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The LA Progressive sat down with former national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, Nina Turner, to discuss the direction the Democratic Party should take in light of the recent national and even worldwide protests. Turner—who was formerly the president and public face of Our Revolution—stressed the need for unity in defeating Donald Trump in November. But the firebrand added, “The Democratic Party must understand that opposition to Donald Trump is not enough—especially not with the murder of George Floyd and all the outrage that has followed.”

Nina Turner Primary Battle

Turner, whose expansive political portfolio includes strategic delegate advisor of RootsAction, is on the hunt to have the California delegation to the Democratic National Convention chaired by someone elected by the delegates. “We can’t go on with business as usual. The chair of the delegation should be elected by the delegates.” Turner stressed the need to democratize the process. “This decision should not be made for them, it should be made by them.”

Four-fifths of California’s Bernie delegates have signed a statement calling for Congressman Ro Khanna to chair the California delegation to the Democratic National Convention in mid-August.

Four-fifths of California’s Bernie delegates have signed a statement calling for Congressman Ro Khanna to chair the California delegation to the Democratic National Convention in mid-August. Khanna, the progressive congressional representative from Northern California, was one of Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign’s national co-chairs. Turner asserts that as state delegation chair, Khanna would be well-positioned to serve as a voice for authentic unity behind a ticket headed by Biden for the imperative of defeating Trump.

“The Democratic Party must decide if it’s going to be the party of working people, whether it will support college for all and healthcare for all and the Green New Deal,” she said. “Whether Democrats are going to champion issues that matter to working people—and African Americans especially.”

California’s495 members will elect their delegation’s chair during an online meeting on June 28th. Under normal circumstances—and there’s nothing normal anywhere you look these days—Governor Gavin Newsom might expect to get the nod, almost as a natural order of business, especially with his widely acknowledged rumored dreams of one day running for president himself.

Key to former vice president Joe Biden’s campaign to dislodge Donald Trump from the White House will be the Democratic Party’s effort to unite behind him.

Rep. Ro Khana

Rep. Ro Khana

“With this vote in California, mainline Democrats can show disaffected Berniecrats that the party as a whole will welcome progressives with open arms,” said Turner. “The Democratic National Committee needs to demonstrate that it’s truly committed to unity.”

State delegation chair is not some mere honorific, as only the chair can introduce proposals to the entire convention,reported Norman Solomon:

“Simply having the option of doing so, on issues like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, could give the state party chair leverage for programs championed by the Bernie 2020 campaign.”

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Turner, who recently became a grandmother, has spent her life working for the people. The former Ohio state senator is eager for progressives to come together for the long haul.

She concedes that progressives are not a cohesive movement—yet. But based on her endless travels and interactions with thousands across this nation, Turner is convinced that average working people need what progressives have to offer.

“The contemporary progressive movement is only four years old,” she said. “We’re going up against a machine that is older, more agile, and certainly has more money.”

And money in politics is the root cause of many of our current political woes, she feels. “Democrats must get serious about resisting big-dollar supporters.”

To counter that trend, she suggests that progressives pick three to 10 issues around which they can unite.

“That would go a long way to show the neoliberals that we are strong,” she says. “Before the year is over, we need to come together for a four-year plan for the next presidential election.”

Turner also argues for a stronger progressive media—so that the infamous Bernie Blackout can’t happen over and over again.

We need to see progressive faces in the mainstream media and we need to continue using social media the way Berniecrats have done,” she says. “Third, we need to build strong, progressive outlets like your LA Progressive—from print to online to YouTube—all united under one umbrella.


As if Nina Turner didn't have enough to do, she recently launched her own podcast aptly named, "Hello Somebody". You can hear the first episode "Let's Get Free", by clicking here:

Dick Price & Sharon Kyle
LA Progressive, Editor & Publisher

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