Apr 4, 2024 - Politics

VP Harris returns to Charlotte as campaign doubles down

Kamala Harris on stage in Charlotte

Kamala Harris at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center in Charlotte. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Vice President Kamala Harris was back in North Carolina Thursday for the fourth time this year.

Why it matters: Her latest visit to Naomi Drenan Recreation Center near Grier Heights, a historically Black neighborhood in Charlotte, highlights how President Joe Biden's campaign is honing in on North Carolina as one of the key swing states.

The big picture: This was Harris' 12th visit to North Carolina as vice president. This year alone, she's spoken about youth violence in east Charlotte, small business and entrepreneurship in Durham, and, alongside Biden, healthcare in Raleigh.

  • This time, the theme was climate action.

Driving the news: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced $20 billion in grants that will spark tens of thousands of clean energy projects, particularly in low-income communities.

  • "More families will have the funds they need to replace drafty windows and install better insulation to keep their homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer," Harris said, "and here in North Carolina, to help you lower that Duke Energy bill."
  • That earned cheers from the crowd.

Zoom in: Self-Help, which has worked on 49 energy-efficient homes in Grier Heights, is an example of one nonprofit that will benefit.

  • The homes have cut some Charlotte families' energy costs from hundreds of dollars to $100 or less a month, speakers said Thursday.
  • These new federal funds will help deliver similar efficiency projects to over 30,000 homes nationwide, per the EPA.

Between the lines: Harris was also in town to open one of the Biden campaign's 10 field offices in North Carolina.

  • Digitally, Biden is running ads targeting voters who chose Republican Nikki Haley over Donald Trump.

What's next: Expect more blue and red candidates to swing through Charlotte as November inches closer.

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