Kit Salazar-Smith

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Kit (Catherine) Salazar-Smith is Secretary at State of Connecticut Dept. of Labor.

Education

Howard University, 1969 – 1971

Communist Party Labor Day call

The Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World issued a statement to mark Labor Day 1995, entitled "We honor the dead and fight like hell for the living."

Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.

Kit Salazar-Smith, AFSCME Connecticut, was on the list.[1]

Supporting the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Strikers

In the June 14, 1997 edition of People's Weekly World Kit Salazar-Smith, AFSCME, was listed among those who sent their support to the 4500 members of the United Steelworkers of America who have been on strike against the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation since October 1, 1996:[2]

2001, Solidarity with the Charleston 5

The May Day Supplement, page C, to the People's Weekly World May 12 2001, carried a dedication from "Connecticut labor and community activists standing in solidarity with the Charleston 5"

Signers included Kit Salazar-Smith.

Award

March 2010, Kit Salazar-Smith, vice president of Western Connecticut Central Labor Council, said she was stunned to be singled out for the Organized Labor/United Way Community Service Award. She has been an employee of the state Department of Labor for 26 years. The United Way program says she is always up to organizing an event or fundraiser, and some of her community work includes investing eight years with the Naugatuck Valley Project helping to create jobs that are portable and lasting. [3]

Newsmaker Awards

It was an overflow crowd with inspiring presentations and music at the People's Center in New Haven, CT on April 25 2010, for the People's World/Mundo Popular Newsmaker Awards presented to three organizations on the front lines in the struggle for good jobs. With unemployment at a crisis levels, the event was organized as "A Call to United Action to Create Jobs for All with Equality and Peace."

Kit Salazar-Smith, vice president of the Waterbury Labor Council, chaired the afternoon event. The crowd was welcomed by Joelle Fishman, Chair of the Connecticut Communist Party USA, whose state convention, geared to the struggle for jobs and the 2010 elections, preceded the event.[4]

2014 Amistad Awards

The People's World Amistad Awards were held on Sunday, December 7 2014, to celebrate the Connecticut election victory and look forward. Awardees included Meg Riccio, chief steward of Local 35 service and maintenance workers at Yale; Alberto Bernardez, area director SEIU 32 BJ union of janitors; Daniel Durant, community organizer for AFT Connecticut.[5]

Enthusiasm was high as emcees Kit Salazar-Smith and Lisa Bergmann guided the program from the New Orleans-style sounds of Kings of Harmony and song led by Jill Marks to the finale of traditional music and dance by the Bodoma Garifuna Cultural Band.

Opening the event, held on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Communist Party USA, Connecticut chair Joelle Fishman's call to action evoked the chants of recent protests.

"When courageous $15 and a Union fast food strikers stand in solidarity with Hands Up Don't Shoot protests they are saying this is one struggle for dignity, for basic democratic rights, human rights and fairness. As Martin Luther King, Jr., challenged us to take on the triple evils of poverty, racism and war," she said, "we know it will take big change for our country to truly be of, by and for the people. To that we recommit today, inspired by the awardees and the people in the streets fighting for justice."[6]

"May Day 2016 -- Fighting for Our Future"

Big changes require big struggles, and "May Day 2016 -- Fighting for Our Future" set a powerful and inspiring framework for the labor battles and elections this year.

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An enthusiastic and diverse crowd at the King Davis Labor Center in Hartford on May 1 gave a standing ovation to People's World editor John Wojcik whose eloquent and hard-hitting speech quoted extensively from Albert Parsons' last statement made in 1886 before being hanged on a frame-up charge.

The annual People's World celebration included a panel discussion which called upon the Connecticut state legislature to reject an austerity budget with layoffs and cuts in public services and instead increase taxes on the top 1 percent. A large scroll petition signed by all present was delivered to the Speaker of the House the next day.

Tom Connolly, vice president of CSEA Retirees and a member of Better Choices for Connecticut, listed specific choices that could bring in revenue and create savings as an alternative to a budget "that hurts working people and poor people."

Ciro Gutierrez, a building cleaner and member-leader of SEIU 32 BJ who came to the United States from Peru for a better life, exemplified the international struggle for workers' rights, citing the struggle for the eight-hour work day which was won in Peru in 1918. Speaking of the hardships of income inequality on workers today, he upheld the Fight for $15 minimum wage victory in New York state and called for making this an issue in the 2016 presidential election as part of the effort to defeat Donald Trump.

Panelist Alexandra Marks, a New Haven high school student, received a standing ovation after presenting the work of the Young Communist League and New Elm City Dream in the Jobs for Youth - Jobs for All campaign.

Also highlighted were the low-wage workers' April 14 demonstrations for decent pay and work schedules, taking place in dozens of countries and in 320 cities in the US including Hartford.

In his remarks opening the panel, SEIU 32 BJ leader Alberto Bernardez captured the essence of May Day when he paid tribute to low wage workers forced to work multiple jobs today...

Prior to the event, Wojcik spent several days touring Connecticut where he attended Workers' Memorial Day and met with union and community leaders and elected officials including a round table discussion with five members of the New Haven Board of Alders who are also union members and leaders in their unions.[7]

Also in attendance was Kit Salazar-Smith.

References