Kamala Harris makes California history

Nov 09, 2020 Travel News

Kamala Harris makes California history

Hello.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected President of the United States.

Its deputy chairman will be Senator Kamala Harris.

Her rise to the highest office in the country ever held by a woman was marked by historic milestones: the first black woman to become a prosecutor in San Francisco, then California, the second black woman to become a senator.

Now, not only will she be the first female vice president, but she will also be the first black woman, the first South American woman and the first immigrant daughter to hold the post.

In her Saturday night speech, she drew a direct line from her mother, Dr Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who arrived in the United States at the age of 19, through her own career and to generations of women to the future.

“She might not have quite imagined this moment,” Ms Harris said of her mother. “But she believed so deeply in an America where a time like this is possible, and so I think of her and the generations of women, black, Asian, white, Latin, Native American women – who throughout history of our nation have led the way at this time tonight.

There is another historical distinction which in some ways sums up all of the above: Ms. Harris is a Californian.

For many Californians, Ms. Harris’s comfortable acceptance of her multicultural upbringing and decidedly West Coast vibe has felt familiar.

“She brings a Californian sensibility, you know: blazers with the Chucks,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor of political science at the University of California at Riverside, told me. “I think it will be a breath of fresh air in DC”

On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom, in addition to describing Ms. Harris, another politician and friend from San Francisco, as “a walking and intelligent incarnation of the California Dream,” tweeted a celebration video from her dancing in the rain to the soundtrack of a popular song on TikTok that says, “I’m sorry for drippin ‘, but drip, that’s what I do.” In the video, Ms Harris sported her signature jumpsuit.

His occasional use of the Tamil word “chittis” to refer to his aunts in his nomination acceptance speech was notable in large part because he was on stage at the Democratic National Convention.

“I am Tamil myself and it resonates with people who use this word as part of the way they talk about their family,” said Mr Ramakrishnan. “But things like that, immigrants in general can relate to – even if you don’t understand the word.”

Ms. Harris ‘long career in the Golden State also means that for Californians in particular, her status as a barrier-breaking politician is only part of a complex legacy as a former San’ top cop. Francisco and the State.

And while representation can be powerful, as we have seen repeatedly during the presidential race, that’s not all.

Diana Gutierrez, 26, who joined a group marching through the city center at a rally in Pershing Square on Saturday morning, said she was undocumented in 2016 when President Trump was elected; she came from Peru with her family in 2002 as a young child.

She and Cori Bratby-Rudd, 26, said they hadn’t been dating for a long time when they decided to tie the knot four years ago, in part because they feared Ms Gutierrez might be deported.

But a Biden victory brought tremendous relief. Ms. Harris’ rise was a big factor.

“I can’t even explain it,” she said, “for there to be a black vice president with the ability to speak on behalf of immigrants. “

Ms Bratby-Rudd added: “We are delighted.”

Shanyn Stokes, 28, said: “I think she’s doing her best. I believe his heart is in the right place.

Ms Stokes, who is black, said Ms Harris’s victory was an encouraging sign that Americans increasingly see women – and black women in particular – as capable of any job than a white man. could do.

Now Ms Stokes said: “I have a lot of hope to see what she does.”


Read more:

  • Read the full story at Ms. Harris’ Rise to Vice-President. [The New York Times]

  • A crowd danced in the streets outside Ms Harris’ childhood home in Berkeley. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Mrs Harris’ ancestral town in South India also rejoiced in his victory, but across the country Indians wondered how things would change under a Biden-Harris administration. [The New York Times]

If you missed it:

  • Find out what a California Vice President Means For The State. [The New York Times]

  • Ms. Harris has spoken out about police misconduct issues, but she struggled to reconcile his calls for reform with his record as California’s “best cop”. Here’s a look at how it played out. [The New York Times]

  • Read a more in-depth dive how Ms. Harris broke the California “curse”. [New York Times Opinion]

  • Hear Ms Harris talk about growing up with Indian and Jamaican roots in Northern California on the Asian Enough podcast. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • What’s in a name? For Kamala Harris, like many other Americans, it’s a way of expressing her identity. [NBC News]

  • Find out how her parents found a home, and each other, in a black study group in Berkeley. [The New York Times]

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


  • George Gascón, former San Francisco attorney who introduced himself as a progressive reformer, will become Los Angeles attorney. District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded Friday. [The Los Angeles Times]

Learn more about fierce combat. [The New York Times]

  • Todd Gloria, who will be the next mayor of San Diego, will be the first person of color to hold the position, as well as the first openly gay man. He also enters the office with a new power of mayor. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

  • Former Republican MP Darrell Issa defeated Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat, for the San Diego area seat formerly occupied by Duncan Hunter. [The New York Times]

Here is a guide to the races we’ve watched in the Golden State. [The New York Times]

And see all of California’s results, including how each county voted in the presidential race. [The New York Times]


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.