- 1 Early life/education
- 2 Harlem Democratic Party
- 3 DSOC
- 4 Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus
- 5 Greeting the Peace Marchers
- 6 DSA member
- 7 Empowerment '92
- 8 Endorsed Nydia Velasquez
- 9 1998 Working Families Party co-chairs
- 10 Supported Peurto Rican rebel prisoners
- 11 Politics
- 12 Activism/service
- 13 Relationship to Joe Walker
- 14 References
David Norman Dinkins is the former socialist Mayor of New York City.
David Norman Dinkins was born on July 10, 1927, in Trenton, New Jersey. He was raised in Trenton until the Depression, when his family moved to Harlem.
Dinkins served as a Marine during World War II. After receiving a B.S. in mathematics from Howard University in 1950, Dinkins married Joyce Burrows in 1953. He went on to graduate from Brooklyn Law School in 1956 and then started a private law practice that he maintained until 1975.
Harlem Democratic Party
Dinkins rose through the Democratic Party organization in Harlem and became part of an influential group of African-American politicians that included Percy Sutton, Basil Paterson, Denny Farrell, and Charles Rangel. As an investor, Dinkins was one of fifty African American investors who helped Percy Sutton found Inner City Broadcasting Corporation in 1971. He served briefly in the New York State Legislature and for many years as New York City Clerk.
He was named Deputy Mayor by Mayor Abraham D. Beame but was ultimately not appointed. He was elected Manhattan Borough President in 1985 on his third run for that office. He was elected the city's mayor on November 7, 1989, having defeated three-term incumbent Mayor Ed Koch and two others to win the Democratic nomination and going on to narrowly defeat Rudy Giuliani, the Republican candidate.
Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus
For groups and organizations seeking radical social change within the Democratic Party, the National Convention of 1980 had at least one historic first - formation of a Socialist Caucus of delegates. Organized by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and by the Democratic Agenda which was DSOC's cadre and supporters within the Democratic Party and was based in DSOC' s New York office and at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. Some 31 delegates and alternates from twelve states and Democrats Abroad attended the Socialist Caucus.
As a preliminary to the convention's Socialist Caucus meeting, , indeed as a "building event" and as a continued show of support for Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the Democratic Agenda sponsored a convention rally at New York's Town Hall. The speakers included Herman Badillo, Julian Bond, Fran Bennick, Harry Britt, Cesar Chavez, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI}, Douglas Fraser, Murray Finley, Michael Harrington, Terry Herndon, Ruth Jordan, Ruth Messinger, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem and William Winpisinger.
DSOC works within the Democratic Party, said Harrington, because of the party's relationships with organized workers, blacks, feminists, environmentalists and other "progressive groups."
- Alice Papon, AZ
- Debbie Anderson, CA
- Helen Barrios, CA
- Harry Britt, CA
- Muriel Brownstein, CA
- Mickey Flacks, CA
- Vivial Hall, CA
- Dolores Huerta, CA,
- Amy King, CA
- Ted Neima, CA
- Mike Nye, CA
- Raoul Teilhet, CA
- Richard Sklar, CA
- Patricia Dillon, CT
- Kristine Blackwood, DC
- Steve Ramirez, DC
- Bill Simons, DC
- Jerry Wurf, DC
- Julian Bond, GA
- William Winpisinger, MD
- Vivian Hall, MA
- Brian Maranhoa, MA
- Ms. Su Finkbinder, MI
- Martin Gerber, MI
- Millie Jeffrey, MI
- Isabel Laluz, MI
- Gerald Maginelli, MI
- Bernice Selden, MI
- David Selden, MI
- Earl Bourdon, NH
- Henry Berger, NY
- Jim Chapin, NY
- David Dinkins, NY
- Elaine Drucker, NY
- Ed Gray, NY
- Patrick Kelly, NY
- Ruth Messinger, NY
- Libby Moroff, NY
- Cleveland Robinson, NY
- Gerry Cohen, NC
- Margaret Lynch, OH
- Judy Watts, OR
- Harold Rosenthal, PA
- Sue Rosenthal, PA
- Craig Murphy, TX
- Ray Majerus, WI
- Louise Uphoff, WI
- David Fleishman (foreign)
Greeting the Peace Marchers
The Great Peace Marchers arrived in New York, October 23 1986, after trekking 3,500 miles with their message of global nuclear disarmament.
They were greeted at the George Washington Bridge by Mark Green, Democratic candidate for Senate, David Dinkins, Manhattan Borough president, David Livingston, president of District 65 UAW, Assemblymembers David Paterson and Jerrold Nadler, and City Council members Ruth Messinger, Miriam Friedlander, Carolyn Maloney and Stanley Michaels.
Empowerment '92: A Call to Action Conference, was held June 6 to 9, 1992. African American community activists, joined with trade unionists, politicians, peace activists, environmentalists and others to discuss how to change the nation's priorities as the economic crisis deepens.
Of the upcoming conference DC Statehood Senator Jesse Jackson said..."We issue this Call to Action to reaffirm and reassert our vision of a true world order, one based on peace, justice and human priorities. our message, translated into action can, and must srt a new direction for our nation".
- Rep. Maxine Waters, (D - Calif.)
- Dorothy Height, President of the National Council of Negro Women
- Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.)
- David Dinkins (NYC mayor)
- Richard Trumka (President, United Mine Workers
- Dennis Rivera, Local 1199
- Ron Brown, chair of Democratic Party
- Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.)
- Karen Nussbaum,executive director of 9 to 5 National Association of Working Women
- Toney Anaya, former Governor of New Mexico.
Endorsed Nydia Velasquez
In her 1992 New York Democratic primary, Nydia Velasquez ran against two other Puerto Ricans Elizabeth Colon and Ruben Franco, president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Velasquez won the primary, receiving endorsements from New York mayor and Democratic Socialists of America member David Dinkins, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressmen Jose Serrano and Edolphus Towns, Local 1199 leader Dennis Rivera and Teamsters leader Barry Feinstein and Puerto Rico governor Rafael Hernandez Colon.
1998 Working Families Party co-chairs
Working Families Party co-chairs in 1998 were former New York mayor David Dinkins, Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, former New York City Councilmember Sal Albanese, UAW Region 9 Director Tom Fricano and UNITE leader Ernesto Jofre.
Supported Peurto Rican rebel prisoners
In 1999, eleven imprisoned Puerto Rican independence fighters were released on parole from long prison terms in the US. they were Eliam Escobar, Dylcia Pagan, Alberto Rodriguez, Ida Luz Rodriguez, Alejandrina Torres, Adolfo Matos, Edwin Cortes, Ricardo Jiminez, Luis Rosa, Alicia Rodriguez and Carmen Valentin. A twelfth prisoner Juan Segarra Palmer, accepted an offer to nullify his fine and was due to be released in five years. Two other prisoners Antonio Comacho Negron and Oscar Lopez Rivera refused the clemency offer.
The clemency offers came after a long campaign that saw 75,000 people sign a petition in Puerto Rico and the US. The campaign, led by the Pro-Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico, involved such activists as Coretta Scott King, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and Dr. Aaron Tolen, President of the World Council of Churches.
Political leaders who supported the prisoners included Reps Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Nydia Velazquez (D, NY), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Ron Dellums (D-Calif.) and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.
Dinkins established a legacy of working to empower poor people and minorities. Elected to the New York State Assembly in 1966, he helped create the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program, which provided grants and educational assistance to low-income students. He established guidelines that encouraged wider voter registration as president of the New York City Board of Elections, a post he held from 1975 until he became the president of the borough of Manhattan in 1985.
Dinkins was elected mayor in 1989, but lost the 1993 election to Rudolph Guiliani.
Dinkins has continued to be critical of problems within the criminal justice system, including abusive police and institutionalized racism in the courts. In 1999, his beliefs led to his arrest along with approximately 1,200 others while protesting the shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from West Africa who was shot by police.
Dinkins currently serves as professor of public affairs at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He hosts Dialogue with Dinkins, a public affairs radio program, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the board of the American Stock Exchange, among many other organizations.
Relationship to Joe Walker
During his life, long time Communist Party USA associate Joe Walker enjoyed professional and personal relationships with a number of dignitaries, civil rights activists, and freedom fighters to include Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. James Baldwin, Hulan Jack and David Dinkins, the former Mayor of New York City.
- Former NYC mayors.com, Dinkins bio
- New York Magazine 22 Aug 1977, page 10
- Information Digest, Septemer 19, 1980, p 333
- PDW Oct. 23. 1986, page 3, 'Full schedule in NYC for peace marchers' by Richard Hoyen
- Peoples Weekly World, May 25, 1991, page 8
- PWW August 29, 1992 page 15
- Peoples Weekly World, Sep. 19, 1998, page 5
- PWW, 11 Puerto Ricans accept clemency offer, Jose Cruz. Sep. 11, 1999, page 4
-  ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes, obituary of Joe Walker, accessed June 4, 2010