Updated: Dec 17, 2020
I first met Nina Turner when she was running for Ohio’s Secretary of State and our mutual friend Lisa Bloom was holding a fundraiser for her in Los Angeles. I’d never heard of Nina but I certainly like Lisa so I went. And I wasn’t expecting what I got: one of those I’ve-been-gobsmacked-by-a-rock-star experiences. There are politicians and then there are bolts of lightning. Nina Turner is both.
I met Nina again a few years later at an event in New York City, and by then she was connected to the Bernie world. As time went on I got to experience her not only as a blazingly passionate politician, but as a genuinely friendly and heartfelt woman. I feel about Nina what millions of other people feel: thank God she’s here.
After the 2020 election, anyone would assume it’s time for Nina to get back on the campaign trail. For myself, it was simply a matter of waiting to see what she planned to do. Whatever it was, I knew I’d want to support it.
I’m thrilled she’s running in the special election for the seat that Marcia Fudge is leaving vacant in Ohio’s 11th District. It’s time to rebuild this country, and I can’t think of anything that could do more to achieve that than electing Nina Turner to Congress. Recently she was on my podcast and I asked her about her childhood. This isn’t a woman who simply has compassion for the poor; she was raised in poverty, escaped its shackles, and on some soul level must have made a commitment to God to never, ever forget those who are now suffering in the place where she once was. She doesn’t just request economic justice; her very presence cries out for it. She was raised in the church, and it shows in her prophetic presence.
From Medicare for All to a living wage, from good paying jobs to quality educations, from reforms in our broken criminal justice system to holding police accountable for misconduct toward black people, Nina will bring to Congress a passion for justice. Nothing could be more important, at a time when injustice is so weirdly en vogue.
None of us need to be told: Trump will be out of the White House soon but the Trump phenomenon is far from over. Ivanka will run for Senate; Kaleigh I’m sure will be a right wing media star, and the list goes on. From Tom Cotton to Mark Rubio, Mitch McConnell to Kevin McCarthy, Congress will still be full of those whose vision of a world that works is one that leaves out the poor, leaves out the earth, and leaves out the well-being of future generations. We must meet all that with star power of our own. We must make sure there are people in Congress who nail to the wall the hypocrisy of the corporate whores passing for legislators at this tragic and foreboding time.
And no one has more star power than Nina. It’s not false stardom; it’s real stardom. It’s not the artifice of a neo-liberal message board, but the real thing of political passion at a time when we wonder if real things even exist anymore. She’s here. She’s running for Congress. We have got to help her so she can help us. I know in my gut, and with all my heart, that she will.
The thermometer above is one way to contribute to Nina's campaign. Just click on the image and it will take you to a page of candidates Marianne has endorsed. Last cycle, her efforts helped drive victories for Jamaal Bowman, Ed Markey and Nikema Williams.