MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis lawmaker is returning for a speaking role this week as Democrats hold their national convention and officially nominate Joe Biden for president.
Tennessee state Sen. Raumesh Akbari made a name for herself four years ago at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
This year, she’s back for an encore performance. Akbari will address the nation Tuesday night during the keynote address, from 8-10 p.m.
“I was super excited,” she said. “I mean, I didn’t expect it. And I thought, wow, how are we going to do this?”
They’ll do it virtually, which is a lot different than 2016.
“Well, 2016 was amazing,” Akbari said. ‘We had our Tennessee delegation there. My mom was there, which is super cool. I mean, you get to go backstage, you meet all of the other elected officials and celebrities.”
This year – no stage, no celebrities, but mom will be there as the senator takes the podium in her living room.
It will be a moment for Memphis as this graduate of Cordova High School, a member of New Hope Baptist Church and local attorney, shares her passion for politics.
“Unfortunately, Donald Trump has given us plenty of different issues that we probably would have liked to have had handled differently,” Akbari said.
Democrats are upset, and they want Trump, who keeps referring to Biden as “Sleepy Joe,” gone.
“I think the Democratic Party really believes that the pandemic should have been handled differently,” Akbari said. “Certainly, when we see the different protests across our country, there was just such a negative and almost combative attitude towards it. and then, of course, our economy, it’s important to help people on main street, not just folks on wall street.”
But the president is suggesting that Biden can’t do any of that.
Akbari said Democrats’ feelings are a mixture of support for Biden and opposition to Trump.
“Some folks are like, we have to get Donald Trump out of office, but then also they’re super excited about Joe Biden, the leadership he brought during the Obama administration, and then adding Senator Harris, which is his history making. I think folks are really fired up.”