Cover designed by Eric Schoenborn, @ericcades
Turnout! is an indispensable voter turnout manual in the age of extreme inequality, systemic racism, climate change, and pandemics. Turnout! offers strategies and real-world tactics to mobilize millions of discouraged, suppressed, and new voters for “emergency elections,” such as the 2020 presidential race.
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Founder and President, She The People
An author, speaker, veteran, and former President of Democracy in Color, Aimee Allison is recognized as one of the leaders for uplifting women of color in politics. Founder and President of She the People, a social and educational network for women of color, Ms. Allison has brought together the most promising women of color political candidates, strategists, and movement leaders that have contributed to the increasing numbers of women in politics. She has also led forums and initiatives on both race and gender at the Democratic National Convention and Politicon, among others. Ms. Allison works to make social justice the law of the land not only by creating a network for women of color in politics but also by educating the public through lectures, her podcast “Democracy in Color,” and contributions to news outlets such as the New York Times, The Hill, and ESSENCE Magazine.
Maria Teresa Kumar
President, Voto Latino
María Teresa Kumar is a political and voting rights activist from Colombia who is dedicated to creating a more inclusive political participation environment in the US. As a co-founder of Voto Latino, a technology-based non-profit organization working to increase voter turnout in younger Latinx generations, she has helped to successfully register over a quarter million voters so far. She also co-founded the National Voter Registration Day, which is the largest one-day effort to register voters in the United States and has partnered with a multitude of influencers to lead campaigns on education and voter registration in multiple languages. Kumar’s groundbreaking work as a recognized media commentator, writer, and speaker has earned her countless awards from receiving an Emmy nomination for Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis to Elle Magazine’s 10 Most Influential Women in Washington D.C.
Executive Director, Honor the Earth
An American environmentalist, economist, and writer, Winona LaDuke is well-known for her commitment to preserving the environment and fighting for social justice. She is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, a Native environmental agency organization that plays a large role in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and tribal land claim disputes. Twice, she has run for Vice President as the nominee from the Green Party and in 2016 became the first person ever to win an electoral vote in the Green Party. LaDuke has also co-founded the Indigenous Women’s Network, co-founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project which has bought back 1,200 acres of taken land and reforested it, and has worked closely with Women of All Red Nations to publicize American forced sterilization of Native American women. Additionally, LaDuke has written multiple books on Native American life and conflict and has three children.
Laureate Professor, University of Arizona
An American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and activist, Noam Chomsky wears many hats as one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world. He is well-known in many circles of excellence as the “father of modern linguistics,” author of over 100 books, and as a former professor at MIT and University of Arizona. Chomsky has been a vocal New Left political activist for decades, speaking out against war, power of wealthy elites, inequality, imperialism, and capitalism. Though he has been involved in countless marches and protests over the years, his primary contribution to political activism in the United States has revolved around education and publication; he is one of the most cited scholars alive. A person who seeks to share his truth rather than speak for fame, Chomsky enjoys a private life with his three kids when he is not holding seminars or writing political activist pieces.
PRINCIPAL AND FOUNDER, ASO COMMUNICATIONS
The principal and founder of ASO Communications, Anat Shenker-Onsorio has devoted herself to studying and advising others on the ways in which language and rhetoric can be used to encourage the implementation of effective laws and policies. She is the host of the podcast Brave New Words in which she, along with her guests, analyze progressive successes in politics to reveal the strategies which guided such campaigns to victory. She is also the author of Don’t Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy, in which she navigates the dialect of misinformation to lay a foundation which guides the left to success within the turbulent economic debate.
PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, BOSTON COLLEGE
Charles Derber is a well-known intellectual and lifelong activist for human and environmental rights. He is a professor of sociology at Boston College who teaches courses in political economics and current social issues. He also frequently presents his research in podcasts and social media videos. Derber has written twenty-three books, including several best-sellers reviewed in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and other leading media. Aspects of American life he focuses on for his books and seminars are most notably the crises of capitalism, inequality, war, globalization, corporate power, the climate crisis, and the mobilization of revolutions against these issues. His most recent books include “Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice” and “Democracy in Perilous Times and Glorious Causes: The Irrationality of Capitalism, War and Politics.” He currently resides in Boston with his wife and dog, Mojo.
PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCILOR
Seated in 2016, Philadelphia City Council member Helen Gym spent more than two decades as one of the city’s leading organizers in the areas of public education and immigrant rights. As chair of Council’s Children and Youth Committee, she leads a public schools agenda that helped end a 17-year state takeover of the Philadelphia public schools, expanded pre-K, and drove new investments in student supports. She won historic passage of a law guaranteeing a right to counsel for renters and won millions of dollars for the city’s first tenant legal defense fund, shallow rent subsidies, and youth homelessness. She has also focused her legislative efforts on economic justice issues by expanding the city’s living wage laws, passing a Fair Workweek law to give advance notice of schedules for over 130,000 hourly workers in the city, and establishing a permanent Department of Labor to enforce the city’s worker protection laws. She is Vice Chair of Local Progress, a network of progressive municipal leaders, where she has helped lead national efforts around Sanctuary Cities and progressive public education policies.
LT. GOVERNOR, WISCONSIN
Born in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhood, Mandela Barnes has proven himself to be a steadfast champion of progressive causes. Lt. Gov. Barnes believes everyone in Wisconsin and across America deserves the opportunity to thrive, regardless of ZIP code. Growing up in a middle class union household, Barnes learned the value of hard work and the importance of community. From his days as a community organizer to the halls of the Wisconsin State Capitol, Barnes had dedicated himself to dismantling the policies and practices designed to systematically leave people behind – specifically Black people and our Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American brothers and sisters. Lt. Gov. Barnes knows that making our government work for everyone requires widespread engagement and participation in our democracy. It’s time for progressives to get back on the winning side of things in order to deliver for everyday people.
CO-FOUNDER, RESTAURANT OPPORTUNITIES CENTERS UNITED
PRESIDENT OF RIVERA CONSULTING, INC.
STUDENT ACTIVIST, BOSTON COLLEGE
Josh Behrens (he/him) is an immigration paralegal and immigration justice organizer in Boston, MA. He recently graduated from Boston College. During his time there, he organized for climate, racial, and worker justice and founded the Young Democratic Socialists of Boston College
Campaign Manager, Edmondson for Governor (2018)
Michael Clingman is currently a partner in Catapult Project Management Group, a research and consulting firm whose clients have included the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, Stand for Children, and the College Association for Liability Management (CALM), and the Oklahoma Center for Progress
He served as the Secretary of the State Election Board, Oklahoma’s chief elections officer. In that capacity Mr. Clingman oversaw Oklahoma’s statewide election system.
Michael Clingman served as the Campaign Manager for Drew Edmondson’s 2018 candidacy for Governor of Oklahoma.
He currently directs the Oklahoma Coalition for Workers’ Rights, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for positive changes in Oklahoma’s workers compensation and unemployment systems as well as advocating for an increase in the Oklahoma minimum wage.
National Elections Turnout Working Group
Julianna Carbone is a recent graduate of Boston College where she studied Islamic Civilization and Societies and minored in Management and Leadership. While at Boston College, Julianna was involved in a wide-range of extracurriculars, attending Forte Leadership and Business conferences, swimming for Boston College’s Division I program, and teaching swim lessons to children and adults in the surrounding community. Her studies culminated in her year long senior thesis which applied business decision making models to U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East, specifically the 1953 Coup of Iran. Julianna is currently working in her hometown of Boca Raton, FL and hopes to continue her studies of global and Middle Eastern policy in the coming years.
National Elections Turnout Working Group
AUDREY VAS, CONOR L. HICKS, CONNER COLES, JULIANNA CARBONE, MORGAN JEMTRUD, SOPHIA CARTER, HANNAH LEBEAU, KARA JOHANSEN, AND JOHN GEHMAN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GREENPEACE USA
Annie Leonard is the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA an independent environmental organization which uses research, creative communication, non violent direct action and people-power to drive environmental change. Greenpeace takes no corporate or government donations and is people powered, both financially and through its campaigns. Prior to this role, she worked internationally on environmental health and justice issues for 2 decades and created The Story of Stuff, a 20-minute film and book that take viewers on an eye-opening tour of the often hidden environmental and social costs of our consumer driven culture. The Story of Stuff film has generated over 40 million views in over 200 countries and territories since its launch, making it one of the most watched online environmental films to date and sparking a much needed conversation about patterns of production and consumption today.
Dana R. Fisher
PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Dana R. Fisher is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on studying democracy, civic participation, activism and environmental policymaking. Recent studies focus on the youth climate movement, the movement against systemic racism, and the American Resistance. She has authored over sixty peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, and has written six books, including Activism, Inc (Stanford University Press 2006) and American Resistance (Columbia University Press 2019).
Professor Fisher has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS Newshour, and various programs on BBC, CBC, and National Public Radio. She has written about her work for the Washington Post, TIME, Politico, Business Insider, the American Prospect, and other outlets. She has presented her work to federal agencies, foundations, and other organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Fisher is currently serving as a Contributing Author for Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Review (IPCC AR6) writing about activism and citizen engagement.
PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC LAW, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Ian Haney López is a law professor and commentator on coded racism in American politics. His most recent book is Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (New Press, Fall 2019).
Ian holds an endowed chair as the Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches in the areas of race and constitutional law. He co-founded the Race-Class Narrative Project, exploring how to defeat dog whistle politics. He also co-chaired the AFL-CIO’s recent Advisory Council on Racial and Economic Justice. In addition to Merge Left and Dog Whistle Politics, Ian is also the author of White by Law as well as Racism on Trial, books that critique the legal construction of race.
Ian has been a visiting law professor at Yale, New York University, and Harvard, and holds a master’s degree in history from Washington University, a master’s in public policy from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard.
PROFESSOR OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS & SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, HOWARD UNIVERSITY
Dr. Karthik Balasubramanian is broadly interested in real-world optimization, especially as it is applied to base-of-the-pyramid business strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa and voter turnout among traditionally marginalized urban communities in the United States. Karthik co-founded BlockPower, an open-source platform that helps grassroots groups recruit, train, and pay citizens of majority-Black neighborhoods to talk to people they already know about voting. He earned a Doctorate of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where his dissertation focused on the optimization of inventory management for mobile money agents in Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia. Over the past 15 years, Karthik has conducted high-impact strategic analytics for the World Food Programme, the American Red Cross, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, corporate clients as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, and many political campaigns.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PRESENTE.ORG
Executive Director of the largest online Latinx organizing group known as Presente.org, Matt Nelson is a Columbian-born social activist and seasoned campaign strategist. He was also the Organizing Director at ColorForChange.org, the nation’s largest online Black civil rights organization, for five years. Mr. Nelson grew up in the Midwest and is a co-founder of several worker-owned cooperatives in multiple Midwest cities, where he has also been a successful community organizer and activist trainer. He has been a lifelong advocate for social justice using technology, written media, and culture through the many organizing groups he has worked with and the books he has contributed to, namely “Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion” and “Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Times.” Mr. Nelson currently lives in the California Bay Area.
President, Southwest Voter Registration Project
Lydia Camarillo was named President of SVREP after the untimely passing of Antonio Gonzalez on December 13, 2018.
Camarillo has been a part of SVREP since 1994, when she joined SVREP as Executive Director under Gonzalez leadership. She left in 1999, and returned to SVREP in 2003 as Vice President.
Under Lydia’s tenure, the mobilization of Latinos has grown from 5.4 to 15.5 million. SVREP projects that 17.5 million Latinos will be registered to vote by the 2020 General Presidential Election.
She was named one of the 100 Sisters in Suffrage by the National Organization of Women to celebrate the passage of 19th Amendment to US Constitution, giving women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment celebration takes place on August 26, 2020.
Director of Communications, Healthcare-NOW!
Currently the Director of Communications for Healthcare-NOW!, Stephanie Nakajima has been fighting for human rights around the world for decades. Prior to Healthcare-NOW!, Nakajima has volunteered to support a single-payer healthcare system with Mass-Care. Outside of healthcare, Nakajima has worked for the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Danish Refugee Council in Copenhagen as a communications consultant and journalist. She has also been a writer and journalist in Tokyo covering the Fukushima nuclear crisis and organized crime and has been an editor for NextWave Advocacy group. Nakajima currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and is earning a masters in Strategic Communications.
National Elections Turnout Working Group
Hannah LeBeau is a member of the Class of 2022 at Boston College. She is majoring in Economics and minoring in Global Public Health and the Common Good. Growing up in Florida and Rhode Island, Hannah began to notice differences in the political systems, opinions, and policies between the two areas, sparking her interest in these areas. Hannah’s interest in politics and public policy, specifically in health policy, grew in college as she learned more both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. Hannah has been involved in various organizations on campus, including service organizations like 4Boston and Appalachia Volunteers, College Democrats of Boston College, and the Public Health Club where she co-leads an internship for the Boston Public Health Commission. Currently, she is an intern at the Boston Public Health Commission where she works with the Community Initiative Bureau. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a JD/MPH dual degree before continuing on to work in public health and healthcare policy.
Conor L. Hicks
National Elections Turnout Working Group
Conor Hicks is a recent graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. A seventh-generation Oregonian whose ancestors came to the state by covered wagon, Conor’s passion for public service has been lifelong. His background in politics and public policy includes service as an intern in the Capitol Hill and field offices of a United States Senator, as well as a stint in political communications for the National Democratic Training Committee in Chicago, Illinois. At BC, he was involved in the College Democrats, Generation Citizen, and sang tenor in the University Chorale. Conor is currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor.
President of the Liberty Tree Foundation
SENIOR CAMPAIGN MANAGER, PRESENTE.ORG
Nancy Treviño is a community organizer, trainer, and campaign strategist from Miami, FL. She is the Senior Campaign Manager of Presente.org –– the nation’s largest Latinx organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture. Prior to her role at Presente.org, Nancy worked alongside dozens of grassroots community organizations across the U.S., collaborated with national and international human rights organizations, and continues providing strategic organizing, digital, and communications support to advance social justice movements. She has trained dozens of activists across the country and has won multiple local and national human rights campaigns.
CO-FOUNDER, CODE PINK
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as “one of America’s most committed — and most effective — fighters for human rights” by New York Newsday, and “one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement” by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide.
She is the author of ten books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. Her most recent book, Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is part of a campaign to prevent a war with Iran and instead promote normal trade and diplomatic relations.
Her articles appear regularly in outlets such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post, CommonDreams, Alternet, and The Hill.
UNITED STATES SENATOR, OREGON
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley was born in the timber town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon. The son of a millwright, Jeff grew up in a working class neighborhood in Portland. To Jeff, America has always been about giving everyone a chance, no matter what they look like or where they come from. He has lived the American dream and has focused his whole career – both in elected office and running non-profits – on making sure that all Americans have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families. From his first election, beating two former state representatives by jogging door to door with home-printed flyers , Jeff has always known that grassroots movements are the key to changing how government works and whom it works for. Our democracy is at its best when ordinary people have a seat at the table, and Jeff Merkley fights every day to make our government more accessible to the people it serves.
NETWORK PRESIDENT AND CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY
Jennifer Epps-Addison, J.D., is the Network President and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy and the CPD Action’s network of partner organizations in over 30 states. She is also the former Chief Program Officer for the Liberty Hill Foundation, a group that funds grassroots organizations fighting for social change, and a former trial attorney in the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. Epps-Addison has dedicated over 15 years of her life to community organizing and social change towards racial and economic justice. Her most notable accomplishments include leading the campaign for the Milwaukee Jobs Act, fighting for paid sick days, and advocating for in-state tuition for unauthorized immigrants. She has been recognized as an “Activist to Watch” by Bill Moyers, a “Friend of Education” by the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Schools, and has received the 2013 Edna Award from the Berger-Marks Foundation for fueling social change.
DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Steve Israel, a U.S. Congressman for New York from 2001–2017, directs the nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University. He has published two critically acclaimed satires of Washington: The Global War on Morris (2014) and Big Guns (2018). As a member of Congress, Israel served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (2011–2015). Israel is a regular political commentator on MSNBC, and his insights appear regularly in the New York Times, The Atlantic magazine, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He was profiled on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and has appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
VICE PRESIDENT, DENTERLEIN
Katherine is a Boston-based communications strategist who advises advocacy organizations, nonprofits, and forward-looking companies on both strategic positioning and narrative campaigns to shape the public conversation. One of her primary practice areas is sustainability — promoting climate change mitigation and resilience, green open spaces, transit-oriented housing, and equitable public transportation.
Prior to consulting, Katherine served as Communications Director for Massachusetts State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz. She built communications strategies for bold initiatives to help close the student achievement gap, advance equitable economic development, and improve transparency and accountability in government. She supported the Senator during legislative debates on immigration, health care, transportation investment, and criminal justice reform, as well as during multiple state budget cycles. Katherine was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona.
National elections Turnout Working Group
A 2020 graduate of Boston College with a degree in Economics and a minor in Faith, Peace, and Justice, Audrey Vas grew up in the California Bay Area and currently works at a healthcare software company in Madison, Wisconsin. She has diverse experiences advocating for social justice as she has worked with at-risk youth in the Bay Area for two summers, worked as a paralegal intern in Boston, volunteered at a men’s halfway house in Boston for a year, and wrote a senior thesis on the homelessness crisis in San Francisco. Vas was also the Co-President of the Residence Hall Association of Boston College, which is one of the largest student organizations and the primary advocate for students in residence halls. Vas is a part of the National Elections Turnout Working Group, co-authoring a letter encouraging young voters and to contribute to the Turnout! website and book.
National Elections Turnout Working Group
Sophia Carter is an undergraduate student of political science and philosophy at Boston College, with a deep interest in applied and political ethics. Additionally, she is pursuing a minor in Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good from the Boston College Carroll School of Management. She is originally from Rhode Island, and has been extensively involved in politics for years as a field organizer. In the past, she has worked on both local and national campaigns, including organizing in rural, northern New Hampshire as a member of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential primary campaign. On campus, she is involved with the Fulton Debating Society, the College Democrats of Boston College, and the Bystander Training Program at the Boston College Women’s Center, which seeks to train first-year students in campus sexual assault prevention.
Bill McKibben was named “America’s most important environmentalist” by the Boston Globe. In 1989, he published the book The End of Nature which is regarded by many to be the first book about climate change intended for a general audience. He has gone on to author over a dozen more books. He is one of the founders of 350.org, a planet wide, grass roots climate change movement. Through founding 350.org, Bill McKibben accomplished his goal of building a global climate movement. 350 has organized over twenty thousand rallies worldwide. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. He was honored in 2013 with the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize. McKibben was also the winner of the 2014 Right Livelihood Prize. He was named as one of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers by Foreign Policy.
FOUNDER AND CEO, TURNOUT2020
Debra Cleaver is the founder and CEO of Turnout2020, a national nonprofit that runs large scale, research driven, voter registration and voter turnout campaigns targeting the 100+ million Americans who are traditionally excluded from partisan outreach efforts. Debra is a serial founder whose organizations include Vote.org (2016), ElectionDay.org (2018), Long Distance Voter (2008), and Swing the State (2004). Debra is an alumna of Pomona College and Y Combinator, and a former Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship.
Debra frequently speaks on issues impacting voter turnout, with appearances at SXSW, Harvard Law, the Harvard School of Government, and University of Michigan. Debra’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, C-SPAN, WIRED, Bloomberg, The BBC, Forbes, and more. When she’s not working, Debra is probably sleeping, since she has learned the hard way that her “passion projects” have a way of turning into national organizations.
CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER FUND
LaTosha Brown is an award-winning organizer, political strategist and jazz singer with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights. Ms. Brown is principal owner of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a philanthropy advisory consulting firm in Atlanta, GA and the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress. For more than 25 years, she has served as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, government, public foundations and private donors.
CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER FUND
Cliff Albright is a co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund. In 2018, Cliff and the BVM team traveled throughout seven southern states in “The Blackest Bus in America” energizing voters and exposing voter suppression. He also hosts a weekly radio show in Atlanta and has served as an instructor of African-American Studies at several universities. Cliff previously lived in historic Selma, Alabama, where he focused on bringing financial resources to Alabama’s blackbelt region. Cliff attended Cornell University, where he obtained his B.S. in Applied Economics and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies. He also has an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama. Cliff has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and several other outlets.
Nikki Fortunato Bas
OAKLAND CITY COUNCILOR
Elected in November 2018, Nikki Fortunato Bas is the elected council member for District 2 for the Oakland City Council and also sits as executive Director of the Partnership for Working Families. Coming from an immigrant family, Fortunato Bas emphasizes the importance of integrity, honesty, and fairness in her social work as she advocates heavily for fair housing, equitable services in all neighborhoods, and responsible allocation of Oakland’s financial resources. Her most notable contributions to the community have been raising the minimum wage, improving sick leave for workers, helping to create jobs in Oakland, and decreasing fuel emissions in neighborhoods by partnering with a Clean Trucks Program. Fortunato Bas won the Mario Savio Young Activist Award for her anti-sweatshop movement in 1999, was recognized as a social justice Changemaker by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2012, and received the Townie of the Year Award in 2018.
STUDENT ACTIVIST, MCGILL UNIVERSITY
Deborah Klebansky is an American student and activist who studied at McGill University in Montreal. Following the 2016 election, she became involved with Democrats Abroad, the branch of the Democratic Party responsible for connecting with United States citizens living overseas, and was a college fellow for Swing Left. As an Honours undergraduate student at McGill, Deborah studied political science and Russian language in McGill’s Faculty of Arts.
VICE PRESIDENT, LIBERTY TREE FOUNDATION
Suren Moodliar is Vice President of the Liberty Tree Foundation and is a coordinator of the encuentro5 movement-building space in Boston. He is also editor of the journal, Socialism and Democracy.
STUDENT ACTIVIST, MCGILL UNIVERSITY
Kira Moodliar is a recent graduate of McGill’s School of Environment in Montreal. Following the 2016 election, she became involved in environmental justice work with Leap Montreal while pursuing studies in Public Health. She was affiliated with activist groups on McGill’s campus to create progressive supplements to public health education.
National Elections Turnout Working Group
Conner Coles is a native of Oklahoma City and 2020 graduate of Boston College with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. Pursuing his passion for public service, he has held internship positions within various government offices. These include as an intern at both the Newton, MA office of Congressman Joe Kennedy III and the office of Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. A lover of politics, Conner worked in Iowa as a fellow within the Biden for President campaign, and as an intern at the Oklahoma headquarters of the Edmondson for Governor campaign in 2019 and 2018 respectively. While on campus, he served on the executive board for the Undergraduate Political Science Journal: Colloquium, as BC liaison for the Biden Campaign, and as a baritone in the University Chorale. Currently, he works as a research assistant for a Washington, D.C.-based business development and government relations firm.
National Elections Turnout Working Group
Kara Johansen is a student in the class of 2022 at Boston College, studying Sociology and Economics. Kara’s passion for social justice began in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, where Kara was an advocate and ally within her school. Kara pursued this passion during her time at Boston College through courses exploring political issues, such as social inequality and environmental justice. Kara also volunteered at James Otis Elementary School and the Women’s Lunch Place. This exploration of societal and political conflict led Kara to develop an interest in the role of personal and collective trauma’s impact on society. During the summer of 2020, Kara interned at Riverside Community Care in the Behavioral Health Community Partner division, working to engage members of the Boston area in behavioral health services. Kara hopes to pursue a PhD in counseling psychology, and work with trauma survivors within the criminal justice system.
Meet the Editors
Executive Director of Presente.org
Executive Director of Presente.org―the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group, advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture. Matt also served as the Organizing Director at ColorOfChange.org and has co-founded several cooperative enterprises in multiple midwestern cities. He was featured in the first major book on the Ferguson Uprising, Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion. He is finishing a new book on how Latinx organizing and cultural power is reshaping U.S. politics (Routledge 2020)
Professor of Sociology at Boston College
Professor of Sociology at Boston College and a noted public intellectual. Professor Derber has written twenty-three books, including several best-sellers reviewed in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and other leading media. His most recent books include Welcome to the Revolution, Moving Beyond Fear, and Glorious Causes. He is a co-editor of the Routledge book series, Universalizing Resistance, and is a life-long activist for peace and justice.
WRITER AND ORGANIZER
Suren is editor of the journal Socialism and Democracy and coordinator of encuentro5, a movement-building space in downtown Boston. He is a co-author of A People’s Guide to Greater Boston (UC Press, 2020).