Kamala Harris Makes History As Second Black Woman Elected To U.S. Senate
Amidst the controversial presidential election of Donald Trump, there were many pockets of hope. One being the first Dominican elected to Congress and the California Senate seat going to Attorney General Kamala Harris.
NBC News reports Harris won over voters on Tuesday (Nov. 8) after a well-received campaign. Harris is now the second African-American woman to hold a U.S. Senate seat after Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois served one term from 1993 to 1999. She is also now the first Indian-American senator. 20 African-American women currently hold positions in the House of Representatives.
As AG of the state, Harris championed the rights of children and putting criminals behind bars. Her latest win was the arrest of Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage on sex-trafficking charges last month. “Raking in millions of dollars from the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable victims is outrageous, despicable and illegal,” Harris said at the time. Speaking in Los Angeles shortly after her win, she encouraged those who were feeling overwhelmed over Trump's win to stay strong.
“Our ideals are at stake right now, and we all have to fight for who we are,” she said. “I believe this is that moment in time for our country, where we are collectively being required to look in the mirror, and with furrowed brow, we are asking a question: Who are we? In California, I believe the answer is a good one: We are a great country.”
The Howard graduate and her family have always been about serving love and hope. Her sister, Maya Harris, is an attorney and senior policy advisor for Hillary Clinton's campaign while her parents were active in the civil rights movement.
"I was blessed to have a really great childhood. In my family and extended family, children were nurtured and loved," said Harris earlier this year. "When I started my career as a prosecutor, I specialized in child abuse, and I met so many children who were the victims of circumstances beyond their control. I've developed this strong feeling that, as a community, we have a responsibility to make sure that every child is safe, is healthy and has access to a high-quality education. We not only owe it to those children, but we owe it to the entire community."
“It is the very nature of this fight for civil rights and justice and equality that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. So we must be vigilant,” Harris continued in her speech. “Do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are.”
Check out her full speech below.