Kamala On The Issues

Kamala Harris is running for Senate because the ladder of opportunity is broken for too many Californians. Here’s how she would work to fix it in the Senate:


The Human Right to Quality Education

Kamala believes that education is a fundamental human right and, as a prosecutor, has worked hard to ensure all California children have access to a high quality public education.

That’s why she has worked to cut school truancy. She conducted the first-ever statewide study of elementary school truancy, finding that 40% of truant students are elementary age. Under her leadership, the California Department of Justice is working with school districts to instill best practices for lowering elementary absences.

And as California’s Attorney General, she has taken on for-profit colleges that prey on students and leave them with dismal job prospects and a lifetime of debt.

In the Senate, she will fight for universal early childhood education, full-day kindergarten, a national focus on elementary school truancy, and more affordable university, community college and technical education options. She will focus on getting more money into classrooms to give kids a fair shot at success in school and in life.


Income Inequality & Economic Growth

For far too many California families, the ladder of opportunity is broken. These families’ incomes aren’t keeping up with increases in the cost of living. And in a state of great prosperity, we have the nation’s highest poverty rate when you factor in how expensive it is to live here. We know the ladder is broken when the gap between the wealthy and the middle class is larger than at any time since the Great Depression.

Kamala believes we must address income inequality, the defining economic challenge of our time. That starts with making the minimum wage a living wage. She believes families should have tools that allow them to compete in the workforce – from affordable childcare and early childhood education to paid family leave and truly equal pay. She’ll fight special interests that try to game the system and take advantage of working families, just as she’s taken on the big banks, for-profit diploma mills, and big polluters as Attorney General. While some in Washington have voted to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, Kamala would oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and believes we need to strengthen these programs that weave together our vital safety net.

But addressing income inequality is just one part of the solution. We also need to foster economic growth that lifts people up at every rung of the ladder and creates sustainable, good paying jobs. Kamala believes in investing more in education – from early childhood through college and technical school, to ensure we have a workforce that meets the demands of employers.

California is the world’s eighth largest economy – a place that fosters so much innovation and growth. Washington needs to finally approve critical investments to our transportation infrastructure and support policies that allow entrepreneurs, creators and small businesses to innovate, expand and thrive.


Climate Change & Protecting Our Environment

A healthy environment is critical for our future and our children’s future. Any discussion of environmental policy must start by acknowledging the truth: our climate is changing and human activity is the cause.

Studies have shown that climate change has made our record-breaking drought much worse and could bring more severe droughts in the future. California is the canary in the coalmine on climate change. That’s why we need national action.

As Attorney General, Kamala went to court to defend California’s landmark climate change law and fought to make sure that the people of California won’t be dictated to by Big Oil. She’s been a leader in using the power of her office to increase air quality across our state and prosecute polluters who disregard our environmental protections.

In Washington, she’ll fight to bring California’s environmental leadership to the national stage. She believes that Congress needs to finally address climate change and join the rest of the world in trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She supports a comprehensive approach to addressing the drought and California’s water crisis — from advocating for conservation, to improving our water infrastructure and storage capacity, to investing in innovations like desalination and water recycling technologies. And Kamala will strive to follow in Senator Barbara Boxer’s footsteps as a champion for the environment, conservation and our natural heritage.


Equality & Civil Rights

We know the ladder of opportunity doesn’t truly exist until everyone has access to the American Dream.

Kamala has played a critical role in the movement for marriage equality and has led the opposition against efforts to discriminate against Californians based on age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. She has always fought tirelessly for the rights of vulnerable and voiceless Californians.

She has been a national leader in reforming the criminal justice system, challenging the false choice that we must either be “soft” or “tough” on crime, and instead focusing on how we can be smart on crime. She has worked to develop innovative strategies and best practices that harness the power of data to fix our broken criminal justice system and address disparities. She will continue those efforts in the Senate.

She will also continue to be a strong voice for immigrant communities and fight to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a fair pathway to citizenship. As Attorney General, she has prosecuted those who prey upon immigrants and worked to strengthen trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities. She has fought to ensure due process rights for immigrant families and sought to protect the welfare of children who fled violence in Central America.

And Kamala will work to restore the promise of civil rights by reinvigorating the Voting Rights Act, after the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the landmark bill. She’ll join efforts to fix our broken campaign finance system that allows special interest groups and big corporations who spend millions to influence elections.

Kamala will continue to fight against those who try to take away women’s reproductive health care rights, and she will keep working hard to make sure every voice in our state is heard.


Leading With Our Values In The World

Kamala’s approach to foreign policy is informed by her work as a prosecutor. We live in a dangerous world and she believes we need to be vigilant about the threats we face. She has tackled some of the biggest challenges we face across the globe – from dismantling human trafficking rings to taking down transnational gangs that bring guns and drugs across our borders. She’s been at the forefront on addressing cyber-security and prosecuting those who try to inflict harm and chaos by infiltrating vital technology. She believes we must do everything we can to protect our nation and families from the threats we face around the world – from terrorism to cyber-attacks to inadequately secured nuclear weapons to global health threats like Ebola.

But Kamala also believes we must be clear-eyed and smart about how we engage in the world and that America can’t go it alone. After 15 years of war in the Middle East, Americans understand the heavy human and financial toll of war. Kamala staunchly opposed the War in Iraq from the very beginning and believes strongly in the power of diplomacy. Our country is strongest when we stand together with our allies and when we persuade the world to act – instead of simply acting alone.

Kamala believes we can’t simply lead with our values in the world – we must hold ourselves to those values here at home too. Our country is rightfully a beacon of justice, equality, and human rights, and we should stand with our allies in advocating for those values everywhere. The world needs America to be a force for good, but other countries will only respect us if we live by the values we preach.

As Kamala meets with families from across California, we’ll have more updates to share. Click here for the latest news from Team Kamala.