Local leaders and political enthusiasts on both sides hopeful as President Biden calls for unity

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Political enthusiasts looked on, both from afar and in person, as a historic day in American history unfolded.

New U.S. President Joe Biden, who along with new Vice-President Kamala Harris, took the oath of office on Wednesday in Washington D.C.

Biden used part of his inaugural address to call for unity, and for Americans to put aside political differences and worth together, regardless of political affiliations.

“I know the fortunes that divide us are deep and real,” Biden said.

Here in Kansas City, supporters gathered at Soiree Oyster and Steak Restaurant at 18th and Vine for a “Pearls and Chucks” party, paying homage to the footwear and jewelry Harris has made famous.

Tamika McClaine, a Kansas City resident, attended and said this new executive team represents great hope for women and people of color.

“It was really emotional to see one of us, to see one of our fellow sisters take that oath of office,” McClaine said. “I think this is the start of a new nation for us. If we can stay united, I think there are amazing things on the horizon for the country, and I’m excited to see what happens in the next four years.”

Justice Horn, a UMKC student who served as a volunteer with Biden’s transition team and Missouri for Biden, watched from an office in Kansas City’s City Hall. Horn spoke with FOX4 as an at-large supporter of the Biden team’s appointment to the highest office.

“Today showed those who have been the backbone of our party, our nation and of organizing finally get a seat at the table, and it’s not just a seat to be there and represent their community, but it’s a seat at the head of their table,” Horn said.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas attended the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol.

Lucas said he’s hopeful to see Americans cease from division and political bickering, which has been the norm in recent times. Lucas pointed to the ceremony’s celebrity entertainers as proof other voices are now being heard.

“It was so exciting to hear that and see performances from (Jennifer Lopez) and Garth Brooks. That shows it, in some ways, that we had a number of different voices that were heard today, Trying to appeal to everyone. You just have to say that’s something that is absolutely amazing,” Mayor Lucas said.

Republican lawmakers also spoke out on Wednesday, issuing similar calls for widespread cooperation. Both Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) issued written statements asking Democrats and Republicans to begin working in unison for the greater good.

“It is important that both sides of the political spectrum continue to lower the national temperature and recognize opportunities for common good,” Marshall said. 

“One political party is more pleased today, and on every inaugural day, than the other. But this is not a moment of division, it’s a moment of unification. A new administration begins, and brings with it a new beginning,” Blunt said.

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