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New Ground 59

July - August, 1998


  • Globalization from Below by Bob Roman, Charity Crouse and Joan Axthelm
  • 40th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner by Carl Shier
  • Maybe a Vision Both Countries Can Share by Amy M. Traub
  • The War on Public Housing By Bill Dixon
  • Markets and Affordable Housing By Charity Crouse
  • Other News By Bob Roman and Ron Baiman
  • National Health
    Connecting Faith and Work
    Haymarket Revisited
    New Party Referendum Drives
    Still More Socialist Feasts

    Globalization from Below

    by Bob Roman, Charity Crouse and Joan Axthelm

    From May 28 through May 31, the University of Chicago Youth Section chapter of DSA played host to more than sixty delegates from the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). The first two days of the event were devoted to a meeting of the American Committee of IUSY. Like most such meetings, its main utility was not so much in formal resolutions and organizational policy as in the exchange of ideas, experience and political information that takes place as a part of both the formal and informal proceedings. Given that the affiliates of the IUSY are the youth groups of the major left parties in their respective countries, there was probably at least one future prime minister at the meeting.

    Arguing with the Right

    One of the highlights of the week was a left-right debate on Thursday evening. Intended partly as an outreach to the UofC student community and partly as an exercise, nearly a hundred students crowded into the Ida Noyes library to watch Lisa Pelling, IUSY Secretary General from Sweden, and DSA Youth Section International Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall defend the affirmative of "Does Socialism Have a Future?" against a representative from the University of Chicago College Republicans and a representative from The Criterion. A severe ideological arsenal from the left was not called for, as the right thoroughly buried itself without any assistance from the socialists, but the University of Chicago's Ida Noyes Hall resounded with the applause of many as the left challenged the right's notions of equality in a capitalist system that thrives on disparity.

    Globalization for the Rest of Us

    Saturday and Sunday were devoted to an ambitious conference, "Globalization from Below". The conference was held at the University of Chicago's Biological Sciences Learning Center and it was cosponsored by the DSA Youth Section, IUSY, European Community Organization of Socialist Youth (ECOSY), and Progressive Challenge. The stated goals of the conference were to bring together progressives from all over the world and from many generations to talk about globalization; to help draw clear distinctions between their idea of internationalism and ours; to increase the public's awareness of the connections between their lives and lives of people in other countries. Some 150 people registered for the conference, though many just sampled portions of it.

    The conference format was the usual mix of plenaries and workshops, with the usual mix of strengths and weaknesses that such a format is prone to. Among the better plenaries were "Immigration and Organizing" on Saturday and "Global Unionism" on Sunday as both had speakers of particular interest.

    Hector Torres, of the Latin Kings and Queens, spoke at the plenary on "Immigration and Organizing". He spoke mostly about how what had been a street gang turned away from crime and toward political and community organizing with consequent increased problems with the police. Lefty gangs may be unusual today, but politicized gangs are not a new phenomenon, an early example in Chicago being Mayor Daly the Elder's Hamburger Social and Athletic Club. They were not at all unusual during the 60s, when the ideology du jour was various forms of marxism-leninism. Mr. Torres' presence brought to the conference several Hispanic students from the Chicago City College system. They reacted with enthusiasm to what he was doing in New York and with skepticism about its possibility in Chicago.

    Elaine Bernard, of the Harvard Trade Union Education Project, spoke at the "Global Unionism" plenary. If you've never heard Ms. Bernard speak, you should take advantage of your next opportunity. She sounds a bit like Julia Child, but instead of recipes for French cuisine she provides, well, recipes for a union movement. Articulate, full of ideas and very much in touch with what seems to be working and what is not, Elaine Bernard's presentation was quite the feast.

    The workshops and training sessions at the conference might have been average for a conference but for the international participation. In this respect, participants from outside the States may have gained the most; U.S. politics often seems inscrutable to those outside of it. The workshops provided them with an in depth look at various aspects of it.

    Organizing as Education

    For members of UofC DSA, the conference provided exceptional experience in the behind the scenes aspects of organizing a large-scale event. Along with illustrating the necessity of proper outreach to national and local activists, the conference taught the imperative of respecting the democratic process in organizing and executing any sort of event.

    Though most of the members of UofC DSA were preoccupied with the exhausting and mundane duties of administration, the conference was a great opportunity to expand one's sights beyond one's own borders and to truly challenge one's ideas of socialism and solidarity. Few moments can compare with witnessing fifty Latin American socialists singing Spanish labor songs in chorus aboard the CTA train, or seeing people visiting America for the first time communicating whole heartedly with Chicagoans whose language many UofC DSA members cannot speak. If nothing else, the conference both forced us to re-evaluate our perceptions of ourselves as socialists in America and reminded us just how much about the world, our own homes and each other we still have to learn.

    Some Next Steps

    The range of youth leadership brought together by the Globalization from Below conference made it an ideal opportunity to discuss the creation of an "EU of the Americas". In a meeting held after the Conference officially ended, representatives of the MERCOSUR countries, ECOSYS, the United States discussed how an open dialog between our countries is important as our economies become global. In order to begin and to further facilitate a dialog between the countries of the Americas, it was decided that a representative from ECOSYS, the Mexican PRD, and DSA (our own Daraka Larimore-Hall) would create a publication that would facilitate the exchange of experiences and ideas concerning the world economy. This publication would then be discussed at the next American Committee meeting of IUSY.

    40th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner

    by Carl Shier

    It was the 40th annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner, and hundreds of activists from Chicago's union movement and democratic left gathered at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza on Friday, May 8th to honor the memory of Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington. It was another successful event. But since its beginning in 1958, the Dinner has had the support of the labor movement, and its health reflects the general state of the movement.

    The speakers and the program were worthy of our 40th anniversary. The Master of Ceremonies Leon Despres lived up to his reputation as the perfect coordinator; he moved the proceedings like clockwork and completed the program to the time table of the Committee, well before 10 pm.

    Leon Despres received the Thomas - Debs Award in 1975, and he was, to the best of my recollection, the Master of Ceremonies at the first Dinner in 1958 when Norman Thomas and A. Philip Randolph spoke. Despres, after a few opening remarks, paid tribute to Saul Mendelson, a life long socialist and a co-founder of the Dinner. Saul had passed away on March 13. Despres noted that Jennie Mendelson, his wife of 50 years, was attending her 40th consecutive Dinner.

    Lou Pardo, another Dinner Awardee, gave a moving tribute to William "Wimpy" Winpisinger, the militant, socialist retired President of the Machinists who had passed away since the last Dinner. Wimpy had received his Debs - Thomas - Harrington Award right before he retired, but he was also the featured speaker at the 30th Annual Dinner. He was a great credit to the labor and the socialist movement.

    It certainly was a night for past Awardees: Kathy Devine made the Award presentation to William Adelman. She called attention to his run for Congress; a letter to him from a descendant of Haymarket heroes Albert and Lucy Parsons; Bill's work in labor history that is excluded from school textbooks and his work on films of labor history.

    Bill Adelman, in accepting the Award, spoke of his experiences in living the struggles of the Pullman Strike, Packinghouse battles, Republic Steel strike and making films of that history. The speech was engaging and informative and, in the words of another Awardee, Rose Daylie of AFSCME, "inspiring".

    I presented the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Award to Marilyn Sneiderman, Director of Field Mobilization of the AFL-CIO. I called attention to Marilyn Sneiderman's rank-and-file history and the difference between yesterday and today's AFL-CIO. The fact that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney had appointed Marilyn Sneiderman to the largest department of the union federation was significant. If I had introduced Marilyn Sneiderman after June 2, I would have pointed out how great the California unions did in obtaining a real field mobilization of its members to defeat the vicious Proposition 226 that was intended to silence unions' political voice.

    Marilyn Sneiderman stated how honored she was to receive the Award whose names have meant so much to the struggle. The work of the Field Mobilization Department is to energize state, county and city councils, to work with community organizations in coalition to make changes that our country needs badly. The new leadership of the AFL-CIO recognizes that only by involving members can the goals of the organization be accomplished. Wish we had space for the two speeches because they were both excellent and well received.

    Mark Weinberg, Co-Chair of Chicago DSA, concluded the evening with words of appreciation for those who labored to make the event a success. Mark Weinberg then led the Dinner in a vigorous singing of "Solidarity Forever".

    I have to conclude by writing that working on my 40th Dinner was special. And a grateful thanks has to be paid to the work of Bob Roman. Bob, in the punch line of Bertold Brecht's words about movement people- "is the indispensable man". And Bob, don't you dare edit out this paragraph!!

    Maybe a Vision Both Countries Can Share

    by Amy M. Traub

    Cuauhtemoc Cardenas is the leader of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the leftist opposition to 70 years of one-party rule in Mexico; he is the man who might have become President of Mexico were it not for massive vote fraud; and he is the first democratically elected governor of the federal district which encompasses Mexico City, a metropolis of some 25 million inhabitants. Cardenas is the main challenger to Mexico's embrace of neoliberal economics and he is received by many as a symbol of his nation's aspirations toward a truly democratic future. Accordingly, I had high hopes for Cardenas' address at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago on May 4th. I hoped to be carried away by his charm, brilliance, and sweeping, optimistic vision; to experience for myself what had inspired the possibility of social change and democratic opening for so many Mexicans. Unfortunately, Cardenas' presentation lacked verve, and his prescriptions for Mexico as it prepares to enter the new millennium at first struck me as vague and unoriginal.

    Nevertheless, it is unfair to judge a politician harshly for being an uninspiring speaker in a foreign tongue. Perhaps Cardenas was uncomfortable speaking in English and unused to addressing a silent academic crowd rather than a cheering throng. But as I considered the substance of Cardenas' remarks, what had at first sounded unoriginal became exciting; I realized why many of the recommendation's for Mexico's future sounded familiar. Although his propositions were grounded in the history and ideals of the Mexican Revolution (including the "deep social reforms" of his own father, former President Lazaro Cardenas), the policies Cardenas proposed were similar to progressive blueprints for U.S. policy.

    Every Mexican, Cardenas argued, should have access to a good education, a job, and decent health care. Obviously, these things are not universally available in the U.S. either, where many are striving for exactly the same guarantees.

    Cardenas' vision, in contrast to the vision articulated by Chilean President Eduardo Frei when he spoke at the University of Chicago last year, is not simply an aspiration to build a Mexico that looks like contemporary United States. Not only is a less corrupt and a less executive - centered political system required in Mexico, but a degree of economic democracy is required as well, and an end to the drastic inequalities that polarize the nation and inhibit democracy. While it would be foolish to argue that conditions in the U.S. and Mexico are identical, Cardenas' vision for his nation is something to keep in mind as polarization and economic inequality continue to increase in the U.S.

    One of the more frustrating aspects of Cardenas' address was his reluctance to criticize U.S. policy toward Mexico. Only after prompting by audience questions did Cardenas address central issues of U.S. - Mexico relations like immigration, NAFTA and the drug war.

    One vital point Cardenas made was that it is not free trade or NAFTA itself that he opposes. Mexico needs the investment and increased trade that NAFTA can help to provide. Rather it is the lack of binding social and environmental guarantees that makes NAFTA problematic. According to Cardenas, once the Mexican ceases to "leave aside its social responsibilities" and improves its internal policies, NAFTA can be improved. Of course, this also assumes that Mexico be permitted to "participate on a much more equal basis in globalization processes", a requirement which only obliquely condemns the United States for failing to treat Mexico as an equal and failing to respect Mexican national sovereignty.

    Cardenas' most powerful criticism came after the audience applauded his stance on immigration: "There should be no steel fences on our border, no discriminatory legislation." The U.S. is quick to condemn Mexico for weakness in the war on drugs or for failure to stem illegal immigration, but the demand both for drugs and for Mexican labor is present in the U.S. The equality that Cardenas calls for in U.S. - Mexico relations requires that the United States acknowledge its role in the flow of illegal immigrations and illicit drugs over the border.

    I missed watching Cardenas speak at the Cinco de Mayo parade on Cermak where he would surely have been more dynamic in his Spanish language address to the large Mexican-American community of Chicago. His party, the PRD, has recently opened an office here which will no doubt become increasingly active as Mexican-Americans and Mexicans resident in the U.S. take advantage of the new Mexican law that allows them to claim dual citizenship. While the current law prohibits dual Mexican-American citizens from voting in Mexican elections, their political opinions and possible orientation towards Cardenas' Democratic Revolutionary Party should have an effect on the Mexican political climate.

    In addition, the opening of the PRD office in Chicago and the similarities between Cardenas' goals and those of progressives in the U.S. highlight a vital point: we have the potential to work for a globalization that means more than the breakdown of barriers to trade between nations- a transcendence of the barriers of political and social ideas and aims. NAFTA means that Americans increasingly work for the same companies as Mexicans, consume the same products as Mexicans, and in numerous other ways interact with economic entities that function in both the U.S. and Mexico. But maybe we don't need to stop there; maybe a Mexican politician can inspire an American audience with a vision for the 21st Century that both countries can share.

    The War on Public Housing

    By Bill Dixon

    On June 19 more than a thousand people marched through downtown Chicago and rallied in Grant Park to demand greater Federal and city support for public housing. Organized by the Chicago Coalition to Protect Public Housing (CPPH), the demonstration showed a broadly based and committed opposition to the leading official proposals to solve Chicago's low-income housing crisis by relying on profit-driven real estate interests to suddenly do what they have never done before - provide good housing for poor people, especially African-American poor people who make up ninety-percent of public housing residents in Chicago.

    The march came together at the Federal Building, which is appropriate since over eighty percent of the funding for the Chicago Housing Authority comes from the Feds. And whatever problems that have been passed down from previous generations of government underfunding, local and not-so-local racism, bureaucratic corruption, and failed reform, the current crisis owes much to the current Republican Congressional majority, whose open animosity toward the very idea of federal support for low-income housing has raised the stakes of the debate dramatically. GOP sponsored cuts in federal funding are often overlooked amid the local controversies of racial segregation, crime, and urban renewal which typically frame discussion of public housing, and so CPPH organizers were careful to aim criticism directly at Congress's refusal to guarantee adequate funding for the coming year, let alone the long term.

    At least 11,000 CHA units are slated for demolition in the near future. No one is exactly sure where the people who live in those units will end up. Thanks to the Republican Congress, the Federal government is no longer compelled to a "one to one" replacement of demolished public housing apartments with new apartments. The CHA plan relies on an expansion of the Section 8 program, whereby residents move out of public housing and into the private housing market with seventy-percent of their rent with subsidized through Federal vouchers. CPPH criticizes the voucher plan on a number of grounds, not least of which is Congressional ambivalence toward supporting it. This year, $2.3 billion of Section 8 funding was diverted away into emergency funding for disaster relief and military intervention in Bosnia and Iraq. Neither is it at all certain that the low-income housing market will absorb such a large number of new people, particularly given Chicago's longstanding history of racist housing discrimination.

    CPPH instead advocates greater funding for capital improvements on existing public housing projects, and greater resident control in the process of urban planning which has long been underway around most of the CHA sites. The problem, again, is that Congress has cut the budget item for capital improvements as well, in the belief that public housing has proven to be nothing more than an expensive and dangerous failure and that the time has come for far reaching market-driven experiments.

    One such experiment is the little-known Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act (OCRA) of 1996. The provisions of OCRA demand that most of Chicago's public housing units be cost-tested before any capital improvements are made: would it be cheaper to fix up existing homes or tear them down and provide residents with vouchers? Even assuming that improvements win the cost-test, OCRA demands that the units be vouchered out anyway if there isn't enough money in the capital-improvement budget. In other words, the slant of current Federal policy is clearly set against improving existing public housing. In trying to reverse the course of national housing policy, CPPH and their allies in cities across the country face a long and hard political battle.

    June 19 is also the date of Juneteenth, an African-American national holiday commemorating the day when slaves in Texas learned of their emancipation, almost a year after slaves throughout the south had already been freed. CPPH organizers pointed out some of the eerie parallels, including the subtle yet obvious racism of policies that don't actually seem as if they are meant to work, even if it's not exactly clear what they are meant to do and why. What is clear, with public housing as with welfare reform, is that class politics in the United States has taken a reckless turn against poor people more radical now than at any time since the 1930's - a tide that has less to do with the particulars of competing policies than with broader realities of power.

    Markets and Affordable Housing

    By Charity Crouse

    As the demand for investors in market-rate housing has increased within areas formerly preoccupied with accommodating the needs of lower-income residents, communities that have been left behind in the past are finding themselves at the forefront of the marketplace. The financiers for below-market-rate developments are increasingly recruited from the private sector and the resulting developments reflect the priorities of these profit-motivated corporations. Now, real estate all over Chicago is a hot commodity, with developers eyeing large parcels of vacant land for multi-unit complexes, including land once covered by high-rise public housing developments. In response to the economic opportunities that are being dangled in front of them, community organizations and political representatives are jumping at the chance to capitalize on this newfound attention and federal dollars are following suit.

    Currently, the largest federally funded housing assistance program within Chicago is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Enacted as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the tax credit offers corporate and individual investors a credit against their federal income taxes based on the cost of acquiring, rehabilitating or constructing moderate and low-income housing. The original legislation expired in 1989 but in August of 1993 Congress passed a permanent tax credit and President Clinton signed it into law later that month.

    The tax credits are available to developers who devote 20% of their units to tenants earning less than half the areas median income or 40% of their units to tenants making less than 60% of the median income, with the remaining units being sold for the going market rate. In return, the credit allows corporations or individuals to deduct from their federal taxes up to 90% of the cost of a developments construction or renovation for 10 years or more.

    The tax credit is meant to lure developers into investing in blighted urban areas, but by using the tax credit private developers are able to capitalize on the burgeoning housing market opening up in these formerly economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Many of the sites where dense public housing structures formerly dominated are located in areas that have taken advantage of the City's many economic rejuvenation programs, such as acquiring a designation as a revitalizing area.

    The designation was originally designed to allow construction of public housing units in areas where high concentrations of public housing were previously found. The Gautreaux decision of 1981 limited the construction of new public housing units to more economically prosperous areas, or areas that were designated as showing the potential for economic revitalization due to increased business and housing development. Many of these areas overlap with redevelopment zones, an area that, among other things, requires new housing developments make a certain percentage of units affordable to lower and more moderate income residents. For private developers, the tax credit provides a nice vehicle for them to ride into a neighborhood like this and exploit marketable land.

    Kenwood-Oakland Example

    The Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood on Chicago's South Side typifies the woes that public housing recipients and applicants have to look forward to. In 1986, CHA approved demolition of 791 high-rise units located in five buildings along the lakefront area. The buildings were shut-down and the residents were left to fend for themselves until replacement housing was secured.

    Several proposals about how to reconcile the complaints of the displaced residents were circulated, but it wasn't until 1995 that any of the proposals were seriously pursued. The Department of Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the CHA announced a proposal to develop 241 scattered site units, with 150 public housing units on two sites owned by CHA and 91 units on 13 separate parcels of land owned by the City of Chicago. Representatives from over 200 families, who had been battling CHA since 1986 when the agency signed a memorandum of accord that promised to return their families to the lakefront following the demolition of their former homes, were earmarked for placement into the units after their construction.

    But for the more affluent residents of Kenwood and the Alderman, Toni Preckwinkle, moving all those poor people back into the neighborhood and wasting marketable land for more public housing was unacceptable. Public outcry from the community, claiming that the developments were remaking the ghetto, thwarted the developments by forcing CHA and HUD to look for private land parcels on which to develop the units.

    For now, the shuttered skeletons of the former high-rise apartments still stand. As for the 10 other parcels of land intended to go toward scattered site development, seven of them have been sold to private investors, three of which have taken advantage of the tax credit program.

    As a result, no new public housing units have been developed in the Kenwood and Oakland areas since 1986. In 1984, 1,782 Section 8 units could be found within the area; as of 1994 there were 1,603. The Section 8 vouchers provide many obstacles to public housing tenants attempting to relocate. Pre-existing housing available to low-income people in economically diverse areas is becoming increasingly more difficult to locate as the value of Chicago's real estate becomes more and more inflated. Newer housing units intended to accommodate lower-income individuals, especially public housing recipients with vouchers, just aren't being built. As Ken Oliver from the Chicago Rehab Network put it, Developers look to what the bank will lend you and banks look at the rate housing in a particular neighborhood is selling for in the market place; they wont lend you money for a development based on a maybe, which is what a Section 8 certificate represents to them.

    Conversely, the tax credit program claims responsibility for the establishment of 1,602 units of housing since 1986, none of which are currently occupied by the former public-housing residents. Subsequently, prices for single-family townhomes have increased by 62% in the last five years, from $67,500 in 1993 to $110,000 in 1997. The number of free-standing homes available at the market rate (approximately $290,000) has increased by 134% in the last five years.

    Other News

    By Bob Roman and Ron Baiman

    National Health

    Thursday, July 30th will be the day for a major demonstration and day long vigil in favor of universal health care. While there is a developing consensus that HMOs need to be restricted in their ability to ration or deny service, the most outrageous aspect of our health care system is the 43 million people simply not covered by it. The demonstration is intended to be a start toward putting universal coverage back on the country's political agenda.

    The project is being spearheaded by the Physicians for a National Health Program, Campaign for Better Health Care and Access Living, but there is a rapidly growing list of cosponsors, including Chicago DSA. If you'd like to help, please call the Chicago DSA office at (773) 384-0327.

    Connecting Faith and Work

    The July - August, 1997, issue of New Ground (#53) we reported on the Labor Outreach program co-sponsored by the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Workers Issues and the Chicago Federation of Labor. The program brings labor speakers to religious congregations over the Labor Day weekend to address the issues of workplace, social justice and faith.

    In 1997, the program was in its second year, and the Chicago Federation was sufficiently impressed by the project to cancel its own Labor Day festivities in favor of devoting those resources to organizing the outreach. Some 100 congregations participated with 150 services. This year, the organizers are hoping to do better.

    If you think your congregation might be interested in participating, you can get more information from Kristi Sanford at the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues: (773) 381-2832.

    Haymarket Revisited

    May Day celebrations in Chicago have become irregular events outside leninist sects, but this year there was an event worthy of the date. The National Park Service recognized the Haymarket Martyrs Monument as a National Historic Landmark, and the Illinois Labor History Society used the dedication of the plaque on May 3rd as the occasion for one heck of a rally.

    Some 1,000 attended the dedication ceremony in the Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park. It was a festive event, with speakers, poetry, music and food. A few trotskyist sects had tables and had cadres attempting to sell their quotas of papers. The Communist Party used their section of the cemetery to set up their own table.

    There was even a small, theatrical group of anarchists who were disgruntled by the State's (the National Park Service's) recognition of the monument and even more unhappy that they had no access to the podium to express their displeasure. Their heckling seriously irritated the organizers of the event, who would have cheerfully used the coercive power of the bourgeois state to shut them up, but it wasn't necessary as community pressure swiftly quieted them.

    The Illinois Labor History Society holds the deed to the Haymarket monument, and its maintenance and preservation is one of the Society's more important functions. Chicago DSA is a member of the Illinois Labor History Society.

    New Party Referendum Drives

    Fed up with Chicago City Council inaction on the Living Wage the New Party is attempting to place a referendum on the Ballot asking citizens directly whether they would support a living wage ordinance the 29th and 35th Wards. The 29th Ward is represented by Sam Burrel and the 35th Ward is represented by Vilma Colom. Both of these aldermen were cosponsors of the Jobs and Living Wage Ordinance but, when the time came, voted against it. In a third ward, the 15th represented by Virgil Jones, the New Party is attempting to place a Police Accountability question on the ballot.

    The wards were selected as locations where there is a significant New party presence. The 35th Ward is within the 3rd General Assembly District where the New Party helped Willie Delgado win the Democratic nomination. The 29th Ward is home of the 29th Ward Peoples Assembly and Danny Davis' organization. U.S. Representative Danny Davis is a New Party (and Progressive Caucus) member. The 15th Ward includes important New Party activists.

    New Party Members will be assembling for the petition drives on Saturdays. Though only residents of the Wards can actually solicit petitions, others may help with making contacts and offer other logistical help. Please call John at the New Party at (312) 939-7488.


    Detroit DSA has revived its annual dinner this year. Held on Saturday, May 23rd, at UAW Local 160's hall, the Frederick Douglass - Eugene V. Debs Dinner focused on labor journalism, honoring Susan Watson and David Elsila. The featured speaker was Elaine Bernard.

    Still More Socialist Feasts

    Debbie Meier and Bob Kuttner were among the honored guests at Boston DSA's annual dinner this year.

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