Person

Alex Tom

Nationality:

American

Born:

1976

Occupation:

Executive Director at Center for Empowered Politics

Alex Tom is a left-wing organizer and head of the Center for Empowered Politics, a group focused on social justice, equity, and movement organizing. Tom advocates for left-of-center views such as defunding the police, teaching critical race theory, supporting Palestine and defunding Israel, and has partnered with several left-of-center nonprofits.

Background

Alex Tom is executive director of the Center for Empowered Politics (CEP), a lobbying and advocacy organization created by the San Francisco-based Chinese Progressive Association (CPA). [1] Tom became executive director in 2017, shortly after the Chinese Progressive Association Active Fund and San Francisco Rising Action Fund merged to become the CEP. [2] In 2019, Tom was named a Soros Equality Fellow and received a $50,000 grant from Open Society Foundations (OSF) to develop what OSF described as “an organizing toolkit to support Asian American communities combating the rising Chinese conservatives in the United States.” [3]

Tom also works as senior advisor to Chinese Progressive Association (CPA). [4] He was executive director of CPA from 2004-2018. [5] Center for Empowered Politics is the advocacy organization for CPA. Previously, Tom was coordinator of Students for Economic Justice, an initiative of the left-leaning Center on Policy Initiatives. [6]

Tom sits on the board of directors of Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, a project of the left-leaning Tides Foundation. [7] The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity funds Racial Equity 2030, an equity based grant competition funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to provide additional funding on racial and equity issues for which Tom is on the review panel. [8] Since 2016, Tom has been on the board of trustees of the left-leaning Common Counsel Foundation. [9] Tom was on the board at the left-of-center The Praxis Project from 2015 until 2021. [10]

Throughout his career, Tom has organized among Chinese-American communities to partner with Black Lives Matter and other left-wing racial-interest organizations in multiracial alliances, such as left-leaning San Francisco Rising and Bay Rising. [11] Tom was previously on the leadership committee of San Francisco Rising. [12]

Views

Alex Tom has used conversations with his toddler to write a blog justifying his left-wing views. [13] In conversations with his son, he writes that he and his son discussed defunding the police, defeating former President Donald Trump, why Trump had not been arrested, and why the U.S. needs so many planes and missiles. [14] Tom has said that global capitalism and nationalism enemies are enemies of what he terms “progressive internationalism,” [15] and accused Trump of xenophobia. [16] Through his views and re-tweets on Twitter, Tom has expressed support for Palestine backed ending military support for Israel, opposed the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), and supported defunding the police, teaching critical race theory, and electing more Democrats. [17]

Tom, the Chinese Progressive Association, and Center for Empowered Politics board chair Timmy Lu collaborated on a racial training toolkit that advocates the so-called process of “transformative organizing,” defined as “revolutionary opposition” to “capitalism in its current form, which is imperialism.” [18]

Political Contributions

Since 2013, Tom has given more than $2,000 in reported contributions to Democratic candidates in California, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. [19]

References

  1. “Alex Tom.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexttom/details/experience/ ^
  2. Center for Empowered Politics. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://empoweredpolitics.org. ^
  3. Open Society Foundations. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/fellows/alex-t-tom. ^
  4. “Alex Tom.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexttom/details/experience/. ^
  5. “Alex Tom.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexttom/details/experience/. ^
  6.  “Alex Tom.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexttom/details/experience/ ^
  7. Advisory Board.” Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://racialequity.org/advisory-board/. ^
  8. Racial Equity 2030. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.racialequity2030.org/ep/alex-tom. ^
  9. “Alex Tom.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexttom/details/experience/. ^
  10. The Praxis Project. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.thepraxisproject.org/our-board; “Alex Tom.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexttom/details/experience/. ^
  11. Racial Equity 2030. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://www.racialequity2030.org/ep/alex-tom; Black Diplomats. February 24, 2021. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://www.blackdiplomats.net/episodes/black-amp-asian-solidarity-with-alicia-garza-and-shaw-san-liu ^
  12. The Praxis Project. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.thepraxisproject.org/our-board ^
  13. Diary of a Baba. July 3, 2020. Accessed March 24, 2022. www.diaryofababa.com. ^
  14. “Turning 44 and Defunding the Police.” Diary of a Baba. July 3, 2020. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://diaryofababa.com/2020/07/03/turning-44-defunding-the-police-the-third-force/; “Generations of Trauma and Change.” Diary of a Baba. May 26, 2021. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://diaryofababa.com/2021/05/26/generations-of-trauma-generations-of-change/; “It’s President’s Day, Why Haven’t The Police Arrested Donald Trump.” Diary of a Baba. February 18, 2019. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://diaryofababa.com/2019/02/18/its-presidents-day-why-havent-the-police-arrested-donald-trump-diary-of-a-baba/. ^
  15. “Remembering Grace In These Times.” Diary of a Baba. April 19, 2020. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://diaryofababa.com/2020/04/19/we-are-the-majority-remembering-grace-in-these-times/. ^
  16. “Remembering Grace In These Times.” Diary of a Baba. April 19, 2020. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://diaryofababa.com/2020/04/19/we-are-the-majority-remembering-grace-in-these-times/. ^
  17. [1] Twitter. Accessed March 24, 2022. https://twitter.com/alexttom?lang=en. ^
  18. “Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit.” Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://www.apalanet.org/uploads/8/3/2/0/83203568/asian_american_racial_justice_toolkit.pdf ^
  19. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Alex+tom. ^
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