Unemployment and Tenant Organizing Town Hall
In July 2020 the Claudia Jones School for Political Education hosted an Unemployment and Tenant Organizing Town Hall for residents in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area in the form of an online Zoom Webinar. Seven panelists who work in the local area, as well as one panelist from a national labor organization, were invited.
The panelists included: Cheryl Brunson of the Brookland Manor and Brentwood Village Tenants Association (D.C.’s largest remaining affordable housing complexes), Rosemary Ndubuizu and Shakeara Mingo of ONE DC, Zillah Wesley of Poor People’s Campaign D.C., Jon Liss of New Virginia Majority, Brad Crowder of the Communist Party USA Labor Commission, and Will Merrifield, a candidate running for D.C. Council who has worked closely with tenant associations around the area advocating for universal housing, education, and employment opportunities.
Organizers with the Claudia Jones School say the aim of the event was to facilitate a community-led dialogue between organizers in the area and to put unemployed people and tenants in contact with one another to strategize about ways to advocate for themselves as a collective.
The Claudia Jones School is currently contemplating ways to enhance dialogue between participants and panelists in an online format such as a webinar, seeking to raise the voices of everyone in the discussion while maintaining safety and technological feasibility. The intention is to create a consistent meeting place for poor and working-class people in the community so that they can organize and mobilize in the face of untenable material conditions. The School aims to replicate similar strategies that the Communist Party USA used to create the successful Unemployed Councils (UC) during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
As Jaime Cruz (who emceed the event and is a founding member of the Claudia Jones School) mentioned in the introduction to the town hall: “In moments of joblessness in the past, working people have coordinated the fightback against employers and forced the government to provide the necessary relief that working people needed…. It is this generation’s turn to pick up the mantle and build a mass movement of unemployed councils that will address the economic needs of our multi-racial working class in all areas of the country—inner urban, suburban, town and rural.”
40th Anniversary of the Sandinista Popular Revolution
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Sandinista Popular Revolution at the Embassy of the Republic of Nicaragua
Gato Martinez-Bentley July 22, 2019 ·
Celebrating 100 years of the Party
According to Tim Wheeler a multi-racial crowd from the mid-Atlantic region, Sept. 15, 2019 celebrated the founding of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) a century ago in 1919, filling a church here with singing, poetry, and calls for the ouster of President Trump.
Kuya Kemet, chair of the gathering, welcomed people who traveled from Virginia and Washington D.C. to join the Baltimore crowd.
Jaime Cruz, a Puerto Rican, now chair of the Claudia Jones CP Club in Washington D.C., praised Widom’s call for solidarity. He called for celebration of Claudia Jones, born in Trinidad-Tobago, a leader of the CPUSA imprisoned under the infamous Smith Act and deported to the U.K. during the years of Cold War repression.
The 40th Anniversary Commemoration Committee of the Chicano Moratoriums was formed in the summer 2009 by the Chair of the National Chicano Moratorium Committee of August 29, 1970 along with two independent Chicano Movement historians whom although not of the baby boomer generation, have become inspired by the Movimiento.
The organization posted a list of significant “Chicano movement” activists on its website which included Jaime Cruz.
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