[fla-left] [commentary] Politics In Cities Across U.S. Take A Left Turn (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sat Jun 3 09:42:18 MDT 2000


keeping in mind comment about not being able to build socialism in one
city that Charles B has noted several time...who said that Charles,
James Jackson?     Michael Hoover

> Published on Thursday, June 1, 2000 in the http://www.thecapitaltimes.com/
> Madison (WI)  Capital Times
>
> Politics In Cities Across U.S. Take A Left Turn
>
> by John Nichols
>
> Madison is a two-party town. It is fair to say that the Democrats are in
> the dominant position, with such party stalwarts as U.S. Rep. Tammy
> Baldwin, state Rep. Mark Pocan, Mayor Sue Bauman and County Executive
> Kathleen Falk occupying key partisan and nonpartisan positions. But there
> is, as well, a scrappy second party in Madison, with members well
> represented on the City Council, County Board and School Board.
>
> The second party is, of course, Progressive Dane -- the union-backed,
> left-leaning group that over the past seven years has won dozens of
> contests for local posts and established solid ties with Baldwin, Falk and
> other non-PD officials.
>
> What of the Republicans? While the Grand Old Party's denizens sheepishly
> occupy a handful of local posts, they are hardly major players outside the
> confines of the Capitol Square. (It's worth noting that, in isthmus wards,
> Green candidate Ralph Nader whipped Republican Bob Dole in 1996
> presidential voting. It's equally worth noting that Nader and his running
> mate, Winona LaDuke, will do significantly better in those same wards this
> year.)
>
> But Madison's just Madison, right?
>
> Wrong.
>
> The nontraditional politics of Wisconsin's capital city are mirrored in a
> growing number of communities across the United States. In Iowa City, for
> instance, Socialist Karen Kubby has just finished a decade-long stint on
> the City Council. In Burlington, Vt., Progressive Party members and their
> allies
> hold the mayor's job, a number of local posts and four legislative seats.
> In Arcata, Calif., Greens control the local government. The New Party is
> the No. 2 party on the Missoula, Mont., City Council. In Boston, Rainbow
> Coalition Party's Chuck Turner last fall became the first non-Democrat
> elected to the City Council in two decades. And San Francisco Supervisor
> Tom Ammiano almost got elected
> mayor of that city last fall as a blunt, no-strings-attached progressive.
>
> Third-party and independent progressive politics are alive and well in
> America. In the aftermath of the remarkable coalition-building that fueled
> last fall's anti-WTO protests in Seattle, there is reason to believe that
> this may be the ripest moment since the 1930s for a progressive political
> blossoming in the United States.
>
> That's certainly the hope of the Independent Progressive Politics Network,
> which begins its fifth National Independent Politics Summit here today. The
> summit, which runs through Sunday on the UW campus (call 556-1232 for
> details) brings together activists such as the always inspiring Baldemar
> Velasquez of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee; academics such as
> Lawrence Goodwin, author of
> "The Populist Moment''; and successful independent pols such as Iowa City's
> Kubby.
>
> South African poet Dennis Brutus, one of the wisest voices on the planet
> regarding globalization and democracy in the developing world, is expected
> to be present, as are LaDuke and Socialist Party presidential candidate
> David McReynolds, whose long history of activism on peace and social
> justice issues makes him a bridge between the Old Left, the New Left and
> the even newer PS (Post-Seattle) Left. Singer Holly Near will join
> Madison's excellent Vicki Guzman for a Barrymore Theatre benefit on behalf
> of the Independent Progressive Politics Network Friday night.
>
> Underpinning the forums, seminars and workshops of the weekend will be a
> new energy, which is grounded in the realization that independent
> progressive politics is no longer a "from-the-sidelines'' activity. In
> Madison and a growing number of communities, new parties of the left are
> not just challenging the political process, they are displacing traditional
> players and taking charge of that process.
>
> The American people are welcoming the change. Indeed, with the latest New
> York Times/CBS Poll showing that 75 percent of Americans are dissatisfied
> with the process that gave them Al Gore and George W. Bush as their prime
> presidential choices, the electorate is signaling that the alternatives the
> Independent Progressive Politics Network and its affiliates propose cannot
> come fast enough.
>
> John Nichols is the editorial page editor of The Capital Times.
>
> =A9 2000 The Capital Times
>
> Green Party: http://www.greens.org/gpusa
> State Association of Green Parties: http://www.greenparties.org
> New Party: http://newparty.org/
> Independent Progressive Politics Network: http://www.ippn.org/
> Socialist Party USA: http://www.sp-usa.org/
> McReynolds-Hollis Campaign: http://www,votesocialist.org/





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