Democrats not Sold On Kamala Harris: Is She Progressive Enough For The Democratic Party?
The United States Senator from California made her first appearance in her home state since announcing her candidacy in the 2020 Election.
She spoke to hundreds of her supporters at Southwest College in Los Angeles earlier this month.
“We are in a moment in time where we are each individually and collectively is being required to look in the mirror and ask a question, that question being who are we,” said Harris to her supporters. “And I think what we all know is part of the answer to that question is we are better than this.”
The major question for Harris is: how can she separate herself from the other Democratic candidates?
Since her announcement, Harris has faced backlash from voters and members of her own party due to her time as California’s attorney general. Harris gave herself the nickname, the “progressive prosecutor.”
Harris is known for her signature state legislation, which found that parents whose elementary children were habitually truant could be fined and prosecuted.
The legislation disproportionately affected low-income people of color communities, which is why her critics have said her actions are opposite of a “progressive prosecutor.”
Back in 2009, her office stated it brought charges against 20 parents on truancy-related cases, eventually sending one woman to jail in 2012 when her two children missed more than 100 days of school.
In 2015, Harris was against a bill that would investigate shootings involving police officers, as well as opposing the support of statewide standards on regulating the use of body worn cameras by police officers.
Many Democrats see this as going against progressive values.
In her speech at Southwest College, Harris highlighted some of her key issues and policies heading into the 2020 Election, such as gun safety reform, closing the gender pay gap and increasing teacher pay.
“We need reasonable gun safety laws in this country, including universal background checks and a renewal of the assault-weapons ban,” said Harris, following cheers from the crowd.
“People are allowed to change right, so I would like to see that happen with her and that she is listening to people, because we are more progressive,” said Stacy Lewis who is a Democrat and attended the rally to hear Harris speak in person.
“I’m not voting for her just because she’s a woman of color, I would love to see a woman of color in the White House but I think that policy does come first,” said Amy Williams who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Election.
Harris is scheduled to do a town hall with Greenville Education in South Carolina at the end of the month as she continues her campaign heading into 2020.