Katherine Pecora, Staff Writer
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris announced her presidential bid on Monday, Jan. 21. Harris is the first African-American woman to enter the 2020 race. Her announcement comes 47 years after Rep. Shirley Chisholm announced her own presidential bid. Chisholm was the first woman and the first African-American to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Stated on Harris’s campaign website: “As U.S. Senator, Kamala introduced or co-sponsored legislation to provide sweeping tax cuts for the middle class, address the high cost of rent, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, make higher education tuition-free for the vast majority of Americans, reform the cash bail system, protect the legal rights of refugees and immigrants, and expand access to affordable, quality health care with Medicare for All.”
Who is Kamala Harris? Harris was born in Oakland, Calif. to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. Harris is a Howard University and University of California’s Hastings College of the Law graduate. She visited Howard on Jan. 21, hours after announcing her run for president. After attending law school, Harris began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, then transferred to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office in 1988. In 2010, she became the first woman and African-American elected to serve as Attorney General of California. In 2016, she was elected as the second African-American woman in history to serve in the U.S. Senate. Stated on her campaign website,“As California’s Attorney General, Kamala prosecuted transnational gangs that exploited women and children and trafficked in guns and drugs. She led comprehensive studies and investigations into the impacts of transnational criminal organizations and human trafficking.”
Harris has plans to focus on criminal justice reform as a pivotal issue, propose bail reform, a $3 trillion tax plan, a tax credit for low-income renters, and a Medicare-for-all healthcare plan. Harris aims to run a campaign focused on bettering the lives of all Americans. She has been a staunch critic of Trump’s immigration policies and has gained respect from some for her tough questioning of Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. After she made her announcement on “Good Morning America,” Harris unveiled her slogan; “Kamala Harris: For the People.” “The future of our country depends on you, and millions of others, lifting our voices to fight for our American values. Let’s do this together. Let’s claim our future for ourselves, for our children and for our country,” she said in the interview.
The 2020 election is already gearing up to be vastly different from past elections. On the Democratic side, the candidates are incredibly diverse. They intend to continue discussions on issues such as income inequality, criminal justice reform, and foreign policy. Democrats such as Harris aim to capitalize on the diversity of the country in her own bid.