Kamala Harris: The 7 Issues Guide

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 10.47.01 PM The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today. But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime. In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope that these guides serve as a helpful starting point for you as you look into which candidates (or how many candidates!) you are interested in supporting in their bid to become our next President. Today, let’s get to know Kamala Harris!

Career Highlights

✦ Current Senator from California ✦ Former Attorney General of California ✦ Former District Attorney of San Francisco


Affordable Healthcare: “There should be nothing partisan about wanting a system where health coverage and care are based not on how much money you have or where you live. We need a system with the goal of good outcomes rather than the goal of high profits. It would save countless lives, and according to recent studies, could trim as much as $5 trillion in health care costs over 10 years.” Source  Women’s Health: As Attorney General, she sponsored legislation to ensure that crisis pregnancy centers provide women medically accurate information about the full range of reproductive services. Source  Medicare for All: Kamala Harris announced her intentions to co-sponsor the Medicare for All bill. Source  Mental Health: Kamala Harris supports ensuring our mental healthcare system receives more funding to provide a higher quality of care and services. Source Contraceptives: As CA Attorney General, Kamala Harris filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that they should overturn the circuit court decision that allowed employers to block their employee’s access to contraceptives. “Under the ACA, all Americans have the right to access affordable, quality healthcare, including contraception. For-profit companies should not be able to deny women access to healthcare based on the religious beliefs of the company’s owners.” Source  Pro-Choice: Kamala Harris is rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record and was endorsed by EMILY’s List in 2016 for pro-choice Democratic women.

Climate Change

Paris Climate Accord: “Harris criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Additionally, Harris opposed the Trump administration’s proposal to reverse Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.” Source  Green New Deal: Kamala Harris is co-sponsoring the Green New Deal resolution. Source  Climate Legislation: “Attorney General Harris has defended California’s landmark climate laws against attacks by the oil industry and other states. …As Attorney General, Harris has fought and won several key environmental legal battles including a lawsuit to reduce diesel truck pollution in the Port of Long Beach and a lawsuit in San Diego requiring revisions to a development plan that incentivized freeway construction over alternatives that could improve public health.” Source Environmental Accountability: “”As California’s attorney general, Harris launched an investigation into Exxon Mobil in 2016, after reports that the oil and gas giant lied for decades about the risks of climate change.” Source  Environmental Accountability: “In 2011, Harris received the CLCV Environmental Leadership Award in part because of her work in a lawsuit to hold a metal factory in Mira Loma accountable for their run-off, which was harming the surrounding community. Kamala Harris previously served as a District Attorney in San Francisco, where she created the first division in the county focused on environmental justice and economically poor communities who disproportionately suffer from pollution.” Source 

Civil Rights

LGBTQ Rights: “While in office, Harris built up a strong history of supporting LGBTQ rights. She declined to defend the state’s ban on equal marriage rights, ordered all clerks to marry same-sex couples with “no exceptions” once the ban was lifted, co-sponsored a bill to do away with the “gay panic” as a defense in violent crimes, and and refused to entertain a ridiculous “Kill the Gays” ballot initiative intended to sentence people to death for “homosexual acts.” She was also fervently against North Carolina’s anti-transgender bathroom bill, and co-sponsored the Equality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” Source Marriage Equality: “Attorney General Harris filed a brief with the Supreme Court in February [2013] that argued opponents of same-sex marriage had no legal standing to interfere with the rights of others.” After the SCOTUS decision, Harris called on the Ninth Circuit to lift their stay “because gay and lesbian couples in California have waited long enough for their full civil rights.” Source Transgender Rights: Harris was one of three senators who led the charge to urge AG Jeff Sessions to restore the rights of transgender individuals to not be discriminated against in the workplace. Source Women’s Issues: “It’s a woman’s issue to care about climate change. It’s a woman’s issue to want comprehensive immigration reform. It’s a woman’s issue to think about criminal justice reform (and) It’s a woman’s issue to care about reproductive healthcare and the affordable care act. It’s a woman’s issue to care about so many of these things. Women are not and should not be relegated to being a stereotype or a trope.” Source Disability Rights: “People with disabilities in our nation should not have to be begging our government for access to basic, affordable medical services.” Source Criminal Justice Reform: “In 2005, as San Francisco district attorney, Harris created Back on Track, a program aimed at preventing young, first-time, non-violent drug offenders from committing more crimes.” As CA attorney general, “she won praise for making state justice statistics publicly available, including arrest-related deaths. She launched a statewide police training program aimed at reducing unconscious racial bias among officers.” Source

Gun Reform

Gun Ownership: Harris believes that people convicted of a felony or found by a court to be mentally ill should not be able to own or possess a gun. Source  Assault Weapons: Harris is a supporter of the Second Amendment who has also made it clear that she backs “common-sense” gun control. “Assault weapons shouldn’t be walking the streets of a civilized country. We should have universal background checks.” Source Gun Trafficking: As CA Attorney General, “she prosecuted transnational gangs for trafficking in guns and drugs. In a 2011 gun sweep that Harris led in California, more than 1,200 firearms were collected from individuals who were either mentally unstable or convicted of a crime that would not allow them to have a firearm.” Source Arming Teachers: “Arming teachers with guns would make our schools less safe. Instead, we should be arming them with fair wages, school supplies, and the resources they need to educate the next generation.” Source

Voting Rights

Voter ID: After the Supreme Court decided not to reinstate North Carolina’s voter ID law, which a lower court said targeted African Americans, Kamala Harris tweeted, “An important win for voting rights: a major voter suppression law will not be reviewed by the Supreme Court.” Source Felony Voting Disenfranchisement: As CA Attorney General, Harris threw her support behind a bill to expand voting rights to individuals with felony convictions on post-release community supervision. Source  Restoring the Voting Rights Act: As CA Attorney General, Harris submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Source  Expanding Voting Rights: “As Trump attempts to restrict voting rights, we have to work to make it *easier* for everyone to vote. That means legislation to strengthen protections against discriminatory laws, modernize voter systems, and expand early voting.”  Source

Economic Inequality

Taxes: Harris has written the Lift the Middle Class Act which, instead of giving tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, would give refundable tax credits to the lower and middle classes. Source  Minimum Wage: Harris supports raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. Source  Equal Pay: Harris wrote an op-ed arguing for equal pay for women in the workforce. Source Closing the Wage Gap: Harris has proposed closing the wage gap for teachers vs. other professions (Source), and closing the gap between public defenders and prosecutors. Source Homeownership: “Kamala Harris, calling on the nation to “deal with the racial wealth gap,” on Saturday proposed a $100 billion federal program to help black people buy homes. The California senator said the plan, which would provide down payment and closing cost assistance of up to $25,000 to people renting or living in historically red-lined communities, would help some 4 million home-buyers.” Source Automation & Jobs: Harris encourages more funding for workforce training. “As we talk about the economy, one thing that needs to be at the forefront of our minds are the Americans between the ages of 30 and 50 who want to work and are unemployed, or who may lose their jobs to automation. … The reality is that automation has the ability to displace jobs, and we need to be telling the truth about that.” Source

Foreign Affairs

Russia:In one of her sharpest attacks on Trump’s perceived coziness with Russia, she decried a time, ‘When we have foreign powers infecting the White House like malware.’ As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Harris has been cautious in how she has described the ongoing probes into Russian interference in the US election and particularly allegations that the Trump campaign colluded the Russians.” Source North Korea: Kamala Harris was one of the dozen signatories to a letter that stated, “The challenge posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs is perhaps the most significant foreign policy challenge our nation has faced in decades. It is therefore shocking that the Administration – a full year into its term – has yet to formally nominate someone to be the ambassador, which is the highest-ranking U.S. government official in South Korea.” (Note: This post was vacant until July 2018)  Source China: Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein jointly wrote a letter to the White House stating, “While we agree with the findings of your office’s recent investigation into China’s unfair industrial policies and outright theft of American intellectual property, we are concerned that the Administration’s trade actions are counterproductive to its goal of ensuring a level playing field for American companies. … We urge the Administration to rethink its escalating tariffs and instead urgently convene negotiations with China on its discriminatory industrial policies and intellectual property practices.” Source Iran:Today’s decision to violate the Iran nuclear deal jeopardizes our national security and isolates us from our closest allies. This nuclear deal is not perfect, but it is certainly the best existing tool we have to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and avoid a disastrous military conflict in the Middle East.” Source Saudi Arabia:On a non-record vote, the Senate on Thursday adopted a resolution (SJ Res 69) holding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. …  There was no debate directly on the resolution, and it was adopted unanimously.” Source Legislative Record (includes enacted legislation & bills sponsored): Kamala Harris Campaign Website: Kamala Harris, For the People
⚡ Check out all of our 7 Issues Guides: Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, Joe Biden, Eric SwalwellKnow someone who might like this post? Share it with them! Subscribe to get Political Charge posts via email
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19 replies

  1. This will be an invaluable resource. Thank you for doing it!!

  2. I think this is superb! Thank you so much and I was wondering if I could post this on another blog I follow that I think people might be interested in this? The blog is Filosofas Word..you may follow her already.

  3. Reblogged this on Bennet Kelley's Clippings & More and commented:
    This is how you cover a Presidential campaign. Look forward to seeing the posts for the remaining candidates.

  4. Tokyo, this is JUST what folks are looking for! You rock! Will it eventually be in a form that comparison of candidates will be easy?


    On Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 9:31 AM Political⚡Charge wrote:

    > TokyoSand posted: ” The Democrats have a big field of candidates running > for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our > candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their > own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our countr” >

  5. Wow! She’s so impressive! It will be interesting to see how the others stack up!

  6. Thank you so much for doing this!!! Kamala is one of the top three on my list currently, but with nearly 21 months left until election day, I’m not firmly committed to any at this point, so it is great to see such an orderly, comprehensive list of each candidate’s platform. May I re-blog this tomorrow? Thanks again … great work!

  7. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    With nearly 21 months until the 2020 presidential election, the democratic candidates and potential candidates are stacking up like pancakes! How to sort through it? Who stands for what? I had been considering doing a series of posts with the platforms, ideologies, pros & cons of each candidate, but as it is an overwhelming task, I kept pushing it to the back burner. And then, last night I discovered that blogger-friend TokyoSand has enlisted a group of volunteers to help and has taken on the very project I had in mind! And she has done a far better job of it than I ever could, so … why re-invent the wheel, right? I asked and received her permission to share with my readers, so please take a few minutes to get to know the first in the series, Kamala Harris! Thank you, TokyoSand, for this excellent work and for allowing me to share with my readers.

  8. Dear TokyoSand,

    Thank you to you and your friends who have taken on this project to inform us about all the Democratic presidential candidates. Sen Kamala Harris is on my short list of who I favor, so far.

    I appreciate all the research that was done.

    Hugs, Gronda

  9. I appreciate the concise summaries! One concern: My top issue in the next election is immigration issues (the border crisis; ISIS; refugees; etc.). I’d appreciate the ability to directly compare the various candidates’ positions on immigration. Thank you!

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