Aside from the historic voters’ turnout that catapulted Democratic bet, Joe Biden, as the 46th President of the United States, the 2020 Election also made another history when California’s Kamala Harris became the first-ever female vice president in history. She was also the first African-American, Indo-American, and Asian-American to hold the country’s second-highest position.
Harris, born on October 20, 1964, represented California in the US Senate since 2016. She was part of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on the Budget.
Before becoming a Senator, Harris also made a name for herself when she became the first female, the first person of color, and the first person with multiple cultural backgrounds to become the Attorney General of California in 2010. She was also the first person of color who hold the position of District Attorney of San Francisco in 2004.
One of the key achievements that Harris had under her belt was when she worked with other state attorneys general when they brokered a $25 billion settlement deal that affected the whole country with the five largest mortgage companies in the US due to the inappropriate foreclosure practices during the housing market crash era. She backed out of the previous settlement negotiations and claimed that the banks are not giving enough money to California’s homeowners. She also mentioned that these banks asked for more stringent legal protection. In the end, California got a better settlement, where $18.4 billion was awarded to California homeowners for mortgage relief. There was also an additional $2 billion refinance assistance for people who lost their residential properties due to foreclosure.
Harris also chose not to defend Proposition 8, or the 2008 ballot measure proposed by several California voters to ban same-sex marriage.
While working in the US Senate, Harris got the public’s interest when conducting a focused questioning during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Before the presidential campaign started, Harris was considered a top choice to become the frontrunner of the Democratic Party for the 2020 Presidential Election. She officially announced her candidacy to become the next President of the country in January 2019 but withdrew her nomination in December of the same year due to a lack of funds. She endorses former vice president Biden in March 2020. In August, Biden announced that he chose Harris as his running mate against reelectionist Mike Pence.
Harris, married to Douglas Emhoff since August 2016, was born in Oakland, California. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a biologist hailed from Tamil Nadu, India, while her father, Donald J. Harris, originated from Jamaica.
During her first speech as the country’s upcoming vice-president, she reinstated her belief that she may be the first woman who got elected in the position, but she believes that she will not be the last. She also continuously encourages all little girls watching her victory that the US is a country full of possibilities.
She and president-elect Biden will assume office on January 20, 2021.