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Courage, Conviction, and Grace: Former State Senator Nina Turner

The Democratic Party Continues to Undermine Itself

New York Daily News

This weekend the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Democratic Party held its annual dinner in Cleveland, a $200-per-plate event. This dinner is a big deal for the Cuyahoga Dems. They give out one of the organization’s most prestigious awards, named for US Representative Louis Stokes, the first Black Congressman elected in the state of Ohio. The accolade is divided into two parts. One award is for Leadership and the other for Courage.

Louis and his brother Carl played a significant role in uniting the Democratic Party in Ohio. During this period, the party was divided largely by race and ethnicity. Voters supported candidates based on kinship in immigrant-rich Cleveland – Irish, Italian, Jewish, Black Descendants of Slaves, etc. Mr. Stokes crossed these lines to strengthen the party. It was not pretty or clean. However, in the end, the Democratic Party followed his lead and came together as a much stronger party. Every Ohio Democrat owes Representative Stokes a debt of gratitude. Especially, the White Dems that can count on Black votes whether they deliver on policy or not.

At the dinner, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party neglected to mention the history of the Stokes brothers. No mention of their contributions to the event programs. This affront was beyond disrespectful.

Insult to Injury

Enter Former State Senator and Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Executive Committee Member, Nina Turner. She and her husband Jeffrey attended the event though the Senator was very sick with the flu. Additionally, her support for Bernie Sanders has not earned her many friends in the Democratic Party, in and outside of Ohio. She may not have felt as welcome as she should.

This night Senator Turner was being honored with the Courage half of the Rep Louis Stokes Award- entirely appropriate. Senator Turner is a History Professor and is well aware of Representative Stokes and his contributions. Eric Jonathan Brewer, a friend, and supporter of the Turners reported that the award ceremony was lackluster, to say the least – another intentional sleight. They did not even mention her as a potential candidate for office in 2018 and beyond.

The manner in which the entire affair was handled became the final straw for Senator Turner and the Cuyahoga County Dems. She decided to resign her membership in the organization. However, she remains a member of the Democratic Party.


I have reported the facts as I know them. I am an opinion writer. I’m now moving on to my opinion. The rest of this article is in no way representative of Senator Nina Turner or her feelings concerning this issue, to the best of my knowledge.

The Democratic Party is imploding. They have no plan to help the average American. Dems are shunning young people (future), marginalizing their most beloved members/allies (popularity), and not supporting progressive legislation in any convincing manner (policy). They have been getting slaughtered electorally by the GOP for nearly a decade (politics). A party that is failing in policy, politics, and popularity while shunning the youth is no longer concerned with their constituents or the country, at large. They are like some of the citizens of Pompeii that were unearthed clutching their personal riches instead of family members as Vesuvius erupted. They have become entirely bankrupt, unaware, and self-serving.

Nina Turner is a progressive Superstar, and she has the ear of Millenials. The Dems have pushed away one of the few bonafide progressives that still had faith that the party could turn around. In fact, several high-profile Dems have decided to be her enemy. Some are declared, and some are behind the scenes. Nina is a brilliant, persuasive, and compelling orator. One of the very best in American political discourse. That threatens the status quo. Her genuineness and compassion are reflected in her every word and deed. She openly supports uber-popular, bold progressive policy – a no-no in the current Democratic Party.

What’s at Stake

Donald Trump is occupying the White House with a Republican Congress, and Neil Gorsuch is headed for the Supreme Court, mostly unscathed. What are the Dems doing? They are going over the cliff like lemmings. Russia hysteria has lost its luster. No matter what the FBI finds, Trump will not be impeached. That will take Congress to act.

The Middle Class is disintegrating. My community, the Black community is in economic and social collapse. This collapse is the result of deprivation and predation from American policy and practice throughout our history on this continent. I openly blame the Clintons for the role they played in post-Civil Rights Era America. Denying this means you are living in a fantasy world and I have no time for you.

Nina Turner is the best of us. She deserves the utmost respect. She has earned every bit of it. My support for her is unwavering because she is dedicated to making American lives better.

This moment has further galvanized me. I will make an announcement on Friday.

Written by Michael Graham

Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Veteran, Social Justice Warrior. City by birth, Country by default. Follow Michael on Twitter @BLUpfront.

Michael Graham is a Senior Writer for Progressive Army.


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  1. Totally agree with your admiration of Sen Nina Turner — she’s smart, talented, energetic, and overall fabulous. She more than earned that Courage award just for speaking up for Bernie, even if she hadn’t earned it for a hundred other actions. I am watching the County Dems degenerate back to the Dimora era, and am NOT happy with it. Haven’t seen this ‘thewaywithanoa’ before, but I really like her POV.

    But come, let us reason together … if the existing establishment isn’t cutting it — and as structured, I agree it totally is NOT cutting it — then we either co-opt it to become more responsive to actual people or we abandon it and create … what? Because there has to be something better than the existing two party system. Let’s dream and discuss what it might be, and how to get there.

    Sen Turner is a great standard bearer for what I would like to see in government — and I want to see a sufficient organization behind her to get her the success she deserves. Please let me know how I can help that to happen — email attached.

    Hey Dems? You’re losing this AARP boomer from the burbs. Just sayin … check yourselves. Cause you’re losing me for not being human enough, not being accomplished enough, not being dedicated enough to the people who put you there. If you’ve alienated Nina Turner, you’re fools.

    Rock ON, Progressive Army!!

  2. You just lifted the words off of another reporters page. Eric Brewer wrote this exact article the other day. This is plagiarized. Wow! Really!

    • I am a Super supporter of Nina Turner-have campaigned for her. attended several of her speaking engagements. She is totally qualified to run for GOVERNOR OF OHIO-I WILL CAMPAIGN FOR HER. Everybody is upset with the “no backbone Democratic Party.” Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders are the only ones (besides Hillary) with any aggressiveness to stand up to the Republicans. Dem. must appeal to the college, rural Americans, middle class-the didn’t and lost. My son is a college student-he campaigned for Bernie (he all the students following). He is considering getting into politics -Major is : Political Science, double major in History-he is very smart-like my other nephews majored in political science then military. People are telling him he should be more involved in politics.

      So, glad they finally removed that Wasserman from DNC, CHAIRWOMAN. She had no vision, creativity, for the Party. Allowed those computer leaks. She is sad, no drive. I hope Perez will reorganize the Party for 2020. REACH OUT TO ALL PEOPLE. AGGRESSIVELY.
      GO NINA!!!!!!

    • Indeed! This ENTIRE PIECE had been plagiarized! Eric Brewer was credited simply in regards to the awards ceremony. Once a writer plagiarizes another’s work, it is impossible to ever trust any of their work. Eric Brewer published his OWN work on Twitter, not someone else’s. He is definately owed an apology and the appropriate credit.

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SPLASH! News for March 23, 2017

Courage, Conviction, and Grace: Former State Senator Nina Turner