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Who is Kamala Harris? By Raven Gillus

Kamala Harris was selected as Joe Biden’s running mate for the 2020 Presidential race,

making Harris the first woman of color on a major party ticket. If elected in

November, she will make history again as the first African-American, first Asian-

American and the first woman vice president in the United States. This speaks to what

could come of the aspirations of future generations of women, as we continue to make

our voices heard and make history just as our foremothers did.

China Cochran, Democratic representative of District 3 in Detroit, Michigan, met with Harris at a campaign event in 2019. Cochran said, “I think it’s important for us to look at that and see other young women of color realize that they can go after their dreams and really make change in our world.”

So, who is Kamala Harris?

She has many firsts under her belt. Harris was the first black person and woman to become district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general of California. Also, she was the first black senator to be elected in California, in 2016.

Harris was born in Oakland, CA on October 20, 1964. She is the daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother. Harris attended Howard University, where she was very active in campus politics and became a member of a black sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha).

She ran in the 2020 Presidential election as a Democrat on issues such as criminal justice reform and racial justice legislation. She has been supported by democratic political figures and many voters in the party, while some progressives have concerns about her prosecuting record.

Harris has expressed that her heritage and experiences allow her to relate to and speak up for those who have been marginalized.

Kamala Harris says, “I believe our country wants and needs some leadership that provides a vision of the country in which everyone could see themselves.”

Women in Politics

Harris is a part of the rise of women in U.S. politics. A record number of women became candidates this year. A running tally of candidates compiled by Rutgers University researchers indicates, more women are running for the US House in 2020 than at any point in American history.

According to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), in 2020, 583 women are candidates for the U.S. House, a 22.5% increase from the record set two years ago.

Just two years before, there was also a great increase of women in Congress. It introduced “The Squad”, which includes Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, and Rashida Tlaib. They are all women in the left wing of the Democratic party elected into the House of Representatives.

The Squad and so many other women like Kamala Harris have represented the growing diversity, the new generation of leadership, and the advocacy of progressive policies in U.S. politics.

Despite breaking records, women remain underrepresented among all candidates for elected office in 2020.

Kamala Harris’s motto that originated from her mother states, “You may be the first, but make sure you’re not the last.”

Voting Resources

Your politics are unique to you. Whether those views are in support of Harris’s politics or not. It’s important to make sure you vote in your best interest on local and national levels.

How to register to vote:

https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

Absentee and early voting information:

https://www.usa.gov/absentee-voting

View list of candidates that will be on your ballot:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

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