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50 years in 50 weeks: 2004, DA Harris


Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive  

Seventeen years before she was sworn as the first woman and first Black and first Asian American U.S. vice president, Kamala Harris was district attorney in San Francisco. In our July 8, 2004 issue, we sat down with Harris to talk about her first six months in office. Harris, long an ally to the LGBTQ community, said her office was working to recruit LGBTQs to work in the office. "It's important to me to make sure this office reflects the communities that are impacted by the work we do," she told is. Harris' time as DA was not without controversy. An opponent of the death penalty, she received withering criticism from the San Francisco Police Officers Association and others for her refusal to seek it against the man accused of shooting and killing San Francisco Police Officer Isaac Espinoza as he stepped out of his car in the Bayview neighborhood. At the time of our interview, she claimed that tensions between the DA's office and SFPD had "dissipated," though those strains have continued through every DA since then. Harris later served as California's attorney general before becoming a U.S. senator. President Joe Biden tapped her to be vice president after her own presidential campaign ended in December 2019, beset by a lack of funds. The Biden-Harris administration has championed LGBTQ rights, supporting the Equality Act, which is stalled in the Senate, and other issues. To view the issue, click here.

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