Heiwa Salovitz, June 10, 1969 – January 3, 2022

Heiwa was a New Haven activist until 2010 when he moved to Austin to work with its chapter of the disability rights organization ADAPT. His involvement in many New Haven organizations for peace, justice, disability rights, human rights, equity and respect for all impacted everyone who knew him. Heiwa was Muslim, had cerebral palsy, and used a wheelchair. He was active, outspoken and effective in making change. The PAR Planning Committee extends our deepest condolences to all his family and to his many friends.

From The Record-Journal, Jan. 7, 2022

Heiwa Salovitz, of Austin, Texas, formerly of Wallingford and New Haven, passed away January 3, 2022.
He is survived by his mother Elaine Harris (late Richard Harris), his siblings Charlie, Robin, Amy (Gary), Larry (Debra). He was the beloved uncle to Autumn (Marvin), Heather, Noah, Ava, and Sophie, great-uncle to Harmony, Jadyn, Shaelynn, Brooklyn, and Sirene. He was predceased by his bio parents Simon Salovitz and Dee LeDoux.

He will be missed by his many friends and extended ADAPT family, where he was a fierce advocate of change and reform for people with disabilities.

Art Perlo, 74

by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Dec. 23, 2021

Art Perlo, Ward 24 co-chair and executive board member of the Yale Unions Retirees Association, passed away on Dec. 18, 2021, after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

Alder Evette Hamilton called him a “gentle giant” for his kindness, commitment, humor and broad knowledge that touched the lives of so many in the city, state and around the country.

Born in New York on November 2, 1947, son of Marxist economist Victor Perlo and artist Ellen Perlo, Art moved to New Haven in 1975 after living in Chicago and Portland, Oregon, to join his life partner Joelle Fishman, participating in her People before Profits campaigns for Congress and mayor.

As an independent economist and activist, Art devoted his talents to the cause of the rights and equality of working class people of all races, genders and national backgrounds.

An IT worker at Yale’s Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry lab for 35 years, he helped organize and was a founding member of the clerical and technical workers union Local 34 Unite Here in 1984. Although not eligible for the union with his managerial and professional job classification, he was appreciated for honoring the strikes of Local 34 and Local 35, joining his co-workers on the picket line for respect and improved wages and benefits. He was an early proponent for restructuring Yale’s hiring practices to open job opportunities for Black and Latino New Haven residents.

Since the 1990s ….

READ THIS ENTIRE OBITUARY HERE:  www.newhavenindependent.org/obituaries/art_perlo_74

Contributions to the causes closest to Art’s heart can be made at: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/art-perlo-presente-carry-it-forward/

Due to the rise in COVID a gathering will not be held at this time. On January 1, 2023 an open house continuing the annual tradition of Art and Joelle will be held to celebrate Art’s life and carry on the movement-building his life exemplifies.

 

Tribute to Art Perlo

by Barbara Vereen, UNITE-HERE

On Dec. 11, New Haven organizer and activist Art Perlo was honored at the Connecticut People’s World Amistad Awards. On Dec. 18, after a long battle with cancer, he passed on. The PAR Planning Committee extends our condolences to his wife Joelle Fishman and all their family, friends, and comrades. The following is the tribute given to Art on Dec. 11 at the Amistad Awards. It is excerpted from the presentation by Barbara Vereen, staff director for UNITE-HERE in CT.

Since the inception of our union, the Communist Party has been a part of our growing, doing work in the community. Whether we’re fighting for immigrants’ rights, whether we’re fighting for worker rights, whether we’re organizing in the community in other unions, the Communist Party has been there.

 

I’d like to give a special thanks and acknowledgment to Art Perlo, who, when I first met him, was a part of the Yale Club, and then I was amazed – it was the Yale Club, the Winchester Club, the Harvard Club – everywhere you’d go they would be there.

 

A special recognition for Art Perlo for all the work he has done in the Communist Party and also all the unions here at Yale. One of the things that I have heard over the years is how Art was an M&P [Managerial & Professional classification at Yale], not even a part of the union, but he honored our picket line when we were forming our union. Not only did he honor our picket line, he also helped organize our workers so that we could become our union.

 

He sat on our first executive board and he wasn’t even a union member. Now Art sits on YURA, our retirement board for our retirees at Yale. I have to thank him for all the wisdom and knowledge he has bestowed upon me personally but also always being willing to give and educate people on the movement.

 

So, Art, I hope you get well, a speedy recovery.

Joelle and Edie, we love you!

For more about Art:

Art Perlo, Ward 24 co-chair and executive board member of the Yale Unions Retirees Association, passed away on Dec. 18 after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.   Art Perlo, 74 | New Haven Independent

In Memory of Robin Latta Tweedy (1950-2021)

On October 23, after a 20-month battle with ovarian cancer, our friend, sister activist, humanitarian Robin Latta Tweedy passed on. Many PAR readers knew her and worked alongside her for years in numerous campaigns for peace, disability rights, affordable housing, universal single-payer healthcare, prison reform, immigrant rights, etc.

Although Robin lived in Branford, she was often in New Haven to be part of rallies and actions. Through the years she would buy PAR subscriptions for friends so they could learn more about the various struggles of the activist communities and find opportunities to become involved.

Robin was a pace-setter, one of the first women to work at United Illuminating, first as a meter reader, and later in “the Underground.” The men on her job learned that their chauvinism was no longer to be tolerated. Thank you, Robin, for making the way easier for all the women who followed you in the previously-called “non-traditional jobs.”

She later got a degree in social work, and merged her career with her concerns for bettering people’s lives and fighting for justice.

When her parents could no longer care for themselves in Florida, she moved them to her home and was the caregiver for them both. She will always be remembered for her love, sense of justice, and willingness to help people on all levels.

When Mary Johnson, one of PAR’s founding members, was in CT Hospice in March, 2016, Robin asked for, and received, permission to have an International Women’s Day party there. Because of Robin’s stellar idea, twenty people celebrated International Women’s Day with Mary (who was discharged from Hospice later that week and lived until August, 2017).

Robin led the Coalition for People’s campaign in demanding the main branch of the New Haven Library do the necessary upkeep for the handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and that they also remove the extra set of very heavy glass doors that were in front of the wheelchair-accessible doorway.

Robin was part of Fight the Hike, which demanded an end to exorbitant electric rates. She met with Branford legislators as well as state legislators, and presented testimony in public hearings in Hartford, often referring to corporations’ practices of waste and ineptitude that she witnessed when she worked at United Illuminating.

Robin was also a dedicated animal lover and had a number of pets. For years she rescued feral cats and found homes for them. Robin believed every creature deserved a home, comfort and love.

She was a supporter of union struggles, demonstrated in peace rallies, stood up to racists, fought for justice, and in all ways loved being an activist. She took part in the weekly vigil of the New Haven Peace Council with activist Jim Pandaru. We at PAR thank Jim for allowing us to reprint his condolences when he learned of Robin’s passing.

We are heartbroken to learn that Robin, our dear friend, sister activist, and a uniquely spiritual human being, has passed away. I believe that the sad emptiness we now feel without her presence will soon be replaced by all the wonderful memories and her lasting legacy of who she was and what she stood for in life. Carrying on where Robin left off will be a lasting tribute to her.

We in the Peace Council will surely miss her friendship and unwavering commitment, presence and camaraderie in helping us distribute flyers at our Friday vigils every single week for over two years before COVID-19 hit. May she rest in peace and her memory be eternal.

At this time the date for a memorial gathering has not been finalized.

Her husband James Tweedy predeceased her. Our condolences to Robin’s sister, Pat Latta of Thornton, Colorado, dear friends Debbie Elkin and Janis Underwood, devoted caretakers of her cats (and of Robin) Jennifer Ford and Gary Cimmino, and all who knew and loved her.

In Memory of Marge Van Cleef (1935-2021)

Many PAR readers from New Haven during the ’80s through early 2000s worked with and were greatly influenced by long-time New Haven activist Marge Van Cleef. On October 26, Marge passed on in Philadelphia.

Marge was an organizer and activist in many peace and justice groups and international solidarity organizations, a teacher and a church organist. She introduced many activists to the need for non-violent civil disobedience in the course of various protests, and wrote many articles and leaflets. She was tenacious and consistently urged people to pay attention in the struggle for justice.

In the 1980s, Marge was in Educators for Social Responsibility, and, along with Sally Joughin (who helped found PAR years later), visited classrooms to discuss with the students the views of Soviet children, nuclear weapons, how government decisions impact the students and how students can impact the government. Marge and Sally developed a full curriculum and got permission from social studies teachers to talk with over 100 classrooms.

Marge was active in many groups and was looked to as a leader. Some of the groups are the Pledge of Resistance, the Coalition to Stop Trident, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven Coalition Against War in the Gulf, and Peace and Justice News and Views.

Her activism continued when she moved to Philadelphia in 2004. The Brandywine Peace Community shared these words from Tina Shelton, Marge’s colleague in the Philadelphia branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom:

Marge died on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at the age of 86. Our friend, leader, challenger, organizer, valiant and tireless peace activist has breathed her last.

Her intellectual prowess was admired as much as her steadfast hold on her ideals. She read widely and integrated her constant learning into her action. She challenged our opinions and helped us to take another look, while staunch-ly advocating for anti-capitalism, anti-racism, and against all war and violence.

She and her partner, Bill Dyson, created a monthly vigil against drones, recognizing that drones were potentially able to gain acceptance as a less lethal form of warfare, a view that she was determined to work against.

Her communities, including Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom [WILPF], Greater Philadelphia Branch and the National Disarm Committee, Brandywine Peace Community, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, Catholic Peace Fellowship and others, valued her political and intellectual expertise, consistently speaking truth to power through civil disobedience and demonstrations…

The following excerpts are from her obituary notice. It can be read in its entirety at https://hrfuneral.com/tribute/ details/876/Marjorie-Van-Cleef/obituary.html

Marge was a teacher and advocate for social justice. She was committed to a world without weapons, to the protection of the environment, and to equal justice. This led her to vigil and demonstrate, and to be a witness through civil disobedience when necessary. She participated fully in many peacemaking groups – as an organizer, strategist, teacher, and friend. These groups are too numerous to mention, but included Women Against Military Madness, the Trident Coalition, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Atlantic Life Community, Witness for Peace, and SANE/Freeze. She amassed several collections of significant documents related to this work and those collections are housed at colleges and universities in the United States.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to The Native American Rights Fund, 1506 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302-6217; Partners in Health (identify Haiti), P.O. Box 996, Frederick, MD 21705-9942; and Women for Women International, P.O. Box 9224, Central Islip, NY 11722-9224.

Our condolences to her partner, Bill Dyson, her children Christopher Van Cleef and Elizabeth Van Cleef and their families, her stepchildren Sonia Mack, Will Dyson, Eric Dyson, Michael Dyson and their families, and her brother David Noll and his family.

A memorial gathering in New Haven is being organized.

Remembering Tim Craine

Although Tim lived in Windsor, he was known to many New Haven-area activists as he often participated for decades in state-wide and local rallies and programs for peace and justice. He was enthusiastically optimistic in the struggle for a better world and will be greatly missed. Below is the obituary printed Oct. 3 in the New Haven Register.

Timothy V. Craine, 77, died peacefully at home in Windsor on Sept. 25 after a several-month battle with leukemia. He was born Oct. 6, 1943, to Asho Craine, nee Ingersoll, and Lyle Craine.

Tim graduated from Oberlin College in 1965. He spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching math in Ghana. He taught in public high schools in New Haven and Detroit. He earned a Ph.D. in math education from Wayne State University in 1984. That year he also received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. He joined the math department at Central Connecticut State University in 1993 and chaired the department from 2000 until his retirement in 2009. He was highly regarded as a teacher of high school and elementary math teachers, and continued teaching part-time through 2020. He co-authored several textbooks and numerous academic articles.

Tim was active as a member and later supporter of the Socialist Workers Party for five decades and was the party’s candidate for governor of Michigan in 1982. He was a leader of the Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, organizing to oppose Washington’s economic war against Cuba. He was active in the defense of framed-up Puerto Rican independence fighters and in 2000 participated in a delegation to Vieques, Puerto Rico, demanding the closure of the US bombing range there.

Tim is survived by his wife Leslie; two daughters Naomi Craine (Dean Hazlewood) and Rachel Craine (Liz Craine); brother Steve Craine (Rachel Skvirsky) and sister Ellen Craine; grandchildren Chelsea, Emily, Niko, and Maeve; dear friend Tony Proto; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Donations in his honor can be made to the math department at CCSU, the Simsbury Community Band, or the Socialist Workers Party. A celebration of his life will be organized in the spring. To leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit www.carmonfuneralhome.com.

Paul Hammer memorial celebration postponed; new Spring date TBD

We are sorry to announce that Paul Hammer’s memorial celebration at the Unitarian Society of New Haven (USNH) has been postponed due to Covid restrictions. Currently, people attending indoor events in Hamden are required to wear a mask. In addition, under USNH protocols, attendees at a service may not sing, and consumption of food or beverages is not allowed in the building. These do not seem to be conditions conducive to a vibrant celebration of Paul’s spirit.

A new date in April 2022 is being considered and will be announced as soon as possible.

 

Peace Prophet Paul Hammer Dies At 64

Paul Bass, June 30, 2021, New Haven Independent

[Paul Hammer has been an integral part of the New Haven community for decades. He was in peace groups, justice groups, did prison reform organizing, was involved with theater, environmental groups, homeless and mental health advocacy, etc. Many PAR readers have worked with him at one time or another. He died by suicide on June 27. Below are excerpts of the article posted at newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/paul_hammer_dies_at_64]

Paul was 64, and touched the lives of innumerable New Haveners over the last 40-plus years. He was much loved, and his death has sparked an outpouring of tributes.

Paul wanted people to know he struggled with mental illness so that others in similar straits could find support and help. He spoke about a previous suicide attempt off East Rock to the Register’s Randall Beach with that in mind.

Paul also wanted kids to ride bikes safely. He wanted immigrants to find a welcoming new home in New Haven. He wanted community theater to thrive. He wanted to see an end to violence in wars abroad and violence in the street wars at home. He wanted to help people stay out of prison. He dedicated his life to working with others to help make that happen, and found daily joy in doing so.

Paul endeared himself to all of us with his warmth, openness, energy, and enthusiasm; with his love of music, politics, community, all wrapped in a smile.

Over the years Paul has continually approached me — and probably hundreds if not thousands of others around town — with his latest urgent idea for a special project. His advocacy never involved promoting himself. It never involved competing with others for attention or power. It was always about spreading caring and love, sprinkled with humor and melody, envisioning a better world. I can’t remember Paul ever insulting or getting angry at anyone. It was people like Paul, I came to realize, who rather than making headlines, make cities like New Haven warm, lively, caring communities.

This past April he helped the Friends of Kensington Playground with a bicycle event for kids. As usual, he was pitching in with ideas and hustle. He connected organizers with a donor to get all the kids free bikes. Then he conducted bike safety training for the kids at the event.

“He was in his element,” recalled one of the event’s organizers, Paul’s lifelong friend Patricia Wallace. “Nobody had a better time that day.”

(Note: The suicide prevention hotline number is (800) 273-8255.)

[Paul’s Facebook page remains active for friends to post their photos and stories about him. The Arts Paper also wrote about Paul. You can view that article here:
https://www.newhavenarts.org/arts-paper/articles/new-haven-remembers-paul-hammers-legacy-of-joy]

The celebration of Paul Hammer’s life that was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19, 3 p.m. has been postponed and will likely take place in April 2022. Details to be announced.

  (See this link for more information https://par-newhaven.org/2021/09/04/paul-hammer-memorial-celebration-postponed-new-spring-date-tbd)

*
On Sept. 19, Elm City Cycling will honor Paul with a bike tour. Meet at the flagpole on the New Haven Green at 1 p.m. The bike ride will finish at the Unitarian Society.
*
On Saturday, Oct. 16, 3 p.m., New Haven Friends Meeting will host a Quaker Memorial Meeting for Paul by Zoom, and held in the manner of Friends – that is, silent waiting worship until each person is moved by Spirit to give a message. Details will be in the next issue of the PAR newsletter.

Vigil Honors Lives Lost to COVID in New Haven

by Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Accíon

In a vigil to commemorate one year of the COVID crisis, on March 22 the immigrant organization Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), along with Black & Brown United in Action, and Hamden Action Now remembered 186 lives lost in New Haven, including two of their loved ones, Nora Garcia and Ignacia Teniza.

photo: Frank Panzarella

To the crowd of sixty people, ULA announced a Rental Relief Fund and called for an economic recovery for immigrants. ULA released a report documenting the needs of their community and the urgent demand for an economic recovery to include immigrants. Since the pandemic began, ULA has mobilized nearly a dozen car caravans to the state capitol and governor’s mansion calling for COVID relief for “essential” undocumented workers, who have been excluded from unemployment insurance and federal stimulus payments.

While US Congress has failed to provide any relief to undocumented workers, the state of Connecticut last week launched UniteCT, a $235 million rental assistance program that is open to all residents regardless of immigrant status. At the same time, the state legislature is considering Senate Bill 956, which would open Husky health insurance to immigrants. The rental assistance fund comes after ULA and partner organizations negotiated for nearly one year with the Connecticut Department of Housing and distributed $2.5 million in a pilot program.

“Today as we remember Nora and Ignacia and the 186 lives lost in our city, we will call for a new day in Connecticut, when healthcare and economic security will be a right for all of us, not just for a few of us,” said John Jairo Lugo, Community Organizing Director of ULA.  “As we mourn the dead, we must denounce the deadly racial and economic inequities in this state, and we must fight for the living by creating a recovery for all that includes undocumented workers and families.”

For more information: Megan Fountain, (203) 479-2959, megan@ulanewhaven.org.

‘Outraged Elders’ Keep RBG’s Spirit Alive

by Melinda Tuhus, New Haven Independent, March 16, 2021

Dori Dumas wanted to celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s birthday on March 15, so she pitched the idea to the other members of the core group of Outraged Elders. They showed up in single-digit windchill temperatures on the Green on Monday, paper lace collars around their necks, signs displayed around “the bench” across from the federal courthouse to signify the wisdom “the notorious RBG” dispensed in her decades on the Supreme Court.

Outraged Elders is the group of Black and white women who planned two COVID-safe Black Lives Matter rallies on the Green last summer to enable older residents who were staying home to avoid catching a deadly disease to safely express their support.

“As a group of women activists, we thought it most appropriate during Women’s History Month to honor the life and legacy of the honorable Ruth Bader Ginsberg, ‘The Notorious R.B.G.’ on her birthday,” said Dumas, who is also president of the Greater New Haven chapter of the NAACP. “The bench is a reminder that we have to keep the pressure on. We have to use our power of the vote and keep pushing for laws that protect and advance equality, women’s rights and more,” she said. “The struggle continues, but the fight continues as well.”

The women used this outing to express support for many struggles, sometimes reading a relevant quote from Ginsberg. The Rev. Allie Perry promoted the efforts of Stop Solitary CT to pass the Protect Act to end solitary confinement in the state’s prisons.

Read the full article here: www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/outraged_elders_keep_rbgs_spirit_alive

We Will Miss Mike DeRosa

by David Bedell, Green Party of Connecticut

Mike DeRosa died October 16 at Hartford Hospital after battling an extended illness. Mike was a founding member of the CT Green Party, working on the Nader for President campaigns back in 1996 and 2000. Even before that, he had a history of activism; he volunteered for the Eugene McCarthy campaign of 1976 and for Barry Commoner’s Citizens Party campaign of 1980.

Together with his wife Barbara Barry, Mike organized the Hartford chapter of the CT Green Party, and he served as co-chair of the state party from 2003 to 2020. As co-chair, he drew criticism for continually running for re-election and for holding the party to a strict set of ethical principles, but he was dedicated to the survival of the party, organizing meetings month after month for years, tape recording the proceedings to ensure transparency, and speaking forcefully against proposals that he felt would be harmful to the party’s integrity. He served on several national party committees, notably the Ballot Access Committee and the Peace Committee.

From 2000 to 2018, Mike ran ten times for public office, winning as much as 11% of the vote: four times for State Senate, twice for Congress, and four times for Secretary of State. In 2009-2010, he partnered with the ACLU to spearhead a legal challenge to CT’s Citizens Election Program, which discriminates against minor party candidates.

Mike produced a weekly public affairs radio program, “New Focus Radio,” for many years at WHUS, WWUH, and WESU, interviewing political activists and analysts both locally and nationally known.

Mike’s persistence, loyalty, and commitment to democracy will be missed in Connecticut’s political circles.

Progressive Action Roundtable statement on the latest happenings of 2020

Dear PAR Subscribers:

The world has changed quite a bit since our June newsletter. The brutal murder of George Floyd exposed the ugliness of power in the hands of the police and the entrenched racism against people of color. As Black Lives Matter rallies against police brutality were joined with demands for removal of racist and oppressive historic symbols, the Columbus statue in Wooster Square was removed, and the City formed a committee to rename Columbus Academy. Black Lives Matter marches of over a thousand people blocked highways and rallied at police stations. A thousand people marched in West Haven to demand justice for Mubarak Soulemane, who was killed by a state trooper. Many hundreds demanded Yale pay millions of dollars more to New Haven to make up for so much property being tax-exempt because of Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital. Two “elder rallies” in support of Black Lives Matter were held on the Green for people wanting to make their voices heard while wearing masks and maintaining appropriate distance from others because of coronavirus. Mayor Elicker reiterated that New Haven is a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. City and town councils of New Haven, Hamden, Hartford, Windsor, West Hartford and Bloomfield declared racism a public health crisis. In addition, our work for peace and justice around the world has not stopped. Plus we are still in the midst of the pandemic! Quite a busy time!

The Progressive Action Roundtable welcomes articles from organizations around these and other issues of concern to our readers, who not only want to know what’s going on, but read about “report backs” and analyses of their various actions.

Please send in articles and calendar events for our next newsletter before Wednesday, Aug. 19 to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

The struggle continues!

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