Joe Biden wins US presidency, Kamala Harris makes history as vice president-elect

Joe Biden President-elect
Michael Stokes/Creative Commons
Joe Biden speaks at the kickoff rally for his 2020 presidential campaign in 2019. (Photo by Michael Stokes via CC BY 2.0)

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A symphony of pot banging, cheering and honking filled the Berkeley streets Saturday morning as Joe Biden secured enough votes to become the 46th president of the United States.

After more than three days of waiting as election officials sorted through the surge of mail-in ballots, Biden received 279 electoral votes as of press time, winning Pennsylvania and Nevada, according to The New York Times.

In Berkeley, the win for Sen. Kamala Harris, who represents California and is the first woman, Black woman, Indian American and Asian American vice president-elect, is felt by some as a personal victory. In a statement released Saturday, Mayor Jesse Arreguín described Harris as a “daughter of Berkeley,” as she lived in the city for about a decade beginning in the late 1960s, attending Thousand Oaks Elementary School.

“This community’s diversity and progressive values helped shape a leader that stands for equality, empowerment, and justicequalities our nation has suffered without the past four years,” Arreguín said in the statement. “Berkeley is both an epicenter and engine for social change, and the Vice President-elect has been, and will be, a force for progress.”

Despite the unusual quiet of Berkeley amid the pandemic, students have been coming out in crowds wearing masks along Telegraph Avenue, waving their arms, clapping their hands and ensuring the morning is anything but silent.

For campus junior Andrew Young, celebration took the form of playing his trombone on campus, allowing him to release stress from the election and midterm season.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Biden said in a statement released by his campaign Saturday. “It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”

Rachel Barber and Jacob Souza contributed to this report.

Check back for updates.

Maxine Mouly is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @moulymaxine.