Spending time with Kamala Harris in California
Monday, I told you about my trip to California to meet with San Francisco District Attorney candidate Sharmin Bock – but Sunday I also met with her predecessor (and EMILY's List alum) Kamala Harris, who is now California’s Attorney General. She is not only the first African American to be elected to the AG office, but she was also the first woman to be elected Attorney General in California history. By being smart on crime, she’s earned her respect across the country as a tough and intelligent leader who garners results and reforms communities.
We met to discuss an issue that is very important to both of us: building a leadership pipeline for more women to serve as Attorneys General across the country. Watching strong women like Kamala Harris step up from prosecutor to District Attorney and now Attorney General is the perfect example of the experienced leadership we need in public service. Kamala and I both want more women running in AG seats as soon as possible!
We’ve seen what happens when an Attorney General decides to wage a war on women’s health. Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline sought women’s personal medical records in his politically motivated attacks against Kansas City Planned Parenthood. Anti-choice groups in Wisconsin asked their Attorney General to outlaw teaching abortion procedures in medical schools. And this summer, the Indiana Attorney General chose to appeal a court’s ruling to block the state’s new law to cut funds to Planned Parenthood. We need more AGs who can be a lawyer for the people, not the lawyer for the right’s political agenda.
The possibilities for great women leaders are endless. Kamala Harris believes, as do I, that we must convince women to run for higher office. EMILY’s List’s Political Opportunity Program (POP) has recruited, trained, and helped women at the local and state level run for office for the past 10 years. This weekend alone, POP trained 70 local leaders in Atlanta on how to run and win an election. We’re excited to help these women through all stages of their campaigns, and we’re not about to stop looking for women who can help build that pipeline. Especially, when it comes to women who can run for Attorney General.