While many people are excited about new leadership in the White House, it seems the election of the vice-president is generating extra interest and enthusiasm.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will become the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first person of South Asian descent to hold the second highest office in the United States.
"While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last," Harris said during her acceptance night Saturday, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Harris shattering the glass ceiling is being seen as a major breakthrough for women in politics around the world, and is being felt here in the Maritimes.
“With Kamala, I think what’s extraordinary is because no matter how you feel about her politically, I think there’s something to be said about a racialized woman attaining the Vice Presidency in 2020, and I think it’s a glimmer of hope that we all needed right now,” says Grace Evans, a Halifax based author.
Evans says after watching Hillary Clinton use the U.S. election in 2016, she wondered when a woman would make history and ascend to the White House.
In Fredericton, organizers of the city’s Black Lives Matter movement say the win is a reflection of the voters behind the ballots.
“It’s the first time a person of colour is occupying the position of Vice President of the United States, so we needed more diversity in the White House, but we also need more diversity and more representation here in the Canada,” says Husoni Raymond of Black Lives Matter Fredericton.
Raymond points to another recent breakthrough in Canadian politics, as recently elected Green Party of Canada leader Annamie Paul became the first Black woman ever elected leader of a Federal party.
Closer to home, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality elected its first female mayor, while the Halifax Regional Municipality voted in a record number of female councillors during the latest round of municipal elections in Nova Scotia.
“It’s nice to have a female, with a female perspective,” says author Sarah Dobson. “People kind of dance around saying whether that matter sometimes, but it’s my belief that it does matter, and there are certain experiences that women have different perspectives on because of the way we’ve been treated in society.
Harris’ rise to power has many experts looking forward to the next four years of a woman in the White House, and what it means for women and minorities in politics going forward.
"Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities and to the children of our country regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not simply because they've never seen it before. But know that we will applaud you every step of the way,” said Harris during Saturday night’s acceptance speech.
Biden and Harris will be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021.