(CNN)Stacey Abrams and 16 other rising stars of the Democratic Party will deliver a joint keynote address during Tuesday night’s Democratic National Convention programming, a slot typically reserved for just one speaker.
The elected officials will speak under the evening’s theme, “Leadership Matters,” offering a “diversity of different ideas” and “perspectives on how to move America forward,” according to a news release from the DNC. Several of the speakers are some of former Vice President Joe Biden’s early primary supporters, including Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, and Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela. Reps. Colin Allred of Texas and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, who both stumped for Biden in Iowa ahead of the state’s caucuses, are also slated to speak. “Amidst all of the chaos and crises our nation is facing, Democrats are focused on finding new and innovative ways to engage more Americans than ever before — because that’s how we’ll mobilize the nation to defeat Donald Trump in November,” Convention CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “The convention keynote has always been the bellwether for the future of our party and our nation, and when Americans tune in next week they’ll find the smart, steady leadership we need to meet this critical moment.” Read MoreJill Biden and Bill Clinton are also slated to deliver remarks during Tuesday night’s program. This year’s convention is bringing many changes as it faces the coronavirus pandemic. Joe Biden will not accept the Democratic presidential nomination in Milwaukee, the original site of the convention, because of pandemic concerns. Instead, he and the presumptive vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will deliver their convention speeches from the Chase Center in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. The Biden campaign announced last week that virtual watch parties will take place in all 50 states throughout the convention, with elected officials like Pete Buttigieg and celebrities like Alyssa Milano acting as hosts in an effort to engage supporters during a convention devoid of its usual live audience.The watch parties offer a glimpse into how the campaign is making do with the challenges of hosting a virtual convention — a fanfare celebration that typically sees tens of thousands of supporters gathering together in person — almost entirely in the virtual realm due to restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The DNC announced Friday that several artists will perform during the convention, including Leon Bridges, The Chicks, Common, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Prince Royce and Stephen Stills. The performances will range from renditions of the national anthem, to American classics, to new songs, according to a news release from the convention. Additionally, 57 youth choir members representing each of the 57 states and territories will perform the National Anthem Monday evening. The convention will take place from August 17-20, after Democrats pushed their convention back by a month because of the coronavirus. Convention programming will air for two hours each night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. The convention’s list of speakers, which was significantly pared down after it was decided the event could no longer be held in person, include former President Barack Obama, former Gov. John Kasich, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden’s main opponent in the final stretch of the Democratic primary, former first lady Michelle Obama and Joe Biden’s wife Jill Biden. Roll call vote in the age of coronavirus Changes to the convention as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will also affect the roll call vote, which is traditionally done in the arena as each delegation goes around in-person to announce the number of delegates the presumptive Democratic nominee will receive. This year, since there will be no arena or significant in-person portion of the convention, people physically in the 57 states and territories will nominate Biden, with each appearing on camera over the 30-minute roll call vote, according to convention planners.The people nominating Biden will range from official party delegates to parents, teachers, small business owners and essential workers, planners said, many of whom will appear at the convention inside their businesses or living rooms or in front of notable landmarks in their cities.The plan is for each state to vote in alphabetical order, but for Delaware — the state that Biden represented in the Senate for more than three decades — to cast the decisive vote.Democratic planners also intend to have personal stories be at the center of the event. When the party announced the convention would be held virtually, they asked supporters to send in videos that explained why they were supporting Biden. The party received roughly 1,000 videos, some of which will be featured as part of the program.