LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

A week before they debate in Detroit, several top Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination are expected in the city for a forum organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey are “very likely” to participate in the July 24 candidate forum, said NAACP spokeswoman Austyn Ross.

Biden already announced plans to visit Detroit that day but his campaign has not confirmed details.

Race emerged as a flash point in the party’s first presidential debate last week in Miami, where Harris challenged Biden over recent comments about working with segregationist colleagues and his opposition to using federally mandated busing for school integration in the 1970s.

Both are expected in Detroit again for the second Democratic debate on July 30 and 31. But first, they’ll appear at the NAACP convention, which runs July 20 to 24 and is expected to draw 10,000 activists and leaders to the city.

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California and former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland — both Democratic presidential candidates as well who participated in the Miami debates — are also expected at the convention, according to a list of speakers published by the NAACP.

The civil rights group announced Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, will speak at convention on July 22.

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said the organization is “delighted” to have Pelosi join activists and advocates from across the country to address “the major issues impacting our communities today.”

“Congress must be the keystone in enacting policies to ensure all Americans have access to jobs paying a livable wage, affordable health care, and quality public education for young people. Everyone deserves the right to elect their representatives without voter suppression, racial gerrymandering and foreign interference,” Johnson said in a statement.

Pelosi, now in her 17th term, is the first woman to serve as House speaker and is the highest-ranking elected woman in U.S. history. She’s a “golden lifetime member” of the NAACP, which touted her work passing a federal stimulus package amid the Great Recession in 2009.

Pelosi is also a regular target of ridicule by Republicans, who attempted to play up links between Democratic candidates andPelosi in 2016 and other election cycles.

She has faced pressure within her own party this year by resisting calls to begin impeachment hearings against Republican President Donald Trump in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and subsequent alleged obstruction into the probe.

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost last year's election for Georgia governor, is expected to speak at the convention during the Clarence Mitchell Luncheon on July 22. Abrams was the first black female major-party gubernatorial nominee in U.S. history and is seen as a rising star in the party.

joosting@detroitnews.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/02/pelosi-speak-naacp-convention-detroit/1627298001/