Harlan Baker

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Harlan Baker

Template:TOCnestleft Harlan Baker was one of the founding members of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee.[1]

Baker is an adjunct lecturer for the Theater department for the University of Southern Maine where he has been teaching for the past 24 years. He is a former member of the Maine legislature, where he served on the Joint Standing committee on Labor. He is currently a member of the Part Time Faculty Association at the university, local 4593 of the American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO. As an actor he has performed with numerous professional theater companies throughout New England most recently with the Mad Horse Theatre Company of Portland in their production of “The Late Henry Moss.”[2]

State legislature

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Baker served in the Maine State Legislature from 1979 -1988. He sponsored legislation dealing with worker owned cooperatives municipally owned power districts, and a State owned Bank. He was the sponsor of legislation to divest state pension money from business investing in South Africa during Apartheid.

Young People's Socialist League

Harlan Baker February 18, 2017 ·


With Alex Spinrad in Tel Aviv. Alex and I first met at the Young People's Socialist League convention in California in 1971.

He made ayliah to Israel in the early 80s.

Prominent DSOC member

According to Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee founder and chairman Michael Harrington, the influence of the group is disproportionate to its size because of the positions held by some DSOC members within the Democratic Party.

In 1980 prominent DSOC members included Rep, Ronald Dellums (D-CA); Hilda Mason, D.C. City Council, Harlan Baker, Maine state legislature; Jerry Nadler, New York state legislature, Perry Bullard, Michigan state legislature; Ruth Messinger, New York City Council; Harry Britt, San Francisco Board of Supervisors; Patrick Gorman, chairman of the board, Amalgamated Meatcutters; William Winpisinger, president, International Association of Machinists ; Irving Bluestone, vice president, United Auto Workers; Martin Gerber, vice-president, UAW, Sol Stetin, senior vice-president, Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers , Joyce Miller, national president, Coalition of Labor Union Women ; Dolores Huerta, vice-president, United Farmworkers, Cleveland Robinson, president, District 65, UAW;Victor Gotbaum, head of District Council 37, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees , New York, Mildred Jeffrey; Victor Reuther; James Farmer; Nat Hentoff; Gloria Steinem; Rosemary Reuther; Harvey Cox and Irving Howe.[3]

Chicago DSOC


In 1977 Harlan Baker was involved in Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee in Chicago.

Bernie Sanders fundraiser

During the summer and fall of 2006 Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee helped DSA activists around the country, “from San Diego up to Maine” to host house parties to raise funds that helped Bernie Sanders become the sole Socialist in the U.S. Senate.

In Portland, Maine DSAer Harlan Baker and AFL-CIO officer Burt Wartell co-hosted a backyard veggie burger cookout that drew participants from the local Democrats. [4]

DSA contact

In 2009 Harlan Baker was Maine contact for Democratic Socialists of America[5].

He is also is a member of the Boston Democratic Socialists of America Speakers Bureau.[6]

Occupy Portland

Democratic Socialists of America member Harlan Baker performed a scene from his one man play, Jimmy Higgins, at Monument Square in Portland, Maine for the demonstration. Jimmy Higgins has long stood for the name of the rank-and-file union and socialist activist. During his performance at Occupy Portland, Baker performed a scene in which Jimmy Higgins listens to Eugene Debs give his famous 1918 speech in Canton, OH. During this speech, Debs urged those present to resist the military draft of World War I. He was arrested 14 days later on 10 counts of sedition, and later sentenced to ten years in prison, two of which he served.[7]

Maine DSA


Monday, June 6, 2016 Portland Public Library 5 Monument Square (Congress & Elm) Meeting Room 5 Portland, ME.

This will be the first organizational meeting to form a new chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America here in Maine. David Duhalde, Deputy Director of the national office will be speaking along with Harlan Baker and Michael Sylvester

Bernie delegates

The national delegates elected for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Maine Democratic party convention in may 2016 were were: Diane Denk, Vanessa Sylvester, Liz Smith, Todd Ricker, Seth Berner, Justin Beth, Cokie Giles, Cynthia Soma-Hernandez, Jesse Lambert, David Bright, Ursa Beckford, Severin Beliveau, David Weeda, Denise Groves, former state Rep. Harlan Baker, state Rep. Diane Russell and state Rep. Deane Rykerson.[8]

Socialist Caucus at 2016 DNC

Over 300 Sanders activists attended Democratic Socialists of America’s “Socialist Caucus” on Wednesday afternoon, July 27th, 3016. In the audience were over 100 Sanders delegates, including most of DSA’s 55 member-delegates; they were joined by Larry Sanders, Senator Sanders’ brother, and the Senator’s son, Levi Sanders.

Numerous participants remarked on social media that the caucus was one of the most substantive meetings at the convention. A score of participants joined DSA on the spot and the DSA table rapidly sold out of its 50 bright red DSA “Continuing the Political Revolution” T-shirts.

Shout-outs to all the DSA delegates and volunteers who helped build the caucus. In particular, Tom Gallagher, Penny Schantz, Paul Garver, Harlan Baker, Ashley Rodriguez, Danny and Barbara Fetonte, Larry Wittner, Rachel Ochs, Rebecca Ryan, Diane Isser and the list goes on...[9]

DSA Democrat

Harlan Baker (Portland Maine), was a Democratic Socialists of America, Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

"I'm enthused about Bernie's campaign because for the first time in my life I get to support a presidential campaign that has taken socialism out of the closet."[10]

Bernie delegates

The national delegates elected for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Maine Democratic party convention in may 2016 were were: Diane Denk, Vanessa Sylvester, Liz Smith, Todd Ricker, Seth Berner, Justin Beth, Cokie Giles, Cynthia Soma-Hernandez, Jesse Lambert, David Bright, Ursa Beckford, Severin Beliveau, David Weeda, Denise Groves, former state Rep. Harlan Baker, state Rep. Diane Russell and state Rep. Deane Rykerson.[11]

Cumberland County Democrats

Officers, October 9, 2015

Conquering the Democrats


Maine Democratic Socialists of America posted on Facebook November 18 at 5:53am ·

Good night for the DSA slate at the Cumberland County Democrats:
Harlan Baker and Kathleen Worcester are now Vice Chairs
Barney McClelland is now Secretary
Tim Goodwin is now Treasurer
Shannon McCartney came within 4 votes of taking the Chair.
It is time for a new direction!

Pingree connection


Harlan Baker with Joey Brunelle and Jeremy Mele and Seth Berner. May 11, 2017 at 1:09pm

Members of the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists meet with Jesse Connolly, chief of staff for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. Topics ranged from health care to crafting progressive messages and programs.

Midcoast Maine DSA Closed Facebook Group


As of June 19, 2017;[13]



Democratic Socialists of America Unity

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

Get Money Out of Politics


Get Money Out of Politics - featuring Larry Lessig. Hosted by Zak Ringelstein , Sweet For Governor, Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America, Sierra Club Maine

Saturday, April 7 at 1 PM - 3 PM.

Luther Bonney Hall, Portland, Maine 77059.

We at Ringelstein for U.S. Senate are thrilled to announce that we are hosting a summit on the importance of getting money out of politics on April 7, 2018 from 1:00-3:00pm at the University of Southern Maine.
Lawrence Lessig|Larry Lessig, leading academic on corruption in American politics, will keynote the event.
The event will also feature a talk by University of Maine School of Law Dean Danielle Conway and small discussions led by the Sierra Club Maine, the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, Equality Maine, Southern Maine DSA, and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. In addition, there will be a panel discussion on corruption with Senator Justin Chenette (Saco), Rep. Mike Sylvester (Portland), gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet, and former Rep. Harlan Baker.

Lobbying Angus King

Harlan Baker May 27, 2018:


With the regional director for Senator Angus King (I)-Maine, Ben Tucker,advocating support for Senator Bernie Sanders letter to Secretary Mike Pompeo to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The letter urged as a first step restoration of funding for the United Nations Relief Agency and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). The meeting lasted an hour. In addition three messages from Israelis were also delivered.

“It Can’t Happen Here”

Harlan Baker January 20, 2018:


Cast of the Maine DSA staged reading of “ It Can’t Happen Here”. - January 20 th — with Kenneth Lynx, Meg Anne, Carl E. Pease, Cynthia Adair Grier Handlen, Mikayla Damon, Herb Adams, Seth Berner, Kelley McDaniel, Barney McClelland and Vinny O'Malley at Maine Irish Heritage Center.


Harlan Baker May 1, 2018:


Bowling with comrades- May Day bowling party at Bayside Bowl- with Democratic Socialists of America, International Socialist Organization, Socialist Party USA, and the IWW. — with Owen Albatross Hill, Amy Gaidis, Seth Berner, Kate Sykes, Jon Torsch, Marc Normandin, Barney McClelland and Todd Chretien at Bayside Bowl.

"Say no to racism"

Harlan Baker June 1, 2018:


Tonight’s Say NO to Racism stand. Monument Square is fast becoming Portland’s answer to London’s Hyde Park. In addition to us there was a demonstration against the killings in Gaza,a lone demonstrator asking us to believe in God, petitioners for Planned Parenthood, and leafleting for the League of Women Voter’s guide for the June elections. — with Craig C. Dorais, Tim Goodwin, Barney McClelland, Bob Maheu, Eileen Manglass, Shaaron Hendry, Seth Berner and Barbara White.

DSA comrades

Harlan Baker January 15, 2018


With Jaigene Kang, Marjorie Phyfe, Cynthia Adair Grier Handlen, Chris Trevet, Mike Sylvester and Seth Berner.

Local dignitaries

Harlan Baker January 9, 2018:


Mike Desjardins speaking on what socialism means to him at last night’s Southern Maine Democratic Socialist of America meeting. In addition to electing new officers, a representative from the Southern Maine Workers Center spoke about the current campaign for Paid Family Leave in Portland. Others in attendance were State reps Mike Sylvester, and Ben Collings. Democratic US Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein and Mayor Ethan Strimling were there as as observers.

DSA North Star


In 2018 Harlan Baker was an original signatory of the DSA North Star founding principles statement.