Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and a nationwide uprising against police brutality, voting rights advocates and noted progressives converge in a new book on how to inspire mass voter participation in November’s “Emergency Election” and beyond.

“Our nation is worth fighting for,” insists Maria Teresa Kumar, President of Voto Latino and regular contributor to MSNBC. And fighting for a progressive democracy means turning out in record numbers to the polls this November.

Kumar is just one of many esteemed contributors to TURNOUT! Mobilizing Voters in an Emergency (July 2020, Paperback, Hardcover, and E-book, Routledge). As the nation endures the aftermath of yet another high profile, horrifically vivid incident of violence and death caused by police brutality against Black people, mobilizing our communities to the polls is more important than ever.

TURNOUT! features some of the most progressive voices in the U.S. today — from Sen. Jeff Merkley to WI Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes to former New York Congressman Steve Israel to President of She the People, Aimee Allison. Together, they provide inspiration, strategy, and guidance for getting voters to the polls in what they declare an “emergency election.” All of the contributors to this book comes with a long history of service, both inside and out of government. Here they share their collected wisdom for energizing voters for the most pivotal election of our time.

TURNOUT! offers some of the first in-depth analyses of how COVID-19 is transforming our economy and the political environment. As the pandemic reshapes our world, voters must exercise their democratic muscle to vote in leadership that will represent their values and a clear, progressive, dignity-affirming agenda. TURNOUT!’s astute political thinkers show us how to mobilize voters even in the midst of uncertainty, crises, and upheaval.

Editors Charles Derber, Suren Moodliar, and Matt Nelson and many of the esteemed contributors are available for interview. Excerpts are also available. Here is just some of what TURNOUT! has to offer.

Derber, Moodliar, and Nelson on why 2020 is an emergency election; how it compares to past emergency elections in 1860 and 1932; and how progressives can prevail as they did then.

Maria Teresa Kumar, President of Voto Latino and regular MSNBC contributor, on why our nation is worth fighting for and how we fight to win.

Aimee Allison, Founder and President of She the People, on the power of women of color to secure a progressive victory in November and lead the way in the future.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon Senator, on how to unleash the power of grassroots activism.

Matt Nelson, Leader of Presente.org, on how to fight digital disinformation campaigns and use online tools for reaching Latinx communities.

Mandela Barnes, WI Lt. Governor, on why this year’s census is so important for taking back the White House.

Noam Chomsky, one of the most pre-eminent intellectuals of our era, on how President Trump has brought us closer than ever to nuclear annihilation and environmental collapse and the dangers another four years would pose.

LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, Founders of the Black Voters Matter Fund, on how to turn a person into a voter.

Debra Cleaver, Founder and CEO of Turnout2020, on how to apply the lessons of defeating Roy Moore in Alabama to the presidential election.

Steve Israel, Former U.S. Congressman and current Director of the Nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University, on how we must balance philosophical discussions about the identity of the Democratic Party and dedicating enough energy to turning out the vote in November.

Anat Shenker-Osorio, Founder of ASO Communications, on how to ensure that our mobilization efforts give our audiences something desirable to vote for, not merely something deplorable to send packing.

Ian Haney Lopez, Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley, on how Democrats can best mobilize communities of color and “guac the vote” for all of us, every color and hue.

Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of Code Pink, on why the 2020 election is critical to the future of the peace movement.

Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org, on why this election is about the next thousand years.


Charles Derber is 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, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and other leading media. His most books include Welcome to the Revolution, Moving Beyond Fear, and Glorious Causes. He is a c-editor of the Routledge book series, Universalizing Resistance, and is a life-long activist for peace and justice.

Suren Moodliar 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).

Matt Nelson is 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 also finishing a new book on how Latinx organizing and cultural power is reshaping US politics (Routledge 2020).

Full list of contributors to Turnout! Mobilizing Voters in an Emergency

Aimee Allison
Founder and President of She the People
Anat Shenker-Osorio
Principal and Founder of ASO Communications
Annie Leonard
Executive Director of Greenpeace USA
Ben Manski
President of the Liberty Tree Foundation
Bill McKibben
Founder of 350.org
Charles Derber
Professor of Sociology at Boston College
Dana Fisher
Sociologist based at the University of Maryland
Deborah Klebansky, Kira Moodliar
Student activists at McGill University
Debra Cleaver
Founder and CEO of Turnout2020
Helen Gym
Helen Gym is a Philadelphia City Councilor
Ian Haney-Lopez
Professor of public law at the University of California, Berkeley
Jeff Merkley
U.S. Senator, Oregon
Jennifer Epps-Addison
Network President and Co-Executive Director of Center for Popular Democracy
Josh Behrens
Recent Boston College graduate and activist
Karthik Balasubramanian
Professor of Information Systems & Supply Chain Management at Howard University
LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright
Founders of the Black Voters Matter Fund
Lydia Camarillo
President of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
Mandela Barnes
Lt. Governor of Wisconsin
Maria Teresa Kumar
President of Voto Latino
Matt Nelson
Executive Director of Presente.org
Medea Benjamin
Co-founder of Code Pink
Michael Clingman
Former campaign manager of Edmondson for Governor (2018)
Nancy Treviño
Senior Campaign Manager at Presente.org, National Elections Turnout Working Group
Nikki Fortunato Bas
Oakland City Councilor
Noam Chomsky
Laureate Professor of Linguistics, University of Arizona
Saru Jayaraman
Co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
Stephanie Nakajima
Director of communications at HealthCare Now!
Steve Israel
U.S. Congressman 2001–2017, directs the nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University
Suren Moodliar
Managing Editor, Socialism and Democracy
Winona LaDuke
Executive Director of Honor the Earth