'Representation matters:' Harris makes history, Milwaukee reacts

California Sen. Kamala Harris on Saturday, Nov. 7 shattered a glass ceiling -- becoming the first woman and person of color to become vice president-elect of the United States.

The projected win for the Joe Biden-Harris ticket mobilized people in Milwaukee. At Zeidler Union Square Park downtown, people celebrated the historic moment.

"Being a woman, being black, that’s just phenomenal," said Demetrica Shipp, a SEIU Union member and organizer.

For the first time in history, women will be able to see themselves when they look at the vice president of the United States.

"We know that we can be somebody and our voices can be heard," Aneisha White, who celebrated on Saturday, said.

A rally celebrating the projected Biden-Harris victory at Zeidler Union Square Park in downtown Milwaukee on Nov. 7, 2020.

"There is now a floor, there is a bare minimum of what Black woman leadership looks like, and the only place to go is up," said Angela Lang, executive director of "Black Leaders Organizing for Communities" -- or BLOC for short. "It's something that is historic and representation matters."

Harris became the first woman, first Black person and first South Asian-American on Saturday to be elected to office. It prompted celebrations in Milwaukee and around the world.
"I think this could change a lot. Especially for African-American women, too. I think she can change a lot," Shanice Jones, who attended the downtown celebration, said.

A rally celebrating the projected Biden-Harris victory at Zeidler Union Square Park in downtown Milwaukee on Nov. 7, 2020.

Harris' projected election was also motivation to women currently in office.

"The things she’s going to be able to talk about like childcare, fair wages, things that women deal with every single day," said Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin's state treasurer. "As the saying goes if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. We haven’t had a woman in this role, yet we are 51% of the population."

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Saturday marked a moment in history for women and girls who will now see that they, too, can be vice president.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley also released a statement on Saturday, saying: "Little girls everywhere -- including my own daughters -- will now know that there is no ceiling for their talents, brilliance or ambitions.


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