The Bay Area is proud to see Oakland native Kamala Harris make history today.
On January 20th, 2021, Harris was sworn in as our country’s first woman and first Black and South Asian Vice President. “I’m here today because of the women who came before me,” she said in a video posted shortly before the ceremony.
Harris spoke about “the generations of women – Black women, Asian women, White, Latina, Native American women – who throughout our nation’s history, have paved the way for this moment.”
“Including the Black women who are often – too often – overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”
Harris was sworn in on two Bibles – the first belonging to family friend Regina Shelton, and the second which was previously owned by Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court member.
Douglas Emhoff, Harris’ husband, is now United States’ first second gentleman.
I’m here today because of the women who came before me. pic.twitter.com/ctB9qGJqqp
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 20, 2021
Bay Area Roots
Harris spent her developmental years in Oakland and Berkeley. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a biomedical scientist from Tamil Nadu in South India; and her father, Donald J. Harris, is an economist and Stanford professor emeritus from St. Ann Parish in Jamaica.
She attended Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington, D.C. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and graduated in 1986 with a degree in political science and economics. Afterwards, she returned to the Bay Area for law school at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, graduating in 1989.
Harris served as District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004-2011, Attorney General of California from 2011-2017, and California U.S. Senator from 2017-2021. Over the years, Harris has called for immigration, criminal justice, and healthcare reforms, federal de-scheduling of cannabis, minimum wage increases, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the DREAM Act, bans on assault weapons, protection of women’s reproductive rights, and much more. During her tenure in the Senate, she was recognized in her questioning of Trump administration officials including Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America. As of this day, Harris is now officially the first woman and the first Black and South Asian Vice President in our country’s history.
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