Ahead of Biden’s inauguration, local politicians discuss attending event and safety in Washington

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day away from the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, local attendees of the event are talking about how they feel in light of recent events.

FOX4 reached out to many local politicians on both side of the aisle, most of whom were not available for an interview.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver made time to chat about how he feels about attending the inauguration Wednesday.

“If you’d asked me this question four or five days ago, I would say that I was apprehensive. Simply because of what happened on the sixth of January,” Cleaver said. “However, I am now comfortable with 25,000 National Guardsmen and Virginia troopers and CIA and U.S. Marshals and everybody else here.”

The FBI is responsible for vetting those troops in Washington D.C. involved in inauguration security. Defense officials worried about an insider attack after the riot at the Capitol Jan. 6 are taking no chances. 12 National Guard members have been removed from the detail. 10 for questionable behavior, two for ties to right wing militia groups.

The Kansas National Guard had no comment on its involvement in inauguration security, but the Missouri National Guard released this statement:

“The Missouri National Guard has not had anyone removed from the D.C. mission.

As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C.  While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital.  This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events.  However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique.  The D.C. National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in D.C. that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command.  We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the NCR.”

Kansas Senator Roger Marshall also sent a statement addressing his attendance at the inauguration and the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

“Tomorrow, my wife Laina and I will both be attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden to witness the peaceful transition to a new Administration. As leaders, we must now do everything we can in the coming months to ensure the levers of government are fully operational. Not only is it unconstitutional to impeach a President after he leaves office, I firmly believe an impeachment effort at this juncture will only raise already heated temperatures of the American public and further divide our country at a time when we should be focused on bringing the country together and moving forward. Whether it’s getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of all those who want and need it, boosting job recovery, or opening our economy back up to pre-pandemic levels, we have real work to do. Without a doubt, there are brighter days ahead for our country, and looking back should not be on our agenda.”

“We’re just leaving Martin Luther King’s birthday,” Cleaver said. “Dr. King said that the stars can never be seen except for the darkness of night. I think that this has been one of the darkest periods in in us history.”

Cleaver said on the top of President-elect Joe Biden’s to do list are things like, get control of the COVID-19 crisis, rejoining the World Health Organization and prioritizing the environment.

“I think the president’s putting a lot of emphasis on it. There are a lot of young people in Kansas City who are also interested in trying to save the environment,” Cleaver said. 

One of those young people is local artist AY Young, who is 1 of 17 United Nations Young World Leaders and the only one from the United States. Young creating a sustainable album and launching the first sustainable music tour in the U.S. called the Battery Tour.

“Since 2012, I’ve powered all of my concerts using just renewable energy,” Young said. “It’s why its called the Battery Tour because I store energy in batteries and that’s how I’m able to do the a 10 hour you know.”

For his ingenuity, Young has been invited to perform at the Clean Energy for America Inaugural Ball.

“I’m like so excited,” Young said. “I get to obviously perform and then I’m introducing Acon you know? I’m performing before him, he’s like an idol for me.”

Because of COVID-19, Young and other superstars have rerecorded their performances, which Young said does not take away from his excitement or importance of his message. 

 “I know the country is going through a lot,” Young said. “I think that people need to just see unity and see love.”

To find out more about Young’s Batter Tour click here.

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