Evansville women excited to see first female US vice president

Kamala Harris becomes first woman to hold VP office, 100 years after women gain right to vote
Updated: Jan. 20, 2021 at 9:06 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Wednesday, the first woman of color to be elected the nation’s vice president, Kamala Harris, was sworn into office.

This historic moment occurred almost 100 years after the 19th Amendment was signed, granting women the right to vote.

Roberta Heiman, a board member with the League of Women Voters of Southwestern Indiana, became emotional during the inauguration, as she said it was a new time in America.

“The importance - it almost makes you want to cry,” Heiman said.

For many years, she says the country was denying itself a great leadership resource because diversity hadn’t been fully embraced in seats of power.

As Harris takes the mantle of vice president, Heiman feels that things are changing.

“It shows that we can celebrate the diversity in this country,” Heiman said.

Sheila Huff, the director of strategic engagement at the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, as well as a chair in arranging events for Women’s Equality Day, says that as a woman of color herself, this was a big day.

“It’s very nice to see someone who looks like me in one of the most prominent positions in this country,” Huff said.

She added that in order for the government to truly represent everyone, people of all races and genders should have a say in how the nation is run.

Huff says the inauguration of Harris is a step in that direction.

“Her election has opened that door that was closed,” she said. “I think it will cause a lot more people, not just women, to be willing to come forward and step through that door.”

Heiman stated that she believes the 2020 presidential election might be the last one to come down to “two old, white men.”

“And I love white men,” she said. “I married one! It takes more than that.”

Regardless of what the Biden administration does, Heiman says she believes it’s up to the average American citizen to help our country progress.

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