Jimmy Tarlau

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Jimmy Tarlau

Template:TOCnestleft Jimmy J. Tarlau is a leader of Communication Workers of America.He is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates (Dist. 47), a member of Prince George's County DSA branch and a councilmember in Mount Rainier.[1]


Jimmy Tarlau arrived at Princeton with a political consciousness partially formed. Disappointed by the level of political involvement he found on the Princeton campus in the fall of 1966, Tarlau thought seriously about dropping out to join VISTA, the domestic Peace Corps, but decided to stay on, with the goal of radicalizing the University. Working for New York congressman William Fitts Ryan ’44 during the summer after his freshman year, he quietly researched the Institute for Defense Analysis, which was located in Princeton and would become the target of many protests by the antiwar group Students for a Democratic Society.

Tarlau later was one of three students suspended from Princeton for participating in the “Hickel Heckle” — in which radical students harassed Walter J. Hickel, President Nixon’s secretary of the interior, when he came to speak on campus. Later, a letter of apology was sent to Hickel, bearing 1,400 signatures. The outburst cost Tarlau the right to graduate with his class, not that he was particularly troubled by that.

By the time Tarlau received his Princeton diploma in the mail some six months after his class had graduated, he already had chosen a road not taken by many Princeton graduates. For a time he worked in a truck factory, building both trucks and a more radical consciousness among his fellow workers. He drove a cab.

“For a lot of us who grew up in that time, you really saw how you’re part of the period you live in,” says Tarlau. “If I’d been five years younger or five years older, I’d have had a completely different path in my life. ... I’d still have been involved in politics but it would have been a different kind of politics. I’d have worked for some congressman or a senator. I would have been one of those guys in West Wing. I sometimes wonder whether I could have been a big shot. On the other hand, when I look in the mirror and say, ‘How do you actually change this country,’ that’s not how you change the country. ... Basically, it’s union organizations that elect progressive candidates and also push candidates to take better positions.” [2]


At Princeton Tarlau was active with the Young Workers Liberation League.[3]

Communist Party USA

On June 1, 1975, Jimmy Tarlau was elected both to the District Board, and as a member of the District Committee of the Pennsylvania Communist Party at the Party's District Convention.[4]

NCC candidate

At the Committees of Correspondence Conference, July 19,1992, Jimmy Tarlau was a candidate for the CoC NCC.[5]

PDA meeting, Maryland

Thursday March 15, 2012, PDA National Director Tim Carpenter, PDA National Vice Chair emeritus Stephen Shaff, PDA National Deputy Field Director Andrea Miller and Mike Hersh welcomed speakers Rep. Donna Edwards (Md-6), Professor Eric Kingson from Social Security Works, and Alex Lawson from We Act 1480 AM Radio to Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Current and former PDA National Board Members Medea Benjamin, Joe Libertelli and Steve Cobble, Healthcare NOT Warfare co-chair Donna Smith, and Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky also helped welcome progressives to Prince George's County's newest meeting place. The turnout included several important progressive leaders from Maryland's 4th, 6th, and 8th districts.

Special thanks to the Very Important Progressive Host Committee including--Stephen Shaff; PDA board member Bill Fletcher, Jr., Raucus Activist Writer; Alex Lawson, Social Security Works and WE ACT Radio; Heather Booth, Activist; Steve Cobble, PDA Political Advisor, and Institute for Policy Studies; Medea Benjamin; Tom Hucker, MD Delegate, D-20; Greg Moore, NAACP/Political Consultant; Beth Becker, Progressive PST; Naomi Bloch, Activist who donated a small library of books; David Hart, Physicians for Social Responsibility; Beth Schulman, IPS; Greg Smith, Activist; Joe Libertelli; Mark Dudzic; Jimmy Tarlau, Communication Workers of America; Kerren-Pope Onwukwe, Attorney/Activist; and Andrea Miller.[6]

State delegate run

Jimmy tarlau.JPG

Long-time union activist Jimmy Tarlau – a Metro Washington Council Executive Board member – was endorsed by the Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO at its annual convention October 2013. Tarlau, who is the Assistant to the CWA District 2-13 Vice President, is running for the open seat in District 47A. “It is time for labor folks to run for political office,” he told Union City. “We can’t rely on others to carry our agenda." Tarlau, who has served as a City Councilman in Mount Rainier for the past six years, says he hopes to knock on over 2,000 doors in the next few months. [7]

Anti Safeway rally

"This is an example of corporate greed," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D.-Md, at a rally in Upper Marlboro, October 2015 in support of some 900 Safeway supermarket employees who have been notified they will lose their jobs a few days before Christmas.

The employees are warehouse workers and truck drivers employed at the chain's distribution center located here in Upper Marlboro, the county seat of Prince George's county, a majority African American jurisdiction..

Rep. Donna Edwards, D.-Md., echoed the remarks of Van Hollen , as did former Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, several state delegates and senators and several members of the Prince George's County council, including the chairperson.

State Delegate Jimmy Tarlau said, "This is a perfect example of the redistribution of wealth - from workers to the corporate class."

Along with officers of the Teamsters locals, also attending the rally were representatives of the Operating Engineers, the Service Employees International Union and Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

"Here in Maryland, labor is united," said Richie Brooks," president of Teamsters Local 730.[8]

Maryland comrades

Catherine Murphy July 21, 2017:


Last night at Mediterranean Cafe with Jimmy Tarlau, Ray Watkins, Delegate Diana Fennelll, Matthew White & Sadara Barrow, the lovely mayor of Colmar Manor!



  1. [1]
  2. [http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/archive_new/PAW04-05/11-0323/features1.htmlMarch 23, 2005: Features, A war still with them By Merrell Noden ’78
  3. [Princeton Alumni Weekly, Volume 72, May 12, 1972, page 12]
  4. New District Leadership -- Elected at District Convention, June 1, 1975, Sandy Patrinos Files, Box 1, Tamiment Library, Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University
  5. [http://www.nathannewman.org/EDIN/.left/CoC/.conference/.election.html, Committees of Correspondence Conference, July 19,1992 Final Corrections to the Balloting Committee Report by Steve Willett]
  6. PDA website, Donna Edwards Joins PDA in Hyattsville Friday, 16 March 2012 14:46 Written by Mike Hersh
  7. MD/DC AFL-CIO Endorses CWA’s Jimmy Tarlau for MD State Delegate, Posted On: Nov 23, 2013
  8. PW Maryland elected officials decry Safeway supermarket’s corporate greed by: Larry Rubin October 19 2015