Theresa Alt

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Theresa Alt

Theresa F. Alt is an Ithaca activist.

DSA Feminist Commission

In 1985[1] and 1986,[2] Theresa Alt of New York was listed as a member of the Feminist Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Democratic Socialists of America

In 1986, Theresa Alt was Chair of Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America.[3]

In 1994 Joseph Schwartz and Theresa Alt of Ithaca, New York were members of the Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee.[4]

Alt, of the Ithaca, NY DSA, was elected to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, at the November 1997 DSA National Convention in Columbus Ohio.[5]

Running for office

In 1995 DSAer Theresa Alt ran for pubile office; she sought a seat on the Common Council from the Fourth Ward (central Collegetown).[6]

DSA 1997-1999 leadership

DSA National Political Committee elected at the Columbus, Ohio, 1997 National Convention.[7]

Youth Section Representatives:

DSA’s Cuba Letter

Alt signed an April 2003 Statement on Cuba, initiated and circulated[8] by prominent Democratic Socialists of America member Leo Casey, calling for the lifting of trade sanctions against Cuba.

"a statement circulating among democratic left/socialist folks, largely by members of Democratic Socialists of America, condemning the recent trials and convictions of non-violent dissenters in Cuba".

The petition criticized Cuba's poor human rights record, but shared the blame for Cuba's problems with reactionary elements of the U.S. administration...

The democratic left worldwide has opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba as counterproductive, more harmful to the interests of the Cuban people than helpful to political democratization. The Cuban state's current repression of political dissidents amounts to collaboration with the most reactionary elements of the U.S. administration in their efforts to maintain sanctions and to institute even more punitive measures against Cuba.

Many of the petition's 120 odd signatories were known members of DSA.

"Ithaca DSA Presents"

In 2004 Theresa Alt and Wayles Browne interviewed participants at a festival celebrating peace activism at Cornell for the community access cable television show Ithaca DSA Presents.[9]

Open Letter to Obama on Iran

In 2008 Theresa Alt of Democratic Socialists of America, Ithaca, NY signed an online petition “A Open Letter to Barack Obama on Iran”.[10]

DSA Renegotiate NAFTA petition

In 2009 Theresa Alt, Democratic Socialists of America, signed a petition calling on President Barack Obama to Renegotiate NAFTA. The petition was initiated and circulated by Democratic Socialists of America.[11]  

In These Times

As of 2009 Theresa Alt was a member of the Publishing Consortium of Chicago based socialist journal In These Times.[12]

DSA contact

In 2009 Theresa Alt was Ithaca contact for Democratic Socialists of America[13].

DSA NPC member

At the Democratic Socialists of America 2009 National Convention Evanston, Illinois November 13-15, 2009, a new National Political Committee was elected;[14]

Ithaca DSA officers, 2011

Ithaca DSA Officers, 2011;[15]

DSA 2011 leadership

Elected to serve on the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee – the leadership body described as “the engine room of the organization”, in November 2011, were;[16]

Plus the two YDS co-chairs, Sean Monahan (Philadelphia, PA) and Jackie Sewell (Lawrence, KS).

DSA 2016 leadership

The 2016-17 Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee elected members are: Jared Abbott, Hope Adair, Theresa Alt, David Green, Jose Gutierrez, Elizabeth Henderson, Frank Llewellyn, Sean Monahan, Simone Morgen, Brandon Payton-Carrillo, Joseph Schwartz, Peg Strobel and Russell Weiss-Irwin. The convention also voted to add two new honorary vice chairs: Deborah Meier and Bhaskar Sunkara. [17]

NPC candidate

In August 2017 Theresa Alt stood for election to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, at the National Convention in Chicago.[18]

I was born in New York City but went to school in the middle-middle-class DC suburb Silver Spring MD. After college, I returned to New York City for too many years of grad school. I spent 1971-72 in Poland and the Soviet Union, witnessing a system I would not want to imitate. A PhD in Slavic Linguistics never got me a proper job. It was the following years of clerical work in Ithaca NY that turned me from liberal to being a socialist. I could feel how the condescending attitude of the boss was undermining my and my co-workers’ self-confidence. Two years in Yugoslavia and some travel in Europe showed me models worth imitating (worker self-management, swift railroads, double-paned windows, etc.) The high point of my secretarial years was serving as administrative assistant to Ithaca’s socialist Mayor Ben Nichols (a DSA member who ran as a Democrat). I am now retired and a full-time activist.

I picketed in the Civil Rights movement in 1960-61, demonstrated for nuclear disarmament in the early 1960s, and from 1965 on worked against the Vietnam War. My grad school activism was sporadic, but it included sitting on the steps of Fayerweather Hall at Columbia during the big bust in spring 1968.
Later in Ithaca I joined the local of DSOC in 1980 in time to help the UAW win recognition at Cornell. At first I was a purely local activist in newly-merged DSA and its allied work with the Labor Coalition, the left wing of the Democratic Party, and a Latin America solidarity organization. In the Jesse Jackson presidential primary campaign of 1988 I was countywide volunteer coordinator and in charge of the voter database. Jackson won the City of Ithaca. In 1989 green Democrats joined with Jackson backers to get Ben Nichols elected as Mayor of Ithaca. Over the years I held every office in the local: treasurer, chair, newsletter editor, secretary and video producer.[19]

Democratic Socialists of America Unity

Theresa Alt supported the Democratic Socialists of America Unity grouping, established for the 2017 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Chicago.[20]

2017-2017 DSA NPC members

20622006 1360792024019610 8292563766713388225 n.jpg

Members elected to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, August 2017;

DSA 2019 National Political Committee Candidates

Democratic Socialists of America 2019 National Political Committee Candidates

Austin GonzalezSauceTheresa AltSean EstelleDaniel MerrillDarby ThomasRussell Weiss-IrwinMichelle BruderZac 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[21]


  1. DSA Feminist Commission Directory, 1985
  2. 1986 DSA Feminist Commission Directory
  3. Democratic Left, May/August 1986, page 18
  4. email from C Riddiough to S Tarzynski Dec 9 1994
  6. Dem. Left, Sept./Oct 1995, page 40
  7. [ Democratic Left • Issue 7 / 8 1997]
  9. Democratic Left • Summer 2004
  10. Open Letter to Obama on Iran
  11. Renegotiate NAFTA website: Signatories to the petition to President Barack Obama, April 16, 2008
  12. In These Times website: About
  14. [1] DSA 2009 National Convention Evanston, Illinois November 13-15, 2009 report, DSA website, accessed June 11, 2010
  15. Ithaca DSA website, accessed march 8, 2011]
  16. Dem. left. Winter 2012
  17. Dem Left, DSA Convention: New Strategy for a New Era Posted by Dsa on 11.18.15 Barbara Joye
  18. [2]
  19. [3]
  20. [4]
  21. [5]