New Ground 144
September -- October, 2012
DSA in the News
144.1 -- 10.01.2012
0. DSA News
DSA in the News
What About the Farm Workers?
by Tom Broderick
Wal-Mart Warehouse Workers on Strike
The State of Working America
August Jobs Report
Chicago's Low-Wage Economy
Robin Hood Tax
Citizen Action/Illinois Endorsements
2. Ars Politica
Chicago International Social Change
3. Democratic Socialism
How the Left Has Won?
4. Upcoming Events of Interest
144.2 -- 10.16.2012
0. DSA News
DSA in the News
Commodify Your Dissent
Chicago Needs GOOD Jobs
Robin Hood Tax
Victory at Chipotle
Warehouse Workers Win
Seven Days That Shook the Windy City
Boycott American Crystal Sugar
The September Jobs Report
The Coke or Pepsi Election?
2. Democratic Socialism
The Future Must Be Socialist
The Cooperative Revolution
SBA Lending for Coops?
Port Huron @ 50
3. Upcoming Events of Interest
144.3 -- 11.01.2012
0. DSA News
DSA in the News
Strategies to End Student Debt
Stable Jobs, Stable Communities
Yet Another Election Round Table
You Know, Obama's Really Not from Around Here
2. Ars Politica
Smiley & West
4. Democratic Socialism
The Welfare State of America
Marxism, the 21st Century and Social Transformation
Why Investment Must Be Socialized
5. Upcoming Events of Interest
Teachers Go On Strike
by Bill Barclay
On Monday, September 10, 2012 the Chicago
teachers went on strike -- their first in almost 25 years. The
road to the strike has been a long one that includes (i) efforts
by the hedge fund elite behind Stand for (on) Children (SFC)
to make such an occurrence impossible; (ii) the desire of Chicago
Mayor Rahm Emanuel to impose on Chicago public schools a model
of corporate privatization; and (iii) important changes in the
functioning of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
Stand on Children: The efforts
of SFC are by now well known. A brief review: after spending
almost $4 million on Illinois legislative races, SFC got as payoff
SB7. The bill made it impossible for the CTU to pass a strike
vote -- or so SFC CEO Jonah Edelman bragged in June 2011to the
Aspen Ideas Festival that "The unions cannot strike in Chicago."
Edelman and his allies figured that the requirement for 75% approval
for a strike with the further provision that abstentions counted
as no votes could not be met.
Turns out they were wrong.
In early July, CTU membership voted
by over 90% (and excluding abstentions, by 98%) to authorize
their house of delegates to call a strike if contract negotiations
Public Schools: When Emanuel ran for mayor of Chicago, one of
his announced political goals was to "reform" Chicago
public schools. The system is the third largest in the country
and has a high percentage of children from low-income families
(80% of Chicago's public school attendees qualify for free lunches).
To understand what "reform" means to Emanuel, we should
take the advice of Deep Throat regarding Nixon's Watergate, "Follow
the money." It is a good guide to what Chicago is and is
not doing for its school children.
TIF monies nicely illuminate the real
priorities of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Board of Education.
Earlier this year, Roosevelt University Professor Stephanie Farmer's
demonstrated that TIF spending for education over the past
two decades has been biased against open enrollment schools (what
we use to call "public schools"). These schools constitute
69% of total Chicago schools, but they have received less than
48% of TIF money for building maintenance, repair, and upgrading.
In revealing contrast, nine selective-enrollment high schools
(charter and magnet) that make up 1 percent of the total number
of schools got 24 percent of the money spent on school construction
projects. Overall, CTU estimates that TIFs remove $250 million/year
from the CPS. This is almost half of the budget shortfall forecast
by the Board.
The charter school mantra reigns supreme
in the thinking of both Emanuel and his appointed Board of Education.
In analyzing the Board's proposed budget, the CTU pointed out
"increases charter school spending
by 17 percent, but does not address the rampant inequality in
education programs across the district. In 2002, charter school
spending was about $30 million; now, CPS proposes a whopping
half-a-billion dollars to a failed reform program that has been
shown to provide its students with no better education outcomes."
The last decade has seen a huge growth
in (non-unionized) charter schools despite lack of any evidence
of their alleged effectiveness. Chicago's 600 plus schools include
110 charters and another 27 schools run by private firms. Meanwhile
what is the situation for the bulk of Chicago school children?
A quarter of the open enrollment elementary schools have no libraries,
40% have neither either art nor music instruction while many
others must choose one or the other but can't get both.
Mayor Emanuel sends his children to
the private Chicago Lab School -- where all of these "extras"
The CTU: Finally, what about
the CTU? The union has undergone significant changes in how it
functions and defines its constituency. In 2010, Karen Lewis
of CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) was elected president
of the CTU, a victory that was underlined by the success of other
CORE candidates for trustees and Vice President. Lewis, a former
chemistry teacher, immediately set about both democratizing the
internal operations of the union and, importantly, building links
between the union and parents. Thus the current strike is not
primarily about wages but, as the excellent study produced by
CTU says, The Schools Chicago's Students Deserve. The study outlines a vision of the future for
Chicago's school children that is sharply at odds with that of
SFC and the mayor but that resonates with parents and children
in the schools. CTU's study calls for the expansion of art and
music programs, more "wrap around" services to reach
at risk children, to recognize that class size matters (Emanuel
has talked about going as high as 55 students in a class), equalizing
funding across schools. These are all pieces of a vision that
should be embraced by true education reformers -- but the study
has been largely ignored by those who currently run the CPS.
The CTU has laid the groundwork for
a true labor/community fight for the future of Chicago's children
and, at the same time is pointing the way for other public sector
unions in this era of austerity for the 99%. Now is the time
for all of us to support them in their time of trial. You can
go HERE for ways to provide that support.
Editor's Note: This article was first
posted at http://www.dissentmagazine.org
Books for Labor Day
by Peg Strobel
Doreen Cronon; pictures by
Betsy Lewin, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Simon
& Schuster, 2000), 2001 Caldecott Honor Book, ages 2-5.
Kathleen Krull; illustrated
by Yuyi Morales, Harvest of Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez
(Harcourt, 2003), Spanish and English editions, JAPA Winner for
Younger Children, 2004, ages 6-9.
Diana Cohn, illustrated by
Francisco Delgado, ¡Sí Se Puede! Yes, We Can!
Janitor Strike in L.A. (Cinco Puntos Press, 2002), English
and Spanish in same edition, 32 pp., JAPA Honor Book, 2003, ages
5 and up.
George Ella Lyon, artwork
by Christopher Cardinale, Which Side Are You On? The Story
of a Song (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011), 35 pp., grades 2-6.
Scott Reynolds Nelson with
Marc Aronson, Ain't Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the
Real John Henry (National Geographic, 2008), with photographs
and illustrations, 64 pp. JAPA Honor Book for Older Children,
Elizabeth Winthrop, Counting
on Grace (Wendy Lamb Books, 2006), 227 pp. JAPA Honor Book
for Older Children, 2007.
It's sometimes a challenge to find engaging
books about work, solidarity or unions that are educational without
being didactic. Many of the books listed above have been honored
by the Jane
Addams Peace Association (JAPA), which, together with the
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, has presented
awards since 1953 to books "that effectively promote the
cause of peace, social justice, world community,
and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting
conventional standards for excellence."
Click, Clack, Moo is great for reading to young kids, and pbskids.org
identifies it as effective for teaching deaf or hard of hearing
students as well. It starts when Farmer Brown's cows find an
old typewriter in the barn and send him a note politely requesting
electric blankets because the barn is cold. When Farmer Brown
replies, "No way," the cows go on strike. Soon the
chickens join them. Broader solidarity is impeded because not
all the animals understand Moo. Duck, "a neutral party"
enlisted as go-between, delivers a note indicating the cows and
chickens are willing to exchange the typewriter for electric
blankets. Thinking he had stopped the insurgency, the farmer
provides the blankets, only to be met with a note from the ducks,
who want a diving board to quell their boredom. Although the
author portrays the farmer as a stereotypical old white man,
the story effectively uses humor and engaging illustrations to
present a nuanced story of solidarity.
The message of solidarity continues
in Harvest of Hope, which is a fairly standard, if vividly
illustrated, biography of Cesar Chavez, founder of the National
Farm Workers Association. It deals with his childhood years and
the organizing efforts leading up to and including the historic
strike and 1965 march, in the midst of the grape harvest, to
the California capital by Latino migrant laborers. I don't speak
Spanish, but I was puzzled by the English translation in the
text that renders "sí se puede" into
a passive voice, "yes, it can be done."
In addition to using a more dynamic
rallying phrase, ¡Sí Se Puede! Yes, We Can!
brings the story up to the recent past, in another historic
Latino/a organizing campaign in California, SEIU Local 1877's
successful Justice For Janitors mobilization in Los Angeles.
The mother of the fictional Carlitos is a leader in the 2000
effort. Carlitos organizes some of his classmates to show up
at their parent's demonstration. After three weeks, when her
strike ends victoriously, Carlitos and his mother join another
picket line in support of hotel janitors. A concluding interview
with the actual organizer who serves as a model for Carlitos'
mother anchors the story in the actual campaign.
Which Side Are You On? The Story
of a Song returns us to an earlier
period and different struggle. Published on the eightieth anniversary
of its composition, the story chronicles the night when Florence
Reese penned the iconic song. Her husband, a union organizer,
has left their mining town in Harlan County, Kentucky, when he
hears that the sheriff is after him. Interspersed with lyrics,
the story is told from the perspective of their young son, who
explains in simple terms the difficult and dangerous work and
times in 1930s coal country. Ma composes the song as she and
the kids are huddled under the bed to avoid the bullets being
shot into their home. When Pa returns and hears Ma sing the new
song, he says, "We can use that. It'll bring folks together."
The author's notes discuss the history of mine union struggles
as well as the tradition of folk songs.
Writing for older kids, the author of
Ain't Nothing But a Man tells how he searched for a real
John Henry, the steel-driving man who dies challenging a steam-driven
drill in another famous folk song. Historian Scott Reynolds Nelson
is interested in documenting the work of African American track
layers who helped build railroads in the post-Civil War South.
His intriguing story of his search for evidence, with its frustrations
and dead-ends, reveals the work methods of historians as well
as railroad builders. (Full disclosure: I'm a historian, but
I think others will find it interesting too!) His surprising
conclusion challenges conventional thinking about who John Henry
was and how he died.
Grace, in Counting on Grace, is
a self-identified "Franco" (French-Canadian) girl who,
in the course of the book, leaves school and starts working in
the same Vermont textile mill as her family and her friends'
families. We learn about the details of such work along with
ethnic prejudices, child labor practices, school experiences,
solidarity and its absence. Grace emerges as a distinctive individual,
not a type. She is fidgety; she struggles to learn to write (though
left-handed, she's forced to use her right hand); she competes
with her older sister. The story turns around the arrival of
the historical figure Lewis Hines, who is photographing for a
study of child labor. In her conclusion, the author describes
being intrigued by the image of a girl in one of Hines' photographs
and tells of her search through census and other records to discover
the outcome of that girl's life.
It's been many years since I had reason
to read children's books. After sampling these, I plan to hit
the children's section of our local library regularly.
DSA's Strategy for the 2012 Elections and Beyond
by the National Political Committee
of Democratic Socialists of America
I. The Threat of Right-Wing Hegemony
The 2012 election poses an extreme challenge
to the future prospects for democracy in the United States. This
threat demands the focused attention of the broad Left -- the
labor movement, communities of color, feminists, the LGBTQ community,
environmentalists and peace activists. The task for the U.S.
Left is two-fold. First, we must defeat the far-right threat
to democracy. Second, we need to build a grassroots, organized
Left capable of fighting the corporate interests that dominate
the leadership of both major political parties.
The Left confronts a Republican Party
thoroughly controlled by right-wing forces that are determined
to cement long-term control of the federal government and of
the majority of states. Its agenda is to extend the reign of
the corporate oligarchy over the whole of American society from
top to bottom. The wish list of the 1% includes dismantling not
only Social Security and Medicare, but all government programs
designed to benefit the large majority of people - the 99%. This
reactionary plan intends to repeal not only the New Deal and
the Great Society, but also the reforms of the Progressive Era
and the post-Watergate legislation of the 1970s. A Romney victory
would likely be accompanied by Republican control of both the
Senate and House, as well as the Supreme Court. Such a governing
majority would endeavor to pass the reactionary Ryan budget,
deny federal funding for women's reproductive health, wage a
sustained and fundamental attack on the rights of workers and
unions, and overturn already weakened federal civil rights laws.
A major weapon of the Radical Right
is an unprecedented flood of money from super-wealthy individuals
and corporations into the political arena, buying influence and
votes on a massive scale. This intervention has been enabled
by a long series of decisions by the Supreme Court, culminating
in the Citizens United decision (and the recent Montana case)
that essentially encourage buying electoral results through massive
negative advertising -- itself aimed at suppressing voter turnout
-- under the guise of "free speech."
Another right-wing tactic is to suppress
voting by African-Americans, Hispanics, students and poor people
generally, under the guise of preventing non-existent "voter
fraud." New forms of photo ID requirements and restrictions
on early voting and independent voter registration efforts threaten
to remove millions of potential Democratic voters from the rolls.
This is part of a Republican racial strategy to convince swing
white voters that their economic distress is caused not by a
predatory corporate elite but by alleged government hand-outs
to undeserving poor people of color.
A third assault is to further weaken
unions, particularly in the public sector, by eliminating collective
bargaining and discouraging membership and imposing onerous new
restrictions on the use of union dues and agency fee payments
in political campaigns. Since unions, especially public sector
unions, are a major source of political opposition to right-wing
causes and campaigns, the Right is consciously out to destroy
their very existence.
II. The Tepid Democratic Response
How can such a radical restructuring
of American politics and policy, one that benefits the plutocracy
at the expense of the majority, have a real prospect of success
One reason is that the national leadership
of the Democratic Party is not a consistent, credible champion
for the interests of the majority. The top of the party serves
the interests of its corporate funders over the needs of the
party's mass base of trade unionists, people of color, feminists
and other progressives. Thus, when the country cried out for
a vigorous defense against the ravages created by Wall Street
greed, Obama's economic advisors (largely drawn from Wall Street)
extended the Bush administration's bailout of the banks and financial
elite without exacting a return in restored, strict financial
regulation. The administration also failed to take effective
measures against foreclosures and job losses associated with
the crisis. Republicans and conservative Democrats blocked any
more far-reaching proposals, like those of Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-VT) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Furthermore,
in a misguided effort to appear as a "strong" foreign
policy leader, the president unnecessarily extended the failed
war in Afghanistan and engaged in the indiscriminate use of drone
warfare in clear violation of international law.
Rightwing obstructionism and the waffling
of the majority of the Democratic Party understandably led to
large Republican gains in the Congressional elections of 2010.
Thereafter, the Tea Party-influenced House Republican majority
curtailed any possibility that the Obama administration would
govern in a progressive manner. Newly established Republican
political control over several Midwestern states turned into
sweeping assaults on public sector unions and on the social safety
President Obama's on-and-off flirtation
with the neoliberal view that fiscal "austerity" is
the road out of the Great Recession may prove to be his downfall
in 2012. As federal support for state and local programs faltered
in the contrived "debt crisis," most Democratic governors
and legislators also followed suit in slashing social programs
and public employee benefits. In addition, Obama's openness to
"entitlement reform" may deny the Democrats the mantle
of being the staunch protectors of Social Security and Medicare.
If the Obama administration had fought for and succeeded in continuing
beyond 2010 federal aid to preserve state and municipal jobs,
today's unemployment rate would be seven percent or lower. This
is the first recession since the early 1900s in which public
sector employment has fallen rather than grown.
III. Rebuild the Left by Defeating
In light of the threat that would be
posed to basic democratic rights by Republican control of all
three branches of the federal government, most trade union, feminist,
LGBTQ and African- American and Latino organizations will work
vigorously to re-elect the president. And in swing states such
as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere, many
DSA members may choose to do the same. But DSA recognizes that
an Obama victory, unaccompanied by the strengthening of an independent
progressive coalition able to challenge the elites of both parties,
will be a purely defensive engagement in lesser-evil politics.
The Left proved too weak to force the
first Obama administration to respond to popular needs. The Occupy
movement of fall 2011 gave voice to popular frustration with
the American plutocracy; but it emerged well after the Republicans
had gained control of the House. The Left must now build upon
the accomplishments of Occupy. Democratic socialists must work
to build a multi-racial coalition of working people, the unemployed,
indebted students and the foreclosed that is capable of forcing
politicians to govern democratically. The first task of a movement
to defend democracy is to work for maximum voter turnout in the
Building such a mass social movement
for democracy is DSA's major task; the 2012 elections are only
a tactical step on that strategic path. Thus, while working to
defeat the far Right, DSA and other progressive forces should
work to increase the size of the Congressional Progressive, Black
and Latino caucuses and to elect pro-labor candidates to state
legislatures. The election this year of Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with the re-election of Sherrod
Brown (D-OH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would increase the number
of progressive voices in the United States Senate.
DSA locals should use their work in
progressiveelectoral campaigns to build coalitions opposed to
further slashing of federally-funded anti-poverty programs. Such
disastrous shredding of the social safety net will occur if the
cuts mandated by the August 2011 "budget compromise"
are not reversed before January 1, 2013. These "automatic
cuts" in domestic spending could readily be avoided if Congress
reversed the Bush and Reagan income tax cuts for the top two
percent, returned effective corporate tax rates to the levels
of the 1960s and reduced wasteful defense spending. In our educational
efforts in favor of progressive economic alternatives, DSA locals
should draw on the resources of the DSA Fund's Grassroots Economics
Training for Understanding and Power (GETUP) and The Other America
is Our America projects. GETUP offers a comprehensive critique
of neoliberal economic thought and policy. The Other America
project draws lessons from the 50th anniversaries of the publication
of The Other America (1962); the 1963 March on Washington
for Jobs and Justice; and the 1964 advent of the War on Poverty.
DSA locals should also work against
all forms of voter suppression, whether onerous photo ID requirements,
harassment of independent voter registration efforts, or phony
purges of voter rolls. DSA members should also take part in the
voter registration and turnout efforts by groups like the NAACP,
unions and progressive community groups.
DSA locals ought to also join efforts
to restrict the role of big money in political campaigns, including
local efforts in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn
Citizens United, to permit public campaign funding and to restrict
the abuse of "free speech" to buy elections.
This is a year to take the "democratic"
part of our democratic socialism very seriously. Whatever our
analysis of the numerous imperfections of US democracy, we should
be absolutely forthright about championing the rights of the
people to make their own political decisions.
by Bob Roman
The Socialist International (SI) met
in Cape Town, South Africa, August 30 through September 1. This
24th Congress was the first to be held in Africa and the location
seems to have attracted some attention and participation that
it would not have had otherwise. The meeting was hosted by South
Africa's African National Congress. Over 400 people, representing
more than 100 political parties and organizations, participated.
DSA is somewhat incongruously a full
member of the SI; the SI is an organization of political parties
and DSA is not a political party. DSA was represented at this
Congress by Maria Svart, Skip Roberts, Gerry Hudson, and Mark
Levinson: a heavily SEIU delegation and, therefore, maybe taken
somewhat more seriously than many past DSA delegations. ("There
goes the ghost of Michael Harrington.") Possibly because
it is an election year, the National Democratic Institute (an
associated organization) was not represented, but then, not many
other associated organizations were represented either.
While George Papandreou was re-elected
President, there actually was a contested leadership election.
Incumbent Secretary General Luis Ayala (Chile) was opposed by
Mona Sahlin from Sweden. Ayala was re-elected.
The SI Congress adopted three resolutions.
"The Struggle for Rights and Freedoms"
was an examination of the current upsurge in demands for democratic
rights. In principle, there's nothing difficult for the SI about
it except that in far too many cases (the former member parties
from Egypt and Tunisia, for example) SI parties have been an
embarrassing part of the problem.
One might suppose "The Need to
Secure Multilateralism" resolution would be aimed at the
United States. But there are far too many other countries also
willing to take matters into their own hands, and the resolution
wisely recognizes this. Given the SI's inability to enforce anything,
it does end up having a well-meaning, hand-wringing affect to
it. For example:
"With regard to Syria, the SI is
following with deep concern the massacres that take place on
a daily basis, as the Assad regime refuses to accept that change
is inevitable. We stand firmly on the side of the Syrian people
in their fight for democracy and human rights and condemn the
brutal actions of the regime. We call for all sides to end hostilities
and enter into negotiations without any preconditions. We are
not in favour of foreign military intervention, which can lead
to further human suffering and instability in the whole region.
We strongly support a Syrian-led process of transition to democracy."
One should not be totally dismissive
of this, however, as the SI seems to serve as a diplomatic back
channel for "progressive" elements in governments.
The economics resolution calls for a
progressive fiscal policy:
"a bank levy or increased income
tax on high earners, redistributing wealth from the top to the
bottom; the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax; a new
global reserves system that could provide developing countries
with access to financing, giving them purchasing power and helping
to drive demand by using resources that would otherwise be idle;
and by establishing new financial institutions such as development
banks and green banks that could create new credit mechanisms,
enabling credit to flow once more and provide more liquidity
to ensure the resources meet public needs."
The resolution goes on to condemn austerity
as a solution to the fiscal crisis and calls for
"a bold approach based on a new
culture of solidarity, solidarity that works separately and simultaneously
at different levels: economic, political and social. Otherwise,
any government that acts alone risks being crushed by markets
and ratings agencies. Common action and creative initiatives
are needed to bring about a paradigm shift from the failed austerity
policies; that is the only way to a sustained recovery."
Previous meetings suggest that the SI
is evolving in ways that may or may not be encouraging, and the
accounts of this meeting suggest the process is slowly ongoing.
For more details about the 24th Congress, see www.socialistinternational.org
compiled by Bob Roman
Episode 19 "Talkin' Socialism": "Why
America Needs a Robin Hood Tax". Recorded on July 14, 2012,
DSA's Bill Barclay and National
Nurses United's Jan Rodolfo talk about Financial Transactions
Tax: What it is, what it is not, how it would work, why America
needs one, and what difference would it make. Does $350 billion
sound good to you? Be sure to sign
the online petition for an Illinois tax. MP3
(27.4 MB) or Ogg
Vorbis (20.8 MB).
Episode 18 "Talkin' Socialism" features Leone Jose Bicchieri, Executive Director
of the Chicago Workers Collaborative (CWC) talking with Bill
Barclay. The discussion provides a fascinating account of how
a part of the labor movement -- and CWC most definitely considers
itself part of the labor movement -- fights for the rights of
the large and growing number of temp workers, helping these workers,
many of them recent immigrants, to gain a voice in the workplace
and the community. CWC's model is not that of charity, simply
providing services to temp workers, but instead asks that the
workers themselves make a commitment as evidenced by the dues
requirement the CWC asks of all its members. MP3
(30.6 MB) or Ogg
Vorbis (27.7 MB).
Links to these episodes and all the
other episodes can be found at www.chicagodsa.org/audarch6.html
DSA in the News
Starting with items from the three previous
email editions of New Ground: There is a small industry
that promotes the idea that "Obama is a secret socialist"
from which a handful of people make a living: an odd combination
of grifters and delusional true believers. Unlike four years
ago, this no longer attracts much attention, not even from right-wing
bloggers; it's not fresh and of dubious quality even when it
was. But there still is a steady trickle of posts, and a more
notably clever hit piece at an Examiner web site examined
DSA National Director Maria Svart's Facebook friends. (NG 143.1)
Some of this right-wing narrative still pops-up in more mainstream
publications, such as a debate at Rock Cellar (NG 143.1)
or a commentary ridiculing right-wing delusions at Boston public
radio WBUR (NG 143.2).
More constructively, Tom Broderick had
an op-ed published in Oak Park's Wednesday Journal about
the ongoing labor negotiations between the village and SEIU.
(NG 143.1) The Windy City Times noted the late Dr. Ron
Sable's membership and activism in DSA in an article about the
Cross Roads Fund (NG 143.1). And the Macomb Daily noted
Detroit DSA's support of Jon Switalski and John Conyors (both
won their primary races, FYI). (NG 143.2).
For links to these stories and more,
see "DSA in the News" at www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng143.html.
More recently, YDS organizer Jackie
Sewell participated in San Francisco public radio's "Your
Call" program. And during the Republican National Convention,
a Republican campaign committee put out a press release calling
Representative Jan Schakowsky a "friend of DSA". This
was noted, as far as I can tell, only at Crain's Chicago Business
by their commentator
Greg Hinz, who shrugged.
On September 15th, Chipotle Mexican
Grill will hold the second annual "Cultivate Festival"
/cultivate/) in Lincoln Park. The day-long festival -- "bringing
together food, farmers, chefs, artisans, thought leaders, and
musicians" -- is a celebration of Chipotle's self-proclaimed
holistic commitment to "food with integrity."
Despite Chipotle's claim to be the fast-food
leader in social accountability, the burgeoning restaurant chain
has for many years now refused to sign a Fair Food Agreement
with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farmworker organization
in Florida (http://ciw-online.org
). This is an agreement four other leading fast-food companies
signed long ago, including McDonald's, Chipotle's former parent
company. By signing a Fair Food Agreement, Chipotle would be
joining the CIW's Fair Food Program, the only social accountability
program of its kind that combines worker-to-worker education,
a complaint mechanism with protection against retaliation, and
a third-party monitoring organization that investigates and resolves
complaints as well as carries out regular field and farm office
audits to measure compliance with the Fair Food Code of Conduct.
So, on September 15th, the CIW and allies
will head to the Cultivate Festival in Chicago to show Chipotle
that promoting itself as sustainable is not enough -- it must
include workers' rights, and workers themselves, in its vision
of a food system that claims to be based on integrity. Chicago
DSA is supporting this effort. For more information, see http://www.ciw -online.org/cultivate
or call 773.384.0327.
The Eugene V. Debs Foundation will be
celebrating its 50th anniversary as well as honoring Clayola
Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute at its annual
Dinner. Actress Regina Taylor will be the Dinner's keynote speaker.
The event will be held on Saturday, September 29, 6 PM, at Indiana
State University's Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. Tickets
are $40 each and may be obtained from The Debs Foundation, PO
Box 9454, Terre Haute, IN 47808. The Debs Foundation maintains
the Debs family home as a museum. More information may be found
or by calling Charles King at 812.237.3443.
The 27th Annual Mother Jones
be An Evening with Baldemar Velasquez and the Aguila Negra
Band: Labor History Through Song and Story. Baldemar Velasquez
is, of course, the President and Founder of the Ohio-based Farm
Labor Organizing Committee. Who knew that he is also a musician?
Baldemar and the Aguila Negra Band perform original, labor, and
civil rights songs in a "Tex-Mex" style that informs
and entertains at the same time. The Dinner will be held on Saturday,
October 6, at the University of Illinois at Springfield's Public
Affairs Center Sangamon Auditorium Lobby. 5 PM is a social hour,
6 PM is dinner, 7 PM is the program. Tickets are $30 each and
may be obtained from the Mother Jones Foundation, PO Box 20412,
Springfield, IL 62708-0412. For more information, call Jack Dyer
at 217.691.4185 or Terry Reed at 217.789.6495.
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.
Saturday, September 15, 11 AM to 7 PM
Lincoln Park, LaSalle and Clark, Chicago
Join Coalition of Immokalee Workers in exposing Chipolte's "Cultivate
Festival" as chipocrasy. MORE
Monday, September 17, 6:30 PM to 8:30
In Celebration of Constitution
Citizen Advocacy Center, 182 N. York
Featuring Jessica Ahlquist. MORE
Tuesday, September 18, 6 PM to 8 PM
"The Silenced Majority
Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash, 1st Floor, Chicago
Book launch for Amy Goodman's new book. MORE
Tuesday, September 18, 7 PM
Paramilitarism and the Assault
on Democracy in Haiti
DePaul University Lincoln Park Student
Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Room 325, Chicago
Jeb Sprague discusses his book investigating right-wing paramilitarism
in Haiti. MORE
Tuesday, September 18, 7 PM
"Why We Fight"
Lombard Mennonite Church, 528 E. Madison
Documentary on the American war machine. MORE
Tuesday, September 18, 7 PM
Evanston Public Library Community Room,
1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston
Documentary on political polarization followed by discussion.
Thursday, September 20, 7 PM
"The Healthcare Movie"
Multi-Kulti, 1000 N. Milwaukee Av,
4th Floor, Chicago
Documentary on universal healthcare in Canada and in U.S. MORE
Thursday, September 20, 7:30 PM
"The Healthcare Movie"
Lombard Park District, 437 E. St. Charles
Rd, 1st Floor, Lombard
Documentary on universal healthcare in Canada and in U.S. MORE
Thursday, September 20, 7:30 PM to 9
Voting and Speaking Out
Wheaton Park District Community Center,
1777 S. Blanchard, Wheaton
Voter suppression and attacks on free speech. MORE
Friday, September 21, 3:30 PM
International Peace Day
Federal Plaza, Jackson & Dearborn,
Sending a delegation to Senator Durbin's office re: less spending
on war. MORE
Sunday, September 23, 1 PM
A Year of Awakening
Jackson & LaSalle, Chicago
Celebrate the anniversary of Occupy Chicago. Family friendly.
Monday, September 24, 7 PM
"Alice's Ordinary People"
Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St,
Documentary: Alice Tregay and the civil rights movement. MORE INFORMATION.
Tuesday, September 25, 6 PM to 8 PM
"From the Ruins of Empire"
Harold Washington Public Library Cindy
Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State St, Chicago
Pankaj Mishra discusses his new book. MORE
Thursday, September 27, 6 PM to 8 PM
Visions of Freedom and Liberation
Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State
Release reading for "Journal of Ordinary Thought".
Thursday, September 27, 6 PM to 8 PM
Northwestern University Thorne Auditorium,
375 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago
Jonathan Kozol discusses his new book "Fire in the Ashes".
Thursday, September 27, 6:30 PM to 9
Multi-Kulti Center, 1000 N. Milwaukee
Filmmaker's mother worked on atomic bomb testing meets Japanese
bomb survivors. MORE INFORMATION.
Thursday, September 27, 7:30 PM
"Tweet Land of Liberty"
Women & Children First, 5233 N.
Clark St, Chicago
Elinor Lipman reads from her new book. MORE
Saturday, September 29, 1 PM to 3 PM
Torture's Impact on Families
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800
S. Halsted, Chicago
Professor Adam Green and panel discussion. MORE
Sunday, September 30, 2 PM
"Fukushima: Never Again"
Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St,
Documentary re: Fukushima nuclear disaster. Discussion. MORE
Monday, October 1, 2 PM
Solidarity with Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Warehouse, 26453 Center Point
For safe jobs, living wages, and respect. MORE
Monday, October 1, 6:30 PM
The Heartland Cafe, 7000 N Glenwood,
If global capitalism doesn't work for everyone, what is the alternative?