LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Vice President Elect Kamala Harris is breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings with her election.
"What Kamala Harris has done is show the entire world that women of color, that daughters of immigrants, that women who look like her, who come from places like the one she comes from can make it to the highest levels of our government," said Yvanna Cancela, Nevada state senator, who broke barriers herself, as the first Latina to hold the position.
On Saturday, Kamala Harris made history as the first woman and woman of color to ever be elected vice president.
The daughter of immigrants, Harris' mother was Indian, her father Jamaican.
Since 1789, there have been just two women nominated as vice president to a major party's ticket and one woman nominated for president on a major ticket.
"As Black women, we lead in voter turnout," said Roxann McCoy, the president of the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP.
"We carry most of the elections and so it was nice to see the fruits of our labor be able to represent someone that looks like us," she said.
McCoy said Black women were instrumental in electing the Biden/Harris ticket. It's a right Black women have had to fight for, a right that was not guaranteed even in the vice president elect's lifetime.
"The fact that she [Kamala Harris] was born in 1964 and now in 2020 she is the vice president of the United States has been able to break multiple barriers for not only women but women of color, representation matters," said County Commissioner Elect William McCurdy.
In 1964, Harris was born. The next year, the Voting Rights Act passed, banning racial discrimination in voting practices.
McCurdy said that barrier-breaking leads to a greater diversity of thought in government.
That lived experience of what it means to be a Black woman and a person of color in our country should lead to a deeper understanding and clarity around race and racism.
McCurdy believes this is a monumental moment, a transformative moment and one that will ultimately bring more women of color into the highest offices.
"There is a place for Black women and that is in the White House and we know that now and I am so very excited and again just to witness this, for me, is pretty breathtaking," McCurdy said.