The Organizer Newspaper
P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.
Tel. (415) 641-8616; fax: (415) 626-1217.
PLEASE EXCUSE DUPLICATE POSTINGS
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Greetings and best wishes to all for the New Year.
Over the past month, we’ve received more than 300 endorsements in support of the 8-point plan we published in early December 2008. We’ve been overwhelmed by this response.
A large number of the endorsers added comments and proposals aimed at improving the platform. We have decided, on the basis of this incredibly positive response, to expand the platform to include two additional points — and to expand the language and demands in some of the other planks. These are all self-explanatory.
Many of you have already endorsed this statement — and we thank you for your support. But many of you have yet to send in your filled-out endorsement coupon. [See below.]
There is great interest in this platform — even excitement. Endorsers want to organize forums and teach-ins around this emergency platform and have encouraged us to write a few paragraphs to motive each platform plank. In some cities, union activists have taken these planks and adapted them in resolution form for approval of their unions. Activists have felt there is a real need to formulate a clear and accessible plan to bail out working people — not the banks and the corporations.
Our aim is to submit this 10-point platform — with all endorsers gathered by Jan. 15, 2009 — to the leaderships of the trade unions and of the Latino, Black, antiwar and other social protest movements — and to the Obama transition team itself. Our goal is to gather 500 signatures on this platform. We want to develop an action campaign around this platform that could culminate in a national conference of endorsers in the not-too-distant future.
It will take this kind of movement from below to send a signal to the leaders of the unions and social protest movements, as well as to the new administration in Washington, that we need a comprehensive recovery plan that puts the interests of working people first.
Please join us in this effort. Please send in your endorsement, and please send a copy of this platform to your co-workers, family and friends for their endorsement. Let’s make sure that the independent voice of working people can be heard loud and clear.
We thank you in advance for your interest and support,
The Editorial Board of
The Organizer Newspaper
The Demands for Change Expressed on
Nov. 4, 2008, Must NOW Be Heeded!
[Please Endorse this 10-Point Emergency Workers’ Recovery Plan and Help Us Promote it Widely!]
November 4, 2008, was an historic election, not because electing the nation’s first Black president signifies the end of racist oppression in this country, but because millions of Blacks, Latinos, youth, and working people of all backgrounds seized on this election to say: Enough is enough, racism and oppression must end now. In the context of the deepening economic crisis, the election also was a cry from working people of all backgrounds: We cannot accept the destruction of our jobs, our homes, our public services and our communities — this crisis is not of our making and we should not be made to pay for it.
At this historic crossroads facing our country, we, the undersigned, believe it is more urgent than ever to forge the broadest unity in action of the labor movement, Black and Latino organizations, antiwar and other social protest movements to secure the emergency measures needed to address the pressing needs of all working people and oppressed nationalities.
Here are 10 fundamental demands that we believe should be included in an Emergency Workers’ Recovery Plan to Plan to Bail out Working People — NOT Wall Street.
1) Put a halt to the Wall Street bailout plan. Not one more penny should be earmarked to bail out the bankers and speculators. It’s time to bail out working people.
2) Enact a moratorium on all home foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions and rent hikes. Nationalize the mortgage industry, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
3) Enact H.R. 676 — the universal, single-payer healthcare plan. Take the private insurance companies out of the healthcare equation.
4) Enact the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) so that every worker can have union representation.
5) Stop the layoffs in auto and other industries across the country. Nationalize the Big 3 automakers. Re-tool the auto industry to build a rapid mass transit and solar and wind systems.
6) Stop the scapegoating of immigrant workers. Stop the ICE raids and deportations.
7) End all funding for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home now. The war expenditures in these countries alone are estimated at $3 trillion. Redirect all war funding to meet human needs.
8) Enact a massive national reconstruction public works program (minimum expenditure needed of $1 trillion) to rebuild the nation’s schools, hospitals and crumbling infrastructure and to put millions of people back to work at a union-scale wage. Provide all necessary funding for a genuine Reconstruction program in the Gulf Coast; support the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (H.R. 4048).
9) Defend and expand the rights and economic security of those who are unable to work — who include all working people at some point in their lives. Grant living-wage benefits to single parents, disabled, seniors, and the unemployed. End the arbitrary, punitive time limits, sanctions, denial of education, and forced unwaged workfare in the TANF welfare program and unemployment assistance programs. Provide free, high-quality childcare for single parents who want to work outside the home or attend school. Reduce the backlog and end time limits for disability application determinations.
10) Tax the corporations and the rich — not working people — to finance a workers’ recovery plan. The rich currently enjoy historically high levels of wealth while being taxed at bargain-basement rates. Implement a retroactive tax on windfall revenue on the oil-energy industry, roll back capital income taxation to 1981 levels, repatriate the $2 trillion from the offshore tax havens.
ENDORSEMENT / CAMPAIGN COUPON, INITIATED BY THE ORGANIZER NEWSPAPER
[ ] I endorse this statement
[ ] I would like to promote this effort. Please contact me asap!
UNION/ORG (for id. only)
(fill out and return it to The Organizer Newspaper at or to P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140. For more information, or to get involved, call 415-641-8616.)