Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is currently running for president, and every month she will pen a special op-ed for ESSENCE readers.
For some, you know what I mean when I say my mother was all of five feet but if you ever met her you would have thought she was seven feet tall. And every time I came to her with a problem, she’d first ask me, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” She’d say, “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something.”
In November 2016, when I was elected to the U.S. Senate as the second Black woman in its history, it was declared that Donald Trump would be the 45th president of the United States. Since then, we’ve seen an administration that’s given the fire of hate new fuel, separated children from their parents at the border, equated neo-Nazis with civil rights marchers and fought to rip health care away from millions of Americans.
So what am I going to do about it? I’m not going to complain. I’m running for president.
I’m prepared to prosecute the case against the policies of this administration and make the case for a better America. An America where it only takes one job to pay the bills and keep a roof over your head. An America where voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights and immigrant rights are protected and respected.
I’ve spent my whole career fighting for people. Decades ago, in the courtrooms of San Francisco, I first uttered the words “Kamala Harris, for the people,” and those words have guided my life’s work.
It’s why as district attorney, I made sure that the office was reflective of the community it served. It’s why I started an initiative that directed nonviolent drug offenders into job training and counseling services instead of jail. “For the People” meant as attorney general I oversaw the first DOJ in the nation that required officers to wear body cameras and created the nation’s first statewide implicit bias training for law enforcement.
It’s that same fight I will continue as president. I believe we can deliver to women all over this nation equal pay for equal work, end disparities in maternal health, protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and administer the largest working- and middle-class tax cut in a generation—putting up to $500 a month to help America’s families make ends meet.
Now, I know it won’t be easy. But what about our story and our strength has been? Over the coming months, as I campaign across the nation, I’ve vowed to listen just as much, if not more, than I talk and I want to talk directly to you, about what I’m hearing on the trail, in your homes, your towns and schools. And I want to hear directly from you as we go forth on this journey together and, once again, drive our country forward.
The above is an op-ed and not a political endorsement by Essence.