Almost immediately after CNN called the presidency for Joe Biden, meaning Kamala Harris would be vice president, Berkeleyans took to the streets to celebrate.
Not only did it mean that the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump will end, it means that Harris, who spent much of her first 12 years in Berkeley, would make history as the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first Indian-American woman to be vice president. It is the highest position a woman has ever held in the U.S.’ 244-year history.
A number of people made a pilgrimage of sorts to the Bancroft Way house that Harris lived in as a child and chalked out congratulatory messages on the sidewalk.
People honked horns, rang bells, and made noise. The scene at Marin Circle was particularly boisterous and celebratory.
There was literal dancing in the streets, too.
Artist R. Black was at Shotgun Players to paint an advertisement for the theater group’s 30th anniversary when he heard the news, and decided to add another quick message to the theater’s facade on Ashby Avenue( at MLK). Onlookers took selfies with the mural.
President Trump has never been popular in Berkeley. In the 2016 election, he garnered 3.2% of the vote compared to Jill Stein’s 4.6% and Hillary Clinton’s 90.4%, Rob Wrenn wrote in the Daily Planet. Just ten days after Trump took office, the first of a number of street battles that would consume Berkeley for much of 2017 happened.
Judy Robinson, whose mother owns the property now and used to babysit Harris, is thrilled. “We knew this would happen,” as she watches celebrations down the street. It’s been a little overwhelming with everyone coming by today, but “[Harris] spent her itty bitty years here.” pic.twitter.com/Tsma4jFFhm— Supriya Yelimeli (@SupriyaYelimeli) November 7, 2020
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