Robert Roman, 62
Socializing with a socialist.
Damen and Wicker Park Avenues
What’s the book you’re reading? From the Jaws of Victory, about Cesar Chavez. He was probably one of the most successful organizers of farm labor. However, he let his ego get out of control.
Are you good at keeping your ego in check? I don’t know to what extent any of us are entirely in control. I’ll say this: I try not to be an egomaniac. [Laughs]
What do you do? I’m the editor of New Ground, the publication of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America. We’ve been around since the early ’80s, after a merger between the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the New American Movement. Some of the more notable members are Barbara Ehrenreich, David Dinkins, Ed Asner….
Lou Grant is a socialist? Yeah, the Ed Asner. We’re basically a political group, like the Americans for Democratic Action or the American Conservative Union.
Have you been able to get anyone you agree with into office? Harold Washington. And we came fairly close to getting [late gay-rights activist] Ron Sable elected to City Council.
Does it irk you when Obama haters use socialism as a way to attack the President? Quite honestly, with the way he’s been running his presidency, I’m glad he has never been a member. He would give socialism a bad name.
Where you headed now? That fine capitalist institution: the bank.