Anthony Thigpenn

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Anthony Thigpenn


Anthony Thigpenn is an Executive Director of AGENDA and an Apollo Alliance National Advisory Board member.[1]

Black Panther Party

Anthony Thigpenn was a member of the Black Panther Party.

Coalition Against Police Abuse

In 1970 Michael Zinzun joined the Black Panther Party. In the mid 1970s he joined Los Angeles-area anti-police brutality activists B. Kwaku Duren and Anthony Thigpenn to form the Coalition Against Police Abuse . The organization investigates allegations of abuse, provides support for victims and families, and agitates for justice in street demonstrations and courtrooms. CAPA acknowledges a direct descent from the Black Panther Party, with many former BPP members, but is a distinct organization many of whose members critique what they see as the intensely hierarchical and patriarchal tendencies of the now defunct BPP.

Almost from the moment of CAPA's inception the LAPD infiltrated and placed it under surveillance. The techniques used by the LAPD in spying on and undermining the organization closely resembled those used by the FBI COINTELPRO program. CAPA joined with other similarly victimized organizations to sue the department and won a monetary settlement and assurances that similar practices would not be reimplemented. Nonetheless it is the belief of many CAPA members that they are still targeted by the LAPD and other government agencies for domestic espionage, infiltration, and sabotage. As a result of the lawsuit the LAPD disbanded the Public Disorder Intelligence division responsible for the original infiltration.

After the 1979 police shooting death of Eula Love in South Central Los Angeles CAPA proposed a civilian police review board, modeled on similar boards in other cities, that would have had the power to fire and otherwise discipline abusive police officers and change police policies. A petition in favor of the review board did not garner enough signatures to place it on the ballot. Nonetheless, the effort was successful in helping the organization become better known in South Central.[2]

Jobs with Peace

In the 1980s Karen Bass' work with the Venceremos Brigade and Jobs with Peace brought her in contact with activists Gil Cedillo, Anthony Thigpenn, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Antonio Villaraigosa , who were working in the progressive "Black/Brown" movement and were part of Jobs with Peace.[3]

New Party founders

The two key founders of the New Party were Joel Rogers and Dan Cantor.

The first strategic meetings to plan the New Party were held in Joel Rogers' home in Madison Wisconsin in the very early 1990s. Present were Rogers' wife Sarah Siskind, Dan Cantor, ACORN leaders , Wade Rathke ,Zach Polett , Steve Kest and Jon Kest , Steve Cobble from the Institute for Policy Studies (in an advisory role), Sandy Morales Pope (for the first 18 months), Harriet Barlow and Barbara Dudley.

The very first meeting included Gerry Hudson from Democratic Socialists of America and SEIU and Gary Delgado, plus labor activists Sam Pizzigati and Tony Mazzocchi. Anthony Thigpenn of Los Angeles was also approached, but though supportive did not wish to play a leadership role.[4]

Socialists organize to "challenge for power" in Los Angeles

Trevor email 1 (3).jpg

On March 11, 1998, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America leader Steve Tarzynski wrote an email to another Los Angeles DSA leader Harold Meyerson.

Tarzynski listed 25 people he thought should be on an "A-list" of "25 or so leaders/activists/intellectuals and/or "eminent persons" who would gather periodically to theorize/strategize about how to rebuild a progressive movement in our metropolitan area that could challenge for power."

Tarzynski listed himself, Harold Meyerson, Karen Bass, Sylvia Castillo, Gary Phillips, Joe Hicks, Richard Rothstein, Steve Cancian, Larry Frank, Torie Osborn, Rudy Acuna, Aris Anagnos, Abby Arnold, Carl Boggs, Blase Bonpane, Rick Brown, Stanley Sheinbaum, Alice Callahan, Jim Conn, Peter Dreier, Maria Elena Durazo, Miguel Contreras, Mike Davis, Bill Gallegos, Bob Gottlieb, Kent Wong, Russell Jacoby, Bong Hwan Kim, Paula Litt (and Barry Litt, with a question mark), Peter Olney, Derek Shearer, Clancy Sigal and Anthony Thigpenn.

Included in a suggested elected officials sub-group were Mark Ridley-Thomas, Gloria Romero, Jackie Goldberg, Gil Cedillo, Tom Hayden, Antonio Villaraigosa, Paul Rosenstein and Congressmen Xavier Becerra, Henry Waxman and Maxine Waters.

Tarzynski went on to write "I think we should limit the group to 25 max, otherwise group dynamics begins to break down....As i said, I would like this to take place in a nice place with good food and drink...it should properly be an all day event."

Black Radical Congress

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Anthony Thigpenn, Chairman of the Board, Action for Grassroots Empowerment & Neighborhood Alternatives, Los Angeles[5].

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper[6] War Times.

Endorsers of the project included Anthony Thigpenn, Strategy Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education.

Progressive Los Angeles Network

Circa 2002 , Anthony Thigpenn, AGENDA/Metropolitan Alliance, served on the Advisory board of the Democratic Socialists of America dominated Progressive Los Angeles Network.[7]

Working for Villaraigosa

In 2005, Thigpenn ran the field campaign for Antonio Villaraigosa.[8]

According to Harold Meyerson of LA Weekly, it was "L.A.’s liberal operatives who helped put Villaraigosa over the top". His field campaign was captained by Anthony Thigpenn, one of a "cadre of progressive younger African-Americans who are transforming the politics of South-Central". [9]

SCOPE

Anthony Thigpenn runs an organization in California called SCOPE [Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education].

He’s really an organizer. He’s been doing a lot of community organizing and environmental justice, and has worked to build alliances with labor and community organizations.

In 2006, SCOPE convened the Los Angeles Apollo Alliance, which aims to connect low-income communities to the “emerging green economy.”[10]

Apollo Alliance

In 2006, Thigpenn, served on the National Advisory Board of the Apollo Alliance.[11]

Pushback Network

As at April 12, 2010, the following served on the Pushback Network Steering Committee:[12]

Ear to the Ground Project

Ear to the Ground Project;

We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:

Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Anthony Thigpenn was among those on the list. [13]

Running elections

Anthony Thigpenn ran successful field campaigns for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Karen Bass, State Senator Kevin de Leon, and former City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, among others.[14]

Endorsed Villaraigosa

Also endorsing Antonio Villaraigosa's 2001 mayoralty bid were Bill Burke, the founder and president of the Los Angeles Marathon; Cynthia McClain-Hill, a member of the California Coastal Commission; Turning Point magazine executive Patricia Means and community organizers including Anthony Thigpenn and Karen Bass.[15]

SCOPE 20th Anniversary

“When we started AGENDA back in 1993, we characterized it as an experiment. Because we kind of knew where we wanted to go, but how to get there was less clear to us. This is still true today as we continue to build the movement for social justice.”

These are the words of Anthony Thigpenn, founder of SCOPE, and one of our respected honorees at a March 2014 celebration of SCOPE’s 20th anniversary. In his address to a room of over 300 allies and friends, Anthony reminded us that we didn’t have all of the answers when we first came together. But for SCOPE, “having the answers” was never the driving force behind our vision for change. Instead, we set out to empower the residents of our community to think for themselves, to design their own solutions, and to speak out on issues that affect the quality of their lives. Our founders believed that our community had the answers to the problems plaguing South LA—and from looking around the room last Thursday, it’s clear that they were right.

Attendees included Manuel Chavez, Gloria Walton, Lynette Steele, Patricia Livingston, Clementina Lopez, Latrece Jackson, Sherri Wallace, Anthony Thigpenn, Jennifer Speck, Chante Harriel, Maria Virginia Otero, Mari Mercado, and Juan Canto, Congress member Karen Bass, Shay Salter, Chris Nixon, Kevin de Leon, Antonio Villaraigosa, Manuel Pastor, Soloman Rivera, Manuel Hernandez, Veronica Carrizales and Maria Elena Durazo.

Many of SCOPE's members standing alongside activists, community organizers, elected officials, union leaders, academics, and educators attended. Proof that South LA’s progressive community is strong, thriving and growing.

The meeting honored Gerry Hudson, Paula Litt and Barry Litt and Anthony Thigpenn.[16]

Black Futures Lab Strategic Advisors

Black Futures Lab Strategic Advisors, April 24 2018;[17]

We have an amazing team of advisors and thought partners that help us shape our strategies.

References