Meet the Godfather of True Progressivism


 Meet the Godfather of True Progressivism : The Honorable Governor Culbert Levy Olson  Humanitarian. Ex-Mormon. Atheist.

Epic new book of the “People’s Governor” Penned by Granddaughter Debra Deanne Olson and Dr. Craig West Wilkinson


Governor Culbert Levy Olson said it best: “I believe all gods man has fanatically worshiped and feared were his own creations, born of his imagination. Lack of knowledge concerning the phenomena of natural causes and effects has not satisfied man’s ego nor his yearning for immortality.” 

He’s oft called the Godfather of True Progressivism.

How did this son of a  Mormon family from Utah defy the predictable politics  and become the 29th governor of California? The Honorable Governor Culbert Levy Olson  tells the story of a remarkable statesman, a scientific skeptic and a man of conscience totally committed to a true progressive agenda.   As early as 1934, he was a supporter of Upton Sinclair’s “End Poverty in California” (EPIC). He put Californians back to work by forming cooperatives to take over idle factories and farms. In 1934, he was elected to the California State Senate where he authored the Olson Oil Bill to break up oil company monopolies in California. 
If you want to know what Progressivism looks like, this is what Progressivism looks like…

Taking down the business-as-usual politicians is not for the faint of heart. It takes toughness, tenacity and an undisputed moral compass. In 1938, he campaigned to be the Governor on the platform for expanding The New Deal in California. His platform included: Support for Labor, Migrant Farm Workers, Latino Politics, Predatory Lending and Unions, Prison Reform, Reform Mental Health Institutions,Guaranteed Old Age Pensions, Universal Healthcare, Regulation of Public Utilities, and Separation of Church and State. He cut the cord with Big Pharma and Big Oil.  In 1938, Culbert Olson won the governorship in a landslide, becoming the first Democratic governor in 44 years. A contender to be FDR’s vice presidential running mate, Olson believed his overwhelming victory was a mandate from the people.  Defiantly, all of his official appointments  were made without discrimination regardless of race, religions, or  gender.

His Inaugural address reflected his humanitarian idealism: “There is none among us who can doubt that the people have voted for a government that shall honestly place human values before material values; that they want a government that will do the human thing, unserved by pressure from any self-seeking group or special interest.”

In 1939, he presented a plan of Universal Healthcare for California that today might have been called “Olsoncare,” Under Gov. Olson’s plan, all working Californians earning $3,000 or less a year (close to $50,000 today) would have been required to be covered. Unfortunately, the health insurance measure was rejected by the more centrist legislature along with Olson’s proposals to raise taxes, regulate lobbyists and make the state’s prison system more humane.

Whatever his trials and tribulations, Olson kept moving amid every obstacle, amid every mountain of opposition. After leaving office, Olson returned to the practice of law and in 1957, accepted the presidency of the United Secularists of America.  Olson ardently pleaded religion must be abandoned as a guiding philosophy,or the world would end in a bloodbath of war Furthermore, Olson bravely left Mormonism as a young intellectual, at a time when apostasy from the LDS church could be a death sentence, like in Islam today.

Always one to speak his mind and never to run from controversy, its no wonder the California State Library recently acknowledged Olson as the first governor to honor with a digital exhibit. Supreme Court Justice Stanley Moss said of his former boss, “He was the most honest person I think I’ve ever known”

Proudly, his granddaughter Debra Olson  carries of his progressive values and ideals. Debra championed a  Marshall Plan for the Earth and Her People, The Earth Charter Initiative, a powerful  framework for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society for the 21st century Debra serves on the Board of The Coalition for Engaged Education and The Peace Channel, an Initiative of The United Nations. She was also the National Senior Advisor and Chief Fundraising for the Kucinich for President Campaign in 2003, she designed and implemented the first on-line political fundraising campaigns nationwide.






Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial