Tag: Barbara Boxer

Kamala Harris Sworn in as California’s 1st Black U.S. Senator and 1st Indian American Senator – LA Times

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D) California [photo via latimes.com]
article by Sarah D. Wire via latimes.com

Before friends and family in a packed chamber, Kamala Harris was sworn in as California’s newest U.S. senator Tuesday morning. She became  the first black woman the Golden State has sent to the Senate and the first Indian American to ever serve in the body.

Harris, 52, a Democrat from Los Angeles, was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden shortly after 9 a.m. PT as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and her new Senate colleagues looked on. Harris’ husband, Los Angeles attorney Doug Emhoff, her stepchildren, brother-in-law Tony West, sister Maya Harris, extended family as well as several state officials from across the country who traveled to celebrate with the now former state attorney general watched from the gallery.

“Whatever advice she wants, all she has to do is ask,” Feinstein said. “I have said to her that I would like to have a close relationship.”

Feinstein and Harris met repeatedly in the weeks since the election, with Feinstein sharing advice on how to set up the largest Senate office in the country, including how to deal with the up to 100,000 emails, letters and phone calls that can come into a California senator’s office in a given week.

Harris, one of seven new senators, replaces Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who retired after 24 years in the Senate.

To read full article, go to: Kamala Harris sworn in as first Indian American senator and California’s first black senator – LA Times

CA Attorney General Kamala Harris Becomes 2nd Black Woman Elected to U.S. Senate

Newly-elected U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (photo via essence.com)
Newly-elected U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (photo via essence.com)

article by  via essence.com

California Attorney General Kamala Harris made history Tuesday night when she won the Senate race and became the second Black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harris, an Oakland native, will replace Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who intends to retire 23 years as a California senator. The last African-American woman elected to the senate was Carol Moseley Braun (D, Illinois) who served one term, from 1993-1999.

The Howard University graduate’s platforms included criminal justice, abortion rights and immigration reform. She beat out fellow Democrat, Rep. Loretta Sanchez for the hotly contested race.

A career prosecutor, Harris, whose mother is Indian and father is Jamaican, not only becomes the second Black woman in the senate, she’s also the first Indian woman in the position. For her run, Harris won endorsements from President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown.

In an interview with ESSENCE earlier this year, Harris, 52, pledged “to ensure our children have a fair shot in school and in life by passing universal prekindergarten legislation.”

“This issue is important to all, but for Black women, poor women, working women, it’s about economic empowerment,” she added.

Harris joins two African-American men in the 100-member Senate: Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey). “Kamala is one of the most exciting leaders in the country right now,” Booker told ESSENCE. “She brings an incredible combination of life experiences and skills that are sorely needed on issues like prison reform, empowering victims, addiction and violence. And she has actually run [and managed] something, and shown herself to be a creative problem solver.”

With additional reporting by Donna Owens.

CA Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris Overwhelmingly Wins State Democratic Party Endorsement for U.S. Senate Campaign

Kamala Harris (photo via latimes.com)
California Attorney General and U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris (photo via latimes.com)

article by Phil Willon via latimes.com

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris won the coveted California Democratic Party endorsement for U.S. Senate on Saturday, solidifying her status as the front-runner and delivering a setback to her top rival, Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

Harris captured 78.1% of the votes to earn the state Democrats’ official seal of approval. It’s a prize that provides her with a clear edge in the June 7 primary and, most likely, financial support from the party.

The endorsement came after the two Democratic Senate candidates, running to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, made their final pitches to local activists and other elected officials.

Harris asked Democrats to help her deliver a “more perfect union” and Sanchez asked them to trust her experience and record over other candidates’ “talk.”

But Harris prevailed in a landslide. Of the 2,139 ballots cast, 19.3% were for Sanchez and 2.6% voted for no endorsement at all.   Their back-to-back speeches, the warm-up acts before Vice President Joe Biden took the stage, capped a furious two days of campaigning by both women.

Sanchez spoke of her hardscrabble upbringing, cleaning homes to help one of her brothers pay for college, and how her Mexican immigrant parents’ hard work and perseverance allowed them to achieve the American dream. The congresswoman emphasized her record and experience in Washington and received the warmest response when extolling her votes against the Iraq war, the bank bailout and the Patriot Act.

“While other candidates talk about boldly changing in Washington, I’ve done it for 20 years,” Sanchez said, taking a subtle dig at Harris. “Experience matters, and I will hit the ground running in the Senate.”

Harris walked onto the stage to rousing applause and described the life-shaping experience of growing up in the Bay Area as the daughter of two civil rights activists. Harris’ speech hewed to the high ideals of the Democratic Party and the “poison” politics consuming the Republican presidential race. She vowed to protect and restore the fundamental rights of all Americans.

“For far too many, liberty and justice for all is a promise we have failed to keep,” Harris said.

Winning the party endorsement required at least 60% of the votes from credentialed party delegates or their proxies, a mark that historically has been difficult to reach because delegates also have the option of checking a box for “no endorsement.”
Continue reading “CA Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris Overwhelmingly Wins State Democratic Party Endorsement for U.S. Senate Campaign”

Obama Permanently Protects More Than One Million Acres of Public Lands

CREDIT: TYLER ROEMER

President Barack Obama announced last week that he will designate three new national monuments, permanently protecting more than one million acres of public lands. He designated pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.

With these designations, President Obama is adding to the 16 national monuments he has already created with his authority under the Antiquities Act, setting aside “more public lands and waters than any administration in history.” Both Democratic and Republican presidents have used their authority under the law to designate national monuments, many of which have later become some of the country’s most iconic national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Arches National Park.

A diverse array of groups praised the announcement, emphasizing that the new monuments were a response to years of local support and advocacy to permanently protect these sites.

“By creating these three new national monuments, President Obama is continuing his commitment to preserving America’s treasured places and cementing his well-deserved place in conservation history,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters told the Hill. “The president acted in response to the overwhelming support expressed by local communities and stakeholders across the country for protecting these places of extraordinary environmental, historic, and scientific value.”

Continue reading “Obama Permanently Protects More Than One Million Acres of Public Lands”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris to Announce Bid for U.S. Senate on Tuesday

“She’s not testing the waters. She’s charting the course. She’s in with both feet,” said the source who requested anonymity while discussing Harris’ plans.

The move comes as California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he would not run for the seat, averting an ugly battle between two Democrats who share many of the same supporters, have national profiles, are both from the Bay Area and are popular with the liberal wing of the party.

Harris, 50, who is in her second term as attorney general, previously served as the district attorney of San Francisco. She is the first candidate to officially declare. Boxer announced last week that she would not seek reelection in 2016, setting off a scramble among Democrats who have not seen an open U.S. Senate seat since 1992.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer are seriously considering bids, as are several members of Congress.

article by Seema Mehta via latimes.com