Marilyn Katz

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Marilyn Katz

Marilyn Katz is a Chicago based Public Relations consultant. She was an organizer of youth (primarily gangs) and communities in the 1960s. She developed a keen interest in police repression, both in "overt coercive force in the streets and in the covert infiltration and manipulation of all progressive organizations".

An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left

An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left.

Now it is time for all those who yearn for a more equal and just social order to face facts.

By Former leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society. April 16, 2020.

On April 13, 2020, Senator Bernie Sanders urged his supporters to vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden. Writing as founders and veterans of the leading New Left organization of the 1960s, Students for a Democratic Society, we welcome Bernie’s wise choice—but we are gravely concerned that some of his supporters, including the leadership of Democratic Socialists of America, refuse to support Biden, whom they see as a representative of Wall Street capital. Some of us are DSA members, but do not believe their position is consistent with a long-range vision of democracy, justice, and human survival....

We salute Bernie Sanders and our friends and comrades in DSA and in the diverse movements for social justice and environmental sanity that enabled them to rise. We look forward to joining together to build on and defend our accomplishments. And now we plead with all: Get together, beat Trump, and fight for democracy—precious, fragile, worth keeping.

The signers of this letter were founders, officers, and activists in Students for a Democratic Society between 1960 and 1969.

Signers included Marilyn Katz.

Students for a Democratic Society


Marilyn Katz was an active member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Katz played a leading role in the SDS rioting around the 1968 Democratic Party conference in Chicago.

Pro-abortion activism and the New American Movement

Marilyn Katz was a prominent pro-abortion activist during the 1970s. She is credited with planning the Reproductive Rights National Network (founded 1978) while serving as National Political Secretary for the socialist New American Movement in 1977.[1]

NAM "Anti-Racism"

In 1975, Art Larsen and Marilyn Katz wrote "DRAFT OF A STRATEGY FOR NAM ANTI-RACIST ORGANIZNG for the New American MovementDiscussion Bulletin, no. 11, September 1975.

Racism is the ideology that grew out of and reinforces the systematic and institutionalized oppression and super-exploitation of blacks, Chicanos, Latinos, native Americans, Asians and Puerto Ricans. The social, economic and political conditions or these people were created by U.S. capitalism and are enforced by both institutional racism and racism within the ranks of the working class.

New American Movement Speakers Bureau

In the 1980s Marilyn Katz was a speaker on the NAM Speakers Bureau on the subject of The Police and Repression.[2]

Washington campaign

Bill Zimmerman and Marilyn Katz were the media consultants to Harold Washington’s successful 1983 Mayoral campaign in Chicago.[3]

Links to Democratic Socialists of America

In 1988, Katz served on the Board of Directors of PROCAN (Progressive Chicago Area Network), an oganization which included several prominent Democratic Socialists of America members, including Danny K Davis, Roberta Lynch and Dr Ron Sable.[4]

New Party mailing list

A Chicago New Party mailing list circa 1993 included the names;[5]

Committees of Correspondence connection

Coc marilyn-katz.jpg

In 1994 Marilyn Katz, Chicago was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA[6]

Support for Barack Obama

Marilyn Katz has worked closely with Barack Obama since meeting him through his position at Miner, Barnhill & Galland in the 1990s.[7]

It was through the law firm that Mr. Obama met Marilyn Katz, who gave him entry into another activist network: the foot soldiers of the white student and black power movements that helped define Chicago in the 1960s.
As a leader of Students for a Democratic Society then, Ms. Katz organized Vietnam War protests, throwing nails in the street to thwart the police. But like many from that era, Ms. Katz had gone on to become a politically active member of the Chicago establishment, playing in a regular poker game with Mr. Miner while working as a consultant to his nemesis, Mayor Daley.
“For better or worse, this is Chicago,” said Ms. Katz, who has held fund-raisers for Mr. Obama at her home. “Everyone is connected to everyone.”''

Movement for a Democratic Society

In November 8-11 2007, Movement for a Democratic Society held a "Convergence" in Chicago[8];

Speakers included Manning Marable, Mark Rudd, Marilyn Katz, Mike James, Paul Buhle, Al Haber, Franklin Rosemont, Thomas Good and Muhammad Ahmad;

Carl Davidson, Mike Klonsky and Bill Ayers were also present.

Only in Chicago

In August 2008 Don Rose and Marilyn Katz gave an interview to the Democratic Socialists of America linked journal In These Times, just before Obama's "coronation" at the Democratic Party Convention in Denver.

ITT 40 years ago this week, Chicago police battled protesters at the DNC. Two ’60s radicals remember the madness, and look to Denver for change...

The ‘68 Democratic National Convention debacle remains a symbol of everything that went wrong with American politics, society and culture in that tumultuous and iconic year. It was five days of mayhem in the Windy City, five days that left the Democratic Party in shambles...

In August 1968, those explosive battles put Chicago at the epicenter of one of the most searing political and social upheavals of the 20th century. In August 2008, a U.S. senator from Chicago will be anointed the first black major-party nominee for the presidency of the United States.

Don Rose...the political wise man has helped elect mayors and senators since then, from Harold Washington to Paul Simon. Now 77, Rose - a mentor to David Axelrod, Obama’s top campaign strategist...

The 1983 election of Harold Washington as Chicago’s first black mayor came courtesy of a progressive coalition of blacks, Latinos and so-called “Lakefront liberals.” Katz and Rose were there, once again, as advisors and operatives.

Katz My straight line goes from ‘66/’68 to the folks who began to work together and formed the core group of the Harold Washington campaign. (Almost) everyone I worked with in 1982 I had met as a kid in ‘68. I believe that Barack Obama could only have emerged in Chicago. Why? Because since ‘68 there was a web of relationships between black civil rights groups, anti-war groups, women’s activities, immigrant rights activities, that has sustained and grown...

ITT What we did here in Chicago had international implications: In ‘68 there was a workers’ movement in Paris, there was a worldwide movement of students. We lost that in the intervening 40 years. Now in 2008, with Barack Obama, we have a renewed sense that the whole world is watching again.

Katz I think that millions of young people are flocking to Barack, as we did to the anti-war movement...

ITT The Democratic Party will gather once again later this month. Everybody is expecting a big party in Denver. Will it be an Obama coronation? Is that what we should be looking for?

So how do you resolve Obama’s move to the center? What about holding his feet to the fire? Don’t we need to keep him true to progressive issues?

Katz We have to get him into office so then we can be the left opposition. I think it is a delicate balance between those of us who are progressive, how much you push, how much you don’t want to put him in very difficult positions that would embarrass him or give John McCain some advantage...

"Support Bill Ayers"

In October 2008, several thousand college professors, students and academic staff signed a statement Support Bill Ayers in solidarity with former Weather Underground Organization terrorist Bill Ayers.

In the run up to the U.S. presidential elections, Ayers had come under considerable media scrutiny, sparked by his relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack...
We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.

Marilyn Katz signed the statement[9].

United for Peace and Justice

In Dec 2008 Marilyn Katz, Chicagoans Against War and Injustice was voted onto the Steering Committee for United for Peace and Justice[10]

Progressives for Obama

In 2009 Marilyn Katz Founder, Chicagoans Against War in Iraq was listed as a signer of the Progressives for Obama website.[11]


Marilyn Katz has been involved in Marguerite Horberg's portoluz organization. She served on the 2010 gala host committee;

Thanks to this years gala host committee: Hedy Ratner, Marilyn Katz and Scott Chambers, Ted and Susan Oppenheimer, Dr. Carol Adams, Laura Washington and Michael Richmond and Robyn Gabel and Ivan Handler.[12]


  • The Glass House Tapes