Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made headlines when he picked Kamala Harris as his running mate. She is the first woman of colour in American history to run on a major party ticket. In her two decades of public service, Harris has a long list of ‘firsts’ — the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in California’s history, first woman to be the attorney general of California and the first Indian-American senator.
But Harris is not the only candidate with roots in India in the US presidential race this year. Sunil Freeman, an anti-war activist and the vice presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), also has roots in India.
Freeman is the running mate of socialist activist Gloria La Riva, the presidential candidate for the PSL. A disability rights activist and cultural worker, Freeman’s parents met as workers at a refugee camp in Kurukshetra (now in Haryana) during India’s partition. He was raised in Maryland in Washington DC.
Freeman, along with his family, were active participants in the mass anti-Vietnam War movement. He joined the PSL in 2005 after becoming an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition in the anti-Iraq War movement.
The PSL ticket
Gloria La Riva, vice president of the Pacific Media Guild and two-time candidate for California governor, is repeating her 2016 bid for president. This is La Riva’s tenth consecutive candidacy as either a presidential or vice presidential candidate. The party is eligible to be included on the ballot in 15 states of the US.
The PSL program includes making income, health care, education and affordable housing constitutional rights and instituting a $20 an hour minimum wage. Their agenda also includes using the military budget for “people’s needs here and worldwide”, and shutting down US military bases around the world.