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University of Illinois at Chicago - Student Center East
750 West Halstead Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607
Local Elections: Graveyard of Social Movements or Site of Struggle?
Socialists are running for state and local office more than any time in recent memory. These efforts are supported by local electoral formations like the Richmond Progressive Alliance in California, state-level third parties like the Vermont Progressive Party, a number national networks, reform groups like Our Revolution, the Green Party, and socialist organizations themselves. Some more recent efforts have developed from the need to go beyond single-issues to build local grassroots responses, and a need to build resistance to the politics of Donald Trump’s presidency.
This panel will examine the problems and pitfalls of socialists running for local office, as well as the challenges that are faced by left-wing public officials once in office. It will discuss the openings for deepening the fight for immigrant rights, police accountability, environmental protection, affordable housing, minimum wage improvements and other reforms, as well as strengthening the independent movements. Finally, the panel will discuss the limitations of local electoral politics and discuss the relationship of these local efforts to building a U.S.- wide independent electoral movement.
• Rebecca Kemble, alderperson in Madison, WI (Chair)
• Marsha Rummel, president of Madison Common
• Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Mayor (and
former candidate for Governor), Syracuse, NY
• Amelia Parker, City Council candidate in Knoxville, TN
• Emma Tai, Executive Director of United Working
Families, Chicago, IL
• Alec Hudson, United Neighbors of the 35th Ward, DSA,
• A special greeting from two-term Green Party Mayor of
Richmond, CA Gayle McLaughlin (candidate for Lt.
Governor of California), Richmond Progressive Alliance
Other invited guests not previosly confirmed will be
afforded extended speaking time on the first round of discussion.
THIS PANEL IS PART OF THE SOLIDARITY SUMMER SCHOOL