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Presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) used to live in Champaign-Urbana

Kamala Harris, current U.S. Senator from California, officially announced her candidacy today, to the surprise of no one. And frankly, she is the frontrunner now, despite what anyone says, in my opinion. We can argue about it in person at Bunny’s! 

Here is a photo of my friend Lisa Gottheil, with Kamala Harris and her sister, Maya (in the middle) when they were living in Champaign, or perhaps visiting after having moved away. It’s hard to know for sure exactly when the photo was taken, but it was taken on Pond St. in Urbana, and it seems like the heart of the Midwest summer, and the get up is fairly patriotic, so let’s just call it the 4th of July circa 1972 or so, which will make this photo even more apropos. 

The family was sort of the American dream, if that’s still something that makes you feel something righteous, or important. It still means something to me, anyhow.  

Their father, an immigrant from Jamaica, is Donald Harris. He was a professor of economics at UIUC and then went on to Northwestern, Wisconsin, and finally, Stanford. Her sister Maya — a prominent lawyer and Hillary Clinton policy advisor — was actually born here (in 1967). Their mother was Shyamala Gopalan Harris, also an immigrant from India, a breast cancer researcher, before she passed in 2009. 

When they arrived here, they became fast friends with the Gottheil family, according to Diane Gottheil who still lives in Urbana and they all “shared a passion for the fight for civil rights together.” Her husband was Fred Gottheil and he was also a professor at UIUC in economics, and was one of the longest tenured faculty at the college before he passed a couple of years ago.  

Anyhow, this is all something you can share with people the next time you are arguing with someone in real life at Esquire or Huber’s or even Pia’s! 

Photo courtest of the Gottheil family. 

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