Kamala Harris wants to unseat Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. The junior senator from California announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that she's entering the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Harris, whose father is Jamaican and mother was Tamil Indian, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016. Her entry into the presidential race follows candidacy announcements from fellow senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, marking the first time in U.S. history that three women senators will run for a party's presidential nomination at the same time. Here are some of the business-related issues Harris has fought for during her political career.

Holding big businesses accountable 

As California's Attorney General in 2012, Harris helped negotiate a $25 billion settlement deal with the five largest mortgage companies in the U.S. over mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. As a result of the settlement with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiFinancial, GMAC/Ally Financial, and Wells Fargo, California homeowners were awarded $18.4 billion in mortgage relief. The largest federal-state civil settlement ever obtained, the agreement also established new homeowner protections for the future.

Helping small businesses defend against cyber attacks 

In 2014, as the AG for California, Harris issued recommendations to small and mid-size businesses in the state to help protect against and respond to malware, data breaches, and other cyber crimes. Two years earlier, Harris had negotiated a deal with six of the largest companies running mobile app stores--Apple, Google, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Research in Motion, and Hewlett-Packard--getting the companies to post information about how their mobile apps gather and share consumer data.

Prosecuting predatory lending

As California AG in 2016, Harris won a $1.1 billion settlement against the now-defunct for-profit Corinthian Colleges for its abusive predatory lending practices that left tens of thousands of students in student loan debt after receiving "useless degrees." Harris highlighted Corinthian's "deceptive and false advertisements and aggressive marketing campaigns that misrepresented job placement rates and school programs."

Harris's father is an economics professor at Stanford and her mother was a breast cancer researcher. Harris graduated from Howard University in 1986 and the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1989.

Published on: Jan 21, 2019