OAKLAND, CA. – Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to her hometown of Oakland on Friday to announce the launch of “The Generation Fund,” a $50 million investment to support every low-income public school student and baby. born into poverty.
The program includes $500 savings accounts for 10,000 “Brilliant Babies” who meet the financial requirements, and $1,000 a year scholarships for 20,000 Oakland public school students who qualify as low-income when they go to college or pursue a business certificate. Each amount is valid until 2035.
“We have to pay attention to this issue of fairness,” Harris said, noting that she was born on the streets at a Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. “If we want to respect and allow people to compete on a level playing field. And Oakland has always been a leader in that.”
Harris said this trip was very personal for her.
“I grew up in this community that said dream with ambition, lead with conviction,” she said. “I grew up in this community that said, ‘I never hear the word no.’ America only becomes a reality when we invest in people’s ability, dreams and potential. Oakland does exactly that job.”
Led by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, this community fund includes a close partnership with the school district.
“As mayor and proud native of Oakland, Calif., I am beyond thrilled to be with each of you today to turn an announcement for our children and our families,” Schaaf said. “You’re all Oakland’s shiny babies. You’re all Oakland’s promise.”
Natalie Gallegos, a senior at Oakland High School, said she was the first in her family to attend college.
And the money helps him and other seniors in his situation.
“It shows us that no low-income family should have to struggle financially whether or not their kids go to college,” Gallegos said.
Although the programs already exist under the Oakland Promise, which launched in 2016, this expands investment to support high school graduates through college savings accounts and scholarships.
Harris stressed that this is a step towards fairness.
“It will also help our nation, for example to do what we need to do to close the wealth gap in our country, the education gap in our country and the opportunity gap that still exists in far too many communities,” she said.
Harris also visited the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland to discuss the innovations with business leaders.
The vice president was in San Francisco — where she served as a district attorney — on Thursday to speak about the assault on reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.