CAF Bowl-athon

The Democratic Socialists of America, Chicago created a fundraising team to support the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) during the national drive to support reproductive justice. The team, led by Leah Barry and Maggie Kantor, raised $1,110 of the $13,646 CAF received through the fundraiser. In money, the DSA team placed 5th among the 16 teams. But because of scheduling conflicts, there were no DSA bowlers. Perhaps next time.

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Talkin’ Socialism

Just posted to the web: “Who Watches the Watchmen?” Tom Broderick interviews Ciera Walker, Congregational Organizer for the Community Renewal Society, and Rev. Christopher Griffin, an activist with the Community Renewal Society, about the Society’s proposed FAIR COPS ordinance and their supporting report, Who Watches the Watchmen? To listen, go to talkinsocialism.wordpress.com. It’s also available through the iTunes store.

Greed or Need?

Which Side Are You On?

State Representative Mary Flower’s bill (HB 106) establishing a “LaSalle Street Tax” is finally up for a hearing before the Joint Revenue Committee. Your assistance is needed. Supporters of the LaSalle Street Tax will be holding a press conference prior to the hearing.

When: Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Gather at 12:45 PM; Press Conference @ 1:15 PM; Hearing @ 2 PM.

Where: Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St, Chicago

Over $900 trillion in sales pass through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Board Options Exchange every year, and yet there are no sales taxes on these trillions. We demand a very small tax on each contract; this could raise $10 to 12 billion annually in revenue for Illinois. This is enough money to address the state’s debt, expand social and human service programs and public education, start rebuilding our infrastructure, save and restore pensions, create green jobs and more.

Political Revolution 101

Our May 7th teach-in on “The Sanders Campaign & Beyond” brought a standing room only crowd to the Midwest offices of National Nurses United. The event was co-sponsored by Alliance for Community Services, Chicago DSA, National Nurses United, Illinois Progressive Democrats of America, and The People’s Lobby. Our target audience was not so much the usual suspects, though they came and were about half the audience, but supporters of the Sanders campaign who, regardless of past activism, were not necessarily in touch with organized socialism. That was the other half of the audience. The demographics of this group also reflected the Sanders campaign: younger and white and more male than female, though various minorities were represented.

In a lot of ways, you can regard the event as a local dress rehearsal for the upcoming People’s Summit in Chicago. As such, it was highly encouraging.

Rauner’s Road to Perdition

by Bob Roman

The 2016 Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner was held Friday evening, May 20, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro on Chicago’s near west side. And what an evening it was! The room was packed with maybe no more than 3 empty seats.

Lighty Garza Mujica
Michael Lighty, Susan Sadlowski Garza, and Jorge Mujica. Photo by John Scott

The speakers, Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza, Jorge Mújica and Michael Lighty, were all sharp and inspiring. They left no doubt that democratic socialism has become a visible part of U.S. mainstream political discourse where once it was ignored. The brief space available to this account really cannot do justice to their work at this event. We hope to have audio recordings of the event up on the chicagodsa.org web site soon, but courtesy of Alec Hudson, a video of most of the keynote is posted at both the Chicago DSA Local and City of Chicago Branch Facebook pages. Photos of the event are at the Chicago DSA Facebook page. Comedian and DSA member Walker Smith did well as our Master of Ceremonies, and we were privileged to have Michael Miles provide music during the “cocktail hour”. Bill Barclay and Tom Broderick made excellent presentations to the honorees.

The people we had as honorees and as speaker are individuals I respect, like, and admire. This made this particular dinner a pleasure for me to do. Many thanks to Tom Broderick who, besides setting up the literature table and collecting post cards that lobby against the TPP, also kept tabs on seating at the dinner. Thanks to Alec Hudson who helped at the ticket table. Thanks to Alex McLeese who helped set up. Thanks to Ron Baiman for transportation and fiddle accompaniment. Thank you to John Scott and Rita Maniotis for recording the event. And thanks to all those heroes of envelope stuffing and brainstorming.

The activists who began this annual event back in 1958 are mostly gone, but they had to have started it in a spirit of hope, even optimism, that was not always repaid by events. Let’s hope that we can continue this tradition in that same spirit.