California Educator

February/March 2021

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N J A N . 2 0 at noon on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Just prior, California's own Kamala Harris took the oath to become the vice president of the United States — the first woman and the first person of Black and South Asian descent to hold the office. "is is America's day. is is democracy's day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve," President Biden said. "Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candi- date, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. e will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed." The historic day was full of firsts. Vice President Harris gave the oath of office to her successor in the U.S. Senate, Alex Padilla — the first Latino senator from California. She also swore in newly elected Raphael Warnock (Georgia's first Black senator) and Jon Ossoff (Georgia's first Jewish senator), flipping the balance of power in the Senate. And Los Angeles native Amanda Gor- man, who at 22 was the youngest inaugural poet, moved the crowd and all who watched with her inspiring words. Biden wasted no time getting to work after the inaugural festivities, signing the first of dozens of executive orders in his initial week to take immediate action on the most pressing issues facing our nation. On his first full day in office, Biden unveiled his $175 billion plan to safely reopen schools in the A historic day of firsts as America inaugurates President Biden, Vice President Harris By Julian Peeples o Nearly 200,000 flags filled the Capitol Mall, representing those who couldn't attend the inauguration due to the pandemic. 'This Is Democracy's Day' Getty Images 22 Feature

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