MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Awais Khaleel said the atmosphere at a traditional Democratic National Convention feels a lot like watching his favorite team in the playoffs.
“It’s not that different from being at Fiserv [Forum] and watching the Milwaukee Bucks, which I also really love and was really looking forward to this year,” he said.
The Dane County Assistant District Attorney won’t get to celebrate the Bucks or the Democratic Party in downtown Milwaukee this summer. But, like the NBA postseason, a reimagined convention rolls on. Khaleel is an elected delegate representing Wisconsin’s second congressional district during the virtual DNC.
Monday’s Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus meeting was the first bit of convention business Khaleel took in. He told Spectrum News 1 his teenage experience as an Indian-American Muslim in the years after 9/11 is part of what inspired him to become a civil rights attorney and eventually a prosecutor.
“If anything, it’s strengthened my belief that we can make a real difference in this country,” Khaleel said. “But the law, just like policy, is simply a vehicle to ensure that we represent people correctly.”
Well before law school, Khaleel’s interest in social justice brought him to the 2004 Boston DNC. The 19-year-old College Democrat met then-Sen. Joe Biden as he supported the John Kerry-John Edwards ticket.
“I got to be on the floor Tuesday and Wednesday night,” Khaleel recalled. “Tuesday night was that famous Barack Obama speech that introduced then-State Sen. Barack Obama to the world.”
He won’t physically be in the room to hear the breakout speech of the 2020 DNC, but Khaleel said he’ll enjoy watching this convention - and his hometown Bucks - from the comfort of his Madison home.