Kamala Harris

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Kamala Harris

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Kamala Harris is the junior Senator from California, and probable Democratic Party presidential nominee in 2020. She was formerly San Francisco District Attorney.

Kamala Harris is married to Douglas Emhoff, and is the sister of Maya Harris, and the sister-in-law of Tony West, and the niece of Sarala Gopalan.

Favorite

Sen. Kamala Harris is the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate generating the most excitement among the black political elite, according to participants at the 2017 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation policy forum in Washington.

It’s still way too soon for endorsements — none of the major potential candidates are even in the race yet and elected officials say they’re more focused on the 2018 mid-terms than the next presidential contest — but Harris, a California Democrat who is in her first year in the Senate, has emerged at the center of attention.

In interviews with more than a dozen political insiders and CBC members here, Harris’ outreach to other political leaders, her attention to issues of importance to voters of color, her perceived ferocity, and even her status as a graduate of a historically black college — Howard University — were cited as reasons she’s emerged as an early, if far from prohibitive, favorite.

"You’re hearing Kamala, and Cory’s a distant second," James Williams, director of federal relations for Wayne State University and a former longtime congressional aide, said, referring to Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.[1]

Leftist

Kamala Harris' score on a voting-record scale called the DW-Nominate ranks Harris as the second-most-liberal senator, behind only Elizabeth Warren.[2]

Background

Kamala Devi Harris (born October 20, 1964) is an American attorney, author, politician, and the current District Attorney of San Francisco. She was first elected in 2003, defeating incumbent district attorney Terence Hallinan, and was re-elected in 2007. In the 2010 election cycle, she was a candidate for California Attorney General in the 2010 California state elections.

If she managed to win, she would be the first woman and first black, as well as holding the distinction of being the first Asian-American attorney general in California and the first Indian American attorney general in the United States of America owing to her Indian descent.

Kamala Harris' mother Gopalan Shyamala immigrated to America from her native India in the early 1960s. “I came to study at UC Berkeley,” she remembers. “I never came to stay. It's the old story: I fell in love with a guy, we got married, pretty soon kids came.” The guy she married was Donald Harris, who later became a Stanford economics professor.

Says Harris “My parents met back when they were students at UC Berkeley when they were active in the civil rights movement". [3]

Kamala was born in 1964; her sister Maya arrived two years later. The maternal side of the family has a tradition of public service. Shyamala's father was a high-ranking Indian civil servant; her mother was an upper-class feminist concerned that the women who did her laundry were the victims of domestic violence.

“In Indian society we go by birth,” Shyamala explains. “We are Brahmins, that is the top caste. Please do not confuse this with class, which is only about money. For Brahmins, the bloodline is the most important. My family, named Gopalan, goes back more than 1,000 years.”

By marrying an American, Shyamala was the first person to break the ancient Gopalan bloodline. The union collapsed when Kamala was 5. (“My father is a good guy, but we are not close,” she says.) Shyamala earned a doctorate in endocrinology from Berkeley and went on to become an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer research.[4]

As a child Ms. Harris used to visit Chennai, where her grandparents lived in the 1950s. Her mother Shyamala grew up in Chennai and came to the U.S for higher studies where she met Ms. Harris’s father.[5]

Harris served as Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California from 1990 to 1998. She then became Managing Attorney of the Career C riminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. In 2000, San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne recruited Harris to join her office, where she was Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division, which oversees civil code enforcement matters.

The Los Angeles Daily Journal recognized Harris as one of the top 100 lawyers in California. Harris serves on the board of the California District Attorney's Association and is Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association.

Harris ran unopposed for re-election in 2007. She was called a front-runner in her campaign being nominated to be Attorney General of California in 2010, and on June 8, 2010, she received the Democratic nomination for California Attorney General.[6]

Education

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  • Howard U., economics B.A. 1986
  • UC Hastings, J.D. 1989

2018 State of the Union Address

Several Democrats, including Kamala Harris, brought illegal immigrants[7] to the 2018 State of the Union address:

From Vogue

Before Harris heads to the Capitol, she must first stop by her office to welcome the date she’s bringing along, a DACA recipient named Denea Joseph, who emigrated from Belize at the age of seven and grew up in South Los Angeles. (She cofounded a Facebook group called “Slay, Kamala, Slay.”) At Harris’s office, Joseph is waiting on a beige couch, wearing a graphic-print blouse, black slacks, and heels. Harris settles down next to her while an aide runs through Joseph’s lineup of media interviews. “It’s about you, but it’s not about you,” Harris says to calm her nerves. “Think of all the people who are counting on you to deliver your message.” Before they leave, Joseph asks to take a selfie with the senator. I pretend not to be listening as Joseph, fumbling with her phone, tells Harris: “You’re my Beyoncé.”[9]

National Democratic Institute

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U.S. Senator Kamala Harris gave keynote remarks at National Democratic Institute's 2017 Madeleine K. Albright Lunch on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.

NDI’s Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Project helps women break down barriers keeping them from engaging in politics, and empowers them with knowledge and skills so they can participate, compete and lead. The event honored Women Act for Living Together (WALT), this year's recipient of the Madeleine K. Albright Grant from the Central African Republic, and featured a keynote address from Senator Kamala Harris.

Kamala Harris said the speech that Madeleine Albright had befriended and mentored her from the time of her first election race.[10]

College activism

Harris attended public schools in Oakland and Montreal (where she studied art). Then in 1982 it was off to Howard University, a traditionally African-American college in Washington, D.C. She graduated in 1986 with a degree in political science and economics. During her student years, Harris organized mentor programs for minority youths, demonstrated against apartheid, and pledged a socially significant black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.[11]

Kamala Harris ran for student council, pledged a sorority, and served as chair of the economics society. This was the Reagan era, and the war on drugs and anti-apartheid movement dominated campus politics. Her college friend Sonya Lockett describes their Howard years as formative. “You saw these false narratives being shaped around poor people, African-Americans, drug users,” Lockett says. “It did affect you.” Lockett remembers Harris as a charismatic member of the debate team.

In her sophomore year of college at Howard University, Harris worked as an intern for the senior senator from California at the time, Alan Cranston.[12]

While a student at UC Hastings, Harris was president of the Black Law Students Association and advocated for greater diversity as part of the Legal Education Opportunity Program.[13]

Legal work

Back in the Bay Area, Harris earned a law degree from Hastings in 1989. She was quickly hired as an assistant district attorney for Alameda County, telling her mother that the world needs socially aware prosecutors. She specialized in child sexual abuse trials, a particularly difficult type of prosecution because juries are, Harris observes, more inclined to accept the word of an adult than a child. (Alameda District Attorney Tom Orloff recollects that Harris has “a good courtroom presence, a high success rate. She is a genuinely good person and her social values will work well in San Francisco.”)[14]

In 1998, she left the Alameda County DA's Office to work for Terence Hallinan, managing the San Francisco DA's career-criminal unit and concentrating on Three Strikes cases. She personally tried three cases, including a homicide, negotiated dozens of plea bargains, and supervised five other attorneys.

In 2000, upset by what she says was the politicization of the office, Harris and several colleagues tried to overthrow Darrell Salomon, Hallinan's chief deputy. When the coup failed, Harris abruptly quit and went to work for then­City Attorney Louise Renne, heading up the division of Renne's office that handles child abuse, domestic violence, building code enforcement, and public health matters. (Renne describes Harris as an extremely capable lawyer and a compassionate person. “She will make the best DA this city has seen in years,” says Renne.)

Harris was so angry at Hallinan that she decided to try to knock him out of office. She has been running for DA ever since — attending political events, helping out on other people's campaigns, serving on the boards of nonprofits that work with domestic violence victims. She's attended society bashes from Nob Hill to Hollywood — always striving to be seen, methodically gathering support, pushing herself as an alternative to yet another duel between two political has-beens.[15]

Coalition to End the Exploitation of Kids

Kamala Harris co-founded the Coalition to End the Exploitation of Kids, which provides legal and health services to sexually exploited children, including teenage prostitutes. Her partner in that project is Norma Hotaling, an ex-prostitute who considers youthful prostitutes to be the victims of serial rape. [16]

Willie Brown

Kamala Harris met Willie Brown in 1994 when he was speaker of the state Assembly.

According to SF Weekly;

She was 29, he was 60. Their May/December affair was the talk of the town during the year before Brown's successful 1995 bid to become mayor. But shortly after he was inaugurated, Harris dumped Brown, a notorious womanizer.

Brown appointed her to two patronage positions in state government that paid handsomely — more than $400,000 over five years. In 1994, she took a six-month leave of absence from her Alameda County job to join the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, where she served until 1998, attending two meetings a month for a $99,000 annual salary.[17]

San Francisco District Attorney campaign

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Jim Stearns was Harris' campaign mamager. David Binder was a pollster on her successful 2003 San Francisco District Attorney campaign. Her finance chairman, Mark Buell, was a major Democratic Party fund-raiser.[18]

Mentoring Lateefah Simon

In 2005, STORM affiliate Lateefah Simon went to work[19]for San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who quickly became her mentor and selected her to run Back on Track.[20]

Lateefah Simon, Kamala Harris, 2016

A high-school dropout, Lateefah Simon was working full time at Taco Bell as a teenager, had a baby at age 19 and was on probation for shoplifting before things started to turn around.

While on probation, she was referred to a nonprofit called the Center for Young Women’s Development, which provided jobs, training, classes, books and other services to girls and young women on the streets and in the criminal justice system.

Lateefah Simon became so involved and motivated by the plight of San Francisco’s struggling young women that she started going toBoard of Supervisors meetings every Tuesday to ask what the city was doing to help young women on the fringes. Her passion and intelligence caught the attention of city leaders, including then-Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Kamala Harris, who at the time was a young attorney for the city.

The center’s board was so impressed by Simon’s efforts they named her executive director when Simon was just 19 years old. She was suddenly in charge of a staff of 10 and a $750,000 annual budget.

Harris helped guide her through those years, Simon said.

“She just changed my life. She was tough as nails. She said to me, ‘You need to be excellent. … So first off, you need to go to college,’ “ Simon recalled.

Simon enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, taking classes nights and weekends while working full time at the center and raising her daughter. She eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public policy.

Meanwhile, Harris — who by then had become San Francisco’s district attorney — asked Simon to help start a program to help nonviolent, first-time, low-level drug offenders get jobs, enroll in school, attend parenting classes and otherwise improve their lives before they became embroiled in the revolving door of the criminal justice system.

“Our goal was to get people off the street. How do you do that? Turned out it was easy — you just ask them what they need,” Simon said. “Housing? A bank account? A job? Therapy? A gym membership, so you can take better care of yourself? We could help them get those things.”

Simon and her colleagues would go to court hearings and try to intercept young men and women as they met with a judge. In the one-year program, offered as an alternative to jail, offenders would take mandatory parenting classes, regular drug tests, job training workshops and other steps designed to help them “transition to a crime-free life,” Harris wrote in the Huffington Post.

If they completed the program, their felony charges would be dropped.

The program, called Back on Track, was immediately successful. Those who graduated from Back on Track had only a 10 percent recidivism rate, compared with 70 percent for those not enrolled in the program. It was also a bargain for taxpayers: The public pays about $5,000 for each participant, compared with the $50,000 or so it costs to keep a person incarcerated for a year.

The program has since been adopted in cities across the U.S., and was hailed as a model by outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Harris credited the program’s success to Simon’s energy and imagination.

“Lateefah Simon has devoted her life’s work to helping the poor, the disadvantaged, and those trapped in the cycle of our criminal justice system,” Harris said in an e-mail. “While working with me during my tenure as district attorney of San Francisco, she led my office’s work to create ‘Back on Track,’ nationally recognized program that helped divert low-level offenders away from lives of crime and toward productive futures. She is a tremendous asset to the state of California and a champion for justice, equality and dignity.”[21]

Harris endorses Simon

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Lateefah Simon November 2, 2015

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has been an invaluable mentor to me and will make an incredible U.S. Senator. Her endorsement means the world.

"Lateefah Simon has devoted her life’s work to helping the poor, the disadvantaged, and those trapped in the cycle of our criminal justice system. While working with me during my tenure as district attorney of San Francisco, she led my office’s work to create 'Back on Track,’ nationally recognized program that helped divert low-level offenders away from lives of crime and toward productive futures. She is a tremendous asset to the state of California and a champion for justice, equality and dignity.” – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

Kamala Harris stumps for Lateefah Simon

Kamala Harris hugs Lateefah Simon

From John Wildermuth SFGate November 5, 2016;

If you are unaware that California is about to elect a new U.S. senator Tuesday, you aren’t going to find out about it from state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Harris, the front-runner in the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, made a stop in San Francisco Friday to give a brief street-corner speech where she barely mentioned herself or her campaign. And she certainly didn’t talk about Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez, her challenger in the Democrats-only showdown.
Instead, Harris spoke only about the importance of the election.
Candidates up and down the ballot “are making decisions that affect our lives, like whether we can afford to get from home to work,” Harris said in front of the Embarcadero BART Station on Market Street, giving a nod to Lateefah Simon, a candidate for the BART Board of Directors.

Obama"truth squad"

Barack Obama’s campaign in California formed a “truth squad,” announced via conference call, in January 2008, to counter the attacks that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has leveled in recent weeks. On the call were squad members Bay Area Congressman George Miller, LA Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and LA County Labor Federation chief Maria Elena Durazo, now a national co-chair of the Obama campaign. Also on the squad are Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, LA Congressman Adam Schiff, state Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass, and, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

Miller, one of the top congressional Democrats as head of the House Democratic Policy Committee and chairman of the Education & Labor Committee, noted that the truth squad was formed to deal with a threat that may or may not exist any longer. “We don’t know yet,” he said. “The Clinton campaign may have learned its lesson from South Carolina,” where voters mostly rejected the Clinton tactics, as exit polls make clear. Will former President Clinton, historically popular in California, be a problem for Obama in the nation’s largest primary? “I think there is a rethink underway about what he is doing.”[22]

Employee Free Choice Act

On May 6 and 7 2009, more than 1,000 workers across the state attended vigils in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego to highlight the urgency of passing the Employee Free Choice Act. They were joined by a diverse group of interfaith leaders, community allies, economists, academics and elected officials, who came out to express their support for workers’ rights and the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Hundreds of Bay Area union members attended a 26-hour vigil at the Federal Building in San Francisco organized by the San Mateo County and San Francisco Labor Councils and California Labor Federation. The event was designed to call on Congress to pass the EFCA and urge Senator Dianne Feinstein to sign on as a co-sponsor.

Several elected officials spoke in support of the EFCA, including San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, Assembly member Fiona Ma, San Francisco Board of Supervisors members Eric Mar and David Campos and Board President David Chiu.

Noted University of California-Berkeley economist Steven Pitts highlighted the economic necessity of the Employee Free Choice Act: “Academics and economists across the country agree that the Employee Free Choice Act is critical to rebuilding our economy and restoring the American Dream,” he said. He pointed out that if EFCA was passed and more workers were given the freedom to choose union representation in the workplace, the state’s economy would benefit from their increased spending power.[23]

Asian American Action Fund

In 2010 the Asian American Action Fund endorsed Ted Lieu and Kamala Harris (dual endorsement) for California Attorney General in the June 8 California primary election.[24]

Activists from the Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) spoke at the vigil May 7. Feiyi Chen told of her experiences working for a non-union electronics manufacturer and how the CPA had helped workers get severance pay. She said that the EFCA was an important way to advance workers’ rights. “I learned that it is difficult to get justice without a union,”

"On the people's side"

According to the Communist Party USA newszine of December 6, 2010;[25]

California's new top cop, San Francisco's progressive District Attorney Kamala Harris, vowed to insure "the law of this state is on the side of the people."
In a victory press conference Nov. 30, the state attorney general-elect pledged to crack down on fraudulent mortgage lenders, cut down on the state's high prison recidivism rate, and aggressively enforce environmental and civil rights laws.

Harris pledged to help local law enforcement take on predatory mortgage lenders and to reform California's "revolving-door," overcrowded prison system.
An advocate of offender rehabilitation programs in San Francisco, Harris has promoted rehab and support services for nonviolent criminal offenders. She has only sought the three-strike sentence of 25-years-to-life in those cases of a violent or serious crime.
Harris vowed to prioritize environmental protection in the state, which has among the most advanced climate protection laws and programs in the nation.

In San Francisco, Harris created the first environmental unit in the DA's office. In the November elections she opposed failed Proposition 23, which would have suspended California's greenhouse gas emissions laws until unemployment dropped to 5.5 percent or below for a year.
Harris personally opposes the death penalty but she is committed to enforce state law, which requires the state attorney general to prosecute death-penalty appeals.
California's main law enforcement groups opposed Harris' candidacy because, as San Francisco's district attorney, she refused to seek the death sentence in the case of a San Francisco police officer killer in 2004.
However, supporters of Harris campaign, eager for a pro-people attorney general, included the California Labor Federation, the Services Employees International Union, civil liberties and rights groups and independently financed campaigns backed by the labor movement and Powerpac.org, a progressive social justice organization.
At the Nov. 30 press conference, Harris said, "one does not have to run from their convictions when they choose to run for office."

Foreclosure deal

In 2010, as the foreclosure epidemic raged, George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action, and Stephen Lerner, Service Employees International Union organizer, brought unions, community organizations and faith groups together to pressure banks and the Obama administration to do more for families losing their homes. As the New Bottom Line coalition, they mounted protests at bank headquarters around the country, generating media attention and helping Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman of New York and Kamala Harris of California successfully push for a stronger national settlement with several major banks, which resulted in more than $26 million in foreclosure relief.[26]

Obama for America, National Co-Chair

February 22, 2012, Obama for America, announced the selection of the campaign’s National Co-Chairs, a diverse group of leaders from around the country committed to re-electing President Obama. The co-chairs will serve as ambassadors for the President, advise the campaign on key issues, and help engage and mobilize voters in all 50 states.

Attorney General Kamala Harris – Attorney General of California, was on the list.[27]

Fred Ross award campaign

In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".

Endorsers of the proposal included Kamala Harris.[28]

Backing Mike Honda

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Steve Phillips May 27, 2014

Proud to join CA Attorney General Kamala Harris in standing strong with Congressman Mike Honda as he stands for reelection — with Shari Rubin-Rick, Sophia Yen and Aimee Allison at Pacific Heights Neighborhood.

PowerPAC+ connections

Kamala Harris has strong tie to Susan Sandler, Steve Phillips and their organization PowerPAC+.

Supporters since 2010

From PowerPAC+, June 03, 2014,[29]

Once named the “female Barack Obama,” Kamala ran for Attorney General of California in 2010 on a progressive platform. She openly opposes the death penalty, refusing to pursue capital punishment during her eight year tenure as San Francisco District Attorney, and as Attorney General, she said that she would review each case individually.
PowerPAC.org and PowerPAC+ have been Kamala supporters since 2010. In our efforts to support Kamala, PowerPAC.org produced a political ad outlining Kamala’s promise to protect the most vulnerable working class neighborhoods by holding California polluters accountable to their environmental crimes. In 2012, Kamala filed misdemeanor criminal charges against Chevron for violations of labor, health and safety standards that contributed to a fire at its Richmond refinery.

Sandler support

Susan Sandler is a philanthropist and political donor. She was the first and largest donor behind the independent efforts to support Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She was also the lead investor in the independent activities supporting Kamala Harris’ 2010 campaign for California Attorney General and Cory Booker’s 2013 election to the United States Senate. She is a national leader in education reform and has served as a board member of several progressive non-profit organizations including the Democracy Alliance. [30]

Kamala Harris announces 2016 U.S. Senate Bid

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Kamala Harris announces 2016 U.S. Senate Bid Posted by Aimee Allison on January 13, 2015;[31]

This Tuesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced her U.S. Senate bid to replace Senator Barbara Boxer who is retiring next year. We are thrilled at the opportunity to support a progressive that represents California and the nation.

The PowerPAC+ family has supported Kamala Harris since before she ran for statewide office in 2010, and her record in leadership has been stellar. She took on banks responsible for the mortgage crisis, she stood up for marriage equality and she supported criminal justice reform. She is the right leader for the multiracial majority.
We need her in the Senate now more than ever. Now’s our chance to get her campaign off to a strong start. Donate what you can today.
2016 starts now.

Kamala Harris for Senate campaign kickoff event

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Steve Phillips April 1, 2015.

At kickoff event for California's next United States Senator, Kamala Harris! — with Eleni TK, Aimee Allison, Amy Chen, Michael Tubbs and Jill Habig at Delancey Street Foundation.

PowerPAC+ supported Elected and Appointed Leadership

The list of PowerPAC+ leaders is growing.

Here are the social justice champions we have helped elect.

Victory

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PowerPAC+ 2016 Endorsements

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Phillips influence

Steven Phillips is co-founder of PowerPAC+, a social justice organization dedicated to building a multiracial political coalition. PowerPAC+ conducted the largest independent voter mobilization efforts backing Barack Obama, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.[33]

Booker on Harris

Most of the names who appear on the short list alongside Kamala Harris declined to discuss 2020 with Zoe Ghertner, with the notable exception of Senator Cory Booker. “If she did run, what a gift to the country that would be,” he says. “When have you seen someone with her qualifications, her competency, her natural gifts as a leader—and who happens to be a black, Asian, biracial woman?” He adds, “I told her this before she got here: Should she choose to become a senator, she would immediately be on the short list for president or vice president for the next 20 years.”[34]

Casher appointment

In 2013, PowerPAC+ board member Eric Casher was appointed by Attorney General Kamala Harris to serve a four-year term as Commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The FPPC enforces political campaign, lobbying and conflict of interest laws. Eric’s FPPC experience contributes to the expertise he provides to clients in matters relating to governance, statutory powers, Political Reform Act, California Public Records Acts, Brown Act and other conflict of interest laws. .[35]

Collective PAC

Launched in August of 2016, the Collective PAC has helped 18 candidates win primary and/or general elections at the local, state and federal level thus far, including U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, U.S. Representatives Val Demings, Lisa Blunt Rochester and Donald McEachin, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, Vi Lyles of Charlotte, Yvette Simpson of Cincinnati and Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor in Virginia.[36]

Endorsing Stacey Abrams

Kamala Harris, May 14 2018;

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I’m proud to support Stacey Abrams’s campaign for Governor of Georgia. Stacey is a fearless fighter running to become the first Black woman elected governor in American history, and she’s dedicated her entire career to advocating for the voiceless and vulnerable in Georgia. She’s never backed down from the tough fights, and she believes the potential of her state and our country is limitless if we all work together to uplift every family. Find out how you can help Stacey’s campaign here: staceyabrams.com

21st Century Democrats

21st Century Democrats endorsed Kamala Harris for Senator from California, Patty Murray, Senator Washington, Russ Feingold Senator Wisconsin, Ted Strickland, Senator Ohio, and Steve Bullock, Governor Montana.[37]

Senator Elizabeth Warren worked with Harris on reforms following the housing market crisis in 2008.
“I saw up close and personal that she is tough, she is principled, and she fights hard. We need more leaders in Washington who are willing to fight for a level playing field for working families,” Warren said in her endorsement of Harris for the U.S. Senate.

Warren praised Harris for demanding real accountability from lenders and for pulling out of the National Mortgage Settlement, instead securing $20 billion in relief for struggling California homeowners.

Harris also championed a new California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which Warren calls one of the most comprehensive sets of foreclosure reform laws in the country.
As the California attorney general, Harris also focused on fighting to reduce elementary school truancy as part of her crime prevention initiatives, preserving the state’s natural resources and ensuring marriage equality for all.

Passing of Rose Pak

Press Release Attorney General Kamala Harris Issues Statement on Passing of Rose Pak.

Monday, September 19, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement on the death of Rose Pak:

“San Francisco has lost a fearless advocate of the Chinese community with the passing of Rose Pak. She led an unwavering fight that stretched four decades to secure housing and vital services for poor and vulnerable immigrants. Rose never backed away from speaking truth to power, and she was a San Francisco icon. Her spirit will live on in the countless lives she touched and the many she inspired to continue to serve vulnerable communities.” [38]

Community Coalition connection

Kamala Harris, August 30, 2016 ·

The young people participating in our criminal justice reform roundtable tell me that we must work on building relationships between communities and law enforcement, and that all of us are accountable when it comes to making our criminal justice system more fair and effective. I agree wholeheartedly! — at Community Coalition.

Presidential run?

Despite swirling speculation, California's U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris said she’s not giving “any consideration” to running for president in 2020.

Harris was appearing at the annual Code Conference hosted by the tech news site Recode in Rancho Palos Verdes on May 2017 when site co-founder Kara Swisher asked if she had eyes on the White House.

“I’m not giving that any consideration. I’ve got to stay focused,” said Harris, a Democrat who was elected to the Senate in November after serving as California's attorney general. After she won the seat vacated by former Sen. Barbara Boxer, Harris quickly gained a reputation as a potential presidential candidate in 2020.

Harris took questions from Swisher alongside Laurene Powell Jobs, a philanthropist and the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Though she brushed off the presidential rumors, Harris urged Democrats to try harder to make convincing arguments on issues such as climate change instead of just criticizing those who disagree with them.

She told the audience at the posh Terranea Resort where the conference is being held that it would be a mistake to dismiss the concerns of Americans who supported Trump in the November election. She said the issues that concern them — good jobs and the future of their families — are the concerns of all working-class Americans.

“There is a healthy number of people in our country who are feeling displaced, rightly,” Harris said. “I think we have to deal with that.”

Still, Harris dished out plenty of jabs at the Trump administration. She criticized Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions for “resuscitating the war on drugs” and told him to “leave Grandma’s medical marijuana alone.” Harris also criticized the Trump administration’s more hard-line immigration policies, and said she was concerned about allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

“These are serious times. These are not issues we can just sit around with a glass of Chardonnay debating and philosophizing about,” Harris said. “The decisions that are being made right now are impacting real human beings.”[39]

Single Payer

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) championed the idea of “Medicare for All” during his presidential bid last year. He plans to introduce a bill soon, and last week received the endorsement and co-sponsorship of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2020.

While Sanders said the idea isn’t a litmus test for Democrats, it’s gained traction recently, with more than half of the House Democratic Caucus co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill in the House. That’s almost double the number who co-sponsored the measure last congressional session.[40]

Women's March

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"Ideas conference"

Democratic Party luminaries and 2020 presidential mentionables gathered May 2017 for an “ideas conference” organized by the Center for American Progress, the Democratic establishment’s premier think tank.

Its stated purpose was to focus not on “what could have been,” said CAP Vice President Winnie Stachelberg introducing the day, but on “new, fresh, bold, provocative ideas that can move us forward.”

Convened in a basement of Georgetown’s Four Season’s Hotel, the posh watering hole for Washington lobbyists, lawyers and visiting wealth, the conference quickly revealed how hard it is for Democrats to debate the future when Trump is taking all of the air out of the room.

The national press treated the event as a cattle show, an early audition of potential 2020 presidential contenders. This is both way premature and unfair. Kirsten Gillibrand (S-NY), Kamala Harris (S-Cal) and Terry McAuliffe (G-Va) delivered brief addresses on specific issues rather than stump speeches.

Gillibrand laid out her national paid family leave plan; Harris took apart Attorney General Session’s revival of the failed war on drugs; McAuliffe warned about gerrymandering and the importance of winning gubernatorial races before the 2020 census and reapportionment. Sen. Merkley was buried on the economics panel. Bernie Sanders wasn’t even invited.[41]

Single Payer Bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled Wednesday September 13, 2017 a new version of his plan to give everybody government-run health insurance, potentially opening a new chapter in the ongoing debate over how to make health care in the U.S. more affordable and available.

The plan calls for an overhaul of American health insurance with a souped-up, more generous version of Medicare replacing nearly all private health insurance ― and government exerting far more control over the cost of medical care. It would arguably be the most ambitious social welfare initiative in U.S. history, but Sanders told HuffPost in an interview Tuesday that he believes America is ready for it.

“The American people are catching on to where the Republicans are coming from, they see the limitations of the Affordable Care Act and they’re looking at the alternatives,” Sanders said. “And this is a rational alternative.”

That roster of co-sponsors includes a who’s-who list of potential Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Also backing the bill are Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.[42]

Working with Salud Carbajal

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Thursday, October 19, 2017, the Central Coast Heritage Act — introduced on 10/16 by Congressmember Salud Carbajal and Senator Kamala Harris — seeks wilderness designation for nearly 250,000 acres of public land, including four new wilderness areas in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, while expanding nine existing areas in Los Padres National Forest. The legislation would also establish the 400-mile-long Condor National Recreation Trail. Wilderness designation prohibits logging and mining, as well as vehicles and new roads.[43]

Human Rights Campaign

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Senator Kamala Harris addressed the 2017 Human Rights Campaign National Dinner. She first went to an HRC dinner in 1999, brought along by her friend Mark Leno. She described herself as a friend of Chad Griffin, and as an "advocate and ally" for HRC. Her friend and advisor was the late Jim Rivaldo, who had helped to elect Harvey Milk.

She quoted Audre Lorde and Bayard Rustin.[44]

Muslim connections

Kamala Harris is involved with several Islamic organizations.

Interfaith Leaders Condemn Terrorism

December 16, 2015, in Los Angeles, Attorney General Kamala Harris convened interfaith and community leaders and law enforcement officials in southern California, after the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, to condemn terrorism and discuss the danger of the recent rise in Islamophobic rhetoric and several high-profile hate crime incidents over the past week. Attorney General Harris discussed the critical role of American Muslim communities in our fight against radicalization and terrorism at home and abroad, and the danger posed when alienating this community.

“As Americans, we are unified in our commitment to protect our country from terrorist attacks, and we must seek justice for those who lost their lives in the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino,” said Attorney General Harris.

Participants in the gathering included leaders from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Public Affairs Council, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Shia Muslim Council of Southern California, Muslim Students Associated West, Project Islamic Hope, Bend the Arc, Union for Reform Judaism, Holman United Methodist Church, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Progressive Christians Uniting, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, as well as Los Angles Sheriff Jim McDonnell, representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and the Office of Supervisor Hilda Solis.

"Attorney General Harris has exemplified leadership by initiating this meeting with Muslim community and civil rights leaders to address the spike in hate crimes against American Muslims and other minorities," said Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR-Los Angeles.

“One of the primary teachings of Judaism is that all human beings are created in the image of God. As an American, I believe in the rule of law, fairness and justice, as well as equal protection for all citizens. In this time of swirling darkness and rising hate, I hope and pray that we remember our humanity, remember our essence and remember why live in the United States,” said Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, Co-Founder of Abrahamic Faiths Peacemaking Initiative.[45]

"Hate speech" resolution

On April 4, 2017, the US Senate passed Senate Resolution 118, "Condemning hate crime and any other form of racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination, incitement to violence, or animus targeting a minority in the United States". The resolution was drafted by a Muslim organization, EmgageUSA (formerly EmergeUSA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). On April 6, 2017, EmgageUSA wrote the following on their Facebook page:

"Thanks to the hard work of Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Susan Collins and Senator Kamala Harris we have achieved the approval of Senate Resolution 118, an anti-hate crimes bill drafted by Emerge-USA. It is days like this that Americans are reminded of this country's founding principles: equal opportunity, freedom, justice. We are proud to help support the protection of these rights #amoreperfectunion #theamericandream".

Senate Resolution 118 calls on...

"...Federal law enforcement officials, working with State and local officials... to expeditiously investigate all credible reports of hate crimes and incidents and threats against minorities in the United States and to hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring the perpetrators to justice; encourages the Department of Justice and other Federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes; and... encourages the development of an interagency task force led by the Attorney General to collaborate on the development of effective strategies and efforts to detect and deter hate crime in order to protect minority communities..."

The resolution refers to hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Hindus, and Sikhs and was sponsored by Senator Kamala Harris and co-sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Susan Collins.[46]

The original drafter of the resolution was Wa'el Alzayat of EmergeUSA.[47]

Radical canvasser

Alaa Aissi canvasser Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate, Feb 2016 – Apr 2016.

On CAIR

“The council has strived to improve understanding about Islam, and move toward a future in which we welcome people of all faiths and nationalities into our neighborhoods and our schools, as well as our hearts and our minds.” (October 2017).[48]

CAIR support for Bill

Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., introduced her first bill February 2017 that would provide legal counsel to those held or detained while trying to enter the U.S.

The Access to Counsel Act would allow lawyers to provide legal counsel by phone or video if they cannot physically be present. It would also invalidate any documents abandoning legal resident status or applications for admission if detainees have signed them after being denied legal services.

Harris’s Access to Counsel Act is not without congressional support; there are five co-sponsors in the Senate, including Tom Carper, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., introduced the House companion measure, which has 10 co-sponsors. The measures introduced by Indian American congresswomen Harris and Jayapal have also received support from multiple organizations, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and the National Immigrant Justice Center.

“As the Trump administration is attempting to close it borders to refugees and asylum seekers, prompt access to lawyers for people who come fleeing persecution is a critical safeguard to ensure they receive the protections guaranteed under U.S. and international law,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center.[49]

"Palestine"

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Circa November 22, 2017, United States Senator Kamala Harris visited Al-Quds University in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, where she sat down with a group of female students who shared their experiences of living in occupied Palestinian territory.

According to a press release from the university, after briefing the students on her background and career, Harris listened as the students took turns speaking about their experiences at the university.

Harris reportedly told the students that she had driven by Israel’s illegal separation wall on her way to to the university, and asked the students if the wall presented “a real barrier” to their movement.

“The classroom unanimously exclaimed ‘yes’, and expressed their anger about the restrictions imposed on them by the Israeli authorities,” the statement said. The students also told Harris of the restrictions placed on them by Israel’s permit regime, preventing them from reaching their religious holy sites in Jerusalem.

As the meeting closed, the senator asked the students about their plans after graduation, asking them if they wanted to leave Palestine. “But the consensus amongst the students was that they would return to their homeland, Palestine, and help build it,” the statement said.[50]

Korean connections

Kamala Harris is very close to the "progressive" Korean movement.

Defend DACA

Korean Resource Center 민족학교 a— with Jonathan Paik and Ashley Yu, August 28, 2017

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This morning, we sat beside U.S. Senator Kamala Harris at a DACA round table at the UCLA Labor Center where she pledged to fight for DACA's survival. The Senator said, "We will fight to keep the spirit behind DACA alive and to keep the word that was spoken in connection with DACA alive and true." 🙌🏼 We are grateful to have her representing California! #DefendDACA #Not1More

Senator Harris was joined at the roundtable by advocacy groups including the Downtown UCLA Labor Center, FWD.us, the Korean Resource Center, and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, who are all at the forefront of efforts to protect Dreamers.[51]

2017 NAKASEC Gala

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October 19, 2017 NAKASEC Gala. Honorary Host Committee

Asian Americans Demand a Clean DREAM Act

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According to communications contacts Michelle Boykins, Marian Manapsal, Sam Yu;

Asian American Immigrant Youth and Allies Convene at the U.S. Capitol to Demand the Passage of a Clean DREAM Act Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, November 15, marks over 2 months since the Trump administration killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting the lives of immigrant youth immediately at risk for detention and deportation.

On November 15, over 120 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) immigrant youth and leaders from across the country will convene to demand that the passing of a clean DREAM Act become Congress’s top priority before the end of the year.

Following the press conference, AAPI leaders will engage in a march and a rally as well as legislative visits urging key congressional targets to pass a clean DREAM Act by December 8th.

When: 11:00 AM ET | Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Where: House Triangle, United States Capitol, Washington, DC 20016

Who:

Rally with the Korean Resource Center

October 11, 2017 Senator Kamala Harris, a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, rallied in support of the DREAM Act at the University of California, Irvine. Harris discussed her efforts to protect Dreamers, highlighted the Administration’s unwillingness to extend the DACA renewal deadline, and encouraged Congress to pass the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Harris, would ensure a path to citizenship for children brought to the United States by their parents.

“I believe we need to pass a clean DREAM Act,” Harris said. “We have got to create a path for citizenship for these young people. They gave so much information about themselves, they cleared vetting. We’re talking about a population of young people who are in college, who are serving in our military, who are working in Fortune 100 companies. We need to keep our promise to them. It’s just the right thing to do.”

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Harris was also joined at the rally by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the Korean Resource Center (KRC), and Dreamers currently attending the University of California, Irvine.[53]

Other speakers included Prof. Stephen Lee, Nidia Bello, DACA recipient and UCI student; Julian Canete, president, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Pastor Mark Davis; Rev. Charles Dorsey, executive director, COR Community Development Corporation; Paulina Jimenez, DACA recipient; Min Jung Park, DACA recipient and UCI student; and Angelica Salas, executive director, CHIRLA. Jonathan Paik of the Korean Resource Center emceed the event.[54]

Homeboy connection

Zoe Ghertner interviewed Kamala Harris in L.A., at a charter school in Boyle Heights co-run by Homeboy Industries, the gang-intervention organization founded by Father Gregory Boyle. Harris has known Boyle, a revered figure in L.A., since her D.A. days, and Homeboy Industries later became a primary partner in her effort to bring Back on Track to other cities.

"Today she is here to meet with a group of Dreamers and to be photographed for this profile. Among the people milling around are Harris’s campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, and her State of the Union date, Denea Joseph. Shortly after eleven, everyone gathers in the parking lot, in front of a large mural that says “Jobs Not Jails.”[55]

Harris on Huerta

Kamala Harris September 19, 2017;

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Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, I will highlight Americans who are making a difference in their communities and the world. First is Dolores Huerta, a leader in the farm worker, women’s, and civil rights movements. Dolores is known for co-founding what would become the United Farm Workers and also played a critical role in a strike against California grape growers. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Backing Black Futures Lab

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In February 2118 Kamala Harris supported the launch of Alicia Garza's Black Futures Lab.

Kamala Harris's staff, past and present

As of December 2017;

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