Socialism at the People’s Summit
At Democratic Left, David Duhalde writes:
The People’s Summit differentiates itself from other left-wing political gatherings by going beyond the recycled debates currently represented by “Bernie or Bust” (i.e., third-party/protest vote) versus the “Popular Front against Trump” (i.e., just vote against Republicans). The thousands of participants will network and work to build a People’s Platform, a unifying political statement that can used to hold elected officials accountable.
The purpose of the People’s Summit is not creating any single new party or coalition. But many of the participating organizations represent people we’d want and expect in a future socialist party. These activists represent a microcosm of the best Sanders campaign supporters. Therefore, socialists should prioritize joining this chance to bond with thousands of activists open to our ideas and socialists. Together, we can construct a post-Bernie alliance is more democratically accountable than previous post-presidential election formations.
Chicago’s Resistance to Police Reform
The Chicago political news site, Aldertrack, has issued a report looking at the recent history of how Chicago politicians have been dealing with the issue of police reform. Their conclusion (not surprisingly as this is Chicago) is that most of the players are really, really not ready to deal with the issue:
… since Mayor Emanuel’s December 2015 speech, the consensus among reformers, from law enforcement insiders to African-American youth organizers, from pastors on the city’s South and West Sides to academics who study policing policy for a living, has remained consistent: Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council lack the political will to do what is necessary to reform the Chicago Police Department.
Building on a year of reporting and interviews in City Hall and across Chicago, this report focuses on three ways Chicago has missed opportunities for reform: Mayor Emanuel’s record of dodging police reform, City Council’s choice to remain inactive and how the police superintendent selection process was upended by political expediency.
Note that the next episode of Talkin’ Socialism will deal with the Community Renewal Society’s proposal for a police auditor to keep an eye on whatever entity Chicago has to deal with complaints against police.
How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too
There’s no real magic to having a 501c4 “social welfare” organization spend all its money on elections. At Open Secrets, Robert Maguire reveals the trick. He begins:
Ever hear the one about the social welfare organization that was punished by the IRS for its political activity? The lawyer who got the letter was so shocked by the news, he forgot to thank the flying pig that delivered it.
If you’re thinking to yourself, but wait, I’ve heard that nonprofit organizations are subject to strict oversight by the IRS and the FEC, and there are rules that forbid such groups — which don’t have to disclose their donors to the public — from devoting more than half of their activity to politics, then first of all, you’re adorable.