An inside look at Vice President Kamala Harris’ political achievements, making changes to support and protect all people in the U.S. namely members of the BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ communities.
By Remy Zerber
Kamala Harris is a woman who has had a tremendous impact on the United States. On January 20, 2021, Harris was sworn in as the first female vice president alongside President Joe Biden. Vice President Harris has had an impressive career in politics as the first female District Attorney of San Francisco as well as California senator. A Democrat, Vice President Harris has strong opinions about important issues such as gun violence, education, and LGBTQ rights.
Vice President Harris, a woman of color, has made history with many of her historical achievements. Vice President Harris made history when “[s]he was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney of San Francisco and served from 2004 to 2010” (Weinberg and Palaniappan, January 20, 2021). When Vice President Harris was District Attorney, she had to deal with a controversial-violence-against-the-police case. During her term “[i]n April 2004, Officer Isaac Espinoza was gunned down by gang member David Hill in the city’s Bayview. Police and California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, urged Harris to seek the death penalty against Hill” (Sernoffsky, January 19, 2021). Vice President Harris did not pursue the death penalty, causing her to lose the police’s support. However, she regained their support later with her success as District Attorney.
Vice President Harris has proven that she is a strong politician. As Britannica says, “She was the first woman and the first African American to hold the post [of vice president]. She had previously served in the U.S. Senate (2017–21) and as attorney general of California (2011–17)” (McNamee, January 20, 2021). Vice President Harris’ husband is also the first second man that the United States has had. A second man is the spouse of the vice president just like Biden’s wife is the first lady. If the vice president had a female spouse it would be the second lady.
Vice President Harris has done many incredible things for this country. In my opinion, one of the most impressive things Vice President Harris has done is legalize same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage should have always been legal. Vice President Harris legalized this in California, allowing hundreds of LGBTQ couples to get married and be happy. Earlier in her career “[a]s San Francisco DA, Harris also created a Hate Crimes Unit aimed at prosecuting hate crimes committed against LGBTQ teens in school” (Sitron, June 16, 2017). Obviously, she thinks being LGBTQ should be normalized. “Harris’s early support of marriage equality in California directly laid the legal groundwork for the US Supreme Court’s decision in 2012 that same-sex couples have the right to marry...Within hours of the decision, plaintiffs to the Supreme Court case Kris Perry and Sandy Stier became the first gay couple to wed in San Francisco, and Harris officiated their wedding” (Sitron, June 16, 2017). The fact that Vice President Harris officiated a San Franciscan gay couple’s wedding shows how much she cares about this issue.
A New York Times article wrote that “From the earliest days of her childhood, Vice President Harris was taught that the road to racial justice was long” (Lier and Ember, November 7, 2020). It is no wonder that Harris grew up to have a political career that advocates for change. When Harris was inaugurated to become vice president she said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” [...]“Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities” (Lier and Ember, November 7, 2020). Vice President Harris hopes to inspire girls to have a political career.
Clearly, Vice President Harris’ political career is one to remember. Her achievements will go down in history. Her time as San Francisco’s District Attorney helped a lot of people, especially the LGBTQ community. Vice President Harris also served as a senator that represented all people regardless of color or sexual orientation in California. She is now the first female vice president, alongside President Biden. She is also the first Black and South Asian American vice president in history. She wants to send a message to girls everywhere, telling them that it is possible to be a woman in politics.
Melanie Moyer '22,