Here's How Kamala Harris Is Paying Tribute To Shirley Chisholm In Her New Presidential Campaign

Questions still linger around the California senator and her bid for the nation's top office.

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| January 22 2019,

8:10 pm

California Senator Kamala Harris announced she'd be on the Democratic 2020 presidential ticket during what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 90th birthday on Monday. 

The former prosecutor's recently launched campaign paid tribute to Shirley Chisholm, the first Black person and woman to run for president.

It was 47 years to the day when Chisholm took on the political establishment with her historic bid. She previously made history in 1968 by becoming the first Black woman elected to Congress. The logo the Harris campaign chose shares similarities to Chisholm's red and yellow campaign buttons. 

Harris' camp also used similar typography in her logo and in the campaign promotional materials to evoke the historic nature of her bid. As CBS News notes, there are parallels between the pair.

They are both children of Caribbean immigrants. The California senator's mother is Southeast Asian, and her father is Jamaican. She is the first person of Southeast Asian descent to run for president, as well.

With the announcement, Harris becomes the clear frontrunner and fourth woman to join the Democratic candidates. She along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former President Barack Obama cabinet member Julian Castro are the three to beat in what is expected to be a crowded field. 

However, Harris' past as a prosecutor has raised incited skepticism from Black liberals. 

HuffPost reports the criticism stemmed from her time as a district attorney in San Francisco and California's attorney general. Activists said she helped to strengthen the prison system in the state while serving as AG. Some law experts also stated she often took the wrong side of history on cases -- reportedly fighting hard to uphold wrongful convictions. 

“I can tell you of the cases where I really regret that we were not able to charge somebody that molested a child but the evidence wasn’t there," Harris said in her first press conference at Howard as a presidential candidate on Monday.

"There are cases ... where there were folks who made a decision in my office who did not consult with me and I wish they had. But again, I take full responsibility for those decisions.”

Despite the pushback, she said she is proud of her time as attorney general. She spearheaded an initiative in the state that allowed first-time nonviolent offenders to have charges dismissed when they completed vocational training. Harris vows to stick to her promise of fighting for justice reform.

“There are fundamental flaws in the criminal justice system and ... this criminal justice system needs to be reformed,” she said.

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