Sen: Kamala Harris focuses on middle class, unity in presidential bid

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., greets supporters at the kickoff rally for her 2020 presidential campaign at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday. Harris was born in Oakland. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) — California Sen. Kamala Harris has established a platform focused on “the people” as she vies for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2020 presidential election.

Harris, 54, who has served in the U.S. Senate for two years, launched her presidential bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a focus on unifying divided Americans.

“The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values,” she said in her campaign video. “That’s why I’m running for president of the United States.”

Harris was born in Oakland, Calif., to an Indian mother and Jamaican father and began her career prosecuting child sexual assault cases in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. She led the Career Criminal Unit at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and served as the head of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Division on Children and Families.

Her campaign signs will read “Kamala Harris for the people,” the words she said as she rose in court while working as a prosecutor.

She was elected District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003 and was re-elected in 2007. Harris was elected attorney general for California in 2010. In the Senate, she serves on the judiciary, homeland security, budget and governmental affairs committee, as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence.

She has sponsored legislation aimed at protecting immigrants’ rights, reforming the cash bail system, providing tax cuts to the middle class, raising the minimum wage, as well as bills for accessible housing, healthcare and education. Like many other Democrats running for president, she has regularly opposed GOP President Donald Trump and his policies.

After announcing her presidential bid, Harris said the U.S. criminal justice system is “horribly flawed” and in need of reform, while expressing support for law enforcement.

“There is a lot of work to do, but to suggest it’s one or the other, I don’t buy that,” she said.

Harris has also sought to champion the middle class, which she said has been overlooked and damaged by political practices, including most recently the government shutdown.

Speaking at her alma mater Howard University, Harris said she would work to “not put people in a box” and allow them to make their own decisions.

“Nobody is living their life through the lens of one issue. I think what people want is, they want leadership that sees them through the complexity of each of our lives and pays equal attention to their needs,” she said.

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