Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

Women contribute to society every day of the year.

Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

History In the Making

Women’s History Month 2022 is now behind us, but women’s contributions to society continue, so we are recognizing some of the Women’s History Month themes of previous years in honor of the confirmation of our first female African American Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.  The theme for 2022 is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”, which pays tribute to frontline workers, medical professionals, and caregivers.  The 2021 Women’s History Month topic saluted the strength of women in times of difficulty.

Glass Is Trash

During 2020, festivities for the centennial of women’s suffrage had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, therefore 2020’s theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”, was extended through 2021, as we celebrated the election of our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris. The intent was to pay respect to the ladies that paved the way for women’s voting rights.  Now that the second highest office in the land has had its see-through ceiling shattered, the view to the top looks clear for breakthrough when President Biden hands over the reins.  Ladies, we should make sure we are wearing cute shoes and watch where we step, as there is glass everywhere, and more to come.

Breakouts

Barriers are falling and walls are continuing to be breached.  As Douglas Emhoff put it, “I may be the first Second Gentleman, but I know I won’t be the last.”  The foundation for more is being laid in part by the man who wrote and pushed through the “Violence Against Women” Act.  Dr. Jill Biden has a doctorate in education. Ms Biden is the only First Lady to continue her career while her spouse has led the nation.  But there were leaders before them who led the way.  Shirley Chisholm was the first woman of color elected to Congress, then the first woman to run for the Democratic nomination for president.  Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to be a major party candidate for Vice-President.

Working From Within

The 2016 Women’s History Month theme was “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”  This sisterhood of political pioneers have opened the doors of diversity for our nation.  The National Women’s History Project for that year honored the often undervalued and overlooked women in government leadership and public service.  This collection of amazing women has stood on the forefront of change, and their dramatic influence on public policy and the assisting of building viable organizations and institutions have helped lead the way to a more democratic, safer, and stronger America.

Above And Beyond

These women have fought to insure equal opportunity for all.   With diversity of experience and tireless dedication to community service, each of these public leaders, have succeeded against seemingly insurmountable challenges.  This company of ladies and their ability to create non-partisan policies and all-encompassing solutions, in addition to their determination, art of collaboration, and amazing skill sets, will serve our nation today and inspire our future generations.  We applaud these women for their unyielding courage and faithful service.

Women In Front

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”.  Behind every successful woman is one or more women who succeeded before them, breaking ground or building up new progress.  And these were not always just in the advancement of women’s rights.  Most of us know of Madame Curie, and her ground-breaking radiation work.  But what about Tabitha Babbitt, a Shaker who came up with the prototype for the circular saw?  Or Nancy Johnson, who patented the original hand-cranked ice cream freezer.

Intrepid Inventors

Josephine Cochrane created the first dishwasher to achieve commercial success, with the first use of water pressure to scrub.  Sarah Boone improved the portable ironing board to the familiar wedge shape of what we use today for our pressing engagements.  Alice H. Parker created the first natural gas central furnace.

Men Don’t Have A Monopoly

Elizabeth Magie gave us “The Landlord’s Game”, the forerunner of what we now know as probably the most recognized board game ever, “Monopoly”.  In its design she made social commentary on property owners of her time in their treatment of tenants and materialistic priorities, as well as the benefits of home ownership.

Science This!

The first female scientist hired by GE, Katharine Burr Blodgett, developed the first method to put one-molecule thick coatings onto glass or metal.  This made possible non-reflective glass, which is used for lenses on common items such as eyeglasses, cameras, microscopes, and other optics, as well as picture frames and the like.  She also invented screens during World War II to protect troops from toxins in smoke.

Even More Data

In 1944, data processing pioneer Grace Hopper worked with Howard Aiken to create the Mark I computer at Harvard, then later came up with the computer slang “bug” and its companion, “debug”, after finding an errant moth had caused a system problem.  She was also on the team that developed COBOL.  Architect Eleanor Raymond collaborated with biophysicist Maria Telkes to build the first solar heated home in 1947.

She Didn’t Just Play A Spy…

And Hedy Lamarr didn’t rest on her acting laurels – her work with George Anthiel in 1941 created a “Secret Communication System” that depended at least in part on frequency-hopping for security.  These innovations and further work on her part gave us the beginnings of “spread-spectrum” technology, which became the basis for fax machines, cell phones, GPS, Wifi, and other related wireless communication advances.

Create Like It’s 1966

1966 was a bellwether year – in it Marie Van Brittan Brown patented the first closed-circuit TV security system. Again in ’66, Stephanie Kwolek invented-Kevlar. Kevlar is one of the most important synthetic fabric fibers ever created. She developed the process while working on strengthening material for auto tires. It is still used for tires, and brake shoe linings, boat hulls, flame-resistant clothing, and many other composite materials.  It’s most significant use has saved countless law enforcement and military personnel; which we are extremely thankful for – the bulletproof vest.

Dr. Jackson, Dr. Jackson…

The first black woman to receive a M.I.T. PhD, Shirley Jackson, helped develop modern communication technologies such as touch tones, call waiting and caller ID, and fiber optic cables, in addition to solar cells.  And she was the first woman to head one of the major technological institutions, in her case Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

They Figure In

Since this article is about women, we can’t forget women in American history; explorer Sacagawea, original First Lady Dolley Madison, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, women’s suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony, famed authors Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Red Cross founder Clara Barton and fellow super-nurse Florence Nightingale, aviatrix Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart, poet and author Julia Ward Howe, civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, just to name but a very few…

Wells, Wells, Wells…

Women have typically had to be multi-taskers – many took this to levels of great feats.  Ida B. Wells was a women’s rights and civil rights activist (one of the founders of the NAACP), while also wearing the hats of teacher and investigative reporter, particularly focused on the horrors of lynching.  She, working with Frederick Douglass and other African American leaders, orchestrated a boycott of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, since Blacks were not permitted to enter the exhibit areas.  Ms. Wells also advocated for school integration, and helped found many African American clubs, particularly for women of color.

Working It In

Contemporary to Ida B. was housing reformer, women’s suffragette, social work pioneer, and political administrator Jane Addams.  Harriet Tubman made a career out of multiple jobs – in addition to her famous slavery freedom trips, she was a spy for the Union, abolitionist, and political advocate.

Multi-mavens

Multiple talents aren’t just a precedent of years gone by – what about actress, director, and producer Penny Marshall?  Or dancer, choreographer, singer, and reality talent judge Paula Abdul?  Queen Latifah handles music (including songwriting), acting, and producing, equally well.  While we’re on the subject of entertainment, we can’t forget Cher and Madonna.  Then there’s the lifestyle mavens such as Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Ree Drummond.  And, of course, there’s one lady we only need one word for: Oprah.

Sporting It

Great women of sports also abound.  Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias excelled in baseball, golf, track and field, and basketball.  In the 1932 Summer Olympics, she received two gold medals for track and field events, then became a golf professional, and went on to win ten LPGA major championships.  In 1951 she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and she was married until her death in 1956 to George Zaharias.  Babe is seen as a lady ahead of her time.

They Have the Drive

Ms. Zaharias has been followed by other outstanding female athletes, such as a professional from Sweden who is considered to be one of history’s most stellar lady golfers: Annika Sörenstam.  She has received numerous awards, including H.M. The King’s Medal, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2003-2004, Bob Jones Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Nancy Lopez’ exemplary career was also precedent setting.

Tennis Anyone?

The dynasty of the Williams’ sisters in tennis is one of the great dominations of a particular sport.  And before them was the legendary Billie Jean King, who even beat out Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”.

Leading From The Front

The 2017 theme was “Honoring Trailblazing Women In Labor And Business”; these are ladies that have been successful in challenging women’s roles in the paid labor force and businesses.  Although women have always been part of our workforce, they are often been underpaid and undervalued.  One well known example was popularized by the movie “Norma Rae”, which was based on events in the life of Crystal Lee Sutton.  She was a strong labor leader who fought for unionizing as a way to gain better working conditions.

Do Something…

Here are ways we can continue to commemorate women’s history:

  1. Involve yourself with female supporting groups that empower girls and women
  2. Create a brand-new book or movie club on-line, or join an existing one
  3. Treat a special lady that you receive inspiration and friendship from to a mocha latte, lunch, or bouquet of flowers
  4. Invite female entertainers, speakers, writers, and other professionals to online events
  5. Utilize all social media outlets to encourage women
  6. Utilize intersectionality to understand women of all walks of life
  7. Take an online class that highlights women’s history
  8. Help involve children and teens in art, writing, performing, and reading women’s history related material
  9. Support STEM/STEAM initiatives targeted at encouraging young women in science and creative pursuits
  • Write a play, article, song, book, or poem about women, or read one

Color Purple And White

Let’s all wear purple, the international color which symbolizes women, and white, which represents women’s suffrage, to highlight those ladies who have contributed and continue to do so.  We will keep using our voices for the advancement of female equality.  For more information, visit www.womenshistorymonth.gov.  In the words of Elle Woods, “What? Like it’s hard?”

Celebrating Women’s History

Celebrating Women’s History

Celebrating Women’s History

By Wes & Anna Hessel

**On the last day of Women’s History Month let’s celebrate the women in our lives. **

 

History In The Making

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we must remember that the part women play in history is never-ending.  The month of March celebrates women’s contributions to history, in conjunction with International Women’s Day (March 8th).  The 2021 Women’s History Month topic salutes strength of women in times of difficulty.  During 2020, festivities for the centennial of women’s suffrage had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, therefore last year’s theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”, has been extended to this year, as we honor the election of our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris.

Glass Is Trash

This empowering subject, designated by the National Women’s History Alliance, pays respect to the ladies that paved the way for women’s rights.  Now that the second highest office in the land has had its see-through ceiling shattered, the view to the top looks clear for breakthrough when President Biden hands over the reins.  Ladies, we should make sure we are wearing cute shoes and watch where we step, as there is glass everywhere, and more to come.

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Doug Emhoff A First Class Second Gentleman

**Calamity Politics thought we should tell the real life story of Doug Emhoff and VP Kamala Harris for Valentine’s Day.

The new VP and her Second Gentleman have a great love story

Doug Emhoff:

Our First Second Gentleman is First Class

By Anna Hessel

 Second to None

The United States of America has its first ever Second Gentleman. Apparently that is the official title of the spouse of the first female Vice President, the fabulous Kamala Harris. Douglas Craig Emhoff is an accomplished entertainment attorney in his own right. Another ground breaker, Doug happens to be the first Jewish spouse of an American VP.  Mr. Emhoff has stepped into his new defining role with ease, grace, and enthusiasm.  His dignified and quiet demeanor, enthusiastic support of his wife, distinguished good looks, and resplendent normalcy make him the ideal individual to become the first Second Gentleman.

Lawful Beginnings

Born in New York on October 13th, 1964. The 56-year-old Emhoff married Kamala Devi Harris in 2014, Their birthdays are only a week apart.  He spent his high school days at Agoura and Cedar Ridge. He attended the University of Southern California and California State University – Northridge.  He continued his education and graduated from USC Gould School of Law.

A Career of His Own

Doug has enjoyed a successful legal career as a partner and litigator with the law firm of DLA Piper, working from their District of Columbia and state of California locations. He specializes in intellectual property and entertainment law.   As an attorney, Mr. Emhoff’s achievements include defending a former well-known Olympic and NFL athlete in a civil suit instigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  He also represented those holding the rights to a well-recognized character of animation in trademark and copyright infringement.

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OPINION: Trump Sorest Loser Ever

Trump is a sore loser

OPINION: Trump Sorest Loser Ever

By Trevor K. McNeil

Human Frailty

There is no accounting for human behavior. Particularly in times of trouble. Stress and panic are capable of leading to seemingly irrational behavior on the part of the American electorate. Such as the re-election of Richard Nixon in 1972 despite his actions in Asia. And then there’s the insanity of George W. Bush’s two elections. Why the comfortable re-election in 2004, after stealing the 2000 election from Al Gore? The 2004 victory still makes me shake my head in bewilderment. The stupid idiot (#43) started two wars that we are still fighting nearly two decades later. A shockingly high number of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan were not even born when the Twin Towers fell. The unpredictable American electorate and their often obvious disconnect from reality is a forever unknown. Which is part of why the Biden-Harris landslide was far from a fore gone conclusion, despite the polls.

Making History

The 2020 US election made history in many different ways. Some of them better than others. For starters there was the highest voter turn-out ever. Both despite and because of the pandemic. Leading to one of the longest vote-counts, lasting nearly a week from kick-off to final whistle. Something closer to what would be expected somewhere like India which has a much larger population base. Kamala Harris has risen higher in American politics than any woman before her, minority or otherwise, now named Vice President-Elect. With Biden declared President-Elect he is the oldest incoming president and one of the few to come from a modest economic background, as well as the first to attend a public university. Even George W. Bush,  somehow managed to get into Yale and Ulysses S. Grant attended West Point.

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Keep The Faith: Joe Biden Defeats Trump

Celebrate Biden's Victory with Fireworks

Keep the Faith: Biden Defeats Trump

By Anna Hessel

 

Cut Me to the Quick

Well, our nation needs a manicure after this nail-biter election but the plus-size diva has now sung.  History has been made with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.  The two Dems have received a record number of votes, more than any other presidential and vice-presidential candidates in American history.  We will have our first female, African-American, and South Asian Vice President.

High Above the Chimney Tops

I am shouting “President Biden!” from the rooftops – OK, I am afraid of heights, but I am shouting it in my living room and from my car window.  While we dance by our lit Biden-Harris sign, car horns honk in the background, fireworks are being shot off, celebrating the end of a four-year living hell.  I would run up and down the street hugging total strangers, but thanks to Trump’s incompetence in handling COVID-19, I can’t.

Exposing the Truth

When ‘the Donald’ first took office, a very wise friend commented that people always had feelings of racism, “but now we know who they are”.  Unfortunately, many of them we have known for a very long time, like my nephew, or the church deacon who applauded myself and my spouse when we finished RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) and were formally accepted as members of our faith.  Our old friend, whose home we often visited and child we often babysat.  Being told by those blind to the truth to “open my eyes” and change my vote, something I would not do even if I could.

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OPINION: Look, Here’s The Thing…

OPINION: Look, Here’s The Thing…

By Anna Hessel

 

A Sick Joke

 When I first heard that Donald Trump was running for the presidency, I knew of course it had to be a joke.  Who in the world would vote for a egotistical bigot with multiple bankruptcies to run our nation?  My friends and spouse all had a good laugh at the very idea of Trump as a presidential candidate.

A Woman’s Nightmare

I have been heavily involved in pageantry.  I knew from witnesses “The Donald” thought nothing of walking in a dressing room during a Miss Teen USA pageant, while underage young ladies were in varying stages of undress.  His obnoxious and racist conduct was viewed by me first  hand at the Miss USA pageants for a two-year period in the nineties in Gary, Indiana.  I knew it was impossible for such a man to be taken seriously, his moral code being so corrupt.  His raunchy locker room talk of, “grab ‘em by the pussy”, was an unbelievably disgraceful comment.  He would never get the nomination.  His claim that he would “Make America Great Again”, was a preposterous campaign slogan.

The Great America We Had

America was great with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the helm.  We had the Affordable Care Act, finally.  Our military had taken out Osama Bin Laden.  The auto industry and the banks had been saved.  The LGBTQ community finally had equal love and marriage, and our President was a decent caring man that cried for gun victims.  He led our nation with dignity, “with God’s grace”; and never even a breath of scandal.

Actual First Families

Barak loved his beautiful wife and his daughters. The Obama’s have been married for 28 years.   They brought an adorable Portuguese Water Dog to the White House and we watched the president play in the snow with his girls. Michelle created a garden. This was a First Family that you could not help but love.  Our first Black President was stellar.  His VP, Joe Biden has known tragedy. He had been a single-parent widower, who put his children first. He found love again and has been married to his second wife ‘Dr. Jill’ for 43 years.  He has never been unfaithful to either of his wives.  Of course this great team was re-elected, and the Democratic party was making strides at keeping America great through inclusion and acceptance.

Breaking The Glass Ceiling

We had Hillary Clinton ready to break the glass ceiling as the first female President of the United States.  Instead of that glass ceiling breaking, our hearts broke.  Donald Trump received the Republican nomination for president.  My mouth dropped nearly to my neck from shock.  Surely, there was no way he could be elected.  Hillary was by far the clear, experienced choice and Trump’s low-down, ridiculous tactics about her emails would not be taken seriously, or would they?   Why, some of her emails were just simplistic messages about her daughter’s shower.  Hillary had nothing to hide in her emails in the least, whereas Mr. Trump continues to hide his debt and blatantly refuses to show his tax returns.  All other United States presidents and candidates had released their tax returns.  Surely, the American people were not foolish enough to fall for this man’s malarkey.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding

I sat on election night at a colleague’s restaurant, wearing my “I voted” sticker with my husband, awaiting Hillary’s brilliant acceptance speech, when the unthinkable happened.  I watched in horror, losing my appetite, as a smug and smirking Donald Trump descended a staircase with his family to make a victory speech.  Our nation had just descended into hell.  Tears streaming down my face, my husband escorted me to our car.  I was literally in a state of shock; I cried for three days.  Hillary wrote a beautiful email to all of her supporters; I used a half of a box of tissue while reading it.

God Help Us

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa were bittersweet because we knew what was to come.  I prayed, I cried, I hoped and I feared; emotions ran high during the holidays.  Anger simmered below the surface at my husband’s Trump-voting brother-in-law’s house.  New Year’s Eve brought tension, not celebration.  Never had a bigger deal been made of a President leaving office.  President and First Lady Obama would be much missed.  I could not watch ”The Donald” take the oath of office.  News photos of Barack and Michelle kindly escorted Melania to her seat, while her husband ignored her completely.  I vowed to never call Donald Trump ‘president’ and I could not bring myself to refer to a woman who has been seen naked in magazines by half the world,  ‘first lady.’  The nightmare had begun.

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Kamala Harris: Go Easy on ‘Em Kid…

Kamala Harris: Go Easy on ‘Em, Kid…

By Anna Hessel

History in the Making

Joe Biden made history with his selection of the bright, beautiful and tenacious Kamala Harris as his running mate.  As Vice President Biden points out, “There is no door Kamala won’t knock on, no stone she’ll leave unturned, if it means making life better for the people.”  Joe originally met Senator Harris through his son Beau.  Joe valued his son’s respect for the strong-willed senator from California.  Kalama and Beau became friends when both were state AG’s and worked on financial institution reform.

Day One

Biden knows Ms. Harris has demonstrated her ability to be a leader from day one.  As the Attorney General for the state of California, she ran one of the biggest governmental legal organizations in the world, and is a member of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

Rooted in Community and Excellence

Women of all races and walks of life identify strongly with this spirited heroine.  Kamala Devi Harris is 5’ 2” of pure energy and strength. This pretty, petite powerhouse has stood for justice since she was a child.  Senator Harris is an East Bay native, deeply rooted in the area, She was born October 20th, 1964, in Kaiser Oakland Hospital, Oakland, CA.  Her name Kamala, means “lotus” and refers to empowered women.

Mom and Dad

Her parents were immigrants and academics. Donald Harris, her father, is an emeritus professor at Stanford University. Her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Shyamala attended the University of Delhi, completing her undergraduate degree when she was only 19.

A Family Of Activists

Kamala’s grandmother,  Rajam Gopalan, who married at the age of 16. Rajam was considered an upper-caste wife.  She used her elite class status to help disadvantaged women in India. She was famous for driving around in a Volkswagen Beetle, announcing through a bullhorn how underprivileged women could access birth control.

Grown to the Sky

Kamala holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Howard University. Ms Harris  received her law degree through Hasting College Legal Education Opportunity Program for Students from Adverse Backgrounds.   She was elected as the Attorney General of California in 2010. She was reelected in 2014.  In 2016, Ms. Harris became the junior senator from California, making her the third female senator from California, and the first South Asian American senator and the second African-American woman elected to the United States Senate.

In the Beginning

The fearless Senator Harris has always fought for our nation’s good. She has worked tirelessly for the American people, a lifelong leader for civil rights and public safety.  Kamala’s political career spans decades, and her exposure to activism started early.   Her parents, met at UC Berkeley and shared a  passion for civil rights. When Kamala was still a toddler her parent’s took her to numerous campus protests.  As a toddler, fussing little Kamala was once asked what it was she that she wanted – having already attended several civil rights rallies, the adorable, precocious tyke replied, “fweedom”.

A Childhood Like So Many Others

When she was only seven years old, her parents divorced.  Kamala was raised by her mother in a yellow duplex in Berkeley, along with her little sister Maya.  While in first grade, she was one of a group of students bused to Thousands Oaks Elementary School, a very prosperous upper-class Caucasian neighborhood.

Movin’ On Up

Maya and Kamala attended both an African-American Baptist church, as well as a Hindu temple, at the same time.  Ms. Harris was influenced by her grandparents when she visited India as a child.  Her grandmother was an activist and her grandfather was a government official of high-rank, both educating and fighting for the rights of the Indian people.  She attended high school in Montreal, where her mother taught at McGill University, and also held a position at Jewish General Hospital as a cancer researcher.  13-year-old Kamala, along with younger sister Maya, successfully led a protest outside their apartment building due to the policy that prohibited children from playing out front on the lawn.

Been There, Done That

Harris had wanted to be a lawyer since childhood.  Harris interned for Senator Alan Cranston of California, worked as a press aide at the Federal Trade Commission, and even served as a tour guide at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Her role models include Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and Constance Baker Motley.  Kamala advocates for abuse victims, and works to educate the public that certain behaviors such as dress and music do not necessarily equate to gang membership.

Apples Fall Close to the Tree

Her sister Maya received a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and then her law degree from Stanford.  She was in charge of her sister’s presidential campaign, having worked in television as a commentator and as an executive director of ACLU for Northern California.  Her husband, Tony West, served during the Obama administration as an Associate United States Attorney General, and now is the Chief Legal Officer for Uber Technologies, Inc., in San Francisco.

The Fruit Begins to Show

The stunning and stylish Ms. Harris joined the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha while at Howard University.  Also, during her time at the school, she ran her first campaign, for the freshman representative position on the liberal arts student council, and was also a member of the debate team.  Howard taught an excited Kamala that you can be many things – the homecoming queen can also be the valedictorian, channeling Elle Woods.

“What, Like It’s Hard?”

Daily after classes in law school, she helped potty-train her niece. Recalling the experience in 2018, Harris said, “I’m dealing with this brutal stuff, dog-eat-dog in school, and then I would come home and we would all stand by the toilet and wave bye to a piece of shit.  It will put this place in perspective.”  She passed the bar exam on her second try in 1990. The same year, she joined the Alameda County Prosecutor’s Office in Oakland, as an Assistant DA.

Working to Keep Victims From Being Victimized Further

She was recruited by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to help end teen prostitution.  Ms. Harris’ goal for these young women was to view them as victims, not criminals, selling sex.  She has always advocated for women and children. She was instrumental in developing the San Francisco Department of Public Health program which enables emergency rooms to identify evidence of sexual abuse.   Kamala is the co-founder of the Coalition to End the Exploitation of Kids, pushing the strengthening of laws to end profiteering of those under age.  Her efforts produced San Francisco’s very first safe house for minors to escape sexual exploitation.  Ms. Harris’ creativity and influence has resulted in punishment for perpetrators victimizing youth.

Getting on the Right Track

Even when she receives criticism, she does not back down from her principals.  Kamala insists that it is imperative to be “smart on crime.”  “Back on Track” is a program, she helped design for non-violent lower-level drug traffickers. The program offers life skill and job training, with the chance to avoid a prison sentence.  Only 10% of the program’s graduates had repeat offenses, contrasted with the typical recidivism of 53% for those with drug convictions.  Her rehabilitative program is more cost-effective than jail time.  She refuses to consider offenders as lost causes.

Attending to the Heart of the Matter

Ms. Harris also targeted the truancy of elementary school children when she discovered that nearly 95% of those murdered before the age of 25 in the San Francisco area happened to have dropped out of high school.  Those who were very often absent while in grammar school were more susceptible to leave high school prior to graduation, typically by age 35 ending up dead or jailed.  She developed programs to assist parents with school attendance.

Raising the Bar

In 2003, Kamala Harris ran against her former boss  to become the first African-American female elected DA in California.  Within her first three years as the District Attorney of San Francisco, conviction rates increased from 52% to 67%.  She endorsed her friend Barack Obama when he ran for the Senate in 2004, and in 2010 she went on to win the race for the state’s top attorney.  Attorney General Harris filed a successful civil enforcement action citing “widespread misconduct” on foreclosures against OneWest Bank.

Fashion and Plate

The fashionable and funny vice-presidential nominee often sports pearls and has an extensive collection of Converse sneakers, including platform versions and All-Stars.  Her unique style rocks; a high-low mix of classic attire.  Not since 1984, when Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, have we had the pleasure and progress of a female vice-presidential nominee.   Rumor has it she enjoys a good burrito, and loves cheeseburgers, but admits we need to establish more healthy eating habits, reducing red meat consumption.  She also recognizes the importance of American families being able to put food on the table.

Food Network Calling?

Kamala loves to cook.  In a video she shows Senator Mark Warner the proper way to assemble a yummy tuna melt.  She can roast a chicken with the best of them, using salt, pepper, chopped herbs, lemon zest, and minced garlic, trussing the poultry and allowing it 24 hours in the fridge. Then rubbing it with butter or oil, and slow-roasting it at 325 degrees for at least a couple hours, making a sauce of the drippings and using the leftovers for a scrumptious chicken salad.

Wife and Stepmom

She is married to prominent entertainment attorney Douglas Emhoff. Harris and Mr. Emhoff met on a blind date set up by a friend. Senator Harris is tough and courageous, yet still has a big heart – her two stepchildren affectionately call her “Momala”.

Making History

She is also resolved and resilient – in 2017, her rather persistent grilling, which had Jeff Sessions remarking he was “nervous” after only three-and-a-half minutes of her interrogation, went viral. Another viral moment came during the intensive questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings in 2018.   During the 2019 Democratic Presidential Debates, Joe Biden quipped to Kamala Harris to, “Go easy on me, kid…,”  Six months later he chose this amazing woman to make history as his running mate. If elected she will become the first female and minority Vice President in U.S. history.of the United States.

‘Beeing’ Herself

The lady Donald Trump referred to as, “nasty”, we call, “insurmountable, decisive, intelligent, and caring”.  Kamala allows us to see her fun-loving side. One video shows her  attired in leggings, a jacket, and sneakers, dancing like everybody’s watching, and we are.  On November 3rd, my leggings, jacket, and sneakers are ready to join our new Vice President-elect in a victory dance – “you go, girl….”

Kamala Harris, The Prosecutor

Kamala Harris: The Prosecutor

By Megan Wallin

An American Dream

She carries herself like a leader. She doesn’t isolate listeners with simplistic statements when she speaks. Her  back story is proof of the American dream. An ethusiastic 20,000 supporters came out in Oakland, Ca to hear her announce her intention to make a run for the presidency. That, and according to Lisa Lerer of The New York Times, Harris “matched Senator Bernie Sanders’s record by raising $1.5 million from 38,000 donors in the first 24 hours of her campaign”. All in all an impressive campaign roll out.  Kamala Harris’ decision to run for president is an obvious threat to other Democratic candidates.

Prepared to Change the Status Quo

As a prosecutor Harris went to crime scene

As a prosecutor Harris went to crime scenes

In an interview with Mother Jones writer Jamilah King, Kamala Harris gives more of her story, her views, and how her education and work has prepared her to change the status quo. She tells King, “This is about my training as a prosecutor. I like to go to the scene, and I do that with almost [any] project. I need to see it and I need to hear it—I need to feel it, almost, so that I can have some intuitive sense, as well as some theoretical or intellectual or academic sense, of what’s going on.”

Something Meaningful

At first glance, Kamala Harris’ background as a prosecutor doesn’t seem like the type of preparation that would lead to being not just a senator, but a social leader, maker of history, and presidential candidate. But Harris grew up watching her parents forge ahead into unknown territory, and—by her own admission—her yearning for something meaningful started at a young age.

Education and Activism

Harris’s mother Gopalan immigrated from Chennai, India, to study at the University of  California-Berkeley for her doctorate in nutrition and endocrinology. She met and fell in love with Donald Harris, a Jamaican-born economics major earning his Ph.D. Rather than returning home to marry someone of her family’s choosing, Gopalan stayed in the United States. Together Harris and Gopalan had two daughters. They raised their daughters nurtured within two combined cultures and instilled them with a respect for activism and academia.

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