California District Communist Party USA - Northern Region - Page 1

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The California District Communist Party USA - Northern Region is affiliated with the Communist Party USA.

CPUSA Members from North California District

(This includes the CPUSA-dominated International Longshoremen's and Warehouseworkers Union ILWU

Source: Political Affairs, April 1979, Volume LCII, No. 4, Page 26:

Events

People's Weekly World Banquet 1996

Sponsors of the 1996 Bay area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included Oakland City Council members Ignacio de la Fuente, Sheila Jordan and John Russo, Berkeley City Council members Maudelle Shirek, Linda Maio and Dona Spring, San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Sue Bierman, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, and California State Assemblyman John L. Burton.

Honored were 5 labor leaders - Walter Johnson, Owen Marron, Shirley Ware of SEIU, Abba Ramos of the ILWU and Francisco Martin del Campo of the San Francisco labor Council for Latin American Advancement.[1]

People's Weekly World Banquet 1997

Elected officials attending the the 1997 Bay area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included State Senator Barbara Lee Assemblywoman Liz Figueroa, Alemada County Board of Supervisors president Keith Carson and Berkeley vice mayor and City Council member Maudelle Shirek..

Honored were Brian McWilliams, Santa Cruz County Central Labor Council, Amy Dean, South Bay Labor Council, Wilson Riles, Jr. regional director AFSC and Art Rodriguez of the National Labor Community Coalition for Public Works Jobs.[2]

Berkeley: People's Weekly World Banquet 1999

Peoples Weekly World, September 11, 1999
PWW-large.jpg

In the September 11, 1999 edition of the PWW, p. 17, there appeared a large ad for the People's Weekly World Nuestro Mund "Gala Banquet", Sunday, Sept. 26, 12:30 PM, H/Lordship/Restaurant, Berkeley Marina, "Honoring five who make the difference for labor, peace, democracy, equality and a truly human quality of life"

And featuring:

Co-sponsors:

People's Weekly World Banquet 2000

Co-sponsors of the October 8 2000 Bay area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included San Francisco mayor Willie L. Brown, the vice mayors of Berkeley and Oakland.

Sponsors included Amy Dean, South Bay Labor Council and Walter Johnson, San Francisco Labor Council. Entertainment was provided by David Winters.

Honorees were;

PWW 2001 banquet

Keynote speaker Eliseo Medina, Service Employees Union International executive vice president, received a standing ovation at the People’s Weekly World banquet in Berkeley Nov. 18 2001, when he sharply criticized Republicans for killing an economic stimulus program that would have benefited working families.

Instead, Medina said, they substituted measures that are actually “aid to our favorite dependent corporations.”

In addition to Medina, the banquet honored the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Sacramento Activists for Democratic Trade. The event raised $11,000 for the 2001 Fund Drive.

Medina thanked the World and Nuestro Mundo for continued coverage of labor struggles.

“Wherever workers are in struggle,” Medina said, “they find the PWW regularly reporting issues and viewpoints that are seldom covered by the regular media. For us, the PWW has been and always will be the people’s voice.”

In a moving tribute to the thousands of workers who died in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Medina called special attention to those undocumented immigrant workers “who lived and died in the shadows,” and whose families cannot even ask for help.

While welcoming federalization of airport security screeners, he criticized Congress’ new requirement that screeners must now be U.S. citizens – though this is not required of airline pilots or members of the military. He said immigration laws should be changed to grant immigrants equal rights.

“[K]eep a sense of purpose,” he urged the audience, maintain a “sense of outrage.”

Fight back, he said, against those who use the post-Sept. 11 crisis “to scapegoat immigrants and minorities, to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and destroy what remains of government capacity to serve the great majority of people in this country.”

Honorees received certificates of Congressional recognition by the office of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), in whose district the event took place. Lee’s greeting was presented by her aide, Saundra Andrews.

“At this time of crisis, when world peace hangs in the balance and the rights of immigrants are under attack,” Lee’s statement said, “it is more important than ever that our community come together to honor the work and legacy of those who struggle to advance the cause of peace and justice for working people everywhere.”

EBASE Co-director Amaha Kassa urged support for its campaign, together with the Alameda County Central Labor Council, to secure a living wage for thousands of low-wage workers at businesses connected to the Port of Oakland.

EBASE and the Central Labor Council are urging the Oakland City Council to place an initiative for a Living Wage at the Port on the ballot for the March 2002 election.

Penny Rosenwasser of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, speaking on behalf of Executive Director Barbara Lubin, vividly recounted her recent visit to the Palestinian territories.

She told of her conversations with Palestinian families who had been driven from their homes by Israeli troops, Israeli youth who are refusing military service and Palestinian children orphaned in the war who are calling for peace.

“We advocate for the human rights of all children, who deserve to be protected and respected,” Rosenwasser said.

“We love to call ourselves ‘SacActs,’” said Barbara Dean of Sacramento Activists for Democratic Trade, “because we know great things are happening in the Bay Area, but they’re also happening in Sacramento.”

SacActs, she said, grew out of that city’s Central American Action Committee, founded 20 years ago. “We were working on sweatshop issues when the anti-globalization movement came along, and we wanted to work on that, too.”

Juan Lopez, chair of the Northern California Communist Party, speaking for the World editorial board, said, “The Bush administration wants to do now what it was unable to do politically before the Sept. 11 tragedy – to impose an anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-people program, and to strengthen the extreme right in the 2002 elections and beyond.”[5]

2002 PWW banquet

In a spirited tribute, the Northern California People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo banquet Oct. 13 honored “the heroes and heroines of the struggle against corporate greed,” and called for a big turnout against Republican “Bush-clones” in the Nov. 5 election. The banquet raised $8,000 for the PWW fund drive.

In her opening, Berkeley Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek spoke of the growing movements in solidarity with West Coast port workers and against war. “So there is hope,” she said, “and a new movement that we must help nurture and grow.”

That movement includes the bloc in Congress that voted against the Bush war resolution, and those who supported Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) peace resolution.

The banquet honored the Coalition for Workers Rights , Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Locals 2 and 2850, Sacramento Living Wage Campaign and Father Bill O’Donnell, known as “labor’s priest.” Each received certificates from Rep. Lee, in whose district the event took place, and from Wilma Chan, majority leader in the California Assembly, as well as from PWW/Nuestro Mundo. Elliott Kenin and the “Spirit of ’29” traditional jazz band and singer/songwriter Anthony J. Smith added to the upbeat spirit.

One of the sharpest struggles is that of the dockworkers, locked out by the employers’ Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) but now back to work under the virulently anti-union Taft-Hartley Act. The Coalition for Workers Rights (CWR) unites unions and organizations involved in contract and community struggles. Together with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the AFL-CIO and other groups, the CWR co-sponsored a number of protests drawing wide public support for union rights.

Clarence Thomas, secretary-treasurer of ILWU Local 10 and chair of the CWR, told the crowd the struggle is not over. “This is a matter that must be addressed by the entire labor movement,” he said.

Many coalition members highlighted the struggles that brought them together. Lee Sandahl, ILWU Local 34, representing clerks, whose jobs the PMA is threatening, said the coalition is about “people who understand that this is not just a longshore fight, not just a newspaper workers’ fight, it’s a fight for our rights, for all of us.”

Teamsters Local 70 Business Agent-Organizer Odus Hall concurred: “Anywhere that workers struggle, the Teamsters will be there.”

Judy Goff, executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, said unity on issues of living wages, justice for workers and protection of the environment “makes a tremendous difference.” She urged maximum turnout of union families and allies on Election Day.

Dwight McElroy, head of SEIU Local 790’s public works chapter; Karen Pickett, Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment; Jennifer Krill, Rainforest Action Network; and Willie Keyes, West Oakland Neighbors, also spoke for the CWR.

Alfonso Loera, head of Local 790’s Port of Oakland Chapter, said, “Unity in action is our code word. We don’t have the PMA’s $200 million or the $85 billion of the hotshots behind Bush. We have something more precious – the 265 million men, women and children who comprise the working people of America, and nobody can buy that!”

Calling this moment “a turning point in history,” Juan Lopez, long-time community activist and chair of the Northern California Communist Party, cited the Bush administration’s “declaration of war” on the ILWU and the entire labor movement, and the administration’s adoption of a dangerous new doctrine of “pre-emptive, first strike, unilateral military action, including with nuclear weapons.” He added, “This redoubles the importance of a massive voter turnout on Nov. 5 against the extreme right.”

As they received certificates of appreciation, HERE Locals 2 and 2850 members described the great organizing victory at San Francisco’s downtown Marriott, after two decades of effort, and of ongoing struggles. Local 2’s Ramon Guevara declared, “We will not be content with what we’ve gained” until the others win. He cited the struggle at the Marriott at Fisherman’s Wharf. Daryl White, who works there, also spoke of the Marriott Struggle. (Since the banquet, the workers there won a contract in parity with long-unionized San Francisco hotels.)

Local 2850 member Fidel Arroio, a cook at the Claremont Hotel, told of management “scare tactics” to weaken the union. “But,” he said, “we will fight harder to have justice at the Claremont and all other hotels.” Arroio urged everyone to join the Claremont boycott movement.

Father Bill O’Donnell, honored in absentia, is currently serving a six-month sentence for non-violent civil disobedience in last November’s protest against the School of the Americas (SOA) in Ft. Benning, Ga. Accepting his certificates were Judy Liteky and Charles Liteky, leaders of SOA Watch West. They urged support for the upcoming Ft. Benning protest, Nov. 15-17.

In accepting for the Sacramento Living Wage Campaign, steering committee member Ruth Holbrook emphasized the importance of a living wage. “The coalition has over 80 different groups,” she said, “and we see our work continuing after winning a living wage.”

The PWW/Nuestro Mundo editorial board honored correspondent Herb Kaye with a special certificate for his lifelong dedication to labor’s cause.[6]

2003 PWW banquet

Youth groups and unions on the front line for youth and workers’ rights were honored at the 2003 Northern California People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo banquet on Sunday, Nov. 9.

Following the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s victorious contract struggle in 2002, Longshore Local 10 President Henry Graham said the local and its brother locals are now focused on ensuring the giant shipping transnationals comply with the pact. The contract secured vital health and pension coverage, Graham said, but the union’s biggest challenge is employers’ constant efforts to cut the workforce, with clerks’ jobs under special pressure because of new technology.

Based on a survey last year of 1,000 students at three Oakland high schools, student organizers from Kids First "are pressing for real student council powers concerning school safety and security, teacher quality, classes and extracurricular activities". “We also believe helping youth take more ownership of issues affecting their daily lives is an important step to help lower the dropout rate,” Kids First Membership Coordinator Germaine Ashley told the PWW. Kids First formed eight years ago in the midst of the struggle to win more services for Oakland’s multiracial youth population.

Asian Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership "is campaigning for repeal of a 1996 federal law that says non-citizens can be deported for an offense with a prison sentence of a year or more'. AYPAL said this breaks up families, punishes people twice, and sends people who grew up in the U.S. to a culture they may no longer know. AYPAL, which comprises six youth social justice organizations in the Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Mien, Korean, Filipino and Pacific Islander communities, also works with prominent area artists to develop quality youth cultural performances.

Youth of Oakland United, the youth organization of PUEBLO (People United for a Better Oakland) was 'campaigning to win more jobs for both youth and adults". YOU’s video, “There Goes the ‘Hood,’” dramatized Mayor Jerry Brown’s plans to gentrify Oakland, while YOU organized against two of his favorite recent projects – a proposed anti-loitering law ostensibly against drugs, but actually targeting youth of color, and a $70 million anti-violence measure with most funds going to police instead of preventive programs.

The program also featured Immigrant Rights Freedom Riders from HERE Locals 2 and 2850, just returned from their triumphal nationwide tour, as well as SEIU Local 1877 janitors from the Greater Bay Area.

The program also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic film, “Salt of the Earth,” with a tribute to Lorenzo Torrez and Anita Torrez, who participated in the miners’ strike and the making of the film during the very difficult McCarthy era. The banquet was e held Sunday, Nov. 9, at 1:00 p.m. at His Lordships Restaurant on the Berkeley Marina.[7]

Each honoree received a special congressional certificate from Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, in whose district the banquet was held. Berkeley Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek extended a welcome to all the honorees and guests.

A special birthday salute to 99-year-old champion PWW distributor Jim Moore was followed by a tribute to other area circulators of the paper.

Many speakers echoed the slogan that hung beside the stage: “Terminate the Exterminators – Recall Bush and the Far Right in 2004!”

“We want a nation in which we who create all the wealth are in charge,” declared Northern California Communist Party Chair Juan Lopez. “An America with union jobs, public health care, housing and equality for all, free public education from infancy through college – an America truly of, by and for the people, at peace with the world.” But to win this, Lopez said, “we’d better start by getting rid of Bush and Republican control of Congress in 2004.”

Henry Graham, president of ILWU longshore Local 10, called the Republicans’ aims “dictatorship” and “tyranny,” and declared, “We cannot let that happen.”

Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 2 Secretary-Treasurer Tho Do spoke for Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride participants from her local and other locals in the Bay Area. Despite government-inspired immigrant bashing, Tho Thi Do said, “We have seen a lot of hope. … We met many families, many communities that are organizing to make changes for the years to come.” The audience gave warm applause to Judith Goff and Walter Johnson, heads of the Alameda County and San Francisco Labor Councils, which strongly supported the IWFR.

A group of union members accepted the award for SEIU Local 1877, representing janitors throughout the Greater Bay Area who won a recent contract victory.

In accepting their awards, Anita and Lorenzo Torrez emphasized building the PWW’s circulation as important to defeating the far right in 2004.

The audience enjoyed presentations by poet Sharita Cobb, singer-songwriter Eliot Kenin, singer Andrea Chambers, hip hop dancer David Johnson and the youth singing group The New Generation Singers.[8]

2004 PWW banquet

The mood was both joyous and determined as Northern California supporters of the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo gathered Oct. 8 2004 in Oakland, to celebrate their favorite newspaper and to rededicate themselves to the banquet’s theme — “Beat back Bush!”

The full-house, rainbow crowd honored leaders and organizations from the labor, antiwar, Cuba and Haiti solidarity movements and enjoyed a rich cultural program. Honorees received certificates of appreciation from area Congresswoman Barbara Lee and from Friends of the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo.

The second Presidential Debate, shown during the dinner hour, formed the backdrop for the evening.

“I listened to Mr. Bush’s answers,” said Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus — a U.S. Marine — died in Iraq in March 2003. “I’m sorry to say, he explained nothing.”

Since no connection has been found to the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy nor to weapons of mass destruction, “Mr. Bush is the real terrorist,” said Suarez, founder and director of the Guerrero Azteca Project and a founder of Military Families Speak Out.

“If I were one of the questioners in that debate,” said San Francisco Labor Council head Walter Johnson, “I would have asked, ‘President Bush, would you today, landing on that aircraft carrier, say again, mission accomplished?’ I don’t think he would know what to do in answering that question.”

“I don’t need to tell you that it will take an all-out fight to get Bush out of the White House,” said Juan Lopez, chair of the Northern California Communist Party. “Bush and company will spin a victory as a mandate to go full blast with their extreme policies,” he said, while “a Kerry victory, especially with a new leadership in Congress, can open new possibilities for an energized labor and people’s movement to struggle and make gains.”

Judy Goff, head of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, called ballot Proposition 72, the Health Insurance Act, “the single largest increase in extending medical coverage since Medicare was created.” She said the measure will both assure health coverage to a million presently uninsured Californians and help guarantee continued workplace coverage of millions more.

Honored for their own and their organizations’ work were Kathryn Hall, founder and director of The Birthing Project USA and a Sacramento leader in Pastors for Peace/Friendshipment, and Bay Area Venceremos Brigade participant Tshaka Barrows, both of whom emphasized the urgency of ending the U.S. blockade and normalizing relations with Cuba, a move that would benefit both countries.

Recalling that Haiti was founded by slaves who won their freedom, Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee, said it was no accident that this year, the Bush administration heeded the sweatshop corporations and deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide despite Aristide’s overwhelming support among Haitian working people.

Highlighted in the cultural program was the San Francisco Bay Area Labor Heritage Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus, along with singer-songwriter Elliott Kenin, and spoken word artists Tiara Ragsdale and Tamika Peterson. A special delight was the lively and skilled performance by members of the Total Eklipze Cheer Academy, who with their director, Aronda Morris, were honored during the proceedings.[9]

PWW banquet 2005

Rejecting the governor’s anti-people agenda, bringing our troops home from Iraq and using resources for human needs instead of war and occupation — these were the themes of the Northern California People’s Weekly World banquet held Oakland Nov. 5. 2005

The event raised over $10,000 for the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo 2005 fund drive.

The audience chuckled with delight at Pixie Schickele’s call to “vote more than once — talk to your family and co-workers,” and Jodi Reid’s observation, “We have to stop this B.S. — Bush and Schwarzenegger.” Their organizations, the Alliance for a Better California and the California Alliance for Retired Americans, were honored at the event, as were the youth organizations Latinos Unidos and Youth Power, and the Mosswood Park Recreation Center, represented by senior staff member Lateshya Johnson.

One of the evening’s most memorable moments came as Anne Roesler of Military Families Speak Out gave a graphic account of her son’s harrowing experiences in Iraq and the suffering of the Iraqi people. She called on the audience to bring the troops home and care for them and their communities. Roesler was joined on the platform by Ramon Leal of Iraq Veterans Against the War, who urged that politicians be held accountable for their actions in Iraq and in meeting people’s needs at home.

Calling for good-paying union jobs, quality education and health care and freedom from all forms of discrimination, Juan Lopez of the Northern California Communist Party said, “To make bigger gains in the future, we must first get rid of this sorry bunch in the White House, in the Congress and the governor’s mansion, and defeat their anti-people agenda.”

The unity of youth and seniors in struggle was highlighted by Andy Barnes of the California Alliance of Retired Americans as he urged the audience to get ready to “kick Arnold Schwarzenegger out, kick George Bush out — this country belongs to us and we’ve got to take it back!”

Participants laughed at the pointed, satirical lyrics of the Raging Grannies, and were thrilled and delighted by vocalist Emily Baloney, the dance ensemble BodiRock and famed activist clown Wavy Gravy.[10]

May Day Cinco de Mayo Greetings

Greetings for California CPUSA members and friends were often split up by the CPUSA's geographical division. Where a list is from the whole state, it will just be entitled "California Greetings".

1989 May Day Greetings - San Francisco

In the People's Daily World (PDW), "Special May Day Greetings, 1989, Section, B", is the following list: "MayDay Greetings to People's Daily World" From Seniors and Friends for the Future: Pass the National Health Service Act for everyone; Solidarity with Eastern strikers; End racism--equal justice for all; Respect for the right of nations, For self-determination; For peace in our time:

signed from: S.F. Club - San Francisco Club, CPUSA

1991 - In Memory of Archie Brown

The People's Weekly World 1991 May Day Supplement page B1 included a list of signatories honoring late Northern California communist Archie Brown.

1991 Greetings to Comrade Hani

The People's Weekly World 1991 May Day Supplement page B2 included a list of signatories from the San Fransisco Day Club and Friends honoring Comrade Hani.[11]

1996

The following May Day greeting was included in the Special May Day 1966 Supplement of the People's Weekly World.[12]

"May Day greetings to workers everywhere. Organize to defeat the right on November 5!" - Northern California Friends of the People's Weekly World

The following put their names to the greeting:

References

  1. PWW, Sep. 21 1996 page 2
  2. PWW, Dec.6 1997 page 2
  3. People's Weekly World/People's World, November, 2010, Events section."Keynote speaker: journalist and author Amy B. Dean, author of "A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement. Dean will speaker on the relationship between media and democracy and the role of radical activism in rebuilding the labor movement,
  4. PWW September 23, 2000, page 2
  5. N. Calif. PWW banquet raises $ 11,000, by: Evelina Alarcon, December 7 2001
  6. , N. Calif. PWW call: Unity against Bush clones, by: Marilyn Bechtel October 25 2002
  7. PWW, Youth, unions in spotlight at PWW banquet, October 23 2003
  8. PWW, Raising spirits and funds from coast to coast. by: Special to the World December 19 2003
  9. [http://www.peoplesworld.org/n-calif-pww-banquet-says-beat-back-bush/, PWN. Calif. PWW banquet says: Beat back Bush!by: Special to the World October 15 2004]
  10. N. Calif. PWW event raises $10,000; Honors peace and justice groups,by: Marilyn Bechtel November 18 2005
  11. Special May Day Supplement of the People's Weekly World, Saturday May 6, 2000
  12. Special May Day 1966 Supplement of the People's Weekly World, P. L.