Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 6, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 15

Mountain Views News Saturday, March 6, 2021 15MARCH IS WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH Mountain Views News Saturday, March 6, 2021 15MARCH IS WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH 
NEVER BE THE SAME By Reecie Colbert, BlackWomenViews Media 

National Women’s History Month traces its roots to March 8, 1857, when 
women from various New York City factories staged a protest over poor work-
ing conditions. The first Women's Day celebration in the United States was in 
1909, also in New York City. More than seven decades later, Congress in 1981 
established National Women's History Week to be commemorated annually 
the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month, 
and every year since has passed a resolu-tion (and the president has issued a 
proclamation) designating March Women’s History Month.

 As we celebrate Women’s History Month 2021, we reflect upon advances wom-
en have made over the last decade. Women have increased their earnings and 
educa-tion, fields of occupation and continued to live longer than men. Below 
are stats from Census Bureau surveys highlighting how women’s employment 
has changed over the years. We appreciate the public’s cooperation in helping 
us measure Ameri-ca’s people, places and economy. 

Did You Know? 

166.6 million 
The number of females in the United States as of July 2019. There were
161.7 million males. In 2010, there were 157 million females and 151.8 million 
Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates 


OPINION: Vice President Kamala Harris shattered a 
200-year-old glass ceiling in November 2020. As a Black 
woman, she brings both cultural and gender competency to 
the most powerful table in the country. 

Two hundred and thirty-three years ago as the United States 
Constitution established the role of vice president, it also enshrined 
the rights of southern states to continue to enslave 
over half a million Black Americans; and granted latitude to 
local and state governments to deny free Black Americans the 
rights and protections of full citizenship. 

Undoubtedly, the prospect of a woman vice president would 
have been unfathomable to a group that prohibited women 
from participating in the framing and ratification of the 
Constitution. Yet in 2021, we commemorate a new historic 
achievement this Women’s History Month: the first woman, 
Black person, and person of Asian descent as vice president. 

In becoming the 49th vice president of the United States, 
former San Francisco District Attorney, California Attorney 
General and United States Senator Kamala Harris shattered a 
two-centuries-old glass ceiling. 

The significance of having a woman, especially a Black woman, 
occupy the country’s second-highest office cannot be 
overstated. Harris’ win is both inspiring and transformational. 
As a Black woman, Kamala Harris brings both cultural and 
gender competency to the most powerful table in the country. 

Issues like Black maternal and infant mortality — which have long been on the back burner — now find a champion 
in the White House. As Harris often states, she may be the first but will not be the last. The diversity of Harris’ staff, 
headed by Hartina Flournoy (the first-ever Black woman chief of staff to the vice president), makes it clear that Harris 
is continuing her tradition of creating a pipeline of women and Black leaders. 

Vice President Kamala Harris’ success finally puts to bed the notion that women are unelectable political liabilities 
on a presidential ticket. Within 24 hours of Harris’ announcement as the Democratic vice presidential nominee, the 
Biden campaign received an astronomical $26 million fundraising boost. Together, President Joe Biden and Vice 
President Kamala Harris won the 2020 election by a margin of 7 million votes ultimately receiving 81.2 million votes, 
the most in U.S. history. There is no better proof that women can win, than winning. 

While the position of vice president has existed since 1789, it was not until 1939 the Office of the Vice President was 
established. With only three duties enumerated in the Constitution, presiding over the Senate, the counting of Electoral 
College votes before Congress, and impeachment trials, each administration has carved out its own portfolio 
for the vice president. 

In recent history, the vice president has taken on substantially more power and distinction. President Biden often 
characterizes himself as a transitional figure, so it’s no surprise that he has wholeheartedly embraced and elevated the 
role of Vice President Kamala Harris to stand beside him rather than to stand back. 

Harris has been visible to a seemingly unprecedented extent, giving her own separate address the day she and Biden 
were declared president-elect and vice president-elect, and being prominent during each unveiling of the Cabinet. 

With Vice President Harris, women have now moved from a position of influence at the highest levels, to a position 
of power. While several first ladies have been credited with wielding considerable influence in their husband’s administration, 
with the Harris vice presidency that power comes out of the shadows to be exerted in an official capacity. 

Pledging that Harris will be the last person in the room with him, President Biden has demonstrated that she is a 
trusted and valued decision-making partner. Biden has credited Harris with being heavily involved in all of the Cabinet 
selections, which are notably full of historic firsts and a gold standard for diversity. 

Local author Joan Frederick of Sierra Madre has recently published a 
retrospective look at 200 women from 1895 until the present and their 
impact on the development of Sierra Madre, and the social/philanthrop-
ic group The Priscillas. There are lots of photos, history and info about 
where they lived as well as early history of Sierra Madre. 

Call 626-355-2455and arrange to buy a copy ($20) today! 

Shattered glass portrait of Kamala Harris was unveiled on National Mall last month. The extraordinary new artwork, standing 6 
feet tall and stretching 6 feet wide, was created by Swiss artist Simon Berger commemorateing VP Harris, the first woman, Black 
and South Asian Vice President of the United States by creating an art piece made entirely of shattered glass. Berger immediately 
began working on the piece after the presidential election last November. 

While Harris’ role as an expected frequent tiebreaker in the Senate has garnered much attention, her day-to-day work 
is concentrated in the executive branch. She is a member of the National Security Council, National Economic Council, 
and National Space Council as well as a recipient of the Presidential Daily Briefings. 

Though Kamala Harris’ portfolio is not yet formally defined, her addressing the hardships of small business and the 
alarming decrease of women in the workplace spurred by the pandemic offers clues about her potential domestic 
focus. Reportedly, cybersecurity and global health will be Harris’ foreign policy focus. 

Although just 6 of the 15 vice presidents who ascended to the presidency have done so through an election, Harris’ 
vice presidency makes the prospect of the country electing its first woman president more likely. Twelve vice presidents 
secured their party’s nomination, while 20 did not run for higher office. 

The likelihood of Harris being the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s nomination after Biden’s presidency in part 
explains why several studies reflect that she is already one of the most targeted politicians online; particularly with 
sexist or racist attacks on social media. Reports have also shown that media coverage of Harris at times has included 
sexist or racist tropes. 

In large part thanks to her historic victory, Vice President Harris will be one of the most-watched politicians in the 
world. Her successes will be heralded as further evidence of how women are just as, if not more than, capable of leading 
as men. 

With more than three decades of distinguished public service at every level of government, Vice President Kamala 
Harris is in-disputably equipped to blaze the trail. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
Email: Website: