California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris has been dropping major hints that she’s running for president, from appearing on talk shows like “Ellen” to increasing funding for HBCUs from $244.7 million to $279.6 million. But her latest move may be the biggest sign yet that she is aiming to be Madam President.
Harris has refused to speak at this weekend’s University of California at Berkeley’s graduation ceremony due to a labor strike there.
“Thousands of service workers with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME, walked off the job at all 10 UC campuses Monday in protest of what they said was the University of California’s practice of hiring contractors and displacing longtime employees,” SFGate.com reported.
The labor dispute started over wages and job security.
“AFSCME 3299 negotiators have sought wage increases of 6 percent, a freeze on health-care premiums and elimination of contracting out jobs for which its members are trained,” The Sacramento Bee reported. As of now, the university has rejected its demands.
Harris tweeted her support of the workers on Monday.
If we are going to live up to our ideals as a nation, it’s critical we focus on economic equality and economic justice. One key is making sure everyone has access to a good job, with fair wages, and safe working conditions.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 7, 2018
As for Harris’ replacement, campus Chancellor Carol Christ, the first woman to be in that position, has been tapped to fill in for the senator. Students have already expressed their disappointment at the choice.
“I was just looking forward to hearing from a California senator, a woman of color senator, and I’ve heard potentially that she’s running for president. I was curious to see what she’s had to say — and so were my friends, Democrats and Republicans,” Charlotte Cordova, 22, told SFGate.
While we can imagine this is disappointing, there was still one reason why Cordova and her like-minded fellow graduates could rejoice: Harris’ absences from commencement is probably the clearest sign that she will be running for president.