From local leaders to growing families, voters in Michigan are celebrating a vice-presidential candidate who reflects what they stand for in a new way.
MICHIGAN—California Sen. Kamala Harris is poised to make history. Again.
She already followed in the footsteps of Shirley Chisholm to become just the second Black woman to seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Now, she is the first Black woman to receive the vice-presidential nomination from either of the two major US political parties.
Harris’ support in Michigan comes from voters who measure her merit against her accomplishments, and those who can see themselves reflected in the congresswoman’s journey.
Dan Weideman and Alexis Martin
Cabinet Maker | Attorney
Dan met Alexis when the Michigander moved to his home state to attend law school. The pair’s love affair began with a love for California. Ironically, the love didn’t extend to then-state Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“Going into the debate, I wasn’t really crazy about Kamala. She didn’t add much to the ticket for me,” Alexis told The ‘Gander. “Seeing the debate, I completely changed my point of view, which is interesting because I don’t think debates typically change what you think about a person.”
“I liked her shushing Pence,” Dan added, though he admits to not being terribly enthused with this year’s election. “I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, voting that way anyhow.”
The pair agreed that it was “about time” for a ticket like Biden-Harris.
Michigan State Representative
Lansing native Sarah Anthony says that she decided on a life of public service after seizing a legislative internship in Mary Waters’ office during her senior year of high school.
“It changed my life,” Anthony told The ‘Gander of her internship experience. “It made me want to go into public service, and want to go into politics. If I’m in a position to help lift everyone up, and ensure we all have a seat at the table, that’s just a part of my purpose in life.”
Anthony says that her sorority sisters—the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc.—invested in her personal and professional growth.
“Even in high school, I noticed that the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha were some of the most prestigious and laser-focused on community service in Lansing.”
Mentorship, college scholarships, and role models abounded within the sorority. Anderson says she always knew she would pledge if given the opportunity. Sen. Harris is also a member of the esteemed Black Greek Letter Organization, the first of its kind to be founded in the US.
“That sisterhood is something that is truly magical. That, regardless of your place in life, your profession, that any corner of this country—really, the globe—you can find a sister,” Anthony said. “We see Kamala, and we see our sister.”
Anthony was inspired by Harris’ Democratic vice-presidential nomination and created a Facebook group dedicated to Michigan sorority members in support of Sen. Harris. The group quickly grew to thousands of enthusiastic members.
While Anthony concedes that she may not ever run for US president or vice president, she says that working for the community is more than her vocation, it’s her life’s work.
“I feel like [becoming president is] possible when I look at her,” she said. “Regardless of how far I personally go in politics, I know there’s going to be someone in the halls of power who has my back.”
Executive Director, Caribbean Service Center |
City of Detroit Immigraton Task Force co-chair & Entertainment Commissioner
Sophia Chue was born and raised in Jamaica. She and her husband served together in the US Army. After eight years of service, Chue apprehensively moved to Michigan in 1994 to be closer to his family and aging mother.
“It was a trial and tribulation for me because I did not know that there was anything Caribbean here for me,” she said, unaware of the rich cultural diversity throughout the state. “When I came to Detroit I realized how culturally diverse this area is. We have a host of Caribbean people here from all 32 countries of our region.”
Chue told The ‘Gander that she related to Harris both as a woman of mixed Asian and Jamaican descent, and also as an outsider.
“Moving to America, it’s kind of hard to figure out where you fit,” Chue said. “She shows you that wherever you think you fit, that’s where you fit. So, just work on who you need to be to show the world how great you are.”