Eleanor Smeal

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Eleanor Smeal

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."

The Socialist Caucus circulated a list of convention delegates who were caucus members, including;[1]

Anti CCRI campaign/DSAer?

Democratic Left, November / December 1996, page 19

In 1996 Democratic Socialists of America activists in California were deeply involved in the unsuccessful struggle to defeat Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights initiative, which sought to ban "affirmative action". At DSA's 1995 National Convention, the organization made opposition to CCRI a "major focus for our Activist Agenda".

According to campaign co-ordinator, Sacramento DSA leader Duane Campbell, "several prominent DSAers also contributed to the effort against 209. DSA Honorary Chair Dolores Huerta was a tireless campaigner and fundraiser. Huerta, alongwith Jesse Jackson, Eleanor Smeal, Patricia Ireland and Elizabeth Toledo, participated in a Freedom Bus tour throughout California, Each of them spoke from their own views on the significance of this campaign in building a spirit of hope and of struggle. The tour, well covered in the media, clearty showed the need to work together to build broad coalitions of labor, civil rights, and women's organizations..[2]

National Congress of Black Women Salutes Sojourner Truth

National Congress of Black Women’s Reception to Meet and Greet Honorary Chairs and Truth Commissioners, honoring Sojourner Truth was held at the NW Washington home of Julian Epstein, Wednesday June 6th, 2007.

Attendees included E. Faye Williams (National Congress of Black Women), Barbara Lang (Chamber of Commerce) Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Eleanor Smeal, Kim Gandy, Alice Cohan, Dick Gregory, and Rep. Bobby Scott.[3]



  1. Information Digest, Septemer 19, 1980, p 333
  2. Democratic Left • November / December 1996 • page 19
  3. [alcongressbw.org/sojournergathering.aspx, National Congress of Black Women Salutes Sojourner Truth, accessed May 26, 2013]