As a woman of color and champion for ‘smart on crime’ reforms, the California senator and her centrist platform could be the party’s solution to its identity crisis

In early July, Kamala Harris, California’s new senator, visited Chowchilla state prison, often called the largest women’s prison in the world.

Harris, the second black woman in history to be elected to the US Senate, toured the facility and sat down with incarcerated women to hear their stories. She later called the women “extraordinary”, and praised their optimism in finding a new life after prison. But the moment that she dwelled on most was a visit to the silkscreening room, where inmates were cutting rectangles of fabric and pushing paint through the material. The imprisoned women were manufacturing American flags.

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