Sen. Nina Turner and Dr. Cornel West Keynote People’s Convention
August 7, 2020
Detroit, MI — One week after the Democratic and Republican national conventions, Bernie 2020 National Co-Chair Sen. Nina Turner and Bernie 2020 surrogate Dr. Cornel West will join the Movement for a People’s Party to headline The People’s Convention. Turner will deliver a speech titled: Choice, Challenge and Change: The Necessity of a People’s Movement.
On Sunday, August 30, from 4-6 pm EST, thousands of Americans from all walks of life will gather to discuss the state of the nation at The People’s Convention. At the conclusion, participants will vote on forming a major new political party free of corporate money and influence.
The Convention will be digital and broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages with well over a million followers, including The Jimmy Dore Show which will carry the convention to its nearly 800,000 subscribers on YouTube.
The convention will ask: “What kind of world do we want to build from the devastation of the pandemic and economic depression?”
It will feature speakers and a regional breakout session. There will be montages of the short, heartfelt videos recorded by hundreds of MPP’s 80,000 members across the country. Speakers will discuss plans to become the largest party in America in four years, including building local hubs and state parties, sending representatives to Congress in 2022, and winning the presidency in 2024.
Sen. Turner is the host of the Hello Somebody Podcast and former president of Our Revolution. She is a former Ohio State Senator and professor of African American history. Dr. Cornel West is the Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University. He is the author of 20 books, a frequent commentator on CNN, and co-host of the Tight Rope Podcast.
“It looks as if the system cannot reform itself,” said West of the American political and economic system on CNN in May. “Yes we must vote the neofascist catastrophe out of the White House but the neoliberal disaster who enters the White House must be fought with a people’s movement and party,” he said, accepting the invitation to The People’s Convention.
Turner and West will be joined by political commentator Jimmy Dore, host of The Jimmy Dore Show and Comedy Central specials, and Ryan Knight, activist, Medicare for all advocate and host of the podcast “Amped Up.”
Also in attendance will be fellow Bernie 2020 leaders, including climate scientist and campaign surrogate Dr. Peter Kalmus. “Climate and ecological breakdown is a planetary emergency, but corporate influence over both parties has blocked action for decades. We need a party free from corporate corruption – a people’s party,” said Kalmus.
Former Bernie 2020 volunteer national high school director, and national coordinator with Students for a People’s Party, Amaya Wangeshi, will speak. “There is no more compromise, there is no more reform, we have to stop waiting. People are dying right now, people are facing injustice right now; I don’t believe in sacrificing millions of lives just so you can play politics,” said Wangeshi of the corporate parties. The 16-year old daughter of Kenyan immigrants is also the founder of Beyond Bernie and founding director of Our Time, Our Revolution’s student organization. “The world better get ready, change is coming, and it’s coming like you’ve never seen it before.”
Omar Fernandez, President of the American Postal Workers Union of Vermont, which has endorsed MPP, will speak about the labor movement’s need for a party for working people. Jerry Perez, field director with Our Revolution Los Angeles and a U.S. Marine who was deployed to the Iraq and Afghan wars will speak on behalf of Veterans for a People’s Party. Cuban-American Eynelys Vinson, the vice-chair of Our Revolution Los Angeles, will share how Democrats block progress even when they have full control of government, and why Latinos need a party that speaks for them.
The People’s Convention comes as more than 700 National Sanders Delegates have drawn the line with the Democratic Party, stating that they will vote against the party platform unless it includes Medicare for all. It also arrives as the DNC Rules Committee overwhelmingly voted to allow the party to accept corporate PAC money and permit corporate lobbyists to sit on the DNC.
The Convention also takes place in the middle of a raging pandemic and unprecedented cascading economic collapse. Two avoidable catastrophes that the Democrats and Republicans knowingly chose when they spent trillions of dollars bailing out Wall Street while giving insufficient relief to the tens of millions who lost their jobs.
As a result, child hunger is at record levels, breadlines are overwhelmed, five million people have lost their employer-based health insurance, and up to 28 million people face eviction. Forty percent of small businesses may close forever and 42 percent of jobs may never return. Conditions that were just made dramatically worse because Congress let expanded unemployment insurance benefits and an evictions moratorium on federally-backed properties expire.
“Four years from now, at the People’s Convention of 2024, when The People’s Party stands poised to win Congress and the White House, we will look back and celebrate this gathering as the moment that our nation turned the page on the Second Gilded Age. The moment that we took fate into our own hands. The moment that we gave rise to a new progressive era,” said Nick Brana, national coordinator with the Movement for a People’s Party. Brana was the national political outreach coordinator with Bernie 2016 and a founding staffer and former electoral manager with Our Revolution.