Meet the Candidates: Kamala Harris

California Senator Kamala Harris: Before she took on the Senate, Harris was California’s Attorney General, the state’s first African American and first woman in the role. In the Senate, Harris is the second-ever African American woman and first-ever Asian American. As a Senator, Harris has been one of the most effective and powerful cross-examiners in hearings, a champion of progressive ideas like the DREAM Act, and is heralded for her strategic and stringent opposition to Trumpian appointees like Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General William Barr.

Immigration: Harris plans to use sweeping executive action to change the future for Dreamers, expanding deferred action and providing easy paths to greencards for nearly 2 million young “Dreamers” who were brought to the States as children and have grown up under the weight of their undocumented status. She also plans to work with Congress to find broader immigration reform, with pathways to citizenship for 11 million undocumented.

Gun Safety: If Congress does not pass universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and the elimination of the NRA’s corporate gun manufacturer immunity shield within the 100 days of her presidency, Harris vows to use executive action to make them happen.

Healthcare: Harris has cosponsored Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All bill, but her campaign policy is slightly different: Medicare For All + private insurers. Her tactic is to allow private insurance companies to offer plans that adhere to Medicare’s strict high standards in addition to Medicare itself being a public option.

LIFT the Middle Class: Harris has proposed a new policy which provides $3000-$6000 a year to working individuals (based on marital status, and number of children), lifting 9 million out of poverty immediately. Critics on the left point out that this policy will not cover Americans who are earning $0 because they are out of work or children living in poverty.

…plus more economic relief: Trump’s tax scam will be axed by Harris and the tax credit instead given to working families. She also plans to set limits on percentages spent: the Rent Relief Act will provide a tax credit for those spending more than 30% on rent, and investing federal funds in childcare to keep household input under 7%.

Critics say…her history as California’s Attorney General is marred with many “tough on crime” conservative moves, such as: pushing for minimum custody inmates to stay in prison so that California could keep “an important labor pool” (prison labor firefighters paid $1/hour for highly dangerous work)…Harris has since claimed she was unaware her office was doing so; keeping people in jail after they were proven innocent; defending California’s death penalty in court (even though she is personally opposed); and jailing parents for having children with high school absentee levels.

And finally…regarding her critics, Harris has taken something of a *sorry not sorry* approach. She says President Harris would look different than AG Harris but also defends the very actions she’s distancing herself from. Given her own contradiction on this, we can only wait to see…but one of Harris’ campaign points is ending the cash bail system, which currently keeps the poor in jail while the rich go free for the same crimes, something she did not act on (but could have) as CA AG. Democrats know they need a fighter in 2020 and from the court room to Senate hearings to the debate stage, Harris has always proven more than formidable in any fight.

For all of Senator Harris’s campaign issues, peruse here!


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