Politics and Government

First lady Jill Biden makes appearance at Twin Cities Pride

Visit part of day of campaigning for President Biden reelection bid

First Lady waves to people in Minneapolis02
First Lady Jill Biden waves to people at the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Minneapolis on Saturday, June 24, 2023.
Brad Althoff for MPR News

First lady Jill Biden made a brief visit to the Twin Cities on Saturday afternoon as part of President Joe Biden's campaign for re-election in 2024.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter were among those who greeted Biden when she landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Her first stop was a fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund in Minneapolis hosted at the home of major donors Jim and Mary Lawrence. There, she heralded her husband’s action on the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the debt ceiling, according to a pool report.

“Nothing can slow him down. He’s ready to finish the job, as we get ready to jump back into the campaign,” said Biden.

Biden’s second and last stop before departing for Nashville, Tenn. was the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Loring Park. She made brief remarks to a gathered crowd.

“We know that there are those who wish to undo the hard-won progress this community has made, and tomorrow, we will brave those battles once again together,” Biden said. “Joe stands with you now and he will stand with you forever.”

“You are beautiful and you are loved,” she added later.

Ahead of Biden’s speech, Rep. Omar listed the Biden administration’s efforts to expand access for LGBTQ+ Americans and said Democrats hope to pass the Equality Act with his re-election. The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Andi Otto, executive director of the Twin Cities Pride Festival, has been involved with the celebration for 16 years. He said it was incredible to have the First Lady visit.

“For someone like her to recognize that the community needs the support, and to tell everybody that they’re loved is very impactful, especially in a time like this when there's lots of laws targeting our community,” said Otto.

Jill Biden’s stops in Nashville mirrored her stops in Minneapolis. She spoke at that city’s Pride festival and attended a fundraiser. President Joe Biden kicked off his re-election campaign last week with his first campaign rally in Philadelphia.