Report on Coalition for People Annual Meeting

On April 17, the Coalition for People held its first annual meeting since 2014. Among the 24 attendees, there were many past members and some newcomers to the group.

The gathering started off with music by Flint Ladder. A slideshow featuring CFP founder Mary Johnson played during the performance.

Elected board members are Dorothy Johnson, Elizabeth Neuse, Holly Hackett and JoAnn Moran. If anyone wants to still join the board, they can be considered during the monthly business meetings. Please call (203) 468-2541 if you are interested in joining the board.

The keynote speaker was Rev. Bonita Grubbs, Director of Christian Community Action. She spoke about the long history of Coalition for People, the legacy of Mary Johnson, what it means to be organizing and inspiring people, and always pushing for what is right, even though it may not always be immediately evident. She gave the example that that week scientists were able to photograph a black hole, proving Albert Einstein’s theory about the existence of black holes, 64 years after Einstein’s death. Many ridiculed Einstein when he first presented that theory, just as many people call activists crazy for trying to change things. But just because we as activists don’t get immediate results doesn’t mean we’re crazy or wrong. Rev. Grubbs talked about the individual lights of each person, their intelligence, skills, how people have their own understanding, that everyone can bring their lights together, discuss reality and solutions from her or his own perspective, and shine the light to push things forward.

Discussion of various topics followed – affordable housing, Yale New Haven Hospital’s plan to move the primary care centers to Long Wharf, healthcare, homelessness, justice. It was a good gathering to share the concerns of Coalition members and supporters, as well as those new to CFP.

The monthly board meetings are open to the membership. For June, July and August, our meetings are on the third Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Avenue (June 19, July 17, and August 21). For more information, email coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com. Thank you!

May Day 2019 — 100 Years of Struggle for Workers’ Rights

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

The annual Connecticut People’s World rally for International Workers’ Day will highlight union organizing today and in history. Themed “May Day 2019: 100 Years of Struggle for Workers’ Rights,” the rally will be held on Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St. The event, held during the 100th anniversary year of the Communist Party USA, will include a brief history of labor organizing by the Communist Party since its founding in 1919 and continuing today.

The experience of organizing food service workers who won a union last year at United Airlines will be shared by Jaime Myers-McPhail who lived in Colorado for several months working on the campaign, and his colleague Charlie Delgado who participated for a shorter time. Myers-McPhail is an organizer in New Haven with New Haven Rising and Unite Here.

“May Day Around the World” slide show will show workers’ protests and actions from every continent including many demands for equality for immigrant workers. The afternoon will be capped off with labor songs led by some of those who participated in the newly formed labor chorus at the Women’s March in Hartford this year.

On May 1, 1886, thousands of workers marched in Chicago to demand relief from brutal 12- and 14-hour workdays. A few days later, a suspicious bomb killed several Chicago police and protesters in Haymarket Square. Four of the march leaders were framed and executed. In their memory, May Day was proclaimed a day of international workers’ struggle and solidarity. In the United States, May Day took on new life when immigrant workers from Latin America held mega-marches for their rights in 2006. May Day 2019 is part of the resistance against the anti-people Trump/ Republican white supremacy agenda, and the rising movements to put peace, planet and people before profits

Donation is $5 or what you can afford. A fund appeal for the People’s World will be made. For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com or call (203) 624-4254.

Walk Against Hunger Saturday May 18

Join the CT Food Bank at scenic Savin Rock Park in West Haven at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, to rally in support of neighbors in need and get on the move toward a hunger-free Connecticut. Enjoy a two-mile walk route along the Savin Rock beach-front. We’ve got plenty of parking and fun activities to make the day special.

Many of our neighbors in cities and towns across Connecticut battle hunger every day. By participating in the Walk Against Hunger, you will bring attention to their challenges and raise funds to provide nutritious food to people in need.

More than 300,000 people in our service area are food-insecure; nearly 100,000 children struggle with hunger. Funds raised at the Walk Against Hunger support the vital work of the Connecticut Food Bank providing food to hungry adults and children in six Connecticut counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham. Last year, we distributed enough food to provide 20.3 million meals, or more than 55,000 meals every day to people in need.

No need to collect checks or cash – donations are made directly to you through your Walk page. Register today and build your team of hunger fighters!

If you have questions regarding the Walk Against Hunger, email walk@ctfoodbank.org.

Is Your PAR Subscription About to Run Out?

by PAR Planning Committee

The Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter publishes from September through June. Subscriptions from many of our readers will expire with the June issue.

We hope you enjoy your subscription and value the PAR newsletter as a community resource. To see if your subscription is due for renewal, please look at your address label. If “201906” is printed on the label to the right of your name, your subscription ends next month. Please send in $13 for 10 issues (Sept. 2019-June 2020) so that you can continue to read about what local organizations are doing and you can submit articles about your own organization.

The Progressive Action Roundtable was started in January 1993. After several months, this community Newsletter became the main activity of PAR, giving New Haven area organizations an opportunity for networking and for advertising their activities.

We hope to hear from you.

Liberty Community Services at New Haven Libraries

Liberty Community Services offers one-on-one consulta-tions at NHFPLs for those with basic needs (jobs, food, shelter, and health and wellness issues).
Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street
* Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
* Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Avenue
* Thursdays, 5-7 p.m. * Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wilson Branch Library, 303 Washington Avenue
* Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m *Saturdays, April 13, 27, 10 a.m.-1p.m.

Google Brings Economic Opportunity Initiative To Connecticut

Google announced that it is coming to cities and towns throughout Connecticut as part of the tech company’s Grow with Google initiative to help create economic opportunity in communities across the United States. Google will kick-start this work locally by hosting free, one-day events to help job seekers, small business owners, students, educators, and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.

“Connecticut is one of our country’s most historic centers of innovation, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing. By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour to the state, we are committing to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of the state’s growing economy,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s Head of Community Engagement. Google staff will be at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St., on Wed., Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In recognition that libraries are increasingly centers for digital skills learning, Grow with Google plans to visit libraries in every state, partnering with them to deliver digital skills training directly to job seekers and small businesses in their community. Google staff will lead hands-on workshops about online marketing for small businesses, search engine optimization, email basics and coding. Attendees can also sign up for one-on-one training with Google staff, and tour demo booths to learn more about Google’s free products for learners and small businesses. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day.

To learn more about the free event and to register, visit g.co/growconnecticut. Space will be limited; so please register in advance. For more information, contact: Peter Schottenfels, schottenfels@google.com, (646) 832-6785.

Reflections on the Past Green Year

by Owen Charles, Shoreline Green Party

A little over a year ago, we obtained official chapter-hood for our Shoreline Green Party. It was a joyous thing, springing forth from a rather unjoyous series of disappointments. Many were dismayed by the weakening of democracy in America, the championing of corporate interests by both major parties, and the 2016 election with its home-grown election fraud.

So we came together to see if the grass was greener on the other side—and it was!—Fertile with ideas and fresh perspectives, and inquisitive minds;— Open to citizen participation, running for office, and a shared and self-determined people’s agenda.—Not your typical political party owned, operated, bought and sold by large corporate interests.

On Feb. 26, 2017, we launched with the aim to “start preparing to run candidates, get involved an important issue and legislation advocacy and upturn the status quo of a troubled political system as an official regional chapter of the Green Party!”

I’ll briefly reflect on what we have done in a year, with pride and congratulations to a smart, vibrant, friendly, hard-working, dedicated, growing Shoreline Green Party team! Many more details can be found on our Facebook @shorelinegreenparty and website shorelinegreenparty.org.

  1. Visibility and Activism: We organized gatherings and protests (net neutrality, immigrants rights, May Day and others), marched in the Guilford Parade. Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube videos (check it out at Shoreline Green Party on Youtube).
  2. Inspiration and Solidarity: Our first annual Songs of Solidarity in Oct. 2017 at the Guilford Library was standing room only (70+), amazing performances and sing-alongs with a line-up of incredible local artists (stay tuned for “Second Annual!”). We sponsored a showing of “Requiem for the American Dream” at Guilford Library.
  3. Local Democracy in Action: Organized public support to stop privatization and development of the Academy School in Madison, ban fracking waste in a number of towns, and stop the development of a waste dump in Clinton.

Our first four candidates in 2017, in Clinton and Madison, each had impressive showings with over 1,100 votes. We now have four local candidates for this Nov. 6! with key campaign support and volunteering from dozens of people.

Clinton members have led the way in getting appointed to Town commissions and boards.

If you are interested in these kinds of actions, please join with us in the Shoreline Green Party! We welcome participants from all surrounding areas including New Haven and environs and are working with other local groups and welcome doing that more.

Please reach out to us by joining our Facebook group @shorelinegreenparty or contacting me! Owen Charles owencharles2003@yahoo.com or shorelinegreenparty@gmail.com; phone (203) 421-1094.

Mary Johnson, March 29, 1922-Aug. 13, 2017

It is with great sadness that the Progressive Action Roundtable Planning Committee informs our readers that Mary Johnson, a founding member of PAR and leader, strategist and active participant in most of PAR’s committees, has passed on.

We dedicate this issue of our newsletter to Mary. Without her guidance, ideas for informing the public and each other of rallies and events, optimism in the struggle for justice and her persistence in fighting for people’s rights throughout the years, there may not have even been a Progressive Action Roundtable. We all owe so much to her.

Frank Panzarella, “Mary was the den mother for most of the New Haven activist community.”

Mary was directly active in many of the organizations that are PAR-affiliated. She was also active in most of New Haven’s progressive organizations. She most likely was a founding member of many.
She was a great political and personal influence on many. PAR encourages our readers to send in their reminiscences of her. In the words of Frank Panzarella, “Mary was the den mother for most of the New Haven activist community.”

A memorial is being planned for her with details upcoming.

Tree and Plaque Dedication for Theresa Carr in Jocelyn Square Park – Saturday, May 20

by Joan Cavanagh, a friend of Theresa Carr

The dedication of the tree and plaque in memory of Theresa Carr, an activist whose work spanned several communities and countries (including many years in New Haven), will take place in Jocelyn Square Park on Saturday, May 20, in the afternoon. (We’ve decided to hold it on the weekend rather than on Tuesday the 23rd, her actual 63rd birthday, to accommodate out of town visitors.)

Tree waterers Nesta, Jr. and Shiloh Sherwood-Allen will be present with their parents, Nesta Allen, Sr., and Amelia Sherwood, to water the tree for the first of many times. They are taking responsibility for its nourishment during its crucial first two years, while its roots deepen and grow. Hopefully, they and others will enjoy its shade and its beauty for many lifetimes.

The plaque was designed by Alessandra Nichols. (“Tharchin” was Theresa’s Buddhist name.)
More information and details of the event will be available in the April edition of the PAR newsletter. You can also email  joan.cavanagh@gmail.com or call (203) 668-9082.

Thanks again to the donors for making this happen!

Anonymous
Jay and Mildred Doody
Mary Fischer
Marni Gair
Mary Johnson
Midge Jolly
Cornelia Kinnauer
Susan Klein and Henry
Lowendorf
Preston MacAndrews
Pat Mikos and Jae Patton
Paul Mishler and Gerrie
Casey
Steve Rowley

Volunteers Needed for MLK Event January 18-19

by Elisabeth Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator, Yale Peabody Museum

We need to fill volunteer spots for the Yale Peabody Museum’s 19th Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Social and Environmental Justice event on Sunday, Jan. 18 (noon to 4 p.m.) and Monday, Jan. 19 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). We also could use people to help us set up on Saturday, Jan. 17.

mlkIf it’s easier for you, feel free to leave a message telling me “Sunday or Monday” and “morning or afternoon or even all day” and I will find a spot for you. Please let me know as soon as possible where you can help out. We really do need ‘all hands on deck’ for this extensive two-day event – one of the biggest of the year for the museum. So let me know what you would like to help with! Remember, we are happy to have you to work full days or on Sunday and/or Monday or to set up on Saturday.

Have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to hearing from you and definitely seeing you in January!
With best wishes for 2015, Elisabeth, (203) 432-3731, peabody.volunteers@yale.edu.