· Is a writer, activist and social critic who has been at the forefront of new ideas and new politics for more than three decades. He has been editing alternative publications since 1964, longer than almost anyone in the country.
· Is the author of four highly acclaimed books, the latest of which is Why Bother?: Getting a Life in a Locked Down Land, which was an Utne Reader staff pick and was selected by Working Assets as one of its books of the month.
· Is an award-winning alternative journalist and editor of The Progressive Review.
· Has helped to start 6 organizations. Was one of the organizers of the Association of State Green Parties - forerunner of the national Green Party - and, in the 1970s, was a co-founder of the DC Statehood Party, which held public office for more than two decades.
· Is the author of Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual published by WW Norton in America and Europe and excerpted in Utne Reader. His Shadows of Hope: A Freethinker's Guide to Politics in the Time of Clinton (1994) won cross-ideological praise. The book was the first to raise serious questions about Clinton's character and political intentions. In May 1992 the Review had become the first publication in America to connect the pieces of the puzzle that would become known as the Clinton scandals. Its coverage of these scandals was among the most thorough to be found anywhere.
· Wrote Captive Capital: Colonial Life in Modern Washington, published in 1974, which is still cited as an authority on the local city.
· Has been published in a number of anthologies including Media & Democracy (1996), You Are Being Lied To (2001), Censored 2000 (2001), 50 Reasons Not to Vote for Bush (2004), and Quest: Reading the World and Arguing for Change (2006)
· One of his essays, An Apology to Young Americans, was turned into a musical number by Yale associate professor of music John Halle and performed in several cities.
· Has had articles published in the Washington Post, Washington Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News, Planning Magazine, Illustrated London News, Washington World, Regardie's Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Harper's, Washington Monthly, Washington Tribune, Washington City Paper, Nashville Scene, Washington History, Designer/Builder, Progressive Populist, North Coast Express, Yes!, Potomac Review, London Time Out, Counterpunch, Green Horizon Quarterly and Utne Reader.
Selected in 2009 as a New Media Hero by the staff of the Alternet news service.
· Is a native Washingtonian who covered his first Washington story in 1957 as a 19-year-old radio news reporter.
- Has served on the board of the Fund for Constitutional Government, Commercial Alert, the DC United Black Fund, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Project on Government Oversight, and the DC NAACP Police & Justice Task Force
· Was American correspondent for the Illustrated London News.
· Has been a radio newsman and a guest commentator on radio and television. For five years he appeared weekly television, and later radio, panels otherwise comprised of black journalists. Has appeared on nearly 700 radio and TV talk shows from NPR to the O'Reilly Factor
· The arts section of his DC Gazette included the work of Tom Shales (the well-known TV critic for the Washington Post), Roland Freeman (now a nationally recognized photographer), and Patricia Griffith (later president of the Pen-Faulkner Foundation). In the mid-seventies, the arts section was spun off as a separate publication, the Washington Review, which lasted 25 years and won a number of awards.
· The DC Gazette early published a number of writers and cartoonists who later became far more widely known including Tony Auth, Dave Barry and Bill Griffith. The Gazette also published what was then the only urban planning comic strip in America as well as the first column by a prison inmate to appear in a non-penal publication.
· Was a leading journalistic voice against the Washington Post-backed plan to build miles of freeways that would have made DC look like an east coast Los Angeles.
· Was the first writer to call for DC statehood and explain how it could be achieved without a constitutional amendment. Also advocated urban statehood for largest metro areas.
. In the early 1970s became one of the first publications to support a revival of light rail and other alternatives to hyper-expensive and inefficient subway systems.
·Was an early advocate of bikeways.
- Has been a vigorous opponent of destructive urban planning practices .
·Since the 1960s has been a critic of the punitive approach to drug addiction.
- Was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1966, assisting the then chair, Marion Barry, in public relations.
· Wrote a 1990 article on the second S&L scandal -- the S&L bailout itself -- that was selected by Utne Reader as one of the top ten undercovered stories of the previous decade.
· Has been co-plaintiff in seven public interest law suits, three of them successful. Most recently was a plaintiff in a suit against the president and Congress for denying democracy to the District of Columbia, which was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court.
· Was elected as an advisory neighborhood commissioner in the Washington's first neighborhood elections.
· Served as home & school association president for a DC public elementary school.
· Was a founding member of the DC Communities Humanities Council, the local funding body of the National Endowment on the Humanities.
· Was operations officer and navigator aboard a Coast Guard cutter and later executive officer of the Baltimore Coast Guard reserve unit.
· Graduated from Harvard in 1959 with a major in anthropology. Was news director of Harvard radio station WHRB. Was elected station manager but couldn't serve due to academic probation.
· Was a member of the Maine state crew in the New England men's sailing championship, 1956, and of the Harvard varsity sailing team.
· Spent his teen years in Philadelphia. Attended Germantown Friends School and took part in his first political campaign at the age of 12. Started his first alternative publication, a family newspaper, when he was 13.
· For four decades was a semi-professional musician (first drums, then stride piano and vocals). He had his own group - the Decoland Band - for a number of years and was the co-composer of a musical revue. Decoland Band excerpt
· Is a member of the board (and formerly president) of the Wolfe's Neck Farm Foundation, a community-based alternative agricultural center which created the largest natural beef operation in the northeastern part of the country.
· Was a co-owner and trustee of Philadelphia's classical music station, WFLN, for 14 years.
- Married to historian and author Kathryn Schneider Smith, who has written several books - most recently Washington At Home - and started Cultural Toourism DC.. She is currently chair of the advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They have two sons.
Challenging corporate mythology
COMMENTARY | December 06, 2011
Large multinational corporations, unlike small businesses, are run on a 'lifeless model,' writes Sam Smith, who argues that journalists and policymakers should be focusing their attention on small business needs instead.
What a populist rebellion might look like
COMMENTARY | February 17, 2011
A cogent reminder of the economic policies and philosophy that once defined liberalism, plus some up-to-date innovations, and 21 suggestions on how to turn things around. The theme is 'promoting policies people will appreciate and the establishment will fear.'
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