By: Trevor Loudon
Jarvis Tyner is an Executive Vice Chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party’s national board. Inspired as a child and young man by his Communist hero Paul Robeson, Tyner became involved in the civil rights movement in Philadelphia. Subsequently, in 1961 at the age of 20, he became a card-carrying member of the CPUSA.
Rising quickly through the ranks, Jarvis Tyner stood as the CPUSA candidate for Vice President of the U.S., running with party leader Gus Hall in 1972 and 1976. In 1967, Tyner had moved to New York to become the National Chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America, and later Founding Chair of the Young Workers Liberation League. While in this role he was named as a sponsor of the CPUSA-dominated National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation in 1973. Then in the early 1990s, Tyner was appointed Chair of the CPUSA Political Action Committee. In July 1996 he visited Vietnam to attend the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
In March 1998, Tyner was an “Endorser of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress and from 2000-2005, he served on the Coordinating Committee of the newly formed Congress. In December 2006, a CPUSA delegation which included National Chair Sam Webb, Tyner, International Secretary Pamella Saffer and Labor Secretary Scott Marshall visited Vietnam and China at the invitation of the Communist Parties of those respective countries. Saffer and Webb reported that relations between the CPUSA and the Chinese and Vietnamese parties had been further strengthened and that they look forward to building even stronger relations in the future.
In 2007, he spoke at the Democratic Socialists of America-founded Left Forum on a panel entitled: “Today’s Black Agenda: Fighting for Full Employment and Social Justice under the impact of War and Globalization.” In 2008, he criss-crossed America, rallying CPUSA party members, converting wavering Democrats and building support for Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama. Then in November 2009, speaking at an even in Missouri, he said the election of President Barack Obama had opened the door for the left wing, which he felt has allowed itself to be pushed to the sidelines and overcome with progress-impeding cynicism, to mobilize. “He’s only the beginning,” Tyner said. “I think he’s a transitional president. I think somebody else is going to come in and take it even further.”