‘American Dream is still alive’: Kamala Harris' historic victory inspires people in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kamala Harris becoming the first woman and first woman of color to be declared Vice President-elect is not only historic but some people in Charlotte, it’s also very personal.

“I couldn’t be more proud. I couldn’t be more excited,” said city councilmember Dimple Ajmera.

Ajmera and Charlotte resident Nidiya Gaspar share Harris’s Indian heritage, and her story is nothing short of an inspiration, they said.

“By this win, Kamala Harris proved that the American Dream is still alive,” Gaspar said.

“And similarly, my parents immigrated here when I was 16 and they saw that American Dream where with hard work, everything is possible,” Ajmera said.

But history suggests that dream could quickly become a harsh reality for Harris.

“I don’t think there’ll be much of a honeymoon politically. Congress is divided,” said Dr. Eric Heberlig, a UNCC political science professor.

He said Harris' challenge will be to translate this post-election excitement into political wins in Washington.

“She’ll be able to rally the Democratic base, but how much that’ll give them an advantage in a closely divided House and probably Republican Senate is unclear,” Heberlig said.

But for Ajmera and Gaspar, and thousands like them, that battle still feels a long way off. Their dream is still very much alive.

“Like Kamala Harris said, this is a country of opportunity, yes it is. God bless America,” Gaspar said.

A big advantage that Harris brings to her new job is that she is a senator who knows how the political game is played.