Dear Comrades & Friends;
We are writing to wish you a Happiest of Holidays and a great New Year and to inform you of a major development for our organization and its members. 2017 was a difficult year for all of us. We have suffer through the first year of the Donald Trump Administration. We still cannot believe that this man is our president. Therefore, we have been an essential part of the Resistance opposing him. In fact, we began this resistance, immediately after the 2016 election with our “Keeping the Political Revolution Alive” conference that was held on November 19, 2016 in Buffalo N.Y, that was organized by SD’s 1st Vice Chair, Comrade Michael Mottern. We held our National Convention in August and were able to share a video of the public forum to all of our members and friends on our website. We passed various resolutions at the Convention, including “Religion and Reproductive Justice,” “American Drug Policy,” endorsing the “People’s Platform.” Specifically controversial was the introduction of a resolution, “After Fifty Years of Occupation, A Social Democratic/Democratic Zionist Case Critically Endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.” This resolution was sent to the National Committee where it was passed by a very narrow margin. At the same time, the members who opposed this resolution were encouraged to write a minority report with their alternative proposals to critically endorsing the BDS movement. No one was ostracized for their opinion on this very contentious issue in our discussion on the BDS resolution. However, the fact that this kind of resolution was submitted to our national convention and later approved by the NC, is prove positive that the reorganized Social Democrats, USA, has evolved and can no longer be charged as being neoconservative. On the other hand, the SD remains explicitly committed to the survival and security of Israel alongside a state of Palestine on the West Bank & Gaza with Jerusalem as the capital of both states. And we remain firm in our critique of the political anti-Zionism that is expressed on both the Alt-Right and much of the Left, as oppose to constructive criticisms of aspect of Zionist ideology and history of the movement that still affirms the right of the Jewish people to self determination.
Therefore,we hope that 2018 is fruitful and positive for all of us, with a continuing resurgence of the Left in the United States, ending the year with the defeat of the Republican majority in Congress and many state governments. We have been doing our part in achieving this goal. Despite, the small size of the SD, our treasurer Rick D’Loss has been a elected member of the city council of Carnegie, Pennsylvania since 2009, as a socialist in the Democratic Party. Steven Schwartzberg, a SD member since the 1970s, is running for Congress for the Illinois 5th District, under the slogan, “Stands Where Bernie Sanders Does: Social Democratic Leadership for the Illinois 5th District.” Comrade Schwartzberg states, “I am running for Congress because I am a social democrat who thinks that it is time for a moral as well as a political revolution in this country. I believe that my background and skills will enable me to help advance that twin revolution better than any of the other candidates in the race.”
Please go to http://www.schwartzbergforcongress.com/#home for information about Steve and his campaign.
This is the first of a series of letters to our members & friends discussing how the SD can grow and prosper politically in 2018 and beyond. We also need to hear suggestions, ideas and proposals from you. We know that this is a very dangerous time for the U.S and the world. You can reach me at DHacker300@aol.com or 516-669-1748. The aurora of authoritarianism is coming from the White House, while the Republican Congress seeks to undo the entire legacy of the New Deal. Yes, the Class Struggle is real. And we know which side we are on. The side of Workers and the poor of all races, sexes, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. But we need your help. Whatever you can donate-especially if you have not paid your dues for 2017. Please send in your donations to Rick D’Loss at 225 E. Main St. Carnegie, Pa. 15106.
We are also writing to let you know that ProQuest, a Ann Arbor, Michigan-based global information-content and technology company founded in 1938 as University Microfilms has chosen Social Democrats,USA as the sole and rightful heir to the original Socialist Party of America and its legacy and ownership of the SP papers & documents that are archived at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and University Archives at Duke University. This is not only a wonderful and meaningful honor. It has great legal/practical implications and benefits. – not the least of which will be future funding streams for the SDUSA and the access it will afford our members and others will be priceless. ProQuest has signed a contract with Duke University to scan and digitize the following materials: Socialist Party of America Papers (1897-1963)
Socialist Party of America Papers, Addendum (1919-1976).
As the legally recognized Licensor of these papers, the SD has to agree to give ProQuest permission to scan and digitize this archival collection. We have signed an agreement with ProQuest to proceed with this project. This is the agreement:
As for royalties from sales of the digitized collection, we reached the following agreement
This means that both the SD and Duke University will get 10 percent of the revenue of any sale of the Licensed SP papers. In addition, all members of Social Democrats USA will have free access to the digitized SP Papers archives. We have also discussed with ProQuest scanning and digitizing the Social Democrats, USA Records, 1937-1994 (Bulk 1970-1994) that are also at Duke University Library’s Rubinstein Archives.
We encourage you to use this amazing collection after the completion of the project in 2020. In the meantime, there are collection of Leftist papers, books, organizational journals, newsletters, etc. even art and political posters available to all of you, and accessible from your home. If you need recommendations and/or help visiting these collections, do not hesitate to contact David Hacker. I cannot overstate how important this agreement with ProQuest and their choice of us as the legal heir to the historic Socialist Party of Eugene V Debs & Norman Thomas. Comrades, this is hugh! The debate over which organization is the legal successor of the SP is over. The SDUSA is the historic SP. In future letters, I will discuss the full political meaning of this fact and how it gives our organization the flexibility to both work in the Democratic Party and also run independent local campaigns under the SP logo.
Yours in Solidarity;
Patty Friend, National Chair: SDUSA David Hacker, National Secretary: SDUSA