Jill Biden visits area

First Lady campaigns at Ore Dock in Marquette

First lady of the United States Jill Biden speaks to a crowd at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. in Marquette on Thursday at her Women for Biden-Harris rally. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

MARQUETTE — In a kickoff event for her Michigan tour of Women for Biden-Harris, first lady Jill Biden held a rally Thursday in the Upper Peninsula’s biggest city, Marquette.

Women for Biden-Harris is a volunteer-run organization dedicated to supporting the re-election of her husband, President Joe Biden, along with Vice President Kamala Harris.

The organization’s event was hosted at Marquette’s Ore Dock Brewing Co. by cofounders Andi and Wes Pernsteiner. They both provided opening speeches for the event’s main speakers — Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman.

Outside the venue, a group of residents and student protesters from the Marquette area chanted anti-Joe Biden pronouncements. They condemned Biden for being complicit and providing funding for what they see as a genocide taking place in the Gaza Strip that is known as the Israel-Hamas war.

Though the chants were within earshot, speakers inside the building were undeterred and continued their speeches.

Attendees at the Ore Dock applaud Biden’s speech. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

“(Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) are fighting for all of us,” Emh

off said, “but especially they are fighting for the women in Michigan and the women in this country.”

He cited the United States having the lowest unemployment rate for women in 70 years, that the current administration continues working to narrow the pay gap and that they have made “historic” investments in child care as well as in programs like the Violence Against Women Act.

Emhoff further claimed that Joe Biden and Harris have achieved lowering health care premiums and prescription drug costs, but most importantly that they are continuing to fight for reproductive freedom, a trend that continued to be spoken about throughout the event.

“I have an 83-year-old mother and a 24-year-old daughter,” Emhoff said. “How is it possible that we’re going to have a world where my 83-year-old mother would have more rights than my 24-year-old daughter? That is completely wrong and it’s unacceptable and we must change it.”

Andi Pernsteiner — the first woman president of the Michigan Brewers’ Guild — expressed a similar sentiment.

“We are the first generation in half a century, as Doug said, to give our daughters a country with fewer rights than we had,” she said, “(due to) court decisions that strip away our most basic freedoms.”

When she began her speech, Jill Biden said she was proud of how her husband “has placed women at the center of his agenda.”

One of her main themes was the head-to-head competition happening in the fall between the incumbent president and the former Republican president, Donald Trump.

“Joe has spent his entire career lifting up women,” Jill Biden said. “But Donald Trump? He has spent a lifetime tearing us down and devaluing our existence. He mocks women’s bodies, disrespects our accomplishments and brags about assaults.

“(Trump) boasts about killing Roe v. Wade, saying he’s proudly the person responsible for overturning nearly 50 years of precedent and that he wants to punish women who are seeking reproductive health care.”

Jill Biden encouraged fellow women to sign up for phone banks and canvassing shifts during the upcoming election season — to fight as if their rights are at stake, she said, “because they are.”

She told the crowd that Trump is “dangerous” to women and their families but that they could prevent him from regaining the presidency by voting Democratic.

“We will decide our future because here’s the thing about men like Donald Trump: they underestimate our power because they don’t understand it,” she said.

At the end of her speech, Jill Biden left the attendees with this message:

“When our bodies are on the line, when our daughters’ futures are at stake, when our country and its freedoms hang in the balance, we women are immovable and unstoppable.”

Alexandria Bournonville can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 506. Her email address is abournonville@miningjournal.net.


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