Speaking about her immigrant parents -- her mother from India; her father from Jamaica -- she said it was the civil rights movement of the 1960s that brought them together.
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"And that's how they met, as students in the streets of Oakland, marching and shouting for this thing called justice in a struggle that continues today," Harris said, during the event with Vice President Joe Biden.
"And I was part of it," she continued. "My parents would bring me to protests, strapped tightly in my stroller. And my mother, Shamala, raised my sister, Maya, and me to believe that it was up to us and to every generation of Americans, to keep on marching."
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Harris was born in Oakland in 1964 and grew up in the East Bay, where she was part of the second class of students to desegregate Berkeley schools. After graduating from UC Hastings Law School in San Francisco, she began working in the Alameda County District Attorney's office before crossing the bay again and becoming the San Francisco District Attorney in 2003. She went on to serve as California's Attorney General before winning the state's junior senator seat in 2016.
Governor Gavin Newsom, also a Bay Area native, said Harris' vice-presidential candidacy is a "meaningful moment" for California and, specifically, San Francisco, which has a "proud history of electing some outstanding leaders."
"If you follow San Francisco politics, you know it's not for the timid," Newsom told reporters on Wednesday. "It doesn't surprise me at all that so many of our nation's great leaders -- Nancy Pelosi being top among them -- emanate from that extraordinary city. The birthplace of my kids, my father, my grandfather, not only myself."
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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also said she is extraordinarily proud of her friend, who she said called her after her house was recently vandalized.
"Nobody fights like Kamala. No one gets to the truth, like, drills down like she does," Schaaf said on ABC7's Midday Live. "She is going to be a fierce woman on that campaign trail and then every day, so I just could not be more thrilled and proud because she's from Oakland."