Author of Breaking Big Money's Grip on America: Working Together To Revive Our Democracy (www.breakingbigmoneysgrip.com) & President of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics (NMMOP.org)
A social change activist and former public sector, ethics attorney, Bruce Berlin has devoted his work to social justice issues for over forty-five years. He authored "Breaking Big Money's Grip on America" in 2016 and founded New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics based on the ideas in his book.
Education, Training and Early Career
Berlin earned his AB in government from Cornell University in 1967, and his JD from New York University in 1970. Following graduation from law school, he represented low-income clients at the Legal Aid Society in Trenton, New Jersey. He later moved to Massachusetts and continued his poverty law practice with Western Massachusetts Legal Services.
In 1973 Berlin studied Buddhism and practiced meditation under Tibetan lamas at Kopan monastery in Nepal. His foreign travels as well as his Buddhist studies and practice have given him a worldview imbued with the interconnectedness of all life.
Public Policy and Conflict Resolution Experience
Berlin is currently certified in Negotiation and Mediation by the National Center for Collaborative Planning and Community Services. He founded (1985) and is the former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution, which brought together policymakers from a wide spectrum of political perspectives, academicians, NGO organizers, and concerned citizens to develop broad-based, bipartisan approaches to a variety of policy issues from national security in the nuclear age to economic development and diversification.
While directing The Trinity Forum, Berlin was awarded a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship from the United States Institute of Peace in 1988. As a Peace Fellow, he studied the Nicaraguan conflict and produced a dialogue at the Armand Hammer United World College, which brought together high-level representatives of the Sandinista government and the Contras resistance movement, as well as US ambassadors to Central America, to explore paths to a Nicaraguan peace agreement.
In the early 1980s, as a co-founder and state coordinator of the New Mexico Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, Berlin directed a successful statewide effort lobbying the New Mexico legislature for the passage of a resolution in support of a US-Soviet freeze on the development and deployment of nuclear weapons.
Government Service and Political Campaigns
During his career, Berlin has been involved in a number of local, state, and national political campaigns. In 1976, he helped direct a grassroots campaign for sheriff in Franklin County, Massachusetts. He also has volunteered in several Congressional and presidential campaigns. Beginning in 1996, Berlin served as an administrative hearing officer for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. In 2005, he became a senior attorney with the New Mexico Public Education Department, where he was in charge of enforcing the department’s Code of Ethics.
Berlin lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has worked on nonpartisan efforts to revive democracy in America, promote peace in the Middle East, and diversify Los Alamos National Laboratory, among other issues, since 1981. He is the father of one daughter.