Peter Dreier

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Peter Dreier

Peter Dreieris a professor of politics and director of the Urban & Environmental Policy program, at Occidental College in Los Angeles.


Ph.D, University of Chicago, 1977.

Democratic Socialists of America Urban and Community Commission

In 1982 the Democratic Socialists of America Urban and Community Commission, was co-chaired by:[1]

  • Peter Dreier Dept of Sociology, Tufts University, Massachusetts
  • Randy Cunningham Ohio

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Peter Dreier, Dept. of Sociology, Tufts University was a Boston, Massachusetts delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[2]

DSA activist

John Atlas and Peter Dreier were active Democratic Socialists of America members[3]in New Jersey in the mid-1980s.

In 1994 Peter Dreier was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. At the time he was teaching at Occidental College in Los Angeles.[4]

Working for Ray Flynn

When Democratic Socialists of America leader Michael Harrington was dying of cancer, in the late 1980s, he came to Boston to give a speech at an anti-poverty organization. DSA member Peter Dreier asked then Mayor Ray Flynn [whom he worked for at the time and had previously introduced to Harrington] if he wanted to go to hear him speak because he probably wouldn’t be alive for very much longer, and if he wanted to get together with him afterwards.

Ray Flynn said, “I got a better idea. Let’s proclaim Michael Harrington Day, and give him a key to the city.” Wrote Dreier, "how many big city mayors will make a day for a leading socialist? Ray did that because he was so taken with Mike. In fact, lots of times when Flynn would ask me about different issues he would say, “What would your friend Mike do about this?"[5]

Campaign for America's Future

In 1996 Peter Dreier, Occidental College was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America's Future.[6]

Socialists organize to "challenge for power" in Los Angeles

Trevor email 1 (3).jpg

On March 11, 1998, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America leader Steve Tarzynski wrote an email to another Los Angeles DSA leader Harold Meyerson.

Tarzynski listed 25 people he thought should be on an "A-list" of "25 or so leaders/activists/intellectuals and/or "eminent persons" who would gather periodically to theorize/strategize about how to rebuild a progressive movement in our metropolitan area that could challenge for power."

Tarzynski listed himself, Harold Meyerson, Karen Bass, Sylvia Castillo, Gary Phillips, Joe Hicks, Richard Rothstein, Steve Cancian, Larry Frank, Torie Osborn, Rudy Acuna, Aris Anagnos, Abby Arnold, Carl Boggs, Blase Bonpane, Rick Brown, Stanley Sheinbaum, Alice Callahan, Jim Conn, Peter Dreier, Maria Elena Durazo, Miguel Contreras, Mike Davis, Bill Gallegos, Bob Gottlieb, Kent Wong, Russell Jacoby, Bong Hwan Kim, Paula Litt (and Barry Litt, with a question mark), Peter Olney, Derek Shearer, Clancy Sigal and Anthony Thigpenn.

Included in a suggested elected officials sub-group were Mark Ridley-Thomas, Gloria Romero, Jackie Goldberg, Gil Cedillo, Tom Hayden, Antonio Villaraigosa, Paul Rosenstein and Congressmen Xavier Becerra, Henry Waxman and Maxine Waters.

Tarzynski went on to write "I think we should limit the group to 25 max, otherwise group dynamics begins to break down....As i said, I would like this to take place in a nice place with good food and should properly be an all day event."

Progressive Los Angeles Network

Circa 2002 , Peter Dreier, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, PLAN Co-Chair , served on the Advisory board of the Democratic Socialists of America dominated Progressive Los Angeles Network.[7]

Democratic Socialists of America conference

An "insurgent" Hilda Solis was a keynote speaker at the 2005 Democratic Socialists of America national conference "Twenty-First Century Socialism" in Los Angeles, with DSA leaders Peter Dreier and Harold Meyerson.

Saturday evening delegates recognized the contributions of DSA vice chair and Washington Post]columnist Harold Meyerson, Occidental College sociologist and longtime DSAer Peter Dreier and insurgent California Congress member Hilda Solis (D) who in turn provided in-depth perspectives of the political scene.

Other speakers included ACORN chief organizer Wade Rathke, Kent Wong of the UCLA Labor Center and Roxana Tynan of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.[8]

Progressives for Obama

In 2009 Peter Dreier was listed[9]as a signer of the Progressives for Obama website-Occidental College.

Liberty Hill Foundation

As at 2009, Peter Dreier was a member of the Advisory Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation, a Los Angeles based organization seeking to advance movements for social change through a combination of grants, leadership training and alliance-building.[10]

Social Policy

The Editorial Advisory Group of the magazine Social Policy includes[11];

Noam Chomsky, Janice Fine, S. M. Miller, Peter Olney, Frances Fox Piven, Heather Booth, Peter Dreier, Maya Wiley, Robert Fisher, Ashutosh Saxena, Ken Grossinger

Cry Wolf Project

The Cry Wolf Project was established in 2010 to counter conservative attempts to stop or discredit "progressive" policy options.

Cry Wolf Project Coordinators

  • Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy program, Occidental College
  • Donald Cohen, Executive Director, Center on Policy Initiatives
  • Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor of History at UC Santa Barbara and Director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy

Project Advisory Board


  1. DSA Keylist newsletter, July 1982
  2. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  4. Revised list of committees of the 1994-1995 DSA National Political Committee
  5. Democratic Left, Winter, 2006]
  6. CAF Co-Founders
  7. PLAN website, accessed October 2011
  10. Liberty Hill website: Advisory Board
  12. [1] George Mason University History News Network, accessed June 13, 2010