Reed Smith, Jr.

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E Reed Smith, Jr. died July 2011, at home shortly after his 86th birthday. Before moving to New Haven in 1991, Reed and his family lived in Waterbury, Connecticut and briefly in Chicago, Illinois.[1]

Activism

Reed Smith was a staunch supporter of the Communist Party USA's People's World and the "working class movement". Born and raised in Connecticut, he worked as an economist in industry for many years, and then at faith-based community agencies in Waterbury and New Haven.

A life long peace and civil rights activist, he helped form the first integrated housing development in Waterbury in the 1950's. He marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. During the Vietnam War he counseled draftees about conscience objection.

Smith helped found a soup kitchen in Waterbury, and continued his crusade against poverty while in New Haven as a candidate for State Representative on the Tax the Rich line. He was a founding member of the Coalition to End Child Poverty in Connecticut, assisting with economic research and advocating for a progressive tax system. As director of Interfaith Cooperative Ministries , he initiated many programs including an inter-racial dialog and an annual interfaith service on Martin Luther King's birthday.

After helping staff a peace center formed at the time of the 1991 Iraq war, Reed was appointed to the City of New Haven Peace Commission where he served for over a decade. He became a stalwart contributor to the New Haven People's Center where he helped "organize events for social justice, peace and racial equality", and became a participant with the Alliance for Retired Americans.

When she became ill, Reed devoted himself to the well being of wife Marty, whom he married while in the service during WWII. He will be greatly missed by his large extended family, his comrades in the Alert Seniors Club and everyone whose lives he touched.[2]

Communist Party's May Day Salute

In 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Weekly World, published a "May Day salute" to the "heroes in the class war zone". More than 100 unionists/activists endorsed the call, mostly known affiliates, or members of the Communist Party.

Reed Smith, New Haven Connecticut, was one of those listed[3].

Communist Party USA

In September 2006 the Peoples Weekly World[4]listed several members, or supporters of the Connecticut Communist Party USA.

Alfred Marder, Art Perlo, Brian Steinberg, Dorothy Johnson, Eda diBiccari, Edie Fishman, Edward Broderick, George Fishman , Henry Lowendorf, James Barnes Jr, Joelle Fishman, Joseph Taylor, Lola Johnson, Mary Johnson, Melvin Gonzalez Mendez, Pamela Saffer, Yusuf Gursey, Sallie Caswell Thomas, Tom Connolly Reed Smith Jr .

References