LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia will be one of 17 people delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s virtual Democratic National Convention.
The address, which is normally reserved for one person – most famously delivered by former President Barack Obama in 2004 – will this time be divided up among 17.
Garcia has served as Long Beach mayor since 2014 and is the first openly gay person to be elected to that office. No openly LGBTQ person has delivered a keynote address at a DNC before.
Two other LGBTQ individuals are also among the keynote speakers — Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Georgia state Rep. Sam Park. Garcia will also be the only Californian giving a keynote address.
“I’m excited to join some amazing Americans to talk about the future of our country and electing Joe Biden as President,” he said in a statement. “We need to move our country forward and it’s going to take young people to mobilize across the country to fight for healthcare, racial justice and civil rights for all.”
Also part of the keynote will be Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams, Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Texas Rep. Colin Allred.
It will begin at about 6 p.m. Pacific time.
The 42-year-old Garcia will deliver the address under the shadow of tragedy, however. His 61-year-old mother, a healthcare worker, died last month after contracting coronavirus. His stepfather then also passed away from the disease last week.
“She immigrated from Peru to the United States in search of the American Dream — and she found it. She became a healthcare worker, caring for thousands of patients over her career and assisting nurses and doctors who she loved dearly. She loved to help people and lived a happy and joyous life,”
Although Garcia is the only California participant in Tuesday’s convention schedule, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is playing a large role in the overall event, thanks to his position as national co-chair of Biden’s campaign.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)