What I Have in Common with Senator Kamala Harris, The Woman Who May Just Be Our Next Vice President

Updated: Oct 4


Yes, I'm Writing About Politics


Because this is a new blog, I'm taking a chance on writing about politics and possibly alienating my readers. Well, I decided that I will blur this line for the following reason: I write this blog to encourage the freedom to be true to oneself. Being free means that we get to be authentic and have a voice. Being true to oneself means we get to stand up for what we believe in and manifest what we want to see happen. I also lived in Washington DC for more than 15 years. Politics runs deep. So, I'm being authentically me, and I'm using my voice to provide perspective on the topics that I care about. This week, I'm excited because in one of the most tumultuous years in our nation's history, we've finally embarked on a wide open field of new possibilities. Frankly, this year has been a hot mess.


Presidential Election 2020


Though I'm a registered Democrat, I will always vote for the candidate who most closely matches my values and concerns, no matter the party. If you can't tell already, this means I support equal rights for all people, and I want all people to have a fair shot. I advocate for equal access to good public education and meaningful work opportunities at livable wages. I care about college and non-college options like skilled trades. I care about clean energy solutions and environmental safety in our current energy infrastructure. As a former prosecutor and defense attorney, I care about safety, criminal justice system reform and reforms in policing. There's a lot on the line right now, not limited to our peace of mind and sanity.


So, Who Are You Voting For?


At this pivotal point in our nation's history, I will support the Biden/Harris presidential ticket. There are plenty of news sources covering the pros and cons of the candidates. I won't do that here because I'm not a political pundit. The sole reason for this post is to express my excitement about former Vice President Joe Biden's decision to select Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.


The Big Deal About Senator Kamala Harris


I'm not happy to support this ticket because Senator Harris is a woman, or Black or Indian - or a fellow Howard alumna. It's because she's an educated expert, in both law and state and federal government, and a ready-on-day-one candidate who happens to be a woman, Black, Indian and an alumna of Howard University, which has always been more like extended family to me than just an institution. Senator Harris has served as the highest ranking attorney and United States Senator, in California, the most populous state in America. Most of all, she exhibits a willingness to learn, grow and evolve with the times. She becomes more reasoned and authentic with age, like many of us. But I said I wasn't going to go in to all that.


Why I Identify with Senator Kamala Harris


In addition to the Howard connection, Kamala is in an interracial marriage and step mom to her husband's children, with whom she enjoys a close relationship. This gives her additional perspective. It means something to live in a diverse country and also be a part of a diverse family and have diverse friends. You learn to see things from a greater variety of perspectives. My husband is white, and so are my two "step-sons," though I don't call them that. Just like Kamala's kids call her "Momala", our boys call me "Sha-mom" (kind of like a superhero character! :)). The name "Momala" tells me what I need to know about her heart and compassion. She understood the importance of cultivating a relationship with the kids, and their mother, because they all would also be family.


Honestly, with the glass ceiling, setbacks, and roadblocks that exist for working women - and moms - in America, I'm categorically impressed and proud when I see women accomplish so much and at such high levels. It takes passion, nerves of steel, discipline, commitment, perseverance and grit just to keep a regular J.O.B., let alone serve in one of the most influential positions in the world under the public's critical eye. I strive to be more like these women who put a stake in the ground, fearlessly.


In the end, I will always support women - and great men - who support me and what I value. Come this November 3, the Biden/Harris ticket is my pick.




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© 2020 by Shai Littlejohn

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