Larry Cohen

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Larry Cohen


Larry Cohen is a leading US labor official.

Board Member of Our Revolution

Larry Cohen is a board member for Our Revolution, an organization run by former campaign workers and supporters of former socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[1]

CWA leader

Serving as the fourth President in the history of the Communications Workers of America union, Larry Cohen has implemented and spearheaded movements that have lead to help workers gain union representation in various sectors. He has also expanded the union’s membership mobilization program to create a network of union stewards

New Party builder

New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 New Party activists-"some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP" the list included Larry Cohen, Jobs with Justice.

Take Back America America

On March 17, 2008, at the Take Back America conference in Washington D.C. Larry Cohen, Roger Hickey, Robert Kuttner and Andrea Batista Schlesinger spoke in a session entitled "Out of the Hole: An Economy that Works for Working People".[2]

Blue Green Alliance

The Blue Green Alliance sponsors the annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The 2009 conference was held from Feb. 4-6, 2009.

Conference speakers included:[3]

Economic Policy Institute

Larry Cohen serves on the Board of Directors of the Democratic Socialists of America dominated Economic Policy Institute. Communication Workers of America.[4]

Women's National Democratic Club speech

Progressive groups and individuals, including labor, Latinos, African-Americans, women, and students must unite in a years-long campaign to restore and reclaim both workers rights and U.S. democracy, Communications Workers President Larry Cohen told a May 10 gathering of the Women's National Democratic Club in WasHington DC, may 2012. Cohen, in addition to his role as leader of one of the nation's biggest unions, was also chair of the AFL-CIO's Organizing Committee.

Cohen lamented the decline of workers' rights, saying it has led to a situation where unions represent only 6.9 percent of the private workforce, a share lower than when famed labor leader Eugene V. Debs was running the American Railroad Union in 1900.

And without restoration of political rights, workers' rights will not be restored, said Cohen.

Cohen spoke as the presidential general election campaign launched in earnest, with Obama's formal announcement the week before and back-and-forth jabs between Obama and presumed GOP foe, financier Mitt Romney.

The campaign Cohen described needed to last longer than one election cycle, he warned, estimating it would need at least "seven to 10 years" of concentrated effort. And it would have to go beyond normal party politics, too.

Indeed, Cohen said labor made a mistake after its legions helped vault Obama into the Oval Office and give Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a new term as House Speaker. The mistake was not in helping elect them, he said, but in not keeping up the pressure on the issues important to labor.

As a result, 400 progressive measures - everything from the Employee Free Choice Act to immigration reform - passed the House in 2009-10, and then fell victim to GOP filibusters in the Senate. And in an early 2009 White House meeting, Cohen said, labor law reform in the form of the Employee Free Choice Act was sidetracked "until after they did health care."

Left in the lurch, labor must campaign for "democracy and economic justice" at the same time, to increase its clout and those of its allies -- and keep the drive going between elections, to force lawmakers it elects to approve pro-worker laws, he added.

"The limits of democracy alone have blocked us," Cohen declared.

Cohen cited a graphic, from a new CWA booklet for the campaign, with a high wall that workers must scale. The high wall that blocks achievement, he said, is built of four things: Senate filibusters, the huge flow of corporate money into politics - "It's gotten out of hand," he said - the lack of legalization of immigrants, and voter suppression legislation proposed or enacted in 38 states.

"ALEC and others like it know they can't win elections unless they shrink the electorate," he said, referring to the business-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, "the secretive author of anti-worker, union-busting, voter suppression and other right-wing laws".

The coalition Cohen envisions is in the booklet, Building A Movement For Economic Justice And Democracy, would have a potential total of 50 million people.

That included 15 million union members, at least 10 million Latinos, at least 10 million African-Americans, 5.2 million members of progressive women's groups such as Emily's List and NOW, four million students, five million senior citizens, and millions of others in progressive religious and community organizations.

"If we can blend together these groups" to fight for both democracy and workers' rights at the same time, and (sustain it) over a long stretch of years, the effort can succeed, he said. The booklet is being distributed at CWA steward and leadership training classes.

He compared the workers rights/democracy drive to two other successful mass movements. One was the 30-year effort, led by former Brazilian Metal Workers President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva to build unions there. It eventually led to Lula's election to the Brazilian presidency - and to cutting poverty by empowering workers to bargain for living wages that let them buy food.

The other comparison Cohen used is the "Arab Spring," which started with a Tunisian street vendor burning himself to death in protest of his repressive government's restrictions. It set off popular uprisings, which toppled first that dictatorship, followed by those in Algeria and Egypt. The uprisings continue.

The alternative to such a huge and coordinated drive is dire, Cohen said.

"If we don't focus on these democracy issues, we're leading people around and around in a circle, and we're like Sisyphus, constantly pushing the rock up the hill" only to have it roll back down again, he declared. "But if we can rebuild an offense" on democracy and "a vision to recapture the American dream, then that's what we'll come up with.[5]

Council for a Livable World, 50th Anniversary

On June 6, 2012, Council for a Livable World, along with its sister organizations Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their founding by Leo Szilard in 1962.

An evening celebration was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Congressman Barney Frank acted as the Master of Ceremonies and, in the process, received a lifetime achievement award from former Rep. Tom Downey, a member of the Council’s Board of Directors. The Robert F. Drinan Peace and Human Award was presented to former Representative and PeacePAC Chairman David Bonior and the late Edith Wilkie, a longtime advocate and leader for peace and justice.

There were also speeches and toasts by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Representative Shelley Berkley, former Representative and PeacePAC chairman Tom Andrews (D-ME), former Cabinet Secretary Norman Mineta and Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen.[6]

"The 99% Spring"

Individuals and organizations supporting The 99% Spring, as of April 20, 2012, included Larry Cohen -CWA .[7]

T-Mobile panel

On February 16, 2013, a distinguished group of national, international, and local leaders gathered in Charleston to hear testimony from T- Mobile employees. Their testimony provided compelling evidence of horrible working conditions and a complete absence of job security.

Members of the Charleston Speak Out Panel were;

Midwest Academy connection

The Gala Host Committee, for the December 10, 2014 Midwest Academy Awards Ceremony included Larry Cohen — President, Communications Workers of America .[9]

Populism 2015

Plenary: "Advancing a Populist Agenda that Puts People and Planet First".

This plenary will unveil the Populism2015 Agenda that outlines what we need to win in the next 10 years to put people and planet before profit and polluters. A bold agenda means we invest deeply in building our power at the scale of the crises we face, shifting the landscape of public debate toward our story of what’s broken and how to fix it, and taking on new campaigns to build the world we want instead of tinkering around the edges of the old economy and a broken democracy.

Speakers

Postal Workers meeting

A "meet and greet" was held at the office of the American Postal Workers Union July 13, 2015 between more than 40 U.S. labor leaders and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who is running for president.

"Bernie Sanders has been an outspoken champion of postal customers, postal workers and the public Postal Service - demanding expanded services for all Americans, an end to mail delays, and an end to the closure of postal facilities," said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

"And he has been a forceful advocate for working people for decades. He's not in the pocket of big corporations. We thought it was important to hear his ideas about the 2016 campaign - especially how he plans to take on the big-money interests that are strangling our political system and our economy.

"There has been tremendous interest and excitement about his campaign in the labor movement," he said.

The meeting at APWU's office was co-hosted by former president of the Communications Workers of America Larry Cohen, APWU President Mark Dimondstein and APWU Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Powell. Neither the APWU nor the CWA has endorsed a presidential candidate in 2016. Both unions are affiliates of the AFL-CIO.[10]

"Progressive Agenda"

Signers of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's May 12, 2015 launched The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality included Larry Cohen, Communication Workers of America.[11]

DSA for Bernie meeting

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A forum and rally featuring the acerbic and hilarious populist Jim Hightower on Oct. 22, 2015 stands out among many Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America activities planned on behalf of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in October.

This event, among many others, is part of the larger Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) We Need Bernie campaign.

The event was held at Busboys and Poets on 5th and K St. Among other speakers, were Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal, labor leader Larry Cohen. The keynote for the event will be the entertaining and always on-point progressive agitator Jim Hightower... a powerful force to be reckoned with in American culture and a persuasive advocate for Bernie Sanders’s campaign.[12]

Unity Reform Commission

In 2017 the Democratic National Committee's 21-member Unity Reform Commission included nine members selected by Hillary Clinton, seven members picked by Bernie Sanders, three picked by Thomas Perez, and the chair and vice chair ― selected by Clinton and Sanders, respectively.

Aside from Chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, a Clinton pick, the breakdown of the members selected by Perez and Clinton is not public.

Sanders named his selections to the commission. They were Larry Cohen, the vice chair; former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner; former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver; former Sanders New York delegate Nomiki Konst; James Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute; former Berkeley, California Mayor Gus Newport; former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores; and Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb.

The DNC declined to name the three members Perez picked and a spokesman for Clinton did not respond to a request for information on her appointments.[13]

Our Revolution Maryland

Our Revolution - Maryland's first statewide meeting. Sunday, April 23 3:30 p.m. Tommy Douglas Conference Center 10000 New Hampshire Ave Silver Spring, MD 20903. A livestream with Nina Turner, Larry Cohen, Lucy Flores, Benjamin Jealous and DSA member Mike Connolly.[14]

2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force repeal

Yasmine Taeb March 10, 2018:

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Today, after nearly 17 years, the Democratic Party adopted a resolution I submitted calling for the repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). I was proud to have our DNC and progressive leaders sign on as co-sponsors, including my good friend DNC Deputy Chair Congressman Keith Ellison, DNC Vice-Chair Congresswoman Grace Meng, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Our Revolution Board Chairman Larry Cohen, Chair of Hawaii Democrats Timothy Vandeveer, and nearly 20 other co-sponsors. It is past time for Congress to have a debate and #VoteOnWar.

Passed only three days after the attacks of 9/11, the 2001 AUMF has given three administrations expansive and endless war-making powers without consulting Congress. This is an abdication of Congress’ constitutional duties. I am heartened that the Democratic Party recognizes the dangers of using an outdated war authority and is calling on all Democratic members in Congress to support bipartisan efforts to repeal the 2001 AUMF.

References