In December 2003, Kamala Harris was elected as the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco's history, and as the first African American woman and South Asian American woman in California to hold the office. She was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term in November 2007.
As San Francisco DA, Harris - who has been a prosecutor for nearly twenty years - has focused intensively on fighting violent crime. She has increased conviction rates for serious and violent offenses, expanded services to victims of crime and their families, created new prosecution divisions focused on child assault, public integrity and environmental crimes, and launched innovative re-entry initiatives to prevent re-offending. To combat one of San Francisco's biggest challenges, gun violence, she created a gun specialist team and implemented tough gun charging policies.
This work is paying off --- the San Francisco District Attorney's Office has more than doubled its trial conviction rate for gun felonies to 90 percent. Under her leadership, the office has sent 50 percent more serious and violent offenders to State Prison, has put more than 220 gang members behind bars and convicted more than 1,200 domestic violence offenders. According to the San Francisco Superior Court, the office's overall felony conviction rate is at its highest point in nearly 15 years.
Harris has brought much-needed consistency and innovation to the handling of narcotics and quality-of-life crimes. Her office has tripled the number of misdemeanor cases taken to trial, and Harris has assigned senior prosecutors to specialize in prosecuting graffiti, vandalism and auto burglaries. She has also launched unprecedented programs of outreach to San Francisco communities and brought free legal clinics to immigrant neighborhoods.
DA Harris has been featured on the Oprah Show and in Newsweek as one of "America's 20 Most Powerful Women." She was selected as one of 24 elected leaders from throughout the country to serve as a Rodel Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Additionally, Harris was elected to the Board of Directors of the California District Attorneys Association and is a Vice President of the National District Attorney's Association.