Nine candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will be in downtown Los Angeles Thursday for a town hall discussion of issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
The “Power of Our Pride” discussion is sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and will be broadcast live by CNN from The Novo at L.A. Live. The Human Rights Campaign is billed as the world’s largest LGBTQ-rights organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters.
The foundation is the HRC’s educational arm.
“Today, at a time when our most basic civil rights and democratic values are under attack, our work has never been more urgent,” HRC President Alphonso David said.
“We are eager to hear from this field of Democratic presidential candidates about how they plan to win full federal equality, defend the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and protect the most vulnerable among us — both here in the United States and around the globe — from stigma, institutional inequality, discrimination and violence.”
The nine candidates will each appear for 30 minutes, taking audience questions in discussions moderated by CNN’s Dana Bash, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon and Nia-Malika Henderson.
Scheduled to participate — in order of planned appearance beginning at 4:30 p.m. — are New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; former Vice President Joe Biden; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; California Sen. Kamala Harris; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; and businessman Tom Steyer.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was originally set to appear at the event, but had to cancel his appearance while he recovers from a heart attack.
According to CNN, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Andrew Yang both declined HRCF’s invitation, citing scheduling conflicts.
According to HRC, there are at least 10 million LGBTQ voters nationwide, and they cast ballots in higher numbers than the general population in 2018. HRC officials said LGBTQ voters case more than 7 million ballots that year, a roughly 70% turnout, compared to roughly 49% among the general population.
Thursday’s event will mark the second gathering of Democratic presidential hopefuls in downtown Los Angeles in less than a week. Biden, Warren, Harris, Castro, Booker, O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Buttigieg all spoke at a two-day “Unions for All” summit sponsored by the Service Employees International Union last Friday and Saturday.
Biden is also scheduled to conduct Los Angeles-area fundraisers Thursday before and after the debate. Buttiegieg is scheduled to attend a “grassroots event” at 6:30 p.m. at the Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Steyer will hold a town hall at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Mar Vista from 5-7 p.m.
Klobuchar will participate in roundtable discussion on domestic violence at 10:30 a.m. Friday at UCLA.
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