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As you no doubt know, Kamala Harris was born at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. And today, Oaklanders are celebrating her historic win as the first-ever woman, first-ever Black woman, first-ever Indian-American, and first-ever Oakland native (who grew up in Berkeley) to head to the White House.
By 11 a.m., Grand Avenue had become the epicenter of the city’s celebration, with residents waving signs out of honking vehicles while others lined up along the lakefront, dancing, cheering, and capturing the moment on their phones.
Earlier this afternoon, Mayor Libby Schaaf held a press conference to congratulate Biden and Harris on their election win. She was joined by a group of kids who were out celebrating and enjoying the day with their families at the lake.
Afterwards, the mayor and her contingent rolled down Bellevue Avenue along Lakeside Park in a flame-throwing snail-mobile (followed closely by a skunk-mobile) thanking Oakland voters for contributing to the Biden-Harris victory.
Just before 4 p.m., Allen Michaan, the owner of Oakland’s iconic Grand Lake Theatre, climbed up a tall ladder to post a new message on the marquee: “America just told Donald Trump, you’re fired!” We spoke with Michaan after he climbed down. “I’ve been waiting four years to put that message up,” he said.
Just before sunset by Lake Merritt, where hundreds gathered to celebrate, Damien McDuffie said he hopes that promises made to Black Americans by the Democrats during this campaign season are kept by the new administration.
Oaklandside news editor Darwin BondGraham and contributor Sarah Belle Lin captured more scenes from the lake celebration from earlier today:
An important perspective about the relative quiet in other parts of Oakland on this historic day:
Some Oakland institutions, local officials, and others shared messages of their own in the morning: