Weekly Profile: Daraka Larimore-Hall, California Democrat, Marxist Tactician

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Daraka Larimore-Hall

Daraka Larimore-Hall is Secretary of the California Democratic Party.

Raised in a Santa Barbara activist family, “Daraka’s background forged his strong commitment to social justice and some of his earliest family memories are from anti-Apartheid and nuclear disarmament protests.”

Since graduating with honors from the University of Chicago in 1999, Larimore-Hall has worked as a political organizer on electoral and issue-based campaigns throughout the United States and Europe. In 2001-2002, he worked as an anti-racism and election organizer in Norway and Sweden. From 2003 until 2011, he was an activist and an officer in UAW Local 2865, the union for Teaching Assistants at the University of California. He is currently finishing a PhD in Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Larimore-Hall has been Chair of the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County. He has served as Vice President of the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council and served as Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party Labor Caucus.

In 1995, Daraka Larimore-Hall was a co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Youth Section and was elected to the DSA National Political Committee at the November 1997 National Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

In 2004, Larimore-Hall wrote of his ideas for infiltrating Marxism into the Democratic Party:

Imagine an America in which socialism is part of our political landscape. Imagine an America in which the Right couldn’t destroy any initiative for social justice by simply labeling it with the “s” word. Imagine an America in which the values of solidarity and equality are defended by politicians with the same vigor as liberty and security.
A majority of activists of color, unions, feminists, queer activists and environmentalists have made the political choice to work within the Democratic Party. For that reason, democratic socialists should also work as Democrats. Of course, that’s not all we do, but we share with these movements a belief that Republicans are worth beating, and that many (but not most) Democratic politicians are part of the progressive majority we hope to strengthen. Even those good Democrats need the pressure of people’s movements to allow them to create policies which foster a long-term change in America’s power structure.
If you really want to insure prosperity, equal opportunity, racial and gender equality and global justice, you must address the problems at the root of the capitalist system. Liberalism is a great start, but in order to fulfill its own goals, it must confront the structural problems of global capitalism.

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