Nathan Newman received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and has written extensively about public policy and the legal system in a range of academic and popular journals.
He is also a regular columnist for The Progressive Populist and author of the book, NET LOSS: Internet Prophets, Private Profits and the Costs to Community, published by Penn State Press in 2002. He lives in Harlem in New York City.
In Newman's first year in college he became involved in the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group in a leadership position and spent summers canvassing door-to-door for both MASSPIRG and Mass Fair Share.
Later in California, he worked with a range of organizations, including Californians for Justice, the California Network for a New Economy and the Committees of Correspondence and spent two years in the leadership of the National Lawyers Guild, as well as on the board of the Organizers Collaborative.
Newman's labor experience dates back to working as a staff organizer in Las Vegas for the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees (HERE) International Union starting in 1988, then serving on the Executive Board of UC-Berkeley's Association of Graduate Student Employees (AGSE/UAW) in the early 90s, serving as an appointee to the Berkeley City Labor Commission for a number of years, organizing a labor-environmental network (the California Network for a New Economy), organizing community support for labor struggles in Northern California and serving in the national legal department of the Communication Workers of America.
In the mid 2000s Nathan Newman worked in a union-side labor firm in New York City.
Committees of Correspondence
Early in the 1990s, Nathan Newman began training union and community activists in use of the Internet. As early as 1994, he helped design a community Internet site, sponsored at UC Berkeley, the Economic Democracy Information Network, which was named one of the "Highlights of the Internet" in 1995.
The same year, an immigrant rights email list he established was cited by The Nation and USA Today as one of the earliest electronic networks being used for national protests and organizing. Much of this work was sponsored by the UC-Berkeley Center for Community Economic Research, which Newman co-founded and oversaw from 1992 to 1996.
Budget and revenue advice
In January 1996, Nathan Newman was interviewed on C-SPAN during the Clinton-Gingrich standoff and government shutdown to discuss the online National Budget Simulator he had helped design to allow people to interactively understand the budget conflict - a site that to this day is used by economics and political science classes in colleges and high schools across the country.
Newman also published in 1995 the first national report "Prop 13 Meets the Internet" that highlighted the coming challenge of untaxed Internet commerce for local government finances. He was asked to consult with the California State Association of Counties and the Association of Bay Area Governments on the issue and was widely interviewed on television and newspapers on the subject.
In 1997 Newman was hired as Project Director for NetAction, a consumer technology advocacy group, which had begun agitating for antitrust action against Microsoft. From 1997 to 1999, he wrote a series of widely cited research reports on the danger of Microsoft to innovation, reports that TheStreet.com described as "probably the most comprehensive and well-researched anti-Microsoft studies."
DSA’s Cuba Letter
Nathan Newman signed an April 2003 Statement on Cuba, initiated and circulated by prominent Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Leo Casey, calling for the lifting of trade sanctions against Cuba.
- “a statement circulating among democratic left/socialist folks, largely by members of Democratic Socialists of America, condemning the recent trials and convictions of non-violent dissenters in Cuba”.
The petition criticized Cuba's poor human rights record, but shared the blame for Cuba's problems with reactionary elements of the U.S. administration...
- The democratic left worldwide has opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba as counterproductive, more harmful to the interests of the Cuban people than helpful to political democratization. The Cuban state's current repression of political dissidents amounts to collaboration with the most reactionary elements of the U.S. administration in their efforts to maintain sanctions and to institute even more punitive measures against Cuba.
Many of the petition's 120 odd signatories were known members of DSA.
Nathan Newmam was Associate Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, Program Director of the NetAction Consumer Choice Campaign, co-director of the UC-Berkeley Center for Community Economic Research, and a labor and employment lawyer.
Writing and commentary
Nathan Newman has written numerous articles and reports on the economy, politics and technology, with minor media celebrity at points, from being quoted in the New York Times, WiredNews and The Nation to appearing on C-SPAN and WebTV. His book Net Loss, based on my Ph.D. research, details the role of government policy in shaping the Internet and regional economies and how the rise of the networked economy has increased inequality in our society.
Center for Working Families
Knew Van Jones
- Disclosure-I knew Van (Jones) pretty well back in the early 90s when we were both involved in community organizing efforts, including involvement in a variety of left-leaning groups.
Progressive States Network
- Convention program, July 1996
- Democratic left, Spring 2006