August 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Biden-Harris a historic, winning ticket
Biden Harris ticket, gay news, Washington Blade
Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris. (Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key and Tom Hausman)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has always been my first choice for vice president. While it was clear Vice President Biden had many good options from which to choose the one who stood out from the crowd was Harris. Her brilliance and credentials clearly impressed Biden and he knows she is ready to serve on day one. The Democratic convention will make this historic ticket official next week. Then we move forward to take on the sad excuse for a president now occupying the oval office.

Everyone who understands four more years of Trump will destroy our democracy must now unite to support this ticket. The in-fighting must stop if we are to take back our country and reclaim our place in the world. Harris brings diversity and the next generation to Joe Biden’s ticket. She represents Black women who have been the backbone of the Democratic Party. She represents the future of the Democratic Party and the next generation of leaders.

Harris has been vetted in a national campaign. She is the child of immigrants; her mother immigrated to the United States from India and her father from Jamaica. Harris did her undergraduate work at Howard University, an HBCU, in D.C. She has her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She began her stellar career with the Alameda County, California District Attorney’s Office. From there was recruited to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and then the City Attorney’s Office in San Francisco.

In 2004, she won election as District Attorney of San Francisco serving with distinction. In that office she began her career-long support of the LGBTQ community creating a special Hate Crimes Unit, focused on hate crimes against LGBTQ children and teens in schools. In 2010, she ran and was elected Attorney General of the State of California. During that campaign she promised to refuse to defend Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage in California, a promise she kept. She won a close election and was reelected in 2014 by a wide margin. As AG she prioritized environmental concerns and won millions of dollars for the state. She started a new agency within her office called the Bureau of Children’s Justice to address issues such as foster care, the juvenile justice system, school truancy, and childhood trauma. The LA times reported “Harris obtained a $1.2 billion judgment against for-profit post-secondary education company Corinthian Colleges for false advertising and deceptive marketing targeting vulnerable, low-income students and misrepresenting job placement rates to students, investors, and accreditation agencies.”

In 2016, she won election to the United States Senate. As a senator she has spoken out against Trump’s racist, sexist, and homophobic policies; voted against his unqualified nominees; and supported legislation to help improve the lives of the poor and disenfranchised. Harris traveled to the Middle East, Iraq and then Jordan visiting the Zaatari Refugee Camp, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. Harris is a member of the Budget Committee, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary. Taken together this background allowed Biden and now voters to feel totally comfortable were anything to happen to the president she would be ready on day one to step in. Biden being 78 years old by the inauguration, that had to be an important factor in his choice.

Harris lights up a room with her intelligence. Her empathy and her fight for equality and justice for all make a great complement to those traits in Biden. When she speaks of her vision for the future what is evident is her strong grasp of history and understanding of how our past influences our future. As a Black woman she understands how systemic racism keeps many African Americans from succeeding and as a woman she understands how sexism is still rampant in our nation. Harris brings her experience in local, state and the federal government to the ticket. She will be able to work closely with and help Joe Biden as they strive to fulfill the pledges he is making to the nation including the fight for affordable healthcare for all, economic and judicial equality for Black and Brown people, and full equality for women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Democrats have an historic ticket we can all be proud of. Now it’s our turn to work our hearts out to see Joe Biden sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2021.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime Democratic Party and LGBTQ rights activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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