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Home / World / Kamala Harris' presidential campaign for 2020 inspires a small network of immigrants to volunteer to donate

Kamala Harris' presidential campaign for 2020 inspires a small network of immigrants to volunteer to donate

All three are part of a small but growing network of political fundraisers in the Jamaican and Indian diasporas in the US, who have come into action in recent months for a single reason: California Senator Kamala Harris is to win the presidency.

Even in the most diverse group of presidential candidates ever deployed by Democrats, Harris stands out. If the president were elected, the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother would not only be the first woman, but the first Indian American, the first Asian, the first black woman, and the first person of Jamaican descent to rise to the office. 19659002] "It's our DNA, so we're excited," said Kapur, a longtime Democrat donor who plans a fundraiser for Harris in Cleveland on April 28. "I'm sure the Catholics must have felt comfortable when Jack Kennedy was nominated and became president."

Walker-Huntington, who emigrated as a teenager from Jamaica 40 years ago and now practices immigration and family law in South Florida, also collects campaign funds for the California legislature.

Harris's candidacy sparked "a spark in our community".

An American Journey

Harris was born in Oakland, California, for parents who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, graduated from the University of Delhi at the age of 1

9, completed her doctorate at age 25 in Berkeley and became a breast cancer researcher. She died in 2009.

Her father, born in Jamaica, Donald Harris is a retired economist and professor emeritus at Stanford University.

Harris' parents separated when she was five and divorced a few years later. She and her younger sister Maya were raised by her mother.

"My mother understood very well that she raised two black daughters," Harris wrote recently in her autobiography, "The Truths We Hold: An American Journey." "She knew that her adoptive home would see Maya and me as black girls, and she was determined to make us grow into self-confident black women."

After graduating from Montreal – while teaching her mother at McGill University – Harris attended Howard University, one of the most well-known black institutions in the United States. In an interview with the 2018 radio club show The Breakfast Club, she said Howard had been instrumental in shaping her identity.

"What you learn at an HBCU is that you do not have to fit into a person's limited perspective of what it means to be young, talented, and black," she said.

However, her education was also influenced by her South Asian heritage.

Kamala means "Lotus" in Sanskrit. In a speech last year before a summit of more than 200 Indian-American government officials, aides and activists, she talked about her childhood visits to India to visit her grandparents.

Your grandfather, P.V. Gopalan had been part of the Indian independence movement, and Harris said her early lessons came on the government when she went with him and his friends on their daily walks through their family's hometown in Chennai, then known as Madras.

"There I would be." This young girl, holding my grandfather's hand, walked with them as if they were discussing and discussing the meaning of democracy with incredible passion, "she told the summit hosted by the Indian American Impact Project.

Activists in the Indian community Suppose that Harris does not have an automatic ban on helping Indian Americans, some of whom only learn how their Indian heritage is known.

"She has a lot to like for the community, but like any other constituency, they want to know How she feels about her subjects, "said Varun Nikore, president of the AAPI Victory Fund, a super-PAC focusing on mobilizing voters in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Growing Power

Harris's rise comes as Indian Americans gain more political clout. [19659010] Five Indian Americans, including Harris, are now in Congress, with dozens of state and local electoral offices following Indian American Impact. Two of them serve as state attorneys for their states: the democrat elected in November in Wisconsin Josh Kaul and Gurbir Grewal, who is appointed by the New Jerseys Democratic Governor Phil Murphy

. Although the Indians make up about 1% of the US population, they have considerable economic impact. Indian Americans have the highest income of all groups in the country: a median household income of $ 100,000 (according to the Pew Research Center), which surpasses the general population of $ 61,400.

"The community has come a long way in terms of more politically active and candidate office in the last seven or eight years," said MR Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley investor who founded Indiaspora, a non-profit working group to increase the influence of Indian Americans.

Rangaswami said he raised money for Harris's campaigns for the California Attorney General and the US Senate, and participated in the presidential campaign in Oakland this year.

So far, he is neutral in preschool, where more than a dozen candidates are fighting for revenue. He also planned to attend an event for another Democratic presidential candidate, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who was born in American Samoa and is a Hindu.

"Our community is addressed by everyone," Rangaswam said, "because they did it. Suddenly, it became clear that Indians are the country's most-earning demographic group."

In Massachusetts, Kapur said – the money for Democratic Presidential candidates gathered and until Michael Dukakis' offer from the White House in 1988 was enough – that this was not the case Do not hesitate to go on board when Harris announces the presidency.

A San Francisco attorney and district attorney, he pursued her meteoric rise through California politics and raised funds in 2016 for her successful US Senate campaign.

"I met her personally, I knew she had the potential and all the ingredients to become president," said Kapur, who came to the US in 1967 as a student and owns a company that supplies the medi with pressurized gas and Biotech industry. "She feels very well in her skin and you can immediately see her charisma and her leadership qualities."

"And she can complete the deal, she has done it three times," he said, referring to her 3-0 record in the elections

Caribbean Connections

In South Florida, home to one of the largest gatherings of Jamaicans outside the island, another fellowship candidate joined the race in 2020: Wayne Messam, the son of Jamaican immigrants and the mayor of Miramar, announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

But Harris already has a dedicated group of followers, including Walker-Huntington.

Walker-Huntington said she recognized the world Harris had to navigate.

"As a colored lawyer, I know how to look," Walker-Huntington said. "It's no small matter (for her) to become the second black woman in the US Senate."

"And a first-generation American, who is a child of immigrants of colors," she added, "Harris" embodies everything that America is is in 2019. "

Walker-Huntington has been donating Democratic for years In fact, Harris met her for the first time last year in a fundraiser for politician Bill Florida, who had not applied for the re-election of the US Senate.

But this year, she has stepped up her political activities to help Harris and joined forces with other Caribbean Americans to raise funds and publicize the campaign.

Owens, a Florida District Attorney who now runs her own lifestyle and wellness business, is one of the women in this group and uses coffee and coffee gatherings to help other people of Jamaican descent to join in the cause. [1 9659002] At one of those last coffees, Owens said, the group ended up with a topic that was a touchy subject: Donald Harris's decision to publicly criticize his daughter for smoking a crack over smoking.

Earlier this year, Kamala joked in a radio interview that she had smoked marijuana as a younger person, of course. "Half of my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?"

Her father then sent an unsolicited statement to a Kingston-based online newspaper, saying that his ancestors were turning "in the grave" to see the name of their "family." The reputation and proud Jamaican identity "combined with a deceitful stereotype of a smoking friend.

Harris 'autobiography is sprayed with pictures of her family visiting Jamaica, and she describes the weekend with her father in Palo Alto, but the tension in her parents' divorce was also evident in the book: at the time of her graduation, her students spoke Parents still do not, she wrote.

And in an essay by Jamaica Global Online last fall, Donald Harris described the loss of a "highly competitive custody" in 1972, based on the false assumption of the state of California that fathers parenting Can not cope (especially in this case) from this father "a Neegroe da da eyelans").

Attempts to reach Donald Harris this week were unsuccessful.Kamala Harris's campaign declined to accept the episode

Owens, 65, said the public, deceived by the elder Harris, was instantly recognizable to Jamaicans of a certain age, which were raised by outcast parents in the former British colony.

"That's the father of everyone," Owens laughed. "It's about the love of the land … It's not scolding, that's how people in the Caribbean are: No matter how far you go in life, your parents expect you to behave in a certain way."

"It has nothing to do." deal with their competence or abilities. "

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