(CN) – Hillary Clinton touted her vision of an “inclusive economy” during a campaign event in Florida on Wednesday, vowing to create more jobs improve access to higher education for people with disabilities.
Underscoring how pivotal a state Florida will be in the upcoming general election, Clinton interrupted her preparations for Monday’s presidential debate against Republican Donald Trump to reach out to voters with disabilities and their families.
“Together we will make our economy work for those who have disabilities,” Clinton told a small, but diverse crowd at the Frontline Outreach Family and Youth Center in Orlando. “We know we are stronger together when we have equality and dignity for all.”
The Democrat shared stories about the challenges faced by those living with disabilities, and said if elected president, she intends to “give them [the] chance” to play a bigger role in the nation’s economic life.
“We have to build an inclusive economy that brings in people with disabilities,” she said.
She also promised to “eliminate the sub-minimum wage” often paid to disabled workers, inspiring loud cheers when added “Good work deserves fair pay no matter who you are.”
Clinton reminded the crowd that as secretary of state, she appointed the first-ever advisor for international disability rights. She also said her campaign employs several individuals with disabilities.
“This is a reflection on us as a country,” Clinton said. “This really goes to the heart of us as Americans.”
Orlando is on the front line of the presidential battle for Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Located along the I-4 corridor — an area that typically decides the state’s elections — Orlando is home to a huge block of independents and minority voters. For example, Hispanics make up 23 percent of registered Democrats in Orange County, which went to Obama in 2012.
After Clinton spokes, several in the crowd said her message had won them over.
“I like that she highlighted [this issue],” said Fritz Bechette, an 18-year-old who has two cousins with autism. “We should be inclusive, so everyone has the same opportunities.”
For Beverly Yentz, the focus on disabilities was a pleasant surprise. The 60-year-old has a nephew who suffered brain damage after a car hit him while jogging.
“The cause is absolutely spot on,” the former substitute teacher said. “There definitely needs to be more education in the workforce.”
Clinton did not directly mention Republican opponent Donald Trump, though she did repeat her campaign mantra that “love trumps hate.”
Clinton also touched on the controversial police shootings of black men in Oklahoma and Charlotte, N.C. in recent days.
She said that while there is still a lot that unknown about both cases,, “we do know we have two more names to add to the list of African-Americans killed by police officers,” she said.
“I’ve spoken to many police chiefs and law enforcement officers who are as deeply concerned as I am, and deeply committed, as I am, to reform,” she said. “We are safer when communities respect police and police respect communities.”
Clinton’s message even resonated a Republican in the crowd, 19-year-old Michael Daniel.
“I just feel like what she is doing is great,” he said. “I just feel her love. I feel we need to come together. We’re all fighting against each other when we should be working together.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves as she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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