John Humphries

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John Humphries

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John Humphries is affiliated with the Communist Party USA. He is Executive Director and Lead Organizer for the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

2021 Amistad Awards Host Committee

The Connecticut People's World Committee presented its annual Amistad Awards on Saturday December 12 2021 to mark the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party USA, with awards being presented to Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, Pastor Rodney Wade of Waterbury and SEIU activist Azucena Santiago.

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The Former Awardees Host Committee was Rob Baril, Jan Hochadel, Wildaliz Bermudez, Rochelle Palache, John Humphries, Ken Suzuki, Shellye Davis, Louise Simmons, Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, Peggy Buchanan, Robyn Porter, Camila Bortolleto, Carolina Bortolleto, Jeanette Morrison, Dan Livingston, Juan Brito Ciro Gutierrez, Cindy Harrity, Jill Marks, Alberto Bernardez, Dan Durant, Meg Riccio, Laurie Kennington, Edwin Vargas, Jr., Fatima Rojas, Toni Harp, Kurt Westby, Delphine Clyburn, Renae Reese, John Olsen, Carmen Boudier, Anna Montalvo, Gwen Mills, Alfred L. Marder, Juan Hernandez, Kathleen Cooper, Jorge Perez, Rev Scott Marks, John Harrity, Dolores Colon, Migdalia Castro, Blair Bertaccini, Teresa Younger, Pearl Granat.

2019 Amstitad Awards

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Communist Party 100th Anniversary

John Humphries accepted an award introduced by John Harrity during the People’s World Amistad Awards hosted on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party USA.

His acceptance speech:[1]

First, I want to congratulate all the honorees, and thank everyone who has come here today to celebrate them and our collective solidarity. And I want to especially celebrate the recognition given to my great friend of many years, Joelle Fishman. Joelle and I have worked together for many, many years and I have always valued her perspective, her advice and her friendship.
But on to the main event – John Humphries.
I am honored to be asked to honor John. I do not have a lot of time so I will get right to it. John is perhaps the most remarkable, effective and dedicated person I have ever worked with. That’s not hyperbola, and that’s not from a novice; I say that sincerely with more than 40 years of activism in people’s struggles. John – believe me when I say you are among the best.
John has a long history of organizing for progressive causes – in Appalachia, the Naugatuck Valley, with Sheff vs, O’Neill – but I am not going to focus on that. I met John maybe 7 years ago, when some environmentalists asked John Olsen if he could convene a meeting of labor folks concerned about climate change. This led to a continuing dialogue, and John Olsen’s request that I keep tabs on it.
That evolved into the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, a coalition of labor, environmental and faith groups, focused on climate change. Our working thesis is that the fight against climate disaster is crucial, and opens up opportunities for new, local, good-paying jobs in a revamped renewable energy economy. This transformation also mandates addressing and correcting decades of racial injustice embedded into the fossil fuel economy
But you can have the greatest perspective, and the keenest analysis, and not get anything done. The difference for the Roundtable has been our Executive Director and Lead Organizer, John Humphries.
I will just state a few of the Roundtable’s many achievements. In an early fight with utilities, we got restrictions put on the amount utilities could charge rate payers for fixed costs, which were a deterrent to energy conservation and renewables. We convinced the Dannel Malloy administration to revive and utilize the Governor Council on Climate Change and assisted the in the development and holding of stakeholder meetings across the state on climate change.
That process led to Connecticut setting some of the toughest standards in the country as goals for carbon reduction. Those goals were then further tightened by incoming Governor Ned Lamont.
We led the way in establishing a state goal to construct 2,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035. Offshore wind projects promise the creation of thousands of jobs under project labor agreements – so that they are union jobs. Most important, they will generate electric power without carbon emissions, to help keep our planet safe.
Now we are involved in working with the Ned Lamont administration to ensure that climate change is a primary factor in determining elements of a strategic transportation plan.
Through it all has been the leadership of John Humphries. His understanding of the climate crisis, and what needs to be done, is visionary. His work ethic is unmatched – meticulous, focused, disciplined and knowledgeable.
But it is his humanity, and genuine love of people that shines through always, and helps move people to our cause. John is a person with strong faith and strong personal values. He and his wife Debbie are a strong team, bound by love and a desire to do good in the world.
John leads by example, as well as by a sharp intellect, great listening skills and an ability to synthesize diverse opinions into concrete plans and real action.
John treats people with respect and dignity, and with an essential kindness that people feel and draws them in. If you know John, you know – and I mean this in the best, most appreciative way – that there is a little bit of Mr. Rogers to John, except focused on climate change instead of the Land of Make-Believe.
I am truly honored to be able to work with and learn from John Humphries. I am thankful to call him my friend. But I am most thankful that, at this crucial moment in history, when we are fighting to the survival of the world, John Humphries is on our side.
Let me read the citation on the award we are about to give John:

People's World Amistad Award

John Humphries, Director Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
In recognition of your life long commitment to social, racial, environmental and economic justice for all people, through community organizing and diverse alliance building bringing together labor, faith and community leaders from Appalachia to Connecticut to save our planet earth from devastation due to climate change and militarism and to create good, green jobs and an equal and sustainable future
Your outstanding leadership is an inspiration
December 14, 2019 at
City Hall Atrium
New Haven, Connecticut

Write Up on Event

In an article published at People's World:[2]

There was electricity in the air at New Haven City Hall on Dec. 14 2019 as seats throughout the long Atrium filled up for the People’s World Amistad Awards hosted on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party USA. African drums and dancers led a procession with the awardees in a rousing open to the rally program.
Standing ovations, applause, and singing punctuated speakers and performers as they addressed the theme “Rise Up—Unite 2020.: People and Planet Before Profits.”
“To effectively repel this multi-faceted affront on the ideals that unite us, we must, simply, rise up and unite,” said Mayor Toni Harp who set the tone in welcoming everyone to City Hall.
“We must restore people to their proper place before profits, we must prioritize our common good ahead of personal gain, and we must convince others to join us in this collective effort for the good of the planet—and for the good of all that depends upon it.”
The historic location, beautifully decorated, was the site where the Amistad captives of 1839 were held before their trial, and where the Amistad statue is now placed, symbolizing solidarity and courage in the ongoing freedom struggle.
Emcees Lisa Bergmann and Ben McManus recognized those who are in the midst of the big struggles of today, including climate justice protesters and students at Wilbur Cross High School who are rallying behind their classmate, Mario Aguilar, who is being held by ICE. Cosobi Mendoza, age 13, wowed the audience with several guitar selections, leading into the presentation of the awards.
Awardees inspired the crowd as they spoke passionately about their work and vision. Each awardee was presented with the large framed award picturing the Amistad statue. After each made their remarks, Mayor Harp presented a citation.
Rochelle Palache, political director of 32 BJ SEIU, declaring the rights of all workers to decent wages and benefits, called for support of building cleaners across the state who had voted unanimously that morning to strike if they don’t get a contract by Jan. 1. One week later, the workers won a contract that includes a fair wage increase and protects health benefits.

$15 minimum wage activists

Sarah Ganong May 17 2019:·

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With Zack Campbell, Jennifer Berigan, Carlos Cienfuegos Moreno, M. Saud Anwar, Rochelle Palache, Kevin Burgos, Marilyn Moore, Julie Kushner and Ciro Gutierrez.

References

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