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New Ground 112

May - June, 2007

Contents

  • Where Do We Go From Here? by Bob Roman
  • Carl Marx Shier: September 21, 1917 to May 16, 2007 by Bob Roman
  • Letters Re: Carl Shier
  • There Is Joy in Victory by Tom Broderick
  • Looking for Roses in Unlikely Places by David S. Duhalde
  • The State of Abolition by Tom Broderick
  • Other News compiled by Bob Roman
    Election in Oak Park
    Election in Chicago
    Health Care for All
    May Day
    Yum!
    Eugene V. Debs Foundation
  • New Ground 112.1 - 07.07.2007

    0. DSA News

    Reminder for DSA Members
    New at chicagodsa.org
    Young Democratic Socialists Summer Conference
    Democratic Left
    The Activist

    1. Politics

    Those Blood-Sucking Immigrants and Health Care
    Finland Is Soft on Crime
    Partial Victory for Community Television

    2. Democratic Socialism

    The Rise and Fall of Libertarian Socialist Movements

    3. Upcoming Events of Interest

    New Ground 112.2 - 07.16.2007

    0. DSA News

    Socialist International Council Meets
    Toward an Economic Justice Agenda

    1. Upcoming Events of Interest


    Where Do We Go From Here?

    by Bob Roman

    The 49th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner was timely, topical, and thoroughly continental. Our honorees, Leo Gerard (President, United Steelworkers) and Josh Hoyt (Director, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights ), represent Canada and the United States respectively. Our special guest, Saul Escobar Toledo, is the International Secretary of the Mexican Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD); all of North America was represented on the program. It was an entirely appropriate program to follow Chicago's massive May Day march and rallies and to address the question of "Where Do We Go From Here?"

    DSA's National Director, Frank Llewellyn, served as the Master of Ceremonies this year. He briefly outlined DSA's new project of developing an Economic Justice Agenda and other projects DSA is involved in. He announced that by this fall, DSA will have grown by 25% from last fall.

    Saul Escobar Toledo spoke about fair trade and migration issues. He called for NAFTA to be re-negotiated, pointing in particular to the highly successful social investment by the European Union in its poorer member states. He spoke about the difficulties and dangers faced by Mexican migrants and the problems immigration to the United States causes in Mexico. Comrade Escobar's appearance in Chicago was part of a four city tour of the Midwest sponsored by DSA's International Commission. He also made appearances in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, in Detroit, Michigan, and in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Leo Gerard spoke about the difficulties facing the labor movement and the Steelworkers in particular. The Steelworkers have continued to make fair trade a major priority. They are not stopping at legal challenges and policy advocacy, however. In addition to the strategic agreements and coordination that is becoming more common among unions across the world, the Steelworkers are actively negotiating merger with two British unions, Amicus and the Transportation and General Workers Union, possibly to include additional unions in other countries. Whether this would be the "first" global union depends partly on one's definition. But Gerard asserted this would not simply be a marriage of common interests but also a marriage of common ideas: a global social democratic union. Dazzled by the prospect, no one in the audience was in a mood to quibble.

    Josh Hoyt turned out to be our best speaker, I think, being funny and open. He shared some of the life experiences that brought him to his politics. And in addressing the question of just where do we go from here, Hoyt drew parallels between the often ugly, nativist politics of today with the 1920s and the 1980s. Comparing the New Deal outcome following the 1920s with Clinton and the Bushes following the 1980s, Hoyt concluded one of the vital differences, and a lesson for today, was solidarity.

    The Dinner concluded with the traditional singing of "Solidarity Forever", accompanied by GOP DSA's Ron Baiman on violin, but this time we attempted one verse in Spanish.

    And where do we go from here? Leo Gerard's address provoked more than one person to comment, "Maybe there is hope for the labor movement, after all." This seems to me both a grand compliment and grossly unfair. It's unfair for two reasons. First, even in its straitened condition, the labor movement is still huge and various, with a great many smart people doing more than just throwing paint on the wall. It isn't only up to Steelworkers. Second, leadership matters, but it is not sufficient. In order to succeed, the rank and file union member needs to buy into the program, not just accept it as something the staff does. It is also a grand compliment because, well, leadership matters. And one of the things that leadership does is provide inspiration, a reason for people to buy in, to be motivated, to do more than just be accepting. Leo Gerard was most certainly inspiring.

    Inspiration, incidentally, is one of the things that 49 years of Debs Dinners has pretty consistently delivered. I think this Dinner maintained that tradition. I hope you'll join us in 2008 for our 50th Dinner.


    Carl Marx Shier: September 21, 1917 to May 16, 2007

    by Bob Roman

    I received a call on Wednesday morning from Nancy Shier. She said her dad, Carl Shier, had died earlier that day.

    For some of you reading this, I should explain that Carl was one of the founders of Chicago's Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner. This was my main point of contact with him, but the Dinner was not at all his most significant achievement.

    The United Auto Workers (UAW) was Carl Shier's union. As a leader in his local, he helped negotiate a record (that still stands) pay increase for his fellow workers, insisted on racial integration at the plant, and mentored members with leadership potential. When gangsters attempted to take over the local, they beat him severely. But the gangsters did not take over.

    When public employees began to organize, the UAW lent Carl to the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to serve as the Director of their Illinois council. Afterwards, he served as AFSCME's talent scout, bringing into the Illinois Council their subsequent directors.

    In his prime, he had a hand in a lot of the labor organizing and the collective bargaining done in Chicago.

    And not just Chicago: Carl was active in international solidarity work, most notably with the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid. He served on the boards of Illinois Issues and Chicago's oldest civil rights organization, the Community Renewal Society, just to name two. He was a founding member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (and thus DSA).

    If I call Carl a monumental human, it is not just funereal rhetoric. In politics, it is not what you know that counts. But it's not really who you know, either. It is who knows you that counts. A great many people on the democratic left and in the labor movement knew Carl Shier - all over the world.

    It's not just that Carl was of service to many. It is also because his default reaction to people was empathy. I don't mean to imply sainthood; he could often be difficult, at least. But it is this quality of caring, of interest, of personal contact, that made him an effective organizer. This is something that is missing in much of what passes for organizing in this internet age.

    And now that life is done.

    There was a memorial for Carl Shier at Weinstein Brothers in Wilmette on Friday, May 18. Despite the brief notice, hundreds attended. The current and past AFSCME Council 31 directors, Henry Bayer and Steve Culen, spoke. Deborah Meier and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky also shared their memories, as did two of Carl's nephews, Paul Blumberg and Dick Sard.

    Other Coverage of Carl Shier's Passing:

    The 1982 Thomas - Debs Dinner

    In 1982, the Democratic Socialists Organizing Committee and the New American Movement were merging to form the Democratic Socialists of America. To help give the new organization a grand kick-off, Carl Shier was the honoree at the annual Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner that year. The 1982 Dinner was our second largest, having been exceed only by the 1991 Dinner where Steve Culen and Kathy Devine were honorees.

    According to the 1982 program, Roberta Lynch gave the opening remarks. James Wright gave greetings from UAW Region 4. Michael Harrington gave greetings from the newly merged Democratic Socialists of America. Elizabeth Goldstein gave greetings from the Chicago local of DSA. William Winpisinger then gave the Thomas - Debs Address. Seymour Kahan presented the Thomas - Debs award to Carl Shier. Carl Shier responded. Entertainment was by Peyton Hopkins.

     

    Carl Shier

    We honor you as an exemplary socialist and trade unionist

    You have spent a lifetime in the effort to build a socialist movement. You have refused to succumb to disappointment and defeat. You have helped win the small and lasting victories that inspire others to join and continue in the struggle.

    Above all, your life has been a constant act of sharing - sharing your time, energy, enthusiasm, intelligence, and constant good spirits with your friends and co-workers.

    You have demonstrated that true comradeship is capable of breaking the bonds of generations, color, sex, and class which separate us from one another in this society - and will be broken forever in the society that we seek.

    We honor you for living for others and the Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Committee does hereby present you with its award on this 1st day of May, 1982.


    Re: Carl Shier

    Messages via email

    • Please give Nancy my condolences. Carl was a great guy.

    J. Hughes

     

    • Thanks comrades, and everyone who admired Carl. I include myself in that expansive list. He will be much missed.

    Paul Buhle

     

    • Carl was a great man. He taught me so much about unions and socialism. He is irreplaceable. He's one of the great ones.

    In solidarity and sadness,

    Bob Breving

     

    • Sorry to hear about the loss of an outstanding comrade.

    Keep the faith.

    Adam Broad

     

    • Thank you, I wish that I could attend.

    Alexander Seabrook

     

    • I didn't know him, and except for the extraordinarily supportive and encouraging notes he sent me after writing up some of the Debs dinners - which put me on his "list" for a short time - I don' t think he knew me. But from everything I've heard about him from you and others he was a great person. A real loss for all of us from a man who truly lived his life to the fullest. We're going to keep on organizing Carl!

    In Solidarity,

    Ron Baiman

     

    • Thanks for letting me know about Carl's death. I'll write a letter to Nancy. Hope all is well there! Things are good here (well, except for Bush, the auto industry, poverty in Detroit, etc., etc.)

    Love,

    Maggie Shreve

     

    • Carl was one of a kind - one of the good kind, one of the best kind. I am sorry to have this news. Can you pass on to Nancy and others that while I didn't know Carl well, I did know him and know what a gap this leaves. His work counted.

    Fraternally,

    David McReynolds


    There Is Joy in Victory!

    by Tom Broderick

    On April 9, 2007, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) signed an historic agreement with the McDonald's Corporation that improved upon the one signed with Taco Bell (YUM Brands) in 2005.

    This was four days before a major rally at the global headquarters of McDonald's in Oak Brook, Illinois, and five days before a Carnaval and parade for Fair Food and Dignity in downtown Chicago. These events were bringing labor leaders, representatives from various religious groups, politicians and musicians from around the country. The two scheduled events became celebrations of unity and victory with planning for the future.

    To bask in some of the pleasure, I'd like to report that Chicago DSA organized what might have been the final informational picket of a McDonald's. This was at the only McDonald's in Oak Park, less than a week before the settlement. In addition to DSA, Third Unitarian Church (TUC) was well represented. Reverend Brian Covell, of TUC, engaged a passerby in a lengthy discussion regarding the justice of the struggle. Members from the CIW, Ascension Church, Unity Temple and Sister Carol Cook, a BVM nun with long ties to the CIW, also walked the line.

    Taken together the agreements between the CIW and Taco Bell and McDonald's establish the following principles:

    • Major purchasers must share the cost of creating a supply chain that does not exploit farmworkers. The Agreements commit Taco Bell and McDonald's to pay a penny per pound more for their tomatoes, with the entire amount to be passed on as a pay raise to the workers who pick those tomatoes, as monitored by a reliable third party. This nearly doubles the going piece rate when workers pick tomatoes going to Taco Bell and McDonald's.
    • Supply chain transparency and a verifiable zero tolerance policy for modern-day slavery.
    • The right for farmworkers to participate, through the CIW, in the development and implementation of an enforceable code of conduct, including an effective avenue for worker reports of violations, allowing workers to play an ongoing role in the monitoring and protection of their own rights.
    • The development of a third party mechanism to carry out the same monitoring and investigative functions at the industry level, one that can be easily expanded to include the participation of other members of the food industry that buy Florida tomatoes. Retail food companies that participate in the third party monitoring arrangement would agree to defined consequences in the event that a supplier is found in violation of the code.

    Even before the settlement with McDonald's, the CIW was negotiating with Burger King. Burger King responded to the overture by offering to send Corporate recruiters to speak with the CIW and the workers about permanent full-time employment at Burger King restaurants. The obvious question is if Burger King can place all of the tomato pickers in their restaurants, who will pick the tomatoes and under what conditions?

    Responding to the absurd proposal, CIW spokesperson Lucas Benitez stated:

    "The farmworkers who pick the tomatoes for Burger King are among this country's worst paid, least protected workers. They earn poverty wages, have no right to overtime pay even when they work 60-70 hour weeks, and have no right to organize. And Burger King has an active hand in creating these unconscionable conditions, as its enormous volume purchasing allows it to demand lower and lower prices for its tomatoes, resulting in lower and lower wages for already exploited workers.

    "When presented with the opportunity to take a stand against the exploitation of farmworkers in their home state (Burger King is located in Florida, as is the CIW), Burger King executives refused. Instead, incredibly, they actually offered to address farmworker poverty by retraining tomato pickers to work in Burger King restaurants - eliminating farmworker poverty by eliminating farmworkers - adding insult to injury with such an obviously unworkable, and frankly pretty ridiculous idea."

    Although the Burger King is headquartered in Florida, Chicago DSA will initiate and participate in actions in the Chicago area to bring the pervo-king to justice. After Burger King, the CIW is looking at Subway and Wal-Mart.


    Looking for Roses in Unlikely Places

    by David S. Duhalde

    There seems to be an overwhelming belief that American socialists only live in urban settings and suburbs. Today's American leftist often considers the days of agrarian socialism as a footnote in our political history. In the times of Red and Blue states, there is a consensus that, aside from a handful of swing states, ideological influence will be determined by zip codes not potential of individuals and organizations. Many localities considered too conservative for an organized left-liberal presence were abandoned by numerous national institutions. That luxury of neglect is now over. The Left and our liberal allies can no longer afford to ignore the need to build left-wing activism everywhere. Connecting with nascent progressive movements around the country is not only necessary, but also has proven successful in many ways. The Young Democratic Socialists have grown by building solidarity with student and youth communities that have often lacked a strong Left. Such developments tap into the potential for revitalizing a democratic socialist project in the United States.

    Outside of YDS, the achievements I speak of are most prominently represented by Howard Dean's "50 State Plan." The "50 State Plan" is an effort by the Democratic National Committee to put resources into areas of the country where the Democratic Party was either defunct or barely functioning. This plan provides paid organizers who help build the party long-term. The idea of challenging the GOP and right-wing on their own turf proved to be controversial. Powerful Democrats, such as Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel, condemned the strategy. They would rather dedicate most funds towards highly contested races than in future investment. Dean and the plan's ultimate success proved the detractors to be "penny wise, but pound foolish." Not only were the Democrats able to win both houses, but the investment of staff and resources was credited with the rise in support for Democratic Party that exceeded the general anti-Republican backlash.

    DNC fundraisers would often hear stories about how grateful grassroots Democratic activist were to this strategy. They found that many wanted to participate in liberal politics, but their state parties often could not even field candidate much less build an electoral base. On my chapter visit to Bowling Green State University-Firelands I attended a small event hosted by one of the Ohio DNC organizers who personally thanked me. The ability of the Democratic Party to grow in neglected areas means that DSA and YDS can as well. The two political organizations are not mutually exclusive. A strong DSA and YDS often means stronger progressive pull in local Democratic Parties and College Democrats respectively. The revitalization of the American socialist project, however, will not happen because of a strengthen Democratic Party.

    Our goal should not be to duplicate the DNC strategy completely. Our organization does not have resources to put staff in every state. We can not measure our success in how many candidates we fielded or seats we picked up in a given election. What we can do is begin to challenge the notion of where we can build active groups of democratic socialists. This is where we can learn from fostering solidarity and providing support for progressive forces in conservative areas.

    I receive many inquires about YDS from all over the country. There has been an increase in requests from historical non-Left areas and campuses. This proves that there is 1) still a space for democratic socialist politics anywhere 2) there are many young people interested in being part of a democratic socialist project. Since I first started, students are now building YDS chapters in Wichita State University; Louisville, Kentucky; and Wise, Virginia. The viability of our new chapters relies not only in the support YDS organizationally can give. It also depends on what DSA is committed to do in terms of support for itself and the youth. The new DSA Atlanta local reaffirms the possibilities of organizational growth in a Red State.

    The reason we are growing across our country is because the raison d'etre of Democratic Socialists of America still is true. The students who join understand the limitations of single-issue organizations and electoral politics. They join us because they understand that to build any challenge to capitalism requires building a broad democratic Left that is both an electoral force and a social movement. We remain a catalyst for local coalition building with principled and pragmatic values wherever we are. It is up to democratic socialists, both young and young at heart, to build our locals and connect with comrades around the country. Despite our regional differences, we are united in our life-long commitment for a better world through socialism.

    Editor's Note: David Duhalde is DSA's youth organizer. He can be reached at 212.727.8610.


    The State of Abolition

    by Tom Broderick

    "Abolish the death penalty" was the headline of the only editorial in the Sunday, March 25th, 2007 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

    I started reading, figuring the headline was hyperbole leading to support of the right of the state to exterminate human beings. There would be some call for reform - some tinkering - so we could lay the issue to back to rest. Again. After all, this was a newspaper that has consistently backed capital punishment as governmental prerogative.

    About a third of the way down the first of two long columns, I had to stop. The editorial appeared to be rejecting a failed policy. I started reading again - from the beginning. The editorial ended with "It is time to stop killing in the people's name." The Chicago Tribune had joined the abolition movement.

    The Tribune laid out so many of the reasons: "Who gets a sentence of life and who gets death is often a matter of random luck, of politics, of geography, even a matter of racism . . . The evidence of mistakes, the evidence of arbitrary decisions, the sobering knowledge that government can't provide certainty that the innocent will not be put to death - all that prompts this call for an end to capital punishment."

    Although the Tribune omitted the issues of deliberate, official misconduct (railroading) and class (justice serves best those who can best afford it), the paper did an excellent job of making a reasoned case for abolition. One can only assume that the editorial board finally read and understood the five consecutive front page stories they published while former Governor George Ryan was contemplating emptying death row. The series trashed capital punishment in Illinois and won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize.

    The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ICADP) put together informational packets that included the Tribune 's new position on abolition along with the ICADP Annual Report and sent them to all members of the Illinois State Legislature.

    On April 19th, several abolitionists went to Springfield to call on specific legislators, primarily to discuss the future of an abolition bill that was in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Most, if not all, of the legislators we spoke with claimed to be unaware of the ICADP material. Positions on abolition were stagnant. Those who supported abolition, still did. Those who straddled the fence, still did. Those who supported execution, still did.

    The trip made clear that what seemed seismic - the Tribune's change of position - was not acknowledged by the very legislators who were needed to move the process along. Abolition of the death penalty was a non-starter in Springfield. In fact, one pro-abolition legislator said that the very recent multiple murders at Virginia Tech put luke-warm supporters of abolition in an uncomfortable position.

    Around the nation, popular and professional sentiment is turning against execution. Fewer death penalties are being sought. Fewer people are being sentenced to death. Several states have joined Illinois by enacting moratoriums on executions.

    The State Legislature is the only governmental body in Illinois that can abolish the death penalty. The ICADP is renewing efforts to talk with legislators in their home districts. This is happening in Chicago and in the Western suburbs. Discussion topics include the abolition bill, a bill to prohibit the execution of the severely mentally ill and a possible resurfacing of what is known as the "No Doubt" bill.

    "No Doubt" is supposed to replace "beyond a reasonable doubt," in the sentencing phase. Death cannot be imposed unless there is absolute certainty that the person convicted, deserves to be executed. This bill failed in the legislature once before, primarily because Illinois prosecutors felt it would essentially end capital punishment, and they were not about to let that happen. It was also controversial in the abolition community. Do we push for an abolition bill or do we let this bill possibly tighten the standards so much that prosecutors basically give up seeking death?

    The West Suburban Committee Against Capital Punishment (WSCACP) is a local chapter of the ICADP and we have been reaching out to legislators in our communities. These visits are nothing new, but we recognize that we must move beyond the handful of legislators we have safely established dialogue with.

    Most of the new contacts have been with Republicans to the west of our base, although one visit was to the newly elected LaShawn Ford, a Democrat from the 8th House District. He declared firm support for abolition and offered to help us reach out to portions of the west side of Chicago, where we (WSCACP) have done too little work. Representative Deborah Graham, D-78, another abolitionist, said she would help us contact members of the religious community on Chicago's west side. Rep. Graham has been a consistent supporter of abolition.

    The meetings with Republicans have ranged from interesting to banal. Representative Paul Froehlich (R-56) said he was personally opposed to execution and cited the five consecutive front-page news stories that I mentioned earlier as key to his position. He also said that no constituent has ever talked with him about the death penalty, so he would not champion abolition. On the other hand, he is willing to co-sponsor a bill to keep the severely mentally ill from being executed.

    Senator Christine Radogno (R-41) and Representative Sandra Pihos (R-42) were non-committal. They both expressed appreciation for the information we brought, but didn't feel the issue was one that resonated with their voter base or with their peers in Springfield. Rep. Pihos said she had no idea how the legislators who sat to her left and right felt about capital punishment. Senator Radogno said that in time, abolition would happen, but not soon. She felt abolitionists were ahead of our time, by perhaps fifty years.

    We also met with Representative Angelo Saviano (R-77), who has an office in the suburb of River Grove. Rep. Saviano was unaware of the Chicago Tribune editorial. He judged capital punishment to be a moral issue that nobody wants to touch.

    Senator Dan Cronin (R-21) of Elmhurst is one legislator we still plan to meet.

    If any New Ground reader wants to get involved in these visits, and help make Illinois an abolition state, please call Tom Broderick at 708 938 1546 (work) or at 708 386 6007 (home). We are trying to make sure that legislators hear from their constituents, as this is frequently key in arranging meetings as well as focusing votes.


    Other News

    compiled by Bob Roman

    Election in Oak Park

    ( reprinted from New Ground 111.3)

    In Oak Park, the Village Citizens Alliance (VCA) was soundly beaten in the race for Village Board Trustees. We were beaten by a ratio of between 3:1 and 4:1, coming in a distant 2nd in a contest featuring three slates. The Venal Marauders Association (VMA, aka Village Managers Association), the slate bought and paid for by the developers of downtown Oak Park, won all four seats.

    The VCA slate included Gary Schwab, a DSA Comrade. Chicago DSA endorsed his candidacy and some of our members held a fund raising hootenanny in the home of Ron Baiman. Our membership raised over $500.00 in individual contributions for the campaign and several members of the Greater Oak Park branch of DSA worked in the campaign.

    We were out-spent and out-trooped. The VMA had a run of over 50 years of constant power until the election of 2005, when they lost every board seat they ran for. This loss came primarily because of a back door deal with a wealthy developer to build a high rise rental housing project in Oak Park. The tax-payers of Oak Park subsidized this project to the tune of at least $10 million: tax-payer money to subsidize the haves and the have-mores.

    Since that loss, there have been two years of turmoil on the Board and the people of Oak Park are not used to this. The local papers have made much of this divisiveness - the result of an actually more diverse Board. During this election cycle, the Wednesday Journal (the local village paper), primarily through columnists, urged a return to VMA management.

    The VMA responded to their historic loss in 2005 by doing a great job of organizing and fund-raising. They reported raising over $70,000 for this election, which is a staggering sum of money for our Village Board elections. They have also been investigated for not reporting where some of their money has come from.

    In the defeat speeches last night, Schwab used the words "class war," which is not an expression often heard in local politics. He also wrote all but one of the position papers for the slate. These were published in the Wednesday Journal, week after week. Jim Balanoff, another VCA candidate also raised the issue of labor problems between Village Management and the labor unions working for us in the Village.

    The VCA platform - and only the VCA platform - included positions on labor that our candidates agreed to support. These included an acceptance of the arbitration process, which Village Management routinely disregards. Instead, they hire an outside law firm to fight arbitration: Oak Park tax dollars used to attack an agreed upon settlement process.

    The people of Oak Park - at least those who voted - voted for a return to smooth Board operations. The VMA promised that and the voters delivered. When the VMA operates as usual, will the voters rise up in anger again?

    My what sharp teeth you have, Grandma! Tom Broderick

    Election in Chicago

    By now, you've probably read about the Chicago municipal elections being a tremendous victory for labor: upwards of $3,000,000 spent to elect seven new aldermen in the 50 member City Council; incumbents with years - decades, really, of seniority defeated. Even allowing for the usual verbal diarrhea of punditry, it was an impressive achievement. For the first time since the 1920s, organized labor acted as an independent actor in Chicago politics: recruiting candidates, targeting unfavorable incumbents, and not simply acting as an auxiliary for the powers that be. Even more impressive was the degree of consensus achieved by the labor movement, the most notable exception (there were a few others) being the 32nd Ward (where the Chicago DSA office is located) where the incumbent, Ted Matlak was endorsed by the Chicago Federation of Labor, AFSCME, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Matlak was very narrowly defeated in the run-off election by Scott Waguespack, who had been endorsed by SEIU and the Teamsters. (FYI, there were 25 candidates who shared chamber of commerce and labor endorsements.)

    I think three observations are worth making.

    First, the labor movement was blessed by working if not in a vacuum then in very rare air. Aside from the individual candidates' (particularly incumbents') own organizations, no other groups in Chicago intervened with the resources of the labor movement. The fabled Chicago Machine is dead, mostly, having degenerated into bank accounts; I don't believe the Cook County Democratic Party even ventured to make endorsements this time.

    Second, despite all the good work, it's not clear to me, at least, how much of an effect labor's campaigns had. Voter turn-out was lame. Candidate recruitment was probably the more important effort, but even here it was possible to discern the outlines of several proto-mayoral campaigns (aborted by Democratic control of the U.S. House of Representatives) among the aldermanic candidates. And local ward politics and changing demographics often turned out to be more of a determining factor. Michael Chandler, originally elected as Alderman of the 24th Ward by the New Party, had all of labor's endorsements, Citizen Action, Independent Voters of Illinois, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, but ended up losing anyway. My own Alderman, Joe Moore of the 49th, a poster-boy for the labor movement and the peace movement, came within a hair of being beaten. I would suggest to labor that some additional dollars for post-election research might be useful.

    Finally, while these campaigns may increase the labor movement's appreciation of itself as a class, I suspect if the movement is to build on and repeat this effort in the next municipal election, it will depend on two things. One is that the new City Council expedites the next round of contract negotiations with the city; if these campaigns don't bring home the bacon, they're hard to justify. The other is that the labor movement doesn't become split among competing mayoral candidates, something it was able to avoid this election as none of Daley's opponents showed many signs of life.

    Having said all these sour things, I truly do hope that Chicago labor keeps up this level of intervention in local politics.

    Chicago DSA made no endorsements in the Chicago elections, but we did create a web page that listed organizational endorsements and served as a portal to individual candidates' web sites. The page was requested nearly 5,000 times during the four months of campaigning: not a "hot" spot by web standards, but looked at another way, this would amount to about 1% of the ballots cast. Bob Roman

    Health Care for All

    HB 311, the "single-payer" universal health insurance program for Illinois, received a boost after Dr. Quentin Young and Nicholas Skala were invited by Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to speak to the Illinois House Democratic Caucus. The two hour session belonged entirely to HB 311, and resulted in LaShawn Ford signing on as a co-sponsor. HB 311 will be assigned to a committee and hearings scheduled. This is significant progress as this step was not inevitable.

    The standard cynical speculation is that this is Michael Madigan's way of sticking it to Governor Blagojevich, a view made rather more credible by the progress Blagojevich's health care plan and tax increase has made in the Illinois Senate in contrast with the House. Or it could be Madigan's way of throwing paint on the wall to see what sticks. Both could be true.

    Speaking of paint, the Health Care for All Illinois coalition has announced that SEIU Illinois and SEIU Local 73 have endorsed HB 311. Chicago DSA has also endorsed HB 311. For more information, go to http://www.healthcareforallillinois.org .

    In the meantime, Blagojevich's health care plan, SB 5, passed out of the Illinois Senate's Public Health Committee on a straight party line vote. His Gross Receipts Tax and education proposal, SB 1, passed the Senate's Executive Committee with all the Republicans and one Democrat voting against it.

    While Blagojevich's SB 5 is more vulnerable to Illinois' fiscal anemia than HB 311, neither would work given the current state of affairs. The Illinois AFL-CIO (including SEIU Illinois) has been urging folks to call their legislators with the message that the debate over the Gross Receipts Tax is really a debate over health care. Just to make sure all the players understand there are resources on the side of this argument, they took a full page ad in the Springfield Journal-Register as well.

    I don't know about the relative merits and demerits of SB 1, but Blagojevich's threat to veto other solutions was probably not a wise move. Throwing paint on the wall may not be all that great a method, but it seems preferable to painting oneself into a corner.

    The Campaign for Better Health Care has started running TV ads in the Springfield market in support of health care reform. They also intend to run the ad in particular legislative districts where the legislators need to hear the message. For more information, go to http://www.cbhconline.org . Bob Roman

    May Day

    Over 150,000 people marched and rallied for immigrant rights on May Day in Chicago this year. Despite being smaller than last year's May Day march, it was an impressive and inspiring accomplishment. It was made doubly impressive by the fact Chicago was the only city where the movement had not fragmented into multiple marches and rallies. U.S. flags were overwhelmingly predominant this year, bringing to mind many of the civil rights marches in the 1960s.

    A few hundred people gathered by the Haymarket monument west of the Loop in what is now an annual event to "reclaim May Day" for the labor movement. The difference in size between the two events overstates, maybe by an order of magnitude, the difference in popular support for the ideological left versus the immigrant rights movement. There was a distinguished program of speakers at the labor rally, and it was surely inspirational, but one gets the feeling the labor movement is glad to reclaim May Day in much the same way some great-grand nephew receives a family heirloom of undetermined value and uncertain history. It is, nonetheless, a worthy project that may someday be fruitful.

    Chicago DSA's involvement in these events was peripheral. We were not involved in any of the planning. We did endorse both the immigrant rights march and rallies, and the labor rally at the Haymarket monument. We provided a targeted postcard mailing advertising both. Not more than a day after the post office took custody of the cards, plans for the labor rally (driven by the changing plans for the immigrant rights march) had changed. Bob Roman

    Yum!

    At its 2007 shareholders' meeting mid-May, Yum Brands confirmed that it has extended its Taco Bell agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to all five of its brands: KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W Restaurants, and Long John Silvers. For more information, go to http://www.ciw-online.org .

    Eugene V. Debs Foundation

    This year the Eugene V. Debs Foundation's annual banquet will be Saturday, October 6, in Terre Haute, Indiana. This year the honoree will be Barbara Ehrenreich. Tickets are not on sale yet, but they ask folks to save the date. The Eugene V. Debs Foundation maintains the Debs' family home in Terre Haute, Indiana, as a public museum. For more information (including an online tour of the home), visit http://www.eugenevdebs.com .


    New Ground #112.1

    07.07.2007

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Reminder for DSA Members
    New at chicagodsa.org
    Young Democratic Socialists Summer Conference
    Democratic Left
    The Activist

    1. Politics

    Those Blood-Sucking Immigrants and Health Care
    Finland Is Soft on Crime
    Partial Victory for Community Television

    2. Democratic Socialism

    The Rise and Fall of Libertarian Socialist Movements

    3. Upcoming Events of Interest

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    DSA News

    Reminder for DSA Members
    We don't have that many membership meetings for the Chicago chapter, but we do have Executive Committee meetings on the second Tuesday evening of most months. All DSA members are welcome to attend and contribute their thoughts and opinions and whatever. July 10, being the next second Tuesday, is the occasion for the upcoming "EC" meeting at the Chicago DSA office at 1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403, Chicago. Starts at 7 PM; be there and get a big hello. The next membership meeting, incidentally, is scheduled for September to elect delegates to the DSA National Convention in November. Stay tuned for date and time.

    New at chicagodsa.org
    The email edition of New Ground may have been on vacation (you were wondering?), but new content has somehow been appearing on the Chicago DSA web site. Mostly, it's been stuff about the Debs -Thomas - Harrington Dinner. Photos, program book (in PDF form), and other material from the 2007 Dinner is at:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d2007/index.html

    Pages for five earlier Dinners are also newly posted. The 1973 Dinner honored the President of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, Murray Finley, and heard Stephen Lewis from the Canadian New Democratic Party as the featured speaker:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1973/index.html

    The 1972 Dinner honored Brendan Sexton and heard Michael Harrington speak, but we have very little other information about this event:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1972/index.html

    The 1971 Dinner honored Patrick Gorman, President of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters. This was the first Dinner where an award was presented. Bruce Miller of the Wayne County, Michigan, Democratic Party and Frederick O'Neal, President of Actors Equity spoke:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1971/index.html

    The 1970 Dinner was to feature Michael Harrington and David Selden as speakers, but Selden ended up in jail, instead, for defending the right of teachers to strike in New Jersey. It was also the occasion for a Midwest regional YPSL (Young Peoples Socialist League) conference:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1970/index.html

    We have almost no information about the 1969 Dinner, but what we have is at:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1969/index.html

    The 1982 Thomas - Debs Dinner honored the late Carl Shier, and it has been updated with some additional material:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1982/index.html

    You'd think we'd know what is in our own files, but many of the photographs are not only unlabeled but are in the form of contact sheets. For those youngsters unfamiliar with the old technology of chemical photography, these are pages of photos, each photo about the size of "thumbnails" on the web albeit of much better resolution, done because making prints was a significant expense. You can imagine that, unfamiliar with the individuals and separated by time, it's often difficult to place these photos. So maybe it's not such a surprise that a few sheets of contact photos were just discovered from the 1978 Thomas - Debs Dinner. This was essentially a retirement party for liberal state legislator Robert Mann. We don't know the program so we don't know all the people or their role. See if you can fill in the blanks:
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1978/index.html

    Some of the material posted is the fruit of research done several years ago by then UofC YDS member, Ken Okamoto (see 1971 in particular). Sorry it took so long, Ken! By this time next year, we hope to have posted at least some material on every Dinner. We have some unposted years documented by photos or articles in our files, but a few years, still, remain blanks. They will require additional research, and your assistance could well benefit all of them.

    Young Democratic Socialists Summer Conference
    August 11 and 12 in New York City:
    "The political stakes are high as we approach 2008. This past spring showcased numerous heated battles within the American polity. The American Left, especially the youth, need a coherent and collective response to national divisions on issues such as the war in Iraq, education, and immigration. When the Left does unite in mass rallies and gatherings, however, it is often difficult for us share our respective ideas and beliefs - let alone get to know one another. For those reasons, and more, YDS is hosting a Socialist Summer School to join our student activism with our socialist values. Having a solid socialist foundation makes any progressive activist smarter and stronger. The Socialist Summer School is an excellent opportunity for young movement builders to get together and learn from one another while at the same time discovering new and different ways to organize and bring about positive change. With a smaller, more intimate setting, individual voices will carry greater weight and we can have a stronger flow of ideas. Don't pass up this invitation to a weekend of building not only the progressive movement, but friendships with the people who share your life-long commitment to social change."
    For more information, go to:
    http://www.ydsusa.org/news/summerschool2007

    Democratic Left
    For those of you not members of DSA (or for DSA members in disfavor with the postal gods), the Summer, 2007, issue of Democratic Left is posted (in PDF format) on the web. The contents include articles by Cornel West, Dr. Walter Tsou ("Health Care and the 2008 Candidates"), Bill Lucy of AFSCME and CBTU, and others:
    http://www.dsausa.org/dl/Summer_2007.pdf

    The Activist
    is an electronic avatar of the YDS occasional publication of some years ago. This latest version is starting out with some lively and thoughtful content. Check it out at:
    http://www.theactivist.org

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    Politics

    Those Blood-Sucking Immigrants and Health Care
    Restrictionist politicians and talking heads concur that immigrants in the United States are a burden on our health care system. A decade ago this belief contributed to legislation that limited immigrants' access to the health care system. Today, similar sentiments misinform the current debate over immigration reform. The five most prevalent of these myths are:

    • U.S. public health insurance programs are overburdened with documented and undocumented immigrants.
    • Immigrants consume large quantities of limited health care resources.
    • Immigrants come to the United States to gain access to health care services.
    • Restricting immigrants' access to the health care system will not affect American citizens.
    • Undocumented immigrants are "free-riders" in the American health care system.

    These myths have influenced policymaking and sparked federal efforts to preclude immigrants' access to the health care system. The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, for example, put a five-year ban on eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits programs for recent immigrants. These same eligibility restrictions were also included in the State Children's Health Insurance Program enacted in 1997. Then, as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, U.S. citizens are now required to provide proof of citizenship when applying for Medicaid benefits, with the intention of preventing immigrants from obtaining Medicaid coverage.

    The Center for American Progress has just recently released a report by Meredith L. King that examines these assertions in detail and discovers they are. . . myths, mostly. The full report is available at:
    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/06/immigrant_health_report.html

    Finland Is Soft on Crime
    Tom Broderick just opened the latest issue of New Politics and found several articles of interest. In particular, for death penalty abolitionists and others concerned with criminal justice, see "Finland Is Soft on Crime" by Dan Gardner. Tom had several other articles in mind from the same issue, but just as there is no Santa, not everything is available on the web, Virginia. Check out Finland at:
    http://www.wpunj.edu/~newpol/issue43/Gardner43.htm

    Partial Victory for Community Television
    Past issues of New Ground have urged folks to support community access television (often acronymed as PEG TV: Public, Education, and Government) against an AT&T sponsored bill (HB1500) that would have cut the legs out from under these services on local cable. Well, we didn't get all we wanted, but Governor Blagojevich did sign an Illinois Senate version of the bill, SB 678, that provides some protections for this programming and for consumers. See:
    http://www.keepusconnected.org

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    Democratic Socialism

    The Rise and Fall of Libertarian Socialist Movements
    A few Chicago area anarchists are driven up the wall by labor's and most of the rest of the left's claim on Haymarket and May 1st. Despite the anarchists' misbehavior and whether they like it or not, libertarian socialism is part of the democratic socialist community. The latest issue of New Politics includes an interesting review of the history of revolutionary syndicalist unionism, "Revolutionary Unionism: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" by Dan Jakopovich, a particularly nice piece as the web version has links useful for pursuing the subject. Check it out at:
    http://www.wpunj.edu/~newpol/issue43/Jakopovic43.htm

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    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Monday, July 9, 7 PM
    Renaissance 2010: on the Front Lines
    In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
    This new documentary examines the Chicago Public Schools' controversial Renaissance 2010 program. An Open University of the Left event.
    http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org

    Thursday, July 19, 7 PM
    From Climate Change to Climate Justice
    In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
    Science writer Tim Montague discusses linkages between global warming and climate justice. An Open University of the Left event.
    http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org


    New Ground #112.2

    07.16.2007

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Socialist International Council Meets
    Toward an Economic Justice Agenda

    1. Upcoming Events of Interest

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    DSA News

    Socialist International Council Meets

    The Socialist International Council met in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 29 through 30. The theme of the meeting was "Peace and Stability in a World of Conflicts Without Borders". The Council adopted a "declaration" on the central theme of the meeting. On the subject of Iraq, the declaration begins:

    "Iraq is a reality which deeply affects us every day. Along with our anguish at the continuation of the vulnerable situation in which the Iraqi people live, the Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the country's leaders who persist tenaciously and courageously in their efforts to build a free, democratic and peaceful society, to end terror and to be able to advance as a sovereign nation in the building of a modern, inclusive society, with opportunities for all. Whilst recalling previous resolutions of the SI, we call for the end of the presence of all international troops and for their withdrawal as soon as possible when circumstances allow and with the support of the Iraqi people."

    So read more, go to:
    http://www.socialistinternational.org/6Meetings/Council/Geneva-June07/DeclarationGeneva-e.html

    The Council also formed a Commission for a Sustainable World Society "to develop a common approach and proposals by the social democratic movement to face the pressing issues of climate change, energy and governance."
    For more information on the Geneva Council, go to:
    http://www.socialistinternational.org/6Meetings/Council/Geneva-June07/Council-e.html

    Toward an Economic Justice Agenda

    DSA has been circulating at various national venues (e.g. U.S. Social Forum, UFPJ National Assembly) a document that, broadly, attempts to define in concrete terms the "Justice" that is so popular in organizational titles these days. See:
    http://www.dsausa.org/lowwage/lowwage1.html

    Chicago DSA member Ron Baiman offers this alarming prospect:

    Feedback: "Toward an Economic Justice Agenda"

    I like the document but feel that it does not give enough weight to:

    1) US trade imbalance and its relationship to government deficits, to expanded public goods provision, and to income redistribution.
    2) the demise of US productive capacity, and stagnant and declining high wage job growth in the US economy.

    The focus on distribution: progressive taxation, public goods, labor rights, and "raise the floor" fair trade; is good, but I think needs to be complemented by a vigorous productive and sustainable investment and growth, and radical trade rebalancing, agenda.

    Redistribution measures could help but are inadequate for dealing with these fundamental problems of our now sick domestic economy. In fact, without dealing with the trade issue, progressive taxation and military spending cuts that reduce government deficits and wage increases, are likely to cause further international trade imbalance and national and global macroeconomic instability and recession.

    I'm afraid that extreme measures are now necessary if the US (and possibly) world economy are to get restarted along a more progressive bath.

    A Solidarity Trade and "World Marshall Plan" Agenda

    Growth in world trade and investment is generally in the global interest as it is likely to increase economies of scale and scope, specialization, and productivity, and diversity and quality of goods and services, even if true environmental impacts are taken into account; and is necessary to equalize global development.

    However, massively unbalanced and unsustainable world trade regimes such as we have today are not in the global or US economic interest and there is absolutely no theoretical and practical support for the notion that "free markets" will rebalance the international trading system (see author's paper on the fundamental inconsistency of Ricardo's theory even with exchange rate fluctuation, for example). This can only be done through collective policy measures that stabilize (and ultimately increase) global trade. In today's world these measures must also include strict environmental impact considerations. The US needs to lead this effort for obvious reasons. The "free trade" will-o-wisp needs to be directly and forcibly confronted.

    Even under WTO rules, as an emergency member, the US can immediately cap import expansion and put in place policies to gradually but forcibly reduce the trade deficit through import reduction and export expansion (see: "The Establishment Rethinks Globalization, by William Greider, The Nation, 4/30/2007). This needs to be done in partnership with low wage high surplus trading partners (especially China and Mexico), possibly through "solidarity trade" policies that rebate US tariffs on low-wage (and social and environmental cost) production to countries of origin with enforceable guarantees that these funds are used to raise labor, and social and environmental standards, thus developing internal markets that will induce both more sustainable economic development and more balanced trade relationships. The effort here would not be to cut trade but rather to use direct policy measures to rebalance trade and supply credit (see below) so that developing countries are the beneficiaries of real trade deficits as they import capital goods and necessities that raise their productivity and quality of life.

    These policies should ultimately (as global development improves) be unambiguously based on the following two straightforward principles: a) consumers should be willing to pay a price for consumer goods that is sufficient to compensate workers at a standard of living comparable to that of the consumers, b) workers should receive adequate income to buy what they produce.

    Care must be taken that these policies increase investment and income in less developed countries and raises the "bottom-up", as the document currently emphasizes. This can only be achieved by severely restricting the "right" of private capital investors to exert continuous downward pressure on wages and social spending in the global economy. For example, higher wage and social and environmental spending, countries could negotiate increases in wage levels and social and environmental regulation, in return for lower tariffs on low-wage goods. In addition, a massive global "Mashall plan" could be implemented, that would transfer both financial credit and institutional and technological capacity to developing countries with the aim of developing internal markets and exports that are sufficient to offset real import needs.

    The effort here would be to lift the rest of the developing world, and particularly those countries with the most dire needs, rather than having almost all of north-south FDI flow to developing countries with the greatest profit potential and greatest ability to leverage large market and labor force potential (particularly China). The point is that "free market" led global capital accumulation, without policy management or social constraints, is most likely to lead to slower and more polarized outcome that is less beneficial, and possibly severely damaging, to short and long-run global economic, as well as social and environmental, development, than a more managed and constrained process of accumulation.

    Agreements also need to be reached with high-wage countries with persistently large trade surpluses, like Japan, that lead to gradual, but enforceable, trade surplus elimination, based on a mutual understanding that perpetual world trade imbalance is simply not sustainable.

    In the Neo-liberal period a global rentier class has reaped enormous rewards at the expense of workers and general global growth and economic prosperity. "Managed trade" regimes, such as occurred in the Bretton Woods (1945-1970) period are linked to both fairer and greater economic growth. Under this regime individual countries actively managed trade deficits to prevent unsustainable imbalance, under international agreements that (though they did not go far enough) stimulated overall real trade growth. Trade in that period grew faster than in the subsequent Neo-Liberal (1980-present) period.

    Productive Investment in the US Economy

    We need to address to address the massive "deindustrialization" of our economy. I have looked at the last three business cycle expansions in Illinois and found that in the most recent "upturn" from 2001 to 2005, there has been almost no net job gain. Rather there has been a massive loss of over 127,000 (average income $45,000 per year) manufacturing and over 35,000 information sector ($53,000) jobs (about 62% of jobs lost), offset by gains in: Health care ($34,000), food service and accommodations ($14,000), and management of companies and enterprises ($89,000) (about 59% of jobs gained) - all data from 2001 and 2005 BEA state income estimates.

    Data on state level investment is impossible to obtain, but the US picture looks exceedingly dismal. Though US corporations (unlike middle and lower income households) are awash in cash after one of the greatest profit run-ups in recent history, net business investment in "equipment and software" (the component investment most closely linked to productivity ­ this does not include "plant": for example: malls, office buildings, and houses, or "inventory") in 2001-2005 is the weakest of any post-war decade (from BEA data).

    We cannot keep shedding high wage and productive jobs in tradable goods sectors for low-end service and financial "rentier" work. This is a recipe for long term economic decline, not prosperity and welfare state expansion.

    We need a major productive investment strategy that would:


    a) provide incentives for productive investment in tradable goods in the US
    b) penalize "out sourcing" of production and low-wage job creation, especially as a substitute for formerly domestic and higher-wage jobs.
    c) major increases in public funding of long-term R&D, especially in efficient and sustainable energy and materials use, and of infrastructure (high speed trains, "green" housing, "reconfiguration" and cessation of urban sprawl),
    d) policies that would stimulate massive public and private investment in poor urban and rural economies
    e) force productive investment by enacting "confiscatory" taxes on "rentier" investment and income", and re-imposing strict regulation on speculative financial (gambling) activities

    Conclusion

    Without forcefully addressing these trade and investment issues, I fear that efforts on progressive taxation, public goods provision, defense spending cuts, and wage increases, will be severely limited by continued national (and possibly global) economic stagnation and decline.

    For example, putting our public finances on a more sustainable course by reducing the massive federal government deficit will lead directly to a major recession if the trade imbalance is not corrected beforehand, as this deficit is currently a critical source of macroeconomic demand stimulus. Similarly, efforts to reduce sky rocketing US household debt (comparable in its trajectory to Gore's CO2 emissions chart) without addressing the trade imbalance by raising wages and incomes, or through progressive redistribution, will have a similar affect, as it would induce increased spending on imports with no corresponding increase in exports.

    Our national economy is in very bad shape, and the illness, I'm afraid is more severe than lack of economic "justice" though these problems are related in many ways. Without forceful policy intervention on trade and real productive investment, our economy itself, i.e. our ability to make what we need and materially support an advanced (somewhat!) democratic (even in limited areas) civilization, will continue to deteriorate and appears headed for a major crash.

    For instructive models of countries with generous public services (that in some cases account for over half of national GDP) and high level investment and labor force participation strategies that lead to productive export sectors and sustainable public sector provision, see: Huber and Stephens "Globalization and the European Welfare State", Democratic Left, Spring 2007.

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    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Compiled by Libby Frank

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Thursday, July 19, 7 PM
    From Climate Change to Climate Justice
    In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
    Science writer Tim Montague discusses linkages between global warming and climate justice. An Open University of the Left event.
    http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org

    Saturday, July 21, Noon to 5 PM
    Counter-Recruitment Leafleting
    Ethnic Arts Festival, Dawes Park (1700 N. Sheridan), Evanston
    Join various organizations to do counter recruitment leafleting at this festival. Meet at the main stage in the park. For information, contact Sheena Gibbs, AFSC, 312.427.2533.

    Saturday, July 21, Noon to 1 PM
    End the Occupation Vigil
    Washington Street bridge, Naperville
    Sponsored by the End the Occupation Coalition of Northern Illinois. For information, go to http://www.angelfire.com/hero/eto

    Saturday, July 21, 2 PM
    The Ground Truth
    Chicago Public Library, Kimball and Irving Park, Chicago
    Movie and discussion. Sponsored by Albany Park Neighbors for Peace, 773.250.3335

    Thursday, July 26, 5 PM to 10 PM
    Counter-Recruitment Leafleting
    Fiesta Del Sol, 1400 W. Cermak, Chicago
    Join various organizations to do counter recruitment leafleting at this festival. For information, contact Sheena Gibbs, AFSC, 312.427.2533.

    Thursday, July 26, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
    Chocolates for Choice
    Ethel's Chocolates, 819 W. Armitage, Chicago
    Fundraiser for Chicago NOW. $15 for NOW members and students, $20 for others. Sponsored by Chicago NOW: 312.578.9351 or http://www.chicagonow.org

    Thusday, July 26, 7 PM
    From Sicko to Sanity: the Case for Single Payer Health Care and How Do We Get It?
    Jane Addams Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
    Panel discussion featuring Dr. Quentin Young, Sheilah Garland-Olaniran, Patty Mccann, Helen Redmond. Sponsored or endorsed by: National Nurses Organizing Committee-Chicago, The Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Pilsen Green Party, Second City Green Party, International Socialist Organization-Chicago (list in formation) For information call 773.902.5282.

    Thursday, July 26, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
    The Privatizing of Iraqi Oil
    Beth Emet Synagogue, 1224 W. Dempster, Evanston
    Sponsored by AFSC, North Suburban Peace Initiative. See http://nspipeace.org/new/

    Friday, July 27, Noon to 5 PM
    Counter-Recruitment Leafleting
    Fiesta Del Sol, 1400 W. Cermak, Chicago
    Join various organizations to do counter recruitment leafleting at this festival. For information, contact Sheena Gibbs, AFSC, 312.427.2533.

    Sunday, July 29, 2 PM - 5 PM
    Darfur Diaries
    Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St, Oak Park
    Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice: http://www.opctj.org

    Monday, July 30, 7 PM
    The Dialectics of Globalization
    In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
    Professor of History, Jerry Harris. An Open University of the Left event. http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org

    Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5
    Vietnam Veterans Against the War 40th Anniversary
    Roosevelt University, Congress and Michigan, Chicago
    See http://www.vvaw.org/events/40th/ or call 773.276.4189

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    PLEASE FORWARD TO THOSE YOU THINK WOULD BE INTERESTED.

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    Chicago Democratic Socialists of America
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