US Sen. Kamala Harris withdraws from delivering commencement speech because of UC-wide speaker boycott

UC Berkeley Public Affairs/Courtesy

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U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, has withdrawn from being the commencement speaker at UC Berkeley’s spring 2018 graduation, according to an email from University Development and Alumni Relations sent May 7.

According to the email, Harris chose to withdraw because of the UC-wide speaker boycott called by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, the UC system’s largest employee union. AFSCME 3299 will be on strike May 7–9 in protest of alleged unequal worker treatment and a contract forced by the university.

Chancellor Carol Christ will deliver the commencement address, according to the email. Christ also delivered the commencement address for the winter 2017 graduation.

Sakura Cannestra is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.

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  • Left Unsaid

    Not enough TV cameras were promised. It didn’t fit her PR campaign. Kamera Harris, proof that sleeping with Willie Brown is great for your career.

  • MrPerfect

    Every politician can be bought. Looks like the union bought Harris. I really thought she was better than the rest.

  • Hank Chapot

    It’s not the protest, it’s crossing a picket line that she won’t do.

  • FSM

    How bad would tuition be if the janitors were receiving 2x the median annual salary budget for U.S. entities?

  • elrod

    I predict there’s going to be a growing backlash against her up until Commencement and she’s going to regret her choice. She forgot about the students.

  • flashsteve

    If Kamala really believed in herself, she would make the speech, and donate her fee to the union effort. She is backing out, because she does not want the optics of the protest going on while she is speaking. She is a coward.

    • Marcos Hernandez

      Politicians do not accept money for giving commencement speeches at Cal. Private citizens accept.

  • Charlie Chan

    Kamala Harris is as nutty as they get even for California.

  • Anonymous

    Disrespecting the students to pander to the union – way to go Kamala

  • Grandpa Dino

    Thank goodness!

  • mogden

    I doubt she would have anything interesting to say, but that has to be the lamest of reasons to withdraw.

    • Marcos Hernandez

      this has been happening for a long time. no politician has crossed the line at graduation — that’s why the unions have been using this tactic for years

      • California Defender

        Nancy Pelosi “crossed that line” in 2014 and gave the speech.

        • StanFromSomewhere

          Yeah, but Pelosi has the impression that she has a job for life, and the way the Democrats roll, she will probably still be casting votes well after she passes on.

          • California Defender

            Wait, Pelosi is alive? I thought she was just filled with Botox, animated by an outsourced Chinese Disney puppeteer, and remotely voiced by one of George Soros’ goblin slaves.

  • good riddance!

  • 1776

    Carol Christ probably has something more interesting to say than having to sit in the sun and watch Kamala Harris launch her 2020 presidential campaign.

    • elrod

      Chancellor Christ would be a perfect commencement speaker. Will she get paid, though?

      • probably saves the taxpayer from shelling out $$ for kamalas speaking fees

    • No kidding