The vice-presidential debate yesterday shed some light on Kamala Harris and her stances on important political issues. As we continue to get to know Harris as a candidate for vice president, here are some facts about her background and her perspectives.
Harris was born in Oakland, California, where she lived for much of her childhood — though she spent many of her teenage years in Quebec, Canada. Harris attended Howard University for her undergraduate studies and then went to the University of California, Hastings for law school, where she graduated with her Juris Doctor.
Harris was first hired as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California. She then became an assistant district attorney of San Francisco, and was elected District Attorney of San Francisco in 2002. She became Attorney General in 2010 and a Senator for California in 2016, becoming the first Black and Indian-American woman Senator for her state.
During her career, Harris has won multiple major cases, including one against banks in California that won $20 billion for homeowners, as well as one in which she represented students and veterans that were being taken advantage of by a company, where she won a $1.1 billion settlement.
Now, as a candidate for vice president in Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, let’s look at Harris’ stances on major issues.
In the Senate, Harris is on two important committees. One is the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where she focuses on homeland security and its threats. The other is the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which focuses on government involvement in emergencies, including COVID-19.
In her time in the Senate, Harris has supported increasing the minimum wage, legal rights of immigrants, protecting healthcare (such as Obamacare), climate change protections and preserving the middle class.
One of her key positions in the debate last night was regarding her condemnation for the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. Harris also spoke about the importance of transparency for a president, which is what she and Biden will emphasize if they are elected.
In addition, Harris expressed concerns over Trump’s tax returns when the topic was raised in the debate, and again spoke about the importance of transparency.
“Because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the president's decisions, and is he making those decisions on the best interests of the American people — of you — or self-interest,” Harris said.
Harris is also a politician who believes that women’s rights are important, and has spoken about her stance on a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body in the debate.
“I will always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body, it should be her decision and not that of Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence,” Harris said.
Throughout their campaign, Harris and Biden have presented a united front in which they are equally supportive of the other’s position and share the same perspectives on the current most major issues.
In a joint interview, Biden was asked about any potential differences between him and Senator Harris, and Biden spoke about his larger goals with Harris.
“I don't think we have any disagreement on the basic question of what we have to do, as a nation, and, and it's always been more tactic than it has been about a fundamental difference,” Biden said.
It’s clear that if elected, Harris will be an active Vice President. She has shown her passion for politics, which will continue if she and Biden are elected.
Of course, only November’s election will tell where Harris’ career will head next, so it’s important to understand her beliefs as she and Biden move along in their campaign.