Kamala Harris Makes California History

first_img“She maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment,” Ms. Harris said of her mother. “But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible, and so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women — who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.”There is one more historic distinction that in some ways encapsulates all of the above: Ms. Harris is a Californian. Her casual use of the Tamil word “chittis” to refer to her aunts in her nomination acceptance speech was remarkable largely because it was onstage at the Democratic National Convention.“I’m Tamil myself and it has a resonance for people who use that word as part of how they talk about their families,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said. “But things like that, immigrants in general can relate to — even if you don’t understand the word.”Ms. Harris’s long career in the Golden State also means that for Californians especially, her status as a barrier-breaking politician is only one part of a complex legacy as San Francisco’s and the state’s former “top cop.”And while representation can be powerful, as we saw repeatedly during the presidential race, it’s not everything. Todd Gloria, who will be San Diego’s next mayor, will be the first person of color to have the job, as well as the first openly gay man. He’s also entering the office with new mayoral power. [The San Diego Union-Tribune] What’s in a name? For Kamala Harris, like many other Americans, it’s a way of expressing identity. [NBC News] – Advertisement – Read the full story about Ms. Harris’s ascension to the vice presidency. [The New York Times] Read more background on the bitter fight. [The New York Times] On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to describing Ms. Harris, a fellow San Francisco politician and friend, as “a walking, whip-smart embodiment of the California Dream,” tweeted a celebratory video of her dancing in the rain soundtracked by a song popular on TikTok that says, “I’m sorry for drippin’, but drip is what I do.” In the video, Ms. Harris sported her signature combination. Listen to Ms. Harris talk about growing up with Indian and Jamaican roots in Northern California on the Asian Enough podcast. [The Los Angeles Times] If you missed it: A crowd danced in the streets outside Ms. Harris’s childhood home in Berkeley. [The San Francisco Chronicle] His vice president will be Senator Kamala Harris.Her rise to the highest office in the nation ever occupied by a woman has been full of historic milestones: the first Black woman to become San Francisco’s and then California’s top prosecutor, the second Black woman to become a senator.Now, not only will she be the first woman vice president, she will also be the first Black woman, the first South-American woman, and the first daughter of immigrants to hold the role.- Advertisement – In her speech on Saturday night, she drew a direct line from her mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who came to the United States when she was 19, through her own career and to generations of women in the future. Diana Gutierrez, 26, who joined a group parading through downtown to a rally at Pershing Square on Saturday morning, said she was undocumented in 2016 when President Trump was elected; she had come from Peru with her family in 2002 as a young child.She and Cori Bratby-Rudd, 26, said they hadn’t been dating long when they decided to get married four years ago, in part because they were worried Ms. Gutierrez would be deported.But a Biden victory brought enormous relief. Ms. Harris’s ascension was a significant factor.“I can’t even explain it,” she said, “for there to be a Black woman vice president with the ability to speak for immigrants. ”Ms. Bratby-Rudd added, “We’re elated.”Shanyn Stokes, 28, said: “I think she’s been doing the best she can. I do believe her heart’s in the right place.”Ms. Stokes, who is Black, said Ms. Harris’s victory was an encouraging sign that Americans increasingly see women — and Black women specifically — as capable of any job a white man could do.Now, Ms. Stokes said, “I’m very hopeful to see what she does.” Read about what a Californian vice president means for the state. [The New York Times] Ms. Harris’s ancestral town in southern India also rejoiced at her win, but across the country, Indians wondered how things will change under a Biden-Harris administration. [The New York Times] Read about how her parents found a home, and each other, in a Black study group in Berkeley. [The New York Times] Here’s a guide to the races we’ve been watching in the Golden State. [The New York Times]And see all California results, including how each county voted in the presidential race. [The New York Times]California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read every edition online here.Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter.California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley. Read a deeper dive into how Ms. Harris broke California’s “curse.” [New York Times Opinion] Darrell Issa, the Republican former congressman, beat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat, for the San Diego-area seat formerly occupied by Duncan Hunter. [The New York Times] George Gascón, San Francisco’s former district attorney who pitched himself as a progressive reformer, will become Los Angeles’s district attorney. District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded on Friday. [The Los Angeles Times] Read more: Good morning.Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected president of the United States.- Advertisement – (This article is part of the California Today newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox.)Here’s what else to know today For many Californians, Ms. Harris’s comfortable embrace of her multicultural upbringing and her decidedly West Coast vibe have felt familiar.“She brings a California sensibility, you know: the blazers with the Chucks,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside, told me. “I think it will be a breath of fresh air in D.C.” Ms. Harris has spoken out on issues of police misconduct, but she has struggled to reconcile her calls for reform with her record as California’s “top cop.” Here’s a look at how that’s played out. [The New York Times] – Advertisement –last_img read more