The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
Earl Hilliard is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".
1999 Cuba visit
On February 18 1999, six members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors: Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Julia Carson of Indiana and Gregory Meeks from New York and Earl Hilliard of Alabama [Vice Chair, CBC].
Representative Maxine Waters, who headed the delegation, stated that many of the congressional representatives already have some information about Cuba. But she hoped that additional facts would help the Black Caucus take a leading role in introducing legislation to change current U.S. policies toward Cuba.
Jorge Lezcano, President of the International Relations Commission of the Cuban Parliament, received the U.S. congressional representatives upon their arrival in Havana. Lezcano told reporters that the visiting members of the Congressional Black Caucus plan to meet with Cuban lawmakers and other government officials. He added that during their stay on the island, the U.S. delegation will also visit places of cultural and historic interest.
The legislators' visit was organized by the US based Pastors for Peace, headed by the Rev. Lucius Walker, who accompanied the delegation. They have organized several aid "caravans" in the United States to collect supplies and take them to the island.
On Thursday, February 18th, the group met with Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina and held a question and answer session with him. The Cuban domestic news agency AIN said the encounter covered Washington's "aggressive policy" toward Cuba and the effects of the long-running U.S. economic embargo against the communist-ruled island. Robaina also talked about what he called the "enormous misinformation" about Cuba in the mainstream U.S. media.
Late Friday, February 19th, the group met with President Fidel Castro for 6 hours. There have as yet been no details on the meeting in the Cuban press. Vice President Carlos Lage and Ricardo Alarcon, president of the parliament, were also present.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
Progressive State of the Union Address, 1999
January 19, 1999, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Institute for Policy Studies, talked about issues that they are planning to address in the upcoming year, at the Progressive State of the Union Address. Some of the issues they intend to address are poverty in the United States, national defense, the global economy, Medicare, and education. Rep. Conyers stated that the House disregarded the views the majority of the American people when the House impeached the president.
Speakers were Tammy Baldwin [D] Wisconsin, John Cavanagh Co-Director Institute for Policy Studies, John Conyers, [D] Michigan, Peter DeFazio [D] Oregon, Karen Dolan, Coordinator Institute for Policy Studies, Earl Hilliard, [D] Alabama, Maurice Hinchey, [D] New York, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, [D] Ohio, Barbara Lee, [D] California, Jerrold Nadler, [D] New York, Grace Napolitano, [D] California, Major Owens, [D] New York, Bernie Sanders, [I] Vermont, Jan Schakowsky, [D] Illinois.
Progressive Caucus SOTU Address
On Thursday, January 27 2000, from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in 2253 of RHOB, the Congressional Progressive Caucus held its 3rd Annual Congressional Progressive Caucus' State of the Union Address. This event was also sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge coalition whose Fairness Agenda for America is endorsed by 200 public interest groups nationally.
Caucus Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio(D-OR) stated "The Progressive Caucus Alternative State of the Union will provide a much needed reality check to politicians who would rather ignore the priorities of Americans left out of the economic boom -- priorities like access to quality health care and education, repairing crumbling schools, addressing the growing gap between the rich and poor, and creating a sustainable global economy that works for everyone, not just the corporate architects."
Anticipated speakers included: Peter DeFazio (D-OR), House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-MI), Earl Hilliard (D-AL);Dennis Kucinich (D-OH); Cynthia McKinney (D-GA);. Major Owens (D-NY)Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Tammy Baldwin (D-WI);. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY);Barbara Lee (D-CA); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); and Lynn Woolsey(D-CA). John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies also made some remarks regarding public interest groups support of a progressive agenda.
- The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), consists of over a quarter of the House Democrats, one Independent and Senator Paul Wellstone. The Caucus will be releasing position papers on Health Care and Income Inequality, with reports on the Alternative Federal Budget, Social Security, Minimum Wage, Education and the Global Economy.
Staffer's 2000 trip to Cuba
In February 2000, Frederick Zylman from the office of Congressman Earl Hilliard spent six days in Havana, Cuba, for the purpose of "information gathering". The trip cost $1,478.47 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation. Zylman was a former member of the Communist Party USA and at the time of the Cuba trip was active in the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
Health Care Access resolution
John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.
Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;
- Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..
- Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
- [ http://www.foodfirst.org/es/about/staff, Food First staff page]
- [ http://www.cubatravelusa.com/history_of_cuban_embargo.htm Cuba travel USA website, accessed dec. 13, 2010]
- Reflections of Fidel, The seven Congress members who are visiting us, Havana. April 7, 2009
- http://www.afrocubaweb.com/blackcaucus.htm Afro Cuba web. MEMBERS OF U.S. CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS ARRIVE IN HAVANA Radion Havana Cuba]
- Afro Cuba web.Black Caucus Delegation visits Cuba, meets with Castro, Robaina La Habana, Feb. 20, 1999 Andy Petit
- DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
- http://www.c-span.org/video/?118893-1/progressive-state-union-address CSPAN, JANUARY 19, 1999 Progressive State of the Union Address]
- Common Dreams, Progressive Groups And Congressional Caucus To Present Their Third Annual Alternative State Of The Union Address, JANUARY 26, 2000
- American Radio Works website: Trips sponsored by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation
- Dem. Left, Summer 2002