Bill Zimmerman

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Bill Zimmerman is president of Zimmerman & Markman, Inc., a California-based political consulting firm. He is the author, most recently, of Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties, Anchor Books, 2012. [1]

Radical wife

With the encouragement of mentor and radical lawyer Jean Kidwell, Joan Andersson represented the Black Panthers in a number of cases. When Joan was helping to plan an escape to Cuba for Black Panther leader Huey Newton, she met her future husband, Bill Zimmerman.

When the Bar Sinister broke up because of increasing sectarian politics, Joan left the collective to work on Tom Hayden's Senate race . After the Senate Race, Joan worked for two years as the supervising attorney for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board office in Oxnard. Joan and Bill then decided to have children. Joan made a controversial political decision for a feminist and radical lawyer. She decided to be the primary caregiver for her children while Bill worked to provide their livelihood.

While she gave up the practice of law to dedicate herself to her kid's upbringing, Joan remained politically active. She was a founder and member of the Board of Directors of Medical Aid to El Salvador. Once her children were older, she pursued a Masters degree in child development and served on the board of a charter school in South Central Los Angeles. She remained involved with the National Lawyers Guild, and for a time was the issue editor of the Guild Practitioner, the NLG law review.

Washington campaign

Bill Zimmerman and Marilyn Katz were the media consultants to Harold Washington’s successful 1983 Mayoral campaign in Chicago.[2]

Board of Directors MAES

Board of Directors, Medical Aid to El Salvador, circa 1983;[3]

Los Angeles DSA potential donors list

On July 26 1992 California Democratic Socialists of America leader Steve Tarzynski wrote a draft "major donor letter" for Southern California DSA, inviting donors to join the Upton Sinclair Club of DSA[4]

We know you have been generous in supporting DSA's important work in the past. We'd like to develop a core of at least twelve people who will pledge 1,000 annually to keep our Organization working for Southern California DSA. We invite you to be one of those people. This select group of members and friends would have a key role in rebuilding a democratic left opposition in California.
This unique group of individuals would form the "Upton Sinclair Club" which will act in an advisory role meeting with the Southern California DSA leadership at an annual brunch. Sinclair Club members will receive a quarterly bulletin reporting on Southern California DSA's progress, and will have an opportunity to meet international DSA spokespeople and international guest speakers in more intimate small group settings. Admission to all local, statewide, and national DSA events in the Southern California would be complimentary with membership in the Sinclair Club.

The draft was accompanied by a "List of Potential major donors to DSA"

"Westside Friends of Jackie Goldberg"

Signatories to a letter from Westside Friends of Jackie Goldberg, dated January 15, 1993 were;


  1. [, In These Times, May 7, 2013 Harold Washington and the Elephant in the Room]
  2. [, In These Times, May 7, 2013 Harold Washington and the Elephant in the Room]
  3. MAES fundraising mailer, circa 1983
  4. Steve Tarzynski DSA major donor letter draft July 26, 1992, Tarzynski papers, Southern California Library for Social Change