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Opinion Columns

Diana DeGette: Why Kamala Harris is the vice president this country needs

There is a lot at stake this November. As Colorado and as our nation battles the once-in-a-century health and economic crisis of COVID-19, as we confront our country’s painful legacy of racial injustice, and take on the existential threat of climate change, the urgency for new leadership in the White House could not be more critical.

We need a leader who is ready to take on these challenges, to lead with hope and integrity in a moment of great chaos, and to build back an America that supports working families. Someone who lifts up women and advances racial equity.

I know that Joe Biden can be this leader for America. He has already shown his commitment to these ideals by choosing Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. 

Rep. Diana DeGette (Photo by Evan Semón)

Sen. Harris’ selection as Joe Biden’s running mate is historic. She is the the first Black woman and first Indian American woman to join a major party presidential ticket and there is no doubt Kamala Harris has the experience and vision to be president herself. 

Throughout her career, she has stood up for working families. As Attorney General of California, Sen. Harris took on big banks, oil companies and for-profit colleges. She has worked tirelessly for marriage equality, health care, climate change, education, gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform.

On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Harris has held Trump Administration officials accountable, she’s asked the tough questions and stood up for the rule of law.

While on the Senate Intelligence Committee, she has handled the nation’s most sensitive security threats. And she has been a voice for women and young women of color all across our nation who need a strong role model right now. 

Her vision for America, laid out in her nomination speech at the Democratic National Convention, shows she has the leadership this country needs to get us through these trying times.

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While President Trump was busy downplaying the severity of the pandemic, Sen. Harris was introducing legislation to address racial disparities illuminated by COVID-19. Her plans to establish a racial-equity policy task force illustrates that she has the expertise and leadership needed to navigate this pandemic. 

I’ve had the honor of working alongside Sen. Harris through my work in Congress, and what I know is that she has the perseverance and passion we need right now. 

As the only woman in the Colorado Congressional delegation, I understand the importance of having a seat at the table. Sen. Harris understands this importance, too.

She was the second African American woman and the first Indian American woman to be elected to the Senate. She has broken gender and race barriers and continues to fight for marginalized communities.

Earlier this month, Sen. Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Climate Equity Act which prioritizes equity and justice for frontline communities in the nation’s fight against climate change.

As a leader in climate justice myself, I know that Sen. Harris will work boldy to combat climate change, by building  a clean economy, tackling large corporations and standing up for the vulnerable communities most impacted by the climate crisis.

I know that Sen. Harris will work hard to ensure that each and every one of our voices are heard because she has shown, time and time again, that she is here to listen and create meaningful change. 

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

Kamala Harris is tough and capable of taking on powerful people and institutions in the fight to rebuild this country and restore the soul of the nation. We need her as our vice president. The election in November will impact the future of our communities and our planet.

We need leaders who will listen to us in order to create and sustain change, leaders who will guide us through this pandemic and work to fix the disparities caused by health, class, and race. We need Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House. Join me in making sure that happens. 


U.S. Rep. Diane DeGette, D-Denver, serves on the Natural Resources and Energy and Commerce committees. 


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