Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Senator, at the annual National Action Network Convention or NAN in the Sheraton Hotel in New York City on April 5, 2019.
Christopher Lee for TIME

2020 Democrats Reach Out to Black Voters at the National Action Network

April 7, 2019

The first debate of the Democratic presidential primary is still months away, but the candidates are getting closer to being on the same stage, if not yet at the same time.

This week, it was at the annual convention in New York City for the National Action Network, a civil rights group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

More than a dozen candidates spoke at the gathering, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Reps. Beto O’Rourke and John Delaney; former HUD Secretary Julian Castro; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and businessman Andrew Yang.

Potential contenders, including Rep. Eric Swalwell and former Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, also spoke.

Apart from reaching out to black voters, a key constituency in the upcoming primaries in several early voting states, the candidates also sought to make news with their speeches.

During her address, Warren called for abolishing the filibuster if Democrats face Republican obstruction again.

“When Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama, and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster.”

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, is seen during the annual National Action Network Convention.
Christopher Lee for TIME
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman from New York City, at the annual National Action Network Convention in Manhattan on April 5, 2019.
Christopher Lee for TIME
Audience members during the annual National Action Network Convention in Manhatta, New York on April 5, 2019. |
Christopher Lee for TIME
Kamala Harris, California Senator, is seen during the annual National Action Network Convention in Manhattan, New York on April 5, 2019.
Christopher Lee for TIME
John Hickenlooper, Governor from Colorado, speaks at the National Action Network Convention .
Christopher Lee for TIME
Members of the press during the annual National Action Network Convention or NAN in the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan on April 5, 2019.
Christopher Lee for TIME
Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont at the NAN convention in New York City, on April 5, 2019.
Christopher Lee for TIME
Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator from New York, is seen during the annual National Action Network Convention.
Christopher Lee for TIME

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