Friday evening, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams announced the City of Atlanta will bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. During the annual state party dinner, Dickens and Williams both invoked the phrase, “Atlanta Influences Everything,” a term used to describe the city’s supremacy in pop culture and now in politics.

“You know, they say that Atlanta influences everything,” Williams told the crowd in downtown Atlanta. 

The bid signifies Georgia’s growing stature in American politics. After the 2018 gubernatorial race that saw Brian Kemp declare victory over Stacey Abrams, then Democrats Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock each winning their U.S. Senate races, the Peach State is poised to become America’s newest bellwether state.

U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael G. Warnock delivers a speech at the Democratic Party of Georgia state dinner on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Atlanta. (Photo By: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“We’re going to do everything in our power to bring the 2024 Democratic National Convention to Atlanta, Georgia,” Dickens said. 

The last time Atlanta hosted a Democratic National Convention was July 18-21, 1988 at the old Omni Arena in downtown Atlanta. The Democrats would nominate then-Massachusetts governor Michael S. Dukakis. Dukakis would lose to George H.W. Bush in the general election.  

Abrams delivers speech as Primary Season comes to a close

The dinner also featured speeches from Senators Ossoff, Warnock and a keynote by Senator Amy Klobuchar. However, Democratic candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams stole the show. While on a podcast, Abrams said a man in his 20s asked her, ‘What’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?’

Stacey Abrams delivers a speech at the Democratic Party of Georgia state dinner on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Atlanta. (Photo By: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“We see a future that looks as diverse as our dreams can be,” Abrams said. “So instead of lying to our children about our past, we intend to tell our children the truth about our future. Instead of dividing our children and telling them they are not enough in a moment when they are the most desperate. And the most concerned about belonging. We are not going to spend our time passing laws telling them they’re not enough that they don’t belong.”

Abrams, who does not have a primary opponent, also used portions of her speech to speak out against the banning of divisive concepts, the turn of phrase adopted by Republicans inside the Georgia State Legislature as they refused to name their idea the ‘Critical Race Theory ban.’ 

“The difference is that we can acknowledge our mistakes,” Abrams continued. “We can see when we’ve been wrong and we can try to make it right. We don’t tell our teachers to lie to our kids about the mistakes we made. We don’t say ‘instead of acknowledging our past we’re going to scrub it out. We’re going to rip those pages out of the books. We’re going to ban the books.’”

Lastly, Abrams, who is currently the torchbearer for the Democratic Party of Georgia, said of the Republicans decision to reopen the state for business during the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, “they were willing to watch people die” and “were willing to watch people suffer.”

“They passed laws to send people back into public spaces, but without protective gear,” Abrams said. “They passed laws to protect companies but not a single law to protect people. That’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans.”

Conversely, the Republicans are debating between Milwaukee and Nashville, Tennessee, as their 2024 convention site.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...