Who Is Kamala Harris: Kamala Harris, is the selected candidate for Vice-president Position from Democrats party for US presidential elections, 2020. If elected, she will be serving as Vice-president and deputy to Joe Biden (democratic candidate for Presidential post) for the term of the next four years.

By occupation, she is an American Politician and Attorney since 2017. Interestingly, Kamala Harris has also a connection with India, which has made her quite popular among Indian Americans during this US election. In today’s Market Forensics, let’s find out who is Kamala Harris, and her deep connection with India. Let’s get started.

Early Life of Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, on Oct 20, 1964, to an Indian mother and Jamaican Father. Her mother was a biologist who worked on Cancer research. Her father, Donald J. Harris, is a Stanford University professor emeritus of economics. Her parents divorced when she was seven years old.

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Kamala Harris Educational Background

If we look into the alma-mater, Kamala Harris graduated from Howard University and the University of California.

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After completion of High school, Kamala Harris attended Howard University. While at Howard, she interned for California Senator, Alan Cranston. She also chaired the economics society, led the Debate team. She graduated from Howard in 1986, with a degree in Political science and Economics. After the completion of her graduation, she returned to California to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She graduated with a Juris Doctor and was admitted to the California Bar in June 1990.

Kamala Harris Political Career Timeline

Ms. Harris, 55, is the first of Indian origin and Black Women to be picked by a major party for a major post in US political history. Here’s a brief timeline of the political career of Kamala Harris:

  • In 1990, she was hired as the deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California. And she was touted to be one of the bright prospects going around.
  • In 1994, Ms. Harris was dating Willie Brown, and he appointed her to the State Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board And later also to California Medical Assistance Commission.
  • In 1998, she was recruited as an assistant district attorney. And later she became the chief of the Career Criminal Division, where she prosecuted homicide, burglary, robbery, and sexual assault cases.
  • And in August 2000, she took up the new role at San Francisco City Hall, where she worked for city attorney Louise Renne.
  • In 2003, she ran for district attorney against her former boss, Terence Hamilton and she won with an overwhelming margin by winning 56.5% votes. Just prior to her taking office, the felony conviction rate was only 50%, and by 2009, it was 76%. She ran unopposed in 2007.
  • In 2008, she decided to run for California Attorney General. And in 2010, she was nominated, defeating Alberto Torrico and Chris Kelley. On January 3, 2011, she became the first African American and first South Asian American to hold the office of Attorney general in United States History.
  • And in 2014, she was re-elected against Republican, Ronald Gold, and secured 57.5% votes.

In a recent interview, when asked for advice for Women, Ms. Harris said: “You never have to ask anyone permission to lead. I have in my career been told many times, ‘It’s not your time”, ‘It’s not your turn”. Let me just tell you, I eat ‘no” for breakfast. So, I would recommend the same. It’s a hearty breakfast.” And when asked about her plan for a sustainable and eco-friendly future for coming generations, she said Joe Biden led the administration has plans to make committee with deadlines to achieve net-zero emission by 2050.

Kamala Harris has been strongly against racial discrimination and crimes against women and children. In 2005, she was featured in a Newsweek report of “20 most powerful women of America”

Indian Connection of Kamala Harris

Till now, we noticed that Ms. Harris’s education and career have been centered only around the United States of America. However, as we mentioned earlier, Kamala Harris has an Indian connection from her maternal side.

The Maternal Grandfather of Kamala Harris hails from Painganadu Thulasendrapuram village in Tamil Nadu. The village is situated approx 320 km south of the city of Chennai.

During this US Election 2020, the head of this village committee mentioned that they are holding special prayers for her victory on the say of the polls. Moreover, her banners can also be found on different roads of this village.  One of the banners in the village read as “From Thulasendrapuram to America”.  Another poster is located at the popular bus stop of the village, with Ms. Harris smiling and white house in the background.

Overall, because of her maternal side, Kamala Harris is still connected with India and her maternal villagers still have love and respect towards her.

10 Lesser Known facts about Kamala Harris

Here are a few other lesser-known facts about Kamala Harris:

  1. As a child, Kamala Harris was heavily influenced by her maternal grandfather, who was a high ranked government official and also fought for India’s independence.
  2. After High school, she joined Howard University and majored in Political science and economics.
  3. Her friendship with Barack Obama can be understood from the fact that she was the first notable California officeholder to endorse him during the 2008 presidential bid.
  4. Harris has had a multicultural childhood. She grew up with traditional Indian values (India Mother) and with Jamaican vibes (Jamaican father).  She would visit India with her mother once every two years and also visit Jamaica with her father. And that makes it comfortable for her to connect to different cultures in an easy and simplified way.
  5. One of her bigger accomplishments as an attorney general was creating Open Justice, an online platform for making criminal justice data available to the public. And this also increased the accountability of police towards the public.
  6. She always has had a stern view on racial discrimination in terms of policing and using force. She participated in the protests (in Washington DC) against the death of George Floyd in police custody. And she also raised voice against the shooting of Jacob Blake.
  7. In 2014, she married Doug Emhoff, a corporate lawyer from Los Angeles in a private ceremony.
  8. She is a very enthusiastic cook and likes to try and cook various recipes. And when asked about her favorite Indian dish, she answered, ‘idli’ with well-made sambhar.
  9. She delayed endorsement of Biden till March 8, when there were no women left and Biden’s nomination couldn’t be argued against. And later she threw support behind Biden and said he was a leader who could, “Unify the people”
  10. Harris helped in starting a program with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to help them in their initiative towards child sexual abuse. She also co-founded the Coalition to End the Exploitation of Kids.

Joe Biden for the presidential role and Kamala Harris for vice president role are standing against Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the 2020 US Presidential elections. Her motto is, “You may be the first, but make sure you are no the last.”

Also read: How US Elections May Impact Indian Equity Market?

That’s all for today’s Market Forensics. We’ll be back tomorrow with another interesting market news and analysis. Till then, take care and happy investing.

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