The next U.S. senator for California will have to articulate a strategy to benefit the country as a whole, but also the state’s population. They will also have to defend the essential interests of the Latino community: finding accessible, appropriate jobs; getting quality, affordable education; combating delinquency and, of course, achieving comprehensive immigration reform.
Although the election is still over 6 months away, it is necessary to establish priorities.
The campaign is being dominated by Democrats Kamala Harris, current Attorney General of California, and Loretta Sánchez, congresswoman for a district in Orange County.
They are both worthy candidates who set high standards for the campaign.
Sánchez, born in Lynwood of Mexican parents, joined Congress in 1997 when she defeated veteran legislator Bob Dornan in a district that used to be a bastion for Republican conservatives. Her surprising victory was also a boost for the campaigns of other Hispanics, contributing to increased political representation for the community.
She created and still leads the Women in the Military Caucus and belongs to the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 15 conservative Democratic legislators. Among other votes, she pushed against the war in Iraq, defended a woman’s right to abortion and pressed progressive topics forward.
Kamala Harris, daughter of an Indian doctor and a Jamaican American professor, stood out as Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County and later as District Attorney in San Francisco. She has also combined the fight against crime with campaigns for social awareness, has updated her outreach on the internet and social media and created an internet safety unit to tackle cybercrime.
Harris firmly defends sanctuary cities and the right of local authorities to decide how to deal with federal immigration agencies. She supports public health, education and safety for all, including undocumented people.
Additionally, she was recently attacked for saying that “an undocumented immigrant is not a criminal” and supported providing legal defense to unaccompanied minors coming in from Central America.
Harris supports gun control and environmental protection, opposes the death penalty except in special cases and has prosecuted hate crimes, especially against LGBT children and teens.
Both women are good candidates. However, we believe that Kamala Harris has more potential to lead at a national level and better fulfills the requirements listed above.
She has demonstrated her commitment to those who have less and her understanding of the need to protect minorities and for immigration reform. Harris’s accomplishments and vitality make her a candidate who promises to continue leaving her mark as representative to California in Washington.