Eric Weltman is an organizer, writer, and teacher, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Eric was born on August 3, 1967, to Burton and Susan Weltman. His grandparents are Sylvia and Morris Fleissig and Evelyn and Paul Weltman.
Eric grew up in Highland Park, a small town in central New Jersey. His academic career began at Pine Grove, where he studied nursery, and then Douglass College day care, where he studied superheroes, playing in the sandbox, and eating glue. He then matriculated at Lafayette Elementary School. After graduating from Highland Park Middle School, he successfully pursued a diploma at Highland Park High School, the town’s top public high school.
Highlights of Eric’s youth include being a founding member of the Lucky Friday Club, his dog, Friendly, becoming a vegetarian at age 11, reading Kurt Vonnegut novels, listening to Squeeze, and being involved in drama, choir, the radio station, and the newspaper in high school.
In 1985, Eric entered the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he majored in Creative Writing. His first two years at school he lived in East Quad, the “place to meet interesting people,” i.e., the dorm for radicals, weirdos, punks, artists, and queers. Eric easily fit into several of those categories. Already irreverent and absurd, with the help of his college friends, Eric became even more so – and also began wearing lots of purple.
After graduation, in the spring of 1989, Eric’s college girlfriend drove him to West Virginia, where he spent five months on an organic farm. He then worked five months for a nature program in Massachusetts. Following a brief stint on an organic farm in New Hampshire, Eric moved to Washington, DC.
Washington, DC is a very serious place, which somewhat tempered Eric’s absurdity. He found a job with Ralph Nader, promoting “green” government purchasing. He also became very involved in local environmental activism. Highlights of Washington include eating lots of Ethiopian food, meeting many amazing activists, and the most embarrassing moment of his life (like I’m going to share this on a web site).
In 1993, Eric moved to Boston, where he obtained an MA in Urban & Environmental Policy from Tufts University. After graduation, he worked four years for the Toxics Action Center, a spin-off of MASSPIRG. Highlights of those years include going to Italy with his grandfather, celebrating New Years in Philadelphia, skiing in Aspen, weekends in Montreal, and adopting a pet stone egg that he calls Egg.
After leaving the Toxics Action Center, Eric spent six months interning with State Representative Jarrett Barrios and freelance writing. He published a cover story on solar energy in In These Times, attended a storytelling gathering in Tennessee, and started keeping track of all the books he reads.
In 2000, Eric took a job as the Organizing Director for
CPPAX, a Boston-based progressive organization, where he worked almost four
years, after which he spent a year consulting and volunteering for political
campaigns. During this time he
started wearing cool hats. The
highlight of those years is meeting his wife, Sarah Bennett, with whom he
took the best trip of his life – to Holland and France.
Other highlights include hosting lots of dinner parties, reading lots of
history books, and publishing lots of articles, op-eds, and