DNC notebook: MLK daughter makes pitch for universal basic income

The youngest child of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said part of carrying on her father’s legacy is addressing economic disparities that had become a focus of his civil rights work at the time of his death.

Bernice King joined “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs and Stockton, Calif., Mayor Michael Tubbs for a convention event titled “MLK’s Economic Dream: Guaranteed Income as a response to Poverty and the Covid-19 Pandemic.” The session streamed on Facebook.

King said redistribution of wealth will help ensure all Americans have their basic needs met. She believes the resources already exist to implement universal basic income, but the hurdle now is building the political will to make it the law of the land.

“It’s having the heart and the humanity to realize that we want to make sure that everyone is able to have food to eat, that no one goes to bed at night without, that no one is without affordable housing, that people have adequate health care,” she said. “And for my father, he really felt that the direct way of dealing with it was through this annual income and not just piecemealing by addressing it one issue at a time.”

Georgia’s longest-serving legislator moved by Kamala Harris’ nomination

State Rep. Calvin Smyre said he was moved to tears watching the first Black woman and first Asian American woman nominated as a running mate on a major-party ticket. Kamala Harris, a U.S. senator from California, represents “democracy and opportunity,” he said.

“When you think about America, you think about we are a nation of immigrants,” the Democrat from Columbus said. “And we’ve always had our arms and our doors open.”

Harris’ mother immigrated from India, her father was Jamaican.

It was Smyre’s 11th Democratic convention. One thing that was different than recent years, in addition to the virtual format, was that Georgia is back on the radar as a state where party officials believe they can pick up Electoral College votes.

The last time that happened was when Bill Clinton carried the state in 1992. He did not win Georgia during his successful 1996 re-election.

“I think we’re back in the playbook,” Smyre said.

Democrats’ tribute to women includes McBath, Abrams from Georgia

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath and former candidate for governor Stacey Abrams were among the Democratic women featured during a tribute video Wednesday night honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Dozens of elected officials and activists were portrayed through a montage of photos and videos that connected the past and the present.

“Word to the wise & those who would doubt it: Women hold up half the sky!” Abrams tweeted at the end of the night.

Panel tackles rise in gun deaths during the coronavirus pandemic

Speaking of Lucy McBath, on Wednesday she moderated roundtable discussions with leaders of various gun control groups and shared how her son’s death led her activism on the issue. McBath introduced herself as a congresswoman from Georgia who flipped a seat from red to blue and someone who knows personally the impact of gun crimes.

“I lost my son, Jordan, in a racially motivated shooting to a man who is unable to see my son’s value in the world,” she said. “Regardless of whatever titles I hold now, whatever titles I may hold in the future or my political career, the most important title I will ever hold is Jordan’s mom.”

One panel focused on gun violence prevention, particularly in communities of color.

The second discussion centered on how guns have factored into the coronavirus pandemic, including suicides, domestic violence and community violence that have led to an increase in gun deaths in many cities.

Jermaine Dupri features Atlanta artists in pre-show set

A convention pre-show has aired on video streaming site Twitch, a clear attempt to attract younger voters to watching the proceedings each evening. These “Your Voice Your Vote” shows were aired on the channel of “Behind the Rhyme,” a hip-hop-themed digital show.

Atlanta’s Jermaine Dupri was the featured DJ for the final night. In between his spins of songs by artists such as Usher, young Democrats shared messages about registering to vote and getting politically active.

Screenshot of Jermaine Dupri's DJ Set at the "Your Voice Your Vote" pre-show for the Democratic National Convention.

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Atlanta bus driver shares her vision of the American dream

MARTA bus driver Natasha Taylor, speaking to presidential nominee Joe Biden as part of a panel of union workers, said she and her partner have goals they hope to achieve.

“I have a family of two and we have grown-up kids that are no longer in the household,” she said. “But it takes two people to build. And we have a five-year goal to find a house in the next five years so hopefully we’ll save, save, save.”

Taylor received media attention earlier this year when she spoke out about safety concerns while working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden told her and the other panelists Thursday night that his platform includes investing $2 trillion in infrastructure such as bridges and roads to improve access for working families.

“That you so much; we appreciate you,” she said, clapping cheerfully as the segment ended.