Worldwide ERC® provides Non-Partisan Update of the 2020 U.S. National Conventions

Worldwide ERC® aims to keep members informed about major public policy issues affecting not just U.S. workforce mobility, but global workforce mobility. As a non-partisan association, we’ll provide coverage of this year’s Democratic and Republican National Conventions as we look ahead to the U.S. elections and consider workforce mobility. Up first, the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

2020 is likely to be one of the most unprecedented elections in U.S. history. On November 3rd not only will America face more mail-in votes than any election to date, voters will also face a choice between two extremely different presidential tickets. Further, the Congressional elections could mean shifting majorities, specifically in the Senate, and understand we may not even be in a position to know the winner of the election on 3 November.

As a non-partisan association, this week we cover the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Make sure you tune in next week for our coverage of the Republican National Convention (RNC).

What is the National Convention process?

Both the DNC and RNC are four-day long events where each party showcases their public policy platform and leaders as they formally nominate their party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees.

While voters cast their ballots in primaries for who they wish to be their party’s nominee, that person is officially chosen through state and territory delegates. 1,991 of the 3,979 pledged delegates are needed to win the nomination. Senator Bernie Sanders, who dropped out of the race in April, received 1,073 delegates, while former Vice President Joe Biden won the nomination with 2,687. He then chose California Senator Kamala Harris to be his Vice President. Their ticket will face President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on 3 November and it will be the American public and the Electoral College which decide who will be America’s next President and Vice President.

DNC Day 1:

The first night of the DNC was emceed by Eva Longoria, a Mexican-American actress and activist. The message of unity was on display throughout the evening, with former Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich as well as prominent progressive Senator Bernie Sanders both making speeches to endorse Joe Biden, citing his ability to work with both sides of the aisle to pass legislation. Speeches were also delivered by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo whose state was once the epicenter of COVID-19, as well as from former First Lady Michelle Obama urging viewers to make their voices heard by voting.

DNC Day 2:

The second night of the convention was emceed by Tracee Ellis Ross, an African-American actress and activist, and was focused largely on the roll call of state and U.S. territory delegates casting their votes to nominate Joe Biden for President. A common theme of the night was Biden’s experience as a leader with a career in public service spanning decades. Vouching for Biden in speeches were former Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, as well as former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Colin Powell, the latter of whom served under Republican President George W. Bush. The final speaker of the night was former Second Lady Jill Biden, who gave a speech about the need to heal a divided nation.

DNC Day 3:

The third night was hosted by Kerry Washington, an African-American actress and activist who kicked off an evening focused largely on diversity, inspirational women leaders, as well as public policy issues that touch workforce mobility ranging from job creation, the need for economic growth all the way to support for comprehensive immigration reform. Prominent female leaders from the Democratic establishment such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and two-time Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi gave their remarks. Later in the evening President Barack Obama gave a speech on a need for change in leadership, followed by the formal nomination and acceptance speech of Joe Biden’s Vice President pick, California Senator Kamala Harris.

Senator Kamala Harris, who made history as the first African-American and Asian-American woman nominated to be Vice President, touched on issues related to diversity and the need for immigration reform. As the daughter of immigrants, she credited being raised by her late mother, a scientist and racial justice advocate, for her values and desire to uplift immigrants. She outlined her priorities alongside Joe Biden’s: building a stronger economy, ending the pandemic, and taking on racial injustice.

DNC Day 4:

The fourth and final night of the convention was hosted by actress and activist Julia Louis-Dreyfus for an evening focused on the theme of “America’s Promise.” Prominent speakers were Senators Cory Booker, Tammy Baldwin, and Tammy Duckworth, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Joe Biden accepted his nomination and focused his speech on three crises facing the country: the Coronavirus pandemic, its negative affect on the economy, and the need for racial justice. He stated he will represent all of us, as that is the job of the President of the United States.

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How This Impacts Mobility

Issues that are important to mobility, such as the economy, workforce immigration, tax policies and COVID-19 workplace safety are a part of the Democratic Party’s Platform and presidential candidate Joe Biden’s policy proposals. Specifically, Biden and Harris support expanding workplace safety standards during the pandemic and levying fines on businesses that do not meet those standards. They also believe in a more global view of immigration and have indicted a willingness to lift the restrictions on new immigrant and nonimmigrant visas put into place by the Trump administration, while looking to increase the number of high-skilled visas, implementing a wage-based allocation process for certain nonimmigrant visas, and maintaining the ability of H-4 visa holders to continue to seek employment in the U.S. Biden and Harris also supports raising the corporate income tax rate to 28%, which faces an uphill battle in Congress. Whatever the outcome of the election, Worldwide ERC® will monitor and advocate on issues that affect workforce mobility.

The DNC and RNC are reminders of the importance to get out and vote. These steps and resources can make participating in the democratic process of voting easier while working or living outside of the U.S. For those who've recently moved domestically, registering to vote in your new location can ensure that your voice is heard. For those who are U.S. citizens, here is where you can register to vote if you are voting stateside.

Next week we will provide coverage of the Republican National Convention and share the party’s platform.

For more information on the conventions and the election, please reach out to our Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy, Rebecca Peters,