Jack Berman

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Jack Berman was a Southern California activist.

Independent Progressive Party

The Independent Progressive Party formed in 1948 to support Henry A. Wallace and Glen Taylor's Presidential/Vice-Presidential campaign. In 1947, the Third Party Organizing Committee formed to put the IPP on the ballot.

In 1948, the IPP merged with the Progressive Citizens of America , an organization founded in 1946. This occurred under the tenure of Bert Witt, Executive Director of the PCA. The Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions , an affiliate organization of the PCA which consisted of 3,000 people in radio, motion pictures, sciences and education, remained autonomous but affiliated with the IPP. At the time of the merger, HICCASP was chaired by the screenwriter Howard Koch.

Calvin Benham "Beanie" Baldwin, IPP National Secretary, headed the national headquarters in New York. The IPP had offices in at least forty-five states. As evidenced by the records collected by Jack Berman, California was a particularly active site of the IPP. He was a small businessman who was extremely active in the IPP and served as the Los Angeles County Vice-Chairman under Bill Elconin, Los Angeles County Chairman. Berman ran for office on the Board of Education but withdrew as to not divide support among progressive candidates.[1]

Californians for Liberal Representation

Californians for Liberal Representation arrived on the Los Angeles political scene in 1962. It was founded by mostly white, middle-class, liberally minded, anti-war advocates. They coalesced around the issue of the Vietnam War and their first major fundraising campaign in 1962 helped elect Edward Roybal and George Brown, two anti-war Congressmen. Some of the early members of the organization include Arthur Carstens (Chairman), Maurice Weiner (Executive Director), Jack Berman (Coordinator) and Eleanor "Elly" Wagner (Administrative Secretary). The board consisted of activists from the broad spectrum of Los Angeles political life and included members from organizations such as the ACLU, community religious leaders, and entertainers such as Steve Allen.

After its 1962 campaign for Roybal and Brown, CLR continued its work choosing liberal candidates and formally endorsing them with fundraising and publicity. They were particularly instrumental in supporting and increasing representation of Mexican-American and African Americans within municipal politics. In 1968, CLR planned a rally featuring Martin Luther King; unfortunately, the rally was never realized as King was assassinated a few weeks before the event was slated to take place.

In 1969, CLR executed one of its largest campaign efforts in support of Tom Bradley's mayoral bid. In addition to aiding liberal politicians in Los Angeles, CLR supported liberal politicians and figures nationwide. Each year they presented the Estes Kefauver Award, which was named after the Assembly member and Congressman who assisted the CLR in building a progressive coalition of community leaders. Some of the Kefauver Award winners include journalist William Shirer, Senators George McGovern, Wayne Morse, and Joseph Clark. The organization remained active for over ten years. Eleanor Wagner, one of the founding members, left CLR in 1972. Jack Berman fulfilled her duties as administrative secretary (essentially the executor of board decisions) and CLR continued its work through the late 1970s. [2]

Working with Cesar Chavez

In 1967, Jack Berman was involved with Cesar Chavez.In a letter of gratitude to Hugh DeLacy, Chavez wrote "Jack Berman told me of all the hard work done by the committee members to insure the success of the party"[3].

Tribute to Ben Dobbs

On Sunday, June 7, 1981, the Los Angeles Chapter of the New American Movement sponsored a Tribute to Ben Dobbs for "His lifelong commitment to socialism". The event was held at the Miramar-Sheraton Hotel, Santa Monica, California. Sponsors of the event included Jack Berman.[4]

Remembering Hugh DeLacy

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On September 6 1986 a memorial for Hugh DeLacy was held at the Louden Nelson Center, Santa Cruz, California.

Mardi Wormhoudt was the presenter, speakers included Margaret DeLacy, Jack Berman, Hon. Leon Panetta, John McTernan, Gary Patton, songs by Mike Rotkin, readings by Leon Papernow and Linda Bergholdt, a letter from Dorothy...by Greta Davis and songs by Steve Turner and Terry Turner[5].

Hugh DeLacy had known Berman for 37 years, when they had organized the Progressive Party together in the 1940s[6].

References

  1. OAC Finding Aid for the Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation records, 1938-1986
  2. OAC Finding Aid for the Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation records, 1938-1986
  3. Chavez letter to Delacy May 9 1967, Delacy papers, Uni of Washington Acc 3915, Box 7, folder 12
  4. Tribute to Ben Dobbs program, June 7, 1981
  5. Memorial programme brochure, Sep.6, 1986
  6. Register-Pajoronian September 8, 1986