Vice President Kamala Harris headlined a Hamptons fundraiser on Thursday evening, telling Democrats in attendance that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court’s reversal of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision demonstrated “there is so much at stake” in the upcoming midterm elections.
Harris, speaking to an audience of 55 supporters gathered for a Democratic National Committee fundraising reception at the Water Mill estate of Dennis and Karen Mehiel, said: “Here we are in a situation where those things that we thought were settled are increasingly unsettled.”
The vice president, who has been meeting with state and local lawmakers across the country looking to preserve access to abortion services, told the gathering “elections matter.” She added that Democrats “need two more senators to see these things through,” referring to the current 50-50 split in the Senate that often logjams legislation.
Harris also touched upon the May 14 mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, where 10 Black New Yorkers were killed and three people injured, saying a federal assault weapons ban is still needed.
“We believe that all communities should be able to exist in a way that they live without fear,” Harris said.
Harris’ appearance on Long Island followed a visit earlier in the day to Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, where she touted the Biden administration’s plans to boost economic investment in “underserved” communities.
The vice president told those on hand at the fundraiser that the country was confronting a “duality of democracy.”
“While there is strength, it coexists with a definite amount of fragility,” Harris said.
She was introduced at the event by Karen Mehiel, a philanthropist and co-founder of Five Pillars Yoga studios in Water Mill and Manhattan.
Dennis Mehiel, a prolific donor to Democratic campaigns who ran for lieutenant governor in 2002, is the former chairman and CEO of one of the nation’s largest corrugated cardboard companies — Box USA — and also served as the head of the Sweetheart Cup Co. Both companies were later acquired by other companies and renamed.
The Democratic National Committee did not respond to an email seeking details on the amount of money raised from the event.