I have been around politics long enough to know that the valor and vigor of volunteers can sometimes speak much louder than a candidates commercial.
Despite supporting a different candidate during the primary, I will be voting for Kamala Harris this Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, not because Ms. Harris has decisively swayed me, but because of the below email I received from a friend, a young Latina attorney named Alida Garcia.
In reading her crusade, I pictured her in the court room, and I understood each and every moment of her insecurities and her journey of self-discovery. If Kamala Harris has that kind of an impact on my friend, then it’s the kind of impact I want for California.
Family & Friends –
I am sure you all are exhausted and over-saturated by campaign e-mails/ads, however, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to take the time to read just one more. I won’t bother you with facts, resumes, and issues. I am asking you to support my friend, mentor and personal hero Kamala D. Harris for CA Attorney General–and for now, I simply and selfishly ask for you to read why this election matters to me.
The first day I staffed Kamala was December 1st, 2008 – yes, 23 long months ago, and just 3 short weeks after our country miraculously elected President Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. Many of you know that the Obama campaign was an incredibly transformative experience in my life. I view my 2 years with Kamala as an extension of that work. She was, afterall, the first elected official in California to endorse his candidacy before anyone knew who he was.
My journey with Kamala began far before first meeting her. Her niece, Meena, and I attended Stanford together & subsequently worked on the Obama campaign together. I view Meena as a younger sister of mine & one of my best friends. Whether it be editing her law school entrance essays or picking her up from the airport, Meena is my family, & as such, so have I treated Kamala.
Over the last 2 years I have watched an amazing woman prove herself over and over again on the campaign trail, capturing audiences of all ages, races, geography and political affiliation. This was a small campaign ran by just a handful of people statewide, and so I dedicated my volunteerism to as close as a staff level as one could be without being a full time employee. I’ve been to so many events volunteering that I am most positive that I can repeat her stump speech verbatim to you by memory, “I am one of two daughters of parents who met as graduate students while at the University of California – Berkeley in the 1960s….” (it begins.)
Interestingly enough, my journey with Kamala also began at the same time as my journey as a young attorney. Lucky for me, in a profession where women–particularly woman of color–are few and far between – I had the opportunity to regularly watch such a strong confident compassionate, and when necessary, intimidating woman attorney of color execute her job with grace, dignity and the integrity that is required of a law enforcement officer who regularly deals with the most heinous of human acts imaginable in her profession as District Attorney of San Francisco.
She was so good and natural at what she does, that I regularly forgot that we were trying to accomplish something that has never been done before in CA – elect a woman to be the top law enforcement officer of the State of California and the first African-American of any gender to hold any constitutional office in our state.
Watching Kamala own her candidacy so confidently, despite trying to do something that was unheard of has helped me shatter my own glass ceilings, time and time again. As an example, and one of many, I remember the first time I ever had to argue a substantive motion in front of a judge. I was so scared, like literally shaking and thought I’d have a heart attack. I was in a room of over 50 middle-aged white men who had all practiced for decades and all I could think about was not fainting, breathing slowly, and hopefully speaking English. And then I remembered a speech I saw Kamala give young girls, where she mentioned that she oftentimes had to tell her own young woman attorneys at her D.A.’s office to just walk in the room and pretend they were her to kill their nerves. So I took a deep breath, channeled my inner Kamala, and somehow my heart wasn’t beating outside of my chest anymore, and I was able to argue that motion (and give that older man a run for his money 😉 ) – lesson learned, I belonged in that room and I owned it.
Beyond my own life being affected, I have spent two years organizing her young supporters and through that experience I have watched tons of young people grow and develop into community leaders and organizers who will forever be trying to change our state for the better because of the transformative experience they have received volunteering for her. Good candidates with good hearts end up being supported by other good people with good hearts, and through this experience I have made the best friends imaginable.
I write this all to say – that campaigns are more than the negative ads you see every 2 seconds on TV. This campaign involved the most amazing people I know working through their blood sweat and tears, all-nighters, donating their last dollars and pushing just a little harder to elect a leader who will, in fact, change and protect our state.
And we’re almost there.
We are essentially tied. Just last week Karl Rove (yes the Karl Rove) invested $1.3 million dollars in attack ads against us funded by: Oil, Tobacco, and Health Insurance. That alone should tell you why electing Kamala matters so much: she’ll protect us and is beholden to no special interest like her opponent Steve Cooley, who refuses to take a stance on Prop 23 – which is funded by Texas oil companies wanting easier laws to pollute our air. You can get a glimpse of this issue HERE.
We need your vote to push ahead and win. And, we need at least 10 of your friends to vote for Kamala. We need you to spread the word this weekend that Tuesday, November 2, 2010 is the finish line in this long race. Together, we can win this race. Together, we can elect her to be the next Attorney General for the State of California.
Please vote for my friend, mentor and personal hero, Kamala Harris, for California Attorney General. Our state deserves her.
I thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about Kamala. And even more happy to answer questions about where you can help me help her get out the vote over the next 4 days.
Yes We Can