Symone Sanders: What to know about Kamala Harris' chief spokeswoman

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Symone Sanders: What to know about Kamala Harris' chief spokeswoman

Political strategist and social activist Symone Sanders has been named chief spokesperson and senior adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris. Sande

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Political strategist and social activist Symone Sanders has been named chief spokesperson and senior adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Sanders, a native of Omaha, Neb., attended and matriculated from Mercy High School and Creighton University.

Sanders worked for Girls Inc. of Omaha as their community campaign chair in 2013, according to her LinkedIn and the organization.

According to Politico, she became a columnist for the Omaha Star — Nebraska’s only Black-owned newspaper, where her mother was recently appointed publisher — before joining the gubernatorial campaign for Democrat Chuck Hassebrook as their communications assistant at age 23. Less than five months later, Sanders was the campaign’s deputy communications director.

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In 2014, Sanders moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as communications director for Virginia Delegate Michael Futrell. 

At that time, Sanders also did communications work for nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Global Trade Watch is a program that aims to ensure that a majority are able to “enjoy economic security, a clean environment, safe food, medicines and products, access to quality affordable services such as health care and the exercise of democratic decision-making about the matters that affect their lives.”

Less than a year later, progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would hire her as the national press secretary for his 2016 presidential campaign. 

At the age of just 25, Sanders became the youngest presidential press secretary on record, according to her biography.

As the former chair of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee and member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, Sanders advocated for social and racial justice and highlighted economic equality 

“I [told Bernie], you know, economic equality is an issue. It’s something we need to address,” she told Buzzfeed in 2018. “But for some people it doesn’t matter how much money you make, it doesn’t matter where you went to school, it doesn’t matter what your parents do. It doesn’t matter that Sandra Bland had a job and was on her way to teach for her alma mater. It doesn’t matter. None of that matters.”

In June 2016, Sanders told Politico she was leaving the campaign. 

“I believe my time at the campaign has come to an end,” she said at the time. “I’m very proud of the work we have done and am now looking forward to helping elect down-ballot Democrats and do all I can to ensure a Democrat is the 45th president of the United States.”

Less than a month later, Buzzfeed reported that Sanders would join the Democratic National Convention Committee.

At the convention, Sanders made some media appearances before she was hired by CNN as a Democratic strategist and political commentator that fall.  

In 2017, Politico reported that Sanders had agreed to join Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action ahead of the 2018 elections, and in 2018 and 2019 she was a resident fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School and the University of Southern California’s Center for the Political Future, respectively.

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Sanders is also the principal of the 360 Group, LLC, where she provides strategic communications guidance and helps clients find sound solutions to “tough political and social problems,” according to her bio.

During the 2020 election, Sanders served as a senior adviser to then-candidate Joe Biden.

Now 31, Sanders will serve in the White House — a goal she had discussed in her memoir “No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America.”

“One day I want to be White House press secretary,” she wrote. “There, I said it.”

For the first time, all of the White House’s top communications posts are held by women, according to reporting from The Washington Post.

Sanders acknowledged the “ALL LADY SQUAD” in a series of November tweets. 

“Ready to serve accurately describes how I feel,” she wrote. “Thank you Madam Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris for entrusting me with this charge. It has been the honor of my life to work for @JoeBiden & I am elated to have the opportunity to continue to that work in the PEOPLE’S HOUSE.”

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