PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the country Saturday after she and President-elect Joe Biden were projected winners of the 2020 election.
“While I may be the first woman in this office,” Harris said, “I will not be the last.”
Harris will also be the first Black and first South Asian vice president.
She is now the highest-ranking woman ever elected in American Government.
“I was just moved to tears that it finally has come to fruition,” said Kathi Elliott, CEO of Pittsburgh-based Gwen’s Girls.
While it’s a milestone in history, Elliott says it’s also potentially a defining moment for future leaders.
“There is hope with hard work and dedication and just the drive to accomplish your goals,” she said. “Yes, there are going to be some obstacles, but you just have to remain steadfast like she did.”
Harris has often discussed the role Black women in government played in her life, especially Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to seek a major party’s nomination for president in the 1970s.
Throughout Harris’ campaign with Biden, she spoke of the legacy women like Chisholm left behind, something that Heather Arnet, CEO of the Women & Girls Foundation says will continue with Harris.
“The impact on our young girls is impossible to measure because she’s going to be there, and they’ll know that they can do it too,” she said.
Harris’ election to vice president comes as more women than ever are holding elected office.
A record 129 women are set to join the U.S. House and Senate next year, a trend that Duquesne University history professor Andrew Simpson believes will continue.
“That has definitely changed the way the policy is made in some important ways, and I think what we will continue to see is women run for elected office, hold elected office and hold leadership positions in elected office,” he said.
Along with the country’s first female vice president, it also has its first Second Gentleman.
According to the Associated Press, that’s the proper title for Doug Emhoff, Harris’ husband.