In the News: Kamala Harris a top Democratic VP contender

By Jasmine Ulloa, Boston Globe |

As protests continued after the killing of George Floyd, community organizers in a recent virtual town hall pressed California Senator Kamala Harris on what should be done about racist cops and whether Congress would be “a wet blanket” on the hopes of young activists clamoring for big change.

As protests continued after the killing of George Floyd, community organizers in a recent virtual town hall pressed California Senator Kamala Harris on what should be done about racist cops and whether Congress would be “a wet blanket” on the hopes of young activists clamoring for big change.

In a warm but direct tone, the moderators also hit on perhaps the most significant concern regarding Harris as a top potential running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden: How can people trust you to change the criminal justice system when, as California’s attorney general for six years, you were part of that system?

In more recent years, Biden and Harris have gradually reversed course on some criminal justice issues.

If they do run together, “the key for both of them is that they have a story line of redemption,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy at University of California Riverside. “For over a decade now, both Biden and Harris have done things that can be viewed as more progressive or more attentive to the need of Black communities.”

In the #BringTheHEAT virtual town hall this month, Harris said she did what she could to change the criminal justice system, years before Black Lives Matter, when fierce obstacles loomed.

“It has been my life’s work to keep working on this, and I am not going to stop,” she said.

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