If pressure is on Joe Biden to appoint more Blacks to his cabinet, can you imagine the pressure on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with a Black woman. However, Newsom is also getting pressure to appoint a Latinx and or a LGBTQ+ candidate to replace Harris. 

However, members of the Black community feel Harris’ position should be filled by a Black female.  High on their list to replace Harris are two current members of congress, Rep Barbara Lee, who has represented the Oakland community in Congress since 1988, and Congressman Karen Bass, who represents the Los Angeles area and has served in Congress since 2011.  

Another possible replacement for Harris would be London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco. 

Harris was one of three Black Americans in the Senate and the only Black female.  Other Black members of the 100-member body are Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC).  Carol Moseley Braun was the first and only other African-American female to serve in the Senate.  In the history of America, including two during Reconstruction, there have only been 10 African Americans who have served in the Senate. 

Latino advocacy groups are pushing hard for the appointment.  At 39% of the state’s population, Latinos are the largest demographic group in the state.  African Americans are just 3% of the state’s population, behind Whites and Asian Americans. 

LGBTQ+ are underrepresented in political positions, including Congress.  Robert Garcia, the mayor of Long Beach, CA, who is openly gay and Hispanic, would help Newsom satisfy two of the three groups he’s being pressured by.

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