Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement after the swearing in of the 46th President of the United States Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris:
“(Wednesday) was a historic day: we welcomed President Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris to the White House, ending the national nightmare of the last four years of the Trump presidency.
“Against the backdrop of insurrection and white supremacy, amidst a deadly pandemic, we have reason to smile, because our democracy prevailed and white nationalism did not.
We will now have the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent serving as Vice President.
And perhaps above all, we will have a daughter of the East Bay in the White House. I am excited to get to work with the Biden-Harris administration to build back better, to crush this virus, and to unify this country after years of division and hate.
“(Wednesday), I wore pearls that belonged to Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, my mentor and inspiration to get into politics and the first Black woman to run for president. I was given the pearls by Congresswoman Chisholm’s goddaughter, who told me that her godmother ‘would not want it any other way’ than for me to wear the pearls as we welcomed Vice President Harris to the White House.
“It is not just the start of a new administration and a new era for our country, but also a celebration of the fact that our democracy has survived this long, and despite its many challenges and the recent attempts to undermine it, it will survive far longer.
“As the late Dr. Maya Angelou wrote, ‘and still we rise.’”
Sean Ryan works in the press office for Congresswoman Barbara Lee.