FUTURE OF LEFT AND INDEPENDENT POLITICS

ELECTORAL ACTION CONFERENCE

CHICAGO 2015 ~ MAY 2 & 3

syriza flag.jpg Kshama-Howie-4-SA-website jill stein obvious
podemos end of two-party system doorknocking2 mujica empty chair
hawkins sawant arrested meegan face

THE CALL

From impending climate catastrophe to the renewed assault on working class living standards, we don’t have time to waste on the status quo, lesser evils, and token reforms.

The richest 1% may own the two major parties, but the past year has seen an uptick in left electoral activity. From Kshama Sawant’s election as an open socialist on the Seattle City Council to the numerous other socialist and independent left campaigns in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere throughout Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, interest in a working class alternative is growing.

However, in order to really begin building a viable electoral alternative, we first need to forge unity between our disparate campaigns. Those of us struggling to build a left pole in the electoral arena have much to learn from one another. Therefore we propose a gathering of candidates, individuals, and organizations committed to a non-sectarian left political alliance in opposition to the two-party system of corporate-capitalist rule.

What we propose:

  1. A dialogue for those who are commited to left politics outside of the two-party system
  2. To discuss the “why” goals of running for and winning elections
  3. To share experiences and reflections of campaigning
  4. To share challenges after being elected to office and strategies for opening 
political space for social movement

Aims and Objectives:

  1. To promote independent political action
  2. To build cooperation among disparate movements, candidates, left/progressive 
parties
  3. To develop and adopt a means for continued networking, conversation and 
cooperation

Priorities:

  1. To gather experienced candidates
  2. To intersect a broad range of non-sectarian left-independent organizers
  3. To have respectful discussion on strategies and tactics
  4. To seek representation from people of color, youth, women, LGBTQ, and disability activists
  5. To include a mix of theoretical panels, inspirational talks, and practical workshops

We hope that you will endorse this conference, save the date, and join us in Chicago May 2-3, 2015. 

 

ENDORSERS (as of Feb 16, 2015 ~ this list may be periodically updated)

Gayle McLaughin+ (Richmond City Council; former Mayor, Richmond CA ); Tim Meegan (2015 Independent candidate for alderman, 33rd ward, Chicago), Bruce Dixon (Managing editor,  Black Agenda Report and co-chair of the Georgia Green Party),  Kshama Sawant + (Seattle City Council), Howie Hawkins (Candidate for Governor of New York , Green Party*), Jorge Mújica (2015 Socialist candidate for alderman, 25th ward , Chicago), Ellen David Friedman (Vermont Progressive Party*), Dan LaBotz (Co-founder Teamsters for a Democratic Union; Editor, New Politics; Socialist Party* Candidate for U.S. Senate, OH 2010), Mike Parker (Co-author Democracy is Power; Coordinator, Richmond Progressive Alliance*), Gloria Mattera (Co-Chair, Green Party of New York*), Eduardo Martinez + (Richmond City Council), Lance Selfa (author of The Democrats: A Critical History), Bhaskar Sunkara (editor of Jacobin), Angela Walker (Candiate for Milwaukee Sheriff, 2014), Kali Akuno Cooperation Jackson*, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement*), Jess Spear (Climate scientist and 2014 Socialist Alternative candidate for Washington State House); Jovanka Beckles + (Richmond City Council), Cindy Sheehan (Anti-war activist, 2012 vice-presidential candidate, 2012, Peace and Freedom Party*), Rosa Clemente (Hip hop activist, Vice-Presidential Candiate, 2008, Green Party*), Jill Stein (Presidential Candidate, 2012, Green Party *), David McReyonlds (Socialist Party* candidate for President 1980, 2000), Glenn Ford (Journalist, Black Agenda Report),Marsha Rummel+ (Madison WI Common Council. Progressive Dane*), Ty Moore (Socialist Alternative candidate for Minneapolis City Council, 2003), Debra Reiger (State Chair, California Peace and Freedom Party), Mimi Soltysik (Socialist Party USA Male Co-Chair, 2014 candidate for CA State Assembly), Joanne Landy (Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Editorial board member, New Politics), Art Kazar (Local Executive Committee Member, Chicago Socialist Party), Robert “Gabe” Gabrielsky (Green Party* candidate, New Jersey Second Congressional District in 2000, for State  Assembly in 2001 and for State Senate in 2003) , Ann Menache (Disability rights activist and attorney, Green Party* candidate for Secretary of State 2011), Jason West + (Mayor of New Paltz, NY, Green Party*), Todd Cretien (International Socialist Organization; Candidate for U.S. Senate (California), 2006), Ian Schlakman (Green Party candidate  for Congress MD 2014), Linda Thompson (Co-Chair, Green Party of CT), Margaret Kimberely (Journalist, Black Agenda Report), Bill Onasch (kclabor.org; Previously served on the Labor Party’s Interim National Council and Electoral Policy Commission), Isa Infante (2014 Candidate for Governor, Green Party of TN), John Halle (Green Party, previously New Haven Alderman), Nicole Deane (Dan Siegel for Oakland 2014 volunteer coordinator), Carroll Fife (Dan Siegel for Oakland 2014 campaign coordinator),  Ellis Boal (Green Party MI*), Steve Early (author and labor journalist), Joanna Misnik (Treasurer, Chicago Socialist Campaign; Solidarity), Bryan Koulouris (Socialist Alternative), Rick Kissell (past candidate for Milwaukee Treasurer, past president of the AFL-CIO Translators’ and Interpreters’ Guild), Robert Caldwell (Ebarb Tribal Council, Louisiana 2011-2013), Thomas Harrison (Co-Director Campaign for Peace and Democracy*), John Strinka (Socialist Party USA Male Vice-Chair, 2012 Socialist Party USA candidate for IN House of Representatives) Marilyn Langlois (Coordinator, Richmond Progressive Alliance)

Against the Current (http://solidarity-us.org/atc), International Socialist Organization (http://www.internationalsocialist.org/), Campaign for a United Socialist Party (www.unitedsocialists.org/), Chicago Socialist Campaign (http://www.chicagosocialistcampaign.org/) , Chicago Socialist Party (http://chicagosocialistparty.org/) eMerge (http://www.emergeleft.com/) Jacobin (www.jabobinmag.com), New Politics (http://newpol.org/_), The North Star (http://www.thenorthstar.info) Peace and Freedom Party (http://www.peaceandfreedom.org), Socialist Alternative (http://www.socialistalternative.org/), Solidarity (http://solidarity-us.org/)

Bold+ indicates sitting elected official; * organizational listing for identification purposes of the individual endorsers only

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