Tom Hayden is the author of 20 books and many articles in The Nation since 1980. His most recent book is Listen, Yankee! Why Cuba Matters (Seven Stories). He has lectured and taught at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, UCLA Labor Studies, and Scripps, Occidental, and Pitzer Colleges. During 18 years in the California Legislature, he chaired committees on labor, environment and higher education, and authored bills creating the first Central American Studies program (at Cal State LA), the largest national resources bond in US history, back wages for sweatshop workers, trigger locks on handguns, criminal penalties for domestic violence, college savings trusts, a ban on carcinogens reaching drinking water, tripling of tobacco taxes, requirements for renewable energy set-asides, tattoo removal, Holocaust survivors insurance claims, and World War II slave labor compensation. He authored anti-sweatshop ordinances for the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Hayden has spent over 50 years in social movements, beginning with the Freedom Rides of 1960, the founding of Students for a Democratic Society in 1962, community organizing in Newark 1964-68, leadership in the anti-war movement 1968-75, participation in the peace and justice movements, 2000-2015. He was Governor Jerry Brown’s first solar energy commissioner (1979) and continues in a leading role in forging a model green energy economy in California.
But can Obama effectively mobilize the anti-war vote given the poor record of his first four years?
The still-disputed July 1 election provided new momentum to end the drug war—but a shift in US policy is needed to truly bring that about.