When Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Vice President Kamala Harris first saw each other during the vice president’s visit to Chicago on Tuesday, Foxx said they both had tears in their eyes.
“She’s someone I’ve known throughout my career,” Foxx said. “She’s laid a trail for me. To be in the motorcade and see her, as a friend, makes me immensely proud.”
Foxx and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton met up with the vice president at Brown Sugar Bakery on East 75th Street for a slice of German chocolate cake and a platter of cupcakes.
Harris had just visited a nearby COVID-19 vaccination site set up by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399. The center is run by the Chicago Federation of Labor, which has an ownership stake in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Foxx said Harris called her Monday, suggesting they catch up over a snack while the vice president was in town.
The two hadn’t spoken since congratulating each other on election night. Foxx had secured a second term, and Harris made history as the first woman and first Black and South Asian American to hold the nation’s second highest office.
During Harris’ visit to Chicago, her first since her historic election, Harris urged people to get vaccinated and spread the word to family members to do the same when it’s their time.
Foxx said it was “particularly great” that the vice president went to the South Side. The key for the state to emerge from the pandemic is to “make sure everyone is vaccinated,” Foxx said, adding that the disparity in vaccine distribution is “alarming.”
In a statement, Stratton said Harris has a “powerful voice” and has hit the ground running since her January inauguration. Stratton went on to say Harris is “exactly the leader I knew she would be” on decisions concerning “cabinet positions, the American rescue plan and more.”
“I love that she is a powerful voice on matters of racial and gender equity,” Stratton said. “It is inspiring and makes it abundantly clear that we no longer want policy made for us, but with us and by us. … We know that, for many years, the only way you could end up in the White House if you looked like us, is if you were cleaning or serving. … Harris — who looks like us— is the most powerful woman in the nation.”
Stratton is the first African American to serve as lieutenant governor of Illinois.
She said she and Gov. J.B. Pritzker are working hard to get shots into arms, and she’s “grateful” for Harris’ “efforts to ensure residents of color that have been hit the hardest by this pandemic have equitable access to the life-saving vaccine.”
“[Vaccine equity] is crucial,” Stratton said in a statement. “Black and Brown communities have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and we know that our push to vaccinate and protect the most vulnerable will help move us toward our reopening plans … Reopening must be done safely for everyone because far too many members of our Illinois family have passed away too soon because of this virus. We are all mourning that loss, and will continue healing together.”