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Kamala Harris

D

Twitter Followers: 3.5M

Senate, United States Senate (2017 - Present)

California U.S. Senate, Jr (? - Present)

2019


Congress Bills
Biography

Personal

Political Experience

Current Legislative Committees

Professional Experience

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

Additional Information


Kamala Devi Harris (b. October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from California. Harris was first elected to the Senate in 2016. She became the second black woman elected to the U.S. Senate and the first Indian American to serve in the chamber.

On January 21, 2019, Harris announced she was running for president of the United States.

Harris is the former attorney general of California. She served in the position from 2011 to 2017. When she took office, Harris became the state's first female, first black, and first Asian American attorney general, as well as the first Tamil attorney general in U.S. history. She also served as San Francisco's district attorney from 2004 to 2011.

Harris was born in Oakland, California, in 1964. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science and economics in 1986 and earned her law degree from Hastings College in 1989.

After graduating from law school, Harris joined the office of the Alameda County district attorney, where she worked for eight years as a prosecutor. In 1998, Harris was hired as managing attorney for the San Francisco District Attorney's Career Criminal Unit. She transferred to head the Division on Families and Children in 2000. In 2003, Harris was elected San Francisco District Attorney. She won re-election in 2007.

In 2010, Harris defeated Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley (R) to win election as state attorney general, receiving 46% of the vote to Cooley's 45%. She won re-election in 2014 over attorney Ronald Gold (R) with 56% of the vote. In 2016, Harris defeated Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) to win election to the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer (D). She received 62% of the vote to Sanchez's 38%.

In 2009, Harris authored Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor's Plan to Make Us Safer, where she discussed potential changes to the criminal justice system. She wrote The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, a memoir, and Superheroes Are Everywhere, a picture book, in 2018.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Harris' academic, professional, and political career:

  • 2017-Present: U.S. Senator from California
  • 2011-2016: Attorney general of California
  • 2004-2011: District attorney of San Francisco
  • 1990-1998: Deputy district attorney, Alameda County, Calif.
  • 1989: Graduated from the University of California, Hastings with a J.D.
  • 1986: Graduated from Howard University with a B.A.
Elections

2020

Presidency

An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Harris announced she was running for president on January 21, 2019.

2016

rated California's U.S. Senate race as safely Democratic. California's U.S. Senate seat was open following the retirement of incumbent Barbara Boxer (D). Thirty-four candidates filed to run to replace Boxer, including seven Democrats, 12 Republicans, and 15 third-party candidates. Two Democrats, Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez, defeated the other 32 candidates to advance to the general election, where Harris ultimately triumphed. The primary took place on June 7, 2016.

U.S. Senate, California General Election, 2016

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKamala Harris 61.6% 7,542,753
Democratic Loretta Sanchez 38.4% 4,710,417
Total Votes 12,253,170
Source: California Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, California Primary, 2016

Campaign themes

The following issues were listed on Harris' campaign website. For a full list of campaign themes, .

  • Civil Rights, Justice & Equality For All: Kamala has spent her entire career fighting for the voiceless and vulnerable in our society and against those who prey on them, and she’ll continue those fights in the Senate. She will stand up for a woman’s right to choose and equal pay for equal work, lead the charge against LGBT discrimination, work to pass comprehensive immigration reform, expand access to voting, and focus on fixing a broken criminal justice system.
  • Criminal Justice Reform: Kamala believes that we must maintain a relentless focus on reducing violence and aggressively prosecuting violent criminals. But as a career prosecutor, she has also seen firsthand the devastating effects of mass incarceration and the revolving door of recidivism. We deserve a better return on our investment. Instead of a justice system that responds to all crime as equal, we need a “smart on crime” approach – one that applies innovative, data-driven methods to make our system more efficient and effective.
  • Environment: Kamala believes that California’s great strengths include its dramatic beauty and environmental diversity: from the tall, mist-shrouded redwoods to vast desert vistas; from stunning sandy beaches to rushing rivers and the soaring Sierra Nevada mountains; from productive agricultural valleys to rolling, oak-studded hills.
  • Foreign Policy: Kamala Harris’s approach to foreign policy is informed by her work as a career prosecutor. We live in a dangerous world and she believes we need to be vigilant about the threats we face. She has tackled some of the biggest challenges we face across the globe – from dismantling human trafficking rings to taking down transnational criminal organizations that bring guns and drugs across our borders.
  • Higher Education: Kamala believes that meaningful access to education is a pathway to the American dream – it is how we build a better life for our families and ourselves. In today’s economy, a postsecondary education is increasingly a necessity to secure sustainable employment with decent wages – but it shouldn’t have to be that way.

—Kamala Harris' campaign website

2014

Harris won re-election to the office of state attorney general in 2014.

Results

Primary election

Attorney General of California, Blanket Primary, 2014

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKamala Harris Incumbent 53.2% 2,177,480
Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRonald Gold 12.3% 504,091
Republican Phil Wyman 11.7% 479,468
Republican David King 9% 368,190
Republican John Haggerty 8.2% 336,433
Nonpartisan Orly Taitz 3.2% 130,451
Libertarian Jonathan Jaech 2.4% 99,056
Total Votes 4,095,169
Election results via California Secretary of State


General election

Attorney General of California, 2014

Party Candidate Vote % Votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKamala Harris Incumbent 57.5% 4,102,649
Republican Ronald Gold 42.5% 3,033,476
Total Votes 7,136,125
Election results via California Secretary of State

2010

2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
Democratic Party Kamala Harris 33.1%
Democratic Party Chris Kelly 15.9%
Democratic Party Alberto Torrico 14.9%
Democratic Party Ted Lieu 10.5%
Democratic Party Rocky Delgadillo 10.1%
Democratic Party Pedro Nava 9.9%
Democratic Party Mike Schmier 5.6%
Total Votes 1,676,360
Kamala Harris for California Attorney General 2010 Campaign logo

2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election

Party Candidate Vote Percentage
Democratic Party Kamala Harris 46.0%
Republican Party Steve Cooley 45.5%
Green Party Peter Allen 2.7%
Libertarian Party Timothy Hannan 2.5%
American Independent Party Diane Templin 1,7%
Peace and Freedom Party Robert J. Evans 1.6%
Total Votes 9,544,403
Policy Positions

2020

Abortion

Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-choice

Budget

1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
- Yes

2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
- Yes

Education

Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
- Unknown Position

Energy & Environment

1. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Yes

2. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
- Yes

Guns

Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- Yes

Health Care

Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- No

Campaign Finance

Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
- Yes

Economy

1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- No

Immigration

1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
- No

2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
- No

National Security

1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
- No

2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
- Yes

Trade

Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
- Unknown Position

Defense

Do you support increasing defense spending?
- Unknown Position

Articles

Letter to the Hon. Ajit Pai, Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission - Durbin, Colleagues Push To Ensure All Students Can Remotely Continue Education During Coronavirus Emergency

Mar. 16, 2020

Dear Chairman Pai: We write to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take immediate action to ensure all K-12 students have adequate home internet connectivity if their schools close due to the coronavirus pandemic. We believe that the FCC can use its emergency powers to temporarily waive relevant E-rate program rules and allow its beneficiaries to utilize universal service funding to provide home wireless service to existing school devices and hotspots for students who lack internet access at home. This swift, immediate action would help ensure that all students can remotely continue their education during the current public health emergency. The coronavirus pandemic has shone a bright light on the "homework gap" experienced by 12 million students in this country who do not have internet access at home and are unable to complete their homework -- at a time when more than 70% of educators assign schoolwork that requires the internet. Without FCC action, this existing inequity is likely to be exacerbated by the increasing number of schools that are suspending in-person classes and have transitioned to remote learning over the internet to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff. Temporarily changing E-rate rules to allow financial support for home internet access would be of immense help to schools, students, and families at this time. The E-rate program is capped at $4 billion each year. We understand that the FCC has already allocated about $2 billion this year, leaving approximately half of the funding available for potential emergency action. We strongly urge you to consider how much of this funding can be spent on one-time discounts for schools seeking to loan Wi-Fi hotspots to students who do not have internet at home, as well as those trying to equip school-distributed devices with Wi-Fi capability that can be lent out while physical classes are on hold. We also request that you make it clear to state and local institutions that undertaking any similar measures during this crisis will not affect their future E-rate eligibility. The E-Rate program is, and has been for over two decades, an essential source of funding to connect the nation's schools and libraries to the internet. These institutions are vital outlets to help connect all Americans, including millions of students and Americans in both rural and urban parts of the country. As the coronavirus pandemic develops, this program offers a solution that may help mitigate the impact on our most vulnerable families. We call on you to use the FCC's emergency powers to narrow the homework gap during this crisis, and we look forward to finding a long-term solution when the coronavirus subsides. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Due to the closure of many Senate offices during the coronavirus outbreak, physical signatures are unavailable. The listed senators have asked to be signatories to this letter.

Letter to the Hon. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States - Durbin, Duckworth, Colleagues Urge President Trump To Immediately Maximize Telework For Federal Employees

Mar. 16, 2020

Dear President Trump, We urge you to immediately issue an executive order directing agencies to use telework to the maximum extent practicable in light of the COVID-19 emergency. The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance for agencies to increase telework flexibility in the National Capital Region, but your order should be a clear direction -- rather than general guidance -- and it should be worldwide in scope. State and local governments have been far more proactive than the federal Executive Branch in making arrangements for their employees to telework where possible. We have maximized teleworking in our Senate Offices. You should order Executive agencies to do the same. We must lead by example. Your order should direct federal agencies to allow all telework-eligible federal workers to telework full-time, unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to do so for the effective operation of government. You should also order federal agencies to evaluate whether non-telework-eligible employees can be telework-eligible, and to do so for all employees where there is not a clear and compelling reason that telework is not compatible with the performance of their job functions. You should order agencies to immediately rescind all cuts to telework made since 2016. In 2017, the most recent year for which data are available, 21% of federal employees participated in telework -- a slight decline after years of steady increases from 14% in 2012. In 2017, 43% of employees were telework-eligible, so allowing all of them to telework during this emergency would make an immediate difference. These telework directives should apply to federal workers throughout the United States and to other countries where there are cases of COVID-19. In the National Capital Region, 40% of Metro commuters during morning rush hour are federal employees, and these crowded trains and buses pose a major risk for COVID-19 transmission. But COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and only 15% of federal employees work in the National Capital Region. The federal government should not wait until an area already has widespread community transmission of COVID-19 to act. Voluntary guidance is not enough -- agencies need clear orders. In the absence of a clear order, agencies and managers have been hesitant to take major actions to shift towards telework and we hear from increasingly anxious federal workers in our states on a daily basis. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

Letter to President Donald Trump - Senate Democrats Call for Coronavirus Economic Response Focused on Helping Workers and Families Most Harmed

Mar. 11, 2020

Dear President Trump: We welcome the conversation on the impact of the economic consequences of the recent outbreak and spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus in the United States. Unfortunately, many of the ideas that have been raised thus far have skewed towards more traditional stimulus measures, such as tax benefits for wealthier individuals and corporations. However, in light of this unique public health crisis, we believe any economic relief package must be crafted to predominately target economic relief for the most affected American workers and their families. To date, the current U.S. response -- while too slow -- has been appropriately focused on access to testing and medical care, including the passage of an emergency supplemental that allocates substantial resources to health professionals and communities who are fighting this virus. To address any macroeconomic impact, the Federal Reserve recently made a decision to cut interest rates. And to date, some large businesses have assured their workers that they will not be economically penalized for following the appropriate guidance from public health authorities. However, the spread of COVID-19 will create economic ramifications that will affect individuals, families, and regions differently. While following social distancing guidelines may be important to mitigate the spread of the virus, it creates potentially grave economic challenges for American workers who are not easily able to telework or who do not have access to paid leave. Further limitations on travel, access to more common general services, and cancellation of major events will potentially hurt a large number of Americans who work or depend upon hospitality, travel, tourism, and retail businesses. Thus the goal of any economic stimulus should be directly aimed at the two types of workers who will be most harmed. First, any proposed relief should directly target workers who may have followed medical guidance to self-quarantine because of potential exposure, or those who are required to care for a family member. Second, it should also ensure that workers whose employment or income is significantly jeopardized by industries who may experience the economic slowdown as a consequence of the spread of the virus are appropriately protected. Further, any mechanism to provide relief must predominately be done as a pass through to workers. Our focus should not be on boosting company returns; instead, our focus should be on helping workers, including hourly workers and those workers at small or retail businesses who often don't have access to short term savings or paid time off. Again, we welcome the conversation about federal fiscal relief, and look forward to supporting measures that will put the American worker first and truly help ease the burden of this crisis for the many Americans who continue to be impacted.

Events

2019

Dec. 9
Join Kamala Harris in Denver!

Mon 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM MST

3330 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216-5021, United States

Nov. 30
Shirley Chisholm Day of Action

Sat 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST

Nov. 27
Iowa Teachers for Kamala House Party

Wed 9:45 AM – 11:20 AM CST

Waukee, Iowa Waukee, IA

Voter Guide

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