James Singer is a Utah activist and academic. Candidate for UT, US Senate, primary (2018). Changed to running for Congress in District 3.
James Singer grew up in Kearns, Utah, a proud Navajo. There were many moments in James' life when he witnessed injustices happening such as his grandparents on Navajo land without running water or electricity, yet living within miles of a hydroelectric dam. After high school and a stint as a missionary for the LDS (Mormon) Church in Argentina, Singer returned to Utah and attended Salt Lake Community College and then Westminster College in Salt Lake City where he graduated both institutions with honors.
In college, he began working for the Dine Policy Institute, a public policy institution based in the Navajo Nation. After graduating from Westminster College, he moved to Arizona so he could work there full-time.
Singer returned to Utah to attend the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program at Westminster College. His research focused on poverty and living wage policies. Immediately after, he started a doctorate program in the Sociology of Labor Markets and Social Policy at Utah State University where he is working on his dissertation research. James is a Diversity Fellow in Sociology an Ethnic Studies at Salt Lake Community College and an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts of Community Leadership program at Westminster College where he teaches social change theory.
James is also involved in community work, most notably as one of the co-founders of the Utah League of Native American Voters and the Utah Alliance for American Indian Education. He works on the board of directors for the Rape Recovery Center and the Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance. He is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Pacific Sociological Association, the Democratic Socialists of America, and the American Federation of Teachers.
Then in 2016, Singer witnessed the "atrocities at Standing Rock".
- Rubber bullets, water canons in freezing temperatures, and arrests and jail for protesters protecting their water and their rights as sovereigns of the land. Sacred sites were bulldozed and a pipeline put in. James saw that the wars against indigenous peoples had not ended, only shifted in how they were waged.
Another major blow was the rescinding of Bears Ears. The project, decades in the making, led by elected tribal leaders and a community effort to manage lands that were sacred and of great cultural importance, was dismissed by the federal government, delegitimizing the voices of Native peoples in Utah again. It is under these circumstances that James knew he had to run for Congress. That's where policy can be formed to solve systemic problems. James understands how systemic problems have root causes that must be addressed. He believes, "Our collective success depends on our ability to work together for a better society for everyone."
And that includes healthcare. "Everyone should be valued and cared for. Our healthcare system in the United States is backwards because it treats health as if it is a commodity that can be bought and sold on a market. Well, healthcare isn't a commodity; it's a right. We can learn from what other countries have done, which is create a system that is freely accessible to all and costs less than what we pay now, then make it our own...We need to examine the cultural and systemic variables for why we have a bloated healthcare system that serves insurance companies better than it serves patients. That's why I will fight to create a universal healthcare system guaranteeing healthcare to all people."
US Senate run
Salt Lake Democratic Socialists of America, March 12, 2017;
- James Singer, an Indigenous eco-socialist and soon-to-be DSA member, is running for Senate in 2018! James is a Phd candidate in sociology and an adjunct professor at Westminster College. One of the most important forms of activism DSA can do is help support and promote fellow socialists into political offices. Let's support James!
James Singer of Salt Lake City has filed paperwork, launched a campaign website and opened a fundraising web page as he prepares to run for U.S. Senate. He is among at least six candidates to date who have announced their intentions to run for the seat Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has held for two generations.
Singer’s campaign manager, Madalena McNeil, said the “Singer for Senate” campaign will officially launch on Tuesday, May 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a kickoff event at the Glendale Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library. McNeil invites all Utahns to learn more about the candidate, who she said stands alone as a representative of Native voices . Singer, a member of the Navajo Nation, is a cofounder of the Utah League of Native American Voters and is a strong advocate for tribal sovereignty. He is running under the slogan “ready to fight for equality and prosperity for all Americans.”
“He looked at kind of everything that was going on in the country, not just as far as social justice and that kind of thing, but also the economic system and the labor markets and the different ways that all of that connects,” McNeil said. “He has the knowledge and the ability to talk to people about that, to create policy, and he saw that kind of opportunity, and especially for the Senate race. When we’ve had somebody in office for over 40 years, it’s time for somebody new who can really bring that background and that experience and that perspective to policies.”
McNeil said Singer teaches sociology at Westminster College and Salt Lake Community College. He is enrolled in a doctoral program in the Sociology of Labor Markets and Social Policy at Utah State University, where he is currently working on his dissertation research.
McNeil said Singer’s campaign uses a holistic approach to address social problems, and he hopes to tackle issues like economic inequality, systemic racism, gender inequality and environmental sustainability. Singer enjoys playing and watching soccer, singing and traveling. He and his wife have one daughter. More information about the 35-year-old candidate is available at www.singerforsenate.com.
DSA Facebook group
Members of the California Democratic Socialists of America, statewide Facebook group, as of January, 8 2019 included James Singer.