Locals react to Kamala Harris becoming the first female VP

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On Nov. 7, 2020, Kamala Harris became the vice-president-elect of the United States. Never in the history of our country has a woman and from a multiethnic heritage achieved this position.

Harris, daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is now the 49th vice president of the United States of America.

According to The Washington Post, “Harris has become the highest-ranking woman in the nation’s 244-year existence and high profile representation of the country’s increasingly diverse composition.”

After 55 years after the Voting Rights Act, Harris’s victory is a historic breakthrough after the Voting Rights Act abolished laws that disenfranchised Black Americans, thirty-six years after Geraldine Ferraro shattered political barriers and ran a presidential ticket. Four years after Democratic Hilary Clinton was defeated, Harris is the only woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination.

Amber Juarez, a journalism major at Cal-State Fullerton, said, “I’m happy that Kamala Harris is our new vice president. This is what we needed a woman showing leadership and power. Kamala Harris is an inspiration to girls and young women across the United States. This is the next step for women to become president. I feel honored to see the first woman, Black and South Asian vice president. She made history.”

In previous years, CNN explained how Harris won her first race for San Francisco district attorney and became the first Black woman to hold office in California.

In 2010, she became the first Black woman elected as the California attorney general. In 2016, Harris gained the position of U.S. senator and became the second Black woman ever elected. Harris has come a long way in breaking racial barriers and representing female empowerment through our nation.

Palm Springs High School student Ronald Moreira said, “This is a game-changing effect in which a woman will now set the rules and help America benefit. I trust that they will take the right precautions in keeping the American people from losing their lives from COVID-19 and assist the dreamers in achieving their long-lasting goals.”

I’m happy to see a strong woman take the role of vice president with Joe Biden in keeping the American people safe and sound.”

— Ronald Moreira

Harris has positive plans for DACA individuals. The plan is to use executive authority to offer deportation relief to an estimated 6 million undocumented immigrants, and a path to citizenship to some Dreamers brought to the U.S. as children. This election’s overall impact took DACA individuals’ fear and can begin a new year without fearing deportation.

As excited and honored to see a woman taking this position, DACA student and College of the Desert business administration student Melanie Moreira said, “What once was thought to be impossible, a childish thought from our ancestors, a dream to a young girl by her nightstand, an empowering theory to the neglected minority of our pasts, the change is here and now. America has spoken with the unanimous voting that has occurred for the 2020 elections.”

“Change is here, Moreira continued, “The importance of political voice has been acknowledged. Fear is gone. America can breathe. Dreamers, Muslims, minorities all finally feel the protection from the country they are proud to represent. American citizens can assure their families and children that everything will be okay. A person of color will walk with courage today than what the years before weighted on their shoulders. This is a change we all have prayed for, finally answered. God bless America.”

DACA and Cal-State Fullerton student Melissa Espinosa said, “I’m happy to see some progress. Obviously, whether she’ll be a good vice president or not, we still have to wait and see. But it’s great to see a woman in that position. I think it’s the first step into having a female president or more women running for higher professional positions. I wish her the best, and I hope the president and her do their job serving all in this country.”

Other DACA residents from different states also felt a huge relief. Oregon resident Williams David Grimoldi, who is a sales rep for the Bench Craft Company, said, “As an Argentinian born and American raised man, I am someone that have always respect a woman and every person of any color. I believe no person of color, male or female, should ever be taught that they can’t accomplish whatever they dream of in this country that promises freedom and rights.

This way, some people because sexism and racism this country has faced have yet to be dealt with and abolished properly. Seeing how we’ve only had white men in power makes it amazing to see the people change these limiting beliefs. Kamala Harris is the first woman to become vice president, which means so much to all the women in this country and me.

This changes everything. Finally, little girls of color will have someone they look up to. They now have a reason to believe no matter what they’re told about their nationality, color or sex. Anyone can be what they dream of being.”

Grimoldi said, “Kamala Harris becomes a light, a positive beacon for the direction towards what our nation will become. A nation of democracy, union, and true freedom. I wish to see her run for president in the next election as well. Having women and people of color in power should have happened a long time ago.”

College of the Desert theater major, Laura Martinez said, “I think while the nature of her being in the position of VP as a Black woman is in itself progressive, I am more excited about what she chooses to do with her platform, and I hope that she uses it to make way for all women and minorities.”

Martinez continues, “It is very easy for us as women and as people of color to take her place in power at face value, but we must also do our part within our communities to invoke change and not idolize Kamala or any other politician.

The first step was getting her in office, but change requires us to keep fighting and not think that the work is over. There is no going back to brunch when millions of minorities are counting on our new leaders to reverse four years of borderline fascism.”

Irvine, California resident Summer Li who has kept up with the elections, said, “Seeing the results leading up to the win was agitating and depressing. After seeing what Trump did in the past four years, I’m sad to see how close it was. It’s definitely a good representation for women, but her thoughts on police from 2015 should be evaluated.”

College of the Desert student Eliu Benavides Jr. was truly excited to witness a change in our political times. Benavides, who is a communications major, said, “After a couple of days of experiencing what was possibly the most nerve-wracking election in this current day and age, it’s such a huge relief and cause for celebration to see a woman of color in the office. Kamala gives hope not only to our beautiful people of color but to all the young girls who one daydream of being in office as well.”

The elections ended with a shining new path for our country, and many young individuals feel this is the correct direction the U.S. is headed. Women, immigrants and minorities have come a long way, demanding change and fighting for freedom. Harris’s break-through has changed and opened a new door for everyone. The best way Harris puts it, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”