Clem Smith

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Clem Smith


Clem Smith is a Communist Party USA affiliated Democratic Missouri State Representative.

Background

As a lifelong resident of the St. Louis area, Clem Smith was raised to be an active member of his community. At the age of nine, he accompanied his father to a demonstration against a department store chain because of their discriminatory hiring practices. From that moment on, he knew he would have to be involved to make a difference.

Smith’s long family history of community involvement in the district began when his grandparents moved into Velda Village Hills in 1970 and his grandmother setup a neighborhood watch. Since moving to the 71st District Clem has continued family tradition. He is an active member of the Normandy Township Democratic Club and was elected as an Obama Delegate to the Missouri Democratic Convention in 2008. His other memberships include the NAACP, Young Democrats of St. Louis, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and North County Labor.[1]

Education

BGS, Columbia College, 2010

Work history

  • The Boeing Company, 2009-Present
  • Recording Secretary, United Auto Workers Local 136, 2007-2009
  • Chrysler LLC., 1996-2009[2]

Organizations

Berniecrat

Clem Smith is a Berniecrat, is a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[4]

CBTU activism

Clem Smith and Lew Moye of the CBTU, May 7, 2010 fundraiser

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 2008 Clem Smith, member of CBTU; member of UAW Local 163, St Louis, MO signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal.[5]

Communist Party Herschel Walker award event

Clem Smith, Rita Days and Communist Party member Tony Pecinovsky
Clem Smith, Don Giljum, Communist Party member Zenobia Thompson

The Missouri Communist Party USA's Friends of the People’s World hosted their 18th annual ‘Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast’ Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the CWA Local 6300 Union Hall, 2258 Grissom Drive (in the Westport area), St. Louis.

Newspaper Guild International President Bernie Lunzer was the main speaker for the event.

The honorees were:

The awards honor the memory of late Communist Party USA member Hershel Walker, a Missouri labor and civil rights activist, who died in 1990 at the age of 81. Walker’s life – which spanned 60 years of activism – ended tragically when hit by a car on his way to deliver petitions to save 4,000 jobs at the Chrysler Plant.[6]

Known attendees included Communist Party USA affiliates, Tony Pecinovsky, Jim Wilkerson, Zenobia Thompson, Lew Moye, Glenn Burleigh, Julie Terbrock, John Bowman, Joe Thomas, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Democratic Socialists of America member Joan Suarez, plus Mahrya Monson, Don Giljum, Jessica Pace, Jason Kennedy, Jennifer Rafanan, Solveig Paulson, Dr. Greg Miday, Roosevelt Stewart, Michael Vossler, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Richard Von Glahn, Shannon Duffy and State Rep. James Morris. [7]

Government has a responsibility...

"Government has a responsibility to assist people in these hard economic times," former United Auto Workers member Clem Smith told a crowd of about 150 protesters on the Missouri state Capitol steps here March 4 2010.

Smith, now a machinist employed at Boeing, knows "first-hand the positive role government can play in creating job opportunities for the unemployed".

In May 2009, like thousands of other Missouri Chrysler employees, Smith was laid off.

"After 13 years of loyal service," he told the Communist Party USA's People's World, March 5, 2010, "I was unemployed. I looked for a job. I got my resume in order. But there were no jobs."

Fortunately for Smith, he was able to get into a state-funded training program run by St. Louis Community College that "allowed my auto work experience to translate into aerospace work."

After being accepted into the jobs training program, Smith attended 10 weeks of training at the St. Louis Career Center.

"It is precisely these types of government-funded training programs that can help the dislocated, the under-employed and the unemployed get back to work," Smith said. "It is precisely these types of programs that can provide the jobs that can get our economy back on track, not corporate bailouts."[8]

Communist Party support

Tony Pecinovsky, Clem Smith, date and place unknown

Tony Pecinovsky has worked as a union organizer, advocacy journalist and District Organizer for the MO/KS Communist Party.

In 2010 he served in the following capacities: secretary-treasurer, Greater St. Louis CWA City Council; secretary, St. Louis area Jobs with Justice Leadership Team; St. Louis area Pro-Vote board member; and the St. Louis Newspaper Guild.

Pecinovsky has worked on "numerous key progressive electoral campaigns" including: John Bowman (D70), Jeanette Mott Oxford (D59), Robin Wright-Jones (5th Senate District) and Clem Smith (D71). [9]

Leftist state rep

"In other words," freshman state Rep. Clem Smith, D-71, told the Communist Party USA's People's World, Jan. 7, 2011, "Republicans want to give tax breaks to the rich. They want to let corporations have free rein. They want to weaken unions. And they want to destroy our social safety net."

"How is that a 'change' in culture," he asked?

Smith, a former union autoworker and current union machinist, won a hard-fought primary election last August in St. Louis' North County, a predominantly African American working class community.

"As a union member," Smith continued, "I know tax breaks for the rich and corporations will not create good paying union jobs with benefits, health care and a pension. Tax breaks will, however, make the rich richer."[10]

Honoring Lew Moye

.

After 35 years at the helm, longtime labor leader and social justice activist Lew Moye stepped down as president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, effective Nov. 1 2014.

CWA Local 6355’s Mark Esters, vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, will assume the leadership role.

Moye and St. Marks Family Church, which has served as a safe haven and central meeting place during the unrest in Ferguson, were honored Oct. 18 at CBTU’s 28th Annual Ernst and De Verne Calloway Awards banquet.

Moye is known in the St. Louis region and nationally for his progressive activism in the labor movement and the African American community.

“It is an honor to follow behind a legend like Lew,” Esters said. “Those are big shoes to try to fit into. It’s a big lift.”

Attendees at the event included CBTU International President Terry Melvin, CBTU founder and President Emeritus Bill Lucy, Missouri State Representatives Clem Smith, and Karla May, and CBTU Chapter Vice President Mark Esters. [11]

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Executive Board, as of December 2014;[12]

2015 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

Welldone.jpg

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the Missouri/Kansas Friends of the People's World hosted the 23rd Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace and Justice' Awards breakfast to recognize outstanding leaders and activists, and their work towards creating a more just and equitable society.

A diverse crowd of 120 union, community, peace and faith leaders joined together at 9:30 a.m., at the Communication Workers of America, Local 6300, union hall for a morning filled with conversations and solidarity.

"This is an awards ceremony for activists," said Nicholas James, a Service Employees International Union collective bargaining rep. "This is amazing. Usually, only famous people get awards. That we take the time to recognize the everyday, ordinary people struggling to change our world is what makes this Awards Breakfast so special."

on ceremony.

Receiving the 2015 Hershel Walker 'Peace and Justice' Awards were:

  • Rep. Tommie Pierson (D-69), pastor at Greater Saint Marks Church (in Ferguson), and retired United Auto Workers Union member.

In a beautiful moment of remembrance, Mark Esters, recounted the amazing life and work of James Raines. A tireless advocate for the working class and a gifted people's reporter, James touched the lives of thousands through his impressive career fighting for a better world. Esters presented his family with the 'Peace and Justice' award as well as a Missouri House Resolution submitted by State Rep. Clem Smith honouring Raines' life, work, and dedication to public service. James is survived by his wife, Wendy, daughter, Emmaline; and parents, Jim and Sue..[13]

St. Louis Workers’ Education Society

The St. Louis Workers’ Education Society (StLWES) opened its doors at 2929 S. Jefferson March 27. 2015, and welcomed organizers, rabble-rousers, activists and community organizations to its first annual open house fundraiser.

The next day, StLWES members and supporters gathered for a day of workshops and training, beginning with a rousing two-hour political discussion on how best to combat systemic racism and sexism, and the related topic of building union diversity – one of StLWES’s goals – by reaching out to African Americans, Latinos and women.

Missouri State Rep. Clem Smith (D-Velda Village Hills), a member of Machinists District 9, outlined the challenges working families face in Jefferson City, where the legislature is currently dominated by far right-wing pro-business, anti-worker politicians. Since 2010, Smith and a handful of working family legislators on both sides of the aisle have had to fight to stave off passage of so-called “right-to-work” and other anti-union legislation.

Year after year Right Wing Republican lawmakers do everything possible to try and strip the working people of their rights,” Smith said. “They want to make it harder to vote, to gain access to affordable healthcare, to join a union and earn a living wage. All they care about is profits. They serve corporate masters, not the people.”[14]

Institutional supporter

In 2017, Clem Smith, State rep. 85th Ward was an "Institutional Supporter" of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.

2017 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

A diverse crowd of 170 gathered at the Painter’s Union District Council 58 hall to honor five labor and community leaders receiving the Hershel Walker ‘Peace and Justice’ Awards Breakfast May 13, 2017.

The annual awards breakfast was commissioned to commemorate the extraordinary life of St. Louis trade unionist and civil rights leader Hershel Walker, who dedicated over 60 years to the labor, peace, and justice movements.

The awards ceremony was hosted by the Missouri/Kansas People’s World and the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.

Members of the Service Employees International Union, Healthcare MO/KS; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-St. Louis Chapter; IUOE local 148; Laborers’ Local 110; Labor Tribune; SMART Local 36; Painters’ District Council 58; Jobs with Justice; Missourians against the Death Penalty; and Show me $15 attended the breakfast along with: State Representative’s : Peter Merideth (D-80th District), Clem Smith (D-85th District), Cora Faith Walker (D-74th District); 9th Ward Alderman Dan Guenther; 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Green; 20th Ward Committeewoman Wendy Campbell; 8th Ward Committeewoman Annie Rice; 14th Ward Committeewoman Madeline Buthod; and many others. .[15]

References

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