Democratic vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris wasted no time in showing both her commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and to defeating President Donald Trump in November with her selection of Black lesbian commentator, academician, and political powerhouse Karine Jean-Pierre as her new chief of staff.
“Let’s go!!” Jean-Pierre announced on Twitter, confirming the appointment.
The MSNBC political analyst and commentator was a key figure in three presidential campaigns, including Barack Obama’s historic victory in 2008, and successfully pressured big corporations like Walmart to change unfair labor practices. In addition, Jean-Pierre has taught campaign management at her alma mater, Columbia University, and served as the chief public affairs officer for Move On. She is also the author of Moving Forward, described by its publisher as a “call to arms for those who know that now is the time to act.”
“No one handed it to me. I had to go out and take it,” the lesbian Haitian-American told The Advocate last year. “I got involved. I worked on campaigns and for politicians. Eventually, worked my way all the way to the White House.”
Jean-Pierre perhaps is best known to some as the person who selflessly stood in front of Harris when a protester last year stormed the stage at political event. She firmly stood her ground against the much taller person, and then pushed him back several steps as security personnel were able to safely remove the animal rights protester from the stage.
“Representation matters,” she told The Advocate. “That is why I find so many of these young newly-elected members of Congress — many of whom are women and women of color — so inspiring.”
While remaining an optimist and hard-nosed political fighter, her words from that interview foreshadow a difficult path to the White House.
“The other thing I will say is, Donald Trump loyalists are going to be voting in 2020,” she warned. “The only way we can take power away from Trump is to show up in bigger numbers. Now is not a time to sit on the sidelines. We need everyone in if we’re going to beat Trump.”