The Lead

Kenyatta, Lamb, Boyle open second night of DNC

By: - August 18, 2020 9:34 pm

Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta speaks during the second nights opening address.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta was one of 17 upcoming elected officials from across the country who introduced virtual viewers to Democratic candidate Joe Biden Tuesday night during the second night of the party’s virtual convention.

The first term North Philadelphia representative, whose district includes Temple University, is the first LGBTQ+ person of color to serve in the General Assembly.

Despite his recent ascension to public office, Kenyatta has already made a name for himself through passionate speeches on the House floor — speeches that sometimes go viral on social media.

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Kenyatta wasn’t the only Pennsylvanian to speak during the segment. He was joined by fellow Philadelphian U.S. Rep. Brenden Boyle, D-2nd District, and western Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District.

”A new generation of leaders is rising up,” Kenyatta said during the opening address, before Lamb finished the sentence: “And with Joe Biden in the White House, there’s no limit to what we can do.”

Overall, the young voices were led by Stacey Abrams, who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Georgia in 2018. They pitched Biden and Democrats the man who helped create the economic success Trump trumpets as his own, and who could effectively address both COVID-19 and the new wave of protests over racial injustice.

Convention speeches have, historically, been viewed as a launching pad for far reaching political careers — such as then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama in 2004.

Terry Madonna, a long time observer of Pennsylvania politics, said he could not recall another Pennsylvania state representative given such a platform before.

His segments was prerecorded. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kenyatta said he’d be watching the convention too, while “sipping tequila at home with his fiance.”

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.