Tom Gallagher

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Tom Gallagher

Tom Gallagher is a San Francisco activist. Tom Gallagher is a member of the United Educators of San Francisco (AFL-CIO), and president of the local Democratic Club in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. He is a long-term anti-war and political activist who has authored five Iraq and Afghanistan antiwar resolutions adopted by the San Francisco Democratic Party. When he lived in Massachusetts, he represented the Allston-Brighton district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He has also served as the Chair of the DSA Boston local.

Primaried Pelosi

In 2019 and 2020 Tom Gallagher attempted to primary Nancy Pelosi.


Tom Gallagher was first elected to public office in 1980, representing the Allston Brighton section of Boston in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Affectionately dubbed “Tommy the Commie”, Representative Gallagher – who was a member of the Boston DSA – became the first declared socialist state representative in Massachusetts since the 1920s and proved himself a champion of working people in the area.

In 1986, Tom Gallagher ran in the Democratic primary to succeed another powerful Democratic House Speaker, Thomas P. O’Neill. As the left-most candidate of a crowded field running for O’Neill’s seat, Gallagher was endorsed by the Boston Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) as well as Duncan Kennedy, the Harvard Professor of Law and key theorist of Critical Legal Studies (an academic movement which examined inherent class biases in law), but withdrew from the race and supported the second place finisher, George Bachrach, who lost to Joseph P. Kennedy II, the son of Robert F. Kennedy.[1]


An anti-war activist since the Vietnam War, Gallagher has remained consistent in his critique of US foreign policy, a critique informed by his experience as a United Nations Elections officer in East Timor and as an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observer in Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Macedonia, Russia, and Ukraine. Gallagher opposed the war in Afghanistan “for the simple reason that the logical and appropriate response to the high jacking of four airplanes [by Saudi and Egyptian nationals] is not the invasion and continuous bombing of another country [Afghanistan]” and authored five antiwar resolutions which the San Francisco Democratic Party adopted. In 2008, he authored Proposition U, a City of San Francisco voter initiative which declared it San Francisco city policy that its federal representatives vote against funding for the deployment of the armed forces in Iraq.[2]

DSA 1982 campaign support

In June 1982 Boston Democratic Socialists of America chapter members were working on the campaigns of State representatives Tom Gallagher and John Businger (both DSA members), State Senator George Bachrach and representative Barney Frank.[3]

DSA Socialist School

At the Boston Democratic Socialists of America Socialist School, Fall 1989, Howard Zinn taught, the "History of Socialism, Diane Balser, director of the statewide Women's Legislative Network, taught "Socialist Feminism", Paul Joseph, a Tufts professor spoke on "Socialism in a Changing World", and Tom Gallagher spoke on "The Future of Socialism" . [4]

Boston DSA chair

In 1991 Tom Gallagher, was chair of Boston DSA.[5]

Center for Political Education

In 1999, Tom Gallagher, member of the Democratic Socialists of America gave two talks entitled "An Introduction to Socialism, A Two Part Class" The talks were sponsored by the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism linked organization, the Center for Political Education.[6]

Democratic Socialists of America

Former Allston-Brighton State Rep and Boston DSA Chair[7], later moved to San Francisco.

In 1997, Tom Gallagher was the San Fransisco contact for Democratic Socialists of America.[8]

In 2000 Gallagher, a member of Democratic Socialists of America, gave a class[9] entitled " An Introduction to Socialism to to San Francisco's Center for Political Education. "

2002 San Francisco DSA steering committee

According to the minutes of Jan 5, 2002 SF DSA Steering Committee. Present were:[10]

UN work

Gallagher has worked as a monitor of UN-supervised elections in Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor.[11]

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...[12]

DSA Boston Public Facebook Group

Members of Boston Democratic Socialists of America Public Facebook Group, in January 2017 included Tom Gallagher.[13]

DSA Facebook group

Members of the California Democratic Socialists of America, statewide Facebook group, as of March 16, 2017 included Tom Gallagher.[14]

Progressive Democrats of America

In 2018 Tom Gallagher, Chair, San Francisco Progressive Democrats of America.[15]

Supporting Dean Preston

Dean Preston for Supervisor March 2 2019:


With Graham Lewis, David Woo, Arthur Barry Persyko, Gabriel Markoff, Bryce Peppers, Jennifer Bolen, Seamus McGeever, Tom Gallagher, Norman Degelman, Buck Bagot, Rhonda Smith, Gail Packwood-Seagraves, Ilica Mocha, Kyle Smeallie, Debby Rovine, Julian LaRosa, MacKenzie Ewing, Brace Belden, Leslie Gray, Brenden Shucart, Kaylah Paige Williams, Tom Ammiano, Thompson Darcy, Dean Preston, Maya Chupkov, Sunnylyn Ballard Thibodeaux, Otto Pippenger, Jason Barrett Prado, Jen Snyder, Gabriel Medina, Larry-bob Roberts, Sara Shortt, Will Rostov, Theresa Imperial, Riel Fuller, Mark Leno, Jackie Fielder, Ellisa Beth, Avery Yu, Zhihan Zou, Jack LR, Brian Haagsman, Lisa Awbrey, Jackie Prager and Democratic Socialists of America: San Francisco in San Francisco, California.