Kamala Harris has already accomplished some impressive ‘firsts.’ She’s the first female, the first African-American and the first Asian-American to become Attorney General of California, a post she was elected to in 2010 and reelected to last year.
Harris, 50, whose mother is Tamil Indian and whose father is Jamaican-American, is a graduate of Howard University and the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law.
Last year, after the long-running Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer announced she was retiring, Harris was the first candidate to announce her bid for U.S. Senate. She would be just the second African-American female Senator in U.S. history.
Harris attributes much of her success to her mother, a breast cancer scientist who emigrated from India in the early 1960’s.
“She used to tell us, you may be the first to do many things but make sure you aren’t the last,” Harris said in an interview earlier this year. Harris’ sister Maya, is also a lawyer who has held leadership positions the Ford Foundation and the ACLU. “We were raised with a sense of personal responsibility but also responsibility to others and to our community.”
As California’s Attorney General, Harris has made great strides in helping Californians navigate the foreclosure crisis, has been at the forefront of efforts to combat human trafficking and has made a priority of upholding children’s legal rights and helping prosecute domestic violence perpetrators.
Harris has already been endorsed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who described Harris in a recent statement as a “smart, tough and experienced prosecutor who has consistently stood up to Wall Street.”
Another powerful supporter is President Barack Obama. Harris is looking forward to her campaign and the opportunity to be able to add to her considerable list of accomplishments as a U.S. Senator.
“I feel very privileged to do work that I enjoy doing and that hopefully is making a difference,” she says.