Why is California so Progressive? Thank Kamala Harris

An older version of this post was published during the Democratic Presidential Primary.

Image from Kamalaharris.org

1. Helped Reform California’s Justice Department

After winning re-election for Attorney General in 2014, Harris called for a 90 day review into the Department of Justice’s training on racial bias and force. This review lead to a few changes within the department including the first certified implicit bias training for officers in the country, plans to increase recruitment of diverse special agents, increased transparency after officer-involved-shootings, and the addition of body cameras.

2. Fought to Change California’s Three Strike Laws

In the early 2000s in California, a person could find themselves in prison for quite awhile for relatively minor crimes because of the three strikes law. While it was implemented differently across different states, the general idea was that a person who committed three serious crimes would serve a much harsher penalty after the third one than they would have otherwise. Three strikes and a person could see anywhere between 25 years to life in prison.

3. Created a First of its Kind Program to Help Prisoners Re-enter Society

In 2005, Harris’s SF District Attorney began a recidivism program called Back on Track.

4. Began a LGBT Hate Crime Unit in San Francisco

This group aimed to streamline the process of investigations and conviction of hate crimes in the area, and the city of San Francisco saw a slight decrease in hate crimes following the creation of the unit.

5. Secured $26 Billion for California Homeowners after the Housing Crash

Along with the other attorney generals throughout the country, Kamala Harris was tasked with negotiating a settlement with the banks who were responsible with lending out faulty home loans.

Hi there. I write about public policy, politics, the presidency, and culture.

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