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Orange County’s Women Electeds and Leaders Talk About Kamala and History

As happy as I am about President-elect Joe Biden’s win Saturday morning, the idea that Americans have also elected a woman of color to the executive branch is not lost on me.  It’s something I never thought I would see in my lifetime.  And as the father of a daughter who is whip smart and driven, when I tell her she can be whatever she wants to be…..well, I am no longer lying.

Shortly after the news broke, TheLiberalOC reached out to several women electeds and leaders to ask what Vice President-elect Kamala Harris means to them.  Here’s what they had to say:

I feel empowered and excited to have Kamala Harris making history as our Vice President and I’m proud that Joe Biden selected her to advise him. I’ve dedicated my career to uplifting women of color, immigrants, and working people.  To see this moment come, knowing all the sacrifice that went into it, is incredible.  

This moment also energizes me.  We’re entering the next phase of our work. We’ve seen how Republicans in Congress attack leaders of color, and women of color. They will attack no matter what we say or do.  So let’s keep leading with our ideas, and let’s be prepared to stand up for one another.”Ada Briceno, Chair, Democratic Party of Orange County.


“When Vice President Elect Kamala Harris was selected by President Elect Biden to be his running mate, I cautioned our community to not be dismayed by her presence, but to find comfort in her ability to grow the tent of supporters for Biden. I implored our community to trust in Black Women, because frankly we get the job done.

Adding Kamala Harris to the Biden ticket activated the power and prowess that Black women possess to galvanize, mobilize, and strategize for the betterment of our families.  This was demonstrated largely by the turnout in places like Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Women like Stacy Abrams was on the ground to refute voter suppression in Georgia with the start of an organization called Fair Fight which continued and expanded the work of the New Georgia Project, resulting in 800,000 new people registered to vote in Georgia since 2018.

Now, after nearly four days of tabulation, Biden and the first Black and Indian woman to serve as vice president, Kamala D. Harris, are preparing to take office because our country fought for access over exclusivity, and empathy over indifference.

Many have asked, “What does this moment mean to you?” and for me, this moment means that the promise of America is still well and alive. I can continue to encourage my children that they can become anyone they want to be and that their character, integrity and values…still matter. With Kamala Harris in the White House, I can now hold up another American example to my kids that anything is possible.

President Barack Obama said, “We can’t just imagine a better future, we have to work for it.” I know I am ready to work alongside everyone in my community toward repair and healing for a better future. Because I clearly understand that we are nation divided, I believe this moment is an opportunity sew hope into policy, listen to the marginalized and disenfranchised, operate with courage, and be leaders for all people…because the world is watching.” — Letita Clark, Tustin City Council


Farrah Khan

“Witnessing the outcome of the 2020 election was even more special with Kamala Harris as the Vice President-elect.  No matter where you stand on her past policies, she has now normalized the potential of women of color getting elected to higher offices.  Hopefully, now, we (and I include myself here) will not be obliged to continue breaking glass ceilings while having to jump over hurdles and through hoops to prove ourselves. 

I look forward to campaigns and elections where women of color are treated, promoted, and supported equally.  And I hope it will start with this significant election.”Farrah Khan, Mayor-elect, Irvine, CA

Irvine’s Tammy Kim

“A woman has to work twice as hard as a man. But a woman of color has to work four times harder than a white man in order to achieve the same results.  As an Asian American woman, Kamala Harris not only broke the glass ceiling – but also the bamboo ceiling.

Her pioneering spirit, along with her inner drive and sense of mission is a role model of women of color, like myself. As an Asian American, I am so incredibly proud of this historic win.” Tammy Kim, Irvine city councilmember-elect, Irvine.

“Up until today, the term ‘Madame Vice President’ and/or ‘Madame President’ has been nothing but fiction. Today is historic as we celebrate another step in women’s advancement towards equality with men.  No longer will I have to tell my daughter or son that a woman has never held the office of Vice President.  Next stop a woman Progressive president.  It’s long overdue.  

This is a proud day for all women, progressives, and parents.  ‘Until there are nine’-RBG”  — Tiffany Ackley, Mayor Pro Tem, Aliso Viejo, CA


Beckie Gomez

As we wait for the last votes to be counted, I am thankful that the American people have embraced this election to record turnout. I hope that our country to find the things that we have in common rather than the things that we disagree and we can begin to heal.

The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a historic moment for women and girls of color. I was overwhelmed when Hillary Clinton was the first female Presidential nominee. I am thankful that we have a woman of color at the biggest table of all. Now, that we have a woman of color, young women and men of color can see what they can accomplish with education and hard work. In my opinion, women, especially women of color, have a different lens as they evaluate issues. They tend to see the larger picture and how choices made today will affect the future. Education, families, and children are often in the mix as they make decisions.

As someone who rarely saw a woman of color in any influential position, I was thrilled to see Joe Biden select Kamala Harris. I am excited to see Kamala Harris assume her role as Vice President-elect and her contributions to the country. I am hopeful for our country as we have a woman at the highest level of our government.Beckie Gomez, Tustin City Councilmember and OCBE member.

Kamala Harris with Florice Hoffman

“I am ecstatic that this country has elected a daughter of immigrants and a woman of color who has already proven her intelligence, wit and humanity. As an attorney for more than 30 years andalso a daughter of immigrants, I know how difficult it can be to be a leader in a long-time male-dominated profession.  Vice President-Elect Harris has always served as an inspiration for women as a district attorney, attorney general and senator.  I wish many women that I knew who worked hard for women’s rights , like my mother, had lived to see a woman as Vice President.  Another glass ceiling has been broken.  We have much work to do and I am more hopeful about our future.”  — Florice Hoffman, CDP Regional Director, DPOC Treasurer and Central Committee Member.


DPOC’s Deborah Skurnik with President-elect Biden

“It has been a long week, and an even longer four years.  When all the media outlets announced Saturday morning that Joe Biden would be our next President and Kamala Harris our first woman Vice President I was flooded with emotions. I cried, I yelled Hallelujah, and I did a happy dance!  In a few months, our national nightmare will at last be over.  Ever since I was a student at UCLA, majoring in History with a Specialization in Women’s Studies, I have dreamed of the day a woman would finally break this glass ceiling. It may be a few decades behind schedule, and has been long overdue, but I am delighted that this moment has arrived.  I cannot stop smiling.                                                                                                  

I can think of no better choice than Vice President-Elect Kamala Devi Harris. A daughter of immigrants, mother from India, and father from Jamaica. They meet and fell in love while they were both students at UC Berkeley. A truly American story. The historic election of Kamala Harris proved the sky is the limit.  She said it best, “While I maybe the first woman in this office I will not be the last.”  She went on to say, “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.                                                             

Vice President Elect Kamala Harris is brilliant, articulate, charming, and has a tremendous amount of chutzpah.   Additionally, she is uniquely qualified because she is a U.S. Senator (knows the inner-workings, which will guide her when she leads the Senate), former California Attorney General (knows the law and how to be efficient), and D.A. (knows how to use logical reasoning) from San Francisco. Her extraordinary ability to be a strategic thinker, organize, prioritize, and be the problem solver our nation so desperately needs now.  

Yes, history has been made, and I am more hopeful than ever that November 7, 2020 was the first of many more glass ceilings yet to be shattered.” — Deborah Skurnik, CDP Regional Director, DPOC Central Committee Member. 


We’ve reached out to a few more and will add to this post.


  1. Scott Hansen Scott Hansen November 11, 2020

    Thank you for this. In our little Irvine, we celebrate a couple of “firsts” for women candidates. Mayor-elect Farrah Khan is the first woman of color and the first Muslim to reach the top. Councilmember-elect Tammy Kim is the first woman of East Asian ancestry elected to the Council. Wonderful achievements for the people of Irvine. The DPOC might reflect on this. Mayor-elect Khan and Councilmember-elect Kim have support from throughout the community – Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and across demographics. Will the DPOC support women in power who sometimes reach across the aisle to get things done? A start might be to repeal DPOC Central Committee By-law Article II, Section 6, which casts any non-Democrat as the enemy and, perhaps, might have provided grounds to remove a member for supporting an independent such as Bernie Sanders.

  2. Scott Hansen Scott Hansen November 11, 2020

    Should read: “DPOC Central Committee By-law Article II, Section 6(A)”

  3. Jeff Gallagher Jeff Gallagher November 13, 2020

    We have a lot of firsts coming from this election. Like you, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever have a woman President and now we have, not only a woman President but a woman of color. And although I may disagree with Harris’ political ideology, there is no doubt her demonstrated political skill suits her to the position.

    Our Town Tustin lucked out with two experienced women of color to sit on our city council. It could only have been made better if we had a liberal majority seated (maybe next time). I look forward to seeing how these two work with what has been a conservative, male dominated council all these years. Exciting days ahead.

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