Great Black Women in HistoryStaying informed is half the battle...

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris Kamala Harris


In December 2003, Kamala Harris was elected as the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco’s history, and as the first African American woman in California to hold the office She was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term in November 2007Harris was born in Oakland, California and raised with her sister Maya in the East Bay by their mother Dr Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist After attending public schools, her strong commitment to justice and public service led her to Howard University, America’s oldest historically black university, and then to the University of California, Hastings College of the LawHarris has spent her entire professional life in the trenches as a courtroom prosecutor After graduating from UC Hastings College of the Law, she took a position in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases As a Deputy District Attorney she also prosecuted cases for homicide and robbery.

She worked at that office from 1990 to 1998 before going on to serve in the San Francisco District Attorney’s OfficeIn 1998, Harris was named managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted three strikes cases and serial felony offenders She then served as the head of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Division on Families and ChildrenAs San Francisco DA, Harris – who has been a prosecutor for nearly twenty years – has focused intensively on fighting violent crime She has increased conviction rates for serious and violent offenses, expanded services to victims of crime and their families, created new prosecution divisions focused on child assault, public integrity and environmental crimes, and launched innovative re-entry initiatives to prevent re-offending To combat one of San Francisco’s biggest challenges, gun violence, she created a gun specialist team and implemented tough gun charging policiesThis work is paying off — the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has more than doubled its trial conviction rate for gun felonies to 90 percent Under her leadership, the office has sent 50 percent more serious and violent offenders to State Prison, has put more than 220 gang members behind bars and convicted more than 1,200 domestic violence offenders According to the San Francisco Superior Court, the office’s overall felony conviction rate is at its highest point in 12 yearsHarris has brought much-needed consistency and innovation to the handling of narcotics and quality-of-life crimes.

Her office has tripled the number of misdemeanor cases taken to trial, and Harris has assigned senior prosecutors to specialize in prosecuting graffiti, vandalism and auto burglaries She has also launched unprecedented programs of outreach to San Francisco communities and brought free legal clinics to immigrant neighborhoodsDistrict Attorney Harris is the recipient of numerous awards California’s largest legal newspaper, The Daily Journal, designated Harris as one of the top 75 women litigators in California – the only elected official to receive that honor – as well as one of the top 100 lawyers in the state She was recognized as a “Woman of Power” by the National Urban League and received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the National Black Prosecutors Association She has been featured on the Oprah Show and in Newsweek as one of “America’s 20 Most Powerful Women” She was selected as one of 24 elected leaders from throughout the country to serve as a Rodel Fellow with the Aspen Institute Additionally, Harris was elected to the Board of Directors of the California District Attorneys Association and is a Vice President of the National District Attorney’s Association.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Disrupting Politics
The pair sit down with Katie Couric at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit. Watch Vanity Fair on The Scene: Subscribe to the all-new V...
Watch Video
State of the Union: Getting to Know: Kamala Harris
California Attorney General Kamala Harris talks to Candy about childhood, her love of art and her greatest accomplishment.
Watch Video
Kamala Harris on the Today Show
Sitting down with Matt Lauer to discuss the new book, "Smart on Crime"
Watch Video
The Topic Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand Are Tired of Being Asked About
California's attorney general and the senator from New York discuss life in politics with Katie Couric at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit. Watch Vanit...
Watch Video
Attorney General Kamala Harris: Innovation & Evolution in our Criminal Justice System
"One size fits all." It doesn't work for clothing, so why use that blanket approach with criminal justice? Hear California's Attorney General, Kamala Harris,...
Watch Video
California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on the importance of prison education
At the Renewing Communities symposium in on May 8, California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris delivered a keynote address in which she ...
Watch Video
Candidates@Google: Kamala Harris
In December 2003, Kamala Harris was elected as the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco's history, and as the first African American woman and Sout...
Watch Video
Kamala Harris on Hobby Lobby on MSNBC
Kamala Harris and Cecile Richards talk about Monday's Hobby Lobby ruling, which decided that corporations do not have to pay for contraceptive coverage for ...
Watch Video
California Attorney General Kamala Harris
California's Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks to The Sacramento Bee's Editorial Board.
Watch Video
CA AG Kamala Harris 2014 CADEM Convention
California Attorney General Kamala Harris addresses delegates at the 2014 California Democrats State Convention in Los Angeles.
Watch Video
P-SPAN #330: Kamala Harris, California Attorney General, addresses Laney College
At Laney College's Library, Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California, addressed students of the Ethnic Studies department, on October 11, 2013.
Watch Video
Kamala Harris with Farai Chideya @ YBCA
California Attorney General Kamala Harris in discussion with acclaimed journalist Farai Chideya at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, April 18, 2012. The Forum...
Watch Video
Kamala Harris, DO YOUR JOB! #EndPoliceTerror
"If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." ~Henry David Tho...
Watch Video
Kamala Harris Discusses Gun Control in San Francisco
District Attorney Kamala Harris discusses efforts to curb gun violence in San Francisco in context of the Supreme Court decision to uphold the second ...
Watch Video
Kamala Harris at the 2014 HRC Los Angeles Gala
California Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks of the monumental progress the LGBT community has made in the past decade at the 2014 HRC LA Gala.
Watch Video
Obama apologizes after saying Kamala Harris is best-looking
No Description Available
Watch Video
She Shares Conversation Series with Attorney General Kamala D. Harris
On January 3, 2011, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as the 32nd Attorney General of the State of California. She is the first woman, the first African American...
Watch Video
Kamala D. Harris Inauguration - Part 1
Kamala, Harris, Inauguration, Attorney General, State of California, Department of Justice.
Watch Video
Fox & Friends Defends Obama From Backlash Over Calling Kamala Harris Best-Looking Atty Gen
The first lady isn't the only one member of her family with a viral soundbite this morning. Yesterday, President Obama caused a stir when he referred to Kama...
Watch Video
Obama Sorry For Kamala Harris Good looking Comment...
President Obama in no way mean to "diminish" California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris' credentials when he described her as "by far the best-looking attorney gene.
Watch Video