Our monthly 3rd Sunday on-line Texas meeting was put off until the 4th Sunday in November because I had been in New York at the National Committee Meeting.
In our state as everywhere in America and Europe, progressives are fighting austerity proposals from the 1% ruling class. Imperialists don't want to cut the military but they are committed to cutting something. Everybody is yelling, "Not Us!" so it is going to be a battle royal!
The next session of the Texas Legislature will also be a big fight. It starts around Jan 20.
Wal Mart organizing is a key battle. Verizon contract negotiations drag on, mostly in secret, but they are very important to Texas workers. Hospital workers, Ironworkers, and Hotel & restaurant employees are hitting it hard. Construction work is starting to pick up. For us in Texas, political issues around construction work are closely related to immigration problems, since so many construction workers come from Mexico.
The religious community has joined in the fight to bring the benefits of national health care legislation to Texas. Governor Perry is dead set against it. He particularly does not want to take advantage of federal money to extend Medicaid. It would allow about 1.8 million of the poorest citizens to get health insurance. Perry wants to keep Texas at the bottom of the list on health care coverage. Unions and retiree organizations have been fighting this issue all along.
The major reports at the November 24-25 National Committee meeting were by Chairman Sam Webb (left) and Elections Commission head Joelle Fishman. Almost all of the 70 participants spoke in discussion.
There were thorough election reports from all parts of the country. Nearly all of it was good news.
Sam Webb said, "The mandate of this election still being debated, but it was not a 'status quo' election as the right wing would like to say." He was upbeat and positive even on points that were not good news, "We have to be concerned about the white vote (59%) for Romney. We have to change that. We can change it."
Webb brought up several changing developments that need more discussion as we "tweak" our strategy against the main enemy, the far right in America:
Emile, head of our International Department, said that good election news in the U.S. means that we can make gains in other countries. He specifically mentioned negotiations in Colombia and Cuba. Later on, he presented a call for a cease fire in Gaza. It was adopted
Tony from Missouri talked about raising more money. We are exceeding our budget this year drastically, he said. As I listened, I realized that Texas really needs a sustainer drive, as our contributions are not meeting the need. Tony also said that we could raise honoraria for speakers from national. I don't believe that Tony mentioned our wills program, but it is also important.
Lisa, our YCL Coordinator, led a chant of “Se puede? Si se pude!” She, too, was very upbeat. Prez Obama inreased his youth vote. A poll shows that young people favor socialism over capitalism. YCl needs recruitment and fund raising. She just returned from Ecuador. Next youth festival in Quito. Our election orientation well received by world youth.
Even though I was just a guest, I spoke 4 minutes. My main point was that we should be more cautious in evaluating the 2012 elections than we were in 2008. I reminded everybody that George Meyers taught us "Everything you win under capitalism can be taken away." Then I encouraged everybody to work with the New Members Committee which has had striking success since the last convention. Then I went on to ask everybody to fight against worldwide austerity -- and particularly the budget discussions in Washington DC right now.
I was especially pleased t o meet new members from Oklahoma, Washington State, South Carolina, and Colorado. All of those places were "unorganized territory" when I started working with the New Members Committee in 2009.
Most of the questions at our Texas meeting had to do with the national election. We seem to have a good understanding of what we have to do in Texas.