Mixed emotions in Bay Area over Sen. Kamala Harris as Joe Biden's VP pick

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Oakland native, Senator Kamala Harris, is stirring up mixed emotions after locking down her position as Joe Biden's running mate.

Kamala Harris began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's office and was later elected San Francisco District Attorney, so her work, style, and policy are very well known in the Bay Area.

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"We were so pleased when Joe Biden said in mid-March that he would commit to putting a woman on ticket," said Christine Pelosi, chair of the California Democratic Party Women's Caucus. Her mother is house speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"I talked to my mom tonight," said Pelosi. "We just talked about how great it was going to be for California and how great it was going to be for the country."

Pelosi and Senator Harris met while they were both law students at UC Hastings in San Francisco.

"I've seen her grow and develop over the years, but also taking that same approach of trying to mentor young women, trying to lift up other people and always bringing her brilliance and excellence," said Pelosi.

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"I know it's a lot of controversy around Kamala and especially her as the DA of San Francisco," said Phelicia Jones, the founder of Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community and the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition. Woods was shot and killed by San Francisco police officers in 2015.

"We attempted to contact her a number of times in regards to officer-involved murders and we never did receive any response from her," said Jones.

That being said, Jones says she will support Biden and Harris.

"I'm not going to jump on bandwagon of browbeating Kamala. I was disappointed, yeah. But it's a new day. She's learned some lessons now," said Jones. "Actually, I'm excited"

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"I think what is unfortunate is that once again Black people are in a position where we have to choose the lesser of two evils. Clearly the lesser of those two evils is a Biden and Kamala ticket," said Cat Brooks, an Oakland based community organizer and advocate.

Brooks is the executive director of Justice Teams Network and co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project.

"We've got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time so that we can both get Trump out of office and also have a cohesive coordinated plan for holding Biden and Kamala accountable for meeting the needs of the people."

"Does the choice really matter," asked ABC7 news contributor and San Francisco Chronicle insider, Phil Matier. "There were a host of people that Biden could have picked from. Any of them would be getting the kudos and compliments that Kamala Harris is getting right now."

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"It's an interesting pick because Kamala Harris for all of what she represents in how we check the boxes, didn't do that well as a presidential candidate and she turned a lot of people off. Both with her questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearings and in her debate performance against Joe Biden. So it's a mixed bag here," explained Matier.

On Wednesday, Biden and Harris will appear in person together in Biden's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
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