Over 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.
Getting to Know Sen. Kamala Harris
Can you imagine a woman of color as President of the United States?
Can you imagine a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. as President of the United States?
Can you imagine a graduate of Howard University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), taking over the Oval Office?
Well, one does not have to imagine it because Sen. Kamala Harris has a strong chance of accomplishing that monumental feat in November 2020.
And after Harris’ performance at last week’s Democratic presidential debate, and her epic takedown of former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on school busing, the senator from California might have vaulted herself to the top of the list to take on President Donald Trump next year.
Like Sen. Cory Booker (New Jersey) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Harris refuses to take money from super PACs to fund her presidential campaign, instead relying on the donations of everyday Americans, even as little as $5.
As a United States senator, Harris has served on various committees including the Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Budget.
Harris has sponsored or co-sponsored several initiatives while serving on the U.S. Senate including tax cuts for the middle class, raising the minimum wage to $15, addressing the high cost of rent, making college tuition free of charge for many Americans, protecting the legal rights of undocumented immigrants and refugees and expanding adequate health care by implementing such things as Medicare for all.
Even before ascending to the U.S. Senate, Harris made a name for herself by becoming the first woman to serve as California’s attorney general.
However, her record as attorney general has given some African-American voters pause because of the aggressive policies she used to lock up people.
Nevertheless, as attorney general Harris did often become the voice of the voiceless in California by taking down gangs that preyed on women and children.
Harris prosecuted transnational gangs that exploited women and children.
She also took down many gangs that trafficked illegal drugs and led comprehensive research into human trafficking and the impact of transnational gangs.
Harris also won big by holding big corporations accountable, earning legal settlements and defending the consumer rights of many Californians.
She also took on Wall Street banks and won $20 billion for homeowners who found themselves in danger of losing their homes during the tumultuous Great Recession.
Additionally, she helped pass one of the strongest anti-foreclosure laws, which resulted in thousands of families staying in their homes.
On the healthcare front, Harris fought to require for-profit companies to provide their employees with health coverage for contraceptives and health coverage that protects a woman’s reproductive rights.
With the cost of higher education constantly rising and many college graduates struggling to pay off high interest student loans, Harris has made free college tuition a highlight of her 2020 presidential platform.
As California attorney general, Harris successfully sued for-profit colleges that she discovered had scammed students and veterans.
Her work on education also extends to the K-12 level.
The Howard University graduate established California’s Bureau of Children’s Justice while also fighting to reduce truancy amongst elementary school students.
However, Harris’ record as California’s attorney general does not come without controversy.
Throughout her tenure as A.G., Harris constantly fought to uphold wrongful convictions even when misconduct led to their arrest and imprisonment.
In such cases, misconduct included evidence tampering, false testimony and information suppression.
One case included Harris intentionally withholding information about a laboratory technician intentionally sabotaging Harris’ work and stealing drugs from the lab.
Even though Harris and her team knew about the misconduct, they did nothing to alert defense attorneys.
A judge reprimanded Harris for her action, or lack of action.
California dismissed more than 600 cases in which the discredited lab worker worked as a result of the controversy.
Harris pushed for a law in which parents who had children constantly absent from school could face prosecution even though many said such a law would more negatively affect minorities.
Despite her checkered history on handling criminal defendants, Harris has spoken out against the double standard in America’s criminal justice system.
In her memoir entitled “The Truth We Hold: An American Journey,” Harris wrote, “America has a deep and dark history of people using the power of the prosecutor as an instrument of injustice…I know this history well—of innocent men framed, of charges brought against people without sufficient evidence, of prosecutors hiding information that would exonerate defendants, of the disproportionate application of the law.”
Harris catapulted in the polls after her performance at the Democratic presidential debate last week.
A Quinnipiac University poll now has ranked Harris in second place behind Biden in a poll of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters.
The poll has Biden with 22 percent of the vote and Harris with 20 percent.
The margin of error makes the poll a virtual tie between Biden and Harris.
The former vice president has seen his lead in the polls slip as a result of his controversial stance on racial issues from decades ago.
Harris spoke out vehemently against Biden’s disapproval of school busing in the 1970s because as a student Harris changed schools because of busing.
Many Democratic candidates like Booker took to social media to blast Biden’s position on federally mandated busing because as many said the federal government had to get involved with integration matters because state and local governments often dragged their feet on integration.
A lack of diversity in local schools is still a problem for many school districts across the country.
However, Harris now says that she does not support federally mandated busing.
But if local districts believe busing can help their diversity problem, then the presidential candidate supports busing from a local perspective.