Steve Perkins knows few surprises will come at the National Democratic Convention in Charlotte, but the at-large delegate from the Decatur area is still excited.
"It's going to be sort of pro forma," he said. "I'm going to Charlotte as an evangelist for Georgia and Georgia's future."
Perkins thinks Georgia is not as red as most people seem to believe. It's just that state Democrats do a bad job of getting out the vote. In 2014 and 2016, he said, "We have a real shot at turning this state blue."
Perkins, 50, serves as communications chairman for the DeKalb Democratic Party. He's one of 15 at-large Georgia delegates.
"I'm sort of coordinating communications with the delegation -- 145 to 150 delegates -- mostly through a Facebook group we've set up," he said.
This is his first convention. He leaves Sunday and expects to return the following Friday.
Perkins grew up with political parents. His father taught at Upsala College in New Jersey, which saw plenty of late-Sixties turmoil, and he has strong memories of going with his parents to protests at Nixon's second inauguration in 1972.
Perkins graduated from Decatur High in 1980 and attended Berry College in North Georgia. He volunteered for local campaigns -- when Bob Wilson ran for district attorney and Manuel Maloof for DeKalb CEO.
He and his wife moved around the country as she attended graduate school and in 2008 he got involved in the Obama campaign. When they moved to Decatur in 2010, "I immediately got involved in the local party," he said.
He has served on several state party committees since then.
After the convention, the telecommunications consultant and other members of the local Democratic party plan a get-out-the-vote campaign.