Maintaining Earth’s natural beauty

Speech given at the 21st Annual Lake Tahoe Summit

Senator Harris: I know — we all know, especially here in Tahoe, the incredible voice and the incredible leadership we have in Dianne Feinstein. But I can tell you, I’ve been working with her for many years when I was the San Francisco DA, Attorney General of California, but now, sitting with Catherine and Dean in the United States Senate, watching her up close, we have a phenomenal, phenomenal leader in Dianne Feinstein. She not only cares so deeply but she works so hard. She rolls up her sleeves, she gets involved in the detail of what it is about and what makes the difference between having a beautiful speech and actually getting stuff done. Dianne Feinstein, I thank you for your friendship –

Senator Feinstein: Stop already!

Senator Harris: — I’m not going to stop, ever!

So listen, I am a proud daughter of California, I love my Nevada cousins but I’m a proud daughter of California. I came to this lake as a child with my family, and there could be nothing more magnificent, I think, as we pray to the Earth and to the wind and the air and the water to understand the magnificence of the natural beauty our Earth has provided us.

And when we look out at this lake, it is one of the jewels of the world. When we look out at this lake, it is about understanding that nature has given us, with no cost financially, one of the most, and best, places to be where we can just see how good we are as an Earth, how good we are as the people who live on this Earth. And therefore, what we must do to give back in terms of dedicating ourselves as it relates to this lake, to make sure we keep it blue, we keep it clear, and we keep it preserved in a way that future generations can enjoy it.

So when I sit in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the United States Senate as your representative, I will tell you, you know, we’re in these room — and they’re very magnificent wooden paneled rooms and the aura of it all — but when it comes down to it, the work that I’m committed, like my colleagues, with doing, is being in those magnificent rooms remembering this lake and remembering all of you and the work that must be done every day to fight for what is necessary to maintain our natural beauty because it’s not going to happen on its own. It is going to require the work that is happening by Dianne Feinstein, by Dean Heller, by Harry Reid, by Catherine Masto, of looking at what we need to do to put resources into preserving and restoring the lake.

It is going to be about rejecting false choices on this issue of the environment and suggesting that you’re either in favor of the economy of you’re in favor of the environment. That’s nonsense. That’s a false choice which we just reject. We can do both. And the work that you all are doing here and have been doing for decades around this lake has been the best example of that point.

So as we go forward, let’s use this as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to showing not only our region and our two states but our nation what can be done when you understand the importance of accepting it all, what we need to do to preserve the economy of this region, what we need to do to pay attention to everything that the Restoration Act will do around what’s happening in terms of forestation and preventing fires, and I thank you to our Chiefs.

What we must do to recognize that we can use technology in a way that can allow us to clean the lake and also provide future jobs, as Catherine Masto has mentioned. What we can do to adopt technology and look to the future but always remembering our past and the beauty that we have here and our responsibility to preserve it.

So I just want to thank everyone here for the work that you do every day. I joked last night that I am proud to tell you that as long as I’ve been a member of the United States Senate, I have been attending the Summit. And I pledge to you, as I have promised Dianne, that I will continue to do so in the years ahead.

Thank you all very much.

Vice President of the United States. Senator, Wife, Momala, Auntie. Fighting for the people. She/her.