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Court ruling will allow student housing at UC Berkeley’s People’s Park, a counterculture landmark

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Court ruling will allow student housing at UC Berkeley’s People’s Park, a counterculture landmark
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Court ruling will allow student housing at UC Berkeley’s People’s Park, a counterculture landmark

2024-06-07 06:56 Last Updated At:07:01

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — People’s Park in Berkeley, which since the Vietnam War has been a site for protests and counterculture movements, can be converted into student housing for the University of California, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday, capping a yearslong legal fight over the landmark.

The court ruled that a new law enacted in 2023 invalidates the claims by two local organizations that sued the school, saying more students living in downtown Berkeley would add noise pollution to an already dense area.

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Enrique Marisol, 23, stands near a sign in support of People's Park at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street during a reading of the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — People’s Park in Berkeley, which since the Vietnam War has been a site for protests and counterculture movements, can be converted into student housing for the University of California, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday, capping a yearslong legal fight over the landmark.

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Lisa Teague speaks to a group of people after reading the California Supreme Court ruling on People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Lisa Teague speaks to a group of people after reading the California Supreme Court ruling on People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Signs are posted on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street as people read the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Signs are posted on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street as people read the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

FILE - A cyclist rides past People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on March 29, 2022. Many of the trees in the park were toppled on Aug. 3, 2022, during an attempt to start a construction project. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A cyclist rides past People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on March 29, 2022. Many of the trees in the park were toppled on Aug. 3, 2022, during an attempt to start a construction project. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - Police descend on People's Park as crews cut down trees and people are asked to leave in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

FILE - Police descend on People's Park as crews cut down trees and people are asked to leave in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

FILE - Crews work to remove debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - Crews work to remove debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - A protester uses bolt cutters to take down part of the fence that the University of California, Berkeley, erected around historic People's Park, Aug. 3, 2022, so a construction crew could begin work on a long-planned student housing project in Berkeley, Calif. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

FILE - A protester uses bolt cutters to take down part of the fence that the University of California, Berkeley, erected around historic People's Park, Aug. 3, 2022, so a construction crew could begin work on a long-planned student housing project in Berkeley, Calif. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

FILE - A fallen tree sits by a newly-erected barricade at People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2022. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A fallen tree sits by a newly-erected barricade at People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2022. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A crew removes debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - A crew removes debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - Shipping containers are placed around People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - Shipping containers are placed around People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - Stacked shipping containers begin to surround People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - Stacked shipping containers begin to surround People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

Because of the new law, which "all parties have effectively acknowledged, this lawsuit poses no obstacle to the development of the People’s Park housing project,” Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero wrote in the unanimous decision.

California is desperate for more housing of all types, including for students at its public universities and colleges. Some students sleep in their cars, crash on friends’ couches, or commute hours to attend class due to limited space in dorms and nearby apartments.

The court noted that Berkeley provides housing to the lowest percentage of students compared to other schools in the UC system. During the 2023-2024 academic year, UC Berkeley housed 9,905 students, about 22% of the university’s 45,699 enrolled students, UC Berkeley spokesperson Kyle Gibson said in an email.

UC Berkeley plans to build a $312 million housing complex for about 1,100 of its students at the nearly 3-acre (1.2-hectare) People’s Park, which it owns. Protests have at times escalated into skirmishes between police and activists.

In 2022, activists broke through an 8-foot (2-meter) chain fence erected around the park as crews began clearing trees to make room for the housing project. In January, police officers in riot gear removed activists from the park as crews began walling off the site with double-stacked shipping containers.

The park was founded in 1969 as part of the era’s free speech and Civil Rights Movement and for decades served as a gathering space for free meals, community gardening and art projects, and was used by homeless people. It turned into both a symbol of resistance and mayhem during a deadly confrontation that year known as “Bloody Thursday,” emboldening then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan to send in 3,000 National Guardsmen for a two-week occupation that evoked images of war in a city that was clamoring for peace in Vietnam.

The university is relieved by the court's decision and it will turn its attention to resuming construction at the site, Gibson said.

“Our students and unhoused people desperately need the housing components of the project, and the entire community will benefit from the fact that more than 60% of the 2.8-acre site will be revitalized as open park space,” Gibson said in a statement.

Make UC a Good Neighbor and The People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group filed a lawsuit against the project, saying that the university system should have considered increased noise under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. They also said there are more appropriate places the university could build, and the park is a rare green space in one of Berkeley’s densest neighborhoods.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to work with legislators to amend the law after a state appeals court last year ruled against the University of California, saying that it failed to assess the impact of potential noise “from loud student parties” on residential neighborhoods.

In September, Newsom signed a law that amended CEQA to clarify that housing projects do not need to study the noise generated by prospective future residents.

Harvey Smith, president of the People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group and one of the plaintiffs, said the decision was disappointing but not surprising.

“It's disappointing because community groups play by the rules and when we win what UC does is go to the Legislature to change the rules,” Smith said.

“Community groups don't have the deep pockets or powerful connections UC does,” he added.

Associated Press Janie Har in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Enrique Marisol, 23, stands near a sign in support of People's Park at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street during a reading of the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Enrique Marisol, 23, stands near a sign in support of People's Park at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street during a reading of the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Storage containers surround the perimeter of People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Lisa Teague speaks to a group of people after reading the California Supreme Court ruling on People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Lisa Teague speaks to a group of people after reading the California Supreme Court ruling on People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Signs are posted on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street as people read the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Signs are posted on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street as people read the California Supreme Court ruling on the People's Park housing plan in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, June 6, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

FILE - A cyclist rides past People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on March 29, 2022. Many of the trees in the park were toppled on Aug. 3, 2022, during an attempt to start a construction project. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A cyclist rides past People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on March 29, 2022. Many of the trees in the park were toppled on Aug. 3, 2022, during an attempt to start a construction project. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - Police descend on People's Park as crews cut down trees and people are asked to leave in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

FILE - Police descend on People's Park as crews cut down trees and people are asked to leave in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

FILE - Crews work to remove debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - Crews work to remove debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - A protester uses bolt cutters to take down part of the fence that the University of California, Berkeley, erected around historic People's Park, Aug. 3, 2022, so a construction crew could begin work on a long-planned student housing project in Berkeley, Calif. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

FILE - A protester uses bolt cutters to take down part of the fence that the University of California, Berkeley, erected around historic People's Park, Aug. 3, 2022, so a construction crew could begin work on a long-planned student housing project in Berkeley, Calif. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

FILE - A fallen tree sits by a newly-erected barricade at People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2022. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A fallen tree sits by a newly-erected barricade at People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2022. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A crew removes debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - A crew removes debris from People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - Shipping containers are placed around People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - Shipping containers are placed around People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (AP Photo/Terry Chea, File)

FILE - Stacked shipping containers begin to surround People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - Stacked shipping containers begin to surround People's Park in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A California Supreme Court ruling will allow student housing at University of California to be built at Berkeley's historic People's Park. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, suddenly the leading candidate to succeed President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and her party’s main hope of defeating Donald Trump.

She spoke Monday at a White House celebration with the NCAA championship teams, her first appearance since Biden announced he was leaving the race.

Follow the AP’s Election-2024 coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Here's the Latest:

Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to Delaware to meet with staffers of the reelection campaign that President Joe Biden gave up.

Her office says Harris will hold a “campaign engagement” in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday afternoon. Biden reelection campaign headquarters occupies space in two buildings there.

Biden endorsed Harris shortly after announcing he was leaving the presidential race. The campaign announced raising $49.6 million in the hours after his announcement.

Harris is not yet the formal Democratic presidential nominee, but top party elected officials and donors, as well as labor unions and leading advocacy groups, have endorsed her.

U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle faced a storm of bipartisan criticism at a congressional hearing Monday, with many lawmakers asking why she had not yet resigned from her job in the wake of the assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump.

The director, who’s spent nearly three decades combined at the agency, remained defiant that she was the “right person” to lead the agency despite overseeing the “most significant operational failure” in decades.

Even so, both Republicans and Democrats pushed Cheatle on why she wasn’t more forthcoming with details about what went wrong on July 13 or how she would ensure it never happens again.

“Tell us what went wrong!” Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, yelled at Cheatle. “Tell us and don’t try to play a shell game with us.”

Vice President Kamala Harris says President Joe Biden’s list of accomplishments are “unmatched in modern history.”

In her first public remarks since Biden announced he was leaving the presidential race, Harris made no comment of her own presidential candidacy.

Speaking at a Monday event with NCAA athletes on the lawn of the White House that Biden missed as he recovers from COVID-19, Harris said that Biden, in one term, got more done than many two-term presidents.

“I am firsthand witness that every day, our President Joe Biden fights for the American people,” she said. “And we are deeply, deeply grateful for his service to our nation.”

David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said Biden’s withdrawal and his endorsement of Harris doesn’t simply erase concerns about Biden but elevates Harris as a motivating, tested national candidate who’s grown while in office.

“Democrats didn’t have a chance on Sunday and now they have a chance,” Axelrod told The Associated Press Monday. “It’s really that simple.”

“I think that it’s a different race now because she has maybe some of his liabilities and she may have some of her own,” Axelrod said. “But no one judges her as too old, or unfit in that way.”

The electoral map stays essentially the same, with Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin being the most pivotal states, he said. And within them, Harris will motivate in particular younger voters, Axelrod said.

But Harris faces the daunting task of launching a campaign and building one at the same time. “Which is hard, but it can be done,” Axelrod said.

In the central city of Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians coping with more than nine months of the devastating Israel-Hamas war say they feel indifferent about Biden’s withdrawal from the presidential election.

“We feel the United States is a partner in the assault on Gaza,” Hassan Shaqalieh told The Associated Press. “The news that matters the most to us is the end of the war.”

Biden in May presented a deal that aims to end the war in Gaza and return the Israeli hostages the Palestinian group Hamas kidnapped in their surprise attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, but Washington is Israel’s biggest political and military ally.

Hamza Fayyad who was displaced from the southern city of Khan Younis, says there has been no trust in Washington for the Palestinian people’s aspiration to a state and end to Israel’s occupation in the Palestinian territories.

“Someone bad leaves, only for someone worse to come in,” he said.

China’s foreign ministry on Monday said it had no comment on Biden’s exit from the presidential race, citing that “the presidential elections are the U.S.′ own affairs.”

The official Xinhua news agency, however, opined that it “once again exposed the ugly reality of U.S. politics.”

“Biden’s withdrawal once again expose the chaos and the essence of U.S. politics where partisan interests rule supreme and money drives elections,” Xinhua said in an editorial.

The second-term Democratic governor from one of the most-contested presidential states said in a news release Monday, “Today, I am fired up to endorse Kamala Harris for President of the United States.”

Whitmer continued, “In Vice President Harris, Michigan voters have a presidential candidate they can can count on to focus on lowering their costs, restoring their freedoms, bringing jobs and supply chains back from overseas, and building an economy that works for working people.”

Whitmer had been mentioned as a potential Democratic presidential prospect.

“So Michigan, let’s go to work,” Whitmer said. “We cannot let Donald Trump anywhere near the White House. Let’s go!”

The director of the Secret Service says the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump was the agency’s “most significant operational failure” in decades.

Director Kimberly Cheatle told lawmakers Monday during a congressional hearing: “On July 13, we failed.” Cheatle says she takes full responsibility for the agency’s missteps related to the attack at Trump’s Pennsylvania rally earlier this month.

Additional endorsements Monday, including Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, left a dwindling list of potential rivals to Vice President Kamala Harris as she moves to lock up Democratic delegates behind her campaign for the White House.

Winning the nomination is only the first item on a staggering political to-do list for her after Biden’s decision to exit the race, which she learned about on a Sunday morning call with the president. If she’s successful at locking up the nomination, she must also pick a running mate and pivot a massive political operation to boost her candidacy instead of Biden’s with just over 100 days until Election Day.

The Secret Service director is set to testify Monday before a congressional committee as calls mount for her to resign over security failures at a rally where a 20-year-old gunman attempted to assassinate former President Donald Trump.

The House Oversight Committee hearing will be Director Kimberly Cheatle’s first appearance before lawmakers since the July 13 Pennsylvania rally shooting that left one spectator dead.

Lawmakers have been expressing anger over how the gunman could get so close to the Republican presidential nominee when he was supposed to be carefully guarded.

As President Joe Biden was deciding to withdraw from the race Sunday morning, Vice President Kamala Harris had multiple phone conversations with him, according to a person familiar who spoke only on background to more freely divulge details.

Harris was at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington. She was surrounded by family and staff and wore a hooded Howard University sweatshirt, workout sweats and sneakers, the person said.

She spent 10-plus hours Sunday placing calls to more than 100 party leaders, members of Congress, governors, labor leaders, and leaders of advocacy and civil rights organizations. Harris told all that she was grateful Biden endorsed her upon leaving the race but she planned to earn the Democratic presidential nomination in her own right.

The vice president also called her pastor, Amos Brown III, who, along with his wife, prayed over her.

Harris arranged lunch and dinner for assembled aides. They ate afternoon sandwiches and salad and pizza in the evening. Harris’ pizza had anchovies, which the person said is her go-to topping.

— Will Weissert

“The vice president is smart and strong, which will make her a good president,” Beshear said during a Monday morning appearance on MSNBC. “But she’s also kind and has empathy, which can make her a great president.”

Beshear praised Harris’ resume as a former prosecutor and says she’s ready to assume the presidency. He says he’s willing to do everything he can to support her.

Asked if he’s open to potentially joining the ticket, Beshear said he loves his job as governor. “The only way I would consider something other than this current job is if I believed I could further help my people and to help this country,” he said.

Beshear defeated Trump-endorsed Republicans to win the governorship in 2019 and to win reelection last year in his Republican-leaning state.

Speaking on Monday to CBS, the West Virginia Democrat-turned-independent said “I don’t need that in my life.”

Manchin had been the latest senator to call for Biden to exit the 2024 race before Sunday’s announcement by Biden that he would do just that.

Manchin had already mulled a late-breaking 2024 White House bid of his own but said in February after a listening tour that he didn’t want to be a “spoiler.” As a Democrat, he had often bucked his own party’s leadership.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Xavier Bettel praised President Joe Biden for his announcement that he’s ending his bid for reelection.

“It takes courage for a politician to say ‘I’m a bit old and I’m not capable of doing it anymore,’” Bettel said, describing it as a “courageous and difficult decision” by Biden.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, endorsed Harris and called her “an unwavering champion for families, workers and justice.”

Gillibrand, who ran against Harris in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, said in a statement Monday that the vice president is “incredibly well-qualified, with experience as a prosecutor, as a lawmaker, and as a leader on the world stage.”

“Now is the time to unite,” the senator said. “VP Harris has the grit and toughness to beat Donald Trump and I’m eager to join her in this fight.”

ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising platform, announced that it had collected $46.7 million as of 9 p.m. ET from small-dollar donations for Vice President Harris’ campaign.

The Biden campaign and affiliated groups previously had about $96 million in cash on hand. The Republican National Convention, by contrast, reported a campaign fund of $102 million in June.

Donald Trump’s campaign has spent the last year and a half viciously attacking Joe Biden, ridiculing his policies, mocking his fumbles and relishing a rematch they felt they were winning.

But it has also spent weeks preparing for the possibility that he might exit the race, readying a bevy of attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris that it unleashed as soon as Biden made his stunning announcement Sunday that he would step aside.

Biden soon after endorsed Harris, who was quickly winning support from Democrats to be the party’s nominee.

The shakeup less than four months before Election Day lays out new challenges for Trump’s team, which had until recently been focused on contrasting the former president’s vigor and mental acuity with Biden’s.

Read more about the Trump campaign's pivot toward Harris.

The Democratic delegations of multiple states have decided to back Vice President Kamala Harris for the party nomination at next month’s national convention.

“Tonight, all 168 delegates of the North Carolina Democratic Party made history,” North Carolina party chair Anderson Clayton said in a post on the social platform X.

In South Carolina, party chair Christale Spain said in an email statement Sunday night that that state’s delegation met virtually. The vice president “has been fully vetted, and she has earned our unwavering support,” Spain said.

Harris received her first delegates earlier in the day from Tennessee, when the state party posted on X that its delegation voted during a meeting to back her.

Another state where the switch was made was New Hampshire, where the 25 pledged delegates voted unanimously Sunday night to endorse Harris.

The nation’s six Black state attorneys general threw their support behind Vice President Harris. In a statement on X, they laid out her qualifications and said she “has staunchly defended our right to choose and preserved our most sacred right to vote. There is no one more qualified to lead and continue to uphold the values of our great nation.”

The statement listed Letitia James, New York; Kwame Raoul, Illinois; Anthony Brown, Maryland; Andrea Campbell, Massachusetts; Keith Ellison, Minnesota; and Aaron Ford, Nevada.

FILE - Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, June 13, 2017, in Washington. She's already broken barriers, and now Vice President Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden's ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, June 13, 2017, in Washington. She's already broken barriers, and now Vice President Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden's ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, carry a sign before a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, carry a sign before a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, hold signs in the audience at a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, hold signs in the audience at a campaign event, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak before Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak before Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mattia Crovino, of Bologna, Italy, watches a news broadcast announcing that President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House, Sunday, July 21, 2024,. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Mattia Crovino, of Bologna, Italy, watches a news broadcast announcing that President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House, Sunday, July 21, 2024,. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Anna Filipic, of Washington, holds her daughter Louisa Monje, 2, outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as they show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Anna Filipic, of Washington, holds her daughter Louisa Monje, 2, outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as they show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

George Ledbetter watches news of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House at They Say Restaurant in Harper Woods, Mich., Sunday, July 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

George Ledbetter watches news of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House at They Say Restaurant in Harper Woods, Mich., Sunday, July 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A news crawl appears on the side of the Fox News building in New York, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in the wake of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

A news crawl appears on the side of the Fox News building in New York, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in the wake of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 20, 2024, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A view of the White House is seen in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

A view of the White House is seen in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris embraces President Joe Biden after a speech on healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., March. 26, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris embraces President Joe Biden after a speech on healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., March. 26, 2024. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)

A handmade sign for Vice President Kamala Harris appears on a lawn, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A handmade sign for Vice President Kamala Harris appears on a lawn, Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Washington. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Balloons for President Joe Biden are brought to the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Balloons for President Joe Biden are brought to the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Hugh Kieve, 10, of Washington, holds a sign outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as he and his family come out to show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Hugh Kieve, 10, of Washington, holds a sign outside the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2024, as he and his family come out to show support for President Joe Biden. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

FILE - President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, July 10, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

FILE - President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, July 10, 2024. Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, July 21, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Fla. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Fla. She’s already broken barriers, and now Harris could soon become the first Black woman to head a major party's presidential ticket after President Joe Biden’s ended his reelection bid. The 59-year-old Harris was endorsed by Biden on Sunday, July 21, after he stepped aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

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