John Bachtell

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John Bachtell

John Bachtell is a Communist Party USA leader. He is was CPUSA Illinois organizer and a member of its National Board. Bachtell grew up in Ohio and currently lives in Chicago with his wife Terrie Albano and family.

Bachtell grew up in Ohio, with parents active in the civil rights and antiwar movement. He became interested in communism in college, and has been a member of the party since 1977. [1]

Antioch college

John Bachtell grew up up in a "progressive" family, and was further radicalised at Antioch College.

Antioch crew


John Bachtell, Barbara Winslow, Prexy Nesbitt, Eric Miller

Supporting Democrats in 2018

Commies fighting for Democrats

In 2018, Communist Party USA leader John Bachtell worked on Lauren Underwood's campaign for the 14th District, as discussed with Communist Party USA comrades Joe Sims and Scott Hiley.[2]

In an article posted at on November 26 2018,[3] John Bachtell wrote further on supporting democrats.


In the mid 1980s John Bachtell was a leader of the Young Communist League USA[4]

Paul Robeson celebration

On May 31 1998 the Peoples Weekly World held a Paul Robeson birth centennial celebration in New York, at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Attendees included;

Tributes came from ;

  • Tom Duane authored a City Council proclamation praising Robeson's lifelong fight for a "world at peace, free of racism, inequality and for unity"...and his fight against the erosion of domestic freedom of expression and fanatical anti-communism....Paul Robeson has become a model and an inspiration to all of us..."
  • Richard Gottfried, presented a resolution from the New York State assembly honoring Robeson. Democrat David Paterson introduced the resolution in the State Senate. Republican John Marchi and Democrats Richard Gottfried and Roger Green, introduced it in the State Assembly.[5]

Party role

In 2001, Bachtell, then New York District Organizer, moved to Illinois. to become the Illinois District Organizer, with an eye to making Chicago a Midwest regional center and helping to build the Party in that region.[6]

Endorsed Communist Party Call

On March 30 2002 the Communist Party USA paper People’s Weekly World called for a national holiday in honor of late Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. The article was followed by a long list of endorsersincluding John Bachtell, Almost all endorsers were confirmed members of the Communist Party USA[7].

Obama precinct captain

John Bachtell admitted working for Barack Obama, in August 21 2015 interview with the;

Gawker: Your involvement in electoral campaigns is mainly organizing for progressive Democrats?
John Bachtell Yes, mainly progressive Democrats and independents at every level, whether it be city council, state rep, Senate, Presidential. I was really active in both Obama campaigns. Actually I was his precinct captain for his Senate campaign in Illinois.[8]


John Bachtell traveled to Cuba in the latter half of 2009[9].

Cuba delegation

From left, Alberto Prieto, (CPC International Relations Department), Zenobia Thompson, Camila Valenzuela, Fernando Gonzalez, Kenia Puig (ICAP president), Josh Leclair, John Bachtell

A delegation from the Communist Party USA visited Cuba. On Feb. 27 2015, the delegation we stopped by the the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples to discuss building friendship, cooperation and people to people exchanges in light of the Dec. 17 announcement to reestablish diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Among those who warmly greeted the delegates were Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban 5 who was imprisoned in the U.S. in 1998 as part of a mission to monitor right-wing Cuban terrorist activities in Miami being directed against Cuba.

We found Gonzalez warm, gracious and eager to speak about exploring ways to build friendship with the U.S. people. He also shared stories about his time in U.S. prisons, the people he met and the extraordinary solidarity he and the Cuban 5 received over the years.
"The most important thing to say, to express on my behalf, my family and relatives, is my deep gratitude to the CPUSA because of the years of participation in the struggle, the solidarity you accorded us during the time we were in prison and for our liberation.
"You were side by side with us. Even when things look dark, there's always a bright side. No one wants that experience (of imprisonment). It gave us the chance to experience the best of the U.S. people and those we worked with for many years, side by side in that fight."
"Your participation during the campaign for our release, the information you shared, your ideological guidance and understanding of the reality in Cuba and social conflict in the U.S., what is really happening - that is why we are so appreciative.
"During the second round of negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba we haven't made any concessions. And with the return of all the Cuban Five it was a great victory for the Cuban people and all friends in the U.S. who have participated in struggle and for friendship between our countries.
"The struggle for the freedom of the Cuban 5 occupied a big part of the solidarity campaign. But now we hope people will continue to mobilize in the new context, of the process toward normalization of relations. The reality is the economic blockade still exists and the U.S. government still plans to subvert the revolutionary process here. President Obama said the goal is right, but the U.S. needs to change how it achieves the goal. It's important for people to be clear about what is happening.

"Keep the solidarity movement going in the fight to lift the blockade. Please extend our deepest gratitude to all."[10]

African American Equality Commission

In July 2015, Members of African American Equality Commission Communist Party USA FaceBook group included John Bachtell.

Closed working group for the African American Equality Commission of the CP USA. This is a space for members of the commission to brainstorm, communicate, and work through ideas between official meetings.[11]

Vietnam delegation

John Bachtell bio

In April 2016, John Bachtell led David Trujillo, Roberta Wood and Chauncey Robinson, on a Communist Party USA delegation to Vietnam.

They visited the Vietnam Confederation of Labor, and other organizations.

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

14925636 1209307322472535 2917971141159811925 n.png

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those indicating they would attend, on Facebook included John Bachtell.[12]

Beyond Shell Shock


Beyond Shell Shock: Labor after the Trump disaster was hosted by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday, February 26 at 8 PM - 9:30 PM.

Hosts Bill Fletcher, Jr.; Erica Smiley; Bob Master; Neidi Dominguez; Bryan Proffitt; and Jeff Crosby;

Join us in this webcast to take a hard look at the place we're in as a labor movement - and consider how we can make the labor movement be a leading force in the resistance to Trump and the fight for a better world.
What's our strategy? What kinds of alliances do we need? Do we just play defense?
In the face of National Right to Work, vicious attacks on workers of color in and out of the workplace, escalating divisions in the AFLCIO and the Democratic Party, and more we've got our work cut out for us. Let's figure out how to win.

Those invited included John Bachtell .

The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins

In June 2017, John Bachtell Communist Party USA signed the letter The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins.

Inside/Outside Project

From an article on Organizing Upgrade October 5, 2018 on the :Left Inside/Outside Project.

Fighting Trump and Building the Left, from the Left Inside/Outside Project

But it’s also an exciting time to be part of the U.S. left. We have momentum on all the levels we have to work on, and more energy for these efforts than we have seen in decades. We take the inspiration from the examples listed above, and recognize that our main challenge is bringing our work to scales that will be able to shift the balance of forces in the U.S. The Left Inside/Outside Project formed out of a common feeling that U.S. politics after Trump required both serious engagement with electoral politics and a left that could work collaboratively to build on our existing strengths. Twenty months later, we still believe this: our commitment is to work ever more closely together with this vision, to learn from one another, build on our most advanced experiences, and build a more unified and effective socialist movement that is in this fight for the long haul.

Signatories included John Bachtell, Communist Party USA chair.


John Bachtell, third from left, at the 200th Karl Marx birthday conference in Shenzhen, China
John Bachtell, Carol Widom

At the invitation of the Communist Party of China, a delegation from the Communist Party USA toured China May 26-June 3 2018, and attended a conference on the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. John Bachtell, the party’s chairman, and Carol Widom represented the CPUSA at the conference.[13]



  1., interviews CPUSA head, John Bachtell by: Hamilton Nolan August 21 2015]
  2. [1]
  3. Lesson from midterms: A united people can win accessed March 8 2020
  4. Far Left of Center: The American Radical Left Today By Harvey 43
  5. PWW Hundreds honor Robeson's communist legacy, June 6, 1998, page 3
  8., interviews CPUSA head, John Bachtell by: Hamilton Nolan August 21 2015]
  10. [, Former Cuban Five prisoner seeks friendship with U.S. by: John Bachtell March 13 2015]
  11. American Equality Commission Communist Party USA FaceBook group. accessed July 10, 2015
  12. FB Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing Went 109
  13. [ PW U.S. Communist Party leader tours China, shares impressions June 15, 2018 1:32 PM CDT BY JOHN BACHTELL]