Kamala Harris Named Joe Biden’s Running Mate

Former presidential candidate Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s pick for vice president. (Biden Campaign)

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, has picked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) as his running mate.

The first Black candidate, and third woman, to be nominated for vice president by a major political party, Harris represents a historic choice during a time of heightened attention on racial justice and reform in the country.

“These aren’t normal times,” Biden wrote to supporters. “I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person.”

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has smartly invested in diverse coalitions and recently made a significant hire in Clara Pratte, Diné, as Tribal engagement director.

Pratte shared via email with Native Business: “Kamala Harris is ready on day one and shares Joe Biden’s view of standing up for the backbone of this country – the truly essential people including Indian Country. During her campaign she developed a robust platform of tribal issues meeting with tribal leaders across Indian Country. She represents the largest state in the country in the United States Senate with 109 federally recognized tribes. She fought big oil to protect the environment. Kamala respects the sovereignty of tribes and understands that tribal land is core to that sovereignty. The Biden-Harris ticket is strong and ready to tackle the issues that affect Indian Country.

READ MORE: Biden Campaign Adds Clara Pratte (Navajo) to Lead Engagement With Tribes 

From the Editor: Biden Names Tribal Engagement Director 

The first Black woman to represent California in the United States Senate, Harris is committed to leveling the playing field for all Americans.

She has spoken out in support of Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for economic recovery and racial equality. As part of the plan, Biden has committed to leveraging more than $150 billion in new capital and opportunities for small businesses that have been structurally excluded for generations. An additional $50 billion will go toward new equity investment and venture capital for entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged areas. Biden’s plan also ensures equity in bold infrastructure, including housing and broadband, and clean energy investments for Tribal communities.

“This plan that Joe Biden is offering around dealing with racial disparity in the economy is a very important step because he is acknowledging that racial equities have to be a part of the priority,” Harris said.

The Trump campaign quickly slammed Biden’s VP choice, alleging Harris had attacked “Biden for racist policies.” Biden currently leads President Trump by 10 points in a new national poll.

Biden can “unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals,” Harris tweeted. (Biden Campaign)

Interesting Facts to Know About Kamala Harris: 

  • Kamala’s father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to study economics and her mother immigrated from India. Kamala’s mother told her growing up, “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something,” which is what drives Kamala every single day, according to the Biden campaign. 
  • Kamala started fighting for working families in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she focused on prosecuting child sexual assault cases. From there, she became the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney. In this position, she started a program to provide first-time drug offenders second chances with the opportunity to earn a high school degree and find a job.
  • In 2010, Kamala became the first Black woman to be elected California Attorney General, overseeing the country’s second largest Justice Department, only behind the U.S. Department of Justice. In this capacity, she managed a $735 million budget and oversaw more than 4,800 attorneys and other employees. As California Attorney General, Kamala fought for families and won a $20 billion settlement for California homeowners against big banks that were unfairly foreclosing on homes.
  • Kamala worked to protect Obamacare, helped win marriage equality for all, defended California’s landmark climate change law and won a $1.1 billion settlement against a for-profit education company that scammed students and veterans. Kamala also fought for California communities and prosecuted transnational gangs who drove human trafficking, gun smuggling and drug rings. 
  • Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kamala has introduced and co-sponsored legislation to help the middle class, increase the minimum wage to $15, reform cash bail, and defend the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.
  • Kamala serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that deals with the nation’s most sensitive national security and international threats. She also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she oversees the federal government’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, including the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19. 
  • On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kamala has held Trump administration officials accountable and was a powerful voice against Trump’s conservative judicial nominations.
  • Kamala graduated from Howard University, where she was in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. 

As Harris said during a Black Girls Rock conference earlier this month: “There will be resistance to your ambition. There will be people who say to you, you are out of your lane. But don’t let that burden you.” (Biden Campaign)

Indian Country for Biden is hosting a Pre-Program on Monday August 17, from 8-9 pm EST, to precede the main Convention Program Watch Party taking place from 9-11 pm EST. RSVP to attend.

READ MORE: Carmen Davis to Speak on Panel, Indian Country Business Leaders for Biden 

Carmen Davis Speaks to Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure During Indian Country Business Leaders Panel 

Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation representing the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas, commented on Biden’s choice of Harris on Twitter: “An excellent choice! We all need to be united in defeating Donald Trump this November, and with @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on the ticket, that’s exactly what we’ll do.” 

Meanwhile Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, shared on Twitter, “Today our nation made history when @JoeBiden announced @KamalaHarris as his running mate. For the first time in our nation’s history, we speculated on what woman would be our first Vice President.” 

“I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021,” Biden wrote in an email from his campaign to supporters.

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