Akbari to give keynote speech at Democratic National Convention

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 17, 2020 11:25 AM CT | Published: August 17, 2020 11:24 AM CT
<strong>Raumesh Akbari</strong>

Raumesh Akbari

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, becoming a veteran speaker at the Democratic National Convention, is set to give the keynote speech Tuesday, Aug. 18, with 16 other “rising stars” in the party.

Akbari, a Memphis Democrat in her first term as a state senator, will join the group to “offer a diversity of ideas and perspectives” under the theme “Leadership Matters” with Democratic nominee Joe Biden as president, according to a DNC release. Akbari also spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran against Donald Trump.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Democratic Party is holding a virtual convention without the cheering crowds and hoopla, and speakers will be beamed in from across the country.

In advance of her address, Akbari said she believes the nation needs Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris leading the country.

“They’re a proven team that will listen to experts and scientists to get the pandemic under control,” Akbari said. “They’re ready to build a new economy that works for everyday families – not just the billionaire class.

“And they will tackle the big societal problems the Trump Administration is making worse, like systemic racism and climate change. Biden and Harris have a record of bringing people together and, more than ever, we need leaders who unite us to do what’s right.”

Akbari: Anti-protest bill ‘ludicrous’ for making illegal camping a felony

Akbari won election to the state House in 2013 before capturing a Senate seat in 2018. She is chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, former chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, state director of Women in Government and financial secretary of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women.

She also served on the Unity Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform and is on Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s federal financial stimulus accountability committee.

Akbari even got a shoutout from House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, who said on Twitter he agrees with at least one thing the party is doing.

“@SenAkbari is a great person and the DNC was smart to let her talk. I probably disagree with every single other thing they do though. Good for the Senator,” Faison tweeted.

DNC 2020 Chief Executive Officer Joe Solmonese said Democrats are concentrating on new ways to reach out to Americans amid chaos and crisis to defeat President Trump in November.

“The convention keynote has always been the bellwether for the future of our party and our nation, and when Americans tune in … they’ll find the smart, steady leadership we need to meet this critical moment,” Solmonese said in a statement.


Raumesh Akbari Joe Biden Jeremy Faison
Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a Nashville-based reporter with more than 30 years of journalism experience as a writer, editor and columnist covering the state Legislature and Tennessee politics for The Daily Memphian.


Want to comment on our stories? Or read the comments of others? Join the conversation by subscribing now. Only subscribers can view or add comments. Our commenting policy can be viewed here