“Working around a core of former Stanford University Maoists, League of Revolutionary Struggle supporters and Unity Organizing Committee members, Steve Phillips has created a network that has infiltrated the highest levels of the Democratic Party.”
San Francisco lawyer Steve Phillips was a Marxist-Leninist student activist in the 1980s, a supporter of the League of Revolutionary Struggle and a leader of its successor organization, the Unity Organizing Committee.
Today he still works for a socialist America. Just at a much higher level.
At the League of Revolutionary Struggle’s September 8, 1990 conference, a majority of delegates (including most of the Asian comrades) voted to abandon traditional Marxism-Leninism and devote themselves to electoral politics, especially the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Maintaining control of the League’s Unity newspaper, this majority faction soon adopted the interim name Unity Organizing Committee.
In Unity, January 28, 1991, the new organization issued a statement: “A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond.”
Signed by 153 activists, almost all former League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS) members or supporters, the new organiztion hoped to become a major force on the US left, a force that would use the Democratic Party, where possible, to further its socialist goals.
Several members of Unity Organizing Committee/Unity, already held influential positions in the Democratic Party, often through their positions in the Rainbow Coalition, the organization supporting the Rev. Jesse Jackson in his 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns. Some were also involved in the campaign of Democratic Socialists of America member David Dinkins, who was elected to the New York mayoralty in 1990, on the coattails of the Rainbow Coalition.
Several also became leaders of important civic institutions. Many became leaders in legal, labor, racial, cultural or educational activism.
Many were alumni of Steve Phillps’ alma mater, Stanford University.
Notable Unity Organizing Committee members include:
- Richard Adams is the State Chair of the Pennsylvania Rainbow Coalition and a former Pittsburgh School Board member.
- Keith Archuleta is a Stanford University activist and staff member. He was active in the Rainbow Coalition in 1984 and 1988.
- Jim Cason is on the Committee on Africa. He is currently the Associate Executive Secretary for Strategic Advocacy, the Legislative Director for Foreign Policy and is on the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
- Julius Davis is the President United States Student Association, Washington, DC.
- Pat Diaz is the President of the highly influential Mexican American Political Association, Los Angeles.
- Robyn Gabel is currently a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 18th District.
- Kim Geron is now an Associate Professor of Political Science at California State University East Bay and Vice President of the California Faculty Association. She serves on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and the Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco).
- Alexandro Gradilla is currently an associate professor of Chicana/o Studies and African American Studies at UC Fullerton.
- Roger Green is a Democratic New York state assemblyman, Brooklyn. Green endorsed the LRS’ Unity newspaper in 1988, alongside long serving Illinois Democratic Congress-member Luis Gutierrez, a one time member of the House Intelligence Committee. Both were Rainbow Coalition activists.
See the full story here.
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