In the corner of California where Vice President-elect Kamala Harris grew up and launched her political career, residents cheered, danced, honked horns, donned American flags and popped champagne to celebrate the Democratic ticket’s victory over President Donald Trump.

As the news broke early Saturday morning, revelers took to the streets wearing bathrobes, banging pots and pans and sharing mimosas with fellow celebrators. “We were awakened by the sound of screaming and we were like, ‘Yes!’” said Oakland resident Ru-Huey Yen.

For many in the Bay Area, the win was not only a relief but a great source of pride. “She’s from Oakland! A hometown girl!” said longtime Oakland resident Jackson Taylor of Harris as he carried a Biden Harris sign along Grand Avenue.

Harris was born in Oakland, went to school in Berkeley and was San Francisco’s district attorney before her election as California’s attorney general, U.S. senator, and now, to the highest office a woman has ever held in U.S. history.

Celebrations of President-elect Joe Biden and Harris continued throughout the day and into the evening with hundreds gathering at Lake Merritt in Oakland and the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco.

“This is what freedom looks like,” said Taylor.

Hundreds gathered along Oakland’s Lake Merritt to celebrate the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over President Donald Trump ion Nov. 7, 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Cars honked and brandished signs to cheer the Democratic ticket’s victory over Donald Trump as they passed through downtown Oakland. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Ryan Frank, who lives near Oakland’s Lake Merritt, pours champagne for a fellow partier as a small group assembled to toast the Biden-Harris win. “We all started screaming, got out of bed in whatever we were wearing and the mimosas came out,” said Frank, explaining his bathrobe attire. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Ermias Hadish and his son Nayem Raesu, age 3, run down the street joining celebrants in Oakland after the presidential race is called for Democrat Joe Biden. “I’m gonna sleep today, for real,” said Hadish, expressing happiness and relief. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
This woman was among hundreds who gathered at Lake Merritt to celebrate self-described “daughter of Oakland” Kamala Harris as she became vice president-elect. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Local musician Aaron Warren dances to “Dance a Lil Different” by Bay Area rapper Priceless Da Roc at Lake Merritt on Nov. 7, 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Eeva Teytelman, 10, holds up signs outside of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ childhood home in Berkeley on Nov. 7, 2020. “She’s brave, she’s confident, she’s smart and she represents all women all over the world,” she said. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Hundreds gathered along Oakland’s Lake Merritt to cheer the news that Democrats had prevailed in their effort to oust President Donald Trump. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
A small crowd carrying signs and flags gathered at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre on Nov. 7, 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Kenya McGaffie-Jones, who described herself as a family friend of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, rejoices in the Biden Harris win in front of Harris’ childhood home in Berkeley. “I knew Kamala could do it but I never thought the world could be this open,” said McGaffie-Jones, calling the moment “surreal.” Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Linda Carr, left, dances to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” in front of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ childhood home in Berkeley. Dozens gathered in the neighborhood to revel in the Biden-Harris win. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
A large crowd dances and cheers on San Francisco’s Castro Street as the outcome of the 2020 presidential election becomes clear. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Best friends Esha Mehta, left, and Dominic Saavedra react with excitement as they watch Vice President-elect Kamala Harris give her acceptance speech on TV from Toad Hall, in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Shiv Singh, 6, waves an American flag on San Francisco’s Castro Street during a celebration for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Oakland resident Kaleb Lawson becomes emotional on San Francisco’s Castro Street as he watches President-elect Joe Biden’s televised victory speech. “We have a woman as VP,” said Lawson. “And she’s a Black woman after these four years. I can’t even say that without tearing up.” Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

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Anne is a photographer and multimedia journalist. She previously held positions at The Hill, National Geographic and KQED before joining CalMatters in the fall of 2019. Her work has appeared in The Information,...