John B, a National Board Member of the Communist Party, USA and Co-Chair of the New Members Committee, visited Texas February 22-26. He spent his first time contacting our many new members in North Texas, his last time contacting new members in the San Antonio area, and the middle time at a statewide organizing meeting in Austin February 24. Before he left, he told me, "I am so impressed with the quality of the people in the Texas party!" After some more glowing comments on individuals he had met, he added, "I love Texas!"
Comrades from the Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio areas gathered to share information and to seek better ways to coordinate activities. John gave the first report at the statewide meeting. He said there has been a positive shift in the balance of political forces since the 2012 re-election. Taxes on the wealthy and the nationwide defense of retiree benefits are important indications of the situation.
There are more and sharper splits among right wing forces, but the ultraright remains the main danger in America.
We are not the ones setting the agenda. We can't agree with all Democratic Party policies.
The Party's new membership is great. We have great challenges to get members connected with the forces in motion.
We then had discussion about the many and varied activities being carried out by different clubs. It is doubtful that a single progressive development in Texas has not benefited, usually in more than one city, by the efforts of communist activists. At the same time, ugly stereotypes continue to exist. One new member had everybody roaring with laughter when she reported that her mother had asked this about her membership. "What do you do? Just sit around and burn American flags?" Communists, of course, don't burn American flags, and we don't sit around either!
Being involved in everything under the sun caused our next discussion to stretch out a bit. We asked what one issue would be the most appropriate for coordination among all four existing clubs? Virtually everything was proposed, but the two that received the most votes in a straw poll where union organizing and health care rights. We were particularly interested in the expansion of Medicaid to provide insurance coverage to the poorest Texans.
In the past, our statewide organization relied on this web site, our Facebook site, and monthly webinars. The group decided that a monthly teleconference with representatives of each club plus Young Communist League representation was most appropriate. All Texas members will be invited to sit in.
John B asked everybody to join the national "Face Book Sharing" program. We extend the reach of designated Peoples' World articles by sharing them on our Facebook pages. John B also asked everyone to go to the national page and set up a monthly sustainer (financial pledge). Then we sang "The International" loudly together and then we joined in singing "This Land is Your Land!"