Spotlight On: Kamala Harris

Spotlight On: Kamala Harris

Getting to know the Senator from California

The field for potential 2020 presidential candidates is scarce for the Democratic party. I wanted to take a few articles and introduce some of the lesser known democratic politicians that I think are on their way to political stardom. Some you may agree with, and some you may not. This is my opinion on who I think should run in 2020 in order to take our country back from the person and party who is currently in control. I wanted to start with the Senator from California, Kamala Harris.

Senator Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964. She is the daughter of an Indian mother and an African-American father. Even though her family moved to Canada when she was young, she came back to the U.S. and graduated from Howard University. She then returned home to California and got her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of Law. In 1990, she served as the deputy District Attorney for Alameda County. Harris says she sought a career in law enforcement because she wanted to be "at the table where decisions are made." In 1998, she became the managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. She was later recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California. In 2003, she defeated the two-term incumbent to become the District Attorney of the city and county of San Francisco. While she was DA, the felony conviction rate rose from 52% to 67% in the span of three years. There was also an 85% conviction rate among homicides. She created a special Hate Crimes Unit that focused on LGBT kids and teens. She supported gay marriage in California and opposed Proposition 22 and the infamous Proposition 8. In 2010, she was elected as the first African-American and the first woman to serve as Attorney General of California.

When Harris was elected to the Senate just over ten months ago, she became the Second African-American woman and the first Indian-American to serve. She is pro-choice and has received a 100% rating from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. When she was DA in San Francisco she created the Environmental Justice Unit and prosecuted several industries and individuals for pollution, most notably U-Haul, Alameda Publishing Corporation, and the Cosco Busan oil spill. She prosecuted many financial crimes, particularly affecting the elderly and identity theft. She believes in getting guns off the streets. Harris supported DACA and voted against the confirmation of now Chief of Staff John Kelly because he would definitively answer if he would protect these young people’s information from ICE. Just recently she was the first senator to co-sponsor Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” bill.

Senator Harris is an up and coming democratic leader and potential presidential candidate. Probably a winning presidential candidate. She currently serves on four major committees in the Senate, Homeland Security, Intelligence, environmental, and the Budget committees. She became a feminist hero when she was hearing testimony from Jeff Sessions about the firing of James Comey. Some Trump supporters in the media called her “hysterical.” We’ve all heard that before, am I right, ladies?

Kamala Harris has stated that she doesn’t plan on running in 2020, but I am not giving my hopes up yet. We need someone like her to help take out Trump and his cronies. She has the experience and the tenacity to run and I can’t wait to see what awaits for her in the future.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Big Slick KC: The Importance Behind Celebrities Coming Together in Kansas City

This annual event is one of my favorite things to attend, and it's the 10th year, so it deserves recognition.


Every year since 2010, Big Slick KC has been a huge event held in Kansas City, Missouri, where celebrities from our favorite shows and movies come together for one weekend to raise money for Children's Mercy Hospital.

The hosts of Big Slick are none other than Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, and David Koechner. Every year, they invite around 40 celebrities to participate in the weekend's events.

This year had some big names like Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde, Zachary Levi, Haley Joel Osment, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, and many more. Each year they try to bring in new people, while also having some Big Slick veterans return.

The busy and wonderful weekend starts out with the celebrities all coming in and visiting the children at Children's Mercy Hospital, spending time with them and taking pictures. I think it's amazing how they take the time to actually get to know some of the kids that they are raising the money for.

After that, the celebrities head to Kauffman Stadium, break up into two teams, and face-off in a not-so-serious softball game before the Royals game. Each celebrity gets their own signature Royals jersey and they play a few innings. They also come out again and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for the seventh-inning stretch.

The next morning, the celebrities all make their way to the Pinstripes bowling alley in Overland Park, where they are greeted by hundreds of awaiting fans.

After the children of Children's Mercy are introduced and walk along the red carpet with their parents, the celebrities follow, taking pictures and signing autographs along the way. They head inside and bowl with the children from the hospital.

That night, the celebrities all come together one last time to host a huge party, this year it was at the Sprint Center, where they all just perform and have a good time. They also host an auction where some pretty cool items and opportunities are auctioned off.

Besides just being a fun event to attend and a good way to see some of your favorite celebrities up close, Big Slick is just so important because of its cause.

This year, Big Slick KC raised around $2.5 million for Children's Mercy Hospital. That brings the total to over $10 million that Big Slick has raised since 2010.

This amazing weekend is always so much fun, not just because some big stars come to a fly over state, but because of the children that they are raising the money for. The hosts and the celebrities that attend all care so much about the cause, and they make a great weekend out of it for anyone who attends.

I'm already looking forward to next year's exciting weekend.

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