Maikiko James

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Maikiko James

Maikiko James is a Los Angeles activist. Director of Programs at Women In Film.


New York University, BFA Screenwriting. Activities and Societies: Asian American Working Artists, Tisch Scholars, Biracial and Multiracial Students Alliance (BAMSA).

Activist history

"I’ve been involved in DSA-LA since December 2016 and dues-paying since March of 2017. Since then, I’ve held positions as chair of the former Racial Justice Committee, coordinator of the former Anti-oppression Committee, both decommissioned in effort to prevent issue-siloing of underrepresented people in our chapter and remove undue burden on those who were organizing most in those committees. I was also an at-large member of the DSA-LA Steering Committee in 2018. Within those positions, I helped to coordinate quarterly culture forum addressing oppressive aspects of culture within our chapter, and build the infrastructure for the implementation of our misconduct policy and conflict resolution team. I am currently the capacity coordinator of the Membership Committee, supporting the work of our training program and the onboarding of new members into DSA-LA organizing.

My first experiences in community organizing were in high school for local anti-gentrification campaigns in San Francisco, resourcing small businesses and working class residents to fight off major development. Since then, I’ve had professional and volunteer experiences in youth leadership, immigration justice, juvenile justice system reform, media representation and equity, and feminist anti-militarism. Many of these experiences were and remain confined by the political and capitalist limitations of working within non-profit organizations. I joined DSA having come to an understanding that work at this level cannot be transformative without major systemic overhaul in our economy and society".[1]

Black + Gold Forum

In May 2020, in response to these tensions and to the widespread protest sparked by the death of George Floyd, media advocacy organization Define American held the Black + Gold Forum, inviting prominent Black and Asian American voices to discuss the ways their communities could support each other.

“Asians have been in the United States for hundreds of years at this point, and yet so often we think of Asian people as ‘other,’ or as foreign,” said Noelle Lindsay-Stewart, former head of entertainment partnerships and advocacy for Define American. “In the same vein, you also have the Black community, which also has been in the United States for hundreds of years through forced migration, and even now, 150 years after the end of slavery, is still not treated as fully American.”

Much of the Forum discussion focused on cultural methods of building solidarity. Director Jon Chu admitted that he and many other Asian Americans had been unaware of the scope of institutional racism in the United States until Trump ascended to the presidency. Though Chu’s 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians was celebrated for boosting Asian American representation in Hollywood, this sort of cultural victory does little to rectify issues of income inequality, which is rapidly rising among both Asian and Black Americans.

“There’s a lot of really basic political education that needs to be done, in terms of establishing these types of cross-racial solidarity on the basis of everyone living under this same system of oppression, but differently,” said DSA member and organizer Promise Li.

Li pointed out that there is considerable economic and cultural diversity within the Asian American community, perhaps more than in any other U.S. racial minority group. Indeed, many Asians are more likely to identify with their ethnic subgroup than with “Asian Americans” as an overarching category. “Asian Americans who work at boba or bubble tea shops, to Black folks who are struggling to find a job,” Li said. “How can we actually build up solidarity along these class lines instead of buying into these more liberal representation struggles and narratives?”

Within DSA, the Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus is leading the effort to build solidarity and empathy across racial lines. It’s a welcoming space for people of color in a predominantly white organization to discuss their experiences as minorities in America—and the ways that these experiences can and should inform their work as socialists and political organizers. But Li cited examples such as the Flushing counter-protest as evidence that these cross-racial solidarity efforts are not limited to DSA. “I think that type of thing is very new,” Li said. “The fact that this kind of countering in our own communities can get that type of traction is very exciting.”

Still, months after the Black + Gold Forum, the injustices that inspired the panel remain largely unaddressed. Anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City have jumped nearly twentyfold, and the policemen who killed Breonna Taylor continue to walk free. The systemic racism and deep-seated white supremacy that have fueled U.S. anti-Blackness and anti-Asianness aren’t going anywhere, regardless of the election results.

“In our work in DSA, we have to be centering race,” Maikiko James emphasized. “It’s commonly said that race and capitalism are intertwined…but if we don’t center people of color in our work, then we can’t move forward.”[2]

DSA 2021 Socialist Majority slate


Sabrina Chan, Kristian Hernandez, Maikiko James, Jose La Luz, Kevin Richardson.

DSA Members Organizing Against Trump

DSA Members Organizing Against Trump was a letter released early October 2020 to shore up Democratic Socialists of America support for Joe Biden.

Signatories included Maikiko James, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America.

Yes on 15 Back to School Phonebank

Ryan Andrews August 28 2020·


Join DSA-LA and YDSA🚨TOMORROW🚨for our Yes on 15 Back to School Phonebank ft. guest speakers Carlos Callejo, Cal Poly Pomona student and YDSA member, Wade Kyle, UTLA Political Action Committee of Educators (PACE) Chair, and Arlene Inouye, UTLA Secretary and Bargaining Co-Chair!

Ryan Andrews is with Yunyi and Nina Eliasoph, Arlene Inouye, Sarah Squirm, Noriko Nakada, Alberto Saavedra, Rocio Rivas, Jenny Chung, Phylis Hoffman, Erika Feresten, Michael Lumpkin, Jorge Castaeda, Elizabeth Untalan, Kristina Meshelski, Brian Dionisi, Pilar Schiavo, Haley Potiker, Anabel Nevarez Ruvalcaba, Ezra Pugh, Jason Boxer, Mark Masaoka, Douglas McBride, Tal Levy, Abigail Gutmann-Gonzalez, Aisha Stars, Hsingii Tseng Bird, Barry Eidlin, Keith Brower Brown, Ankur Patel, Jesus Hermosillo, Jenni Chang, Brenden Gallagher, Alex Kliner, Charlotte Ariel, Meagan Day, Fatima Iqbal-Zubair, Lucia Garcia, Michelle Antoinette Boley, Alejandro Pina, Vanessa Castro Scott, Anitra Wetzel, Jim Smith, Steve Seal, Fernando Ramirez, Nicky Martin, Michelle Ching, Bill Barclay, Jamie Penn, Xavier Santos, Brandon Rey Ramirez, Marc Bender, Casey Ramirez, Kat Nathalie, Anally Medrano, Hannah Klein, Peter Mathews, Bill Barrett, Gabe Gabrielsky, Alan Minsky, Reggie Wong, Armin Mah, Cyn Huang, Janet Hurtado, Robert Mejia, Imani Beckett, Erika Alvarez, Juan Gutierrez, Angelica Duenas, Will Shattuc, Daniel Dominguez, Rosa Diaz, Henry Huerta, Mario Valenzuela, Josh Smith, Hannah Kessel, Diane Hirsch-garcia, Carlos Amador, Alex Wolinetz, Karla Aviles Griego, Ben Hauck, Alyssa Stonoha, Marlin Medrano, Melissa Arredondo, Marc Baca, Jordan Greenslade, Joel Greenfield, Kyle Gregory, Leslie Simon, Jasmine Ivy, Sean Broadbent, Cheng-Sim Lim, Hae Min Cho, Hai-ching Cheah, Marcy Winograd Maikiko James.

DSA California campagn launch


Keith Bower Brown, Jackie Fielder, Maikiko James.

DSA 2019 National Political Committee Candidates

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Democratic Socialists of America 2019 National Political Committee Candidates

Austin GonzalezSauceTheresa AltSean EstelleDaniel MerrillDarby ThomasRussell Weiss-IrwinMichelle Bruder MillerZac EcholaJen SnyderJennifer BolenBlanca EstevezMarsha NiemeijerMarianela D'AprileTawny TidwellLloyd GoldsmithErika PascholdEmily CameronDan QuayleValerie SinclairNatalie MidiriRavi Ahmad HaqueJose G. PerezTim ZhuRachel ZibratAbdullah YounusMegan SvobodaMaikiko JamesKristian HernandezDavid PinkhamHannah AllisonJen McKinneyAustin Smith[3]

Bernie 2020 Working Group supporters


Katrina Bergstrom July 27 2019·

DSA-LA members!

You should have received a link last night to vote for the creation of DSA-LA’s Bernie 2020 Working Group - please vote YES today!

Voting is open for one week. ... See More — with Alex Wolinetz, Amarnath Ravva, Zenaida Huerta, Angelica Duenas, Olivia Gamboa, Shawnee Badger, Wendy Fagioli Ruiz, Marlin Medrano, Bobbie McGowan, Joshua Smith, Henry Huerta, Ezra Pugh, Lisa Kendall, Jeanna Harris, Kristina Meshelski, Nick Roth, Erika Feresten, Tina Fredericks, Jeanine Rohn, Jane Demian, Frances Yasmeen Motiwalla, Andrew Swetland, Aaron Balanta Holloway, Hsingii Tseng Bird, Josh Goodman, Isaac Lieberman, Ankur Patel, Sophie Eupp, Brandon Rey Ramirez, Chris Roth, Taiji Miyagawa, Symone Baptiste, Gabe Gabrielsky, Reed Heisley-Shellaby, Rachel Miller, Jack Suria Linares, Jeremy White, Mason Mineo, Gabbi Pierce, Rebecca Prediletto, Don Ward, Mark Masaoka, Rachel Reyes, Jessica Salans, Nina Eliasoph, Francisco Cendejas, Una Lee Jost, Paul Song, Don Irwin, Chris Myers, Charles Du, Eugene Pesikov, Katrina Bleckley, Kat Valentine, Rob Quan, Jenni Chang, Tom Pike, Evan Geary and Maikiko James.

SoCal Bernie supporters

Katrina Bergstrom September 27 2019·

We are canvassing for Bernie this weekend from 10am-2pm in East Hollywood, North Hollywood and West LA, anybody who canvasses gets a free limited edition Bernie pin! RSVP HERE:


Which one is your favorite? — with Erika Alvarez, Megan Svoboda, Jessica Ann Bourque, Amarnath Ravva, Erika Feresten, Paul Song, Jeanine Rohn, Paul Krehbiel, Jane Demian, Karlenea Brown, Betty Doumas, Nicky Martin, Charles Du, Eric Wimer, Daniela Urso, Hsingii Tseng Bird, Max Goldberg, Jenni Chang, Maikiko James, Jeanna Harris, Will Shattuc, Michael Stenovec, Kyle Gaan, Brandon Rey Ramirez, Brenda Gutierrez, Steve Askin, Mason Mineo, Olivia Gamboa, Shawnee Badger, Wendy Fagioli Ruiz, Sergio Davila, Marlin Medrano, Mark Masaoka, Ben Hauck, Alex Wolinetz, Carrie Scoville, Joshua Smith, Henry Huerta, Tim Johnson, Staci O'Neal-Robinson, Steve Couch and Phillip Kim.

2019 DSA-LA National Convention Delegates Candidates

DSA-LA has 47 delegate spots available and have received 69 candidate submissions. Due to the large number of candidates and slots, this ballot is using Approval Voting rather than block voting: vote for as many candidates as you feel comfortable representing DSA-LA at the convention. Voting will close on June 15th at 11:59pm. Should delegates be unable to attend the convention for any reason, they will be replaced by delegate alternates in order of votes.

Candidates included Maikiko James.

Socialist Majority Caucus

DSA's Socialist Majority Caucus signatories list as of April 25 2019 included Maikiko James of Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America.

Standing for AD 53

In 2019 Maikiko James stood from AD 53 for the California Democratic Party Central Committee.


Maikiko has 17 years of experience as an arts and social issue administrator, and has worked in youth justice, theatre, public interest legal support for survivors and families, and impact and feminist media. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles chapter and has helped to establish and implement its resources toward transformative justice and community healing. She is the proud daughter of radical progressives who taught her the only way to live in the world is to do so ensuring all humans can. She is also a performer, writer, and improvisor who has lived in Koreatown for the past five years. As a delegate, she aims to hold the Democratic Party accountable to all Californians, not the wealthiest, and fight for policies which ensure people not only have access to, but actually receive what they need to live liberated and healthy lives on a thriving planet.[4]

Racial Justice Caucus - DSA-LA


Racial Justice Caucus - Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America closed Facebook group, as of August 25, 2017;[5]


Socialist-Feminist Caucus, DSA-LA

Members of the Socialist-Feminist Caucus, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America, closed Facebook group, as of August 22, 2017 included Maikiko James.[6]

DSA-LA 2018 Local officer election results

Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America Local officer election results released November 2017;[7]

At large officers

  • Maikiko James - elected

DSA Facebook group

Members of the California Democratic Socialists of America, statewide Facebook group, as of March 16, 2017 included Maikiko James.[8]

National Gathering

The DSA AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus National Gathering Planning Committee proposed a National gathering to take place June 7th-9th, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana at Loyola University.

The tentative planning committee was Bianca Cunningham NYC-DSA, Alyssa Pariah Portland-DSA, Kristian Hernandez NTX-DSA, Suzanne-Juliette Mobley New Orleans, Sumathy Kumar NYC-DSA, Maikiko JamesLA-DSA, Beth Huang -Boston-DSA, Marian Jones-NYC-DSA, Ashley Payne East Bay-DSA, Sasha Hammad-DSA national staff.[9]