Weekly Featured Profile – Randy Shannon
Randy Shannon is a Beaver County, PennsylvaniaDemocratic Party activist. “A Democratic victory in 2016 with a bigger progressive caucus can tax Wall Street, end austerity and discrimination, and put the nation to work building the solar infrastructure we desperately need.”
“We need progressives like Sanders, who support working families, running for President, for Senate, and for Congress wherever possible,” said Randy Shannon, convener of the Sanders for President PA Exploratory Committee.
Randy Shannon was a student leader in the 1960’s at Duke University. He left Duke to organize campus groups for labor, peace, women’s equality and civil rights in the South as a staff member of the Southern Student Organizing Committee. In Nashville, he was a leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement and the Free Angela Davis campaign. He was an organizer for the National Welfare Rights Organization and led a local delegation to the 1972 Democratic Convention in Miami to fight for a $6400 guaranteed income.
He ran in the TN 5th Congressional District Democratic primary in 1972 successfully targeting a right wing anti-busing candidate. He worked as a welder and organized rank and file workers as a member of Teamsters Local 327. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1976 and still works in the R&D sector of the basic materials industry. In PA he organized the Pittsburgh Youth Movement for Jobs, was active in the peace movement and progressive politics.
In 1982, he moved to Beaver County and helped organize Beaver County Fightback, to defend the home ownership of unemployed steelworkers in the Ohio River Valley. He lead the Jesse Jackson campaign in the 4th and 22nd CDs of PA opening an office in Aliquippain 1988. He also helped organize a ballot access campaign for Dennis Kucinich in 2004. He also helped organize the Beaver County Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and is still active in Beaver County Peace Links.
Up until 1991, Randy Shannon was a member of the Communist Party USA.
Shannon helped organize the first Citizens Congressional Hearing on Medicare for All, chaired by Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Aliquippa, PA in May 2005 and was an early advocate in Progressive Democrats of America for Medicare for All. He has worked for ten years building a local chapter of PDA that reflects the progressive coalition of minority, labor and progressive activists. For the last nine years he has been a member of the National Coordinating Committee of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and a member of Democratic Socialists of America.
Randy Shannon attended the 6th National Convention of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) at San Francisco’s Whitcomb Hotel, July 23-26, 2009.
The “Building the Progressive Majority: Race, Class and Gender” plenary discussion began a series of panel and workshop discussions. The plenary panel consisted of reports highlighting work of CCDS activists in the South, in the Heartland “rustbelt states,” on the West Coast and New England and the East Coast. Randy Shannon’s report on Western Pennsylvania and the dire conditions in the wake of de-industrialization was particularly moving. He described independent political work with groups like Progressive Democrats of America in raising the consciousness and unity of the working class and Black community, and then in turn ally with forces like the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress to defeat the right and advance progressive planks in Obama’s economic package. He stressed the importance of ending the wars and healthcare reform, especially HR 676 “Medicare for All.”
In April 2016, three Progressive Democrats of America members – Linwood Alford, Randy Shannon and Kerri Theuerl, ran for Democratic Party National Convention delegates for Pennsylvania’s 12th District – all committed to Bernie Sanders.
Randy Shannon , Pennsylvania, was elected in 2016 to the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism National Coordinating Committee;