The Communist Party, USA, has set its national convention for June in Chicago. A nationwide discussion is under way in order to find our way to the very best analysis of the present situation, the way forward, and adaptations to our structure and norms to facilitate our role in future activities. Anyone can read discussion documents on cpusa.org>convention>discussion. There are two contributions from Houston members published, and one contribution has been sent in from Dallas and is expected be published any day. There is no "members only" or secret discussion underway.
The national convention is the highest body of the Communist Party. If there are major changes to be made, they are to be made there. The convention will elect ongoing day-to-day leadership after it determines the best possible party program and organization.
In Texas, delegates will be chosen at a state convention. Fund raising to get them to Chicago will be necessary as we don't have that much money. People can give money through their clubs or at http://tx.cpusa.org. The state convention also expects to determine Texas organization and leadership. Educational and cultural activities will be included, but everything will go rather quickly because Texas communists have to travel such great distances to hold a meeting.
The main interest of the state convention and all the club meetings is participating in the national discussion. As we are a party of action, we don't emphasize talking most of the time, but convention discussion is a critical part of membership responsibility. The Dallas club held its longest meeting ever in late March. It lasted over 3 hours partly because the political situation in North Texas is so hot, but mostly because we really began to get into the national discussion.
We talked about developing resolutions on Party Organization, the importance of the fight for women's rights, and the critical importance of the working class. Individual members can submit resolutions to the national convention, but they carry more weight if they are approved by a state convention; consequently, North Texas members want to get the entire club to endorse resolutions that will then be taken to the state and, ultimately, national convention.
Does it all sound dry and serious? Actually, it's a lot of fun. During a discussion of updating communist symbols, someone asked if we really needed the old Russian "Hammer and Sickle" icon any more, since there are so few agricultural and manufacturing workers in America today. Most people with jobs seem to work in information and services. With a big grin, one member asked if we should adopt the "Keyboard and Spatula!"