Kamala Harris is undoubtedly the woman of 2021, making history today as she is sworn into office as the first ever female Vice President.
It literally took 231 years to get a woman in office but it has finally happened and this inauguration is a watershed moment.
She also becomes the first Black and South Asian American woman to run on a major political party’s presidential ticket and go on to become Vice President.
Joe Biden chose Kamala as his running mate in August last year, announcing: ‘I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021.’
‘Joe Biden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals,’ Kamala posted to Twitter earlier this year.
But who is Kamala Harris and what should we know about a woman who has already carved out a place in history books?
Here’s everything you need to know about the first ever female Vice President…
Kamala Harris background
Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland California, brought up by her parents, Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer scientist from India, and Donald Harris, a Stanford economics professor, from British Jamaica. Her younger sister, Maya Lakshmi Harris, is a lawyer, public policy advocate and TV commentator. Maya is most known however for her role as a senior policy advisor behind Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign.
Kamala started school during Berkeley’s school desegregation busing program, an effort to bring about racial balance in a school which had previously been 95% white. Kamala went on to study political science and economics at Howard University, Washington, D.C., before moving back to California and passing the bar examination.
Kamala Harris name meaning
Kamala’s name ‘Kamala Devi’ reportedly relates to Hindu mythology, with ‘Kamala’ meaning ‘lotus’ and ‘Devi’ meaning ‘goddess’ in Sanskrit.
Kamala Harris career
Kamala Harris worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Alemeda County, California, before becoming the District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. She was elected the Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017 before becoming a US Senator in 2017, endorsed by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Harris was a top contender for the 2o2o Democratic nomination for President, but was forced to withdraw her nomination in December 2019 due to a shortage of funds, endorsing Joe Biden for President instead. Kamala was thought to be the frontrunner to be chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate, a decision that he publicly announced on August 11 2020.
The 2020 Presidential Election took place on 3 November 2020, seeing Biden and Harris win both the popular vote and the Electoral College. They are officially sworn in as the 46th President and Vice President today.
Kamala Harris husband
Kamala Harris is married to Doug Emhoff, 56, a US lawyer. Doug also makes history today as he becomes the first Second Gentleman as well as the first ever Jewish spouse of a US Vice President.
Kamala Harris social media
‘Though we may be physically separated, we, the American people are united in spirit.’
‘I first came to work in the United States Senate not as a United States Senator—but as an intern. It was the summer of 1984 and I had just finished up my sophomore year of college. My goal was to turn activism into action, and I saw the Senate as a place to do that.
So, I went to work for my home state Senator, California’s Alan Cranston—and I never dreamed that one day I would hold that same office. During my time in the Senate, we have taken on critical issues facing Americans: Black maternal health, expanding worker protections, immigrant justice at the border, climate change, among many others.
From helping the people of California navigate the Medicare system, securing funding for families to rebuild after the wildfires, helping our California veterans get the benefits they are owed, to working to get our small businesses what they need to stay afloat: we heard you. We saw you. We fought for you everyday. And I will never give up that fight for you and for all.’
‘There’s no denying that 2020 has been a difficult year. From a global pandemic, to reckoning with racial injustice, to the devastating wildfires and hurricanes, there has been so much grief, struggle, and pain.
But we’ve also seen America at its best—neighbors helping neighbors, the courage of our frontline workers, and the resilience of the American people. As we look ahead to 2021, I am filled with optimism that we can accomplish the good, hard, necessary work to confront the challenges we face and turn a new chapter in our nation’s history.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year.’
Kamala Harris quotes
- ‘I was raised to be an independent woman, not the victim of anything.’
- ‘If we do not lift up women and families, everyone will fall short.’
- ‘My mother had a saying: ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last.’
- ‘What’s important for my daughter to know is that… if you are fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well.’
- ‘Here’s the thing: every office I’ve run for I was the first to win. First person of color. First woman. First woman of color. Every time.’
- ‘I believe that a child going without an education is a crime.’
- ‘I do not believe that government should be in the business of telling women what they should do with their bodies.’
- ‘I grew up hearing stories about my grandmother – my mother’s mother – who used to go to villages in India in her little VW bug. My grandmother would take a bullhorn and make sure women in these villages knew how to access birth control.’
- ‘My mother was and will always remain my greatest hero.’
- ‘People who work for me know that family comes first. And I’m fortunate to have a family that is very supportive of the work I do, so I don’t have to live two separate lives.’
- ‘I’m one of the luckiest people on earth.’
- ‘So many people trip in front of them because they’re looking over there or up ahead.’
- ‘There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me.’
- ‘I just think it’s so important not to take yourself too seriously.’
- ‘I’m opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education, or public health, period.’
- ‘I’ll be judged on the body of work and not the popularity of any one decision.’
We’re beyond excited to see what this woman achieves.