Progressive Chicago, The New Party and Barack Obama



From Trevor Loudon:

Progressive Chicago

Progressive Chicago was founded in 1993 as as the “sister organization” of the Chicago New Party.

Like the New Party, it was the creation of SEIUACORNDemocratic Socialists of America and the Communist Party USA breakaway group Committees of Correspondence.


Founded in early 1993, Progressive Chicago aimed to;

Unite progressive activists and organizations for progressive, grassroots electoral activity in local elections.
It is a renewal of the old Harold Washington coalition; activists and academics; women; unemployed and union; gay and straight; community organizations and churches; African American, Latino, Asian, native American and white; seniors and people with disabilities; low income and middle income; west and south side….[1]

New Party roots

Progressive Chicago was founded in 1993 by members of the New Party, in particular Madeline Talbott and Dan Swinney.

In an April 27, 1993 letter to prospective Progressive Chicago members, Dan Swinney wrote;

I recently have become interested in the New Party as well as committed myself to see if we can build a Progressive Chicago network, working with Madeline Talbott of ACORN – the local New Party convener.
I wanted to introduce you to the NP and Progressive Chicago and would like to talk to you about it to see if there is a role you want to play.
Enclosed is a brochure, a longer description of the NP and the ideas behind it…

A circa 1993 Progressive Chicago introductory pamphlet stated;

Progressive Chicago was started by members of the New Party who wanted to be able to put together an organization strong enough to win: If that means supporting a candidate running as a Democrat, then fine. If that means running our own candidates in aldermanic or state representative races on whatever line that gives them the best chance of winning, fine.

Sister organization

A Chicago New Party organizing report of June 2 1993 stated;

At some point in the future we will have elections for a steering committee, but at this point we are concentrating on building up the internal organization…to build up our sister organization, Progressive Chicago. Once we have built up our membership for the two organizations, we will then elect a steering committee and move forward…
Progressive Chicago would be a support organization for progressive political activity…This organization is modeled on Progressive Milwaukee and Progressive Dane
We hope that Progressive Chicago will be able to rebuild the shattered Harold Washington Coalition and be a leading force in supporting progressive coalitions and progressive change…


On July 16, 1993 Progressive Chicago wrote a letter to Jackie Grimshaw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, inviting her to join the network.

The letter was signed by;

A similar letter of September 22 1993, was signed by all the names above, but added six more;[2]

More activists

Those attending a Progressive Chicago meeting September 29 1993, included;[3]

Those attending a Progressive Chicago meeting November 17 1993 included;[4]

More contacts

A Progressive Chicago report to Keith Kelleher, dated October 27, 1993 listed several more contacts and potential members of the organization.

It stated that Alderman Joe Moore had agreed to participate and that State senator Alice Palmer was interested and was awaiting a call from Peter McClennon.

More here……..



The New Party

The New Party was an electoral alliance dedicated to electing leftist candidates to office-usually through the Democratic Party. It dissolved in 1998.

Three organizations formed the backbone of the New Party – the Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S.’s largest radical organization, ACORN and radical labor union SEIU.

Also heavily involved were the Communist Party USA breakaway group Committees of Correspondence and far left “think tank” the Institute for Policy Studies.

[KW: There was at least one earlier “New Party”, founded about 1968, whose history can be found at “New Party: Additional Groups” here at KW. It, too, had significant, if not domineering influence by the Institute for Policy Studies IPS.]


The first strategic meetings to plan the New Party were held in Joel Rogers home in Madison Wisconsin in the very early 1990s. Present were Rogers’ wife Sarah SiskindDan Cantor, ACORN leaders , Wade Rathke ,Zach Polett , Steve Kest and Jon Kest , Steve Cobble from the Institute for Policy Studies (in an advisory role), Sandy Morales Pope (for the first 18 months),Harriet Barlow and Barbara Dudley.

The very first meeting included Gerry Hudson from Democratic Socialists of America and SEIU and Gary Delgado, plus labor activists Sam Pizzigatiand Tony Mazzocchi. Anthony Thigpenn of Los Angeles was also approached, but though supportive did not wish to play a leadership role.[1]

Socialist Scholars conference

Elaine Bernard and Kurt Stand of Democratic Socialists of AmericaArthur LipowMichael Harrington Center; and Judy PageNew Party were speakers on the Towards a New Party panel sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America at the Tenth Annual Socialist Scholars Conference. The conference was held April 24-26, 1992 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City.[2]

Bernard and Page were later active in the New Party, while Kurt Stand was later jailed as an East German and Soviet spy.


The New Party News is the party’s publication. The party is also affiliated with the New Majority Education Fund (a Tides Center project organization) and Working Families Party.

New Party builders

New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 activists-“some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP

Radical involvement

Of those listed above:

DSA supporters

Elaine BernardNoam ChomskyBarbara EhrenreichBill Fletcher JrManning MarableFrances Fox PivenRafael PizarroJuliet SchorGloria SteinemArthur WaskowCornel West and Quentin Young were involved with Democratic Socialists of America.

CoC supporters

Noam Chomsky, Bob ClarkManning MarableRafael PizarroGloria QuinonesDan Swinney were all involved with Committees of Correspondence.


Gary DelgadoAnita EstradaMaude HurdKeith KelleherFrances Fox Piven were linked to ACORN.


Harriet BarlowJohn CavanaghSteve CobbleNoam ChomskyChuck CollinsGary DelgadoBarbara EhrenreichBill Fletcher JrManning Marable,David MorrisFrances Fox PivenMark RitchieMichael Shuman and Arthur Waskow were linked to the far left Institute for Policy Studies.

Progressives for Obama

Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher, Jr. were, in 2008, founders of Progressives for Obama, while Steve CobbleFrances Fox PivenDan Swinney and Cornel West were listed as endorsers of the organization.

New Party and Democratic Socialists of America

Democratic Socialists of America was heavily involved in the New Party.

On 1995, four young Democratic Socialists of America members, Maggie Dyer and Jason Murphy of Little Rock, Arkansas, Matt Mayers Cambridge, Massachusetts and Eric Olson College Park, Maryland, wrote a letter to Democratic Left, July/August issue, advocating that DSA support the New Party.[3]

A New Party wouldn’t compete with DSA chapters—it would provide a structure in which DSA and other progressive groups could work together on electoral and issue campaigns.
It will take years for progressives to build a grassroots third party capable of competing for power at the national level. DSA members could be (and in many cases already are) vital participants in this effort. With the New Party and its strategy in mind, we should renew our dialogue on the need for and possibility of building a new progressive party in the U.S.

According to DSA’s Democratic Left Summer 2001[4];

Veterans of the left will remember that the 1968 Peace and Freedom Party and the 1980 Citizens Party arose at moments of greater left-wing strength and did not significantly alter the national electoral landscape. Nor has, unfortunately, the New Party, which many DSAers work with in states where “fusion” of third party and major party votes is possible (such as the DSA co-sponsored Working Families Party in N.Y. State).

New Party and the Democrats

The New Party Executive Committee announced[5]in 1994;

Joining the New Party doesn’t end your relationship with the Democrats, it changes it.”

Chicago New Party

Madeline Talbott of ACORN was one of the key early organizers of the Chicago New Party.

She wrote a progress report on August 12 1992 which detailed meetings with Joe GardnerJackie Grimshaw (Deputy City Treasurer), Jim Pena(Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal), lawyer Paul StraussFrank Rosen (Labor Party Advocates), Connie Hall (IVI – IPO), Greg LeRoyand Lisa Oppenheim, (both Midwest Center for Labor Research). All were supportive.

She was also looking forward to meeting Ron Sable and Dan Swinney and reported that in May Dan Cantor held a New Party fund raising meeting in the Chicago home of Quentin Young, “with half a dozen good people present”.[6]

Chicago New Party and Barack Obama

In Chicago, the New Party consisted mainly of ACORN, DSA, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and the Committees of Correspondence(CoC). A breakaway from the Communist Party USA, CoC worked closely with DSA and many activists were members of both organizations.

The Chicago New Party began to get organized[8]in January 1995.

On Saturday, January 14, the New Party in Chicago took another step in its effort to establish itself as a political force by holding a major outreach meeting directed at Chicago’s Left. About 100 people, with sizable delegations from DSA and CoC among others, heard Bruce Colburn and Elaine Bernard preach the gospel of the New Party…

Elaine Bernard, a Labor Studies lecturer at Harvard, is a prominent DSA member. Bruce Colburn was an officer of the Milwaukee Central Labor Council and the Chair of the local New Party affiliate in Milwaukee.

The meeting was held at the meeting hall of SEIU Local 880, a local that is tackling the extremely difficult task of organizing home health care workers in Illinois. SEIU Local 880 and ACORN share office space.

DSA and their CoC allies saw the New Party as a vehicle for major political change-to both move the Democratic Party leftward and to eventually prepare the ground for an entirely new third party.

At a meeting attended[9]by Chicago DSA members Kurt Anderson and Bob Roman, plus CoC members Ronelle Mustin and Sandy Patrinos, CoC leader Carl Davidson explained the New Party’s role in first working through the Democratic Party then eventually replacing it.

On January 27th approximately 45 people attended the Chicago DSA and Chicago CoC organized public form at the ACTWU hall on Ashland Ave. Each organization had two representatives on the panel to present their particular elections ’94 post-mortem perspectives. Chicago DSA was represented by Co-Chair, Kurt Anderson and Political Education Officer, Bob Roman. CoC was represented by Carl Davidson, who is a member of CoC’s National Coordinating Committee and Ronelle Mustin, an activist from the 22nd ward. The event was chaired by Sandi Patrinos, chair of Chicago CoC…
Carl Davidson wanted to focus on “voting patterns.” There were essentially two winners. Naturally the Republicans, but so were the most left in Congress such as the Progressive and Black Caucuses. The latter were re-elected while the neo-liberal and conservative Democrats were voted out. More importantly this election was the de facto defeat of the elitist Democratic Leadership Council who do not care about the poor or Labor.
To win elections, Davidson emphasized that there are two necessary coinciding factors. First, a passive majority… Secondly, a militant minority, which came to fruition for the Right wing with the Christian Coalition
Hence Davidson emphasized that in this historical period the Left’s strategy must be electoral politics not revolution. Consequently the Left must galvanize the “majority” – the working class and poor… Moreover the democratic left needs get active in the New Party which has won 20 of 30 local elections. Thus a short-term strategy of working with the Democratic Party and in the long-term work with the New Party.

Barack Obama clearly saw the potential of the New Party, because he was soon seeking their support[10]-alongside Michael ChandlerWillie DelgadoMiguel del ValleAlice PalmerSonya Sanchez and Jesse Garcia.

About 50 activists attended the Chicago New Party membership meeting in July. The purpose of the meeting was to update members on local activities and to hear appeals for NP support from four potential political candidates. The NP is being very active in organization building and politics…
The political entourage included Alderman Michael Chandler, William Delgado, chief of staff for State Rep Miguel del Valle, and spokespersons for State Sen. Alice Palmer, Sonya Sanchez, chief of staff for State Sen. Jesse Garcia, who is running for State Rep in Garcia’s District; and Barack Obama, chief of staff for State Sen. Alice Palmer. Obama is running for Palmer’s vacant seat…
Although ACORN and SEIU Local 880 were the harbingers of the NP there was a strong presence of CoC and DSA (15% DSA)… Four political candidates were “there” seeking NP support.

Barack Obama won the 1996 election, by using legal technicalities to get all his opponents disqualified-but he still encouraged New Party volunteers to join[11]his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.

The NP’s ’96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude.
Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee.
Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis.
Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration…

More here……


Another LINK to Obama one should study:

Demos, one of the nations premier leftist “think tanks” has close ties to Democratic Socialists of America, and, until the organization morphed into a vast array of semi-disguised clones, ACORN.

Interestingly Demos’ founding 1999-2000 Board of Trustees, included an obscure Illinois State Senator named Barack Obama.

A few years later an equally obscure San Francisco communist radical named Van Jones would also join the Demos Board. Small world isn’t it?

Demos 2009 report “Flying blind”, page 3



Trevor Loudon has just released a book:  Barack Obama and the Enemies Within.

The book can be ordered HERE or HERE.

Book Description

Publication Date: October 19, 2011

A history about those who advise, mentor, and operate behind the throne of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. From early childhood to the present day the President chose to keep his personal life a secret. Those who surround him fall into a wide category of radicals, marxists, communists, and Americans who have joined together in a coordinated effort to overthrow capitalism and the Republic of the United States of America.

 ***Book includes footnotes, references, actual documents, pictures, etc.***


Related LInks:

Benjamin Barber – Gadaffi Shill Works With Obama Founded “Think Tank”



The Russians and American Progressives: Together Again



“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.”

 -Samuel Adams”







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