By: Trevor Loudon
While studying at Harvard in the late 1960’s, he was active in the radical Students for a Democratic Society. During the 1970’s he worked for Massachusetts Fair Share, an “in-your-face consumer group.” From 1979 thru 1984, he was director of Connecticut Citizen Action. This organization was an outgrowth of Fair Share. In 1979, Rapoport spoke alongside Nancy Shier and Jonathan Rowe at the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee-initiated Democratic Agenda Conference. DSOC would go on to merge with the New American Movement, forming DSA in 1982.
From 1985 thru 1994, Rapaport served in the Connecticut General Assembly. One of Rapoport’s first acts on becoming Connecticut Secretary of State in 1995 was to hire Merrillee Milstein as his Deputy Secretary. A prominent radical activist herself, Milstein had been honored by the CPUSA‘s People’s World Newspaper and was married to prominent CPUSA member Brian Steinberg.
In 1996, Rapoport was arrested alongside DSAer John Sweeney and prominent CPUSA members, Joelle Fishman and Blair Bertaccini. Also that year, Rapoport was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America’s Future. In 2008, he spoke alongside Karen Kornbluh at CAF‘s National Conference, Take Back America.
Rapoport is deeply connected to the radical Washington, D.C.-based “think tank” Institute for Policy Studies, with the organization recruiting him to lead their National Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policies. His organization Demos, is also listed as a partner organization of IPS. Rapoport is a strong supporter of Barack Obama. Following the 2008 election he stated, “After eight (or more) years of being outsiders, we finally have a president who agrees with us and wants to implement a progressive agenda.”