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Biden/Harris 2020

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It’s official, former Vice-President and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has named California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. She is the first Black and Indian American woman to represent California in the United States Senate,

Kamala Harris grew up believing in the promise of America and fighting to make sure that promise is fulfilled for all Americans. Kamala’s father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to study economics and her mother immigrated from India. Kamala’s mother told her growing up “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something,” which is what drives Kamala every single day.

Kamala started fighting for working families in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she focused on prosecuting child sexual assault cases. From there, she became the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney. In this position, she started a program to provide first-time drug offenders second chances with the opportunity to earn a high school degree and find a job.

In 2010, Kamala became the first Black woman to be elected California Attorney General, overseeing the country’s second largest Justice Department, only behind the U.S. Department of Justice. In this capacity, she managed a $735 million budget and oversaw more than 4,800 attorneys and other employees. As California Attorney General, Kamala fought for families and won a $20 billion settlement for California homeowners against big banks that were unfairly foreclosing on homes.

Kamala worked to protect Obamacare, helped win marriage equality for all, defended California’s landmark climate change law and won a $1.1 billion settlement against a for-profit education company that scammed students and veterans. Kamala also fought for California communities and prosecuted transnational gangs who drove human trafficking, gun smuggling and drug rings.

Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kamala has introduced and co-sponsored legislation to help the middle class, increase the minimum wage to $15, reform cash bail, and defend the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.

Kamala serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that deals with the nation’s most sensitive national security and international threats.  She also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she oversees the federal government’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, including the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19.

On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kamala has held Trump administration officials accountable and was a powerful voice against Trump’s conservative judicial nominations.

Kamala graduated from Howard University, where she was in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. 

Kamala has been married to her husband Doug for the past six years. She is the stepmother of two children, Ella and Cole who are her “endless source of love and pure joy.”

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Education

Where Will You Be For History?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021 marks the day for the 59th Inaugural Ceremony. This historical event has been witnessed by Americans for over 200 years. The moment marks the transition of power for the President and Vice President of the United States. From the first Inauguration of George Washington, in New York City, in 1789, to the present, the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the Swearing-In Ceremonies represent both national renewal and continuity of leadership. Several Inaugurations have held great importance and significance including the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, but what makes this year’s inauguration so remarkable? Well, as we reflect on the current time we are in; a divided nation where hate is at the forefront of the actions of many American citizens, COVID has devastated the population, historic election voting percentages have reigned, the inaugural events are closed to the public, and where gender and race have for far too long been the basis as to why some have been denied opportunities to fulfill “positions of power,” this milestone marks another step towards us becoming “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” Kamala Harris already made history when she was elected as the first Black and South Asian woman elected Vice President, however January 20, 2021 her role will be official and she will officially be Madame Vice President.

The ceremony traditionally begins with a procession to the capitol beginning about 11:00 ET. Harris will be sworn in first by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latina Justice appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. (She was nominated by President Barack Obama.). Joe Biden will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts followed by remarks from both.

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A New Chief In Charge

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Less than two weeks into the new year and after the insurrection chaos on Capitol Hill, the US Capitol Police has appointed a new chief. Yogananda Pittman was appointed the acting police chief after former Chief Steven Sund resigned after criticism and calls for his resignation due to the many failures and ill planning and handling of security against the pro-Trump rioters that invaded the US Capitol. Pittman will be the first woman and first Black person to head the Capitol Police. Previously, she served as an assistant chief.

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2021 History Makers

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by LaNell Taylor

We’re just seven days into the new year and although political chaos has turned deadly (US Capital takeover), the COVID virus is still running rampant throughout most of the world, history makers are already taking their place in the record books.

Right here in Bexar County, TX, San Antonio’s very own Kathryn Brown was sworn in at midnight on Jan. 1 taking on her role as Bexar County Constable, Precinct 4. She is the first-ever Black woman to serve in the county. Brown defeated her Republican opponent Larry Ricketts. Brown is a 19-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, a mother of two, and a cancer survivor.

Tia McWilliams made history as the first African American woman sheriff of Taliaferro County in rural Georgia. McWilliams is also a mother of two and has been with the sheriff’s office for over 19 years. She was elected in November 2020 and will replace retired Sheriff Marc Richards.

On Tuesday, January 5th Reverend Raphael Warnock won the runoff and was elected Georgia’s first black senator. When he is sworn in later this month, he’ll be the 11th Black person to serve in the US Senate, but the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate. (Other non southern states Black Democrat Senators were Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Carol Mosely Braun, Roland Burris, and William “Mo” Cowan). Warnock beat the GOP incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Warnock is a native of Georgia, graduate of Morehouse College, the 11th of 12 children, the first in his family to graduate college, and he’s the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached.

These groundbreaking success stories are just the beginning of many great moments to come. After a tumultuous year of uncertainty, grief, and some feelings of hopelessness, for at least a brief period we can be assured that more opportunities and doors will continue to open for Blacks to become the firsts but definitely not the last.   

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