By Elianna Alcantar Vega
Kamala’s runway to the Number One Observatory Circle is already painted, but her journey wasn’t easy. Kamala is a profound woman with so many accomplishments, as a daughter of immigrant parents, she never fails to succeed in the “impossible.”
Kamala Devi Harris’ story begins in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1964. She was born to Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from India and Donald Harris, an economist from Jamaica. At a very young age, Kamala began attending protests because her parents shared a passion for civil rights movements. Her mother would attend protests with Kamala in a stroller.
Her grandparents also had a huge impact on what soon be known as her passion for politics, because her grandfather was a respected high-ranking government official who fought for Indian Independence. Her grandmother was an activist who traveled to India to teach women about birth control. At the age of 13, with the influence of Kamala’ parents and her grandparents, Kamala and her younger sister Maya led a very successful demonstration in front of their apartment building in protest of a policy that banned children from playing on the lawn area.
Out of high school, Kamala attended Howard University which is known to be a historically Black College in Washington, D.C. There, Kamala got her B.A. in economics and political science then went on to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, graduating in 1989. In 1990, when Kamala passed her bar exam, she became deputy district attorney for Alameda County. Kamala served in this position from 1990 to 1998 and then was named managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. While in this position she cracked down on teenage prostitution in the city and began to focus on the victims. In 2003, Kamala Harris decided to run for district attorney in San Francisco against her former boss, Terence Hallinan. She was elected to serve as the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco’s history in a runoff, and also became the first Black and South Asian American woman in California to be elected district attorney, serving from 2004 to 2011. Kamala Harris also served as Attorney General of California for 5 years, terming from 2011-2016. Additionally, Kamala also won her U.S. Senate race in 2016, defeating her fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez and began serving as a US Senator.
On January 21, 2019, Kamala announced that she will be running for presidency via a video post on her social media platforms but she ended her presidential campaign on December 3, 2019, a month before the Iowa caucuses, after having low poll numbers, not realizing her pulling out of the presidential campaign would eventually lead her back into the race.
On August 11, 2020, Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate. This announcement made her the first Black and South Asian American woman to run on a major political party’s presidential ticket. After months of campaigning from state to state, hours of phone banking, restless nights, and painful anticipation, on November 7, 2020–days after the election–Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the presidential campaign, making Kamala Harris America’s first female, first Black and first South Asian Vice President. Madam Vice President-Elected Kamala Harris along with Joe Biden will be on their way to Washington D.C., ready to “build back better.”
First African American, first woman and first Asian-American to become attorney general of California. First South Asian-American attorney general in the nation. First Indian-American and second African-American woman to serve as a senator. First female Black and South Asian-American Vice President of the United States of America. Madam Vice-President Elected, Kamala Harris is a phenomenal woman, who hasn’t let anyone dictate her life. Being a person of color and a product of immigrants it can be extremely hard to be heard or seen but that hasn’t been a problem for Kamala, as she leads the pathway for women of all races and ethnicities to believe in the impossible.
“But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”