Kamala Harris Is the First Woman of Color Elected Vice President

California Senator Kamala Harris speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign on January 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) (Photo by NOAH BERGER/AFP via Getty Images)

The first woman to be vice president. First Black person. First Asian American.

Joe Biden has won the U.S. presidency after reaching and crossing the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch victory, the Associated Press has announced.

Mr. Biden’s election is historic on multiple fronts. It makes Kamala Harris, the senator from California, the first woman to ever be elected vice president. Additionally, she was also the first Black woman and first of Indian descent to be nominated on a major party ticket.

In 2017, Harris became the first Black person, and Black woman, to represent California in the U.S. Senate—as well as the 10th Black American, the second Black woman, and the first South Asian American to sit in the chamber.

President Barack Obama has called her an “ideal partner” for Biden who is more than prepared for the job as “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers.”


Who is Kamala Harris?

The California Democrat was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents – an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.

After her parents’ divorce, Ms. Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist.

After spending her middle and high school years in Montreal, Harris attended Howard University, a historically Black institution in Washington, and then got her law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

She earned an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, and then began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2003, Kamala became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. Among her achievements as District Attorney, Harris started a program that gives first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school diploma and find employment.

She served as the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017, becoming the first woman, first African American and first Asian American to serve as California’s attorney general. She refers to herself as a “progressive prosecutor.”

Over the course of her nearly two terms in office, Kamala won a $25-billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California’s landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians, and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs, and human beings.



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