Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large of The American Prospect, and since 2003, a frequent, and avowedly liberal op-ed columnist with The Washington Post. He has previously been a columnist-at-large at The LA Weekly and writes about US politics, labour, economics, foreign policy and culture. He is also a vice-chair of the political and activist organisation, the Democratic Socialists of America.
Joshua B Freeman
Joshua B Freeman is a writer and professor at the Graduate Centre, City University of New York.
He is an expert on labour, the contemporary United States, New York City and its working class, and has served as a consultant for unions and the New York City Central Labour Council.
He is the author of three books, including In Transit: The Transport Workers Union in New York City, 1933-1966, for which he won the Philip Taft Labour History Book Award in 1989. His most recent book is American Empire, 1945-2000: The Rise of a Global Power, The Democratic Revolution at Home (2012).
Tom Hayden is a renowned political and social rights activist, a former California state senator, columnist and the author of 20 books. Nicholas Lemann, the former dean of Columbia Journalism School, declared that "Tom Hayden changed America".
Hayden was dubbed "the liberal rebel" by George Skelton of The Los Angeles Times. He served 18 years in the California legislature and has written 175 articles of legislation covering domestic violence, gang violence, student fee hikes and the protection of endangered species.
Hayden is the director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in California and is an outspoken critic of continuing global conflicts. The Nation magazine named him one of the 50 "greatest progressives of the 20th century".
Kinky Friedman is a country and western singer, a politician, humourist and a former columnist of Texas Monthly. In 2006, he was one of two independent candidates who ran for the office of the Governor of Texas.
Friedman plans to run for Texas Agriculture Commissioner and, should he win this position, he plans to end the prohibition on marijuana and boost hemp cultivation in the state.
Jon Christensen is an environmental historian, science journalist and the editor of the California-themed environmental and cultural journal Boom. He is an adjunct assistant professor at the department of history and the Center for Digital Humanities at UCLA.
He is currently finishing a book titled Critical Habitat: A History of Thinking with Things in Nature.
Annise Parker is the current mayor of Houston. A Democrat, Parker is the first openly gay mayor of a large US city.
Houston is the fourth largest US city and, according to a 2012 Rice University study, a more diverse one than NYC.
Parker is a former oil industry executive, and as mayor of a city that touts itself as "business-friendly", Parker’s policies have aimed to encourage economic growth and new business.
A co-founder of the New America Foundation, Michael Lind currently serves as the policy director of the Economic Growth Program at the Foundation.
A fifth-generation Texan, Lind studied at the University of Texas and Yale before teaching at Harvard and Johns Hopkins.
Lind is the author of Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics (2003), The American Way of Strategy, and most recently, Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.
Erica Grieder is an Austin-based journalist and author. A senior editor at Texas Monthly, she recently published her first book, Big, Hot, Cheap and Right.
Previously, Grieder was the southwest correspondent for the Economist.
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe is a senior fellow at the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. Previously, she has taught political science at Claremont Graduate University, Loyola Marymount University, and Pitzer College.
Jeffe writes frequent commentary on US and Californian government and politics. She was nominated for an Emmy In 2006.
Phil Boyle is a Republican Senator in the New York State Senate. He represents the fourth Senate district.
He is the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, chairman of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Housing, Construction and Community Development, and Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business.
Boyle has previously represented the 8th Assembly District in the New York State Assembly, where he was known for his fiscal conservatism.
Herman is the co-founder of Storify, a social media curation site. He is also the founder of Hacks/Hackers, an organisation that brings together journalists and technologists.
Herman worked for The Associated Press for more than twelve years. He was bureau chief in South Korea, and founded a bureau in Soviet Central Asia.
He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, and has covered the Asian tsunami and Pakistan's nuclear programme.
In 2009, Herman was a Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.
Chuck DeVore is vice-president for policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, a free market and liberty-oriented state-level public policy think tank.
DeVore was a member of the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010, representing the coastal Orange County region. He served as the vice-chairman of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. He was also on the Budget Committee.
Before entering politics, DeVore worked in the aerospace industry for more than a decade. He is a lieutenant colonel of military intelligence in the US Army (retired) Reserve.
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Source: Al Jazeera