Kamala Harris makes history in accepting VP nomination

Christie Ileto Image
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Kamala Harris accepts vice presidential nomination
Kamala Harris has formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Kamala Harris has formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president.

She addressed the Democratic National Convention's third night after former President Barack Obama warned that American democracy itself was at risk if President Donald Trump wins reelection this fall.

She is the first Black and Indian American woman on a major party presidential ticket.

In a largely empty arena near Joe Biden's Delaware home, Harris issued an urgent plea for voters of all colors to rally behind Joe Biden and find a way to vote despite concerns about the pandemic and postal slowdowns.

Sen. Kamala Harris accepts the vice-presidential nomination at the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

She says, "Donald Trump's failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods." She says she shares Biden's vision of America, "where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love."

After the speech, Harris waved and clapped as she was applauded by a screen of viewers. A smiling Biden walked out afterward, standing a safe distance away from her amid the pandemic, and the two were joined by their spouses.

For the Borgaonkar family, night three of the DNC is deeply personal.

"I'm really glad Biden chose a woman as a vice president," said Manda Borgaonkar.

Former Pres. Barack Obama speaks at the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

"We are very proud," said Digamber Borgaonkar "People asked me to change my name and I said no because one of my descendants of people will become a senator and they will know how to spell and pronounce the name. And now Kamala Harris is right there."

All eyes are on Wilmington where inside Senator Harris explains to voters why she's the best running mate for Joe Biden. And outside, where families like the Borgaonkars feel seen for the first time

'We ourselves are immigrants. It's very good to see non-European Americans also reaching the same stage," said Digamber.

The historic night is not lost on voters.

"Obviously policy vision, things like that come first, but to see someone form a biracial background have a spotlight on them, I think it's a great opportunity for her to prove what she's able to do," said Kenny Johnson with the Philadelphia Phillies.

READ MORE: Philadelphia-area representatives deliver keynote speeches during DNC

LOCAL TAKE CENTER STAGE: Representatives from the Philadelphia area took center stage during night two of the Democratic National Convention.

"We are thrilled to have Kamala Harris tell her story and our story," said Neil Makhija, executive director of IMPACT, an organization aimed at helping Indian Americans get elected to office.

READ MORE: Delaware buzzing as Democratic National Convention gets underway

Wilmington, Delaware is buzzing as a virtual Democratic National Convention gets underway on Monday night.

"We can see the representation of someone who doesn't just come from our communities but has been an extraordinary public servant. She's qualified and has the right policies that will move us forward on so many issues," he said.

The evening will also include speeches former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, who will give his live remarks from the Museum of American Revolution in Old City.

What's the 2020 DNC speaker lineup?

Here's what we know about speaker lineup and other events scheduled for each day as announced by the Democratic National Committee:

Monday, Aug. 17

  • Theme of the evening: "We the People"
  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer
  • Representative Jim Clyburn
  • Convention Chairman Representative Bennie Thompson
  • Representative Gwen Moore
  • Former Governor John Kasich
  • Senator Doug Jones
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Tuesday, Aug. 18

  • Theme of the evening: "Leadership Matters"
  • Former Acting US Attorney General Sally Yates
  • Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester
  • Former President Bill Clinton
  • Former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden

Wednesday, Aug. 19

  • Theme of the evening: "A More Perfect Union"
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Governor Tony Evers
  • Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
  • Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
  • Senator Kamala Harris, the Vice Presidential Nominee
  • Former President Barack Obama

Thursday, Aug. 20

  • Theme of the evening: "America's Promise"
  • Senator Cory Booker
  • Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Senator Tammy Baldwin
  • Senator Tammy Duckworth
  • Senator Chris Coons
  • The Biden Family
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden

Biden will formally accept the party's nomination from Wilmington's Chase Center on Thursday evening.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.