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Harris' election transformative moment: Indian-American lawmakers

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: November 08, 2020 12:48 IST
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Indian-American lawmakers have hailed the election of Kamala Harris as the first woman vice president of colour, describing it as a proud and transformative moment for the community.


Biden, 77, and Harris, 56, would be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.

She will also be the first-ever Indian-origin, first-ever Black and first-ever African-American vice president of the US.

"I am deeply proud and excited to call Kamala Harris our next Vice President, the first woman, first South Asian American and first Black woman to ever be elected to the position," Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said.

Jayapal, who also traces her root to Chennai like Harris whose mother migrated to the US, was the first Indian-American women to be elected to the House of Representatives in 2016.

The same election, Harris became the first Indian-origin elected to US Senator.

In the Congress, Jayapal and Harris have worked together on several key issues of immigration reform, women rights and criminal justice system.

"This is a truly meaningful moment in history for our country, including for so many women and people of colour. We have not only shattered ceilings, but we have constructed a different path for so many millions of people across the country as they imagine their own futures," Jayapal said.

Jayapal, who is Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said that she came to the US by herself 38 years ago because her parents believed in the promise of America, so much so that they sent their 16-year-old across the ocean knowing they may never live on the same continent again.

"They believed in America's ideals, in our democracy and that this was a place where change and progress were possible. These results prove that our democracy still works and that the power always belongs to the people through the power of the vote," she said.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said, "The election of Kamala Harris as vice president is a transformative, meaningful moment for our country."

"Exactly 100 years after the ratification of the 19th amendment, we have elected America's first female vice president. In a year of racial strife, we have elected America's first Black vice president," he said.

"The daughter of immigrants, Kamala Devi Harris also makes history as our first South Asian vice president," he said.

"As an Indian-American, I'm very grateful that my children will see Kamala Harris, along with Joe Biden, as a role model when she enters office.

"I know she'll work to further the progress the United States has made in representation and equality, and countless people will be inspired by her example," Krishnamoorthi said.

Congressman Ro Khanna said that America has rejected Donald Trump.

"We've had enough of his failures during this pandemic, his racism, and his disregard for people's lives," he tweeted.

With Biden and Harris 'in the White House, we will usher in a new era of moral leadership that treats everyone with dignity', Khanna said.

Congratulating Biden and Harris on their electoral victory, Indian-American Hiral Tipirneni, who lost the Congressional race from Arizona, said that decency, integrity, truth and compassion prevail.

"As an Indian-American, a woman, a mother, and a patriot, I could not be prouder," she said.

Kesha Ram, who is the first woman of colour ever elected to the Vermont state senate, said, "America, we have some healing and organising to do. For now, let's bask in the glory of those whose shoulders we stand on as we welcome Kamala Devi Harris to the White House alongside our 46th President of the United States."

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Lalit K Jha
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