Frank Llewellyn

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Frank Llewellyn


Frank Llewellyn ia prominent member of Democratic Socialists of America.

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Frank Llewellyn was a New York delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[1]

DSA Racial Diversity Task Force

In 1992 Frank Llewellyn was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Racial Diversity Task Force - charged with finding ways of recruiting (and retaining) more "people of color" into the organization[2].

NYC DSA Steering Committee

In 1993 Frank Llewellyn was political action chair of the New York Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee.[3]

DSA

In 1994, Llewellyn of Brooklyn, New York was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee.[4]

Llewellyn, of the New York City DSA, was elected to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, at the November 1997 DSA National Convention in Columbus Ohio.[5]

In 2001 Frank Llewellyn was Political Action Chair of New York City Democratic Socialists of America[6].

DSA National Director

In 2002, Frank Llewellyn was appointed Democratic Socialists of America National Director for a term that will extend at least through January 31, 2003. Llewellyn had served as Acting Director since May 15th 2001. Frank Llewellyn was a founding member of one of DSA’s predecessor organization, Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, and worked on its staff for nine years until 1981. He has served in the national leadership of DSA since its formation in several capacities and was a member of the National Political Committee for five years until he resigned to become Acting Director.[7]

Socialist International

The Democratic Socialists of America, delegation to the XXII Congress of the Socialist International, São Paulo 27-29 October 2003 included[8];

The Democratic Socialists of America,delegation to the Socialist International Council meeting in Madrid on 7-8 February 2004, hosted by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE, on the main theme of "How do we build upon the Social Democratic vision for a more secure world?" consisted of[9];

DSA participated in the observer delegation from the Socialist International to the Mexican elections in early July 2006. DSA National Director Frank Llewellyn led the delegation, which included Skip Roberts (Washington, DC), Daniel Reynolds (Miami) and Michael Lettieri (Washington, DC). Michael Lettieri also represented the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)[10].

We participated in this delegation because of the extraordinary importance that political developments in Mexico hold for the United States and because of DSA's very close relationship with the PRD--the only significant party representing genuine social democratic change in Mexico.

US delegates to the Socialist International 13th Congress, Athens, Greece June 30th 2008 included Carol Browner, a delegation from Democratic Socialists of America; Frank Llewellyn, Corey Walker, George Roberts, David Duhalde and Alejandro Duhalde plus another DSA member Andrew Hammer attending with the International League of Religious Socialists, former New American Movement radical Jeremy Rifkin representing the Foundation on Economic Trends and Puerto Rican Independence Party, Ruben Berrios Martinez and Maria Jose Cisneros[11].

At the Meeting of the Council of the Socialist International, United Nations, New York, 21-22 June 2010, delegates included Puerto Rican Independence Party members Ruben Berrios Martinez and Fernando Martin Garcia and from Democratic Socialists of America, Frank Llewellyn, Joseph Schwartz, David Sasha Duhalde-Wine, George D. Roberts, Luis Alejandro Duhalde.

Participants included representatives of the Socialist Party of Albania, MPLA (Angola), Bulgarian Socialist Party, Socialist Party of Chile, Sandinista National Liberation Front (Nicaragua), Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, Democratic Left Alliance (Poland), African National Congress (South Africa), Movement for Socialism (Venezuela) Observer parties included Polisario (Western Sahara) Consultative parties present included Fatah (Palestine), All-Nation Social Democratic Party (Kazakhstan).[12]

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 2008 Frank Llewelyn, National Director of Democratic Socialists of America, New York signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal.[13]

Boston DSA post election forum

On Nov.24 2008 Boston Democratic Socialists of America organized a post election forum at the [[Democracy Center]45 Mt. Auburn St. Cambridge, (Harvard Sq.) Speakers:

DSA Renotiate NAFTA petition

In 2009 Frank Llewellyn signed a petition calling on President Barack Obama to Renegotiate NAFTA. The petition was initiated and circulated by Democratic Socialists of America.[15]  

DSA 2011 leadership

Elected to serve on the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee – the leadership body described as “the engine room of the organization”, in November 2011, were;[16]

Plus the two YDS co-chairs, Sean Monahan (Philadelphia, PA) and Jackie Sewell (Lawrence, KS).

Convention delegate

Frank Llewellyn was a New York Democratic Socialists of America delegate to the DSA 2015 National Convention.[17]

NYC DSA leader

In 2015, Paul Bedard, Frank Llewellyn, Shannon Sorhaindo, Rahel Biru, Jeevan D'souza were members of the New York City Democratic Socialists of America steering committee.[18] ·

DSA 2016 leadership

The 2016-17 Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee elected members are: Jared Abbott, Hope Adair, Theresa Alt, David Green, Jose Gutierrez, Elizabeth Henderson, Frank Llewellyn, Sean Monahan, Simone Morgen, Brandon Payton-Carrillo, Joseph Schwartz, Peg Strobel and Russell Weiss-Irwin. The convention also voted to add two new honorary vice chairs: Deborah Meier and Bhaskar Sunkara. [19]

Queens DSA Unofficial Facebook Group

Members of Queens Democratic Socialists of America unofficial closed Facebook group, August 2017 included Frank Llewellyn .[20]

DSA role in Ocasio-Cortez campaign

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a campaign machine of her own, an outside group known as the Democratic Socialists of America. In the avalanche of coverage of Ocasio-Cortez’s win, the logistical support and manpower she received from the DSA has drawn relatively little notice. But the group is poised to make its presence felt in the midterms.

More than 100 volunteers from the DSA had flooded the streets of the 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of Queens and the Bronx, for months.

In Ocasio-Cortez’s race, DSA organizers say their cadre of volunteers knocked on over 13,000 doors to drum up enthusiasm for her bid. That level of support is significant in primaries that traditionally see low turnout. Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley with a little over 15,000 votes in a district with a total population of more than 700,000. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, and she will almost certainly win the seat in November’s general election, barring completely unforeseen factors.

Vigie Ramos Rios, manager of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, was careful to point out that other organizations also backed her bid, including Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats. Still, Ramos Rios said the impact of the DSA’s work in the field was clear.

“They were strong supporters,” she said of the DSA. “There were areas they canvassed that came out for us in spades.”

And the teams of volunteers in the street wasn’t the only way DSA made its mark on Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign. Ramos Rios is a DSA leader who was recommended to Ocasio-Cortez by another member of the group who previously ran a race with its backing. The campaign’s treasurer was former DSA national director Frank Llewellyn, who came on board after Ramos Rios asked the organization if it knew someone who could help the campaign with its finances. In addition, two DSA members were behind Means of Production, the company that made a video for Ocasio-Cortez that was released last month and, in the words of Business Insider, went “completely viral,” earning over 300,000 views in one day and helping drive nationwide attention to the campaign. According to Naomi Burton, one of the company’s co-founders, they were drawn to Ocasio-Cortez by the organization’s endorsement and because of “her unapologetic socialist platform and articulation of working peoples’ needs that caught our attention.”

In many ways, Ocasio-Cortez’s was the ideal example of a model the DSA is trying to replicate around the country with unabashed socialists from diverse, unconventional backgrounds taking on establishment figures with the logistical support of a robust organization.

Many of the new DSA members, like Ocasio-Cortez herself, cut their political teeth working for the Sanders campaign. As they joined, they drove the organization toward getting more involved in campaigns. In January 2018, the group launched a “national electoral strategy” formally committing it “to develop and run viable openly socialist candidates for office (either in Democratic primaries or as independents.)” It is one of the group’s primary focuses, along with a nationwide push for a Medicare for All health care program and for support of labor movements.

The strategy document made clear the full scope of the DSA’s ultimate ambitions.

“This work will be critical to the development of a genuine alternative to the neoliberal third-way politics of the corporate establishment within the Democratic Party,” the document reads.

And this is all taking place in a group where some members are so far to the left they don’t even agree with the idea of electoral politics.

Aaron Taube, who coordinated the DSA’s field operation for Ocasio-Cortez, said the group’s volunteers went to work for her the day after she received its endorsement in April.

“A DSA endorsement is not just a rubber stamp. We’re not just saying you should vote for these people,” Taube says News. “When DSA endorses you, it’s like, yeah, we’re going to knock 13,000 doors. … We’re going to mobilize.”

Taube is representative of the supporters who come on board once a candidate has the group’s approval. He’s 29 years old and, like Ocasio-Cortez, who was a bartender before running for office, was a relative political novice, who was a journalist turned freelance marketer (he previously worked with one of the authors of this story in 2014). He’s also a pro wrestling fan who said he discovered the DSA in the more liberal quarters of the sport’s Twitter community after being “radicalized” by Trump.

“That was the only way at the time that was apparent to me to build power,” Taube explained. “It was like, well, you can have a revolution or an election and I’m not ready to learn how to shoot a gun yet.”

Taube officially joined the party the day after Trump’s victory and ended up volunteering for a DSA-backed city council candidate in Brooklyn, Khader El-Yateem. During that campaign, he was schooled in political organizing skills.

While El-Yateem didn’t win, he surprised observers with a close finish. Taube’s political mentor, Tascha Van Auken, said that race and another ultimately unsuccessful Brooklyn City Council bid mounted by Jabari Brisport helped the DSA develop a bench of trained political operatives in New York.

“What those two races were — and I don’t want to suggest that we don’t care about winning, our goal is to win these races 100 percent — but what they also served as last year were amazing laboratories for building independent field operations … comms operations, and data operations. … We had to form a PAC,” said Van Auken.[21]

References