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December 05, 2020

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Democrats kick-off 2020 Convention

POSTED: August 17, 2020, 12:00 pm

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Milwaukee Virtual Broadcast Control Room


In the wake of COVID-19, the Democratic Party will kick off its presidential nominating convention tonight with the first of three nights of virtual broadcasts. Initially planned as a traditional convention in the city of Milwaukee, the coronavirus pandemic forced the party to create a technology-driven virtual event with delegates in their homes, participating nationwide via the Internet.

The convention will feature a number of prominent Democratic elected officials, celebrities, social activists, and some Republicans who will encourage voters to deny Donald Trump and Mike Pence a second term. Speakers of special note include former First Lady Michelle Obama, former Republican governors John Kasich of Ohio and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Democrats will make COVID-19, racial injustice, the nation’s failing economy and Donald Trump’s crippling of the U.S. Postal Service major themes of the convention. The highlight of the week will be the speeches of Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris accepting the party’s nomination for president and vice president. The nomination of Harris will mark a historic moment as she will become the first Black woman and the first of Indian-Asian descent to be nominated as vice president to a major party’s presidential ticket.

The following is the program for tonight’s opening session of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

WE THE PEOPLE
Introduction
Eva Longoria
American actress

“We the People” Gavel In

Everyday Americans will read the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, before Convention Chair and The Honorable Bennie Thompson officially gavels in the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Call to Order
The Honorable Bennie Thompson
Permanent Chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mississippi

Pledge of Allegiance

National Anthem
A multicultural choir performing virtually with singers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Cheyenne Nation and five territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Invocation
Reverend Gabriel Salguero
President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Co-lead pastor of The Lamb’s Church in New York, New York

Remarks
The Honorable Gwen Moore
Sergeant-at-Arms of the 2020 Democratic National Convention
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin

WE THE PEOPLE DEMANDING RACIAL JUSTICE
Remarks
The Honorable Muriel Bowser
Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Performance
Leon Bridges
American singer

“The Path Forward”: A Conversation with Vice President Biden on Racial Justice
Vice President Biden engages with, and listens to, social justice activist Jamira Burley, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, and author Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, about how America can move forward towards equality, fairness, and justice for all.

Remarks
The Honorable James Clyburn
House Democratic Whip
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, South Carolina

WE THE PEOPLE HELPING EACH OTHER THROUGH COVID-19
Remarks
The Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York

Remarks
Kristin Urquiza
A woman whose father lost his life to COVID-19.

A Conversation with Healthcare Workers on the Front Lines
A conversation with a doctor, paramedic, and two nurses on the front lines of this pandemic about what they’ve endured, and what’s at stake in this election for America’s essential medical workers.

Introduction of Performer
The Honorable Sara Gideon
Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives

Performance
Maggie Rogers
American singer-songwriter

Remarks
The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer
Governor of the State of Michigan

WE THE PEOPLE PUTTING COUNTRY OVER PARTY
Remarks
The Honorable Christine Whitman
Former Governor of New Jersey

Meg Whitman
Former CEO of Hewlett Packard

The Honorable Susan Molinari
Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, New York

Remarks
The Honorable John Kasich
Former Governor of the State of Ohio

Remarks
The Honorable Doug Jones
United States Senator, Alabama

Remarks
The Honorable Catherine Cortez Masto
United States Senator, Nevada

Remarks
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator, Minnesota

“United We Stand”
Former 2020 Democratic candidates for president of the United States will come together once again to talk about why they ran, what they’re fighting for, and why they believe Joe Biden will bring the nation together, move the nation out of crisis and chaos, and move us forward —featuring Vice Presidential Nominee and Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton, Former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang.

WE THE PEOPLE RECOVERING
Remarks
The Honorable Cedric Richmond
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Louisiana

Remarks
The Honorable Bernie Sanders
United States Senator, Vermont

WE THE PEOPLE RISE
Keynote Remarks
Michelle Obama
Former First Lady of the United States

Performance
Billy Porter and Steven Stills
American singer-songwriters

Benediction
Reverend Dr. Jerry Young
18th President of the National Baptist Convention, USA

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