John Fitzgerald is a Massachusetts activist.
Solidarity Project with the People of Mexico
Mary Jo Connelly September 6 2019·
Don't miss the chance to join us next Sunday Sept. 15 from 4-6pm for food and conversation with Prof. Javier Bravo, a representative of Mexico's MORENA Party (the party that elected AMLO, a left-progressive President of Mexico).
It's a great opportunity to hear what's happening in Mexico with the astounding election of progressive Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), and to talk about what we can do on both sides of the border. For fellow left-electoral geeks, there's a lot to learn from AMLO and MORENA experience. See the attached flier for more information. — with Mike Connelly, Ben Echevarria, Shana Berger, Amanda Achin, Andre Green, Rae Axner, Matt Taylor, Will Mbah, Gabriel Mireles, Garret Virchick, Matthew Miller, Pennie Taylor, Vicki Jane, Lily Huang, Becca Tumposky, Ben Bradlow, Payton Corbett, John Fitzgerald, Greg Hill, Rene E. Mardones, Juan Pablo Blanco, Joe Teixeira, Genevieve Leigh, Camilo Vive, Brian Connelly, Thomas Estabrook, Joe Ramsey, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Donald Cronin, Linda Liu, Consuelo Perez, Van Hardy, Mary Regan, Amy Colwell Todd, Zac Bears and Gillian Mason.
Boston Socialist Day School 2019
Join us for a one-day school on some of the key issues facing the left today.
Why the Working Class and Socialists in the Labor Movement Bhaskar Sunkara (Jacobin), Karin Baker (Pioneer Valley Democratic Socialists of America, Solidarity), John Fitzgerald (Solidarity), and Laura Gabby (NYC DSA, Carpenters Union).
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.
- Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?
- This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.
Those invited, on Facebook included John Fitzgerald.
Educators for a Democratic Union
According to members Dan Clawson and John Fitzgerald, writing in Solidarity, Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU) is the progressive caucus in the Massachusetts Teachers Association in which several Solidarity members are active. Four years ago, EDU ran a candidate for president largely as a vehicle to make connections with those we couldn’t easily reach. As a result of an effective campaign, an unsuspecting old guard, and a disgruntled membership, Barbara Madeloni won a two-year term. She ran for re-election in 2016 with a running mate; she won again, but her running mate lost. Since then our union has been in the process of becoming a more progressive and militant union.
In the fall of 2016 we defeated a ballot question that would have raised the cap on charter schools in the state. The pro-corporate forces to expand charter schools (and thereby remove public control of schools), spent $26 million. In March of the ballot year they were up in the polls by 25 points; the governor (the most popular in the country) and the state’s largest newspaper strongly backed the charter forces. Our union, together with community and labor allies, organized teachers to go door to door; we eventually WON the measure by 25 points (that is a 50 point swing).
This was a really enormous victory that shocked the corporate ed reformers (see this leaked report commissioned by the Waltons analyzing what went wrong in which they specifically point to a transformed MTA) and has been part of the emerging and growing teachers movement that’s been taking place since the Chicago Teachers Union lead the way.
Barbara Madeloni is terming out. EDU organized essentially a primary to choose our candidates for president and vice-president, choosing Merrie Najimy and Max Page. The vote was May 5 at the MTA’s Annual Meeting (where delegates vote for these positions) and our candidates won a decisive victory. This victory reflects a really well-run campaign as well as a leftward drift of the membership that’s clearly been inspired by our victories under Madeloni as well as by the national walkouts.
This year we (together with numerous allies) have put on the ballot a measure to increase taxes on incomes over a million dollars a year. That will bring in up to $2 billion a year, which is designated to be spent on education and transportation. (Comparison: Massachusetts now appropriates less than $5 billion for K-12 education, and about $1 billion for higher education.) Our opponents inside the Massachusetts Teachers Association oppose spending any money to promote the ballot question, arguing that since it is up in the polls, it is sure to win without our committing resources. (Seriously — that’s their argument.)
Had the EDU candidates for president and vice-president of the union been defeated, that ballot question would surely have been lost, as would the transformation process in the union. Besides the members, a lot of labor and community groups in the state are very happy that EDU won this election and won big.