Reactions were pouring in from Southland elected officials and community leaders Saturday to the news that former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris were declared the winners of the presidential election.
The election result is not official, but multiple media outlets reported at around 8:30 a.m. PST that Biden would win Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, putting the Democratic ticket over the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
President Donald Trump was not conceding, however, promising legal challenges in numerous states where mail-in votes were still being counted after Tuesday, and where Biden had overtaken his lead.
Here were some of Saturday’s reactions:
–From Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (who was a co-chair of Biden’s campaign):
“America made history in this election. We made our voices heard in record numbers, and the voters have chosen President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to restore the soul of our nation and lead our country toward a future of fairness, justice, belonging, and unity. By electing Joe Biden, our nation chose a leader of decency and empathy — someone who understands that each individual matters and deserves an equal measure of opportunity and dignity. By electing Kamala Harris, our people will witness an extraordinary daughter of Oakland stand tall as a champion of possibility — a reminder to little girls of every race and young people of every zip code that America has a place for them, too.
“Together, I have no doubt they will be strong partners for Los Angeles who are ready on day one to stop the spread of COVID-19, build our economy back better, heal wounds of racial inequity, tackle the climate crisis, invest in our infrastructure, protect the lives of immigrant families, and reimagine tomorrow. I congratulate our next president and vice president, and I look forward to working hand-in-hand with them to strengthen our city and all of America.”
–From Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva:
“Congratulations to President-Elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris. I wish you success and support in bringing us all together as a nation.”
— From Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez:
“The people have spoken. Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. With new leadership, comes hope and possibility of real change. We owe this victory to our Black and Latino brothers and sisters — our friends, our family and our community — those who showed up to vote, and those most affected by this pandemic who continue to build this country, despite the lack of social and economic opportunity, those who have everything to lose — they delivered us to the finish line.”
— From Los Angeles Council President Pro Tem Joe Buscaino:
“Congratulations President-Elect Biden on what is already a historic presidency. From the record-breaking number of votes cast to America’s first female Vice President, California’s very own Kamala Harris, this election is an important moment in our history. It is my hope that the next four years bring unity, peace, and healing to our divided nation.”
–From Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell:
“The majority of American voters have embraced human decency; racial, gender, and LGBTQ equality; the sanctity and promise of our constitution; belief in science; an urgent need to address the devastating health and economic consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic; and, voters have embraced experience. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have the experience and ability to lead us out of the daunting challenges we face on multiple fronts. We can pull together regardless of party affiliation or ideology and support the ideals that the results of this election represent. We will face inevitable adversity, but do so from a position of unity, strength, hope, and relentless determination to put us firmly on a course for a brighter, fully equitable future for all.”
–From L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn:
“The race has been called and the American people have decided: Joe Biden is the next President of the United States. 100 years after women won their right to vote, a Black woman has been elected Vice President of the United States. This is a proud day for our nation. Now the real work begins. The Biden-Harris Administration and the new Congress have their work cut out for them addressing the ongoing pandemic and the economic fallout it has created, earning back the confidence of our allies, and repairing our wounded institutions. For first time since Ronald Reagan, we are sending a Californian to the White House. As our state’s junior senator, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris understands the challenges we face — whether it is the housing crisis and homelessness, or the need to expand access to mental healthcare. She is in our corner and I cannot wait to work with her and President Biden on behalf of LA County.”
–From L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl:
“At long last…. Congratulations, President-Elect Biden! And, Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris is making herstory by becoming the first woman AND person of color to serve as Vice President. Cheers to Kamala, the first but not the last! There will still be recounts and with them, some anxiety, but in the midst of dark, troubling times, this is definitely a glimmer of hope that we can return to decency, respect, and compassion, both in the policy and in the character of this great nation.”
–From Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles:
“I am exceedingly overjoyed that Trump has been defeated & that the Biden-Harris team have an opportunity to undo the harm this undeserving Prez has caused the country. My hope for the future is renewed! Looking forward to working w/ Biden-Harris team to move our country forward!”
–From Re. Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles:
“We are extremely fortunate to live in a nation where the people choose their leaders. I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on this historic victory. The American people have spoken and now it is time for us to move forward. It may feel like we are more divided than ever after a challenging election season compounded by an ongoing pandemic, but we saw unprecedented participation in this election, and it is that passion and commitment to civic duty that will carry our country forward. Similarly, a peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of a healthy democracy. I look forward to seeing that process carried out in accordance with our proud American tradition.”
–From L.A. County Democratic Party Chair Mark J Gonzalez:
“Today, we turn a new chapter in our nation. The nightmare that is Donald Trump and his corrupt, anti-American, anti-Democracy administration is almost over. Today, our country battled for the soul of our nation and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be our next president and Vice President. Amidst all refreshing of election results, flipping between channels, and staying up until 2 a.m., the historical nature of this election also cannot be overlooked. America has elected the first Black, first South Asian, and first woman as Vice President. As Californians and Angelenos, we are incredibly proud of our US Senator and now vice-president elect Kamala Harris and look forward to supporting her and the president-elect in leading our nation, rebuilding our democracy, and focusing on our communities. A record turnout of voters, over 140 million votes, was cast over the course of this election and counted with incredible speed and patience. It is a testament to Registrar Recorders, like Dean Logan, election officials, poll workers, and the thousands of Americans who (at some times) risked their lives to make sure that we continue to count every vote.”
–From the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center:
“Today the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the entire LGBTQ community stand with millions of Americans — people fighting for racial equity and justice, feminists, immigrants, youth, and other people of good conscience — to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. In particular, we celebrate the election of our fellow Californian, Kamala Harris, to the office of vice president. Senator Harris will become the first Black woman — indeed, the first woman — and the first Indian-American elected to one of the two highest offices in the land. The historic significance and symbolic magnitude of her election and what it represents to all people who have lived in the shadow of discrimination and inequity cannot be overstated … Today we take a moment to celebrate, to take a deep breath and imagine a new, more hopeful chapter in our ongoing struggle for full equality and humanity. The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris does not mean those struggles have ended, nor does their election end the deep divisions we have experienced as a nation over the last four years. But it does mean that our leaders in the White House share a vision of a nation that includes our community as full and equal participants. From that starting point, we can continue to build a better, more inclusive, and just world for all.”
–From California Gov. Gavin Newsom:
“This was the victory we needed to see to be the America we know we can be. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were the choice of a record number of American voters — and an overwhelming majority of Californians — because we know they will represent all Americans. They will treat every person with dignity and deserving of equal opportunity. They will attack systemic injustices, not their fellow Americans. They will respect the rule of law and democratic institutions. They will elevate science and expertise and renew America’s place of leadership in responding to global threats like COVID and climate change. In short, they will return our better angels to our nation’s highest offices.”
— From former President Barack Obama (under whom Biden served as vice president from 2009-2017:
“I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden. I also couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next Vice President. In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen. And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory.”
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