Joe Biden selects Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 election: What does this mean?


On Aug. 12 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden chose Californian Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election. Art by Rory Knettles.

Rory Knettles, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Aug. 12 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden chose Californian Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election. This decision comes after months of deliberation and just 84 days before the election on Nov. 3. Harris ran for president for the  2020 election but suspended her campaign in Dec. 2019. 

From the start of his campaign, Biden made it clear that he wanted to choose a female running mate. He chose Harris from a group of 13 qualified candidates including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Representative Karen Bass of California. Biden made his decision based on shared left-leaning political beliefs and past experience in government.

As a Democrat, Senator Harris is more than qualified for the position. After being elected to the Senate in 2017, she has taken steps toward nationwide progressive improvements, including reforming the cash-bail system, protecting the rights of refugees and immigrants and expanding access to healthcare under the Medicare for All Act. While District Attorney and Attorney General in California, she made the effort to ensure crisis pregnancy centers provide medically accurate information for women, created the Bureau of Children’s Justice, advanced LGBTQ+ rights and sued predatory for-profit colleges that scammed high-risk potential students.

However, both parties raised concerns about her past of avoiding intervention in cases involving killings by the police. Notably, she did not step in to investigate police shootings in San Francisco despite public pleas for her to do so, saying that it was not her job. This is especially concerning as the Black Lives Matter and anti-law enforcement movements are still in full swing.

Despite her past protecting the police force in California, in 2016, Harris proposed an expansion of her office so that they could better investigate police killings and began reviews of municipal police departments involved in misconduct and backed a Justice Department investigation in San Francisco. Harris also established the first Office of Recidivism Reduction and Reentry and worked to expose racial disparities within the criminal justice system. In the Senate, she has worked to reform that system and recently authored the Justice in Policing Act. 

In the past, Harris has been moderate  when drastic measures needed to be taken. She has a reputation for being cautious when it comes to reforms and sticking to the status quo, but she has been taking more risks recently. Harris previously labelled herself as a “progressive prosecutor” and will likely become more progressive and more willing to take leaps rather than steps in the years to come. 

Voting responsibly means voting for the candidate that has the best ideas and the most willingness to make a positive contribution to the United States. In this election, that candidate is Biden. Progressive steps will help move the country in a positive direction and improve the United State’s position on the global stage, that which was diminished by the Trump administration over the past four years. Although many young voters were disappointed with his nomination, Biden and Harris have voted an average of 93 percent in line with progressive former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the preferred candidate for young voters. If elected, Biden and Harris will make strides to do what they think will help the majority of the population. This makes the Biden/Harris campaign the next best option for young Democrat voters. Read more about Biden’s views on political issues at the link below:

If Biden wins the 2020 election, Harris will become the most powerful woman in American history, topping the previous most powerful woman, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Harris would also be the first Black, Asian and female to be Vice President. She would be a history-making Vice President while working to improve the lives of every American. In the upcoming election, vote responsibly and vote early.

You can register to vote online at the link below: