On January 21st, Sen. Kamala Harris announced that she would be running for President in 2020.Harris is the second black woman Senate in history. She serves on Homeland Security, Governmental Affairs Committee, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on the Budget and the Select Committee.
Harris served as the district attorney of San Francisco from 2004-2010, then served as attorney general of California from 2011-2017. Sen. Harris sits under the Democratic party. She is one of eight confirmed government officials who will be running for the executive branch in the coming year.
Kamala Harris declared presidency on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and on the anniversary of Shirley Chisholm’s attempt to run for presidency. Chisholm’s was a New York congressman who was the first black woman to try and run for presidency 47 years ago.
Many people are very excited for Kamala Harris and have already given her their votes. Elections are not till next year, but I think it is important to know the policies of candidates. In addition to what they have done so far in their careers. We at LAPP encourage everyone to do their research before reaching a verdict.
Harris has achieved many things in her life serving as a District Attorney and now being seated in the Senate representing the State of California. She won a $25 billion settlement for California homeowners who were affected by the foreclosure crisis. Asked pivotal questions at the Supreme Court case against Justice Brett Kavanaugh in which she sided with victim, Professor Christine Blasey Ford. In addition, she was the first black woman to be elected district attorney of San Francisco. At the position, Harris created a program for first-time drug offenders to gain a high-school diploma. This gave them a chance to possibly get jobs after they left prison.
With all the good Harris has done, she doesn’t have full support of her party. Her past as a district attorney is not the greatest. Law professor, Laura Bazelon said, “If Kamala Harris wants people who care about dismantling mass incarceration and correcting miscarriages of justice to vote for her, she needs to radically break with her past.” She has falling under probing time and time again because of her rather harsh verdicts when it came to crime.
In 2010, she was highly criticized for her role in the tampering of evidence in a case. A police laboratory technician intentionally sabotaged a piece of evidence. Harris withheld information about this. The technician handled 600 cases that were dismissed. Senator Kamala also helped orchestrate a state legislation that punished low-income families whose children were found to be habitually taunt in school. This crisis only affected low-income people of colour.
Harris also ruled against the death penalty and previously laughed at the thought of marijuana being used for medical reasons – she has now changed her mind on both issues. Another alarming issue is Harris does not support police body cameras and voted against the bill requiring her office to investigate shootings involving police officers.
In the time of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and as a black woman, this is very worrying. Activist, Phelicia Jones who previously supported Harris said, “How many people need to die before she steps in?” During her time as a DA, there was also a historic increase in prison population. Harris was often urged to embrace criminal reforms, but she either opposed or remained silent.
No one is perfect and people make mistakes. People have their own personal beliefs and values in which we must respect. Kamala Harris running for president is a superhero move for all the little black girls who have once dream of being president but felt like they could not. Nonetheless, we at LAPP do urge you to know exactly who you are voting for and why you are voting for them.
Written by Tolu Martin