Kamala Harris’ Campaign is Focused on People and Policy

June 7, 2019 by TWN Staff
Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at the General Session on day 2 of the 2019 California State Democratic Party Convention at Moscone Center on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Candidate: Kamala Harris

State of Residence: California

Campaign Website: https://kamalaharris.org

Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at the General Session on day 2 of the 2019 California State Democratic Party Convention at Moscone Center on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Short Bio: In 2017, Kamala Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history to hold the position. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

Harris has spent her life fighting injustice. It’s a passion that was first inspired by her mother, Shyamala, an Indian-American immigrant, activist, and breast cancer researcher.

Growing up in Oakland, Harris had a stroller-eye view of the Civil Rights movement. Through the example of courageous leaders like Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, and Charles Hamilton Houston, she learned the kind of character it requires to stand up to the powerful, and resolved to spend her life advocating for those who could not defend themselves.  

After earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2003, Harris became the district attorney of the city and county of San Francisco. Among her achievements as district attorney, Harris started a program that gives first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school diploma and find employment.

After completing two terms as the district attorney of San Francisco, Harris was elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s attorney general. In this role, she worked tirelessly to hold corporations accountable and protect the state’s most vulnerable people.

Over the course of her nearly two terms in office, Harris won a $25-billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California’s landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians, and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs, and human beings.

In the U.S. Senate, Harris’s mission remains unchanged: fighting for the rights of all communities in California. Since taking office, she has introduced and cosponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, reform our broken criminal justice system, make healthcare a right for all Americans, address the epidemic of substance abuse, support veterans and military families, and expand access to childcare for working parents. [Official Senate Website]

Fun Fact: Kamala Harris was the first African-American, first woman and first Asian-American to become attorney general of California. [CNN]

On the Issues

Health Care: Move to universal, government-run health care, or “Medicare for All.” Harris backs the “Medicare for All” bill sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. That bill would establish government-run health care system that allows every American to have access to care and end private health insurance as it currently exists. The bill would pay for that system in part with a 6.2 percent charge on employers, a 2.2 percent fee on most families that would vary at some income levels, increased marginal tax rates for incomes $250,000 and higher, increased taxes on capital gains, and an increased estate tax for the wealthiest. Harris has also introduced bills to increase access to mental health care and address high maternal mortality rates for black women. [PBS]

Trade & Agriculture: As a Senate candidate in 2016, Harris opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership,or TPP, arguing that the proposed trade deal with 11 Asian countries didn’t do enough to protect workers and environmental regulations. (Trump pulled the U.S. out of the pact shortly after taking office).

Harris is also opposed to the Trump administration’s tariffs and escalating trade dispute with China. Last year, she supported a bipartisan, non-binding resolution in the Senate that rebuked the Trump administration over its tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Harris also co-wrote a letter with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer opposing U.S. tariffs on Chinese electronic goods, saying the tariffs would hurt California’s economy. [PBS]

Jobs/Economy/Taxes: Reverse some measures in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Instead, create new direct tax breaks for middle and lower classes. Harris has proposed the LIFT the Middle Class Act, which would give a $3,000 refundable tax credit to individuals making $50,000 or less and $6,000 for married couples earning under $100,000. She would pay for the multi-trillion dollar plan by eliminating some of the tax cuts put in place by the Republican-sponsored Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and by creating a new tax or fee on some banks and financial institutions. [PBS]

Harris is for a $15/hour minimum wage, saying she believes the minimum wage should be a living wage, and she’s advocated for equal pay between men and women, as well as a federally mandated paid family and sick leave. [Elle]

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