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ANOTHER VIEW ‘Make sure to wear shoes, ladies. There’s glass everywhere’ Kamala Harris makes history as first female person of color, woman elected vice president

In my last opinion piece, I talked about the life and contributions of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Many of her legal impacts paved the way for women to be seen and treated equal to men in our communities and workplaces.

I was hoping the outcome of the election would have allowed me to write this opinion piece in same connotation of women’s successes.

It did.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment gave white women the right to vote. It was not until 1965, with the Voting Rights Act, that women of color were protected under law to cast their vote.

In 1974, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act provided those applying for a credit card or loan to have approval or denial based only on personal credit components and not on any other factors, such as gender.

And this year, Americans voted to have its first female vice president.

In the 2020 general election, Sen. Kamala Harris was elected vice president and will serve along side President-elect Joe Biden, former vice president. Not only will we have our first female vice president, but we will also have our first female person-of-color vice president. Harris is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

I recently read a quote circulating on social media - “Make sure to wear shoes, ladies. There’s glass everywhere.”

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus wrote on Twitter, “Madam vice president is no longer a fictional character.”

These expressions could not be truer. History has been made - finally.

Since 1789, when former Vice President John Adams took his oath of office, the vice president has been male. When Harris takes her oath next year, the 232-year standard of a man accepting the second-highest position in the country will be shattered

When Harris takes her oath next year, the 232-year standard of a white man accepting the second-highest position in the country will be shattered.

Harris has an involved political background, which will help her succeed in the new position she will undertake for the next few years.

According to abcnews.com’s article “Kamala Harris: Everything you need to know about the Democratic nominee for vice president,” published Oct. 7, “Beginning her career as the deputy district attorney in Alameda County, Harris worked for San Francisco’s City Attorney Louise Renne as the chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division, where she specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases.

She was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney of San Francisco and served from 2004 to 2010.”

From 2011 to 2017, she worked as the attorney general of California. In this role, she also attained many firsts, such as the first woman, Black and Asian American.

Harris is currently a California senator, “serving on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget,” the abcnews.com article states.

She graduated from Howard University with an undergraduate degree and from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, with a law degree.

When I was talking to my 3-and-a-half-year-old son, Benjamin, a few weeks ago about the election and its significance, I asked him what he thought about there being only boy vice presidents and not girls.

He said, “I don’t like that. It’s not fair.”

I agree, Ben, and, thankfully, that is changing. Now our government is starting to look more like the people it represents - a mixture of colors, heritages, religions and genders.

I am pleased and thankful that when Ben takes history and government classes in school, he will learn about these women holding powerful political positions.

And from now until then, I am sure even more of these positions - with the presidency on the horizon - will be held by women.

Yes, it has taken a long time to get where we are today, but during the Thanksgiving holiday, when there is much to be missed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I will be thinking about how thankful I am for the many women recently elected to serve in a variety of political positions.

I will also be thinking about getting myself some more sturdy shoes. I’m going to need them with all this glass I’m walking on.

Stacey Koch

editorial assistant

Whitehall-Coplay Press

Northampton Press

Catasauqua Press