Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action in the United States

The Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action in the United States

 Update: The Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action conference will be held May 2-3 in Chicago.

If you would like to endorse the call to the conference or be placed on a low-volume announcement listserv, please send your name and affiliation to

 The Call:
 From impending climate catastrophe to the renewed assault on working class living standards, we don't have time to waste on the status quo, lesser evils, and token reforms. The richest 1% may own the two major parties, but the past year has seen an uptick in left electoral activity. From Kshama Sawant’s election as an open socialist on the Seattle City Council to the numerous other socialist and independent left campaigns in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere throughout Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, interest in a working class alternative is growing. However, in order to really begin building a viable electoral alternative, we first need to forge unity between our disparate campaigns. Those of us struggling to build a left pole in the electoral arena have much to learn from one another. Therefore we propose a gathering of candidates, individuals, and organizations committed to a non-sectarian left political alliance in opposition to the two-party system of corporate-capitalist rule.

 What we propose:
 1. A dialogue for those who are commited to left politics outside of the two-party system
 2. To discuss the “why” goals of running for and to win election
 3. To share experiences and reflections of campaigning
 4. To share challenges after being elected to office and strategies for opening political space for social movements

 Aims and Objectives:

 1. To promote independent political action
 2. To build cooperation among disparate movements, candidates, left/progressive parties
 3. To develop and adopt a means for continued networking, conversation and cooperation

 1. To gather experienced candidates
 2. To intersect a broad range of non-sectarian left-independent organizers
 3. To have respectful discussion on strategies and tactics
 4. To seek representation from people of color, youth, women, LGBTQ, and disability activists
 5. To include a mix of theoretical panels, inspirational talks, and practical workshops

 We hope that you will endorse this conference, save the date, and join us in Chicago May 2-3, 2015.
 For more information, email


 Robert Caldwell,

Endorsers of this conference as of Feb 1, 2015 include: Gayle McLaughin+ (Richmond City Council; former Mayor, Richmond CA ); Tim Meegan (2015 Independent candidate for alderman, 33rd ward, Chicago), Kshama Sawant + (Seattle City Council), Howie Hawkins (Candidate for Governor of New York , Green Party*), Jorge M├║jica (2015 Socialist candidate for alderman, 25th ward , Chicago), Ellen David Friedman (Vermont Progressive Party*), Dan LaBotz (Co-founder Teamsters for a Democratic Union; Editor, New Politics; Socialist Party* Candidate for U.S. Senate, OH 2010), Mike Parker (Co-author Democracy is Power; Coordinator, Richmond Progressive Alliance*), Gloria Mattera (Co-Chair, Green Party of New York*), Eduardo Martinez + (Richmond City Council), Lance Selfa (author of The Democrats: A Critical History), Jovanka Beckles + (Richmond City Council), Cindy Sheehan (Anti-war activist, 2012 vice-presidential candidate, 2012, Peace and Freedom Party*), Rosa Clemente (Hip hop activist, Vice-Presidential Candiate, 2008, Green Party*), Jill Stein (Presidential Candidate, 2012, Green Party *), Marsha Rummel+ (Madison WI Common Council. Progressive Dane*), Ty Moore (Socialist Alternative candidate for Minneapolis City Council, 2003), Debra Reiger (State Chair, California Peace and Freedom Party), Bruce Dixon (Journalist, Black Agenda Report), Marsha Rummel+ (Madison WI Common Council. Progressive Dane*), David McReynolds (Socialist Party* candidate for President, 1980, 2000), Glenn Ford (Journalist, Black Agenda Report), Jason West + (Mayor of New Paltz, NY), Todd Cretien (International Socialist Organization; Candidate for U.S. Senate (California), 2006), Ian Schlakman (Green Party candidate for Congress MD 2014), Kali Akuno Cooperation Jackson*, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement*), Jess Spear (Climate scientist and 2014 Socialist Alternative candidate for Washington State House); Bhaskar Sunkara (editor of Jacobin), Angela Walker (Candiate for Milwaukee Sheriff, 2014), Linda Thompson (Co-Chair, Green Party of CT), Margaret Kimberely (Journalist, Black Agenda Report), Isa Infante (2014 Candidate for Governor, Green Party of TN), John Halle (Green Party, previously New Haven Alderman), Nicole Deane (Dan Siegel for Oakland 2014 volunteer coordinator), Carroll Fife (Dan Siegel for Oakland 2014 campaign coordinator), Ellis Boal (Green Party MI*), Steve Early (author and labor journalist), Joanna Misnik (Treasurer, Chicago Socialist Campaign; Solidarity), Bryan Koulouris (Socialist Alternative), Rick Kissell (past candidate for Milwaukee Treasurer, past president of the AFL-CIO Translators' and Interpreters' Guild), Robert Caldwell (Ebarb Tribal Council, Louisiana 2011-2013), Marilyn Langlois (Coordinator, Richmond Progressive Alliance), Against the Current (, International Socialist Organization (, Jacobin (, New Politics (, Peace and Freedom Party (, Socialist Alternative (, Solidarity (, Socialist Party of Texas
 Bold+ indicates sitting elected official; * organizational listing for identification purposes of the individual endorsers only

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lobby Day 2015

Wednesday, April 8 at 9:00am
Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas

Texas State Employees Union
Lobby Day is our chance to take a stand for the future of Texas and for our jobs. It is a critical part of our ongoing fight for economic and social justice for state workers and citizens.

Upcoming Events

Bus trips to Austin for major grassroots lobbying events at the state capitol.

Tue. Feb. 17:
Senior lobby day at the state capitol: Rally & grassroots lobbying
Sponsored by Texas Alliance for Retired Americans
Bus will be departing from APWU hall, 2010 Postal Way Dallas 75207 at 6:30 am. Pls. be there by 6:15.
Boxed lunches & snacks will be provided.
Call field organizer Judy Bryant at 214-729-0063 to make a reservation to ride the bus or for when & where Central Texans can rendezvous with the Dallas group.

Wed. Feb. 25:
"Day of the Fallen" march, rally, & lobbying on behalf of construction workers & other exploited workers. Thus called in memory of construction workers who died on the job, numbering in the hundreds each year in Texas, the worst state in the country for construction fatalities.
Sponsored by Workers' Defense Project
Grassroots lobbying will be from 10 am thru 3:45 pm at the capitol. The march & rally will be from 4 pm to 6 pm, starting from the JJ Pickle Plaza, 300 8th St., plaza at the intersection of 9th & & San Jacinto & ending at the south lawn of the capitol for the rally.
Bus departs Dallas from the ***new*** Workers' Defense Project Dallas HQ, 4202 Lancaster in S. Dallas at 6 am. Pls. be there by 5:45 am. We will be back by 10 pm.
Boxed lunches & snacks will be provided.

Call Rosemarie Rieger (N. Texas Jobs with Justice organizer) at 214-632-5695 to make a reservation to ride the bus.