- Communist Party activist
- Prominent member of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Joyce Wheeler is a retired schoolteacher and a longtime Communist Party activist.
In March 2005, she and her husband, Tim Wheeler, co-authored an article titled “Renew Voting Rights!” in People’s Weekly World, the newspaper of the Communist Party USA. The piece focused on a recent 10,000-person demonstration in Selma, Alabama commemorating the 40th anniversary of so-called “Bloody Sunday” -- when voting rights marchers had been clubbed and tear-gassed by Alabama troopers on March 7, 1965.
According to the Wheelers, “31 percent of African American males in Alabama are [still] denied the right to vote, mostly due to disenfranchisement of former felons.” The authors quoted Coretta Scott King’s assertion that this “is a form of taxation without representation” which must be ended, and that all manner of “devious tricks” are routinely used “to keep us [blacks] from voting.”
The Wheeler article also quoted former Martin Luther King aide C.T. Vivian’s call for black people to march “all over again” because “our needs are not being met,” and Jesse Jackson’s claim that “the fight for the right to vote continues.”
In 2008 Joyce Wheeler became a prominent figure in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, helping to organize local canvassing and visibility events for the candidate.