Attorney General Kamala Harris-Photo Credit: Clayton Everett
A.G. Harris (center) with Rev. Dr. Marvis Davis; Assemblyman Mike Davis; Denise Hunter, president of FAME corporation; and Councilman Mike Gipson-Photo Credit: Clayton Everett
As part of her efforts of keeping in touch, Attorney General spoke to church leaders on critical issues of importance to the community last weekend
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
California Attorney General Kamala Harris stopped in Los Angeles on April 16 to update local religious leaders on her activities since assuming office. In an intimate meeting at the FAME Renaissance Center and as part of her first 100-day report, Harris reviewed various pressing issues affecting the state and urged the faith-based community to join in mobilizing and informing their members.
The gathering opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Marvis Davis, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church of Venice and president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and vicinity. He was followed by Assembly-member Mike Davis, who shared insight on Harris’ long history with improving quality of life and her leadership in the criminal justice arena, before introducing her to the gathering.
“I’m here today to provide you with a report on the actions of the Office of the Attorney General, but first, I want to thank everyone here for all your prayers and all your encouragement. We had a long campaign and worked very, very hard. But with your prayers and faith, we knew it could be done and we did it,” said Harris.
“We have a lot of challenges and fights ahead, but we are all in this together and I am so honored to have the support of my colleagues and my friends,” she said.
Among the topics Harris covered were state-wide progress on President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, early intervention for young street-level gang members, and reducing mortgage fraud and foreclosures. She also expressed appreciation to area churches for supporting each of the causes.
“Many of the clergy in Los Angeles have played a crucial role in helping people who lost their homes because they were defrauded, and it is often God-fearing, law-abiding folks who are victims. As we move forward together, we must do a lot more public education, so our people will know their rights, where they can go for help and also where they can go to report–if it’s that lawyer or that bank,” said Harris.
In addition, Harris announced that her office successfully prosecuted certain businesses who preyed on churches with ‘get rich, no-money-down’ schemes. As a result of the $800,000 judgment, affected churches will receive restitution for money lost in the illegal scheme.
As Harris concluded, she reminded the ministers to encourage congregations to participate in elections. She said, “Tell your members that they can be empowered and feel empowered knowing that their vote actually matters. Just look at our campaign. People thought we couldn’t win, but we counted those votes up until the last minute.
“During the campaign, we were in your churches constantly saying, ‘Your vote matters,’ and we were right. Elections matter. Who holds these offices will have a direct impact on the lives we live and on the lives our children will live.”