Tom Wakely is an unabashed socialist and political activist from San Antonio, Texas. He is a
Vietnam-era USAF veteran who worked with César Chávez on the grape boycott campaign. He
organized nurses for the SEIU; later serving as an International Representative for the OPEIU
and as a Business Agent for the IBEW.
Tom left the labor movement in the mid-1980s to attend the Chicago Theological Seminary
where he organized an FOR chapter. An active member of the Democratic Socialist of America
Religion and Socialism Commission he later moved to Wisconsin to serve as the Executive
Director of the Southern Lakes Communities Organized for Public Service, a faith-based non-
profit. He organized the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lakes, serving as the
congregation’s first pastor for a number of years before returning to Texas to serve as the
Executive Director of the Economic Justice Foundation in Austin. A role that earned him a
Community Service Award from the NAACP chapter in that city. When David McReynolds, a
hero of the antiwar movement and staff member of the War Resisters League ran for President in
2000 on the Socialist Party ticket Tom organized his campaign in Texas.
Needing a break from his political and community activism Tom and Lety (his wife) moved to
the Pacific Coast of Mexico where they opened a Wine Bar/Jazz Club on the beach. When Tom’s
mom was recommended for hospice care he and Lety closed VIVA VINO and moved back to
Texas to care for her; after she died the hospice agency asked them to consider taking care of
other patients. Over the next 12 years they took 84 people into their home, caring for them
until they died.
In 2016 Tom was the Texas Democratic Party nominee for Congress-TX 21. In 2020 he was the
Texas Green Party nominee for Congress-TX21. Now retired he and Lety live in New Mexico.