Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words...

Note: Click on pictures to enlarge.

The past as prologue? Lining up for food and water, Louisville, Kentucky, 1937. By Margaret Bourke-White/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.

This is the way the American working class responded...

Billboard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

An Open Letter to Barack Obama…


Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,

Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

and Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party activist

October 12, 2008

“The vision of working class Minnesotans for the change we need”

Barack, speaking for casino workers who are forced to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights, some of us have already decided to vote for you, others among us could possibly be persuaded, while others among us--- including myself--- we may be voting for other candidates like Cynthia McKinney; and some people who feel completely disenfranchised by the present state of politics in our country where government is not responsive to their concerns and problems, very unfortunately--- but understandably so--- sadly, may not vote at all… however, we all share a common vision for the kind of change we need; and, that vision is one where the problems of working people need to be solved before the interests of bankers and the Wall Street crowd…

Barack, you began your political career as a member of, and with support from, the socialist New Party in Chicago. We expect that as President you will adhere to this vision of people before corporate profits. You are campaigning in Minnesota where socialist politicians Governor Floyd B. Olson, U.S. Senator and Governor Elmer A. Benson and United States Congressman John Bernard are held in very high esteem… when campaigning in Minnesota, we expect you to address the concerns of working people:

1. Single-payer universal health care as a step towards socialized health care.

2. Public ownership of the Ford Plant and hydro dam to save two-thousand jobs.

3. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now; no war in Pakistan---redirect money to things people need.

4. Moratorium on all home foreclosures and evictions; renegotiate the mortgages.

5. For an end to the robbery at the pumps.

Barack, we expect you to open up the “Compacts” which have created the Indian Gaming Industry to include provisions for the protection of the rights of casino workers--- we are talking about basic human rights and dignity, the right to decent jobs at living wages in a fabulously profitable multi-billion dollar industry.

Barack, we expect you to work for an end to poverty as called for in the United Nations’ Millennium Statement, and we expect an Obama Administration to work towards the full implementation of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which will observe its Sixtieth Anniversary on December 10, 2008; here in the United States we have a very long way to go in fulfilling its goals and objectives.

Barack, socialism isn’t just for solving the problems of the bankers, investors, financiers and the Wall Street crowd… in the case of socialism solving problems, what is good for the goose is even better for the gander.

Barack, I have been involved in the Democratic Party in one way or another for over thirty years… I have petitioned, I have chaired campaigns and raised funds; I have served in various capacities in Democratic Party organizations over the years in three states; from trustee to local precinct chair to being a member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee--- I have supported Democratic Party politicians--- and those of other parties, also--- for every office when they advanced the cause of peace, civil rights, the protection of our environment and rights of working people… and, quite honestly, in the case of others like Valerie Solem, Matt Entenza, Mike Hatch, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, when they sought to restrict the rights of working people and encouraged war--- I opposed them.

Barack, in your case, I probably am not going to be voting for you, but, I wish you well in your pursuit of the Presidency… In saying this, I speak for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council and our Organizing Committees at casinos in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. I believe--- based upon my travels and discussions with many people from all walks of life--- I also speak for many other voters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

Barack, you continue to speak to the concerns of the “middle class;” we are concerned with the problems of the working class.

Barack, let me be perfectly frank and up front with you. There is a short time left until Election Day. What we want is something in return for our votes. Please think about this.

Barack, you write me often and I appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch; you can expect that I will be keeping in touch with you, too, as you have requested, and I appreciate that you indicate you are very open to communication and I trust that you are sincere in wanting change; so we have a great deal to discuss.

I have always believed in building bridges because I seldom find that burning bridges solves problems.

Sometimes building bridges is tough work because of the swift, turbulent and murky waters.

Good luck and best wishes.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki