Democratic presidential candidates speak in Houston at 'She the People' forum

By Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter, Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - Several of the candidates in the massive field of Democrats running for president were in Houston Wednesday to participate in the "She the People" presidential candidate forum.

The event was held on the campus of Texas Southern University and organized by She the People, a national network of women of color in politics.

The event was billed as the first-ever presidential forum focused on issues that are important to women of color voters. 

In attendance were New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates appeared individually answering 20 minutes of questions from She the People founder Aimee Allison and MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid.

Audience members were also selected to ask questions of the Democratic presidential hopefuls. 

The crowd of 1,700 consisted largely of women of color who came in from states all across America. 

"The black vote has been such a huge voting block for all of these politicians and I think that it's important that we know exactly what they plan to do for us," said Audrie Lawton of Houston. 

Women of color are a key demographic for Democrats eyeing the White House in 2020. 

The candidates are hoping to win over voters with their message, but voters want to send a message of their own. 

"They're gonna hear our voices too," said Norma Mata of San Benito, Texas. 

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