Sen. Kamala Harris breaks ground as new V.P.


Kamila Harris will assume the role of vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021. She will be the first female-African-Indian-American to hold this office. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Vincent Medina

In January 2021, Kamala Harris will become the first Female-African-Indian-American to hold the office of Vice President of the United States.

Harris announced she was running for president in 2020 and was seen as a strong contender. She had a confrontational exchange with former Vice President Joe Biden during a debate over race-related issues and his past positions.

Despite her increased support among voters, she lost the primary in December.

Harris continued to campaign for social justice reforms in response to the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

After becoming the presumptive nominee for president, Joe Biden chose Harris as his running mate. This presumptively appealed to minority demographics, with a boost from her fight for social justice reform.

Kamala Harris was born to two minority parents in Oakland, California in 1964.

Her father was Jamaican and taught at Stanford University. Her mother was Indian and was a cancer researcher.

Harris studied political science and economics at Howard University, a historically Black university, then went on to earn her law degree from Hastings College.

She became the Deputy District Attorney of Oakland in 1990, and quickly earned a reputation for her formidability. She prosecuted cases such as gang violence, drug trafficking and sexual abuse.

Harris became district attorney in 2004.

She narrowly won Attorney General of California in 2010, being elected by less than one percent. This made her the first female and African American to hold the position.

During her tenure she showed perseverance by rejecting the Obama administration’s pressure to settle a lawsuit against mortgage lenders for unfair practices. After pressing the case, she won five times higher than their original offer.

Harris choose not to defend Prop 8 in 2008, which would have banned same-sex marriage. Her choice helped to make gay marriage legal in 2013.

Her speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention earned her national popularity.

She ran for Senate in 2015, after the retirement of Barbara Boxer.

While on the campaign, she called for immigration and justice reform, as well as increasing the minimum wage and strongly advocated for women’s reproductive rights. Harris won the seat in 2016.

Harris served on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee.

She earned a new reputation for her prosecutorial style of questioning during Senate hearings. This drew criticism and interruptions from Republican members of the committees.

She notably drew attention for her questioning of then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he testified on Russian interference in the 2016 election.