What Socialist Worker Got Wrong About Vermont Politics

Leninfacepalm

From a reader (with minor edits).

Overall: The premise of the Socialist Worker article is that had Bernie decided to challenge Peter Shumlin for the Gubernatorial office, he could have used that position as a base to build a statewide Progressive Party analogous to the organization he built in Burlington. That’s unlikely, and here is why: Continue reading

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Mujica and the Chicago Socialist Campaign: A Small Battle in a Larger War

JM

By Bob Roman

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 Democratic Socialists of America (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. Continue reading

Re-Elect Kshama Sawant to Seattle’s City Council

A Critical Battle for Working People and the Left

The strong record of Socialist Alternative Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant in achieving victories by organizing and activating working people is the basis to win more, especially for affordable housing. After winning legislation for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the task to make Seattle affordable for all is far from done. Donate and volunteer in this year´s referendum on the first open socialist elected in the city in a century.

SA

 

This campaign promises to be the most highly visible city council race Seattle has seen in decades, one that pits the corporate establishment against the only consistent voice for working people on the council. Moreover, the impact of this campaign will extend far outside of Seattle, with the potential to inspire more independent, left-wing, pro-worker challengers to the two parties of big business nationwide. Continue reading

How American Socialists Fought for Labor Using Control over Local Government

ballot“Socialist administrations were most often elected in small or medium-sized railroad, mining, or industrial centers. Where the worker was not a worker or trade unionist himself, others in the administration often were. In Butte, Montana, the Socialist mayor was a minister; the police judge and city treasurer elected with him in 1911 were miners. In Lackawanna, New York  where a socialist mayor (occupation unknown) was elected in 1919, the two Socialist councilmen were trade unionists. Similarly in Davenport, Iowa, which elected a Socialist doctor to the mayoralty in 1920, the Socialist city clerk was a machinist. Continue reading

#BlackLivesMatter and Political Change in #Ferguson

Eight months after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson triggered raucous protests around the country and transformed the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter into a nascent movement, the political scene in Ferguson, Missouri where the shooting took place has changed dramatically. Continue reading

Is Kshama Sawant Caving to the Democrats, or Are Democrats Caving to Kshama Sawant?

A good fighter, a friend and a longtime activist, MB re-posted an article on Facebook that attacks Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s socialist City Council member, for attending a fund-raiser for Larry Gossett, a member of the King County Council and a Democrat.

The underlying issues are serious enough to deserve a thorough response. Continue reading

Left Candidate Defeated in Chicago’s 25th Ward Alderman Race

Candidate # of Votes % of Total
Danny Solis 3,811 51.1
Byron Sigcho 1,383 18.5
Jorge Mujica 907 12.2
Roberto “Beto” Montano 748 10.0
Ed Hershey 614 8.2

Source.

Splitting the left anti-Rahm vote three ways was clearly a mistake. Hopefully the lessons of this campaign will be discussed at what looks to be a promising left electoral conference in May.

Some background (care of In These Times):
Continue reading