Penny Schantz

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Penny Schantz

Template:TOCnestleft Penny Schantz is a former president of the Santa Cruz Central Labor Council.[1]

My activity in DSA spans several decades from my teenage years to the present. I organized conferences, campaigns and mobilizations as former DSA Youth Organizer staff at DSA's founding after co-founding DSA locals in Ithaca, NY and Madison, WI. I served as co-chair of the DSA Labor Commission and NPC member in the 1980's. As a Bernie delegate to the DNC from Democrats Abroad, I ensured participation of co-delegate Larry Sanders (Bernie's brother) and Bernie's son Levi at the DSA-organized Socialist Caucus at the DNC. I'm a lifetime DSA member.[2]

DSA International Committee

Democratic Socialists of America International Committee members in 2019 included Ethan Earle, Ella Wind, Isaac Miller, Sanjiv Gupta, Penny Schantz, Jared Abbott, Brandon Rey Ramirez and Jack Suria Linares.

DSOC Youth

Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee's first youth organizer was Cynthia Ward, a former student at the University of Chicago. Other key leaders included Joseph Schwartz, Mark Levinson, Jeremy Karpatkin and Penny Schantz.[3]

New American Movement 10th convention

In 1981 Abby Cassin, South Jersey NAM; Mel Pritchard, San Diego NAM; Penny Schantz and Joseph Schwartz of Democratic Socialists Organizing Committee and Peg Strobel, Co-Chair, Campus Commission led a workshop entitled Campus Organizing Strategies 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.[4]

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Penny Schantz was a New York delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[5]

DSA Feminist Commission

In 1985, Jan Breidenbach, Angie Fa, Nancy Kleniewski, Josephine Martinez, Lillie McLaughlin, Penny Schantz and Glenn Scott were listed on the National Executive of the Feminist Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America.[6]

In 1986 she was listed as a member of the Commission, from Santa Cruz.[7]

DSA Labor Commission

In 1990, George Kourpias, president, International Association of Machinists, Stanley Hill, executive director AFSCME district Council 37 and Penny Schantz, president Santa Cruz Central Labor Council was a contributor to a Democratic Socialists of America Labor Commission pamphlet "The Struggle for Justice and Equality"[8]

In 1990, Jo-Ann Mort and Michael Schippani (chairman), were contacts for the Democratic Socialists of America Labor Commission.[9]

Other members included Tim Sears, Penny Schantz, Paul Baicich, Carl Shier and Jack Clark, a DSA National Political Committee member, then working for the Massachusetts Secretary of Labor.[10]

Tribute to Michael Harrington


In September 1989 Derek Shearer, Dolores Huerta, Dick Flacks, Harold Meyerson, Penny Schantz, paid tribute to the late Michael Harrington, at a Democratic Socialists of America event in Los Angeles.

DSAers in Paris

In June 1993 four DSA members met in Paris with their French comrades and a politically diverse group of U.S. and French economists to discuss the difficult transition from Reaganomics to Clintonomics. The DSA delegation from New York included David Gordon, Professor of Economics at the New School; Victor Sidel, Professor of Public Health Medicine at Mount Sinai; Jo-Ann Mort, Communications Director for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union; and John Mason, an Assistant Professor of Politics at William Paterson College.

In Paris, they were joined by Penny Schantz, a former DSA Youth Organizer.

The conference itself - formally entitled "Today's Changing American Economy" — was the first Franco-American meeting sponsored by La Fondation Jean Jaures, a"public interest corporation" set upby the French Socialist Party.[11]

Socialist international

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]

In 1999 the Democratic Socialists of America, delegation to the Socialist International XXI Congress in Paris, consisted of;[13]

In January 2006 Penny Schantz was the sole Democratic Socialists of America, representative to the Socialist International meeting in Athens, themed "Peace, Democracy, Solidarity - among peoples, across cultures".[14]

Socialist Caucus at 2016 DNC

Over 300 Sanders activists attended Democratic Socialists of America’s “Socialist Caucus” on Wednesday afternoon, July 27th, 3016. In the audience were over 100 Sanders delegates, including most of DSA’s 55 member-delegates; they were joined by Larry Sanders, Senator Sanders’ brother, and the Senator’s son, Levi Sanders.

Numerous participants remarked on social media that the caucus was one of the most substantive meetings at the convention. A score of participants joined DSA on the spot and the DSA table rapidly sold out of its 50 bright red DSA “Continuing the Political Revolution” T-shirts.

Shout-outs to all the DSA delegates and volunteers who helped build the caucus. In particular, Tom Gallagher, Penny Schantz, Paul Garver, Harlan Baker, Ashley Rodriguez, Danny and Barbara Fetonte, Larry Wittner, Rachel Ochs, Rebecca Ryan, Diane Isser and the list goes on...[15]

Democratic Socialists of America Unity

Penny Schantz France, supported the Democratic Socialists of America Unity grouping, established for the 2017 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Chicago.[16]

Stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

We Stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a 2018 letter signed by several Democratic Socialists of America members mainly from the DSA North Star in response to attacks on Ocasio-Cortez over remarks she made on Palestine.

A recent petition circulated by some DSA members criticizes Ocasio-Cortez for supporting a two state solution to the Palestine-Israel question and not aligning with a long list of demands regarding Palestine and Israel. Should Ocasio-Cortez fail to agree with this list of demands, the petitioners are calling for DSA to revoke her endorsement. These attacks on Ocasio-Cortez have come despite the fact that she has staked out positions which will make her one of the strongest advocates of Palestinian rights and self-determination in Congress.
We stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The position she has taken on Israel and Palestine are principled stances, worthy of a democratic socialist, in its recognition of both Palestinian humanity and rights and Israeli humanity and rights. On this issue, as many, she will be a voice for the voiceless in Congress.

Signatures included Penny Schantz.[17]

DSA North Star


In 2018 Penny Schantz was an original signatory of the DSA North Star founding principles statement.

Socialist Majority Caucus

DSA's Socialist Majority Caucus signatories list as of April 25 2019 included Penny Schantz of Democratic Socialists of America - At Large.

DSA At-Large Delegate list

DSA At-Large Delegates, 2019 Convention included Penny Schantz France.



  1. Ravenswood: The Steelworkers' Victory and the Revival of American Labor By Tom Juravich, Kate Bronfenbrenner, page 156
  2. [1]
  3. Michael Harrington, "The Left Wing of Realism," Democratic Left, vol. 1, no. 1 (March 1973), pg. 5.
  4. NAM 10th Convention Agenda, July 29, 1981
  5. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  6. DSA Feminist Commission Directory, 1985
  7. 1986 DSA Feminist Commission Directory
  8. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1990, page 11
  9. Democratic Left, March/April 1990, page 11
  10. Democratic Left, July/August 1990, page 17
  11. Dem. Left, Sept./Oct. 1993, page 28
  12. Democratic Left, November/December 1992, page 12
  15. DSA DSA Leads Socialist Caucus at DNCPosted by Joseph M. Schwartz on 08.12.16
  16. [2]
  17. [3]