By: Trevor Loudon
Harold Meyerson is an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post and from 1989-2001 worked as Executive Editor and Political Editor of the LA Weekly. He is considered one of the most astute commentators on Los Angeles politics. Meyerson is also a long-time Vice-Chair of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the United States.
Who is this journalist and what is the extent of his involvement with the U.S. Left? With parents belonging to Norman Thomas’ Socialist Party USA, Meyerson received an early introduction to Socialism. By 1968, at age 18, the young Meyerson was working as an aide to the Soviet-connected Senator Eugene McCarthy. His involvement with the DSA began around the early 1980s when he was listed as an at-large Los Angeles Council member for the organization. In 1983, he was a delegate to a DSA Conference in NYC. Alongside leftist leaders Michael Harrington, Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich and others, Meyerson spoke at the DSA’s second National Convention held in Berkeley, CA. By 1993, he was listed as a “key” California DSA contact. In a March 1998 internal memo, Los Angeles DSA leader Steve Tarzynski listed himself, Stanley Sheinbaum, Mike Davis, Meyerson and others who he thought should “gather periodically to theorize/strategize about how to rebuild a progressive movement in our metropolitan area that could challenge for power.”
But Meyerson has not only been heavily involved in the DSA. In 1982, he was a committee member of the Socialist Community School in Los Angeles. In 1996 alongside Robert Borosage, Frances Fox Piven and others, he was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America’s Future. Circa 2002, he served on the Advisory board of the DSA-dominated Progressive Los Angeles Network. In 2009, he was a member of the Editorial board of the DSA-aligned Dissent Magazine and also Editor-at-Large of The American Prospect. In 2010, he spoke alongside Barbara Ehrenreich; Christopher Hayes, the Washington Editor of The Nation; Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice-President of the SEIU; Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and others at a Dissent Magazine-sponsored seminar entitled, “Labor, the Left and Progressives in the Obama Era” in Washington, D.C.