Here Are 6 Things You Should Know About Kamala Harris
Last month, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris was officially sworn in as Vice President. On August 11, 2020, then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced then-Senator Harris as his 2020 running mate. It was a historic first this summer and was a historic first again last month: Harris was the first Black person and first Asian-American person to be chosen as the running mate of a major party's presidential candidate, and is now the first woman to serve as Vice President.
Harris grew up in California, and pursued a life of politics and law. She went on to become one of the state’s most impressive progressive leaders, admired by many for her work involving women’s equality, education, and reducing poverty. She campaigned for her own 2020 presidential bid but conceded early in the primaries, citing financial struggles but saying she’d keep supporting and fighting for the Democratic party.
CircleAround has compiled a few impressive facts about this woman of so many firsts.
1. She’s No Stranger to Impressive 'Firsts'
She was the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s district attorney, and the first African American and the first woman to serve as California's attorney general. She was also the first Black woman to represent California in the United States Senate. She was the first female Vice Presidential candidate since Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain in 2008, and now she is the first woman Vice President and the first Vice President of color.
2. She Is the Daughter of Immigrants
Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, is from Southern India, and her father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica. Both emigrated to the U.S. at a young age and found each other during their involvement in civil rights demonstrations. Harris and her sister sang in the choir at a Black Baptist church and attended a Hindu temple with their mother. “I grew up with a strong Indian culture, and I was raised in a Black community,” Harris said in an interview for AsianWeek. “I never felt uncomfortable with my cultural background.”
3. She Got Involved in Politics at a Young Age
Her parents instilled a civic attitude in Harris, and it propelled her to continue pursuing politics as she got older. At Howard University, Harris conducted her first-ever campaign to become a freshman class representative of the liberal arts student council. She was part of the university’s debate team and interned at organizations around Washington, DC, such as the Federal Trade Commission and at the office of Sen. Alan Cranston.
4. She Supports Girl Scouts of the USA
While she was not a Girl Scout herself, Harris is supportive of Girl Scouts of the USA. That’s because many of the women who serve alongside her in Congress are former Girl Scouts. On March 12, 2019, she tweeted, “To every Girl Scout across our nation: keep speaking up. Be confident and own your voice. You are the leaders of tomorrow.”
5. She Is All About Self-Care
“In order to find balance, I feel very strongly about two things in particular in terms of routine. Work out, and eat well,” Harris said in an interview for ELLE. She understands that taking care of American citizens means taking care of herself, and she’s not afraid to admit that she watches MTV while working out. She also loves SoulCycle and feels like she’s “going to the club” while she spins.
6. She Loves to Cook
Harris grew up in a household with diverse tastes and has always made this a part of her life. She enjoys cooking alongside her husband, Doug Emhoff, she told Essence. “I’m something of a gourmet cook — I love to eat — and we have fun making meals.” She's also done low-key cooking shows with celebrity guests, like Mindy Kaling, on her Instagram account.