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

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.[4]

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.[5]

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. [6]

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."[7]

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). [8]

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."[9]

References

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