John Conyers, Jr.
- 1 Service
- 2 Early life/education
- 3 Political career
- 4 Sugar/Crockett connection
- 5 Americans for Democratic Action
- 6 Communist Party/Party fronts
- 7 Against the Vietnam War
- 8 Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Operation RAW
- 9 Black voting "bloc"
- 10 Exploiting the black vote
- 11 Congressional Black Caucus
- 12 World Peace Council connection
- 13 The Chile letter
- 14 The IPS connection
- 15 IVI-IPO
- 16 Supporting the PLO
- 17 Trying to save the Olympics
- 18 War Danger and the Lebanon Crisis conference
- 19 Voted against support for "Contras"
- 20 Protecting Islamic extremists
- 21 Peace for Cuba Appeal
- 22 Single-payer Bills
- 23 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 24 Arab American Political Action Committee
- 25 Democratic Socialists of America connections
- 25.1 Cablegram to Portugese Socialists and the M.F.A.
- 25.2 "Democracy '76"
- 25.3 DSOC "Initiator"
- 25.4 "Knows about" DSOC"
- 25.5 Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus
- 25.6 DSA founding convention
- 25.7 "Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"
- 25.8 DSA endorsement
- 25.9 2003 DSA convention
- 25.10 DSA "ally"
- 25.11 Detroit fundraiser
- 25.12 Possible DSA member?
- 25.13 DSA sponsored rally
- 25.14 Speaking at DSA Meeting
- 25.15 DSA support for Jobs Bill
- 25.16 DSA "friend"
- 25.17 Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All
- 25.18 2012 DSA Fundraiser
- 26 Arab American Political Action Committee
- 27 "Reparations"
- 28 CBC 33rd Legislative Conference, 2003
- 29 Peace activism
- 30 Gray Panthers dinner
- 31 NLG pressure to impeach President Bush
- 32 Progressive Democrats of America
- 33 Pacifica Radio
- 34 FightingBobFest speaker
- 35 Obama supporter
- 36 Health Care Access resolution
- 37 HR 3000
- 38 "Single Payer" advocate
- 39 "Single - payer" movement
- 40 "Agent Orange" campaign connection
- 41 Democratic Party Super Delegates
- 42 Advisory Board Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center
- 43 Supporting Coalition of Immokalee Workers
- 44 Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
- 45 ACLU meeting
- 46 Endorsed SB 1306
- 47 Detroit-area progressives push back
- 48 CAIR Michigan 2010 Banquet
- 49 Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
- 50 Defending the Public, Our Families, and Our Communities
- 51 CPC "Good jobs" tour
- 52 Black Caucus jobs campaign
- 53 HR 365
- 54 Detroit Angela Davis gathering
- 55 PDA allies
- 56 The Peoples' Inauguration
- 57 LIBERT-E Act
- 58 Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- 59 Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
- 60 Friendships
- 61 Staff
- 62 External links
- 63 References
John Conyers, Jr. is a far left member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 13th district of Michigan. He is chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Serving his 21st term in Congress, he is the second most senior member of the House and dean of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was also a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and an original member of President Nixon’s Enemies List.
Among his accomplishments in Congress: the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the Motor Voter Bill of 1993, the Martin Luther King Holiday Act of 1983, the Alcohol Warning Label Act of 1988, and the Jazz Preservation Act of 1987. A legendary force for peace, civil rights and social justice, Rep. Conyers has worked closely with PDA to hold the Bush Administration accountable for manipulating Iraq intelligence, and in exposing voting irregularities in Ohio in 2004. He is a Korean War veteran.
Conyers is married to the former Monica Esters.
Conyers has served as Trustee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change, past director of United Auto Workers Local 900, a member of the advisory council of the Michigan Civil Liberties Union, general counsel for the Trade Union Leadership Council, vice-chair for the advisory council of Michigan Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP. 
John Conyers, Jr. was born in 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, son of Lucille Simpson and John Conyers, Sr.. After graduating from Detroit public schools, he earned his B.A. degree in 1957 and his J.D. degree in 1958 from Wayne State University. Before beginning a career as a private attorney, Conyers served one year in Korea as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was awarded combat and merit citations.
In 1958, Conyers began his work in politics as an aide to Congressman John Dingell, whom he served until 1961. Conyers made history when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1964 on a platform of jobs, justice and peace. During his years in Congress, "social justice and economic opportunity" have remained focal points of Conyers' platform.
Conyers was re-elected in November 2006 to his twenty-first term in the House, presenting Michigan's 14th Congressional District. His district includes Detroit and the Wayne County communities of Dearborn Heights, Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Harper Woods, Highland Park and Redford. Conyers is the longest-serving African American in the history of the House. He is the dean and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center
In 2007, John Conyers, Jr. was a member of the Honorary Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice Reception & Silent Auction. The reception, which was held on Nov. 14, 2007 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. The guest of honor at the reception was Andy Levin, son of Congressman Sander Levin, and Deputy Director at the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.
Americans for Democratic Action
Communist Party/Party fronts
National Lawyers Guild
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
In 1965 John Conyers was a guest speaker with Communist Party USA member Frank Wilkinson at a March 27 Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights supper-workshop-confrence at McGiffert House in Chicago.
On March 1, 2003, John Conyers was the keynote speaker at an event entitled "Assembly to Reclaim our Rights" which was held at Bethel AME Church, 4440 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The event was organized by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and the Bill of Rights Foundation.
Trade Unionists for Peace
In 1966, Conyers spoke at the founding convention of Trade Unionists for Peace which was established by leftist labor leaders as a lobby against United States forces remaining in Vietnam. (TUP was run by Charles Walters, a shop steward for the United Automobile Workers. Former Communist Bereniece Baldwin testified under oath, in 1954, before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, that Walters was a member of the Communist Party USA). In 1966, Walters was editor of Labor Today, a communist controlled publication. Conyers has written for Labor Today.
On June 3, 1975, Coalition for Economic Survival honored Rep. Parren Mitchell, at a banquet at the Airport Hyatt Inn, Los Angeles. Mitchell was being honored because of his Transfer Amendment - which would redirect several billion from military to social spending.
CES chair Rev. Al Dortch presided. Sharing the podium with Mitchell were William Robertson, exec secretary of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, and Humberto Comacho of the United Electrical Workers.
Ruth Yanatta, newly elected Santa Monica councilor and CES founder, was also an honored guest.
Assemblywomen Maxine Waters also presented an award from the state legislative black caucus, to Mitchell and CES.
National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
The 10th Anniversary Conference of the Communist Party USA front National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression was held in Chicago, May 13-15 1983, at the McCormick Inn - featured speakers included John Conyers
Labor Research Association award
In November 1982, Reps. George Crockett and John Conyers of the Congressional Black Caucus were honored at the Communist Party USA controlled Labor Research Association's Banquet Luncheon. Rep. Major Owens of Brooklyn was also present.
Martinez Jobs Bill
Circa early June 1997 Congressmen Sidney Yates, Jesse Jackson, Jr., William Clay, John Conyers and delegate Donna Christensen, all signed on as co-sponsors of the Communist Party USA inspired Martinez Jobs Bill.
Communist Party "ally"
In a report "What Can We Learn From the Movement for Health Care Reform?" prepared as part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010.Communist Party USA member David Bell wrote on the partial failure of the Party's health care agenda;
- Did we forget the fact that many of the same unions, hundreds of locals, and the rank and file supported single payer? We also turned away from our allies in Congress, the Progressive Caucus, and John Conyers. We did not insist that single payer supporters, including Conyers, be included in the White House summit on health care reform.
Against the Vietnam War
Conyers adopted the position that the Vietnam War was a racist conflict and he was one of only four members of the House of Representatives to vote against military support for U.S. troops in Vietnam. Other than his opposition to the Vietnam war, Conyer's interest in foreign affairs seems to have been confined to his adulatory support of the Communist Kwame Nkrumah, former head of Ghana.
On the House Judiciary Committee, Conyers was the only member to oppose legislation designed to make desecration of the American flag a crime.
Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Operation RAW
During the Labor Day weekend of September 4-7, 1970, Operation RAW ("Rapid American Withdrawal") took place. It was a three day protest march from Morristown, NJ, to Valley Forge State Park by over 200 veterans. It was sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They were joined by members of Nurses for Peace and other peace groups. Dressed in combat fatigues and carrying toy weapons, the march was designed to dramatize a Vietnam-type search and destroy mission to the Middle America they passed through. Upon entering each town along the march, sweeps were made, prisoners taken and interrogated, property seized and homes cleared with the assistance of previously planted "guerrilla theater" actors portraying civilians. The 86 mile long march culminated in a four hour rally at Valley Forge that over 1,500 people attended. The honorary commander during this event was retired Army Brigadier General Hugh B. Hester. Sponsors included Senators George McGovern and Edmund Muskie, Rep. John Conyers, Paul O'Dwyer, Mark Lane, and Donald Sutherland. Scheduled speakers were John Kerry, Joe Kennedy, Rev. James Bevel, Mark Lane, Jane Fonda, and Sutherland. Congressman Allard Lowenstein, Mike Lerner, and Army First Lt. Louis Font also spoke.
Black voting "bloc"
In 1968, Conyers told The Worker, a Communist Party USA publication, that he was organizing a committee of blacks to evaluate candidates for the 1968 election. It was part of his overall program to organize American Negroes into one voting bloc. For his evaluating committee, he had chosen, among others, the revolutionaries Stokely Carmichael, Ralph Abernathy and Floyd B. McKissick.
Exploiting the black vote
Around October 1971 Percy Sutton returned to Chicago, for another smokefilled- room meeting plus the third annual Black Expo, the black trade show — cultural fair sponsored by Jesse Jackson's Operation Breadbasket, the economic action wing of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Sutton was going to run one of the political seminars that will be a part of Black Expo, which has drawn around 500,000 visitors during its first two years and is aiming at 750,000 this time in its Sept. 29-Oct 3 run.
Sutton, along with Rep. John Conyers, D.-Mich., Cleveland mayor Carl Stokes and Gary, Ind., mayor Richard Hatcher, were to be giving chalk talks on how to register voters and what to do with them when you have them registered, which is get them to vote as a bloc.
Congressional Black Caucus
World Peace Council connection
From September 29, to October 12, 1975 the Soviet front World Peace Council sent a delegation on a ten-day tour of the United States of America, where it was "warmly and enthusiastically received". In six of the ten cities visited, the delegation was officially welcomed by the mayors' offices and presented with "keys to the city", medals and proclamations.
The delegation was composed of Romesh Chandra, Secretary General of the World Peace Council; Josef Cyrankiewicz, former Premier of Poland, for many years a prisoner at the infamous Auschwitz prison camp, "outstanding anti-fascist fighter", and Chairman of the Polish Peace Committee; Ambassador Harald Edelstam, Swedish Ambassador to Algeria, formerly Ambassador to Chile during the Allende Presidency,"renowned for his rescue of hundreds of Chileans from the fascist junta"; Purabhi Mukherji, General Secretary of the Congress Party of India, member of Parliament and formerly a minister of the Indian government ~ for 15 years; James Lamond, Labour member of British Parliament, former Mayor of Aberdeen, Scotland, and active member of the Engineering Workers Union; Yacov Lomko, Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow News, leading member of the Soviet Peace Committee, and Communist Party USA member Karen Talbot, US member of the WPC Secretariat.
The WPC delegates were guests of a number of members of Congress at a luncheon in the House of Representatives' dining room, and at a reception. Among those present were several members of the Congressional Black Caucus,including Congressman John Conyers (Democrat of Michigan), Congressman Ronald Dellums (Democrat of California), Congressman Ralph Metcalfe (Democrat of Illinois) and others. Congressman Philip Burton (Democrat of California), House majority leader, joined the luncheon, expressing interest in the work of the WPC and the New Stockholm Campaign. The delegation was also able to speak with a few members of the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees and the Armed Services Committees, including Congressman Paul Findley, Senator Briscoe, ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, and Senator Thomas McIntyre.
The WPC delegation, was led by its President, Romesh Chandra, a member of the Communist Party of India. Conyers welcomed this group, saying "You have joined us to give courage and inspiration in our fight for disarmament and against the neutron bomb."
WPC delegation members included KGB Colonel Radomir Bogdanov and Oleg Kharkhardin of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union International Department.
These Democratic Congressmen made House offices available for meetings with the WPC delegates.
During one of the meetings in these Congressmen's offices an official of the Communist Party USA was present and made a speech recommending that the "peace movement" unite in supporting the cause of several terrorist groups including the PLO and the Communist guerillas in EI Salvador.
Conyers has consistently voted against every new U.S. weapons program and opposed the defense budgets. The American Security Council rated him at 0% for 1988.
1982 WPC Bureau meeting
In January 1982 Conyers addressed a World Peace Council Bureau meeting "Discussions on Disarmament and the Security in Europe" in Copenhagen, Denmark.
US Peace Council
On the weekend of November 12-13, 1979, the Communist Party USA front U.S. Peace Council was established in a meeting at International House on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. US rep. John Conyers twice addressed the conference.
Addressed US Peace council national conference
"End The Cold War Fund Human Needs" U.S. Peace Council's Tenth Anniversary National Conference - Boston, Mass., Nov. 10-12, 1989
- Leslie Cagan
- Rep. John Conyers - (D-Mich)
- Prof. Gerald Horne
- Prof. Michio Kaku
- Robert Krimsky
- Prof. Manning Marable
- Jack O'Dell - Rainbow Coalition Operation PUSH
- Dennis Rivera - Local 1199 Drug & Hospital Workers Union
- Angela Sanbrano- CISPES
- Bernie Sanders
- Holly Sklar
- Zehdi Terzi - Palestine Liberation Organisation
- Dessima Williams - Grenada Foundation
The Chile letter
On August 1 1979 Thirty-five U.S. Congressmen signed a letterto President Jimmy Carter demanding that private bank loans to Chile be barred unless the Chilean government chose to extradite three military officials, including the former director of the Chilean intelligence service. The three had been indicted for complicity in the assassination of marxist Unidad Popular government member and KGB agent Orlando Letelier and the killing of Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) staffer Ronni Moffitt in 1976.
In May 1978 the Chief Justice of the Chilean Supreme Court rejected the U.S. request for extradition.
Chief sponsor of the letter was Rep. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who was joined by Congressmen John Burton (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), Ron Dellums (D-CA), Berkley Bedell (D-IA), Richard Ottinger (D-NY), Fred Richmond (D-NY), Robert Drinan (D-MA), Leon Panetta (D-CA), Don Edwards (D-CA); Norman Mineta (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA}, Anthony Beileson (D-CA) George Brown (D-CA), Toby Moffett (D-CT), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Eugene Atkinson (D-PA), Michael Barnes (D-MD), David Bonior (D-MI), Adam Benjamin (D-IN), William Brodhead (D-MI), Robert Carr (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Tom Downey (D-NY), Harold Hollenbeck (R-NJ), Pete Kostmayer (D-PA), Stewart McKinney (R-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Andrew Maguire (D-NJ) Richard Nolan (DFL-MN), Gerry Studds (D-MA), Bruce Vento (DFL-MN) and Howard Wolpe (D-MI).
The Harkin letter characterized the Chilean government as "an enemy of the American people" and urged the President to "take strong action against this terrorist government." The letter was released (9 A.M. on August 1 1979) at the same time a press statement from the Washington, DC, Chile Legislative Center of the National Coordinating Center in Solidarity with Chile, staffed by veterans of the Venceremos Brigade and the Communist Party USA, supported the Congressional letter and urged pressure so that the State Department does not accept a military trial of the three Chileans in Chile as a substitute for extradition and trial in the US.
The IPS connection
In 1975 a group of 47 members of Congress, led by John Conyers, asked radical Washington D.C "think tank" the Institute for Policy Studies to prepare an "alternative budget" to that proposed by President Ford. This request was repeated in 1976 and 1978, by 56 legislators.
The 1978 document called for "a socialist housing program...radical social change in the educational system...a 50% cut in the Defense budget". . .and "disengagement" from America's overseas commitments.
In 1983 sixty Congressmen went back to the IPS with a request for another "alternative" budget.
Progressive Hill Staff Group
Ron Dellums' Congressional staffers along with those of John Conyers launched the Progressive Hill Staff Group, made up of aides to left-wing Congressmen. Among other actions this group was active in the trend for Congress to short circuit the State Department on Foreign Affairs. They organized a conference in 1983 for three members of the Sandinista government of Nicaragua to address more than 100 Congressional staffers and press reporters on Capitol Hill. The State Department was given no advance notice of the meeting.
The Washington School
The Washington School, founded by the Institute for Policy Studies, in 1978, was an important means of influencing Congress and the Democratic Party. Courses on defense, foreign affairs, and domestic policies are taught there by IPS officers and staffers, and other American or foreign radical "experts." A large number of members of Congress and staffers have attended these schools. Several legislators have also taught there, including the following:
- Tom Harkin
- Paul Tsongas
- Mark Hatfield
- John Conyers
- Ron Dellums
- James Abourezk
- George Miller
- J. William Fulbright
- Henry Reuss
Take Back America Conferences
John Conyers was on the list of 153 speakers at the 2006 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
He was back in 2007, 2008.
The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
John Conyers is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".
Lynn Raskin, a Washington D.C. realtor, and her husband, Marcus Raskin, a cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies, contributed to progressive candidates in several tight congressional races during the 2012 election cycle. They donated to Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat running for Senate in Massachusetts. They've also given money to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
In 1981 John Conyers was a Vice President of Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization.
Supporting the PLO
In 1984 Jesse Jackson, John Conyers and George Crockett, were among the signers of a telegram sent by a Palestine Liberation Organization support group to President Reagan demanding "immediate sanctions against Israel."
Trying to save the Olympics
When Moscow, two other East European nations and Vietnam boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Rev. Jesse Jackson and John Conyers attempted to set up a special committee of athletes, civic leaders and members of Congress to "create a climate in which the decision can be changed."
The group held its first meeting in Conyers office may 11. Jackson, after a one hour meeting with Soviet Foreign minister Dobrynin, said that both he and the committee were willing to go to Moscow.
"I would say we have a about a one in ten chance" Conyers' press secretary Julian Epstein said. "They were firm in their position, but not final...The lines to the Soviet Embassy are being kept open.They are really bending over backwards to accommodate us. We will find out exactly under what conditions they would come back, and then get back with the US, Soviet, and international Olympic committees to see what we can mediate."
War Danger and the Lebanon Crisis conference
On February 11 1984, Noam Chomsky addressed "The War Danger and the Lebanon Crisis-Issues For The US Peace Movement" conference, organized by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, held at the United Methodist Building Conference Rooms, Washington, DC.
Other speakers included Dan Connell, Congressman John Conyers, Neta Crawford, Stephen Green, Robin Madrid, Rev. Paul Mayer, Jack O'Dell, Dr. Seth Tillman, Don Will, Ellen Siegel, and Dr. James Zogby.
Voted against support for "Contras"
The Congressional Record of February 3, 1988 shows that the following leading Democratic Party Congressmen voted against aid to the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters - the "Contras"- then fighting against the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government of Nicaragua:
- Les Aspin
- Les AuCoin
- Ed Boland
- David Bonior
- Don Bonker
- Barbara Boxer
- George Brown
- John Conyers
- George Crockett
- Ron Dellums
- Tom Downey
- Mervyn Dymally
- Don Edwards
- Mike Espy
- Barney Frank
- Sam Gejdenson
- Richard Gephardt
- William Gray
- Lee Hamilton
- Charles Hayes
- Robert Kastenmeier
- Joseph Kennedy
- Pete Kostmayer
- Jim Leach
- Ed Markey
- Nancy Pelosi
- J. J. Pickle
- Charles Rangel
- Peter Rodino
- Dan Rostenkowski
- Gus Savage
- Patricia Schroeder
- Steven Solarz
- Gerry Studds
- Morris Udall
- Ted Weiss
- Howard Wolpe
- Sidney Yates
Protecting Islamic extremists
During the first Gulf War, John Conyers fought FBI outreach efforts in the Arab and Muslim community in Detroit that were designed to gather intelligence on potential cells and protect the home front. Conyers and other Detroit-area Democrats at the time, David Bonior and John Dingell, threatened to hold hearings unless the FBI stopped counterterrorism interviews.
Peace for Cuba Appeal
In 1994 Jim McDermott, John Conyers and Paul Wellstone promoted a "single-payer" health care bill (HR1200/S491). Ellen Shaffer, a member of Wellstone's staff told the People's Weekly World that the authors had been "working closely" with Hillary Clinton. "She knows what they are doing" Shaffer said.
National Health Insurance Conference
Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) hosted a National Health Insurance Conference, April 16-17, 2004 to kick off a 50-state campaign for passage of national health insurance legislation, HR 676 – the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.” Conyers introduced HR 676 in the House in 2003.
Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, keynoted the conference, speaking on “The State of Health Care – The Case for National Health Insurance.” Conyers spoke on “Launching a National Movement for HR 676,” followed by a session on “Getting the Message Out – Working the Media.”
Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Joel Segal, senior assistant to Conyers, presented the details of HR 676 in a session titled, “What Is It and How Do We Pay For It?” They will seek to arm the participants to take the message back to the neighborhoods. There was also a session on strategies to promote single-payer legislation on the state level. Activists were working on state single-payer bills in a number of states, including Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania. The agenda includes nuts-and-bolts workshops on working with unions, faith communities, educators, and health workers.
Ron Gettelfinger, United Auto Workers president, and Leo Gerard, Steelworkers president, both advocates of single-payer health care, were invited to address the conference. The conference also extended invitations to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, two of the co-sponsors of HR 676.
Conference organizers intended to establish a national health insurance citizens’ network to begin implementing a campaign to pass HR 676 or its equivalent. They also hoped to open a national health insurance coordination office in Washington.
Dozens of health care and social justice organizations endorsed the conference including Physicians for a National Health Program, the Gray Panthers, Jobs with Justice of Washington, D.C., the National Coalition for the Homeless, the American Medical Students Association, Universal Health Care Action Network, and the National Welfare Rights Union.
“We believe that the leadership should come from the people that do the work, and now is the time to build a serious movement for national health insurance for all in America,” asserted conference organizers Michelle Tingling-Clemmons and Rick Tingling-Clemmons. The conference was held at Howard University Hospital and Towers Auditorium, 2041 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D. C.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
As of February 20 2009 John Conyers was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Arab American Political Action Committee
The second annual Arab American Political Action Committee dinner was held in 1999 and was attended by over 800 people. Osama Siblani welcomed the audience and introduced Samer Jaafar the Chairman of the Endorsement Committee. AAPAC's president Abed Hammoud delivered the organization's message and plans for the future. Congressman David Bonior, the House Minority Whip and U.S Senator Spencer Abraham delivered their addresses. Dr. Mohamad Khansa chaired the Dinner Committee.
Prominent Michigan public officials in attendance included US Senator Spencer Abraham and his wife Jane Abraham, US Congressman David Bonior and his wife Judy Bonior, US Congressman John Dingell and his wife Debbie Dingell, US Congressman Sander Levin and his wife Vicki Levin, US Congressman John Conyers, Jr., US Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow, US Congressman Joe Knollenberg, US Congresswoman Lynn Rivers, Wayne County Sheriff Robert Ficano and Eunice Confer representing U.S. Senator Carl Levin.
Democratic Socialists of America connections
Cablegram to Portugese Socialists and the M.F.A.
In 1974, after a pro-communist military coup in Portugal;
- More than eighty Americans, all identified with opposition to the Vietnamese war and with various radical and liberal causes, sent on August 9 a cablegram to to the Portugese Armed Forces Movement, to Portugese president francisco da Costa Gomes and to portugese socialist leader Mario soares expressing the hope that "democratic freedoms"...will continue to grow in Portugal".
Michael Harrington, the national chairman of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, organized the effort with help from 5 "Initiators" - Lawrence Birns (writer), Sissy Farenthold (past president National Women's Political Caucus), Congressman Michael J. Harrington, Martin Peretz (chairman, editorial board New Republic), Cleveland Robinson (vice president, Distributive Workers of America), Leonard Woodcock (president United Auto Workers, Jerry Wurf (president AFSME).
Elected officials who signed the cablegram included: Julian Bond, Willie Brown, Jr., John Conyers, Jr., Don Edwards, William Gluba, Edward J. Koch, Parren J. Mitchell, Henry S. Reuss, Benjamin S. Rosenthal and Louis Stokes.
Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee organized a Democracy '76 seminar in Chicago in June 1976.
According to the December 29, 1979, issue of Information Digest, the "initiators" of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (forerunner of Democratic Socialists of America) , formed in 1973 as a result of a split within the Socialist Party USA, largely over the issue of cooperation with communists, included Julian Bond, Heather Booth, John Conyers, Ronald Dellums, Douglas Fraser, Joyce Miller, William Winpisinger, and Jerry Wurf.
John Conyers addressed the the Fifth Annual Convention of the Democratic Socìalist Organizing Committee. (DSOC) held in Philadelphia May 22-25, 1981.
"Knows about" DSOC"
- Dear Danielle Page,
- I'm sending along a list of Congresspeople and senators who know about us, democratic socialism, and -- perhaps Canada.
- Only the first one is an open socialist, but the others are sympathetic in varying degrees.
The list was;
- Congressman Ron Dellums
- Congressman Byron Dorgan (North Dakota)
- Congressman Steven Solarz
- Congressman Ted Weiss
- Congressman Barney Frank
- Congressman Gerry Studds
- Congressman Robert Kastenmeier
- Congressman John Conyers
- Congressman Harold Washington
- Congressman David Obey
- Congressman Les Aspin
- Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski
- Senator Ted Kennedy
- Hope this is of help and you recruit them to the cause!
- In Solidarity,
- Nancy Lieber
- Chair, Intl. Committee
Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus
For groups and organizations seeking radical social change within the Democratic Party, the National Convention of 1980 had at least one historic first - formation of a Socialist Caucus of delegates. Organized by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and by the Democratic Agenda which was DSOC's cadre and supporters within the Democratic Party and was based in DSOC' s New York office and at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. Some 31 delegates and alternates from twelve states and Democrats Abroad attended the Socialist Caucus.
As a preliminary to the convention's Socialist Caucus meeting, , indeed as a "building event" and as a continued show of support for Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the Democratic Agenda sponsored a convention rally at New York's Town Hall. The speakers included Herman Badillo, Julian Bond, Fran Bennick, Harry Britt, Cesar Chavez, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI}, Douglas Fraser, Murray Finley, Michael Harrington, Terry Herndon, Ruth Jordan, Ruth Messinger, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem and William Winpisinger.
DSOC works within the Democratic Party, said Harrington, because of the party's relationships with organized workers, blacks, feminists, environmentalists and other "progressive groups."
- Alice Papon, AZ
- Debbie Anderson, CA
- Helen Barrios, CA
- Harry Britt, CA
- Muriel Brownstein, CA
- Mickey Flacks, CA
- Vivial Hall, CA
- Dolores Huerta, CA,
- Amy King, CA
- Ted Neima, CA
- Mike Nye, CA
- Raoul Teilhet, CA
- Richard Sklar, CA
- Pat Dillon, CT
- Kristine Blackwood, DC
- Steve Ramirez, DC
- Bill Simons, DC
- Jerry Wurf, DC
- Julian Bond, GA
- William Winpisinger, MD
- Vivian Hall, MA
- Brian Maranhoa, MA
- Ms. Su Finkbinder, MI
- Martin Gerber, MI
- Millie Jeffrey, MI
- Isabel Laluz, MI
- Gerald Maginelli, MI
- Bernice Selden, MI
- David Selden, MI
- Earl Bourdon, NH
- Henry Berger, NY
- Jim Chapin, NY
- David Dinkins, NY
- Elaine Drucker, NY
- Ed Gray, NY
- Patrick Kelly, NY
- Ruth Messinger, NY
- Libby Moroff, NY
- Cleveland Robinson, NY
- Gerry Cohen, NC
- Margaret Lynch, OH
- Judy Watts, OR
- Harold Rosenthal, PA
- Sue Rosenthal, PA
- Craig Murphy, TX
- Ray Majerus, WI
- Louise Uphoff, WI
- David Fleishman (foreign)
DSA founding convention
John Conyers was a special guest on day one of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee/New American Movement Unity Convention in Detroit March 21/22 1982, that resulted in the formation of Democratic Socialists of America.
"Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"
In 1995, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, David Bonior, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Cynthia McKinney, Maurice Hinchey, Major Owens, Nydia Velasquez, John Conyers, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Lane Evans, Edolphus Towns, Jim McDermott, supported Democratic Socialists of America member rep. Ron Dellums' "Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"
2003 DSA convention
Conyers opened by saying that “with a crypto-fascist administration, there’s no singular purpose more important than unelecting the unelected president”
- On June 25th, DSA PAC held a fundraising reception at UAW Local 909 in Warren on behalf of Representative Bernie Sanders who is running for an open Senate seat in Vermont. Over 140 people attended. The event raised over $12,000 for the Sanders for Senate campaign. Hosts for the event included former U.S. Representative and former House Minority Whip David Bonior, U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr., UAW Vice-President Richard Shoemaker, and Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams.
Possible DSA member?
- "Ron Dellums (who recently retired from Congress) is a Vice Chair of DSA, and Danny Davis, John Conyers, and Major Owens are all DSA Members."
DSA sponsored rally
Over 300 people attended the Call to Action Rally at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 876 Hall in Madison Heights on February 18th 2010. The rally was organized to press members of the Michigan Congressional delegation , particularly in the Senate, to pass key components of the progressive agenda including health care reform, cap and trade energy legislation, immigration reform, and the Employee Free Choice Act. Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America co-sponsored the rally along with 31 other organizations including Health Care for America Now, the UAW, the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union ), UFCW, UNITE-HERE Local 24, AFSCME Council 25, Reform Immigration for America, Repower America (the organization founded by former Vice-President Al Gore to promote investment in renewable energy), Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit, Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network, the Arabic Community Coalition for Economic and Social Security, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and MOSES.
Congressmen Sander Levin and John Conyers, Jr. addressed the audience. In addition, aides to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin and Representatives Dale Kildee, Gary Peters, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and John Dingell attended the rally.
DSA member Al Fishman spoke to the audience about how the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Obama’s domestic agenda in a manner analogous to the way in which the Vietnam War undermined President Johnson’s Great Society programs. DSA Executive Board member Dave Ivers spoke about the imperative for a national jobs program, shared a personal anecdote about how the health care crisis had affected his family, and stressed the importance of Congress passing the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easier for workers to organize unions. Other speakers included Chris Michalakis, Legislative Director of UFCW Local 876, who spoke about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Luke Canfora of Repower America described the huge potential benefits of investment in renewable energy (decreased reliance on foreign oil, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, and job creation). Marcia Boehm and Altheia Henry discussed the urgent need for health care reform. John Freeman, Michigan Director of Health Care for America Now, moderated the event.
Speaking at DSA Meeting
On October 02, 2010, Congressman John Conyers spoke at a Democratic Socialists of America meeting following the One Nation Rally which had taken place earlier that day. Among those present at the meeting were Frank Llewellyn (chaired), David Green, and two people referred to as "Dave" and "Herman", from Michigan.
During his talk, Conyers states that he is supporting Congressman Dennis Kucinich's measure to make a United States Department of Peace in the Federal Government. He refers to Barack Obama as his beloved 44th President, however states that:
- "I see that us making him more cooperative with our plans is going to strengthen him and not weaken him... The whole point is that, trashing progressives and the left, and at the same time watching your ratings go down - gee... what's so difficult about figuring that out? Whose job do you think it is to get him straightened out and get him on the right track? Ours! Ours!" (applause)
- This was the stark reality facing participants of the One Nation Working Together Rally on October 2, 2010. Labor and civil rights groups including the AFL-CIO and NAACP rallied to support for the Democrats, call for more job spending, and to combat the racist rhetoric of the Tea Party. Progressive groups from across the country endorsed and sent over 100,000 people to the National Mall.
- The Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) worked to get our activists on buses to show solidarity and demand the change that we voted for. Over sixty YDS activists came to Washington to first march with the Youth Contingent and then with the over 100 strong DSA contingent.
- After the march YDS activists joined DSA for a reception that was headlined by Representative John Conyers (D-MI). Conyers spoke about his universal health care bill and his new full employment bill as well.
DSA support for Jobs Bill
In May 2010, Rep John Conyers introduced a bill entitled "The 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act." The bill was "little noticed at the time but, today, after another 7 months of dismal jobs reports -- we have actually lost ground during 2010, creating fewer jobs than the growth of the labor force -- there was renewed interest in this legislation by a range of progressive groups". The Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee made mobilization around the Act a national priority; Progressive Democrats of America "is developing a similar effort, as are both the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and the (DSA controlled) National Jobs for All Coalition".
- The need for Federal action should be obvious. To that end, DSA supports H.R. 870, The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act, introduced into the House of Representatives by John Conyers, U.S. Representative from Detroit, and friend of DSA. This bill introduces several strategies to generate jobs, including the establishment of a National Full Employment Trust Fund to create employment opportunities for the unemployed, financed (budget-neutral) by a tax on securities transactions. Introduced by Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI-14) on March 2nd, the bill recently gained its 6th cosponsor, Bob Filner (CA-51). In Illinois, Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-2) is a co-sponsor.
Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All
A public event sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America, "Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All", was held November 11, 2011; 7:00 p.m. at St. Stephen and Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton NW, Washington, D.C.
- John Conyers – U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 14th district
- Eliseo Medina – International Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU
- Sarita Gupta – Executive Director, Jobs with Justice
- John Nichols – Washington Correspondent, The Nation
- Joslyn Williams – President, Metropolitan D.C. Central Labor Council
- Maria Svart – National Director, Democratic Socialists of America
DSA, the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, is the largest socialist political organization in the country, with more than 6,000 members and active locals in more 40 U.S. cities and college campuses. DSA Locals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Wichita, among others, have taken an active role in the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Freedom Plaza, and other Occupy protests in support of jobs and economic justice.
This meeting was organized in conjunction with the 15th National Convention of Democratic Socialists of America, which is being held at the Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner November 11-13, 2011.
2012 DSA Fundraiser
Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee, held a fundraising reception for Representative John Conyers, Jr., at Colors Restaurant on Sunday, May 27th 2012, from 2-5 PM. Guest of honor was Jim Hightower—noted progressive radio commentator and editor of the Hightower Lowdown.
Co-hosts were David Bullock, President of the Detroit branch of Operation PUSH, Tim Carpenter, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, David Hecker, President of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan, and Marjorie Mitchell, Executive Director of the Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network.
- As you may know, Congressman Conyers faces a serious primary challenge in a new district. In the past, he has never needed to raise much money for his campaigns. This time is different. We anticipate significant negative advertising will be directed against him. He will require sufficient resources with which to respond.
- John Conyers is an icon to the progressive community. He is the only elected official ever to be endorsed by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. As the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, he opposed the Patriot Act and has been a staunch defender of civil liberties. He is the sponsor of the Medicare for All Act (HR 676), a single-payer health insurance bill which would provide comprehensive health care benefits ton all Americans while simultaneously containing health care costs. He is the sponsor of the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act (HR 870), a bill which would use a tax on financial transactions to create a national jobs program aimed at producing three to four million new jobs per year in infrastructure improvement, social services, and green energy. In short, Congressman Conyers shares our politics.
Arab American Political Action Committee
The eighth annual dinner of the Arab American Political Action Committee was held on November 4, 2005 at the Binte Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn. Present at the dinner were John Conyers and Debbie Stabenow.
Conyers also attended the ninth annual dinner which was held on Nov. 3, 2006. At the dinner, awards were presented to Conyers, Former Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Ali Jawad.
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) talked of the “legitimacy and the necessity of the study of reparations” for the enslavement of African Americans in a speech at the University of Michigan, February 2002. Conyers’ speech was part of a number of events planned to celebrate Black History Month at the school.
Conyers first introduced HR-40, the “Forty Acres and a Mule Bill,” as he called it, in 1989. The bill would not implement reparations, but would develop a federal government commission, appointed by the president and Congressional leaders, to study the issue. Included in the study would be the work of academics and politicians, but also discussions of ordinary people in town hall meetings.
Conyers said that since slavery was a national issue, the repair, both economic and psychological, of the effects must also be considered a “national obligation; slavery is a national fact and ought to be treated as such, not as a personal issue.”
He also said that “no one questioned whether slaveowners ought to be compensated for the loss of their property, and the government acceded.”
This view of the legitimacy of reparations for property loss was built into the Constitution, the Fugitive Slave Laws and the reaction of wealthy whites in the South to radical reconstruction.
Rather than divide us as a nation, Conyers argued, “reparations would be helpful, they would bring healing” because they would start by “acknowledging that there was a crime against humanity.”
At the World Conference Against Racism, last September in Durban, South Africa, Bush administration representatives “refused to acknowledge that the enslavement of people is a crime – a hideous crime and a long-running crime, in the case of African Americans.” The healing process through discussion, acknowledgment and economic reparations may be unifying, in Conyers’ view.
Conyers finished his talk by critiquing the "right-wing’s drive to divide working people through racial profiling of Muslim residents of the U.S.", calling it “the most useless method of apprehending suspects” and that “it is still wrong, whether it is African Americans or Arabs or Muslims.”
Conyers also challenged his audience to think about the social and economic costs of Bush’s war on terrorism. Future generations are going to ask, Conyers said, “why did we cut all the social programs, why did we not provide a prescription drug benefit for seniors, why did we cut a billion dollars from Pell Grants to prosecute this war.”
We are going to find,
Conyers said, that we are “squandering huge amounts of money, claiming it goes to fight terrorism.”
CBC 33rd Legislative Conference, 2003
Anger at the Bush administration for waging war abroad and attacking rights at home bubbled up at the Congressional Black Caucus 33rd Legislative Conference in Washington DC, Sept. 24-27, 2003.
“Collective Leadership: Challenging A Bold New World” was the title of the conference, which attracted thousands of participants in 53 plenary and workshop sessions.
A standing-room crowd at a session titled “The Iraq War: America Speaks Out” convened by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), cheered Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who recently accused Bush of “fraud” in tricking the U.S. into war. The White House reacted with rage to that blast.
But Kennedy did not apologize. “If your son or daughter is in the National Guard or Reserves, you know they are going to be called up and sent over to serve in Iraq,” Kennedy thundered. “They are asking $87 billion for the war in Iraq and they cannot find enough to fund ‘No Child Left Behind.’”
Kennedy read from the Pentagon’s 28-page draft plan sent to Capitol Hill after weeks of protests from lawmakers that the occupation is floundering. “Locate and secure weapons of mass destruction,” was the goal one week. A week later, again, “Continue to locate and secure weapons of mass destruction.” The crowd groaned and Kennedy flung the draft in the air, calling it “an insult to our troops serving over there.”
Democratic presidential contender Al Sharpton told the crowd that Kennedy “has nothing to apologize for” in his blistering attacks on Bush. Recalling Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN last Feb. 14 with spy photos allegedly showing Iraqi weapons sites, Sharpton demanded, “Where are they?” He said, “Our children were put in harm’s way. It is immoral to give this president $87 billion for this war.”
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) asked, “What do you do if a president has committed acts that should lead to his removal? Citing mounting calls to investigate lies and misuse of intelligence by the “unelected president and the people around him,” Conyers said, “How do we withstand the mood of people who are saying to us: ‘What are you waiting for?’”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said, “Every day people are dying. I am appalled and outraged that Republicans are blocking a full and fair examination of the facts.”
Civil rights leader Rev. Willie Barrow said, “Mr. Bush, you didn’t find Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or weapons of mass destruction. We know a lie when we hear it.” She challenged the crowd to start now to register millions of voters. “It’s not enough to register people. We have to get them out to the polls on Election Day,” she said. “Let’s come together and show Bush the door.
Gray Panthers dinner
Oct. 6. 2007 the Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit held a Dinner at United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 876—The honorees include Saundra Williams, Elaine Crawford, Louis Green, Father John Nowlan, and the Raging Grannies. Keynote speaker is U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. Contact for the event was Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America affiliate Ethel Schwartz.
NLG pressure to impeach President Bush
The National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously and enthusiastically for a resolution calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush and VP Cheney at their national convention in Washington, DC on November 2, 2007.
The resolution listed more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America."
National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn and Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner were among more than a dozen cosponsors. In a news release about the resolution issued by the NLG Marjorie Cohn said,
- "the war of aggression, the secret prisons, the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the use of evidence obtained by torture, and the surveillance of citizens without warrants, all initiated and carried out under the tenure of Bush and Cheney, are interesting under the U.S. Constitution and international law."
- The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay. NLG members wishing to participate in launching this committee should immediately contact Ian Head in the National Office at "
The resolution also called on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign.
Passage of the resolution followed two events with John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, during the convention. First was a House Judiciary Committee Public Policy Forum on failure of the Bush/Cheney regime to observe international law. NLG members Marjorie Cohn, Jeanne Mirer, John Quigley, and Peter Weiss testified in the Judiciary Committee hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building. Jeanne Mirer, Secretary General of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, took the floor toward the very end of the hearing to say that a remedy is needed, that the remedy is clearly provided in the US constitution, and that this committee has the authority to get that process going. Conyers, who chaired the forum, asked her to repeat that point to make sure it was included in the record. He said that he would be holding further hearings and invited the speakers to return to testify on that remedy, impeachment.
A couple of hours after that forum ended Congressman Conyers arrived at the convention to give his keynote address and answer questions before the 400 lawyers and legal workers in attendance. Former NLG president Michael Avery was first to line up at the microphone and asked Conyers what the NLG could do to help Conyers decide to initiate impeachment investigation of Bush and Cheney. Speaker after speaker pressed Conyers to take action on impeachment, many receiving thunderous applause. Although he remained non-committal, Conyers said he would like to participate in a series of public policy forums around the country that he said could consider the interesting actions by Bush and Cheney and that these forums could lead to the ultimate step of the double impeachment. He suggested that we can only expect Congressional action to follow establishment of a widespread public campaign visibly demanding impeachment.
Progressive Democrats of America
PDA claimed successes
Tim Carpenter claimed that Progressive Democrats of America had chalked up several achievements in its short life, successfully promoting initiatives by PDA board members John Conyers and James McGovern.
- PDA was the driving force in the passage of resolutions opposing the war in Iraq by eight state Democratic Party meetings. The organization also was instrumental in the passage of resolutions in 10 states calling for the impeachment of President Bush.
- PDA is often referred to by Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Director Bill Goold as the CPC’s field operation, because PDA has built relationships with members of Congress by delivering grassroots support for their initiatives – from Rep. John Conyers’ investigation of the 2004 Ohio voting fraud to Rep. Jim McGovern’s bill to cut off funding for the war in Iraq, a current priority effort.
The organization worked hard for Marcy Winograd against Jane Harman and for other "progressive " Democrats including Donna Edwards, Christine Cegelis, Jerry McNerney, Tony Trupiano, John Hall, Jeff Latas, Gabby Giffords and Herb Paine.
- While PDA is still only a progressive “pup” compared with big liberal dogs like MoveOn, PDA-backed candidates have taken some big bites out of conventional wisdom and centrist Democratic complacency. In Los Angeles, local PDA leader Marcy Winograd won 37 percent of the primary vote against entrenched pro-war Democrat Rep. Jane Harman with only two months of lead time. In Maryland, the dynamic Donna Edwards appears to have come only a few hundred votes short of toppling the multi-term Rep. Al Wynn in her first bid for public office, and she is seen as well-positioned to prevail in 2008. And in Illinois, with strong PDA support, Christine Cegelis, though outspent 8 to 1, nearly beat the candidate of the inside-the- Beltway Party leadership and Illinois party machine, Tammy Duckworth, to vie for the seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Hyde.
- This fall, in the House, PDA is focusing attention and effort on several strong progressives worthy of note and support in hopes of flipping several seats from red to blue. In California, Jerry McNerney is running a strong race against an incumbent Republican. In Michigan, Tony Trupiano, with one of the nation’s strongest grassroots efforts, has his sights on an open seat in a Republican-leaning district. And in New York, anti-nuclear activist John Hall has won the Democratic nomination to challenge a four-term incumbent Republican. In Arizona, while the local PDA primary candidate, Jeff Latas, did not prevail, PDA will now enthusiastically join forces with PDA Board Member Rep. Raul Grijalva and support the nominee, the equally progressive Gabby Gifford, as well as PDA-backed Herb Paine, who won a razor-thin primary victory in a neighboring district.
In the United States Senate primary races PDA unsuccessfully backed Jonathan Tasini against Hillary Clinton in New York, In Ohio, PDA backed successful candidate Sherrod Brown. In Connecticut, PDA campaigned to replace pro Iraq War Senator Joe Lieberman with Ned Lamont.
Progressive Democrats of America 2012 endorsement
In 2012, John Conyers (MI), was one of 14 leftist Congressional and Senate candidates endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, an organization dominated by members or affiliates of Democratic Socialists of America and the Institute for Policy Studies.
Tribute to Tim Carpenter
HON. JOHN CONYERS, in the house of representatives, Tuesday, December 10, 2013
- Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Mr. Ellison of Minnesota and Mr. Grijalva of Arizona, the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as Ms. Lee of California, Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts and Mr. Grayson of Florida, I rise to acknowledge the many contributions of Mr. Tim Carpenter, and to send him wishes for healing as he fights against cancer. As the co-founder and director of the Progressive Democrats of America, Tim has helped to create a grassroots movement to bring the voice of the people to Washington.
- For the past thirty years, Tim has been indefatigable in pressing forward progressive ideals to help strengthen our American democracy. He has been in the forefront of progressive causes, from promoting nuclear disarmament to fighting to abolish the death penalty to establishing health care as a human right, as well as securing voting rights and jobs for all.
Conyers has been involved with the "WPFW since it's very inception," said Acie Byrd, the station's Board Gala Chair. Conyers serves as the Honorary Chair for the evening that Howard Zinn received the Pacifica Peace and Justice Award. He served as the Honorary Co-Chair with Attorney Roscoe Dellums. The WPFW is a Pacifica Radio affiliate.
Health Care Access resolution
John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.
Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;
- Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..
On September 3, 2003 Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3000, the United States Universal Health Service Act, which would provide health coverage for all Americans. H.R. 3000 would establish a United States Health Service (USHS), which would eliminate profit issues from health care because it would be owned and controlled by the public and administered primarily at the local level.
According to the Communist Party USA's People's World, initial supporters of HR 3000 were Julia Carson, (D-Ind.), Donna Christensen (D-Va.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Major Owens (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).
The World went on to say;
- We will not win the United States Health Service without a massive, prolonged struggle by working people against the corporate defenders of the current for-profit health care industry.
"Single Payer" advocate
John Conyers wrote on his blog December 28, 2008;
- Already nearly 9,000 people have sent the message online to the incoming Obama Administration that single payer is the one true health care reform that the country desperately needs. Now there are citizens groups across the country meeting to come together to collectively call upon the President-elect to consider single payer health care.
Michigan Medicare event
Michigan Alliance to Strengthen Social Security and Medicare presented “Health Care for All,” a forum on Rep. John Conyers, Jr.’s U.S. National Health Insurance Act (HR 676) featuring Marilyn Clement (National Coordinator for Health Care NOW), Olivia Boykins (Special Assistant to Representative John Conyers, Jr.), and Democratic Socialists of America member Richard Shoemaker (retired UAW Vice-President and former director of the UAW General Motors Department and UAW Community Action Program) and moderated by Metro AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams—Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 (1358 Abbott Street, Detroit). Conact for the event was Democratic Socialists of America member Maurice Geary.
"Single - payer" movement
According to Michael Lighty, a former National Director of Democratic Socialists of America, and Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, writing in DSA's Democratic Left, Winter 2007/2008 .
- There’s a growing movement for single-payer universal healthcare. The movement is led by activists in Healthcare-Now!, doctors in the Physicians for a National Health Program, nurses in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, leaders in labor unions such as United Steelworkers of America and Communication Workers of America, activists in the Progressive Democrats of America, and Congressman John Conyers, with the support for HR 676 by 300 union locals, 75 Central Labor Councils, and 25 state Federations of Labor, and hundreds of clergy and faith-based organizations, as well as civil rights, women’s and healthcare advocacy groups in the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare.
- The policy proposals developed by Beltway think tanks and the principles for reform adopted by the AFL-CIO confer support for single-payer while allowing for private insurance-based approaches as well. Other bills in Congress, notably sponsored by Ted Kennedy and John Dingell and “Americare” introduced by Pete Stark, seek to incrementally establish a single-payer system.
"Agent Orange" campaign connection
Agent Agent Orange Justice Tour
The Second Agent Agent Orange Justice Tour, June 2007, held a meeting with U.S. Representatives Jim McDermott (WA) and John Conyers, Jr. (D - MI): 4:30 pm - Thursday, June 14, 2007 at the Judiciary Building Library, Washington DC.
Orange Public Health Tour
From November 1-14, 2007, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong a leading clinician / researcher on the effects of Agent Orange on women and children in Vietnam from Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, visited Washington DC on an Vietnam Agent Orange Public Health Tour
Dr. Phuong, Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange toured Washington DC where a policy of the American Public Health Association on Agent Orange (Vietnamese version) was passed on November 6 2007. Dr Phuong was accompaigned by Merle Ratner of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and Susan Schnall (both leaders of the Committees of Correspondence dominated Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.
Dr. Phuong has held many senior positions in Vietnam's communist government including;
- 2006 – present Vice President, Union of Solidarity Societies of Ho Chi Minh City.
- 2004 – present Vice President, Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA).
- 2000 – present Member of the Presidium, Vietnam Fatherland Front.
- 1999 – present Vice President, Vietnam Fatherland Front of Ho Chi Minh City.
- 1999 – present President, Vietnam American Friendship Association of Ho Chi Minh City.
- 1992 – 1997 Deputy Chair, Commission of the International Relations of the Vietnam National Assembly.
- 1987 – 1992 Vice Speaker of the Vietnam National Assembly.
Vietnam "Agent Orange" support
Members of the US congress and the US Department of State showed their support for Vietnamese "victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin" during a visit to the US by a delegation from the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin.
The visit was made from November 22 to December 4 2010 at the invitation of the US’s Veterans for Peace organization and the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign also based in the US.
The Vietnamese delegation met with the leaderships of the VFP and VAORRC to discuss assistance for AO victims and future cooperation, "especially when commemorating the 50th anniversary of the start of the dioxin war against Vietnam on August 10, 1961".
They also met with congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary under the US House of Representatives, congressman Eni Faleomavaega, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment under the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the US House of Representatives, and US Representative Bob Filner.
These US congressmen expressed their support for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange and welcomed VAVA’s efforts to assist the victims. They stated that the US administration must attach more importance to settling the aftermaths of dioxin in Vietnam.
Mr Faleomavaega said that he regretted not having done enough for the victims in Vietnam and called on both the US and Vietnamese government to take responsibility and address the problem.
During the delegation’s meeting with representatives from the US Department of State, the US side confirmed that the US Department of State gives a high priority to solving the dioxin issue in Vietnam.
During the meetings, the Congressmen showed their support for Vietnamese AO victims, praising the VAVA for its effective activities to help the victims.
They also affirmed that the US administration must treasure the addressing of the consequences of AO in the relation between the two countries.
During the meeting with the US Department of State, the Department of State affirmed that the addressing of AO issue in Vietnam was a care and priority, according to delegation leader Lieutenant-general Nguyen Van Rinh.
He also said that the VAVA and the VAORRC would actively work with the US Congress and Government to have greater help for Vietnamese and American AO victims as well as for purifying toxic chemicals in hot areas in Vietnam.
The two organizations came to a joint declaration on increasing cooperation for justice for Vietnamese AO victims.
Democratic Party Super Delegates
In February 2008 Michigan Democratic Party Super Delegates were;[
Charles Brown Mon, 25 Feb 2008
- John D. Cherry, Lt. Governor
- Rep. John D. Dingell, U.S. Congressman, 15th District
- Joel Ferguson, at-large member of the DNC, businessman, member of MSU Board of Trustees
- Dale Kildee, U.S. Congressman, 5th District
- Sander Levin, U.S. Congressman, 12th District
- Mark Schauer, State Senator, 19th District
- Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator
- John Conyers, U.S. Congressman, 14th District
- Arthenia Abbott, Vice Chair, Michigan Democratic Party
- Lu Battaglieri, President of Michigan Education Association, union representing retired teachers and education employees
- Mark Brewer, Chair, Michigan Democratic Party, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
- Elizabeth Bunn, UAW Secretary-Treasurer
- Eric Coleman, County Commissioner of Oakland County, 23rd District
- Debbie Dingell, WSU Board of Governors, senior executive at General Motors
- Robert Ficano, Wayne County Executive
- Jennifer Granholm, Governor
- Kwame Kilpatrick, Mayor, City of Detroit
- Carolyn Kilpatrick, U.S. Congresswoman, 13th District
- Joyce Lalonde, Board of Directors, National Education Association
- Carl Levin, U.S. Senator
- Jeffrey Radjewski, business and finance manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
- Virgie Rollins, regional director, National Federation of Democratic Women, Chair, Democratic National Committee Black Caucus
- Richard Shoemaker, UAW Vice President
- Bart Stupak, U.S. Congressman, 1st District
- Michael Tardiff, DNC
- Richard N. Wiener, attorney and former Granholm staffer
- Lauren Wolfe, President of the College Democrats of America, she is attending law school in Detroit.
Advisory Board Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center
As at Winter, 2008, the following served on the Advisory Board of the Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center:
- Jim Benn
- Martha Bergmark
- Marjorie Cohn
- Hon. John Conyers
- Hon. Ron Dellums
- Alan W. Houseman
- Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
- Manning Marable
- Frances Fox Piven
- Victor Rabinowitz
- Dennis Rivera
- Jordan Rossen
- Bill Tamayo
- Studs Terkel
- Baldemar Velasquez
Supporting Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers' petition drive to end sweatshop conditions in Florida's tomato fields received a warm welcome in Washington, DC. Senator Dick Durbin joined Senator Bernie Sanders, Representatives Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and representatives from dozens of human rights, religious, labor, and student organizations joined the CIW's call to end sweatshops and slavery in the fields.
Senator Sanders decried the "desperate conditions, conditions that in some cases are so extreme that even the Bush Administration has brought slavery charges," in Florida's fields, and announced that a hearing into those conditions is scheduled for April 15th.
Senator Durbin announced that a letter had been sent to "seven companies -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Kroger Co., Publix, Safeway Inc., US Food Service, Supervalu Inc., and Sysco Corp. -- asking them to join McDonald's and Yum Brands in the extra penny a pound program."
Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. John Conyers, Jr. was one of the signatories of the letter.  The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
More than 150 people, including several Democratic Socialists of America members , participated in the Metro Detroit ACLU's conference, "Reclaiming Our Rights," January 26th 2008 at the Arab-American National Museum in Dearborn.
Representative John Conyers, Jr., State Senator Gilda Jacobs, State Representative Steve Tobocman, attorney Bill Goodman, and others spoke on the "threats to civil liberties both nationally, under the Bush Administration, and here in Michigan."
ACLU Legal Director Mike Steinberg described several recent civil liberties cases..
"Recent revelations about wiretapping, Internet spying, torture cover-ups, and library censorship show us that the need to protect our rights has never been greater," said Heather Bendure, chair of the ACLU's Metro Detroit branch. 
Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, updated the conference on the latest efforts by Congress to challenge the Bush Administration’s domestic spying program. Other speakers and panelists included Arab American News Editor Osama Siblani, NAACP Executive Director Heaster Wheeler, and Wayne State University Professor Robert Sedler, ACLU of Michigan attorney Mark Fancher, civil liberties attorney William Swor, and human rights activist Reverend Harry Cook. 
Endorsed SB 1306
As at Feb. 10, 2011, John Conyers, Jr. had endorsed State Senator Hansen Clarke's Senate Bill 1306, "which would stop all mortgage foreclosures and evictions for two years." The bill is being supported by the Workers World Party-front, Moratorium NOW!.
Detroit-area progressives push back
Eric Ebel, a Michigan Democratic Socialists of America member wrote a report "Detroit-area progressives push back" for DSA labor blog Talking Union on a February 18 2010 Detroit anti Tea Party rally
- The progressive Democratic community of the Detroit metro area met to answer the Tea Baggers at a “Call for Action” rally on the evening of February 18. Some 325 people attended the rally, which was held in the United Food and Commercial Workers hall in Madison Heights and sponsored by a wide spectrum of groups, from DSA on the left to Organizing for America, a political arm of the Obama administration, on the “right.” John Freeman, the moderator, made a point of singling out the DSA to praise for its support.
- The rally concentrated on five policy areas: immigration reform, clean energy, peace, health-care reform, and jobs. In addition to representatives of the groups pushing these reforms — among them DSA members Al Fishman and Dave Ivers — the rally was addressed by two members of Congress, Reps. Sander Levin (our senator’s older brother) and John Conyers.
CAIR Michigan 2010 Banquet
The 2010 Michigan CAIR gala, was held on March 31, with about "1,000 attendees including many powerful audience members from the business, media, and political community". Present at this year’s fundraiser was Nihad Awad, who founded CAIR and set it up as a not-for-profit franchise operation of sorts, with now branch offices across the country to advocate for Muslims.
- But the real jewels in the crown of the 2010 CAIR Michigan fundraiser were the civil rights workers who for sixty years have been deeply involved at their own personal peril with the struggle for civil rights in the USA.
Jesse Jackson , the keynote speaker, was one of those. But there was also Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14), whom Jackson described as “perhaps the only man who was ever endorsed by Martin Luther King.” There was Rep. John Dingell (D-MI-15). There were many others, including the strong gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero (currently Lansing’s mayor).
Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."
Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.
“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.
Defending the Public, Our Families, and Our Communities
A forum "Defending the Public, Our Families, and Our Communities" was held Saturday, April 9, 2011, Chicago Temple, 77 West Washington, Chicago.
- Join progressive leaders and activists to discuss strategies for defending our rights to earn, learn, and live in dignity. In the wake of the all-out attack against workers' rights and against programs that help our communities, it is more important than ever to come together across movements and push to realize a vision of FDR's "Second Bill of Rights." Panelists will discuss a roadmap to fight back and push for progressive priorities including ending wars and militarism; enhancing workers' rights; and developing economic policies that promote jobs and communities instead of corporate profits.
Opening Remarks: Jesus Garcia Cook County Commissioner, 7th District
- Adrienne Alexander Policy & Legislative Specialist, AFSCME Council 31
- Bill Barclay Chicago Political Economy Group
- Judge William Cousins (ret.) Member of the Board, South Side NAACP
- Bamshad Mobasher United for Peace & Justice, Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice
Keynote: Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI"Towards a New New Deal: A 21st Century Full Employment Act"
CPC "Good jobs" tour
On June 27, 2011, Detroit was the second stop of the Congressional Progressive Caucus's "Good Jobs" tour. Reps. Hansen Clarke and John Conyers, D-Mich., joined with Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson listening to the "stories and thinking of the people".
In their brief remarks, the leaders issued a call to redirect money from wars, Wall Street and the rich to a rebuilding of America.
Jackson said war spending is "breaking our cities." He was seconded by Clarke who said the money we're spending in Afghanistan is ours, "it should come back to us."
Kaptor said we need to tax the financial giants asking, "Why can't we tax hedge funds like we do the corner bakery?"
Ellison emphasized that unity is required to win, saying being angry will not bring jobs but banding together, speaking together, and fighting together can. "We will use our strength in numbers to fight corporate greed," he said.
Conyers said we are "getting ready" to re-elect President Obama but we need the President to get behind job creating legislation like the Humphrey Hawkins jobs bill he has introduced.
"We are going to Washington to tell him we want him to lead in the fight for jobs. We will tell him we are ready to help," said Conyers.
Black Caucus jobs campaign
In mid 2011, "demands to address the country's jobs crisis are accelerating with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) joining a growing number of groups calling for federal action". The CBC resolved to hosting a For the People Jobs Initiative in several urban areas stricken by high unemployment.
- Chicago, IL (first stop) – Congressman Danny K. Davis Host
- South Florida (Miami) – Congressman Frederica Wilson, Host
- Detroit, MI – Congressman John Conyers and Hansen Clarke, Host
- Cleveland, OH – Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Host
- Los Angeles, CA – Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Host
Over 5,000 jobseekers showed up at the Wayne County Community College in Detroit for a jobs fair and town hall meeting yesterday. More than 7,000 attended last week's event in Cleveland, the second stop on the Congressional Black Caucus's "For the People" tour.
Over 1,000 positions were offered at the fair.
The event was hosted by Democratic U.S. Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke. Also present from the caucus were Maxine Waters of California, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri and Gregory Meeks from New York.
Rep. Maxine Waters, noting the great love and admiration for President Obama in the African American community, called on the audience to "unleash us" to address the president on the jobs issue. "When you tell us it's alright and you unleash us and you tell us you're ready for us to have this conversation, we're ready to have the conversation. The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president too. We're supportive of the president but we're getting tired ya'll..." she said.
Rep. John Conyers called for a demonstration in front of the White House, "We should be in front, three to five, six thousand people the day before we open our 40th conference on Tuesday, September the 20th, in front of the White House, demanding jobs," Conyers said.
HR 365 was introduced by Michigan Democratic Rep. Hansen Clarke, in 2011, in a YouTube video posted on the representative's page, he said "We need to cut, cap, and forgive student loan debt," and that "That is the true debt that is burdening American families. We cut student loan debt we'll have a freer more prosperous country."
Detroit Angela Davis gathering
A standing room only crowd of nearly 2,000 people welcomed Angela Davis, October 24, 2012, to Detroit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her acquittal on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. The event, held at Fellowship Chapel on the city's northwest side, was a "powerful demonstration of the respect and affection Detroiters have for Professor Davis and her history of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice."
The program included Fellowship Pastor Wendell Anthony, Congressman John Conyers, Detroit City Councilperson JoAnn Watson, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Chris Michalakis, Retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge and civil rights activist Claudia Morcom, Metro AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee Chair Michele Artt and UAW Vice-President Cindy Estrada.
A common thread running through the remarks of all speakers was the importance of the November 6 election. Alluding to the fact that Prof. Davis had come to Detroit thirteen days before the election, Congressman Conyers said it was a "night where we not only remember history but plan how we're going to make history...Dr. Davis, you're right on time!".
Progressive Democrats of America had a moderately successful election 2012, cycle, with all of its incumbent allies—Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), James McGovern (D-Mass.) and Barbara Lee—holding on to their seats.
The Peoples' Inauguration
Progressive Central: The Peoples' Inauguration was held Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law 5th Floor Moot Court Room, 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
The event was sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, The Nation, National Nurses United, Democrats.com and Busboys and Poets. The event was advertised and promoted by the Institute for Policy Studies.
The 11:15 am-‐12:30 pm session What will the Progressive Agenda be in 2013? was moderated by John Nichols, and featured Rep. Jim McGovern – Rep. John Conyers -‐ Andrea Miller, PDA National Team -‐ Randy Parraz, Citizens for a Better Arizona.
In the 113th Congress , some PDA-backed Democrats planned to introduce pieces of legislation that enjoy widespread support among the American left—but will, in all likelihood, be met with stiff opposition. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said he would introduce a full employment act. Conyers will also again introduce a version of the so-called “Medicare-for-all” bill, which would create a single-payer universal healthcare system. 
June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.
H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.
A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill. After introduction, Conyers and Amash issued the following statement:
- “The recent NSA leaks indicate that the federal government collects phone records and intercepts electronic communications on a scale previously unknown to most Americans.
- “The LIBERT-E Act imposes reasonable limits on the federal government’s surveillance. The bill puts some teeth into the FISA court’s determination of whether records the government wants are actually relevant to an investigation. It also makes sure that innocent Americans’ information isn’t needlessly swept up into a government database. LIBERT-E prohibits the type of government dragnet that the leaked Verizon order revealed.
The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) 
Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
- By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.
Signatories included Rep. John Conyers.
Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.
The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.
Signatories included Rep. John Conyers..
The following have worked as staff members for John Conyers:
- Jenna M. Alderwish
- Kriston M. Alford-McIntosh
- Cassandra A. Allen
- Keiana Barrett
- Dewayne R. Boyd
- Olivia J. Boykins
- Paul A. Brathwaite
- Marion A. Brown
- Catrell Brown
- Danielle J. Brown
- Anthony Bryant
- Fred A. Burton
- Shawnderic L. Campbell
- Lisa J. Carr
- Elisa M. Cathey
- Gloria Si-Chun Chan
- DaVonne Elana Darby
- Michael P. Darner
- Dellashon L. Di Cresce
- Devona M. Dolliole
- LaDedra R. Drummond
- Nailah L. Ellis
- Sunceria Garrett
- Carolou Goodridge
- J. William Goold
- Katherine E. Gorno
- Arif Syep Haque
- Patricia D. Hartig
- Daniel Arthur Hattis
- Jared Hautamaki
- Barbara Jean Herard
- Kimberly Hill
- Ahmed A. Ismail
- Flaherty Jamie-Clare
- Donna M. Laws
- Joe E. Jr. Leonard
- Melody L. Light
- Yolanda L. Lipsey
- Maggie Littlewood
- Erica Morris Long
- Jane T. Mackey
- Deanna M. Maher
- Cynthia A. Martin
- Andrea D. Martin
- Roderick McClary
- Kriston M. Alford McIntosh
- Wyoman C. Mitchell
- Daniel O. Moore
- Gregory T. Moore
- Karen Morgan
- Courntey L. Morse
- Nehlah S. Nchami
- Jerome O'Malley
- Keith S. Osentoski
- Glenn D. Osowski
- John Jioni Palmer
- Carol P. Patton
- Betty D. Petrenz
- Matthew V. Pierce
- Raymond G. Plowden
- Latrice S. Powell
- Maria D. Reddick
- William Issac Robinson (Issac)
- Sydney Rooks
- Algene T. Sajery
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- Joanne Warwick
- Mark Watson
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- Erika M. West
- Ludmilla F. Wikkeling-Scott
- Jeanne Patrice Willoughby
- Nathaniel Woodward
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