Silicon Valley's Most Influenial issue spotlights the Bay Area native on everyone's mind.
When Sen. Kamala Harris spoke at a virtual Democratic National Convention, the timing was lost on no one. Even if it had been, Harris made it clear in her opening lines: “This week marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. And we celebrate the women who fought for that right.” Here, she, a Black woman with Asian heritage, had the right to ask America to vote for her to become vice president of the United States of America. Gone were the stadium crowds, the blue-clad delegates screaming her name, but the solid weight of that right made the occasion just as momentous.
Harris is a Bay Area native through and through. Her biggest debate moment came when she called Joe Biden out for his past opposition of busing and described her own childhood of busing as part of an effort to integrate public schools in California. An anecdote from her book even describes an argument with the chairman of JPMorgan Chase, during which she took off her earrings, part of “the Oakland in me.”
Although the senator has been such a fixture in this community, traveling from Silicon Valley tech campuses to detention centers, she now flies all over the country, stopping in Salt Lake City for the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7. As she said in her DNC speech, “Years from now, this moment will have passed. And our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: ‘Where were you when the stakes were so high?’ They will ask us, ‘What was it like?’ And we will tell them. We will tell them not just how we felt. We will tell them what we did.”
Photography by: Michael F. Hiatt/Shutterstock