Robert (Bobby) M. Nelson is a Pasadena activist. "I was born into a working-class family of immigrants. No one had higher education. Upon completing high school, I was admitted to a tuition free public university. After graduation I earned a doctorate. I was selected for post-doctoral research at NASA's JPL. NASA selected me to be science team member on the Voyager and Cassini missions. I worked at JPL for 34 years - rising to the level of Senior Research Scientist."
Infiltrating the Dems
Every two years, California Democrats elect delegates from across the state, who then convene along with appointed party officials at the party’s Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEMS). ADEMS determines what the party stands for, making this a significant opportunity for socialists to push the California Democratic Party to the left and away from the interests of union busters, the landlord lobby, fossil fuel polluters, the corporate hospital and pharmaceutical lobby, the prison industrial complex, the corporate donor class, and others that stand against our values.
Our members are running for ADEMS delegate seats so that we’re in the room when the Democratic Party sets its agenda and makes decisions on endorsing candidates for public office. We’re fighting for issues that matter to the working class in California, like Medicare for All, Green New Deal, and Defunding the Police.
The DSA members listed below (in alphabetical order by first name) are running for ADEMS delegate seats on slates across LA County and have pledged to fight for our democratically-decided socialist values.
Assembly District 41 - Elizabeth Trejo, Ellen Dalbey Finkelpearl, John Doyle, Jordan Vannini, Joshua Ulises Marmol, Marguerite Renner, Mindy Pfeiffer, Patricia Hernandez, Robert M. Nelson, Ryan Bell, Savanna Salter, Stephanie Schoen, Steven Gibson, Susan Castagnetto.
Supporting Bernie working group
In July 2019 Over 25 members in good standing of Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America submitted a proposal to form a new working group to support Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential primary campaign to DSA-LA’s Steering Committee by way of regular processes.
They were Kyle Gregory, Steve Couch, Katrina Bergstrom, Marlin Medrano, Gabe Gabrielsky, Olivia Gamboa, Jorge Gamboa, Staci O'Neal-Robinson, Erin O'Neal-Robinson, Casey Ramirez, Erika Alvarez, Victor Alvarez, Alex Wolinetz, Ezra Pugh, Brandon Rey Ramirez, Simone Baptiste, Arun Ravendhran, John Seeley, Barry Eidlin, Tej Bhakta, Ryan Andrews, Eric Pierce, Jonathan Koch, Angelica Duenas, Alice Brown, Jeanna Harris, Francisco Cendejas, Robert Nelson, Marguerite “Peggy” Renner, Nancy Kim, Josh Goodman, Amy Clark, Paloma Nafarrate, Wendy Ruiz, Charles Du.
Standing for AD 41
In 2019 Robert Nelson stood from AD 41 for the California Democratic Party Central Committee.
- B.S. Physics. City College of New York, 1966
- M.A. Astronomy Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
- PhD. Planetary Astronomy University of Pittsburgh
- Post-doc. National Academy of Sciences Resident Research Associate, JPL
- Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
- Senior Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, retired
- Husband of Peggy Renner, Professor, Glendale College, Grandfather to Chance Nelson, Annika Nelson, Ava Nelson and Grace Nelson. Columnist, Pasadena Weekly.
- Pasadena Foothills Democratic Club
- Democratic Socialists of America
- Progressive Democrats of America
- The Planetary Society
- President, Pasadena Foothills Democratic Club 1993-1995
- Lead Plaintiff, Nelson et al. vs. NASA, A Supreme Court case involving 28 JPL employees who sued the US Dept of Justice to stop background snooping into the private lives of federal employees
- Member, Northeast Democratic Club, Arroyo Democratic Club, Foothill Democrats, Democratic Club of Claremont
- Past Memberships, IATSE – B-183, AFT-2, AFT-3414 AFL-CIO
- Chairman Southern California Federation of Scientists 1980-2000
- Co-Author of the study, ‘Nuclear War in Los Angeles’, 1982
- Radio Show Host, KPFK-FM, ‘The Wizard Show’, 1980-1998
- Pasadena Utility Advisory Commission, 1990-1996
- Delegate for Reverend Jesse Jackson to Democratic National Convention, 1988
- Addressed 1988 Democratic National Convention on ‘No First Use’ of Nuclear Weapons policy
- Pasadena Campaign Director for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign
- Delegate for Governor Jerry Brown to Democratic National Convention, 1992
- Delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders to Democratic National Convention 2016
- Member of the Board of Directors, Southern California American Civil Liberties Union, 2012- 2016
- Lunch Counter Sit-In Demonstrator for the Congress of Racial Equality 1959-1963
- Articles of Relevance that appeared in the Pasadena Weekly:
Socialist Community School
New American Movement 10th convention
In 1981 Bobby Nelson led a workshop entitled Nuclear War in your Home Town 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.
Tribute to Ben Dobbs
On Sunday, June 7, 1981, the Los Angeles Chapter of the New American Movement sponsored a Tribute to Ben Dobbs for "His lifelong commitment to socialism". The event was held at the Miramar-Sheraton Hotel, Santa Monica, California. Sponsors of the event included Robert Nelson.
Los Angeles DSA member
Peace activist Robert M. Nelson, has been a member of Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America.
Los Angeles DSA meeting
On April 8, 1988 Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America convened a meeting at the Workmen's Circle West Los Angeles "Action for Jackson, where does he stand? Where will it lead? - A political analysis of the Jesse Jackson for President campaign, with its possibilities, perils, and promise for the Left."
- Sabina Virgo Board Member, National Rainbow Coalition
- Mark Cohen Peace Activists for Jackson
- Robert Nelson Democratic Socialists of America member, Science advisor to the Jackson campaign