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, June 23, 2013

Breaking free from the two-party trap...

Conference call today for all those interested in an alternative to the two-party trap--- here are the details:

[Uniting_People] for Peace, Equality, Full Employment, Universal Health Care and Environmental Protection - Conference Call, June 23

Georgia Williams georgiam@csufresno.edu via lists.riseup.net
11:27 PM (6 hours ago)

to uniting_people

This is coming to you through a new listserv for those involved in working to unite Left groups (Uniting Progressives and/or Uniting People for Peace, Equality, Full Employment, Universal Health Care and Environmental Protection).

At our initial meeting on May 19, we scheduled a second meeting for Sunday, June 23, at 2:00pm PDT, 5:00pm EDT.  The call-in information is as follows:

Call-in number:  626 677-3000
Access code: 498531

Notes taken by Casey Peters, Peace and Freedom Party of California member, for the May 19 meeting are attached. A proposed agenda for tomorrow's (June 23) call is attached and pasted below.

If you have questions about tomorrow's conference call, please email this list (uniting_people@lists.riseup.net) or me (georgiam@csufresno.edu). If you have questions about this listserv, please email me.

Looking forward to talking with you tomorrow.

Georgia Williams

Uniting People for Peace, Equality, Full Employment, Universal Health Care and Environmental Protection

Proposed agenda
June 23, 2013 conference call

Selection of facilitator
Selection of recorder for call
Adoption of agenda
Schedule next meeting
Expanding membership
Report from United Front against Austerity (UFAA) – Adam Rodriguez
Set goals
Draft legislation – full employment and health care
People’s lobby
Moral Monday

notes from May 19 conference call

Uniting Progressives for Peace, Equality, Full Employment,
Universal Health Care and Environmental Protection
Michael McGee facilitating
Casey Peters note-taking
In attendance:
Will Crane MT Green Party
Adam Rodriguez PA United Front Against Austerity
Casey Peters CA Peace and Freedom Party
Georgia Williams CA Peace and Freedom Party
Kevin Akin CA Peace and Freedom Party
Michael McGee France Justice Party
CT Weber CA Peace and Freedom Party
Lenny Brody IL Justice Party
Sally Soriano WA Justice Party
Devon Nola NY Justice Party
Mohammad Arif CA UMMA 4 Peace
Rikka Wallin KY unaffiliated
Darcy Richardson FL Peace and Freedom Party
Alan Maki MN Midwest Casino Workers
Maureen Smith CA Peace and Freedom Party
Pancho Valdez TX Green Party
Michael Cavlan MN Open Progressives
Tony Noel NC New Progressive Alliance
Richard Becker CA Party for Socialism and Liberation
Cindy Henderson CA Peace and Freedom Party
Robin Hensle MN Occupy
AGENDA: Georgia proposed additions to agenda, adopted by consensus
1) Adoption of agenda for this meeting
2) Introduction of participants
3) Discussion of participation and plans for building a coalition
4) Political goals of UNITING PROGRESSIVES meetings
    - National Political Campaigns:
      * Defending Social Security
      * Opposition to U.S. Military interventions and Obama's War budget
      * Full Employment and a progressive budget
      * Universal Health Care vs "Obama care"
      * Protecting our environment
    - United Front for future elections
      * New Jersey...
    - Ballot access for the 2014 election cycle
5) Future enlargement of participating organizations
    * What other organizations should be contacted and by whom ?
6) Proposed date and agenda for next UNITING PROGRESSIVES meeting
The following individuals gave introductory remarks on the following organizations:
    Kevin Akin    Peace and Freedom Party of California
    Darcy Richardson    Peace and Freedom Party of Florida
    Lenny Brody and Sally Soriano    Justice Party
    Tony Noel    New Progressive Alliance
    Pancho Valdez and Will Crane    Green Party
    Mohammad Arif    United Moderate Muslims 4 Peace
    Adam Rodriguez    United Front Against Austerity
    Michael Cavlan        Open Progressives of Minnesota
    Alan Maki          Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
    Richard Becker    Party for Socialism and Liberation
    Rikka Wallin    unaffiliated
    Devon Nola     Justice Party
    Attention:  These notes reflect snippets of a much broader, more detailed conversation.  If anyone feels that their comments are misreported or have serious omissions, please do not hesitate to contact the meeting secretary to provide corrections for a subsequent version of notes.  Thank you.
Georgia: What are our plans for building a coalition?  How do we go about it?
Tony: Know who your enemies are.  I have no time for Move On, PDA, etc.  We must find people like us.  Occupy was small but effective.
CT: Hopefully we will be building the Left, both progressives and socialists. 
Michael Cavlan: Solidarity is a 2-way street, not just us supporting more mainstream groups.
Cindy: We must take control from the corporations.  The working poor are marginalized.
Kevin: Democrats are controlled by the corporate rich.  We need electoral forms/methods to confront them.  As Eugene Debs said, “I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than to vote for what I don’t want and get it.”  We all need to support ballot access for every alternative.
Georgia: I don’t consider myself a “progressive”.  I agree that solidarity must be reciprocal, and a primary focus.  Corporate power must be curbed. 
Adam: We need to support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill called Bank on Students to lower student loan rates to 0.75% interest and its House equivalent, HR1979.  It’s something we can all rally around. 
Tony: Don’t label ourselves as “Left”.  Most people don’t know what “progressivism” is.  We can’t be afraid to get in peoples faces and call them out for bullshit.  As much as I dislike marketing, we must approach this task with marketing to our potential supporters in mind. 
Casey: I agree with Tony’s earlier remark that we are under a 24/7 Big Media onslaught.  We need to develop our own media to communicate openly among ourselves and others who want to break from the capitalist paradigm.  There are no accurate definitions for “progressive” or “socialist” so despite our self-labeling, we should eschew those terms as a coalition.  We should also avoid “Left” as it indicates we are on the fringe.  We are not – we represent the mainstream of American political thought.  I have two words to say – Proportional Representation.  Without an election system that allows voters to have a voice in government, no third party movement can succeed.  We must first do our groundwork by legally establishing proportionality.
Michael M.: Today is a first step. We need a critical mass for credibility.  We on the Left have considered ourselves as impotent, and must get over that self-delusion.  We speak for many millions in opposing militarism, subsidies to bankers, and supporting universal health care and environmental protection.  We must appeal to people like my mother who is not a “progressive”. 
Kevin: Don’t try to convince socialists to abandon their self-chosen label. 
Set for Sunday June 23 at 2pmPDT, 5pmEDT
There was a long discussion, but only a few remarks are reported here.
CT: To my mind, the word “progressive” means a call to reform, not replace, capitalism.
Robin: I like “United Americans: Common Table”  We should make everyone feel welcome.
Rikka: I don’t care what you call it.  I like the ideas.
Cindy: The problem with “progressive” or “socialist” is that most Americans misappropriate the meaning.  Instead of spending time on what name we should use, we should be working on outreach with every call participant volunteering to contact at least 2 additional groups. 
Casey: I propose changing the word “progressives” to “people” in the headline to our outreach letter.
Georgia” I propose changing the title to “United People for Peace and Social and Economic Justice”.
A roll call vote was taken with 8 in favor of Georgia’s proposal, 2 opposed, 1 abstaining and 9 having already left the call.  The proposal was deemed to have passed. 
For contact purposes, two email addresses were given:
        Georgia Williams    georgiam@csufresno.edu
        Michael McGee        michael.mcgee.1@gmail.com
Respectfully submitted,
Casey Peters, secretary
Peace and Freedom Alliance