California Senator Kamala Harris announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election last week on ABC's “Good Morning America.”
“I love my country,” Harris said. “I love my country and this is a moment in time where I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.”
Harris is the child of immigrant parents. Her father is from Jamaica and her mother is from India. Since childhood, Harris knew that her life would be immersed in the political world. Her first experience with politics happened on the campus of Howard University.
As a freshman, she campaigned to be the class representative of the Liberal Arts Student Council. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Howard in 1986, and later a law degree from Hastings College of the Law.
Throughout her extensive career Harris has made major accomplishments while showing her passion for the safety of children and the public. After receiving her law degree, she became a prosecutor and focused on murder, robbery and child rape cases for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. In 2003, she became the first woman and black person to be elected as San Francisco’s district attorney and was re-elected in 2007.
Tia Maxwell, junior sociology major, was on the fence about supporting Harris after she announced her run for candidacy.
“I was indifferent to her presidential announcement,” Maxwell said. “Sure, I was excited at the prospect of a black woman being the democrat representative, but knowing about her prosecutorial track record made me hesitant.”
This track record that Maxwell is concerned about involves her tough-on-crime attitude. During her time as San Francisco’s District Attorney, Harris doubled trial conviction rates for gun felonies to 90 percent, tripled the number of misdemeanor cases sent to trial and prosecuted the parents of truant children.
Others are not so eager for her to take the seat as the leader of the nation. On Twitter, a viral tweet made by Oakland community organizer Blake Simons, known as BlakeDontCrack , garnered almost 20,000 likes and 10,000 retweets for his critique on Harris’ past actions.
Imani Hutchinson, sophomore social work major, is not supporting Harris.
“I genuinely don’t think she cares about black people. It’s a code that black people in politics don’t propose or support the prison industrial complex,” Harris said. “But not only did she do both of those, she made it a point to support it because of the aspects of it that make it legalized slavery— cheap labor.”
Hutchinson went on to state how Harris didn’t introduce legislation for constructive or progressive resocialization policies once the formerly incarcerated finished their terms.
Through the cloud of negative reviews there are some hopeful supporters of Harris, senior political science major Jeffery Simmons said.
“Kamala Harris is a shining star and she has a legacy of working hard and bringing about lasting change,” Simmons said. “When she was the Attorney General of California, she significantly helped reduce crime and reduce the number of repeat offenders by working with them rather than against them.”
Although many are ready to cancel Harris out of the election, her campaign has just started. Only time will tell how the American population decides to see Harris in the upcoming presidential election.