Person

Demond Drummer

Occupation:

Former Field Organizer, Barack Obama for America (2008)

Former Congressional Candidate

Executive Director, New Consensus

Demond Drummer is executive director and co-founder of New Consensus, an advocacy organization founded in 2018 to advocate for an environmentalist-far-left policy package known as the “Green New Deal.” A left-leaning technology policy activist and community educator prior to joining New Consensus, Drummer co-founded the Chicago-based educational group and computer science lab CoderSpace. He previously acted as managing director of the Smart Chicago Challenge and tech organizer at Teamwork Englewood, and he created Englewood Codes to teach kids to build websites.

He received support from the left-leaning group Brand New Congress to run for Congress in 2018, but he did not launch a campaign. [1] [2] He was a field organizer in President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. [3]

Early Life

Drummer is the twin brother of Desmond Drummer, a Roman Catholic priest who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. [4] Raised in Chicago, Drummer graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in economics in 2005. [5]

Career

Drummer’s first job was with the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. According to Drummer’s LinkedIn page, he was a research associate for four months prior to returning to Chicago. [6]
Drummer next worked for the YMCA in Chicago, with a break to work as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s first Presidential campaign before returning to the YMCA. He was a tech consultant in 2009 and 2010. From 2010 to 2014, he was Tech Organizer for Teamwork Englewood, a Chicago-based non-profit which was founded in 2003 to work on educational and community initiatives. Teamwork Englewood has received significant funding from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Get IN Chicago. [7] [8] [9]

Drummer was briefly managing director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative and in 2015, co-founded CoderSpace. [10] CoderSpace provides computer science literacy programs to schools in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center. [11]

In a February 2018 Aspen Institute interview, Drummer said the inspiration for his community engagement is Septima Clark, a black teacher who was unjustly fired from a teaching job in 1956 because she was part of the NAACP. [12] [13]

According to Drummer, “tools and technology” of the kind used by CoderSpace are not morally neutral, and have values and biases which benefit those already in power. He told Aspen that a prime example of the use of a tool was the use of the Bible by American slave owners to manipulate slaves into believing slavery was biblical, while slaves used the Bible for leaving slavery. [14]

“So, for me, digital literacy and computer science education are a means to power,” Drummer told Aspen. CoderSpace students are encouraged “to use their experience…to drive the change” in their chosen fields. [15]

Political Involvement

As of 2019, Drummer joined the board of governors of the far-left political action committee Justice Democrats, the committee from which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti stepped down after their involvement was revealed. [16]

Justice Democrats raised over $2.7 million in the 2018 election cycle. [17] It advocates for far-left policies such as removal of limitations on taxpayer funding for abortions, the Green New Deal, free college, government-controlled healthcare, “net neutrality,” and the abolition of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. [18]

New Consensus

Also see New Consensus (Nonprofit)

Drummer founded the advocacy group New Consensus to promote the Green New Deal, a set of radical environmentalist policy proposals which has been criticized as a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy” [19] and is estimated to cost tens of trillions of dollars. [20]

Drummer told Our Times Press in November 2018 that the group is “focused on what needs to be done and how all the pieces fit together” before targeting “how to pay for it.” According to Drummer, “It’s a question of how will we pay for it – not if we can afford to pay for it. America can afford what we decide to do.” [21]

According to New Consensus’ website, it has five goals. [22] Those goals are to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions while creating employment opportunities, creating infrastructure and industry changes in the U.S. while meeting clean air, water, and food objectives, and “promote justice and equity” through “repairing the historic oppression and frontline and vulnerable communities.” [23]

Drummer told Mother Jones in early 2019 that attending the Aspen Ideas Festival inspired him to view founding New Consensus to accomplish left-leaning economic and environmental goals from the ground up instead of relying on those in power to create the change he desired. Drummer, who said accomplishing his goals are now his life’s work, also envisions the New Consensus model as solving “the history of systemic injustice.” [24]

References

  1. Our Campaigns, “Drummer, Demond,” Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.ourcampaigns.com/CandidateDetail.html?CandidateID=391209
  2. Andre Roberge and Raven Payne, “Brand New Congress’s First Five Nominees Unveiled,” 2017. Accessed March 26, 2019.

    http://progressivearmy.com/2017/03/09/brand-new-congresss-first-five-nominees-unveiled/

  3. New Consensus, “People,” Accessed March 26, 2019. https://newconsensus.com/people/
  4. Archdiocese of Chicago, “Gala Benefit Fundraiser and Silent Auction Supporting Cause for Sainthood of Father Augustus Tolton,” October 16, 2015. Accessed March 26, 2019. http://legacy.archchicago.org/news_releases/news_2015/news_151016.html
  5. Demond Drummer, LinkedIn Page, Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/demonddrummer/
  6. Demond Drummer, LinkedIn Page, Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/demonddrummer/
  7. Get IN Chicago, Funding History, April 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://getinchicago.org/funding/funding-history/
  8. Local Initiatives Support Corporation, 2017 990, Accessed March 26, 2019.

    http://www.lisc.org/media/filer_public/96/ba/96ba02ed-c58f-4703-9b2d-5c0b792a70e4/112018_lisc_990_2017.pdf

  9. Local Initiatives Support Corporation, 2014 990, Accessed March 26, 2019. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/133/133030229/133030229_201412_990.pdf
  10. CoderSpace, “Team,” Accessed March 26, 2019. https://coderspace.org/about.html
  11. Katherine Davis, “Arelia Jones Is Showing Young Women and Minorities They Can Code, Too,” October 12, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.americaninno.com/chicago/50-on-fire/arelia-jones-is-showing-young-women-and-minorities-they-can-code-too/
  12. Aspen Institute, “The Tool Is a Secondary Question. It Comes Back to Values.” February 15, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/tool-secondary-question-comes-back-values/
  13. Stanford, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, “Clark, Septima Poinsette,” Accessed March 26, 2019. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/clark-septima-poinsette
  14. Aspen Institute, “The Tool Is a Secondary Question. It Comes Back to Values.” February 15, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/tool-secondary-question-comes-back-values/
  15. Aspen Institute, “The Tool Is a Secondary Question. It Comes Back to Values.” February 15, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/tool-secondary-question-comes-back-values/
  16. Alana Goodman, “AOC quietly dropped from PAC leadership amid legal questions,” March 19, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/ocasio-cortez-quietly-dropped-from-pac-leadership-amid-legal-questions
  17. Federal Election Commission, “Justice Democrats, 2017-2018 period,” Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00630665/?tab=raising
  18. Justice Democrats, “Platform for Justice,” Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.justicedemocrats.com/issues
  19. McConnell, Mitch. Twitter Post. March 25, 2019, 5:18 P.M. Accessed March 29, 2019. https://twitter.com/senatemajldr/status/1110289975386492929.
  20. Daly, Matthew. “Senate Shuns Green New Deal amid Claims of Bad Faith.” Fox35 Orlando. March 26, 2019. Accessed March 29, 2019. http://www.fox35orlando.com/news/politics/mcconnell-to-put-green-new-deal-to-vote-forcing-democrats-to-go-on-record.
  21. Maitefa Angaza, “New Consensus Policy Group Will Help Deliver A New Day,” November 30, 2018. Accessed March 27, 2019. http://www.ourtimepress.com/new-consensus-policy-group-will-help-deliver-a-new-day/
  22. New Consensus, “Green New Deal,” Accessed March 27, 2019. https://newconsensus.com/green-new-deal/
  23. New Consensus, “Green New Deal,” Accessed March 27, 2019. https://newconsensus.com/green-new-deal/
  24. Zoya Teirstein, “How the Green New Deal Went From a Grassroots Organizer’s Dream to a Major Talking Point for the Dems,” March 15, 2019. Accessed March 27, 2019. https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/03/how-the-green-new-deal-went-from-a-grassroots-organizerss-dream-to-a-major-talking-point-for-the-dems/

Connected Organizations

  1. New Consensus (Non-profit)
    Co-Founder and Executive Director
  2. Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign (Political Party/527)
    Field Organizer
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