Since announcing his candidacy for president in April 2019, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has insisted that the 2020 race would be a “battle for the soul of this nation.” In a string of newly released campaign ads in battleground states, Black Americans speak to that very message, sharing testimonials about why they believe a Biden-Harris ticket is best equipped to make the country a place where all Americans can thrive.
“This election is a defining moment for our country,” Pittsburgh community builder Marimba Milliones says in a television spot premiering on Monday. “We are deciding who we will ultimately be. And we should not take for granted that things cannot get worse.”
The Biden campaign says Milliones represents the growing concerns of millions of Black Americans who fear their lives are at risk under a second Trump administration.
In 2016, Trump’s message to Black voters was simple and, for some, distressing: “What do you have to lose?” After three and a half years of an administration that has rolled back Obama-era efforts to combat racial bias, and more than six months of a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black Americans, that answer includes our family, our lives and our livelihoods.
As a leader in community development, Milliones takes a particular interest in Biden and Harris’s promise to build the country back better by making provisions for Black entrepreneurs, who have so often struggled with accessing capital.
“The Biden-Harris Build Back Better platform is one of the most comprehensive economic reinvestment plans I’ve ever seen from a presidential campaign,” Milliones shares with ESSENCE. “The commitments made to invest billions into Black businesses, small business and low-moderate income communities is pivotal and should be taken seriously. It will take a focused effort to stave off displacement, gentrification and lack of access to capital happening in communities across the country. Housing, food and economic insecurity must be handled with capable hands and thoughtfully engaged leadership.”
During his bid for the White House, Biden has publicly stated that his support from the Black community will not be taken for granted. The campaign says that the latest ad releases show the pledge from the Biden-Harris ticket to reach Black voters while offering a snapshot of how different groups of Black Americans are “dealing with the reality of the current moment.”
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris envision an America where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in the economy—especially Black women,” says Kamau Marshall, director of strategic communications. “This latest ad gives voice to that vision.”
Though Milliones admits the Biden-Harris ticket is not perfect, she says she strongly believes the duo will work in partnership with communities to encourage progress. “Political purity should not be our focus right now—there is no perfect candidate. Our focus should be to secure our safety and well-being as communities and as a country, followed by an economic recovery and equity plan that makes sense for us all.”