Here is some background that is not ‘smothered’ with party sap and unending and undeserved glee – all of which makes me want to PUKE!!
Kamala Harris was born October 20, 1964, to a black Stanford University professor and a Tamil Indian physician mother. Harris became the first California attorney general with African American or South Asian ancestry after defeating Republican rival Steve Cooley in the 2010 election for the position. Harris, formerly San Francisco’s district attorney, was also the first woman to serve in the role.
Kamala Harris announced she was running for president in 2020 on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2019.
Fast Facts: Kamala Harris
- Name: Kamala Devi Harris
- Born: October 20, 1964, in Oakland, CA
- Known For: Junior Senator from California; sits on Senate Budget, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Judiciary, and Intelligence committees. First woman, African-American, and South Asian district attorney in San Francisco. First California Attorney General with African-American or South Asian ancestry.
- Education: Howard University, Hastings College of the Law
- Distinctions and Awards: Named one of California’s top 75 women litigators by the legal paper “The Daily Journal” and a “Woman of Power” by the National Urban League. Awarded Thurgood Marshall Award by National Black Prosecutors Association. Named Rodel Fellow by the Aspen Institute. On the board of the California District Attorneys Association.
Early Life and Education
Kamala Devi Harris was raised in San Francisco’s East Bay, where she attended public schools, worshiped at black churches, and lived in predominantly African-American communities. Her immersion in African-American culture didn’t prevent her from being exposed to Indian culture, however.
Her mother took Harris to Hindu temples to worship. Moreover, Harris is no stranger to India, having visited the subcontinent on several occasions to see relatives. Her bicultural heritage and travels around the globe have inspired political insiders to compare her with President Barack Obama. While Obama sometimes struggled with identity issues, as he describes in his memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Harris evidently didn’t experience growing pains in this vein.
Harris attended high school in Quebec, where she moved with her mother following her parents’ divorce. After graduation, Harris attended Howard University, a historically black academic institution. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard in 1986 and then returned to the bay area in northern California. Upon her return, she enrolled at Hastings College of the Law, where she earned a law degree. Following that accomplishment, Harris proceeded to leave her mark on the legal arena of San Francisco.
Law degree in tow, Harris began prosecuting murder, robbery, and child rape cases as deputy district attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, serving as a prosecutor from 1990 to 1998. Then, as managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, a position she filled from 1998 to 2000, Harris prosecuted cases involving serial felons.
Later, she headed the San Francisco City Attorney’s Division on Families and Children for three years. But it was in 2003 that Harris would make history. At the year’s end, she was elected as the San Francisco district attorney, becoming the first female, black, and South Asian person to achieve this feat. In November 2007, voters re-elected her to the office.
During her 20 years as a prosecutor, Harris has shaped an identity for herself as being tough on crime. She prides herself on doubling trial conviction rates for gun felonies to 92% as San Francisco’s top cop.1 But serious crime wasn’t Harris’ only focus. She also tripled the number of misdemeanor cases sent to trial1 and prosecuted the parents of truant children, which helped slash the truancy rate by 32%.2