Christine Riddiough

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Christine Riddiough

Christine (Chris) R. Riddiough is a Washington DC based gay and socialist activist. She has been in a relationship with Judy Nedrow for more than 20 years.

Chicago Women's Liberation

In the early 1970s Riddiough was involved in[1]the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union

What I know about gender and politics I learned not from my academic career, but rather from my activism. I became involved in politics, like many of my generation, during the anti-Vietnam war movement. Some of the most important lessons I learned were from my experience in the (CWLU). CWLU was formed in 1969; it became a model for socialist feminist women’s unions around the country.
CWLU was part of the second wave of feminism. During the early years in the late 1960s and 70s many articles, pamphlets and books were written describing the goals and desires of the movement and those of us in it. One that I remember especially well was called ‘I don’t want to change my lifestyle, I want to change my life.’ That reflected, in part, the views of women in CWLU, but we also went beyond that: we wanted to change the world. Peg Strobel, of the UIC Women’s Studies Program, has described activists in CWLU as seeing ourselves as ‘social actors’ – people who wanted to act in and on the world. The idea that we could change the world was crucial to understanding how we in the women’s union thought about social change.

Riddiough was editor of Blazing Star a lesbian/feminist newspaper and worked as an environmental health researcher at the University of Illinois.

New American Movement

In 1978 Christine Riddiough was a member of the Blazing Star New American Movement[2].

Between 1980 and 1981 Liz Weston, New York and Christine Riddiough, Chicago were chairs of the Socialist Feminist Commission of the New American Movement.[3]

In 1981 the NAM national interim committee consisted of;

Bill Barclay (PC), Laura Berg (Portland NAM), Holly Graff (PC), John Haer (Pittsburgh NAM), Rick Kunnes (PC), Halli Lehrer (Chicago Northside NAM), Christine Riddiough (Blazing Star NAM), Glenn Scott (Austin NAM), and Steve Tarzynski (Los Angelos NAM), Robert Shaffer (New York NAM).[4]

In 1982 Christine Riddiough was co-chair of the Socialist Feminist Commission of the New American Movement[5] and editor of its journal Women Organizing.[6]

New American Movement 10th convention

In 1981 Christine Riddiough and Liz Weston, Co-Chairs of the Commission led a workshop entitled Socialist-Feminist Commission at the 10th Convention of the New American Movement. The convention was held in a union headquarters in Chicago and ran from July 29 - August 2, 1981.

Riddiough also spoke alongside Kate Ellis, Assoc. NAM, NY DSOC; Cheryl Johnson, Program of African Studies, Northwestern U. and Liz Weston, Co-Chair, Socialist Feminist Commission in a workshop entitled Feminist Strategies for the '80's.

She led a workshop entitled Gay and Lesbian Task Force alongside Leo Casey, Co-Chair, Gay and Lesbian Task Force.[7]

Democratic Socialists of America founding conference

Chris Riddiough (NAM Political Committee), spoke at the day one "Feminism Under Fire"session of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee/New American Movement Unity Conference in Detroit March 21/22 1982, that resulted in the formation of Democratic Socialists of America[8].

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Christine Riddiough was a District of Columbia, Maryland delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[9]

DSA and Socialist International

In 1984 Democratic Socialists of America vice chairs were Harry Britt, Ron Dellums, Dorothy Healey, Irving Howe, Frances Moore Lappe, Manning Marable, Hilda Mason, Marjorie Phyfe, Christine Riddiough, Rosemary Ruether, Edwin Vargas Jr, William Winpisinger[10].

In the mid 1990's Riidiough's Democratic Socialists of America activism saw her working with[11]the Socialist International.

The domestic resolutions committee also had a busy agenda. The convention passed a resolution on health care reaffirming DSA's support for a single-payer approach to national health care and specifically our support for the McDermott bill. A resolution on Women and Politics was passed which included a call to organize a speaking tour for international women representatives in 1994 - 1995, including "DSA member and Socialist International Women Vice-President Chris Riddiough along with international representatives".

The Democratic Socialists of America delegation to the 1992 Socialist International conference in Berlin, included Bogdan Denitch, (chair), Christine Riddiough, (VP Socialist International Women), Motl Zelmanowicz, Jose LaLuz, Michael Lighty, Jo-Ann Mort and Penny Schantz.[12]

DSAers Bogdan Denitch, Christine Riddiough, and Motl Zelmanowicz attended the Socialist International Council meeting in Athens, Greece on February 9 and 10. The Council was addressed by the illegally ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. [13]

DSA Feminist Commission

In 1982 Christine Riddiough was chair and Sandra Chelnov and Jerry Flieger were co-chairs of the Democratic Socialists of America Feminist commission.[14]

In 1985, Christine Riddiough was listed as a NEC liason for the steering committee and an Ex Officio member on the National Officers and Staff of the Feminist Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America.[15]

In 1986 she was listed as a member of the Commission.[16]

In 1992 the Democratic Socialists of America Feminist Commission reelected Chris Riddiough as chair. In addition Lisa Foley and Patricia Sexton agreed to serve as vice chairs. Jerry Flieger, Ruth Spitz, Paul Baer and Julie Whitbeck agreed to serve on the commission steering committee[17].

Socialist Scholars Conference 1990

The Socialist Scholars Conference 1990, held September 6-8, at the Hotel Commodore, New York, included panels such as:[18]

The Democratic Party and Electoral Strategy for the Left

Global warming

In 1990 Democratic Socialists of America Vice-Chair Chris Riddiough wa described as a former activist with the Chicago Womens Liberation Union and New American Movement, former director of the National Gay and Lesbian Democratic Clubs, and is now director of the Global Warming Project of the Union of Concerned Scientists[19].

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1997 Chicago DSA member Bruce Bentley wrote;

There is a class struggle in process in the Congress with the Progressive Caucus around such issues as the Welfare Bill, NAFTA and Single Payer Health Care.

As a result of this DSA's Political Director Christine Riddiough organized a meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus with the purpose and cogent task as to: "How can we unite our forces on a common agenda?" Those in attendance included Richard Trumka, Noam Chomsky, Patricia Ireland, William Greider and Jesse Jackson.[20]

Gay rights victory

In 2002 hundreds of District of Columbia activists joined Mayor Anthony Williams, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and members of the DC Council to celebrate the removal of Congressional restrictions on the District’s domestic partnership program after a decade-long struggle.

Even though the Council passed a 1992 act permitting any unmarried partners—gay or straight—to register with the city (DSA National Vice Chair and DC Council member Hilda Mason was one of the original backers), right-wing members of Congress blocked implementation of the program by placing a rider on the District’s budget.

The District, like Puerto Rico and other territories, is subject to budgetary and legislative oversight by Congress. Congress must approve the annual DC appropriations bill, and it uses this power to impose restrictions on the District.

Gay-rights organizations, such as ACT-UP DC and the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, and the movement for DC democracy joined together to fight the ban, with DC/MD/Northern VA. Democratic Socialists of America and its members playing a significant role in the victory. DSA member Judy Nedrow chaired a local commission that developed strategy for the domestic partnership struggle, and Nedrow’s partner Christine Riddiough, former DSA Political Director, also played an important role on the commission. Riddiough was also former chair of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, a local gay-lesbian Democratic organization instrumental in convincing the District government to take up the issue.

The Stand Up for Democracy in DC Coalition, of which the DSA local was a member, conducted an annual campaign against this and other budget riders, holding rallies and walking the halls of Congress. Several of Stand Up’s members were arrested engaging in civil disobedience during congressional votes.

The local campaign finally gained the support of openly gay Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), who in 2001 was instrumental in having the ban removed. “This is a real step forward both in the domestic partnership fight and for DC sovereignty,” Riddiough said.[21]

DSA event

In 2006 Neil Abercrombie and Dennis Kucinich spoke at a Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee event in Washington DC at the home of Stewart Mott, for Bernie Sanders. The event was moderated by Christine Riddiough[22].

The questions and comments actually had to be cut off to let Bernie get to the plane.
He flew to Washington and the next day attended the Washington, D.C., DSA PAC party at the home of Stewart Mott. Not only did Bernie Sanders speak; so did members of Congress Neil Abercrombie (HI) and Dennis Kucinich (OH). Christine Riddiough, former DSA National Director, served as host/ moderator

Progressives for Obama

Th CR Inauguration.jpg

In 2009 Christine Riddiough Americans for Democratic Action was listed as an endorser of the Progressives for Obama website.[23]

DSA vice-chair

Democratic Socialists of America Vice-Chairs in 2009 were;

Elaine Bernard, Edward Clark, Jose LaLuz, Steve Max, Harold Meyerson, Maxine Phillips, Christine Riddiough, Rosemary Ruether, Joseph Schwartz, Ruth Spitz, Motl Zelmanowicz[24].

DSA feminist list

In 2015 Isabel Anreus, Fatou Camara, Christine Riddiough, and Peg Strobel were members of the Democratic Socialists of America feminist list.[25]

NPC candidate

In August 2017 Christine Riddiough stood for election to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, at the National Convention in Chicago.[26]

I’ve been interested in politics since I was a kid and got actively involved in the movement (feminism, opposition to the war in Southeast Asia, etc.) in college (Carleton College in Northfield, MN). I went to graduate school at Northwestern University in astrophysics, but spent more time on my political work than my studies. I became involved in the women’s movement and what was then known as the gay and lesbian movement in the 1970s as a member of the socialist feminist Chicago Women’s Liberation Union. I joined the New American Movement in 1978 as part of a lesbian chapter of NAM. I joined DSA when it was founded. I’ve worked for women’s, environmental, peace, and LGBTQIA+ organizations ever since. I currently work as an instructor in computer programming and statistics.
My main focus over the years has been and continues to be work on socialist feminism and LGBTQIA+ socialism. I’m on the Socialist Feminist committee for Metro DC DSA and the Socialist Feminist Working Group for DSA nationally. I also co-initiated and currently co-chair the Queer Socialist Working Group. I’m a member of the National Elections Committee, which guides DSA’s electoral work and recommends to the NPC what candidates to support and activities to undertake. I have been involved in electoral politics in Minnesota, Chicago and DC. In Minnesota, as a college student I organized students to go to Wisconsin to canvas for Eugene McCarthy, the anti-Vietnam war candidate. In Chicago I was co-chair of the Illinois Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which worked in support of gay rights legislation. In Washington, DC I testified before the city council in 1985 to urge them to fund health care for people with HIV/AIDS. I’m also a past member of the NPC and a Vice Chair of DSA (a purely honorary position.[27]

Democratic Socialists of America Unity

Christine Riddiough supported the Democratic Socialists of America Unity grouping, established for the 2017 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Chicago.[28]

2017-2017 DSA NPC members

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Members elected to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, August 2017;

The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins

In October 2017, Christine Riddiough Democratic Socialists of America signed the letter The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins.

Inside/Outside Project

From an article on Organizing Upgrade October 5, 2018 on the :Left Inside/Outside Project.

Fighting Trump and Building the Left, from the Left Inside/Outside Project

But it’s also an exciting time to be part of the U.S. left. We have momentum on all the levels we have to work on, and more energy for these efforts than we have seen in decades. We take the inspiration from the examples listed above, and recognize that our main challenge is bringing our work to scales that will be able to shift the balance of forces in the U.S. The Left Inside/Outside Project formed out of a common feeling that U.S. politics after Trump required both serious engagement with electoral politics and a left that could work collaboratively to build on our existing strengths. Twenty months later, we still believe this: our commitment is to work ever more closely together with this vision, to learn from one another, build on our most advanced experiences, and build a more unified and effective socialist movement that is in this fight for the long haul.

Signatories included Christine Riddiough, Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee.

DSA Women's Caucus Facebook group

Members of the DSA Women's Caucus closed Facebook group, as of August 25, 2017 included Christine Riddiough .[29]

DSA delegate

In 2017, the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America Election Working Group finalized a 29 member convention delegate list. The list included Christine Riddiough.

Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee

In March 2018 Christine Riddiough was involved with the Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee.

Medicare for All

Democratic Socialists Medicare for All leaers, ss of March 19 2018;[30]

Steering Committee

2018 DSA NEC members


New National Electoral Committee Members, as of May 18, 2018 are Abdullah Younus NYC, Adam Parsons Columbus, AJ Reed Quad Cities, Alex Nagle Philadelphia, Allie Cohn Knoxville, Austin Binns Philadelphia, Christine Riddiough Metro DC, Christian Bowe Lansing, David Greve Pittsburgh, Dele Balogun Chicago, Devin McManus NYC, Felicia Hamilton Boulder, Jason Clayton Metro DC, Jessica M. Culbertson Akron, Katrina Bergstrom Los Angeles, Keaton Slansky Seattle, Lucas Perez-Leahy Omaha, Mark Masaoka Los Angeles, Peter Simon Denver, Rachel Reyes Los Angeles, Renee Paradis NYC, Sarah Ganong Central Connecticut, Spencer Chan Chicago, Tascha Van Auken NYC, Yesenia Padilla San Diego.

Socialist Majority Caucus

DSA's Socialist Majority Caucus signatories list as of April 25 2019 included Christine Riddiough of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.


  2. Women Organizing, No 2, Spring 1978
  3. NAM Commission Chairs list, 1980 - 1981
  4. NAM Discussion Bulletin No 5, Spring 81, page 1o
  6. Women Organizing, Winter 1982
  7. NAM 10th Convention Agenda, July 29, 1981
  8. Conference program brochure
  9. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  10. DSA membership letter Oct 24 1984
  12. Democratic Left, November/December 1992, page 12
  13. Democratic Left March/April 1993, page 12
  14. DSA Keylist newsletter, July 1982, page 2
  15. DSA Feminist Commission Directory, 1985
  16. 1986 DSA Feminist Commission Directory
  18. Second Annual Socialist Scholars Conference program.
  20. DSA National Director Addresses Chicago DSA Membership, New Ground 51, March-April, 1997
  21. Democratic Left • Spring 2002, page 2]
  23. Progressives for Obama
  25. DSA, Women and Economics in Fiction, 05.13.15
  26. [1]
  27. [2]
  28. [3]
  29. [4]
  30. [5]