Dan Siegel

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Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel "is a well-known civil rights lawyer who represents individuals, labor unions, and community organizations in complex civil litigation. He is nationally known as an expert in employment and labor law, particularly in cases involving college and university faculty members and athletics coaches. Siegel writes and lectures frequently on trial practice, labor and education law, and other legal matters. He teaches education law at Mills College and is a former president of the Oakland School Board and former chair of the Oakland Housing Authority, the Greater Oakland YMCA, and the Oakland Community Policing Task Force. He served as legal advisor to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan."[1] "He has tried over 125 cases to jury verdict."

Dan Siegel's son Mike Siegel is running for congress in Texas.

Law background

"Siegel is a 1970 graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in 1967. After working for the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County and the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Project in Southeast Asia, Siegel entered private practice in 1973. His store front community law collective specialized in employment discrimination, labor law, and civil rights litigation and developed an extensive practice representing pipeline workers in Alaska, shipyard workers in San Diego, casino employees in Las Vegas, and farm, cannery, factory, and office workers throughout California.
"In 1987 he joined the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office as chief of complex litigation. While there he led the effort to settle a 14-year-old employment discrimination case against the San Francisco Fire Department, negotiating a consent decree that guaranteed affirmative action in hiring and promotions for women and people of color. He successfully defended the decree in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court against a challenge by the firefighters union.
"In 1989 Siegel became General Counsel for the Oakland Unified School District. He supervised the district’s legal, labor relations, and security departments and successfully defended the district in several high profile trials.
"In 1993 Siegel resumed private practice. He and his partner Anne Butterfield Weills launched their college and university practice when they represented Jenny Harrison in her suit against the University of California for sex discrimination in the denial of tenure in the Berkeley Mathematics Department. As a result of their aggressive advocacy, the University agreed to a settlement which led to Dr. Harrison’s appointment as a tenured full professor and a substantial financial award.
"Siegel next took on Donna Hunt’s case for sexual harassment against the University of California at Davis. That suit ended successfully, with a cash settlement and ongoing support for Ms. Hunt as she completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Geology. That case led to the termination of the professor who harassed Ms. Hunt, only the second dismissal of a tenured professor for misconduct in the entire history of the University of California.
"In 1997, Siegel won the largest employment law case in Arizona history, a $1 million verdict against Arizona State University for Dr. Laurie Vollen, former director of student health. Dr. Vollen was fired after she argued with the university’s athletic director over the care provided to student athletes. In 1998, Siegel won a $700,000 judgment for a CalTrans biologist, Sally Walters, who suffered sexual harassment and retaliation on the job.
"In early 2000, Siegel and Weills won a judgment of over $1.0 million for Dr. Colleen Crangle in her gender bias and retaliation case against Stanford University, the first loss ever for Stanford in a civil rights case. In spring 2003, they won a $1 million judgment in a tenure discrimination case against Brown University, representing Fred Shoucair, a native of Lebanon.
"In 2007 Siegel won the two largest verdicts ever awarded in cases brought under Title IX, the law that forbids sex discrimination by colleges and universities and requires gender equity in intercollegiate athletic programs. In July a Fresno jury awarded $5.85 million to Lindy Vivas, former basketball coach at Fresno State. In December, Siegel and Warren Paboojian won a $19.1 million verdict for Stacy Johnson-Klein, who was fired from her job as head coach of Fresno State's women's basketball team.
"Siegel has developed an sports law practice, representing college and professional coaches throughout the country. He and his associates also have an active labor law practice. Their clients include the National Union of Healthcare Workers and several locals of the Service Employees International Union.
"Siegel writes and lectures frequently on trial practice, labor and education law, and other legal matters. He teaches education law at Mills College and is a former president of the Oakland School Board and former chair of the Oakland Housing Authority, the Greater Oakland YMCA, and the Oakland Community Policing Task Force.
"He is a principal in Oakland law firm Siegel & Yee.[2]

Student radical

Dan Siegel, Berkeley

Dan Siegel was an activist at UC Berkeley at the height of the Vietnam War. He was elected Student President in 1969, and on May 15th of that year he and fellow students clashed with riot police over Peoples' Park, a day which would become known as "Bloody Thursday" because one student was killed by police bullets during the clashes.[3]

Attorney General run

Dan Siegel received 200,000 votes as candidate for Attorney General of the state of California.

Early NAM founders

Among the earliest founders of the New American Movement were James Weinstein of Chicago and West Coast radicals including Michael Lerner, formerly of the Seattle Liberation Front, Theirrie Cook, a supporter of the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice and Dan Siegel, former student body president at the University of California, Berkeley.[4]

In June 1971, a pamphlet and other materials calling for a New American Movement national organizing meeting began to be circulated, sponsored by Theirrie Cook, Michael Lerner and Charles "Chip" Marshall, plus Douglas Dowd, Karen Hamilton, Charles Fulwood, Joy Marcus, Roger Hamilton, Dan Siegel, Nina Marina, David Danning, Judy Oringer, Louis Feldhammer and Kathy Johnson - later on the staff of the People's Bi-centennial Commission.[5]

The People's Convention

On July 14-16 (probably 1984) The Coalition for a People's Convention "a broad grouping in the Bay Area", organized The People's Convention in order to "unite on and present a people's program to the DNC and to network the many local efforts to win people's power from around the country. Its purpose is to enhance local efforts and amplify them into a united voice and demonstration for reorienting our society away from military aggression and towards meeting the needs of all our people".

Endorsers from the San Francisco-Bay Area included Dan Siegel, Executive Committee, Federation For Progress, Siegel was also a contact for the conference.[6]



SURVIVAL FEST 84 was held August 5 1984 in MacArthur Park.

"Come To Hear And Strategize With Those Changing The 1980's"

  • How can we support each other in electing progressive local candidates?
  • How can we make electoral work serve the grassroots movements for a freeze, for U.S. out of Central America and human needs?
  • How can we over turn the racist dual primary system in the South?
  • Is working inside and outside the Democratic Party a viable strategy and how can it be done?
  • How can we formulate demands to revitalize our basic industries without falling into the pitfall of the chauvinist anti-import solution -- letting U.S. finance capital off the hook?

This event was organized by the Communist Workers Party front, the Coalition for a People's Convention. The event was advertised in a half-page notice in the Marxist weekly Guardian, their Book Supplement - Summer 1984, p. 12, and the Communist Workers Party and Federation For Progress were listed as participants.

Bay Area endorsers of the event included:

Siegel also spoke at the rally.

Communist Workers Party

In the 1980's Dan Siegel was a public spokesman for the Communist Workers Party.[7]

NDM leader


In 1986, the three co-chairs of New Democratic Movement, were Phyllis Jones, Dan Siegel, and Jerry Tung.

Institute for Policy Studies

In 1993 Dan Siegel was listed among "former fellows, project co-ordinators and staff" of the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC.[8]

Supporting Sandre Swanson

In 2006, Dan Siegel, Oakland School Board Member , was one of many prominent Northern California leftists to serve on State Assembly hopeful Sandre Swanson's Honorary Campaign Committee.[9]

Association for Union Democracy

In 2008 Dan Siegel was listed on the Advisory Board for the Association for Union Democracy.[10]

DataCenter Donor

In 2007 Dan Siegel and Anne Butterfield Weills were listed on the DataCenter's annual report as donors to the organization. The Oakland, California based DataCenter is widely regarded as the intellegence wing of the United States Left and has close ties to Cuba.[11]

"Support Bill Ayers"

In October 2008, several thousand college professors, students and academic staff signed a statement Support Bill Ayers in solidarity with former Weather Underground Organization terrorist Bill Ayers.

In the run up to the U.S. presidential elections, Ayers had come under considerable media scrutiny, sparked by his relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack...
We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.

Dan Siegel of Mills College School of Education signed the statement.[12]

Dan Siegel for Mayor

Nicole Deane June 20, 2014:


The Lit Drop prep team — with Nubia Bowe, April Thomas, Dan Siegel and Carroll Fife.

Tribute to Ron Dellums

On August 4 2018, Dan Siegel wrote a tribute to Ron Dellums on Facebook, where he claimed to "help develop" his "progressive and creative political platform":[13]

"RIP Ron Dellums
"I first met Ron in fall 1967, soon after I arrived in Berkeley for law school. He had been elected as the radical member of the Berkeley City Council in 1966 and was already well known for his progressive politics and passionate rhetoric.
"We were both part of a group of student, faculty, and community activists engaged in anti-war organizing and local electoral politics. Many members of the group had been part of the Vietnam Day Committee and the Committee for New Politics, which backed Bob Scheer's 1966 almost successful effort to unseat Democratic Congressman Jeffrey Cohelan, who supported LBJ and the war.
"In May 1968 we organized the Vietnam Commencement at UC. Over 2,000 students pledged to resist the draft. We also supported John George, a radical African American attorney, as he made another run at Cohelan.
"In 1970 it was Dellums' turn to take on Cohelan. By spring the campus had been in an almost continuous uproar over the war for the past year. As student body president I directed the resources of the student government to support the Vietnam Moratorium and help create a nationwide network of campus anti-war activists. We called a successful student strike and closed the UC campus for the last six weeks of school after Nixon invaded Cambodia and murdered students at Kent State and Jackson State. Hundreds of students turned out to walk precincts for Dellums, and he was elected.
"The campaign's only blemish was its refusal, under the sway of some of its more moderate leaders, to include a representative of the Black Panther Party on its executive committee.
"Ron's tenure in Congress was brilliant, especially his leadership roles in ending the Vietnam War and South African Apartheid. Many Oakland activists wanted him to use his influence to build radical political power in Oakland, but he refused. Some speculated that he did not want to challenge moderate political leaders and pastors in the Black community.
"By 2006, after eight years of Jerry Brown using the City to project himself back into State office, Oakland was ready to elect a mayor with actual left politics. Many of us were excited about Ron running. He was clearly reluctant. But at a Laney College press conference, a crowd of people yelling "Run Ron run!" brought tears to his eyes and a spontaneous decision to enter the race. The campaign brought back the old Ron Dellums. He embraced a progressive and creative political platform that I helped develop and won over voters with his passionate and articulate rhetoric, enlivening his classic intelligence with moral fervor.
"Ron never became the mayor we wanted him to be. After so many years of leadership and struggle, it seems that he just ran out of gas. He was a real human being and one of the East Bay's greatest leaders for 50 years."

Expert and Red/China visit

July 07, 2011 "New China Will Be Red and Expert" by Dan Siegel:[14]

China may be returning to the days when its ideal communist was both “Red and expert,” and The Wall Street Journal is worried. In a recent article, the newspaper profiled one of China’s rising new leaders, Bo Xilai, Communist Party chief of Chongqing and a likely candidate next year for a position on the party’s Politburo Standing Committee. If chosen, Bo may help bring about a new synthesis of the political trends that have shaped China for the past six decades. The Journal is concerned that the ascendancy of new leadership may retard what it describes as the liberal economic policies that have fueled China’s growth since the end of the Cultural Revolution and the ascendancy of Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s.
China’s economic development was on full display during a recent visit. The country is exploding with new construction, apartment blocks going up everywhere, highways that rival the best in Europe, and the world’s most modern railroad system. Nine hundred million of China’s 1.3 billion people use cellphones, including young hipsters in the cities and farmers tending water buffalo in the beautiful Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces in northern Guangxi province. The government says that the poverty rate is down to 5 percent, and wealthy Chinese are the world’s greatest consumers of handbags by Prada.
But unrestrained capitalist development has its downsides. The Chinese readily admit the damage their economic expansion has done to the environment. Blue sky is a rarity, even in smaller cities like Lijiang, on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau just a few miles east of the border with Burma. In cities like Shantou, one of the first “special economic zones” in the southeast, the air is black and you can taste the grit. The rivers and many coastal waters are polluted, and biologically dead zones surround many industrial areas.
Suicides by stressed-out migrant workers drawn to make their living working weeks of more than 100 hours manufacturing parts for Apple iPhones are not uncommon. The sad faces and shabby luggage of the workers arriving in Shantou contrast sharply with scenes of lively crowds in Beijing and Shanghai. The anger of people whose children have been stunted by lead leaking from urban factories is easy to understand.
But even in the midst of economic expansion, China is far from the model of unbridled capitalism the Journal presents. Government agencies at the national, provincial and local levels control the banks, so decisions about investments, interest rates and markets are all influenced by social policy. Resources are moved efficiently to meet political objectives. Responding to the country’s pollution crisis, the Twelfth Five-Year Plan will focus on cleaning up the environment. The decision to create a network of low-pollution bullet trains mobilized a workforce of more than 100,000.
Understanding the tension between the two, the Chinese Communist Party has aspired to be both “Red” and “expert” since the 1950s. The party has carefully nurtured its cadre to ensure the organization’s commitment to the welfare of the majority, but at the same time recognizes the need for its leaders to embrace and implement the most advanced concepts in science, technology and management. The partnership of the “idealistic” Mao Zedong and the “pragmatic” Zhou Enlai long put human faces on the two sides of the CPC’s ideal.
Chinese history since the 1949 revolution has reflected the tension between these two poles. The Great Leap Forward in the 1950s flowed from Mao’s conviction that great economic gains could be accomplished simply through a huge collective effort, notwithstanding what was then the country’s low level of technological, manufacturing and infrastructure development. The idea was that backyard blast furnaces could make up for the lack of a modern steel manufacturing industry.
The Cultural Revolution was an attempt to curb what Mao and his allies viewed as a resurgence of class privilege and attitudes two decades after the triumph of the revolution. Its violence and excess are well chronicled.
The defeat of the Gang of Four and the triumph of Deng ushered in the most dynamic period of economic development China, and perhaps the world, has ever seen. The debate among economists today is whether China’s economy will surpass that of the United States by 2016 or whether it will take five or 10 years longer. There can be no argument that the Chinese combination of socialist planning with capitalist creativity is producing economic benefits faster, and spreading those benefits further, than the dominant model in the West, particularly in the U.S.
The rise of new leaders like Bo Xilai means that China may be pursuing a course correction rather than a wholesale reversal of the policies that have generated the economic success of the last few decades. In Chongqing, Bo has led efforts to crack down on corrupt businessmen who produce shoddy and dangerous products, bribe politicians and cheat their employees, and his campaigns have swept up corrupt politicians and party insiders as well. At the same time, he has championed the creation of housing and social welfare programs to foster decent living standards for people with modest incomes.
Bo is well known for his promotion of sayings from Chairman Mao’s Red Book and songs extolling the role and mission of the CPC. In Chongqing, he uses social media to share inspirational messages about the role of the party and its commitment to the improvement of society. In doing so he is carrying out the traditions of earlier party leaders who worried that the country’s economic and social development deviated from the party’s political and ideological perspectives. The challenge that Bo and other new leaders face is to persuade the younger generations of the prosperous new China to temper their ambitions for successful careers and material enrichment with a commitment to the welfare of all Chinese.

Leaving Jean

In the midst of the eviction of Occupy Oakland, despite Jean Quan's desire that the movement split up along pro- and anti-encampment factions, the most serious divisions seem to be taking shape in her own administration. In the wake of the November 14 raid, her long-time legal advisor Dan Siegel resigned, explaining, "The city sent police to evict this camp, arrest people and potentially hurt them. Obviously, we're not on the same page. It's an amazing show of force to move tents from a public place."

Soon after, Sharon Cornu, Quan's co-deputy mayor and former leader of the Alameda Central Labor Council, resigned. Her exact reasons are unclear, and Cornu's parting remarks seemed to indicate her support for Quan's decision to raid Oscar Grant Plaza. "The situation on the plaza was untenable," said Cornu.[15]

Kiva connection

Nicole Deane March 24, 2016:


With Rashidah Grinage, Carroll Fife, Dan Siegel, Gus Newport, Shonda Roberts and James Massar.



In 2017 Dan Siegel was a member of the BAMN public Facebook group.