California Senator Kamala Harris drew a crowd of some 20,000 to downtown
Oakland this week as she officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign.
In a speech infused with conviction, humor and a bit of swagger, Senator
Harris laid out her vision for America, bolstered by her desire to “reclaim
the American Dream for every single person” and “restore America’s moral
Addressing the crowd at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, the former prosecutor spoke
about the path she’s taken to this point in time and the path that remains
ahead. She touched on an array of issues including climate change, the
economy, affordable health care, the killing of unarmed Black men by
members of law enforcement, treatment of U.S. veterans, immigration,
attacks on voting and reproductive rights, and of course, the current
“We are at an inflection point in in the history of our nation. We are here
because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and
on the line like never before,” Ms. Harris said.
“When we have leaders who lie and bully and attack a free press and
undermine our democratic institutions that’s not our America…When we have
children in cages crying for their mothers and fathers, don’t you dare call
it border security, that’s a human rights abuse and that’s not our America.”
If elected, Senator Harris would be only the second Black person, after
President Barack Obama, who served two terms from 2009 to 2017, to lead the
White House. She addressed issues facing people of color.
“I’m running to fight for an America where no mother or father has to teach
their young son that people may stop him, arrest him, chase him, or kill
him, because of his race,” she said.
“Let’s speak the truth that too many unarmed Black men and women are killed
in America. Too many Black and brown Americans are locked up. From mass
incarceration to cash bail to policing, our criminal justice system needs
drastic repair. Let’s speak that truth,” she added.
If her campaign is successful, Senator Harris would also be the first woman
in the nation’s history to serve as president. Naturally, her comments
included focus on women, particularly the issue of equal pay.
“Let’s speak another truth about our economy,” she said. “Women are paid on
average 80 cents on the dollar. Black women, 63 cents. Latinas, 53 cents.”
“And here’s the thing. When we lift up the women of our country, we lift up
the children of our country. We lift up the families of our country. And
the whole of society benefits,” she continued.
Senator Harris has been highly visible in the past year. She visited
Sacramento in April 2018, during a series of townhall meetings that touched
on issues facing the city, state and nation. As a member of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, she challenged Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the
Supreme Court and she’s been pretty vocal about President Donald Trump’s
border wall, which she called his “medieval vanity project.”
Speaking up and speaking out, she says, is so very American.
“These are not ordinary times and this will not be an ordinary election.
But this is our America,” she said.
“It’s up to us. Let’s remember in this fight we have the power of the
people. We can achieve the dreams of our parents and grandparents. We can
heal our nation. We can give our children the future they deserve.”
In launching her campaign, Ms. Harris has added her name to a burgeoning
list of candidates seeking the nation’s top political position. Other
Democrats rumored to be throwing their hats in the ring include African
American Senator Corey Booker, former Vice President Joe Biden and 2018
presidential candidate and former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary
By Genoa Barrow |OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer
Photo By Ken Nelson