Vice President Kamala Harris’s commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakland, California community that cared deeply about social justice; her parents—an esteemed economist from Jamaica and an admired cancer researcher from India—met as activists in the civil rights movement.
Growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for justice, and when she became a deputy district attorney out of law school, she quickly established herself as one of the most innovative change agents in American law enforcement. She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer of California as a whole. Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless and championing the middle class, she took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis and won a historic settlement for California’s working families. Her hallmarks were applying a holistic, data-driven approach to many of California’s thorniest issues; neither “tough” nor “soft” but smart on crime became her mantra.
Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might. That has been the pole star that is guiding Harris now as a transformational United States Senator, grappling with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world, from health care to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality.