Nina Turner: It Is Not Our Job to Fit Into the Democratic Establishment

From The Nation – By Collier Meyerson

The new president of Our Revolution on race, class, electoral strategy, and whether we’ll feel the Bern in 2020.

JUNE 30, 2017

Nina Turner is a “proud homegirl” of Cleveland, Ohio, where she was a state senator from 2008 to 2014 and a candidate for secretary of state in 2014. Long viewed as a rising star inside the Democratic Party, Turner began 2015 affiliated with the Ready for Hillary Super PAC, only to throw her support behind Bernie Sanders later in the year. During the primary, Turner became one of the most prominent black voices to stump for Sanders, and she has remained an active Sanders ally, joining the board of Our Revolution. On Thursday, the organization announced that Turner would take over as president, replacing Jeff Weaver, who was Sanders’s campaign manager in 2016. The Nation spoke with Turner about her goals for the group. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Collier Meyerson: You stood out as one of the first black politicians to throw your support behind Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, and it ended up that black voters in the Midwest came out for Sanders more than in other parts of the country. But the Senator wasn’t able to pull the kind of support among black voters that he needed to win. And on top of that, the Bernie movement was criticized a lot for being largely white and also middle class. So, I’m wondering, what will you do in your leadership role to bring more POC into the fold.

Nina Turner: I want to push back on that a little bit. I think some of that narrative during the campaign was exaggerated a bit. But if you do the visuals, yes, there were lots of, not just middle-class white people but young white people who were far from middle class.