build the housing.” She also spoke about a tax break that would give tax credits of up to $6,000 a year to middle-class citizens.

VeteransAn abundance of veterans attended, and they were all ears as Harris gave insight into her plans for veterans, which includes educational opportunities, housing issues, mental health treatment and making sure they’re not taken advantage of after they return home from service.

“You earn a veteran’s vote by honoring their service and understanding that honoring their service is so much bigger than saying ‘Thank you for your service’ and walking away. It’s about actually doing the work and supporting them,” Harris said.