New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand addressed hundreds of African-Americans at a MLK celebration hosted by civil rights activist Al Sharpton in New York City. Gillibrand said “white women like me” must be a part of the fight against racism. (Jan. 21)
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made official what already was well-known on Sunday by formally joining the crowded Democratic field of candidates for president in 2020.
Gillibrand, 52, made the announcement on Twitter and released a two-and-a-half- minute campaign video entitled “The Brave” in which she discusses The Star-Spangled Banner and urges Americans to “be brave” and support her and her policies.
Gillibrand talks about universal health care, family leave, an end to gun violence, the Green New Deal and campaign finance changes.
“I’m running for president,” she tweeted. “Let’s prove that brave wins.”
Gillibrand, one of six women now in the Democratic field, launched an exploratory campaign in January. Recent polling of the field shows her garnering 1 percent or less of the vote – an important number because under party rules she must claim 1 percent or more to qualify for primary debates.
“We’re building a campaign that will change who’s at the decision-making table, take on powerful interests and restore moral integrity to the White House,” Gillibrand said. “And we won’t take a cent from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists.”
Gillibrand will conduct an MSNBC town hall Monday in Michigan. Then she is off to Iowa for two days before heading to Nevada. She plans on making her first major speech as a candidate next Sunday in New York – “straight to President Trump’s doorstep” in front of Trump International.
Gillibrand also has made sexual harassment and abuse in the military, colleges and the workplace a top priority, has provided a strong voice for the #MeToo movement and was among the first Democrats to call for the resignation of Minnesota Democrat Al Franken amid claims he improperly touched women.
But Gillibrand’s biggest publicity splash as a would-be candidate was controversy that flared up last week over how she handled a sexual harassment complaint in her office last year.
In July, a former female aide made complaints against a senior male staffer in Gillibrand’s Washington office. A few weeks later the aide resigned claiming the complaint was poorly handled.
She said the allegations were investigated in consultation with the Senate employment counsel. The investigation found that the behavior, although inappropriate, did not meet the standard for sexual harassment, she said.
Additional complaints came to light, however, and the staffer was later dismissed.
Contributing: Peter D. Kramer, Rockland/Westchester Journal News
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Susan Walsh, AP Joe Raedle, Getty Images Carolyn Kaster, AP
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