“I’m incredibly honored to have the endorsement of the California Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate race, and I’m so proud of the support our campaign has received from every corner of our state,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who overwhelmingly won the California Democratic Party’s endorsement this past weekend at the California Democratic Convention. Harris is the first statewide candidate in a competitive primary to win the party’s endorsement since 2010. She earned 78 percent of the vote, well over the 60 percent threshold needed to win the party’s endorsement.
“We know there is more that unites us than divides us,” she said, “and I’m grateful to the Californians who joined together to send that message this weekend.”
Throughout the three day convention, Harris met with delegates in the hallways of the San Jose Convention Center and in caucus meetings, speaking about topics ranging from labor to education to the environment and women’s issues. During the African American caucus, she was presented with the Good Works Award for her service to California as Attorney General.
On Saturday, she spoke to over 3,000 enthusiastic Convention attendees, many who waved Kamala Harris for Senate signs. During her speech she talked about the “Politics of Poison” that have permeated the race for the Republican nomination, and called on Democrats to stand together and accept the challenge President Obama reminded us of: the challenge to be a more perfect union.
“Fabulous news- even though, given her credentials, I’m not surprised,” said L.A. Sentinel publisher Danny Bakewell Sr.
“We as a community need to make sure that she is elected to serve in the United States Senate. She is the best we have and she deserves to serve and represent us.”
Harris became the 32nd Attorney General of California in 2011. Before that, she served in Alameda County, California as deputy district attorney for eight years, beginning in 1990. In 1998, upon finishing her term as D.A., Harris took the lead as managing attorney for the Career Criminal Unit in San Francisco’s D.A. office.
Harris was born in Oakland, raised by a doctor mother and economics professor dad. Her parents split up when she was young, leaving her and her sister primarily in the care of their mother.
“My parents were both graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley,” Harris recalled via a written bio on her campaign website.
“I grew up with a stroller’s-eye view of the civil rights movement, and often I joke that as a child I was surrounded by adults marching and shouting for this thing called justice. My younger sister, Maya, and I grew up around adults who were committed to service and community involvement…”
Harris credits civil rights era attorneys like Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston as her inspiration. Their work, she said, was an example of how to fight effectively “for the voiceless and for justice”.
As a Northern California attorney, Harris set out to take a different approach toward crime. She repeatedly “challenged the false choice that we must either be “soft” or “tough” on crime, and set forth a new vision for public safety that focuses on prevention, combating recidivism, and addressing the root causes of crime, rather than just treating its symptoms,” she wrote.
“This endorsement is a big milestone on a very long road to the general election in November,” she said during her convention speech.
“I look forward to visiting more communities across the state to speak with Californians about how we can work together to repair the ladder of opportunity that is broken for far too many families.
“We need to ensure that every child receives a high quality education; every student attends college without being intimidated by the cost; and every Californian finds work that allows them to make ends meet.
“In addition to these issues, I’ve also prioritized reforming our broken criminal justice system, increasing transparency between law enforcement and communities by making data available to the public, and passing comprehensive immigration reform.”
“I was very pleased to see Kamala Harris earn the California Democratic Party’s endorsement to be our state’s next United States Senator,” said Congresswoman Karen Bass.
“Kamala is committed to helping the state’s most vulnerable children and addressing the needs of our criminal justice system. As Speaker of the California Assembly, I worked to draft legislation mirroring Kamala’s Smart on Crime initiative in San Francisco with laws in California to reduce crime and focus on re-entry services to reduce recidivism, and she showed true leadership when she created the Bureau of Children’s Justice to provide real assistance for youth in the foster care system and fight against sex trafficking. Kamala has shown time and time again that she is not just talk. She uses her position to take real actions and create real results to improve the lives of Californians.”
Said fellow Democrat, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, “The overwhelming endorsement of Kamala Harris by fellow democrats is further evidence that the state Attorney General is prepared to lead and best represent Californians in the U.S. Senate.”
Added State Senator Isadore Hall, “I’m proud to endorse Attorney General Kamala Harris for United States Senate. She’s a fearless, tenacious and driven leader who will be a real force on behalf of all Californians in the U.S. Senate. As Chairman of the California Legislative Black Caucus, I was pleased to be one of the key delegates to support Attorney General Harris for the California Democratic Party’s endorsement at this weekend’s state convention. I know she’ll make the California Democratic Party, grassroots activists, and all Californian’s proud as our next Senator.”
“Kamala Harris is a proven champion for California’s families and is known for delivering the results our communities so desperately need,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. “Harris’ leadership and tenacity are the exact qualities the Golden State needs in a Congressional representative…”