Michael (Mike) Lighty, a transplanted Californian, became the national organizational director of the Democratic Socialists of America July 1, 1990.
Lighty, who joined the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee in 1980 and DSA when DSOC and the New American Movement merged in 1983,began doing campus organizing with the Youth Section chapter at Stanford University. During college, he served on the Youth Section's executive committee and did labor support work as well as antidraft, anti-intervention, and antiracism organizing.
Lighty served as business agent for the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians ,Local 15/San Francisco, Local531 in Hollywood, and Local 15/NewYork.
DSA Conference delegate
Socialist Scholars Conference
Michael Lighty, Democratic Socialists of America and Shari Ellis were speakers on the Reports from the Front: The State of the Struggle for National Health Care panel sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America at the Tenth Annual Socialist Scholars Conference. The conference was held April 24-26, 1992 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City.
Lighty also spoke alongside Wayne Sing-Wai, CUNY; Stanley Aronowitz, CUNY, Charlene Mitchell, Committees of Correspondence, Aldyn McKean, ACT UP and Lynne Chancer were speakers on the What road for the Left? panel.
DSA Racial Diversity Task Force
In 1992 Michael Lighty was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Racial Diversity Task Force - charged with finding ways of recruiting (and retaining) more "people of color" into the organization.
The Democratic Socialists of America delegation to the 1992 Socialist International conference in Berlin, included Bogdan Denitch, (chair), Christine Riddiough, (VP Socialist International Women), Motl Zelmanowicz, Jose LaLuz, Michael Lighty, Jo-Ann Mort and Penny Schantz.
California DSA “Key” list
DSA Organizing Institute
Over fifty people attended the 1993 DSA Organizing Institute, which was held at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey during the weekend of June 25-27. The centerpiece of the weekend was an intensive series of training sessions, led by Steve Max, Deepak Pateriya, and Christine Riddiough, for DSA activists and organizers. These training sessions, which were based on the organizing methods developed by the Midwest Academy, helped build DSA local and national leaders' skills in developing political strategy, recruiting activists into DSA, and working in coalitions.
The Institute's training sessions were framed by two plenary discussions about DSA's mission. On Friday evening, DSA Honorary Chair Barbara Ehrenreich and DSA Vice Chairs Steve Max and Frances Fox Piven discussed the contemporary political climate and the most effective roles for a democratic socialist organization. On Sunday morning, National Political Committee member Jack Clark, DSA Youth Organizer Ginny Coughlin, and DSA National Director Michael Lighty spoke more concretely about how DSA can work to become a highly visible organization projecting a compelling political vision.
In 2007 Michael Lighty, a former National Director of DSA, was Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.
"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.
Progressive Democrats of America
PDA in California
In Dec. 2012 in Northern California, at the Oakland office of the National Nurses United, Progressive Democrats of America gathered 25 activist organizers who either currently lead PDA chapters or are eager to form a chapter or bring their work into an existing one. PDA leadership from around the state joined PDA Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy and national staffers to welcome special guests: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, her fellow PDA Board Members Dr. Quentin Young and Michael Lighty, as well as Cindy Young, the State Coordinator of the Campaign for a Healthy California, the grassroots coalition group advocating for a Single Payer Healthcare system for all of California. 
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 2:15 pm-‐3:25 pm session, "Organizing for Main Street not Wall Street", was moderated by John Nichols.
Prosperity Not Austerity reception
April 17, 2013 Progressive Democrats of America hosted a Prosperity Not Austerity reception at Busboys and Poets, in Washington DC, featuring PDA National Board member Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Mark Takano, PDA National Board member Michael Lighty from National Nurses United and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.
- ↑ DEMOCRATIC LEFT 3 JULY- AUGUST 1990, page 13
- ↑ DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
- ↑ SSE Tenth Annual Conference Program, 1992
- ↑ Democratic Left, Jan/Feb 1991, page 3
- ↑ Memorandum, Steve tarzynski-May 26, 1992
- ↑ Democratic Left, November/December 1992, page 12
- ↑ CA DSA Key list January 24 1993
- ↑ Dem. Left July/August 1993, page 8
- ↑ email from C Riddiough to S Tarzynski Dec 9 1994
- ↑ http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng56.html#anchor1041945
- ↑ http://www.dsausa.org/dl/Winter_2008.pdf
- ↑ Healthcare-Now! Board
- ↑ Dem. Left, Winter 2007/8
- ↑ PDA WEBSITE, 2012 Advisory Board Members, ACCESSED JAN. 15, 2012
- ↑ Back from California!
- ↑ PDA website, accessed Jan 15, 2013
- ↑ Help PDA Continue Our Momentum!