Kamala Harris Quotes
“For too long, we’d been told there were only two options: to be either tough on crime or soft on crime—an oversimplification that ignored the realities of public safety. You can want the police to stop crime in your neighborhood and also want them to stop using excessive force. You can want them to hunt down a killer on your streets and also want them to stop using racial profiling. You can believe in the need for consequence and accountability, especially for serious criminals, and also oppose unjust incarceration. I believed it was essential to weave all these varied strands together.”
“My daily challenge to myself is to be part of the solution, to be a joyful warrior in the battle to come. My challenge to you is to join that effort. To stand up for our ideals and our values. Let's not throw up our hands when it's time to roll up our sleeves. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
Years from now, our children and our grandchildren will look up and lock eyes with us. They will ask us where we were when the stakes were so high. They will ask us what it was like. I don't want us to just tell them how we felt. I want us to tell them what we did.”
“As I sat alone in my new office, I recalled a time, as a young prosecutor, when I overheard some of my colleagues in the hallway. “Should we add the gang enhancement?” one of them asked. “Can we show he was in a gang?” the other said. “Come on, you saw what he was wearing, you saw which corner they picked him up on. Guy’s got the tape of that rapper, what’s his name?” I stepped out into the hallway. “Hey, guys, just so you know: I have family that live in that neighborhood. I’ve got friends who dress in that style. And I’ve got a tape of that rapper in my car right now.”
“Communities—and in particular the black community—have been shouting and crying, mothers over their dead children’s bodies, been crying in deep pain about these things. But people turned a blind eye or they didn’t believe it or they didn’t want to believe it. But now, because of the smartphone, America and the world are seeing in vivid detail the brutality that communities have known for generations.”
“Drawing on the words of Coretta Scott King, I reminded the audience that freedom must be fought for and won by every generation. "It is the very nature of this fight for civil rights and justice and equality that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. So we must be vigilant, " I said.”
“Black men use drugs at the same rate as white men, but they are arrested twice as often for it. And then they pay more than a third more than their counterparts, on average, in bail. Black men are six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated. And when they are convicted, black men get sentences nearly 20 percent longer than those given to their white counterparts. Latino men don’t fare much better. It is truly appalling.”
“I had divided my to-do list into three categories: short-, medium-, and long-term. Short-term meant “a couple of weeks,” medium-term meant “a couple of years,” and long-term meant “as long as it takes.” It was that far side of the ledger where I wrote down the most intractable problems we were facing—the ones you can’t expect to solve on your own, over a term, perhaps even over a career. That’s where the most important work is. That’s where you take the bigger view—not of the political moment but of the historical one.”
“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters. You're going to walk into many rooms in your life and career where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you've had. But you remember that when you are in those rooms, you are not alone. We are all in that room with you applauding you on. Cheering your voice. And just so proud of you. So you use that voice and be strong.”
“In this country, you are innocent until proven guilty and—unless you are a danger to others or highly likely to flee the jurisdiction—you shouldn’t have to sit in jail waiting for your court date. This is the basic premise of due process: you get to hold on to your liberty unless and until a jury convicts you and a judge sentences you. It’s why the Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits excessive bail. That’s what justice is supposed to look like. What it should not look like is the system we have in America today. The median bail in the United States is $10,000. But in American households with an income of $45,000, the median savings account balance is $2,530. The disparity is so high that at any given time, roughly nine out of ten people who are detained can’t afford to pay to get out. By its very design, the cash bail system favors the wealthy and penalizes the poor. If you can pay cash up front, you can leave, and when your trial is over, you’ll get all of your money back. If you can’t afford it, you either languish in jail or have to pay a bail bondsman, which costs a steep fee you will never get back.”
“About ten seconds later, my assistant popped her head into my office. “Mr. Dimon is on the line.” I took off my earrings (the Oakland in me) and picked up the receiver. “You’re trying to steal from my shareholders!” he yelled, almost as soon as he heard my voice. I gave it right back. “Your shareholders? Your shareholders? My shareholders are the homeowners of California! You come and see them. Talk to them about who got robbed.” It stayed at that level for a while. We were like dogs in a fight. A member of my senior team later recalled thinking, “This was either a really good or a colossally bad idea.” I shared with Dimon the way his lawyers were presenting his position, and why it was unacceptable to me. As temperatures cooled, I got into the details of my demands so that he would understand exactly what I needed—not through the filter of his general counsel, but directly from me. At the end of the conversation, he said he would talk to his board and see what they could do. I’ll never know what happened on Dimon’s side. But I do know that two weeks later, the banks gave in. When all was said and done, instead of the $2 billion to $4 billion that was originally on the table, we secured an $18 billion deal, which ultimately grew to $20 billion in relief to homeowners.”
- Date of birth: October 20, 1964
- Born: in Oakland, CA, The United States.
- Description: Kamala D. Harris is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current vice president of the United States. She is the United States' first female vice president, the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the first African American and first Asian American vice president. She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, then was elected District Attorney of San Francisco. As California's Attorney General, Kamala prosecuted transnational gangs, big banks, Big Oil, for-profit colleges and fought against attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Harris also fought to reduce elementary school truancy and pioneered the nation's first open data initiative to expose racial disparities in the criminal justice system and implemented implicit bias training for police officers. The second black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate, Kamala has worked to reform our criminal justice system, raise the minimum wage, make higher education tuition-free for the majority of Americans, and protect the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.