Jack Clark

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Jack Clark


Chris (Jack) Clark spent most of the 1970′s as the first National Secretary of the Michael Harrington-led Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, a predecessor to Democratic Socialists of America. Jack Clark had previously quit his job as a reporter for the Chelsea Record to join Harrington in NYC to help organize an opposition caucus within the rightward-moving Socialist Party USA. He was the first managing editor of Democratic Left, has been a delegate to meetings of the Socialist International in Geneva and Vancouver, has led DSA in countless progressive campaigns in NYC and MA.

Jack Clark has also edited Food Monitor for World Hunger Year in Washington DC, worked for eleven years as Deputy Director for Policy and Planning in Boston for the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services, and since 2002 as Director of Workforce Development for the union-funded Transportation Learning Center in DC.[1]

Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee

Some 150 delegates and 100 observers met at Houston's Airport Holiday Inn, February 16-19, 1979, for the fourth national convention of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC).

DSOC's leadership at the 1979 convention included Chairman Michael Harrington, Vice-chairman Julius Bernstein, Vice-chairman Victor Reuther, and National Secretary Clark.[2]

The national board consisted of Julian Bond, Harry Boyte, Bogdan Denitch, Harry Fleischman, Irving Howe, Alex Spinrad, Gloria Steinem, Harry Walsh, Nat Weinberg, and Richard Wilson.

Democratic Agenda

More than 1,200 people attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee initiated Democratic Agenda Conference held November 16-18, 1979, at the International Inn and Metropolitan AM Church in Washington 1 DC. The conference focused on "corporate power'; as the key barrier to "economic and political democracy," concepts many Democratic Agenda participants defined as "socialism.'

The Democratic Agenda meetings attempted to develop anti-corporate alternatives" through influencing the direction of the Democratic Party during the period leading to the July 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York.

Workshops included "Energy Agendas for the 80s': Theirs and Ours" - Jack Clark, moderator; Heather Booth, Joel Jacobsen, Ed Rothschild[3]

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Jack Clark was a New York delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[4]

Paying tribute to Michael Harrington

Washington Socialist, September 1989, page 16

On Friday September 15, 1989, a tribute service was held to commemorate the recently deceased leader of Democratic Socialists of America, Michael Harrington.

Invited guest speakers were Irving Howe, Senator Edward Kennedy, Willy Brandt, Deborah Meier, Bogdan Denitch, Jack Clark and Eleanor Holmes Norton.[5]

DSA Labor Commission

In 1990, Jo-Ann Mort and Michael Schippani (chairman), were contacts for the Democratic Socialists of America Labor Commission.[6]

Other members included Tim Sears, Penny Schantz, Paul Baicich, Carl Shier and Jack Clark, a DSA National Political Committee member, then working for the Massachusetts Secretary of Labor.[7]

Democratic Socialists of America

In 1994, Clark of Massachusetts was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee.[8]

Religious socialism

In 1999 there was a new editorial team at Democratic Socialists of America's Religious Socialism consisting of four co-editors: Maxine Phillips, Andrew Hammer, Rev. Norm Faramelli, and John Cort, assisted by Harvey Cox, Cornel West (Charles West, the Princeton theologian, was also a contributor), Jack Clark, Rev. Judith Deutsch, David O'Brien, and Michael Eric Dyson and Rev. Marcia Dyson. "Grateful mention should also be made of Jack Spooner and Curt Sanders, who kept Religious Socialism alive from 1988 to 1998, with help the last few years from David Seymour and Lew Daly."[9]

DSA awards committee

Boston Democratic Socialists of America presents awards annually in memory of Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas, Julius Bernstein and Michael Harrington.

The Awards Committee in 2001 consisted of:

Doug Butler, Kathy Casavant, Jack Clark, Harris Gruman, Julie Johnson, Eleanor LeCain, Marcia Peters, Mike Prokosch, Bruce Raynor, Bob Ross, Rep.Frank I. Smizik.[10]

2001 Boston DSA executive

Boston Democratic Socialists of America members met January 2001 to elect an Executive Board for another year and discuss political priorities. All current members were re-elected with the exception of Harris Gruman, who declined another term as Chair to focus on his new position as Director of Massachusetts Neighbor to Neighbor. Former DSA National Director Jack Clark "will replace Harris as Chair". Returning E Board members included David Knuttunen, Martha Older, Vic Bloomberg, Jack Bray and Barry Hart. David Keil and Mike Pattberg were also re-elected Yankee Radical editors; so was Joe Morgan as Treasurer Emeritus. In addition, two new recruits were “drafted,” Allen Graubard and Adele Greenberg.[11]

Transport union

In 2002 former Boston DSA Chair and National DSA Director Jack Clark left Boston for a new job with the transport workers union in Washington, DC.[12]

2010 Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards

The 2010 Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards, sponsored by Boston Democratic Socialists of America, took place Tuesday, June 13, 6:30—8:30 P.M., at the Jamaica plain home of environmentalist Marcia Peters and David Karaus.

2010 honorees were "two champions of social justice and grassroots democracy: Georgia Hollister Isman and Jack Clark". Honorary Co-Chairs for the event were MA AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes and State Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville), with special guest Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston).[13]

Jack Clark spent most of the 1970s as the first national secretary of the Michael Harrington–led Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, the major predecessor organization to Democratic Socialists of America. Jack had previously quit his job as a reporter for the Chelsea Record to join Harrington in NYC to help organize an opposition caucus within the rightward-moving Socialist Party, which eventually became DSOC. He was the first managing editor of Democratic Left, has been a delegate to meetings of the Socialist International in Geneva and Vancouver, has led DSA in countless progressive campaigns in NYC and MA—and in his travels as a DSA organizer once debated Ron Paul! Jack has also edited Food Monitor for World Hunger Year in Washington DC, worked for eleven years as Deputy Director for Policy and Planning in Boston for the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services, and since 2002 as Director of Workforce Development for the union-funded Transportation Learning Center back in DC.

Democratic Socialists of America Unity

Jack Clark , supported the Democratic Socialists of America Unity grouping, established for the 2017 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Chicago.[14]

References

  1. [1] 2010 Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Reception to Honor Isman and Clark, Talking Union blog, June 2, 2010
  2. Information Digest March 7 1979 p 63
  3. Information Digest, December 14, 1979, page 370/371
  4. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  5. Washington Socialist, September 1989, page 16
  6. Democratic Left, March/April 1990, page 11
  7. Democratic Left, July/August 1990, page 17
  8. email from Christine Riddiough to S Tarzynski Dec 9 1994
  9. Dem. Left Millennium issue, part 2, 1999, page 36.
  10. http://www.dsaboston.org/2001DTB.htm
  11. http://www.dsaboston.org/yradical/yr2001-04.pdf Yankee Radical, April, 2001]
  12. http://www.dsaboston.org/yradical/yr2002-03.pdf Yankee Radical, Mr./April 2002]
  13. TYR, May 2010
  14. [2]