Senator from California, Kamala Harris, is officially the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American person to be elected vice president of the United States. She has made history, and no one can’t deny that. No woman has ever served as vice president or president in the United States. Her election to the office — and the representation she brings — is significant for many voters, especially women and people of color. After a surprising and heartbreaking race back in 2016, it seemed hard to believe that we will see a woman to be elected as a President or Vice President any time soon. But, luckily, we were wrong.
She and incoming President-Elect Joe Biden have won their bid against President Donald Trump. It seems that what looked like a never-ending nightmare for many Americans finally came to an end. I have respect for President-Elect, Joe Biden, and I believe he will work on behalf of all Americans. However, I can’t wait to see the change that Harris will hopefully bring.
Many so-called progressives and members of the left criticized her nomination, given her record on criminal justice and positions she took on wrongful convictions and independent investigations of police shootings when she served as attorney general of California. But her record shows the results she was able to deliver during her time serving as Senator and Attorney General.
Vice President-Elect Harris spent much of her career as a prosecutor before getting elected to the Senate in 2016; she also ran for the presidency before she was named Biden’s running mate. Policies that Harris has led as a senator have included the LIFT Act, which would provide monthly cash payments to many middle-class households, and the Justice in Policing Act, a sweeping police reform bill that would limit the legal protections that law enforcement officers currently have.
Black Lives Matter movements showed that racism still runs deep within American society. Because of her experience as a prosecutor and attorney general, Harris is uniquely qualified to take on the interconnectedness of issues such as race, education, economic opportunity, and the criminal justice system. As vice president, she will have the opportunity to continue the work she did as a U.S. senator, dismantling structural racism and bias in all aspects of American society and increasing educational and economic opportunity for all.
However, what gives me hope the most is the fact that Harris represents the future of the Democratic party. Harris’ identity as a female, mixed-race, raised by a divorced woman, and first-generation American merges with the identity of the new Democratic Party, which makes her more attuned to the policy issues affecting people in the party. Although they put up an old white male pol on top this time, the election returns reflect a party that is heavily female, racially diverse, younger, and concentrated in the urban centers of American growth and innovation. When she ran on her own, she had a platform: sponsoring the Green New Deal, raising the corporate tax rate to 35%, six months of paid family leave, policies that are much more compatible with the new Democratic identity than Biden’s platform.
Vice President-Elect has an opportunity, a chance to change a course not only of her party but of the entire country. Female perspective and input on policies created within the most powerful office in the world should bring another dimension in the problem-solving process but most importantly, Harris will be a perpetual reminder to Biden’s administration and America not to neglect the forgotten communities of American society.
Time will show what she will bring, and for now, we can only hope she will stay determined, persistent, and resilient to pave the way for millions of young people, people of color, and women across America and the world.