California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom greet President Barack Obama in San Francisco in 2011. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Sen. Kamala Harris has officially launched her campaign for president with a rally in Oakland.
After announcing her intention to run for president last week, California Senator Kamala Harris, traveled to her hometown of Oakland Sunday to launch her campaign at a high-profile rally before a crowd of nearly 20,000.
Harris, 54, who only two years into her freshman term as a U.S. senator announced her candidacy last Monday, January 21st, rallied supporters gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall in Oakland, her hometown and where she served as a prosecutor before becoming California attorney general. The event was the formal kickoff for her campaign.
The Former California Attorney General says the American Dream and American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before. She says that racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and transphobia are real in the U.S. and must be recognized and dealt with.
Harris also took a swipe at President Donald Trump’s border wall proposal, calling it “the president’s medieval vanity project” and saying it won’t stop transnational gangs.
Harris said she was running “to fight for an America where no mother or father will have to teach their young son that someone will stop him or kill him because of his race.”
Revisit Harris’s press coverage over the years and a common theme emerges. She is “the first African-American woman to lead her [department],” Newsweek noted in 2005. “Securing the [Democratic] nomination would make Ms Harris the first African American or Indian American woman to be a major party nominee for the presidency,” added the BBC on Jan. 21. (Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican-born Stanford University economics professor and an Indian-born cancer researcher.)
“Is Kamala Harris the next Barack Obama?” asked the Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson in 2015. “[She] embodies several parts of the coalition of the ascendant, the voting bloc that was so important to President Obama’s rise” — and thus seems to represent “everything the Democrats want these days.”
In other words, Harris, like Obama, has been a pioneering figure every step of the way, breaking through barriers of sexism and racism that have long held back women of color — and the historic symbolism of those successive breakthroughs has fed on itself, fueling higher hopes and greater buzz. Meanwhile, the nuances of Harris’s actual agenda and achievements have often taken a backseat in the national conversation, Andrew Romano, West Coast Correspondent for Yahoo News wrote.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company.
AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.