John Cameron

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John D. Cameron


John D. Cameron...is the the Director of Political and Community Relations for AFSCME Council 31, the statewide public service union representing more than 75,000 active and 25,000 retired Illinois state and local government workers. Mr. Cameron has directed the political, legislative and community outreach for the statewide council and its 285 local unions, as well as supervising its retirees program.[1]

Activist career

Over the last 32 years (since 2011), John Cameron has worked on a wide range of public policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels. Recent victories include the state income tax increase and national health insurance reform, restoring county public health services, enacting protections against privatization, and defending pension and retiree health benefits. Cameron has been involved in electoral politics beginning with Miriam Balanoff's election to the state legislature in 1978 and Harold Washington's first mayoral campaign. He has also worked for Lane Evans, Paul Simon, Jan Schakowsky, Joe Moore, and Barack Obama. John Cameron is on the boards of Citizen Action/Illinois, USAction, and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. He also serves as the Illinois Federation of Labor's 9th District COPE chair.[2]

US Action

Previous to his employment at AFSCME, Cameron spent 21 years working at Citizen Action/ Illinois as an organizer, campaign director, program director and its executive director. Over the last 30 years, he has worked on a wide range of public policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels that involve legislative, grassroots and media advocacy, including recent battles to defend county public health services, enact protections against privatization, defend pension and retiree health benefits, and build support for state tax reform and revenue enhancements.

In March, 2009, US Action honored him with its “Paul Wellstone Award for Progressive Activism.” [3]

New American Movement

In 1980 John Cameron, Chicago, was a delegate to the December 12-14 Chicago, National Council meeting of the New American Movement[4].

Between 1980 and 1981 John Cameron, Illinois and Bob Van Meter, Illinois were chairs of the Energy Commission of the New American Movement.[5]

New American Movement 10th convention

In 1981 John Cameron and Bob Van Meter, Co-Chairs of the Commission led a workshop entitled Energy 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.

Cameron also spoke alongside Dorothy Healey, LA NAM; Rick Kunnes, National Secretary and Susie Deter Shank, Detroit NAM on a mini-plenary entitled National Strategies, National Coalitions.[6]

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 John Cameron was a Chicago delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[7]

DSA member

In 1992 John Cameron, was Research Director at Illinois Public Action and a member[8]of Democratic Socialists of America.

DSA convention

In November 2009, at the Democratic Socialists of America national convention in Evanstown, Illinois, Saturday’s plenary session featured Bill Barclay (Chicago), John Cameron (AFSCME), and Michele Rossi (NPC, East Bay) continuing the theme of crisis in the U.S. and global capitalism and our fight for equality. They highlighted the need to rein in the financial sector; establish a permanent jobs program and a national industrial policy; defend public services; and address gender, class and racial inequality through a revived public sector. [9]

2011 DSA award

Jeremy Schroeder, John D. Cameron

The 53rd Debs Thomas Harrington Dinner was held in 2011, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro on Friday the 13th of May.

Chicago DSA co-chair Ron Baiman presented the Dinner award to AFSCME's John Cameron. In accepting the award, Cameron noted that while both public and private employees may be represented in the workplace by a union, public employees, as voters, have some say in the meaning of their work, and this is the essence of socialism.

U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky seized the time and the podium to second the Dinner's endorsement of Cameron's work. Despite now being in the minority in Congress, Schakowsky noted in passing, she was extremely optimistic as the conservatives in Congress have seriously over-reached themselves.[10]

Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

In 2014 John D. Cameron served on the board of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.[11]

John Cameron is the Director of Political and Community Relations for AFSCME Council 31, the statewide public service union representing more than 75,000 active and 25,000 retired Illinois state and local government workers. Cameron has directed the political, legislative, and community outreach for the statewide council and its 285 local unions, as well as supervising its retirees program.

Prior to his employment at AFSCME, he spent 21 years working at Citizen Action/ Illinois as an organizer, campaign director, program director, and executive director. Over the last 30 years, Mr. Cameron has worked on a wide range of public policy initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels involving legislative, grassroots and media advocacy which include the recent battles to defend county public health services, enact protections against privatization, defend pension and retiree health benefits, and build support for state tax reform and revenue enhancements. Mr. Cameron is also the 9th Congressional District COPE chair for the Illinois AFL-CIO, serves as Secretary-Treasurer of Citizen Action/Illinois, and is a board member of US Action.[12]

References