Karen Kubby has been a prominent Iowa City, Iowa activist since the 1970s. She has been a three term Iowa City Councillor and Executive Director of the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women, an abortion clinic named after famous anarchist Emma Goldman.
Kubby has been heavily involved in activism including standing on “picket lines with local labor unions and advocating for environmental protection, affordable housing, supporting the public library and a variety of other human rights issues.”
Kubby has served on the Socialist Party USA National Committee since 1980. In 2001, David McReynolds‘ 2000 campaign team organized a “Draft Kubby” effort for the 2004 campaign for presidency of the Socialist Party USA. However, Kubby declined to run for the presidency of the Party, stating that she did not want to do anything that would interfere with the plans of her then husband, prominent Iowa State Senator Joe Bolkcom ‘s plans to eventually run for Congress on the Democrat ticket.
Kubby is also very close to America’s largest Marxist group, Democratic Socialists of America. Iowa City Democratic Socialists of America leader, Jeff Cox, was Treasurer for Kubby for Council in 1988. She has also contributed to the group’s magazine, The Prairie Progressive.
During the summer and fall of 2006, Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee helped DSA activists around the country, “from San Diego up to Maine” to host house parties to raise funds that helped Bernie Sanders become the sole open socialist in the U.S. Senate.
In 2016, an Iowa group says it wants Senator Sanders to run for President as a Democrat in the 2016 Iowa caucuses.