Four years ago, dreams of shattering glass ceilings by electing our first woman as president danced through so many of our heads. After Hillary Clinton received nearly three million more popular votes, the Electoral College defeat was crushing, but many of us refused to let Clinton’s progress simply slip away. The day after the 2017 Inauguration, women across the country and eventually the world began marching. In 2020 many of us felt disappointed once again when a woman did not win the Democratic presidential nomination. But as soon as Joe Biden clinched the race, he promised to select a woman as his vice president. On August 11, he announced that Kamala Harris was his choice to run by his side for the office of the vice president.
Harris has a lifetime of firsts, starting with being a first-generation American. Talent and hard work got her elected as the first Black woman to be San Francisco’s district attorney (2004–2010). From 2011 to 2017 she was the first woman, first Black, and first Asian American to serve as California’s attorney general. She is the first woman of color to be on a major party’s national ticket, and if elected, she will be the first woman to serve as vice president. And her husband, Doug Emhoff, will be the first Jew with an “–OTUS” in his title.
Harris became a U.S. senator representing the state of California in 2016. She serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget. While in the Senate, Harris drew attention for her focused questioning during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She has told President Trump to listen to “scientists and experts” regarding the coronavirus pandemic. She has taken a stand against systemic racism within police departments by meeting with Jacob Blake’s family in Wisconsin and talking with NBC News about the disturbing nature of the shooting, concluding: “[B]ased on what I’ve seen it looks like the officer should be charged.”
Harris has an impressive resume to present to the American voter, but it is a vote for the Biden/Harris ticket that will ultimately allow her to continue blazing new trails. For example, their administration will be one based on science to solve our most pressing problems, like COVID and climate change. As the country’s leaders, they will ensure that all Americans benefit from the success of our society by initiating fairer economic values and expanding access to health care.
A Biden-Harris administration will appoint women to positions of power. We will see capable, intelligent women at every level of government, from the Cabinet on down, and Kamala Harris will be a mentor to each of them. She is a role model who exudes leadership and commands respect for the hard work she has put in throughout her career. Nothing less will be expected of the members of their administration, and Harris will inspire a new generation of women by example.
As vice president, Kamala Harris will play a pivotal role as Joe Biden’s partner, representing our country while dealing with international media and foreign heads of state, and focusing on relationships that will restore faith in America. She will be tested but nonetheless will make America proud to once again present competency on the international level.
A vote for the Biden ticket is a vote for our first Black–Asian American woman to serve as vice president. It is a vote for giving women more power and protecting women’s rights. But most importantly, it’s a vote to put a woman one step closer to becoming elected president and choosing her own vice president. And as both Biden and Harris have said many times on the campaign trail, a Biden-Harris presidency will not be for blue Americans or red Americans, it will be for all Americans. It will be for immigrants, for our allies, and for democracy abroad. This is the way America has always been, should always be, but far better.
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