• Grayson Hoffman

I Worked on Kamala Harris’ Campaign - Let Me Tell You Why She’ll Be an Amazing VP

Updated: Aug 27





"As my mother always used to say, 'you 

may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.'"

- Kamala Harris (1).





It has been just over a week since history was made. Former Vice President Joe Biden announced his running mate for the upcoming, presidential election. Senator Kamala Harris is now the first Black woman and South Asian woman to be selected as running mate for a major party ticket. This is a huge deal.


Although there are hundreds of articles about Kamala Harris online, I wanted to write a piece for the Women to Win website from my point of view because last year I had the opportunity to work as a field organizer on the Kamala Harris For the People presidential campaign in Iowa. It was the best experience of my life. 


Let me tell you why I became such a huge supporter of Senator Kamala Harris 


I graduated college in 2019 and wanted to work on a presidential campaign. I didn’t know much about Kamala Harris, aside from watching her remarkable questioning of Justice Kavanaugh in his confirmation hearing and being amazed by her fearlessness, directness, and ability to sift through Kavanaugh’s nonsensical responses. I just wanted to work for a female candidate because I believe it’s past time for a woman in the White House. So, I took a chance and applied to work on Kamala Harris’ campaign, and before I knew it I was moving to Iowa to try and convince Iowans to commit to caucus for Senator Harris. 


I was one of the last wave of Harris organizers hired in Iowa, so when I got to my region, seven of them (and our boss) had already been on the ground for months. They are the most amazing people I’ve ever met. If I had known nothing about Kamala Harris apart from the people she inspired to fight for her and her ideals, that would be enough for me to know what an incredible person she is. Imagine a work environment with the smartest, most passionate, funniest, most humble people - that was our fabulous Iowa team (pictured below). 


Then I learned more about Kamala and what she has already done - how she was the first Black and first female Attorney General of CA, how she’s fought for LGTBQ+ rights for decades, how she is the first South Asian American senator in history, how she defended Californian homeowners in the foreclosure crisis, and so much more (2). As I talked to my team, read policy plans, and conversed with voters, I continued to learn. I learned about the many barriers she’s already broken, about her family, about her ideas. That alone made me want to knock on doors in the brutal Midwestern winter for her. And then, I got to meet her and hear her speak in person.


Watching Kamala Harris speak in person is mind-blowing. She is energizing, genuine, strong, empathetic, smart, and inspiring. I first saw her speak at the Liberty and Justice Celebration - the Iowa Democratic Party’s largest event and the last, pre-Caucus breakout possibility in the Democratic Primary. Kamala spoke fifth out of fourteen candidates and introduced a new idea for her campaign - that “Justice is on the Ballot” when we vote in November 2020. I highly recommend watching her entire speech from that night.


That being said, one of my favorite moments working on the campaign happened the night before at our HQ when we were preparing for the weekend. Senator Harris surprised us with lots of pizza and gathered us to thank us for all our hard work and belief in her. After, we started to take a group picture, but before we took it, Kamala stopped the photo. I am 4’11” and the Senator is only 5’2” so she gets what it’s like to be the shortest person in the room. She had seen me (I’m the one in the white shirt) in the back and physically pulled me over to stand next to her so I could be seen in the photo. A presidential candidate saw a random field organizer and wanted to make me feel valuable. For anyone not familiar with working on campaigns, the field organizer position is the equivalent of an entry level position, or junior associate. But that just serves to illuminate who Senator Harris is: someone who will stand up for, fight for, and speak out for every single person, even if it seems trivial. 



Senator Kamala Harris will be a fantastic Vice President. The presidential campaign she inspired, her story and values, her passion for standing up for people, her policies, her ability to speak candidly, and her personality speak for themselves, but I want to emphasize this, too: in a hectic moment, she will always make time to make a young woman feel special in a crowd full of phenomenal people. That is the type of person and politician I want to see in the White House.

Senator Harris thanking me /Des Moines, IA

We have to be joyful warriors. I decided at

the end of last year, there was so much that was creating depression, anger, anxiety, I said I'm done with that. I don't like that feeling, I don't think any of us do.” - Kamala Harris (3).



In the above image, Senator Harris is thanking me and telling me to keep fighting for justice (one day after she suspended her campaign for president) in Des Moines, IA - December 4, 2019





Kamala often uses the phrase “joyful warrior” to describe what she wants to be and what she wants to inspire others to be. After a short time on her campaign, I hope to be a joyful warrior for the rest of my life. I think she’ll inspire many other girls and women to be the same. I’m excited for this trailblazer to be on the Democratic ticket for this crucial election. Last night, on the third night of the Democratic Convention, Kamala Harris officially accepted the nomination for Vice President. She's ready to lead. Let’s make history in November. 


If you want to donate to #BidenHarris2020, you can buy merchandise (including a face mask!) on the campaign website or donate directly here.


Sources:

  1. https://twitter.com/kamalaharris/status/1236683476587470850?lang=en

  2. https://www.harris.senate.gov/about

  3. https://ew.com/tv/2018/04/05/kamala-harris-ellen-degeneres/





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