The Return of Eldon Clingan

SDUSA welcomes Eldon Clingan back into leftist activism. Eldon was a City 
Councilman in NYC representing Manhattan from 1969-1973. At 
the time he was a member of the Liberal Party. After leaving
 politics he focused on his family and making a living. Now 
after many years, he is ready to throw himself back into the fray.

Eldon was well known in the Socialist Party during his youth. 
He joined the SP in 1957 and was National Chairman of the
 YPSL. In that role, he was responsible for keeping the 
organization functioning while Michael Harrington did all the 
talking. But after having his fill of Schactman-style debate 
(affectionately known as the circular firing squad), he left 
the SP in 1961 and joined the Liberal Party. He was elected
 to City Council in 1969 on the Liberal Party ticket, with the 
endorsement of the SP. He served as Councilman during the
 height of the Vietnam War protests and he was directly engaged in 
them. But he also helped draft and push the nation’s first
 gay rights legislation. He was a close friend of David
 McReynolds, and an acquaintance of Tom Kahn and Bayard Rustin.

Eldon finds that his political views are “95% in alignment” with 
our organization, and has therefore chosen to join us. He 
wants to focus on single payer health care at this time, but also
 believes we need to advocate for a higher minimum wage and a more
 progressive tax system. He would like to see the SD establish 
a position on abortion and gay marriage even though he understands
 that our focus is economic issues. Eldon and his wife live
 near Boston.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *