|Dan La Botz May 5, 2015|
Some 200 political activists from a variety of independent political organizations, as well as individual activists, carried out a rich discussion and an amicable debate about how to collaborate in the work of building a large political alternative to the left of the Democratic Party. Participating in the Future of the Left/Independent Politics Conference, in an unprecedented spirit of cooperation, national, state, and local candidates and activists, as well as elected officials from the Green Party, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Socialist Alternative, and the Vermont Progressive Party discussed the challenges of campaigning and the difficulties of actually holding office while trying to both build movements and push progressive policies. Also at the conference were members of Progressive Democrats of America and the Justice Party.
|by Bill Drew May 5, 2015|
This is the fifth in a series of articles about the Chicago mayor and council elections. Scroll down to find others. - Eds.
Chicago hasn’t seen such electoral contention since the days of Dick and Jane – and Harold. Even in defeat, the Jesús “Chuy” Garcia challenge brought a familiar spirit back to the city by the lake. No one expected the immigrant from Durango to challenge the abrasive Rahm in a run off. Nor could we have have predicted the surprising synergy that would result from over a dozen insurgent ward campaigns and Chuy’s crusade. In the 12th ward on the Southwest side, we learned that politics is local.
|by Steve Early April 24, 2015|
Liz Nikazmerad is a rarity in American labor: a local union president under the age of 30, displaying both youth and militancy. For the last two year years, she has led the 180-member Local 203 of the United Electrical Workers (UE), while working in the produce department of City Market in Burlington, Vermont. Thanks to their contract bargaining, full-time and part-time employees of this bustling community-owned food cooperative currently enjoy good medical benefits.
|by Michael Hirsch April 23, 2015|
Review of: Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United, by Zephyr Teachout. Harvard University Press, 2014
|by Bob Roman April 21, 2015|
The usual practice for lefties defeated in electoral politics is to claim victory, victory in the sense of having spread the word, victory in the sense of building an organization, victory in the sense of whatever plausible argument comes to hand. In the case of Jorge Mujica's campaign for 25th Ward Alderman, we can safely assert it was a successful proof of concept: The "socialist" label, in some neighborhoods, is not a handicap even if it is not an asset. Begging your pardon but I've been saying as much for years. Through our participation, Chicago DSA did earn a reputation as an organization that delivers on its commitments. But the campaign intended to establish a socialist presence in Chicago government and that requires victory.
|by Bruce A. Dixon April 12, 2015|
NOTE: The original version of this article quoted a claim that no voter registration drive was conducted. Since we did not take the time to fact-check this claim before publication, the article has been altered to omit the claim. - Bruce A. Dixon
The results are in, and the truth hurts. Rahm Emanuel will sit in the mayor's office on the fifth floor of Chicago's City Hall four more years. Despite fudging police stats to make murders disappear, despite stonewalling on police torture and atrocities, despite deliberately shortening red light camera intervals to raise revenue for his buddies, despite closing and privatizing more than 50 public schools, almost exclusively in black and brown neighborhoods, than anywhere in the country, and despite his facing a solid progressive Democrat challenger, Rahm Emanuel carried every single ward in black Chicago, not by big margins, but by enough.
|by Samantha Winslow April 11, 2015|
Chicago teachers now have one of their own on the city council. Susan Sadlowski Garza, school counselor and Chicago Teachers Union executive board member, declared victory this week over incumbent John Pope. Absentee ballots are still being counted, but signs indicate she will squeeze past by less than 100 votes.
|by Scott Jay|
Once again, a major election in the US has brought out the specter of lesser-evilism--the call to vote for the least bad option--and once again this strategy has been a complete failure, regardless of which candidate actually wins. Usually it is a Republican against a Democrat, although in Chicago in 2015 it was a neoliberal Democrat, Rahm Emanuel, against a slightly less neoliberal Democrat, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
|by Mimi Soltysik April 10, 2015|
The protestors marched through the streets of Los Angeles on April 7 carrying 617 coffins representing the death of 617 individuals killed by Los Angeles law enforcement since 2000. Participants convened on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors from the north, south, east, and west, staging die-ins at strategic locations along the way. Family members of those murdered along with individuals who have suffered at the hands of the LAPD delivered powerful messages of anger, hope, and sadness, urging the need for continued and escalated community response to LAPD oppression and brutality.
|by George Fish April 2, 2015|
Dedicated to Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act
|by James K. Rowe March 24, 2015|
[This article was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.]
Angela Davis, revolutionary activist and philosopher, is a committed yogi. She began practicing in prison when a doctor working with the Black Panther Party passed along a book on yoga to help her deal with chronic headaches.
|by Michael Hirsch March 6, 2015|
I’m still frozen in the moment. Has it really been 15 months since revolutionary socialist Kshama Sawant brought her unique brand of municipal socialism back to a major American city after winning an at-large seat in Seattle’s nonpartisan City Council race?
|by Robert Caldwell March 4, 2015|
Activists and candidates from around the country will come together on May 2-3 in Chicago to share their experiences and to launch a network for future cooperation at the Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action Conference.
The past few years have seen a significant uptick in independent political initiatives on the left, from election campaigns to new local electoral and social movement formations, to referenda campaigns.
|Dan La Botz February 27, 2015|
Jacob A. Zumoff. The Communist International and US Communism, 1919-1929. Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2014. 443 pages. Bibliography. Hard Cover $167.
Jacob A. Zumoff has written an impressive scholarly tome that is perfectly described by the title: The Communist International and US Communism, 1919-1929. He makes a reasonably convincing case for a novel thesis that attempts to reframe the major question: the relationship between the Soviet and American Communists. Yet, in my view, he fails to address the central question, the Soviet domination of the Communist International, including its domination of the American Communists in the 1920s.
|by Bob Braun February 19, 2015|
A small group of Newark high school students Tuesday night seized the office of state-appointed superintendent Cami Anderson in a protest timed to coincide with her imminent re-appointment to another year, her fifth, as head of the state’s largest school district. The action, which is continuing through the night, stands in stark contrast to the failure of Anderson’s older–and, theoretically, more powerful–critics to do anything to dislodge her from her post.