The New York delegation of the Social Democrats USA has announced its endorsement of the candidacy of attorney Mary Giallanza Carney as judge for the Erie County Family Court. Mrs. Carney graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Law in 2000 and since has specialized in family law in which issues of child custody, child support, family offense issues and matrimonial issues are regularly raised. The family court judges regularly have a strong impact on the lives of working class families and Mrs. Carney has regularly represented children before the Erie County Family Court and New York’s Supreme Court.
Mary Giallanza Carney enjoys wide spread support for her candidacy. She has been endorsed by both the Erie County Democratic and Republican Parties. She has also been endorsed by the Independence Party and the New York Working Families Party. The New York delegation of the Social Democrats USA is now proud to announce its endorsement of her as well. She is according to Michael Mottern the leader of the New York SD delegation “experienced, compassionate, and is an independent thinker.” Different from many politicians. she will work to serve the working families of Erie County. For this reason the SD’s New York delegation has decided to endorse Mary Giallanza Carney
One of the world’s oldest political parties is celebrating a milestone this year. The Social Democratic Party of Germany turns 150. An exhibition marking the historic event is being held tonight in Washington DC at the German Historical Institute. See the link here. I was invited to attend, but unfortunately, schedule conflicts in my own borough prevented me from making the drive to Washington. I spoke on the phone today with a representative from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and I committed to making a visit in the near future.
Social Democrats USA congratulates the SPD on its milestone. The entire social democratic movement owes a debt to SPD and their courageous struggles against Monarchs, Nazis, and Communists. Even today we can see the success of SPD in the fact that the former German Communist Party, now Die Linke, refers to itself as democratic socialists. The SPD’s unwavering commitment to democracy is something that we all can be proud of.
Under the above headline, the following was published today in the Boston Globe as a Letter to the Editor:
Jack Curtis’ Ideas article on the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom… was a useful reminder of the economic-equality side of the march and especially of the contributions of A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, his longtime aide. It did not, I think, capture sufficiently one aspect of the unique genius of these two men: although they were both courageous leaders of the black struggle in America, their concern and vision extended to all Americans. While they certainly knew well the scourges of unemployment and poverty among black people, the policies they advocated- full employment and a war against poverty- were meant to raise up all the downtrodden, whatever the color of their skin. Sadly, the vision they gave us of decent living conditions and jobs for all is still unfulfilled.
Eldon R. Clingan
The writer was a participant in the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom.
Yesterday, the SD tabled at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. It was a beautiful day— bright sunshine, pleasant temperatures; God did not rain on our parade. Patty said that her angels were taking care of things for us. Patty flew in from LA and joined Michael and Peng in Buffalo. Together they drove down to Pittsburgh on Friday to pick me up and get some some rest before the early morning Saturday drive to Washington.
We got to RFK Stadium a little later than planned, but we were able to easily park and haul our goods out of Michael’s car. The trick was to schlep all this stuff (including card tables!) through the Metro station, onto the train, out at Smithsonian, and carry it all toward the WW2 monument where we set up. Michael was an incredible pack horse and I’m sure his back is feeling out of sorts today.
Many people came up to our table and engaged us in conversation. To name just a few of the many interesting encounters: two high school seniors who were studying government wanted to know all about Randolph and Rustin; two college kids from Oklahoma expressed dismay over the lack of progressive activity at their college; a women from Dominican Republic wanted to know if we were related to the Social Democrats in her country; members of the UAW and CWA stopped to thank us for our support of organized labor.
We had Bayard Rustin postcards to hand out, and people loved them. However, I was surprised how many people didn’t know who Bayard was, especially considering that this was a celebration of the march he organized! We have a lot of work to do in that regard. Furthermore, of those who did know who Bayard was, none of them knew that he was also Chair of the Social Democrats USA during the 1970’s. Still more education needed. The event gave us a great opportunity to connect with the African American community, something that has been lacking in all left groups. I am hopeful that some of the introductions we made today will flourish into fuller relationships.
While the day was a success for the SD, I have to say that the atmosphere was more like a picnic rather than protest rally. The ’63 march came at a time of great tension in civil rights. And with it came an expectation that something important would result from the march. The protesters in ’63 didn’t come all the way from Mississippi and New York just to have a picnic. Travel was not so easy in those days and certainly most blacks didn’t have the financial means to go to Washington on a whim. When Bayard spoke at the rally he listed demands, and he was serious. The protesters who came to Washington were letting Congress know that they expected action. Frankly, today’s rally felt like a commemoration of the past, even though it should have been much more. There is still a great tension in our nation regarding civil rights. Republicans are taking away voting rights because they know that’s the only way they can stay in office. The Trayvon Martin case still haunts us, not because “stand your ground” is an asinine law (which it is), but because if the race of the men involved were reversed the shooter would have been found guilty. Black unemployment is running at about 6% higher than white unemployment. Union jobs, which have elevated the living standards of both black and white, continue to be shipped overseas. There are many reasons for the African American community to be outraged, but I didn’t sense outrage or urgency. It would be nice to think that we have entered a new era where we get things done differently, but the fact is that things aren’t getting done. Since 2000, the standard of living for the average American is going down. One has to wonder when people will become enraged over that fact that billionaires are sucking the life out of our country and depositing it in a bank in Switzerland.
Photo credits belong to Peng Zhang, a university student in Buffalo. We are grateful for all the pictures he took and we enjoyed his company during the weekend. I have posted about 20 pictures and some additional comments.
The camapign by Massachusetts Social Democrats to secure Congressional support for H.R. 1000, the Conyers full employment bill, got a major boost on August 9th when State Representative Carl Sciortino, Jr., pledged his support for the bill. In answer to a letter asking him to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1000, if elected, Mr. Sciortino made an emphatic statement: “… I would be proud to co-sponsor H.R. 1000 along with Rep. Jim McGovern if elected to Congress… I believe this bill is sound and just policy to level the playing field and create an economy that works for all Americans by investing in our communities and our citizens.”
Representative Sciortino has an outstanding progressive record in the legislature and is considered to have an excellent chance to win the Democratic nomination for the 5th District Congressional seat vacated by now-Senator Edward Markey.
MSD has also called on some 20 progressive organizations that belong to Mass Alliance, a coalition, to include support for full employment and the Conyers bill as criteria for candidates in their endorsement processes. MSD followed up this request by sending the Sciortino statement of support and asking that other candidates for the Democratic nomination make a similar commitment.