Friday, September 23, 2016

The Left Under Estimates the Danger of Trump

By Arun Gupta (September 21, 2016)
I know it’s the fifth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, but there is little to celebrate at such a grim moment. That being the likelihood Trump may very well win.
If he does, Black Lives Matter will be declared a domestic terrorist outfit, just like the Earth Liberation Front was under Bush.
Trump and Attorney General Giuliani would relish using the National Guard to crush blockades of oil pipelines and trains, and indigenous people defending their lands. There will be no more climate justice movement or even hesitant steps toward limiting climate change.An English-only law would likely be passed, DACA be withdrawn, and sanctuary cities outlawed. White supremacists, Neo-Nazis, the Klan, and the Alt-Right would all be welcome into his administration, overtly or covertly.
There would be an all-out assault on reproductive rights and Planned Parentood
Significant gains made at the National Labor Relations Board in the last few years will be overturned.
Huge swaths of the West under federal control will be turned over to logging, ranching, mining, and oil and gas industries.
Tens of millions would go from inadequate healthcare to no healthcare.
The Alt Right will aggressively disrupt the left.
Massive voter suppression becomes the norm.
There will be organized vigilante violence, perhaps even mini-pogroms, against Muslim and Mexican communities with the state turning a blind eye.
Don’t think it can’t happen; the WWI period saw hideous pogroms against African-Americans and Chicanos with state support. Entire communities were wiped out and thousands killed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Defeat Trump - Defeat Racism Campaign

At American River College today.

DSA members taking up the effort.
Well received.  Our take is different than the non- partisan workers.  To join the campaign and get access to materials, etc. contact
The Defeat Trump- Defeat Racism bumper stickers are very popular. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

How Waves of Latino Immigration Turned California Democratic

How Waves of Latino Immigration Turned a Purple State Blue
The political impact of our changing demographics

September 19, 2016 Harold Meyerson L.A. History, Politics 0 Comments

Demography may be destiny—at least in places that hold democratic elections—but it always needs a little push. Numbers alone don’t dictate outcomes. Last year, for instance, the percentage of Latinos in both California and Texas was an identical 38.6 percent. But given the immense gap between the two states’ politics, you have to wonder why the influx of Latino immigrants has changed California from a purple state to a blue one while, despite a similar influx, Texas remains the deepest shade of red.

The answer is that the assimilation of immigrant groups into a city’s, a state’s, or a nation’s politics is never an automatic process. Some powerful political force has to believe it is in its interest to mobilize such groups—as New York’s Tammany organization did when it registered Irish immigrants as they clambered out of steerage in New York’s harbor in the mid-19th century. The difference between California and Texas is that in California, and more particularly in Los Angeles, labor unions reached out to the great wave of Latino immigrants who began coming into the state in the 1980s. The Texas labor movement, by contrast, is far smaller and weaker than its California counterpart. Absent the resources that labor can provide, no equivalent effort has yet been waged in Texas—though progressive foundations and other liberal groups are finally realizing that turning Texas blue will require a massive commitment of their money and manpower.

Trump Lies Again about the Border

TRUMP: CLINTON WANTS TO ABOLISH BORDERS: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Saturday that Hillary Clinton wants to eliminate the United States' borders. While speaking to an anti-immigrant group at a luncheon, Trump described Clinton as "the first person in history to run for the presidency who is proposing to abolish the borders around the country that she is supposed to protect." Trump's accusation, of course, bears no resemblance to the truth. Clinton supports a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, and would continue the Obama administration's policy of allowing certain undocumented immigrants to stay in the country. But "she has never advocated halting deportations of undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes, or reducing or ending border enforcement," Eli Stokols reports for POLITICO. More here.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dolores Huerta: A Legacy

Ken Burt,  For Hispanic Heritage Month. See video link at the end. 
Seventy-seven years ago, in March 1939, Juan Fabian Fernandez of New Mexico opened a session of El Congreso de los Pueblos Mexicanos e Hispanos Americano de los Estados Unidos (National Congress of the Mexican and Spanish-Speaking Peoples of the United States) in downtown Los Angeles. He stood out as the only Latino state legislator present, but he was not the only politico there. Seeking to bring the New Deal to California, Latinos, labor and the left had banded together the previous year to elect a slate of progressives, led by California Governor Culbert Olson.
Members of El Congreso cheered when the new lieutenant governor, Ellis Patterson, addressed them: “I pledge to you that President Roosevelt and the present administration in California is sincerely fighting to bring real democracy into being!”
Author and Olson administration official Carey McWilliams also spoke about the anti-immigrant bills in Congress, then being championed by representatives from the segregated Deep South. Elements of this California New Deal coalition clearly supported El Congreso. Sponsors included actor Melvyn Douglas and his wife Helen Gahagan Douglas, a future California Congresswoman.
Politics in California, then as now, was to the left of New Mexico’s. However, voters in New Mexico had done a much better job of electing Spanish-speaking elected officials, beginning with Dennis Chavez, who was then serving in the U.S. Senate.
Latinos had been in New Mexico for 400 years, and Representative Fernandez, who had run for office to improve the lot of working families, symbolized a long tradition of civic engagement. While serving in the state legislature, the 31-year-old miner also served as secretary-treasurer of the 600-member CIO Mine-Mill workers’ union local at the American Metal Company in Tererro, a gritty coal town. He was allied with a group of labor and community activists that included leaders of the Liga Obrera de Habla Español, or Spanish-Speaking Workers League. Together, these Latino leaders developed an agenda revolving around the right to organize workers and an increase in the level of relief for the unemployed. What was needed was someone to promote the agenda in New Mexico’s state capitol. So Fernandez and an AFL official secured the Democratic Party nomination and won seats in the state’s House of Representatives.
The founding of El Congreso provided the opportunity to meet with like-minded people from around the nation and held the promise of forming a national movement to empower Latinos within the framework of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Unfortunately, El Congreso proved to be short-lived, and Fernandez served only one term in the state legislature. Still, this New Mexico Solon deserves greater recognition and placement in the pantheon of Latino political pioneers. From the vantage point of history, Fernandez’s most lasting legacy is not his role within El Congreso or a legislative bill or a negotiated union contract. His greatest legacy is his daughter: Dolores Huerta.
In her speech to the 2016 National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, the Latina icon spoke proudly of her father, a man who became a long-distance mentor after she moved, as a young girl, with her mother from New Mexico to Stockton, California.
In 1960, then working for the Community Service Organization, Huerta played a leading role in registering 140,000 Mexican Americans to vote for John F. Kennedy, before she became a principal leader of the farm-workers movement. She is also a Honorary Chair of DSA. To better understand her Philadelphia reference to her legislator father—his foray into Latino politics during the 1930s and her connection to that history—watch Huerta’s speech.

reposted from Capitol and Main
Ed. note.  Campaign materials for the Defeat Trump: Defeat Racism effort are available. contact 

Another California Water Crisis

Cruz Reynoso
We’re in the midst of a hot, dry summer. While you’re thinking about how you’ll cool off, consider this: four times more Californians than the entire population of Flint, Michigan do not get clean, safe water from the tap in their homes. They live where water must be trucked in for drinking and cooking. Where they wait in line to shower in public trailers. And where they’ve been living like this for a long time.
California’s drought didn’t cause these third-world country problems, but it certainly exacerbated them.
The hardest-hit communities, most in rural areas that are not served by large municipal water agencies, relied on groundwater sources that are contaminated or dry. Their small water agencies don’t have the funding to operate and maintain new infrastructure projects that could treat the water or bring in drinking water from other regions. And the customers – most living well below the poverty line – simply cannot cover the high cost of this expense.
This tragic situation is a study in paradox. It cuts very close for me, in part because of the experiences of my professional life, but perhaps more by virtue of having grown up in a farm worker family.
In California, the sixth largest global economy – and one of the most affluent—more than 500 communities are served by water agencies that cannot provide clean, safe water to their residents.