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Joe Biden made a historic VP pick. Who is Kamala Harris?

THE STORY.

Yesterday, Joe Biden made a historic VP pick. After months of deliberation, Biden followed through on his promise to have a woman join the ticket.

WHO IS SHE? 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). As Biden’s running mate, Harris is now the first Black woman and the first person of South Asian descent to ever be on a major party’s presidential ticket. The US Senator from California – and Biden’s former 2020 rival   – has a long history in public service, and is now taking on another prominent role as a candidate for vice president.

TELL ME ABOUT HER.

She was the first Black woman to hold roles as California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney. She grew up in Oakland, CA, and became an advocate for civil rights after being introduced to protests by her parents – both immigrants. But like any politician, Harris has seen her fair share of criticism.

LIKE?

Like her record as a prosecutor, especially with regard to criminal justice reform – something she was highly criticized for on the debate stage. As CA’s AG, she defended the death penalty and some lawyers claimed she fought to uphold wrongful convictions. And didn’t take a position on a bill that would’ve required her office to investigate fatal police shootings. Or on an act that reduced some felonies to misdemeanors. But Harris has recently taken a more progressive stance on criminal justice issues.

GO ON. 

Amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racism, she’s pushed for police reform. She fought to make lynching a federal crime. And has vowed to end mass incarceration, cash bail, and the death penalty. And on other issues: She signed onto the 2017 Medicare for All bill, but wants to keep private insurance as an option.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Many are ecstatic to see a Biden-Harris ticket. Others pointed out that the two weren’t exactly the best of friends during the debates. But Biden’s said he doesn’t hold a grudge and is proud to have a “fearless fighter” as a running mate. Meanwhile, Republicans said she’s too far to the left. President Trump noted that voters “rejected Harris” during the Dem primary. And had a campaign ad against her ready to go.

Source: BBC, The New York Times.

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