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Democrats’ first night to focus on racial justice, COVID-19

Democrats will focus on racial justice and the coronavirus pandemic Monday during the first night of convention programming for the four-day virtual event.

The evening’s events will consist of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden’s lead over Trump narrows in new national poll Biden faces hurdles in bid to mend ties with US allies Trump ‘failure’ on COVID-19 will be central message of Biden convention MORE taking part in a conversation on racial justice, convention organizers said Monday.

Among the discussion’s participants are social justice activist Jamira Burley, Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootChicago mayor: People who have ‘come for a fight’ have ’embedded themselves’ in peaceful protests Sunday shows preview: Mail-in voting, USPS funding dominates political debate before conventions Chicago deploying 1,000 extra officers over weekend to deter looting MORE (D), Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, NAACP President Derrick Johnson and author Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in New York City police custody in 2014.

House Democratic Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserFeehery: Weak mayors destroy America’s great cities Organizer of DC party where 22 people were shot may face charges DC officials release body-cam footage of 3 officer-involved deaths MORE (D) will also deliver remarks. Clyburn will give his speech from a rooftop in South Carolina across from Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, the site of a 2015 shooting, when a white supremacist killed nine people.

“I’m going to be talking about unity, where we are today, where we’ve come from and a little bit about where we need to go,” Clyburn said in an interview Sunday on “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren.”

Racial justice and the message of the Black Lives Matter movement will be part of the convention for all four days, according to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s ‘wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has given voice to the deep-seated inequality that has plagued our nation since its inception,” Perez said in a statement to The Hill last week. “The Democratic Party shares in their commitment to justice and hears their demands for change. When we nominate Joe Biden to be our standard-bearer, we will not miss this moment to ensure those values are reflected in everything we do.”

Monday night’s programming will also focus on the coronavirus pandemic. 

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo says annual 9/11 light commemoration is back on Judge rejects ‘right to travel’ challenge to New York’s coronavirus quarantine rules Marlee Matlin: ‘Unfathomable’ that White House doesn’t have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings MORE (D) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerHow Biden decided on Harris Women on Biden’s rumored VP short list tweet support for choice of Harris The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE (D), two vocal critics of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden’s lead over Trump narrows in new national poll Biden faces hurdles in bid to mend ties with US allies Cheney calls pardoning Snowden ‘unconscionable’ after Trump says he’s considering it MORE’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, are scheduled to deliver remarks during the prime-time event.

Programming will also feature a “conversation with healthcare workers on the frontlines,” convention organizers said.

Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father to COVID-19, will be among Monday night’s speakers. Urquiza last month wrote an obituary for her father, Mark Anthony Urquiza, in which she blamed his death on the state and federal response to the pandemic.

Other speakers on Monday include former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaDemocrats featuring ‘rising stars’ in convention keynotes Michelle Obama to go to bat for Biden Trump to counter DNC with travel to swing states MORE and former presidential candidates Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharElection security advocates see strong ally in Harris The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup MORE (D-Minn.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats featuring ‘rising stars’ in convention keynotes Mail-in ballot controversy heats up as Democrats call for postmaster general to testify Former Sanders campaign adviser discusses Biden outreach to Latino voters MORE (I-Vt.). A group of Republicans, including former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman, former Rep. Susan Molinari (N.Y.) and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are also scheduled to speak.

Biden is slated to formally accept his party’s nomination on Thursday night.

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