Joshua Hall to Run for 7th District House Seat on the Working Families Party Ticket in Upcoming Special Election, April 25th
Hartford – Joshua Hall has received the unanimous endorsement of delegates from the Connecticut Working Families Party for his campaign to fill the vacant seat for the Connecticut House of Representatives in the 7th district. He will run solely on the Working Families Party ballot line with the election taking place on Tuesday, April 25th.
Joshua Hall: “It has been my great honor to serve the residents of Hartford as a teacher, as the Vice President of the Blue Hills Civic Association, and as a member of the Lighthouse School Commission that raised $2.5 million for Rawson Elementary. It is equally a great honor to be chosen by the Working Families Party as their endorsed candidate to represent our community in Hartford.”
“While I am proud to be an active member of the Democratic Party, I am excited to have the support of the Working Families Party. Working Families issues are front and center for my campaign. I am keenly aware of both the opportunities and challenges faced by our community. I will advocate and fight for renewed investment in our communities’ schools, champion efforts to revitalize our neighborhoods starting with preserving our housing stock, and ensure that our neighbors and retirees have lasting economic security.”
Hall also announced he will seek a grant from the Citizens Election Program (CEP), Connecticut’s campaign financing system. “Our campaign is about the people of Hartford. We will be running an organized grassroots campaign and that is how I believe this campaign should be funded. Applying for the grant will also allow me more time to focus on what really matters, which is meeting with the voters and talking about the issues,” Hall stated.
Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of the Working Families Party: “Josh is just what the 7th needs — a tireless public education advocate who has earned the trust of the community over the past 12 years of his career as a teacher in Hartford’s public schools. He has the vision and fight to protect school funding and students from private business interests that treat our children like commodities.”
Joshua Hall is a Hartford native who attended Norfolk State University. He and his wife, Timcia, reside in Blue Hills with their two sons. A former History Teacher at Weaver High School, Joshua is currently First Vice President of the Hartford Federation of Teachers. The 7th district House seat became vacant after Douglas McCrory won his special election for State Senate back in February.
The Working Families Party endorsement comes with strong grassroots field support, candidate training and strategic campaign support. All candidates are carefully vetted to ensure that they reflect the views and goals of Working Families’ members. Recent polling affirmed Working Families’ members vote for candidates who will fight hard for economic justice, tax fairness, fair wages and workers’ benefits. They also want affordable healthcare, strong public education system and immigration reform.
In a 2015 special election, Working Families Party supported Ed Gomes for state senate in the 23rd district after the Democratic Party failed to nominate a candidate reflective of the community’s values. Gomes won that election, becoming the first third-party legislator elected in almost a century in Connecticut.
In the last election, the Connecticut Working Families Party garnered its strongest showing to date having received – for the first time – over 5% of the vote on its line for U.S. Senate. Approximately 87,948 votes were cast for Richard Blumenthal under the Working Families Party ballot line.
By Jared Abbott
Thanks to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and Donald Trump’s election as president, DSA’s membership has nearly tripled over the past year. Sanders brought the “S” word out of the closet, and Trump sent thousands of people in search of an effective organization both to fight the right and to push forward with Sanders’s political revolution.
By Duane Campbell
Over 1,500 marchers from around California descended on the Capitol on Wednesday March 15, to support the passage of SB 54: The California Values Act, which would significantly prohibit local law enforcement from coordination with federal immigration agents. While many cities, counties, school districts and universities have sanctuary policies, this bill would make such policies state law and shield many immigrants from mass deportation efforts of the federal authorities. The bill is strongly opposed by the Association of County Sheriffs who manage county jails and receive federal funds for their cooperation.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a historic period. The overthrow of tsarism and the erection for the first time of a society with workers on top and bosses on the botto gave inspiration to workers and the oppressed the world over. It sparked revolutionary upheavals from Europe to the Middle East to Asia. For the world’s national ruling classes, Russia’s “red specter” cast a dark shadow, striking fear into their hearts. The revolution’s victory over the forcces of reaction convinced millions that ordinary people could rise up and seize control of society in their own interests. Socialists the world over strove to emulate what Russia had done.
However, the revolution’s defeat at the hands of the Stalinist bureaucracy in the 1920s has been one of the largest blows to the international socialist movement. Stalin’s top-down control, murderous purges, and imperialist pursuits betrayed everything the revolution first stood for.
In the fight today for socialism, there is much to learn from these historic years. Join us for a two-part discussion on the Russian Revolution: How It Was Won and How It Was Lost.
80 Years since the Russian Revolution: http://www.isreview.org/issues/03/russian_revolution.shtml
Russia’s Revolutionary Process: 1905-1917
Each week the Madison Branch of the International Socialist Organization meets to discuss the issues of the moment and the ongoing project of building a fighting left that can resist and overcome the atrocities of Capitalism.
Join us for education, activism, and politics!
Sterling Hall Rm 1313
475 N Charter St
Madison, WI 53706
UW Madison Campus
Tuesday, March 21
Common Good Cafe
(Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle, WA 98105
This week’s meeting will be a working meeting. We’ll be discussing current organizing in the Seattle Education Association, a new tax initiative in Seattle, and beginning to plan for the Socialism 2017 conference.
Democratic Socialists of America’s National Political Committee’s Statement and Fact Sheet on TrumpCare, the House Republican Plan to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act
March 15, 2017
For democratic socialists, the most reprehensible aspect of the House Reconciliation Budget Bill to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act is that it will gut Medicaid coverage and severely weaken Medicare’s viability as a single-payer system for the elderly and disabled. The bill does so in order to provide a major tax cut for the wealthy, equal to $650 billion over ten years. The bill would lead over 24 million individuals to lose health insurance coverage (according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office or CBO). The bill attacks the single-payer aspects of the U.S. health system (Medicaid and Medicare) in which the government as the sole insurer has the bargaining potential to curtail healthcare costs forced on us by private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
By Maria Svart
DSA has almost tripled in membership in the past several months and quadrupled in the number of organized local groups in red and blue states. Our growth alone shows that people want to be for something, not just against Donald Trump, and they want to have a voice. We have an ideological perspective that was missing from mainstream political debate until Bernie Sanders’s primary run, and it’s now on us to carry out a strategy to match. For this, we need a socialist feminist approach.
What does it mean to bring a socialist feminist perspective to organizing? My own story may have some lessons in it. I grew up in a liberal but not left-wing household, watched my extended family win concessions from their bosses through participation in various unions, and became a feminist activist in college. My campus group promoted sex-positivity, abortion rights, and equal pay for women. But it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t satisfied but didn’t know why. Then I attended a Young Democratic Socialists workshop, and the socialist feminist ideas I heard there were like a bolt of lightning. Suddenly I realized what was missing!
The Socialist Party USA was involved in International Women’s Day 2017 demonstrations across the U.S. Our New York City chapter organized a rally in Washington Square; our Chicago chapter organized a rally at The Thompson Center, the Los Angeles Local supported the local AF3IRM demonstration, the Bay Area Local joined the rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and more!Click to view slideshow.
Photo: Katie Schuering
From February 17-19, members of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) gathered for “Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump.” The first YDS conference since the post-Bernie/Trump boom, the gathering acted as a rally point for all our new members as well as the staging ground for building and confronting the new far-right administration.
The Local organized a contingent, literature table and marched together to Zuccotti Park. SPNY Chair Tana Forrester also spoke, representing the Party.
The long history of sexism and transphobia in the United States, perpetrated by both political parties, is reaching new heights under Trump’s overt misogyny. They plan to defund Planned Parenthood and return to a time of back-alley abortions while we battle an outrageous culture of violence against women where sexual assault is rampant and trans women are murdered weekly. Millions of people came out for the Women’s March in January to say that enough is enough. What are the next steps for this movement?.
Join us for a meeting and discussion on sexism, capitalism, and the need for revolution.
Speaker: Nicole Colson, a reporter for Socialist Worker and a member of the International Socialist Organization.
1313 Sterling Hall, UW Madison
Tuesday, March 14
Common Good Cafe
(Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle, WA 98105
This week’s meeting will be a working meeting. We will begin with a discussion about the article “We Got Trumped” by Charlie Post in the most recent issue of the International Socialist Review, which examines the social forces that supported Trump how we ended up with him as president.
We will also devote time to working groups that organize various aspects of our local work.
By Elizabeth Schulte
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY became a focus of attention in the U.S. this year in a way that it probably hasn’t been since it was first celebrated more than a century ago. Women and men around the country will raise their voices on March 8 against inequality, discrimination and sexism.
Actions today include a Women’s Strike, initiated by prominent left-wing scholars and activists as part of an international day of action, with an emphasis on building “feminism for the 99 Percent”–and A Day Without a Woman, supported by organizers of the Women’s March on Washington in January, and in solidarity with the Women’s Strike.
Supporters of the call are invited to strike if possible, but are also to take part in other ways, from organizing a rally in their city or a teach-in on their campus, to holding a meeting about history of International Women’s Day, to showing solidarity with a local labor struggle. The events promise to be inclusive, involving women of color, trans women and others who are marginalized in this society.
This revived attention to a holiday that celebrates women workers, some of the least-celebrated members of society–and a socialist holiday on top of that–is another welcome sign of a new resistance that has erupted since Donald Trump’s election.
We saw the potential for a new fight for women’s liberation on January 21, when at least 3 million people turned out for Women’s Marches across the U.S. to protest the new Sexist-in-Chief. Now, March 8 is raising other issues and, in particular, focusing attention on women’s labor. Whatever the character of the actions today, this is an important development.
There’s a new audience for ideas about how to fight sexism and inequality, and some part of that audience at least will participate in reviving the left-wing tradition of International Women’s Day.
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AT ITS core, International Women’s Day is about recognizing the struggles of women workers–women whose names don’t ordinarily make the front pages. Like Clara Lemlich.
Lemlich was a 23-year-old Ukrainian-born leader of the 1909 strike of garment workers called the “Rising of the 20,000”–which pitted an immigrant women, most of them teenagers, against sweatshop bosses who forced them to work in hot, dangerous working conditions for long hours.
Even though Lemlich was quite young, she was already steeled by several workplace struggles, having organized in the garment industry for several years before. That wasn’t true of her co-workers, though. Some the most vulnerable workers in U.S. society–young immigrant women who defied their union leaders’ caution in voting to strike–learned through the course of the struggle that solidarity made them stronger.
“They used to say you couldn’t even organize women,” Lemlich concluded. “They wouldn’t come to union meetings. They were ‘temporary workers.’ Well, we showed them!”
International Women’s Day is also a socialist holiday. It became an international socialist holiday in 1910 when the Second International Conference of Socialist Women, held in Copenhagen, adopted a resolution put forward by German socialist Clara Zetkin.
Inspired by the struggle of women workers like Lemlich in the U.S., Zetkin helped initiate the resolution in order to emphasize the role of women workers and also the commitment of socialists to take up issues of women’s oppression and support women’s suffrage.
At the Copenhagen conference, attendees discussed the issue of universal suffrage–which was hotly debated among socialists, men and women alike–programs to help women and their children, as well as opposition to war and the demand for the eight-hour day. Zetkin, along with Russian delegate Alexandra Kollontai, argued that socialists must link political and economic demands for women workers, like suffrage.
As a leader in the German Social Democratic Party, trade unionist and editor of its women’s magazine Die Gleichheit (Equality), Zetkin furthered a materialist analysis of women’s oppression, looking at how it affected women at every strata of society, and developed an understanding of how working-class women’s liberation was intertwined with their male counterparts.
Zetkin concluded that it is in working-class women’s interest to join forces with working-class men to overturn a system that exploits them both. Because of their class and their ability to shut down workplaces by stopping work, working-class women and men were in the best position to win liberation for all.
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THE REVOLUTIONARY potential that Zetkin and other socialists talked about became a reality spectacularly on International Women’s Day in Russia in 1917, when women, angered by shortages of bread and food, went on strike to oppose the First World War, high prices and bad working conditions.
The women’s protest strike drew out male workers, and the fuse was lit–International Women’s Day would be the first day of the Russian Revolution.
In the process of workers’ taking power, socialists saw the importance of putting issues of women’s liberation to the front and creating the conditions in which true liberation might be possible. The Russian revolutionaries knew they couldn’t simply decree an end to oppression, but had to get at its material roots.
One key to this was freeing working women from the double burden they bear in the home–cooking, cleaning and caring for children, or what Russian revolutionary Lenin called “barbarously unproductive, petty, nerve-racking, stultifying and crushing drudgery.” The new workers’ state established by the end of the 1917 revolution organized communal restaurants and laundries, and child care centers.
Because of revolutionary Russia’s isolation and poverty, these impressive gains were unfortunately short-lived before a counterrevolution led by Joseph Stalin reimposed the old order, though with the language of socialism falsely intact. Nevertheless, Russia’s revolution gave an impressive glimpse as what was possible in a society where human liberation is the priority.
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OF COURSE, we’re a long way off from demands for communal kitchens and free child care centers–although it’s easy to imagine, considering what would happen if the vast resources of U.S. society were redirected for human need.
However, over the last few months, many of us have found out that there’s more to be hopeful about, even as we look down the barrel of four years of Donald Trump.
Trump’s victory led to an outpouring of opposition that reached a high point–so far–with the Women’s March on Washington and sister demonstrations around the country on January 21, but continued in the weeks after with inspiring mobilizations in support of women, immigrants and Muslims.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have major fights ahead–a Republican Congress set on defunding Planned Parenthood, for one thing, and the fact that Trump’s victory has given the green light for every anti-woman politician, anti-choice group or individual to act on their bigotry.
The massive protests we’ve seen so far give reason for optimism, but there’s no jumping over the sobering fact that our side is just beginning the process of organizing ourselves to fight back.
There are important debates about what tactics and strategies have worked in the past–especially in the struggle to defend and expand women’s rights, because in the U.S., that struggle has largely been dominated by organizations that concentrate on electing Democratic Party politicians to fight for us.
Of course, most of the people coming out to protests for the first time in this new era of Trump likewise look to the Democrats to defend women’s rights. But unlike political leaders who thrive on the idea that they are women’s only hope, many of the people who voted for them are anything but thriving.
With a new resistance emerging, especially around women’s rights, we have an opportunity to have a discussion about why the old strategy of having faith in the Democrats hasn’t worked–and what could work instead.
Beneath the strategy of looking to Democrats lies a deeper problem–the idea that the masses of people can’t change things for themselves, so we need a leader to do it for us.
It’s an idea that came up when the political wing of Planned Parenthood argued with supporters to cancel counterprotests organized when the right wing called a day of action outside clinics in February. We haven’t seen the last of it.
The exciting thing about this new political moment is that large numbers of people are ready to take action–whether for the first time ever, or the first time in a while–and in the course of the struggle, they can learn the lessons of doesn’t work, and be a part of initiatives and organizations that do. The left has the greatest opportunity in a generation to engage with an audience on this scale and make our politics relevant.
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THERE’S ANOTHER reason to celebrate this socialist holiday on March 8–because we have a lot to learn from the struggles when women workers fought back.
International Women’s Day is about Clara Lemlich, who organized her immigrant co-workers to stand up. It’s about low-wage workers in the Fight for 15 campaign who are exposing sexual harassment on the job and explaining why challenging it goes hand in hand with raising wages for all workers.
It’s about the immigrant women textile strikers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, who sent their children to supporters in cities across the country in 1912 so that they could fight their battle without worry. And it’s about Chicago teachers whose 2012 strike won the support of parents across the city by linking struggles against racism, school “reform” and the Democratic mayor’s austerity agenda.
International Women’s Day is about all the acts of solidarity and creativity that grow out of workers’ own struggles, and the debates they had along the way about what could make their common fight stronger.
This is how we strengthen our side and help rebuild a left tradition in the U.S. among a new audience. There’s a rich socialist tradition to learn from–and a thirst for a political alternative emerging alongside the new radicalization.
By M. Lehrer
In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory burned to the ground, trapping and killing 146 people--123 of whom were women, many of whom were supporting families--because the factory owners found it financially inconvenient to build fire exits. The funeral march for the victims drew a crowd of over 100,000. The memorial meeting was so big it was held at the Metropolitan Opera. One attendee, Rose Schneiderman, 29 years old, had been working since she was a child of 13. She stood in front of the people who had come to the meeting and surveyed the crowd. They were mostly wealthy, well-meaning women, many in the Women's Trade Union League, of which she herself was a member. They donated to the right causes and wrote letters to newspapers bemoaning the conditions of the factories and the foundries. They wanted words of comfort.
"I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship," she said. "This is not the first time girls have been burned alive in the city. Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers. Every year thousands of us are maimed. The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred. There are so many of us for one job it matters little if 146 of us are burned to death." She continued to the speechless crowd, "We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us." She wanted to comfort them, the good liberals of her time, but she couldn't. "I can't talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled."
Hartford – Today, on International Women’s Day, millions of women around the country will take the day off from work and refrain from shopping at large corporate businesses in a one day demonstration and show of economic solidarity as part a national #DayWithoutAWoman. As Connecticut’s business leaders converge on the Legislative Office Building today to hear from the Governor and learn about how the Connecticut Industry and Business Association (CBIA) is communicating their needs to lawmakers, it’s a good time to remind the business community about the challenges women in Connecticut face in achieving economic equality — especially as advocacy efforts by the CBIA keep Connecticut lagging behind businesses in neighboring states and routinely undermine economic security for working women.
“Families have become more dependent on women’s salaries, as job growth is concentrated in the service sector and cuts to the social safety net make families more and more insecure. Facing a $1.5B deficit and with 4,200 more jobs on the line, a woman’s ability to participate in our economy is critical, but the CBIA has fought hard to oppose legislation which would provide better economic opportunities for women and contribute towards a healthier economy,” said Lindsay Farrell, Director of Connecticut Working Families Organization.
CBIA Opposes Pay Equity for Women
In Connecticut, women on average earn 83 cents on the dollar compared to men, putting their families at a severe economic disadvantage. When women make less money, tax revenues—many of which fund vital community services that are being cut in Connecticut—are lower than they should be.
Recently, the Boston Chamber of Commerce and Associated Business Industries of Massachusetts endorsed a bipartisan bill to establish pay equity guidelines in Massachusetts. As businesses around the country close their doors for the day in a show of solidarity with women, Connecticut’s business lobby continues to oppose pay equity bills that would help narrow the wage gap and our deficit. And Connecticut risks falling behind.
CBIA Opposes Paid Family and Medical Leave
A recent poll commissioned by the US Council of State Chambers of Commerce found that 72% of C-level executives and business owners support increasing parental leave. Yet, in Connecticut, special interest groups like the CBIA have opposed paid leave year after year.
In Connecticut, there is a growing coalition of business owners, health care professionals, workers, faith organizations, and childcare experts who have called for a statewide paid family leave program, including over 100 women in leadership who called on our representatives to pass such a policy. Just last week, business leaders from Hartford’s thriving downtown district called for the state to pass paid family and medical leave.
Even though a paid family and medical leave program would be entirely funded through a 0.54% employee contribution and bear no financial impact on employers, the CBIA has lobbied hard against a bill.
As neighboring states of Rhode Island, New Jersey, and now New York implement this program, Connecticut, again, risks falling behind. As a state struggling to retain residents, every effort should be made to ensure we retain young, talented women who are critical to our workforce and the growth of our economy.
CBIA Opposes Breastfeeding at Work!
The CBIA has opposed common sense legislation requiring employers to respect the need for women to take reasonable, unpaid breaks each day to express breastmilk for an infant. Although research suggests that policies allowing employees to care for themselves makes workers more productive, the state’s big business lobby stated, “by requiring employers to give employees time each day away from their duties, regardless of whether they are critical or not, this bill undermines the employers’ ability to compete.”
Despite the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, pay parity is still a long way off. In Connecticut, without paid leave, pay equity, and other protections, women have more incentive to seek employment and start families in neighboring states.
It is critical that lawmakers ensure protections are in place that enable women to identify and challenge discriminatory pay and employment practices, such as requiring applicants to divulge past salary history, which perpetuates unequal pay for women. Family friendly workplace support programs like paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and access to affordable child care provide the state with better economic predictability, narrow the wage gap for women, and help generate badly needed tax revenue to help narrow the state’s budget deficit.
The post On International Women’s Day, Women’s Wage Gap Should Alarm Business Leaders in Connecticut appeared first on Working Families.
"DSA In The News" is a roundup of recent media articles featuring DSA. It is based on links from Chicago DSA's New Ground.
DSA's massive growth in recent months continues to make headlines. This includes stories at Reuters and The Hill, as well as a video at Now This. It can't hurt, either, that Michael Moore urged others to follow him in joining DSA.
The real action is happening at the local level, as media outlets across the nation will tell you. From news of a new chapter in the Long Beach Post, to coverage of the first meeting of a new YDS chapter at the Georgetown Voice, to notes on new and renewed chapters in Idaho and Texas, there's plenty of hopeful signs that DSA may actually beat the Democrats to implementing a 50-state strategy.
Wednesday, March 8 is International Women’s Day—and an important next step in building the resistance against Trump and the fight for women’s liberation. Below are some of the meetings, speakouts, rallies, and marches that the ISO will be participating in across the country. We encourage you to join us!