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