Georgia delegates got up early Monday morning to rally for the Democratic Party.
At 7:30 a.m., Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman DuBose Porter and other delegates began to fill the room. Porter said he was ready for an exciting week at the convention.
“Everyone is excited because Georgia is a battleground state, and this could be the year that we turn blue,” Porter said.
Porter also noted that the delegation was looking forward to a speech from Stacey Abrams, the House minority leader for the Georgia General Assembly and state representative for the 89th House District, scheduled to speak Monday night.
Never miss a local story.
“This convention is really very Georgia-centric,” Porter said. “Stacey is going to kick it off for us and we are very excited about her and having her on that stage.”
Porter addressed the delegation by welcoming everyone to Philadelphia and introducing U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia’s 4th Congressional District.
Johnson received a standing ovation and talked about the need to unite the party, referencing Hillary Clinton’s idea of building bridges in contrast to Donald Trump’s proposed plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
“This is the first day of our historic convention where Hillary Rodham Clinton will become the first female to receive a major party’s nomination for this great nation’s highest office,” Johnson said. “We are faced with a stark choice to either be a bridge builder or a wall builder.”
Johnson also stressed the importance for an inclusive democracy despite tensions that are growing in the country, in particular racial tensions, economic inequality and police-community relations.
The country needs a leader who will be able to unite all types of people, and he said Trump is not the person to do that.
“Just last week the Republican Party nominated an authoritarian, tribalistic, anti-immigrant strongman whose campaign has been based on building walls, not bridges,” Johnson said. “The Clinton-Kaine ticket will help build the bridges back to the idea that all lives matter.”
Johnson spoke about the racial inequality throughout the country and the state of Georgia which stems from, what he called, “structural inequalities” many minorities face.
“We want to make American great ... but we want to make American great for everybody,” he said.
He stressed the importance of unifying the nation and the Democratic Party. However he was met with a mixed response from the delegates at the mention of recently leaked DNC e-mails that purported to show favoritism for Clinton over Sanders. Sanders delegates yelled out that they still supported their candidate while Clinton supporters applauded.
“It’s our job this week and we are going to work as hard as we can to ensure that we win the presidency and protect our democracy,” Johnson said. “Bridge-building starts at home, right here within the Democratic Party. Let’s build bridges with each other.”