Who is Kamala Harris?

Christine Kim 

The harrowing presidential election of 2020 reached its end this past Saturday. Joe Biden declared victory over Donald Trump with 273 electoral votes. 

However, perhaps there is a person who is garnering more attention than the President-elect himself. Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has been standing in the spotlight for the last couple of months leading up to the election. 

Kamala Harris has broken through numerous barriers. She is the first woman to become the Vice President of the United States, as well as the first Black and South Asian vice president. It is evident that her victory is extremely significant and impactful. 

However, Harris was a somewhat unfamiliar face to many. Although she has had many defining moments during her career, it seems to be that there is not much known about our next Vice President. 

Who is Kamala Harris?

Kamala Harris was born as Kamala Devi Harris in Oakland, California in 1964. Her father, Donald Harris, is a Jamaican-born professor who taught at Stanford University. Her mother Shyamala Gopalan, the daughter of an Indian diplomat, was a cancer researcher. Maya Harris, Kamala Harris’s younger sister, served as a lawyer and a public policy advocate.  

Kamala Harris studied political science and economics at Howard University, and earned a law degree from Hastings College. After completing school, she began her first career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. 

Harris eventually became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco in 2003. From there, she slowly made her way up in the ranks. 

In 2010, Kamala Harris became the first woman and first African-American attorney general of California. She showed political independence during her years in office. Harris overturned Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, in 2013. During her term, she protected the Affordable Care Act and prosecuted numerous gangs. 

Kamala Harris became the second African-American and first South Asian senator in 2016. She began to serve on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee in 2017. 

Harris became known in that same year for her questioning of former attorney Jeff Sessions on the Russia investigation. She gained recognition once again for her similar strategy of questioning during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 2018. 

She announced she would be running for president in the 2020 election. She gained attention during the Democratic Debate, when she confronted Biden on his stance on busing in the 1970s. Although her support increased, it did not last long. She eventually dropped out of the race in December of 2019. 

However, she remained a notable figure with a strong reputation in the media. Harris became a leading advocate for social reform following George Floyd’s murder in May. 

Kamala Harris was chosen by Joe Biden to become his running mate in August 2020. 

Finally, on November 7, she became the Vice President-elect. 

Kamala Harris is a woman with a strong background and policies. Although she has had her own controversies throughout her career, she is nonetheless an influential person in politics. It is clear that she will be watched closely during her term as Vice President of the United States. 

Published November 7, 2020