[OPINION] The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris tandem represents the diversity and the soul of the new generation of America


“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, announced on Twitter on Tuesday, August 11.

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced his choice of California Sen. Kamala Harris as his VP pick on Tuesday, August 11. | Photo courtesy of Joe Biden/Instagram

This personally excited me and I know Harris will energize all the more the Democratic Party as this tandem works together toward ending the chaos and retrogression we are experiencing right now under the Presidency of Donald Trump and his spineless VP Mike Pence.

Harris is intelligent and well educated, and has exemplary work experience in public service. A gifted communicator and a fierce, substantive debater with great presence and energy, she will be a great asset during the campaign.

Her roots and life experience have very well equipped her to represent us immigrants in America.

Choosing Harris is the first executive decision made by Biden and this judgment call reflects much about Biden’s discernment, values, priorities and vision for America. And he delivered on his promise to select a woman of color for his running mate. Should they win, Harris will be the first woman of color vice president in America.

Senator Kamala Harris represents California, home to the biggest population of Filipinos in America and outside of the Philippines.

Harris was sworn into office in 2017, and as her webpage states, she is the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964 and was raised in Berkeley, California.

She shares the experience and perspective of many people in today’s America, being biracial and born to immigrant parents.

Harris’ father is Donald Harris, a respected Stanford University Emeritus Professor of economics. He is from Jamaica with African descent and moved to America in 1961 to pursue graduate study in economics at UC Berkeley.

Kamala’s late mother was Shyamala Gopalan Harris, an immigrant from South India who emigrated to the United States in 1960 to pursue a doctorate at UC Berkeley, earning her Ph.D. in nutrition and endocrinology at age 25.

This amazing woman who raised Kamala and her sister Maya “embodied an independent, confident and curious spirit that led her to travel alone to the U.S. as a teen; forge a career as a brilliant breast cancer researcher; join the Civil Rights Movement; introduce a generation of students of color to careers in science,” her obituary stated when she died after a courageous battle with cancer in 2009.

Harris’ mother was respected as a breast cancer researcher around the world. Her body of work as a researcher made substantial contributions to the field of hormones and breast cancer, publishing her research in countless journals and receiving numerous honors.

Her parents separated when Kamala was only five years old. She and her sister were raised singlehandedly by her mother, who inspired Kamala to make a name for her self and make a difference.

Her bio on her web page talks about her early childhood: “Growing up in Oakland, Kamala had a stroller-eye view of the Civil Rights movement. Through the example of courageous leaders like Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, and Charles Hamilton Houston, Kamala learned the kind of character it requires to stand up to the powerful, and resolved to spend her life advocating for those who could not defend themselves.”

Harris earned her undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. After graduating, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

“In 2003, Kamala became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. Among her achievements as District Attorney, Harris started a program that gives first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school diploma and find employment.

Having completed two terms as the District Attorney of San Francisco, Kamala was elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General. In this role, she worked tirelessly to hold corporations accountable and protect the state’s most vulnerable people.

Over the course of her nearly two terms in office, Kamala won a $25-billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California’s landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians, and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs, and human beings.

In the United States Senate, Kamala’s mission remains unchanged: fighting for the rights of all communities in California. Since taking office, she has introduced and cosponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, reform our broken criminal justice system, make healthcare a right for all Americans, address the epidemic of substance abuse, support veterans and military families, and expand access to childcare for working parents.”

When she ran for President during the Democratic Party primary elections, Harris was already being attacked for her ethnicity, just as President Barack Obama was. Contrary to her detractors’ false allegation that she was not eligible to run for office to be president [and VP for that matter] because she is not a “natural-born American”, HARRIS IS AN AMERICAN, according to the provisions of our Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1, which was added in 1868 states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

What are the technical requirements a presidential candidate must meet to run for office? This is important for a VP candidate because she will be next in line in the order of succession should something happen to the President that would incapacitate him to perform his duties as President.

The candidate for president (and VP) has to be: a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and must be 35 years of age or older.

Kamala Harris checks all of those requirements. She has birthright citizenship, and that makes her eligible to run for president (and VP).

Harris is only 55 years old. If Joe Biden, who is now 78, decides not to run for re-election in 2024, then Harris may very well be the frontrunner of the Democratic Party, and therefore be the elected as the first woman president should she win the election in four years.


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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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