She left the race before I could push post. Last updated on November 25th 2019:
We are less than 12 months away from voting for the next President of the United States. Our current leader is facing an Impeachment. Our forever President, Barack Obama, showed the entire World all the good that can be accomplished when we show up and show out at the polls. At the time of this article, there are 18 active Democratic candidates. There’s only two of them that look like you. Follow me as I take you on a deep dive into the political lifestyles of Senator Kamala Harris from California and Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey. Which candidate will serve your community? Which one is just out for Donald Trump’s demise? And how does all of this shape the trust we have with politicians at every level of government?
First, we’ll do background on ya boy Cory. He’s the first Afro-American, or do you prefer the term Black, either way, to be elected into a Senate seat in New Jersey. No shock there. Ever been to the Jersey Shore? He’s a smarty pants. He attended both Yale Law and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, so he’s also well rounded. I guess. His first political victory came when he won a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark in 1998, after staging a 10-day hunger strike as he lived in a tent to bring awareness to urban development issues around Newark. He didn’t have the same type of luck on his first Mayoral run in 2002 against incumbent Sharpe James but he did receive 46% of the votes. The documentary Street Fight directed by Marshall Curry chronicles Booker’s entire campaign run from the early days of canvassing neighborhoods to election night 2002. The flick spotlighted the very real issues within minority communities in Newark as well as Booker himself who reportedly lived in a rundown neighborhood apartment building named Brick Towers. Speculation has been made that Booker opted to live in those conditions to appease his constituents. His real Jersey roots go back to private communities and affluent surroundings as both of his parents were amongst the first Black executives at IBM during the 1990s. He grew up in Harrington Park where the house It also highlighted the whole, what it means to be Black convos as James, like Donald Trump and Barack Obama, questioned Booker’s blackness and his heritage. The film won the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated at the 2003 Academy Awards for Best Documentary Film. James did not run for Mayor in 2006 and Booker beat out Ronald Rice with 72% of the votes. We stand a Mayor. During his run, he tackled crime, notably patrolling Newark streets with his team at wee hours in the morning. He revamped the Newark Police Department by hiring a new deputy commissioner. Additionally, he received a visionary award in 2009 for his work on reducing gun violence. Kudos. Up until 2013, Booker maintained his position as the Mayor until he set his sights on Congressional Leadership. After the death of the five-term Democratic Senator Frank Luthenberg, Booker challenged Republican Mayor Steve Lonegan, eventually winning 54.9% of the majority vote. He won again in 2014. As a voter in Congress, his views are predominantly liberal and can be considered more socialist when compared to left-leaning Democrats. He is not one to run from a challenge, it seems he runs towards them.
Next up, Senator Kam Harris. She identifies as Black and Indian but reportedly describes her upbringing and background as American. She’s the third female to ever hold the Senate seat in California. Work! She comes from the legal realm, working as a District Attorney in San Francisco and then as the Attorney General of California. She refers to her tenure as the Attorney General a lot on the campaign trail. Mainly when she is being questioned about her ideology on marijuana charges and Criminal Justice reform. She has spent nearly her entire professional career in the public sector, starting in 1990 as a deputy D.A. for Alameda County, California. She has also made a bank. In 1994, her then bae Willie Brown, appointed Harris to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board where she earned a reportedly $100,000 salary. She only lasted six months. She entered the 2003 D.A. race to dethrone her ex-boss, Terence Hallinan, primarily because she disagreed with the practices within his office. She got hit with campaign violations when her campaign was accused of overspending. Harris spent $100,000 over her allotted amount. The drama did not play out well in the press and she was forced to alert voters of the violation. Similar to Booker, she was pitted against her Black voters by the media for her upper-middle-class upbringing. She supported Proposition M, which dealt with homeless panhandling. The law proposed higher criminal penalties while neglecting to provide funding for homeless shelters. She still came out the winner on election night, earning 56.33% of the vote, becoming the first woman, Black or White to be elected as the D.A. in San Fran. She started a re-entry program called Back On Track which eventually became a law, signed by the then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2008, after her reelection as District Attorney, the New York Times placed her on a list of women who can potentially become the President. Talk about foreshadowing. In 2010 during her run for Attorney General, she received notable endorsements from fellow power playing women, Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein. That trend continued, in 2016 during her Congressional run for the California Senate seat she received endorsements from then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, one of her current competitors for the 2020 Democratic Nomination. Makes me think about that Drake line, ‘Ya make friends with Mike but gotta AI’em for your survival.’ Yes, there is always a way to tie in Drake. In 2017, after President Trump passed the executive order banning entry to the United States from nationals of said “shit hole countries”, Harris hit back hard. She accused the Administration of a “Muslim Ban”, one of the first elected officials to call out the racist undertone that would subsequently become the catchphrase of this order.
Now, you got the intel. It is quite difficult to judge officials on what they will do. But a great tool in making decisions is to look back at what they have already done. With that, also keep in mind, time’s are rapidly changing. These two candidates did not come from the hood per se, but they have both worked hard within their circles to spread awareness and create plans to change. They want to be our President. Which one would you pick?