Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, announced Tuesday afternoon that Sen. Kamala Harris is his running mate, marking the first time in history that a Black woman has been chosen on either the Democratic or Republican Party’s presidential ticket.
Biden shared the news that he’s teaming up with the 55-year-old California senator in a tweet.
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
In another tweet, Biden praised Harris, who became the first Black woman to serve as attorney general in California and the second Black woman to be elected as a U.S. Senator.
Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
If elected, Harris would be the first woman, first Black, and first Asian American vice president of the United States.
Last month, the freshman senator detailed what a Biden presidency would mean for Black Americans, touting Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for economic recovery and racial equality. Under the plan, $150 billion would be invested in minority businesses, the minimum wage would be raised to $15 an hour, cash bail would be eliminated, and formerly incarcerated people would be provided temporary housing upon release from prison.
“This plan that Joe Biden is offering around dealing with racial disparity in the economy is a very important step because he is acknowledging that racial equities have to be a part of the priority,” said Harris during an exclusive interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.
She went on to highlight parts of his plan that would cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers with federal student loans and make both public colleges and private HBCUs tuition-free for families making up to $125,000 a year.
“Ninety percent of black students take out student loans. And what he is proposing as part of his ‘Build Back Better’ plan is that for families who have an income of $125,000 or less, they will be able to attend HBCUs, including private HBCUs and public universities and colleges, tuition-free,” said the Howard University grad.
Last year, Harris opened up at the 2019 BLACK ENTERPRISE Women of Power Summit about being underestimated as a Black woman. “There have been moments where throughout my career people underestimated my ability to get something done,” she said during a keynote fireside chat.
She added that people also doubted her ability to win an elected office. “I’ve had the setback of attempting to run for office that nobody thought that we could win and all that comes with that.”
However, she turned those negative perceptions into a source of motivation. “Good, underestimate me,” she said. “I can work with that.”
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