Dunwoody resident Long Tran got the chance to introduce President Joe Biden during a drive-in rally at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth on April 29. 

Tran owns Peachy Corners Cafe in Dunwoody and helped organize a local vigil for victims of the mass murders at metro Atlanta spas in March. He spoke just before the newly elected president. The rally marked the end of Biden’s first 100 days in office. 

Tran spoke about Georgia’s recent election of two Democratic senators, how COVID-19 has affected the Asian American community, and his own experience as the son of immigrants. 

“As the son of two South Vietnamese immigrants … today standing here, [on] the eve of the 46th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon [in the Vietnam War], this is an extraordinary moment for me,” Tran said during the rally. 

A screenshot of Long Tran’s speech at the April 29 rally for President Joe Biden.

Tran said the Democratic Party of Georgia asked him to speak at the rally, but he did not know he would be introducing the president until moments before. 

“I was asked the day before if I could speak at the rally and of course I said yes,” he said. “At the time I was thinking that the speech would probably be one of the speeches that was a couple hours before the president arrived. But then yesterday afternoon, they asked if I could go ahead and give the introduction after my speech.”

Tran said he was nervous, and while he didn’t think he was asked to speak because of the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon or the upcoming Asian Heritage Month in May, he did feel a bit of extra pressure. 

“I felt an extra weight of making the most of this opportunity to represent my Asian community proudly and bring up things that may not get to be addressed on a stage like that,” he said. 

Despite his foray into public speaking and experience with organizing,Tran said he likely won’t run for local office any time soon. 

“I don’t think there’s necessarily a need for me to enter that realm,” he said. “I much more enjoy reaching out to people, knocking on doors, talking to people, and letting them know my perspective and why I feel like these candidates deserve their votes.”

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.