She is now the official Democratic candidate for the office of the Attorney General of California
By Joy Childs
Sentinel Contributing Writer
As it turns out, Kamala Harris was worthy not only of our votes but also the majority of votes from a cross section of voters in Tuesday’s election. After a convincing margin of victory, she became the official Democratic candidate for the office of the Attorney General of California.
Harris, the current district attorney of San Francisco soared over a field of six Democrats to be able to be the party’s standard-bearer for the November runoff. She has been a prosecutor for nearly 20 years with a sterling record as the twice-elected district attorney of San Francisco, a record that speaks for itself.
As DA, she focused intensively on fighting violent crime, increasing conviction rates for serious and violent offenses, and expanding services to victims of violent crimes and their families. Harris created new prosecution divisions that focused on child assault, public integrity and environmental crimes, and launched innovative re-entry initiatives to curb the state’s horrendous recidivism rate.
To combat one of San Francisco’s biggest challenges, gun violence, she created a gun specialist team and implemented tough gun charging policies. This work paid off: the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office more than doubled its trial conviction rate for gun felonies to 90 percent. Under her leadership, the office sent 50 percent more serious and violent offenders to state prison, put more than 220 gang members behind bars and convicted more than 1,200 domestic violence offenders.
According to the San Francisco Superior Court, the office’s overall felony conviction rate is at its highest point in nearly 15 years.
Harris brought much-needed consistency and innovation to the handling of narcotics and quality-of-life crimes. Her office tripled the number of misdemeanor cases taken to trial, and she assigned senior prosecutors to specialize in prosecuting graffiti, vandalism and auto burglaries. Harris also launched unprecedented programs of outreach to San Francisco communities and brought free legal clinics to immigrant neighborhoods.
Born and raised in the East Bay, Harris attended Howard University and then went to the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
If successful in November, she promises to bring a fresh new look-both in her professional outlook and her physical attractiveness-to the office of attorney general.