11 quotes to help you get to know Kamala Harris

Ella Alexander
·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

From Good Housekeeping

The barrier-breaking former prosecutor Kamala Harris is now Vice President-Elect. The daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, she is making history as the first Black woman and the first Asian American to be elected to the role.

A vocal Trump critic, Harris was both the first woman and the first person of colour to hold the position of district attorney in California where she fought for and protected gay rights, as well as increasing law enforcement transparency and public access to information about in-custody deaths. Barack Obama, who in 2008 enlisted Biden as his vice-president, has given her his glowing endorsement in an Instagram post shared on 11 August. "She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake," he wrote. "Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in: a story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship, or who you love, there’s a place for you here."

Here, we round up some of her most impactful, thought-provoking and galvanising quotes.

On her historic Vice Presidential role:

"When she [Kamala's mother] came here from India at the age of 19. She maybe didn't quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply, and in America, where a moment like this is possible. And so I'm thinking about her, and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women who throughout our nation's history have paved the way for this moment tonight." - First speech as Vice President-Elect, 2020

On preventing crime:

"To be smart on crime, we should not be in a position of constantly reacting to crime after it happens. We should be looking at preventing crime before it happens." - Smart On Crime, 2009

On Black Lives Matter:

“Let’s speak the truth: People are protesting because Black people have been treated as less than human in America. Because our country has never fully addressed the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its earliest days. It is the duty of every American to fix. No longer can some wait on the sidelines, hoping for incremental change. In times like this, silence is complicity.” - Cosmopolitan.com, 2020

On human empathy:

"You have to see and smell and feel the circumstances of people to really understand them." - CBS News, 2012

On why we need more women in politics:

"I've been a proud mentor to many women seeking public office, because I believe we need more women at all levels of government. Women have an equal stake in our future and should have an equal voice in our politics. These are challenging times, but I believe getting more women to run for office is a big part of the solution." - Marie Claire, 2015

On abortion

"We cannot tolerate a perspective that is about going backward and not understanding women have agency. Women have value. Women have authority to make decisions about their own lives and their own bodies.

"And let me just tell you, as president, I will fight every day for a woman to make the decision for herself, which means I will respect any woman who decides that is not the decision she wants to make, that she wants to make a different decision, but we have got to respect women in this country." - MSNBC Town Hall, 2019

On why we must remain hopeful:

"Don't give up - our country needs you now more than ever. This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country: Our ideals are at stake, and we all have to fight for who we are. We are all, and should be treated as, equals, but the disparity in terms of income and inequality, for women and women of colour, is significant." - Marie Claire, 2015

On gun control:

"Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress a hundred days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. If they fail to do it, then I will take executive action." - CNN Town Hall, 2019

On Donald Trump:

“Let’s speak truth here today — this president isn’t trying to make America great; he’s trying to make America hate. So, it is critical to our security, our dignity, and our unity as a nation when I say: ‘We need a new president.'" - Politico, 2019

On climate change:

"I want to use my position of leadership to help move along at a faster pace what I believe and know the Obama administration wants to do around the urgency of climate change." - Politico, 2010

On what she wants her daughter to know:

"What's important for my daughter to know is that... if you are fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well."

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Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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