- 1 New York
- 2 YCL Midwest Voter Project
- 3 Dynamic Collective 2005
- 4 Venezuela
- 5 Communist Party USA
- 6 Supporting Pat Allen
- 7 CPUSA Missouri/Kansas District Executive Board
- 8 Obama supporter
- 9 GRO Gala
- 10 Communist Party speaker
- 11 St. Louis Workers’ Education Society
- 12 Political Affairs
- 13 Supporing Peter Merideth
- 14 CAIR rally
- 15 New member phone bank
- 16 Gala guest speakers
- 17 2018 Single-Payer Strategy Conference
- 18 14th Ward Alderman campaign
- 19 Missouri comrades
- 20 Communist Party campaign
- 21 CBTU endorsement
- 22 Almost an Alderman
- 23 Building A Better 14th Ward
- 24 Mentors
- 25 References
Tony Pecinovsky is the national organizing director for Speak Progress. He writes regularly for the People’s World and the St. Louis Labor Tribune, “one of the country’s oldest and most respected union papers.” His articles have been published in Shelterforce, ZMagazine, Alternet and Political Affairs, among other publications.
He is the fund-raising co-chair of St. Louis Jobs with Justice and a Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition board member. He also serves on the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) coalition steering committee. Additionally, as a member of the St. Louis United Media Guild he serves as the secretary-treasurer of the Greater St. Louis CWA (Communications Workers of America) City Council and as a delegate to the Greater St. Louis Central Labor Council. He is also the president of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.
He is married to Julie Terbrock.
YCL Midwest Voter Project
This Fourth of July, 2004, activists from across the country joined activists in Missouri, to defeat George W. Bush. Communist Party USA and Young Communist League members, alongside friends and allies from Texas, California, New York, and everywhere in between, have been plugged into local political battles.
The goal of the CPUSA’s Midwest Project was to defeat Bush and the ultra-right in America’s heartland. Central to the Missouri "part of the Midwest Project is helping to elect progressive, pro-labor candidates. Strengthening grassroots coalitions and building a broader movement to defeat Bush is tied directly into the efforts to build the Party and YCL."
After Missouri, the Midwest Project workers went to Ohio.
Dynamic Collective 2005
In 2005, the Collective running the Young Communist League magazine Dynamic, consisted of Shane Brinton, Cesar Casamayor, Melissa Chadburn, Julia Donahue, Maya Funaro, Cristina Gallo, Abdul-Aziz Hassan, Molly Kelley, Tony Pecinovsky, Kristy Ringor, Brandon Slattery, Mike Tyner, Keren Wheeler.
Tony Pecinovsky traveled to Venezuela in 2005. In March 2006, he gave a talk on the experience the University of Missouri-Columbia;
- With the help of Cuban medical personnel, he said, 75% of Venezuelans receive free health care, and currently thousands of Venezuelan students are training in Cuba to become doctors and will provide free health care upon return.
- Millions of Venezuelans have learned to read and write within the past few years, and those previously excluded from education because of poverty are seeking higher education for free — another aspect of Chavez’ 21st century socialism. “Chavez realizes that if you want to get rid of poverty, you need to empower the poor,” Pecinovsky said.
Communist Party USA
Colan Holmes, Garon Foxx, Glenn Burleigh, Jim Wilkerson, Jocelyn Cochran-Biggs, Joey Mooney, John Pappademos, Julie Terbrock, Katrina Molnar, Kaveh Razani, Margarida Jorge, Mary Barbur , Nafisa Kabir, Phil Webb, Quincy Boyd, Russ Ford, Steve Johnson, Tony Pecinovsky, Yvette Harris, Zenobia Thompson.
Supporting Pat Allen
The weekend before the Aug. 8 2006, Missouri primary, about half a dozen St. Louis volunteers from the Communist Party USA went to Kenett, a small southern Missouri “Boot Heel” town, where a historic state representative race was going on. We volunteered to help Pat Allen, who would have been the first African American woman state representative in southern Missouri. She and her opponent, Tom Todd, were campaigning for the Democratic Party nomination in the 163rd District.
The volunteers included Tony Pecinovsky, district staff person for the Communist Party in Missouri and Kansas.and Jocelyn Cochran-Biggs, a member of the Missouri/Kansas Peoples Weekly World bureau. pat Allen's campaign co-ordinator was Communist Party USA affiliate Margarida Jorge.
Wrote Pecinovsky and Cochran-Biggs;
- Though her opponent won the primary, the campaign was an important learning experience and in many ways a victory.
- That a progressive African American woman ran at all in southern Missouri, where sexism and racism are very real, signifies a significant shift in the political balance of forces.
- Allen’s campaign also laid the groundwork for future base-building and mobilization, including in the Claire McCaskill campaign for U.S. Senate. McCaskill, who is in a neck-to-neck race with right-wing Republican Jim Talent, may be able to pick up some extra votes in southern Missouri, Talent’s strongest base, which would be a real victory for the fight against racism and sexism, as well as for rural voters.
Shortly after the primary was over, it was discovered that Allen's opponent Tom Todd, who was running as a Democrat in a Democratic primary, was actually working the Republican base and telling voters that Allen was a Black radical.
Allen’s platform included standing up for women’s reproductive rights, access to affordable health care for seniors, better schools and better jobs with living wages. She also had years of experience in local politics as a teacher and member of the school board.
CPUSA Missouri/Kansas District Executive Board
In 2007, members of the Communist Party's Missouri/Kansas District Executive Board were;
- Jim Wilkerson
- Zenobia Thompson
- John Pappademos
- Glenn Burleigh
- Margarida Jorge
- Quincy Boyd
- Tony Pecinovsky
Pecinovsky wrote on the PA Editors blog in February 2008;
- History was made in Missouri (and around the country) yesterday. With a margin of less than 5,000 votes Barack Obama won Missouri's democratic primary...
- Excitement is in the air here. Students, trade unionists, peace activists, and the African American community are rejoicing. Obama's call for change resonated loud and clear, especially in Missouri's urban centers – St. Louis and Kansas City.
- While rural voters predominantly voted for Clinton, it was the African American, working class, urban core that put Obama over the top. With the help of a number of unions and community groups, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), the Service Employees Union (SEIU) and UNITE-HERE, Obama was able to mobilize the core of MO's progressive forces and put a dent in the Clinton election machine.
This is What Democracy Looks Like! GRO – Grass Roots Organizing Tenth Anniversary Gala Event, October 8, 2010, at the The Renaissance Grand Hotel St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis Host Committee;
- Laura Barrett, National Policy Director, Gamaliel Foundation
- Amy Blouin Executive Director, Missouri Budget Project
- John L. Bowman, Chief of Staff, Senator Robin Wright-Jones
- Nancy Cross, Vice President, Service Employee International Union Local 1
- Rita Days, Missouri State Senator
- Lara Granich, Executive Director, Missouri Jobs with Justice
- Reverend Ben Martin
- Jeanette Mott Oxford, Missouri Representative
- Tony Pecinovsky, People's World
- Rabbi Susan Talve, Central Reform Congregation
Communist Party speaker
- Tony Pecinovsky is the national organizing director for Speak Progress. He also serves as district organizer for the Missouri/Kansas District of the Communist Party, and writes regularly for the People’s World and the St. Louis Labor Tribune, “one of the country’s oldest and most respected union papers.” His articles have been published in Shelterforce, Z-Magazine, Alternet and Political Affairs, among other publications.
- He is the fund-raising co-chair of St. Louis Jobs with Justice and a Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition board member. Additionally, as a member of the St. Louis United Media Guild he serves as the secretary-treasurer of the Greater St. Louis CWA (Communications Workers Union of America) City Council and as a delegate to the Greater St. Louis Central Labor Council. He also serves as president of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.
St. Louis Workers’ Education Society
The St. Louis Workers’ Education Society (StLWES) opened its doors at 2929 S. Jefferson March 27. 2015, and welcomed organizers, rabble-rousers, activists and community organizations to its first annual open house fundraiser.
StLWES, a 501(c) 3 non-profit new to St. Louis, focuses on worker-education campaigns, partnering with local union and community organizations to build a permanent culture of worker-education in St. Louis with a focus on communities of color, women and youth. It currently houses four groups.
Located in the former union hall of Operating Engineers’ Local 148, StLWES currently houses four groups: the Missouri/Kansas People’s World, Speak Progress, Labor Campaign for Single Payer and Latinos En Axion.
Supporters conversed on building the labor movement, revitalizing the community, increasing voter turnout, promoting growth of progressive small businesses and fighting for ‘”$15 and a Union” for low-wage workers
tLWES President Tony Pecinovsky thankedd those in attendance, noting, “We depend on you to keep this building running, to organize our programs, to reach out to the community and to build a local, grassroots pro-union, worker-education infrastructure. Your support so far has been truly humbling. You make it possible for us to do the people’s work.”
The fund-raising ‘Open House’ raised $1,600, and an additional $1,200 in monthly sustainer pledges.
Supporing Peter Merideth
Over 1,000 people gathered outside of Thomas F. Eagleton federal courthouse February 4, 2017, for a rally in support of Muslims, refugees and immigrants hosted by the local chapter of the national advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The marked the fourth local protest action since President Trump signed a controversial Jan. 27 order barring travelers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
“Make some noise if Black lives matter: make some noise if LGBTQ lives matter; I need you to make some noise if Muslim lives, refugee lives, and immigrant lives matter!” said Bruce Franks, Jr., a Missouri state representative who hails from St. Louis.
Tony Pecinovsky, President of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society , also brought a call to action:
“Because of you – in all of your diversity – we have put Bannon and Trump back on their heels! We should rejoice in our victory! And continue to build bridges!”
New member phone bank
New member phone bank Public · Hosted by Communist Party USA.
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 11 AM - 4 PM EDT
Your living room
- We're organizing a phonebank to our new members on Saturday and we need your help. The callfire service allow you to make the calls from home, using your smartphone, laptop or deskstop. You'll get a real charge from talking to them! Aint' nuthin like it!! Please click "going" if you can make calls! Thanks!
Those invited to participate on on Facebook included Tony Pecinovsky.
Gala guest speakers
In July 2016 Sunflower Community Action enlisted guest speakers Tony Pecinovsky and Onleilove Alston, Executive Director of PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) for their 25th Anniversary gala.
2018 Single-Payer Strategy Conference
Healthcare-Now! Agenda: 2018 Single-Payer Strategy Conference Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24 Minneapolis, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown.
Agenda for Saturday, June 23
- Forging Partnerships with Workers’ Centers and Other Non-Union Workers’ Organizations – Ben Palmquist, National *Economic and Social Rights Initiative; Tony Pecinovsky, St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.
14th Ward Alderman campaign
Tony Pecinovsky September 24 2018:
Thank you to everybody who came out and canvassed yesterday! Together we can Build A Better 14th Ward! — with Elise Rose Kehle, Madeline Buthod, Alicia Hernandez, Drew Mossman and Nicholas James. Al Neal also pictured.
Tony Pecinovsky, president of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society (WES), has thrown his hat in the political ring, running for alderman of the City’s 14th Ward.
From 2010-2015, Pecinovsky, then a member of the United Media GuildLink title in St. Louis, served as the secretary-treasurer of the Greater St. Louis CWA City Council and as a delegate to the Greater St. Louis Central Labor Council. He has also served as a fund-raising co-chair for St. Louis Jobs with Justice, as a member of the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition board and on the steering committee of the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) coalition.
The current Ward 14 Alderwoman Carol Howard voted “No” on the Board of Aldermen’s bill to increase the minimum wage to $12 in 2015, something every union in the city supported.
Pecinovsky canvassed, rallied and mobilized WES members to testify at hearings in support of the measure.
“Low-wage workers in St. Louis deserve political leaders who will stand up and fight for higher wages not when it is easy or convenient, but when it is hard,” Pecinovsky told the Labor Tribune. “That’s why I’m running for Ward 14 Alderman.”
Hannah Allison August 27 2018:
Fiain Kvinna shared an event to the group: St. Louis Democratic Socialists of America. August 11, 2018 · This event is happening next weekend! The DSA National Director, Maria Svart, will be speaking, along with Megan Ellyia Green and Cori Bush.
Communist Party campaign
- Our concept of the revolutionary process and building broad unity against the right and for peoples needs is more relevant than ever, as is the importance of a larger Communist Party.
- In 2020 Tony Pecinovsky will be on the ballot for Alderman in St. Louis. Perhaps there are coalition tickets forming in other cities where we can put forward one of our own.
- In Texas we had five candidates in the primaries who got a quarter million votes for US Senate and plans to run again. In the general election Penny Morales Shaw ran for county commissioner in a Republican area and got 45% of the vote in a great campaign with union support.
- In Arizona, in addition to races at every level, in Tempe Patrick Morales came in first for re-election to the School Board.
Tony Pecinovsky January 15 2019·
I am happy to announce that the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) has endorsed our campaign to Build A Better 14th Ward! I grew up in the CBTU family. They mentored me! To know that I have the support of the progressive Black leadership of our City (CBTU, Tishaura Jones, Clem Smith, Bruce Franks, Jr. and Cori Bush, among others) is truly humbling. Thank you! In solidarity, Tony.
Almost an Alderman
How can a local politician in a working-class ward stand against the interests of working-class people? This was the question before voters in this city’s southside 14th ward during last week’s municipal election when 41-year-old labor activist Tony Pecinovsky racked up 48 percent of the vote, nearly turning out longtime incumbent Carol Howard in the Democratic primary.
Pecinovsky’s campaign was launched last September on a wave of electoral activism that followed a successful statewide campaign to overcome the legislature’s “right-to-work” legislation via a ballot initiative.
“A group of folks were upset with our alderperson,” Democratic Committeewoman Madeline Buthod told People’s World. Besides the betrayal of community interests on her anti-minimum wage vote, Buthod said, “Howard was in favor of every tax abatement that came our way. Those tax abatements take money from our city schools.”
“Tony had a history of working with the labor movement. He was a big part of getting the minimum wage passed,” Buthod said, adding that Pecinovsky was a big presence in the ward collecting signatures to put the initiative to kill the right-to-work bill on the ballot. “We trusted him to do what’s right because of his history,” Buthod concluded.
Besides the 14th Ward Democrats, which Buthod co-chairs, Pecinovsky was supported by an array of progressive and labor groups across the city: STL Young Democrats, Planned Parenthood, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Mobilize Missouri, Operating Engineers and Painters Unions, SEIU, and Action St. Louis.
Howard’s campaign did not offer a defense of her vote against raising the minimum wage nor of her corporate spending priorities. Rather, it focused on Pecinovsky’s long-time work with the Communist Party USA, which itself has a long history of supporting working class issues in St. Louis, especially in the labor movement and with such groups as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.
“Tony is a stand-up working-class guy,” said Lew Moye, president emeritus of St. Louis CBTU, taking issue with the Howard camp’s red-baiting campaign. “That makes the anti-communism ineffective.” He cited what he called Pecinovsky’s long history of opposing racism and sexism: “He’s a true champion of the working class.”
Pecinovsky is president of the St. Louis Workers Education Society, a community center located near the 14th ward. “WES has made itself a home for grassroots organizations,” said Pecinovsky. The center offers labor history, political education, and know-your-rights-on-the-job curriculum to local unions, as well as shop steward trainings and union newsletter design work. WES was a place that brought grassroots forces together while the community was protesting the police killing of African American teenager Michael Brown in 2014.
A stream of social media attacks on Pecinovsky by Howard culminated the week before the election with a flyer depicting him standing next to Lenin and a screenshot of Pecinovsky’s many articles on the Communist Party’s website.
Megan Ellyia Green, a candidate for the city-wide position of President of the Board of Alderman, who endorsed and was endorsed by Pecinovsky, was similarly attacked. The St. Louis Police Association’s Facebook page photoshopped Green’s face over a poster of Mao Zedong and declared “Better dead than red!” Green ended up with 31 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
While some voters—especially among the older generations—may have been swayed by the red-baiting campaign, others were unaffected or even reacted to it by increasing their opposition to the incumbent, said Pecinovsky. Ben Girard, Pecinovsky’s campaign coordinator, said that canvassers reported some voters told him the campaign was a “breath of fresh air.”
“I love that he cares about the people and wants what is best for us!” stated Nikki Overmiller, a canvasser for Pecinovsky.
Pecinovsky reported that his campaign focused on door knocking: Eight to ten volunteers hit the streets every weekend covering the campaign’s entire “universe” three or four times. “Interestingly, a lot of people came out of the woodwork,” Pecinovsky said. “People we had never met. They wanted to be part of the solution.”
In fact, most of the volunteers were young, but young or old, the most enthusiastic campaigners got involved after answering their own door to a fellow community member. All generations played a role, said Pecinovsky. Older volunteers filled a niche in making phone calls. “They were the ones who were most effective on the phones,” he pointed out since it’s older folks who tend to answer landlines. One such caller was Jim Cloud. “I’m typically apathetic to the St. Louis political scene,” said Cloud, “but this race opened my eyes because Tony represented how just an ordinary citizen can make a significant impact on the local government.”
Building A Better 14th Ward
Building A Better 14th Ward March 3 2019:
I'm constantly amazed by the dedication of our volunteers. Thank you, everyone, for going above and beyond. Just two more days!
- VoteMarch5th #BuildingABetter14thWard — with Karisa Gilman Hernandez, K. Nikki Overmiller, Tony Pecinovsky, Cori Bush, Madeline Buthod and St. Louis Young Democrats.
- Workers Education Society, Officers
- PWW Midwest vote project in high gear, by: Docia Buffington July 15 2004, page 2
- [Dynamic, Winter 2005, page 2}
- We salute the labor movement!, People's World, September 1, 2006
- A learning experience for progressive politics, PWW by: Jocelyn Cochran-Biggs and Tony Pecinovsky October 6 2006
- [People's Weekly World, April 28 2007, page 4]
- GRO event program, accessed December 6, 2010
- Speak Progress, Speakers page
- Tribune, Workers’ Education Society hosts open house for organizers, activists April 20, 2015 by admin in Labor News From Our Region by Riley Winters
- PA About, accessed October 2015
- PW, St. Louis marches for Muslims, immigrants and refugees February 9, 2017 10:04 AM CST BY AL NEAL
- CPUSA A history making, unity building election BY:JOELLE FISHMAN| NOVEMBER 26, 2018
- PW Labor-backed candidate Tony Pecinovsky scores 48 percent in St. Louis race March 15, 2019 2:39 PM CDT BY MAICOL DAVID LYNCH AND ROBERTA WOOD