Who is Kamala Harris?

Now that Kamala Harris has announced her 2020 bid to be our next President of the United States, Who is she?

Kamala was born to accomplished immigrant parents in Oakland California  Shyamala Gopalan , a native of southern India and Donald Harris a native of Jamaica, who met while  pursing doctorates  at University of California, Berkeley.  Harris completed her undergraduted degree at Howard University with a double major in economics and Political Science She was part of the debate team and a member of  Alpha Kappa Alpha. Harris said once , “The thing that Howard taught me is that you can do any collection of things, and not one thing to the exclusion of the other. You could be homecoming queen and valedictorian. There are no false choices at Howard.” While attending Howard she served as a press aide at the Federal Trade Commission and interning in her hometown state of California for senator Alan Cranston, after graduating Howard she begin attending the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. 

In 1990, Harris served as a prosecutor in the state of California. She specialized in child sex abuse trials and domestic violence cases, using her power as a prosecutor against those who hurt the vulnerable. She told The New York Times in 2016, “When I was prosecuting child molestation cases, I will tell you, I was as close to a vigilante as you can get.” In 1998, Harris moved to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, where she headed the career criminals unit, then transferred to the City Attorney’s office, where she led the Family and Children Services division.  In 2003, she ran for the office of San Francisco’s District Attorney, winning the election.  As the first-ever female and African – American  DA in San Francisco, she assisted in developing  a program with the Department of Public Health to help emergency rooms spot evidence of child sexual abuse, and she co-founded the Coalition to End the Exploitation of Kids. She pushed for legislation to strengthen laws on the sexual exploitation.

In 2010, Harris ran for Attorney General of California, winning the election to become the state’s first woman, first African-American, and first person of South Asian descent to hold the office. One of her groundbreaking cases was Kevin Bollaert a San Diego man, , for operating a pair of websites: one inviting people to post “revenge porn” and another that charged those whose photos had been posted to have them removed. In 2015, Bollaert was found guilty on 21 counts of identity theft and six of extortion, and sentenced to 18 years in prison, marking the first time a “revenge porn” site operator had been convicted in California.  In 2016 she became California’s  third female  U.S Senator.

Tara Staples

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