Labor and Progressive Leaders Unite for a New Labor-Based Political Party

 

Contact:

Carol Ehrle | carol.ehrle@gmail.com 

MPP Media | media@ForAPeoplesParty.org

 

The Time has Come: Labor and Progressive Leaders Unite for a New Labor-Based Political Party

 

San Francisco — Prominent labor leaders and progressives are launching the first major campaign to found an American labor-based political party since unions formed the Labor Party in 1996.

The Movement for a People’s Party and Socialist Organizer have joined with eight organizations and more than 500 union members and progressive organizers to form the Labor-Community Campaign for an Independent Party. LCCIP will build labor-community assemblies that run independent state and local candidates beginning in 2019. The campaign will also advance the creation of a Labor Party Advocates that brings together many more unions for a new party.

The coalition is inspired by two pathbreaking resolutions passed at the AFL-CIO’s 2017 national convention. The first resolution affirmed that, “whether the candidates are elected from the Republican or Democratic Party, the interests of Wall Street have been protected and advanced, while the interests of labor and working people have generally been set back.” The second resolution concluded that, “the time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils politics.”

“The labor movement has been the vanguard of the working class since the industrial revolution swept the world. But for decades unions and working people have found themselves without a political party,” said Nick Brana, MPP founder and the former National Political Outreach Coordinator with Bernie 2016.

The response has been “overwhelming” said Alan Benjamin, OPEIU delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council. “Unionists and activists are eager to start laying the foundations of a new, mass-based independent party that champions the interests of the working-class majority.” Benjamin is the editor of The Organizer newspaper and a member of Socialist Organizer’s executive council.

We’re proud to be joined by esteemed organizations including the Teamsters Local 808, representing Long Island City, and the Labor Fightback Network. Distinguished labor and progressive leaders are also joining the campaign. Among them:

  • Baldemar Velasquez — Co-founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), MacArthur Fellow, awarded Order of the Aztec Eagle from Mexico, the country’s highest honor for a noncitizen.

  • Nancy Wohlforth — Secretary-Treasurer Emerita with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), founder and board member of Pride at Work, former AFL-CIO executive council.

  • Chris Silvera — Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 808, Long Island City.

  • Donna DeWitt — Former president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, Chair of the South Carolina Labor Party, South Carolina Progressive Network.

  • Dr. Cornel West — Professor at Harvard, professor Emeritus at Princeton, author of 20 books, media commentator, Bernie 2016 surrogate.

  • Chris Hedges — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former Princeton professor, NYT bestselling author, host of Emmy Award-winning TV show On Contact.

  • Tim Canova — Independent congressional candidate in Florida, law professor, founder of Progress for All, former economic advisor to Sen. Bernie Sanders.

  • Cindy Sheehan — Peace activist, CA central committee member with the Peace and Freedom Party, chair of the Women’s March on the Pentagon.

  • Dele Balogun — National Political Committee with the Democratic Socialists of America, DSA Refoundation Caucus, Black Lives Matter, Fight for $15.

  • Jimmy Dore — Comedian and star of several Comedy Central Specials, progressive commentator, over 500 million views on YouTube, broadcasting on several radio stations.

  • Millie Phillips — Editorial board of The Organizer, former co-chair Golden Gate chapter of the Labor Party, retired, IBEW Local 1245.

  • Al Rojas — Co-founder of United Farm Workers (UFW) with César Chávez, national coordinator of the Driscoll’s Boycott campaign.

With working people desperate to escape the establishment parties, and two out of every three Americans now demanding a major new party, the campaign is growing rapidly.

Attached are a list of our endorsers. View our original LCCIP announcement and sign up form. Learn more about MPP, read our platform, blog posts and past press releases on our website

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* Organizations and titles included for ID Only.