Kamala Harris, a senator representing California announced on Monday, January 21, 2019, that she is seeking to become the first African American woman to hold the office of US president, joining an already-crowded field of Democrats lining up to take on Donald Trump.
“The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values. That’s why I’m running for president of the United States,” the senator from California said in a video posted on Twitter.
Nearly 22 months before the 2020 election, the battle for the White House is already firming up, as Americans begin to assess who might be the opposition party nominee to challenge Trump for control of the White House.
Harris made the announcement on the national holiday honoring civil rights movement icon Martin Luther King Jr., whom she said her mother met.
“I’m honored to be able to make my announcement on the day that we commemorate him,” Harris told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“My parents were very active in the civil rights movement and that’s the language that I grew up hearing. And it was about a belief that we are a country that was founded on noble ideals and we are the best of who we are when we fight to achieve those ideals,” she said.
Harris’s calls for unity in her newly published memoir — “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” from Penguin Press — clearly set the tone for what her candidacy might mean in an America sorely divided by Trump’s unsettling presidency.
She returned to that theme on Monday in remarks at Howard University in Washington.
“There are so many powerful voices who are trying to sow hate and division among us. We have got to reject that. It is not reflective of who we are as Americans, and it is not in our best interest,” she said.
“Our unity has always been our strength, and our strength is our unity.”
Harris also took aim at Trump over the partial government shutdown sparked by a feud with Democrats over funding for his border wall project.
Trump is “holding the American people hostage over a vanity project that he calls a wall,” she said, terming it “completely irresponsible.”
Read more at BBC News