Andrew Young

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Andrew Young

"Community organizer"

Writing in the Huffington Post of September 8, 2008, in an article entitled "From Organizer To Elected Official" Democratic Socialists of America member Peter Dreier listed several former US politicians who had begun their careers as "community organizers". They were late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, the late Ed Roybal (California's first Latino member of Congress, elected in 1963), former mayors Tom Murphy of Pittsburgh and Andrew Young of Atlanta, Bev Stein, former chair of Multnomah County in greater Portland, Oregon, former Connecticut Secretary of State Miles Rapoport, former state legislators Gonzalo Barrientos of Texas and John McDonough of Massachusetts, and the late Sally Shipman, an Austin City Council member. [1]

Chicago Freedom Movement

In 1966 Father William Hogan, a Communist Party USA supporter, served as recording secretary of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, the group that, together with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, formed the Chicago Freedom Movement, which led the massive civil disobedience direct action campaign of the summer of 1966 in Chicago.

Hogan said that while King was "first among equals," the composition of the CFM staff was exceptional and reflected the scope of the movement: James Bevel, C. T. Vivian, Al Sampson, James Orange, Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young, who went on to become mayor of Atlanta and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

According to Hogan..."All were veterans of major battles in the South," he said, adding that key players from Chicago included Edwin Berry of the Urban League, Bob Lucas of CORE and Carl Fuqua of the NAACP.

"In addition to traditional civil rights organizations, CFM included representatives from the religious and liberal communities. Some of the unions affiliated with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department provided staff assistance.[2]

Hospital workers strike

A pivotal moment in South Carolina's history came in 1969, when hospital workers in Charleston went on strike to demand union representation.

Tensions in the city increased. Andrew Young and Coretta Scott King, one year after her husband's assassination, led a huge downtown march. About 900 were arrested during the turmoil, and 5,000 National Guard troops were called into the city.

Bill Saunders, a militant leader groomed by Jenkins, negotiated directly with Gov. Robert E. McNair, who a little more than one year earlier had ordered state troopers to rein in protesting blacks on the campus of S.C. State College in an episode that would end tragically with three dead and 28 injured.

"In the end, a crucial call came to the governor's office from White House aide Harry Dent, former top staffer for Senator (Strom) Thurmond," according to "The Palmetto State" by Jack Bass and W. Scott Poole, . "His message amounted to an ultimatum from the White House: get the strike settled."

The Medical College Hospital backed down. Mary Moultrie and other workers celebrated.

Instrumental in negotiating a final settlement were a young James Clyburn, a schoolteacher and director of the South Carolina Commission of Farm Workers, and Robert Ford, an organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.[3]


In 1978 Andrew Young and Seymour Melman were Co-Chairmen of SANE-"A Citizens' Organization for a Sane World".[4]

Institute for Policy Studies

Andrew Young was a member[5]of the Institute for Policy Studies 20th Anniversary Committee, which organized an April 5, 1983, reception at the National Building Museum, Washington DC attended by approximately 1,000 IPS staffers and former staff.


In 1976, during one of the Congressional Black Caucus's annual weekends of glamour and glitter in the nation's capital, CBC members Charles Diggs and Andrew Young convened a meeting of 30 leaders of national Black organizations to challenge the U.S. official policy in Rhodesia. After two days, a policy paper was produced entitled "the Afro-American Manifesto on Southern Africa" calling for democracy in Rhodesia, South Africa and Namibia. Though unofficial, it was adopted and out of that experiment came the idea of establishing an African American foreign policy advocacy organization. Thus TransAfrica Forum was founded.

The CBC along with TransAfrica lobbied vigorously--even against a presidential veto--to get sanctions in place against South Africa, a move which hastened the fall of that apartheid regime and led to the eventual release of Nelson Mandela from prison. The Caucus was, and still is, just as relentless in its fight for human and civil rights, democracy and voting rights, freedom and justice for all disenfranchised Black people in the developing countries including Sudan, Haiti, Cuba and other countries in similar situations.[6]