The National Convention is the highest authority of the Communist Party USA and is authorized to make political and organizational decisions binding upon the entire Party and its membership. The Party must strive for unity in the National Convention which in turn requires membership participation with an open and free discussion of ideas.
We relied upon several steps to implement this membership participation and open discussion. First, time was allotted for pre-convention discussion of several months where all Party members and organizations had the right to express and propose changes, including changes in the Party program, and to submit resolutions on all questions of policy, tactics, and organization.
Second, the resolutions committee organized these resolutions in such a way as to make the convention process flow easily by utilizing constant discussion with those submitting resolutions while ensuring the integrity of their ideas.
Third, these resolutions were made available to the Party membership for any proposed amendments. The authors of the resolutions determined if amendments were friendly to the intent of the resolution and thus to be included.
First Workshop of the Whole
1. THE U.S. WORKING CLASS, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND THE GREEN NEW DEAL
For over 150 years, fossil fuels – coal, natural gas, and petroleum – have provided the chief source of energy to fuel the industrial revolution, leading to unprecedented economic growth, technological advances, and improved standards of living. However, within the capitalist economy these positive changes have been accompanied by negative developments of similar magnitude.
Profit-driven extraction of energy-rich natural resources has led to despoliation and poisoning of the landscape in energy-producing regions; the energy industry, coal in particular, is stained with the blood of thousands of workers who died or were crippled by the reckless profit-driven methods of the corporate owners Actual wars have been fought to prevent workers from organizing unions to protect their lives and livelihoods.
Not content with squeezing hundreds of billions in profits from domestic fuel production, the U.S. energy trusts have directed U.S. foreign policy to enable their control of the energy resources of other countries, leading to imperialist wars and impoverishment of the citizens of those countries.
Not surprisingly, the megaprofits from coal, oil, and gas bankroll the family fortunes of the most reactionary, imperialist sections of the U.S. ruling class – the key social base for fascism and war.
Driven by the capitalist imperative of profit maximization, government policy has discouraged public ownership in general and promoted privatization even of traditionally publicly owned sectors such as education and prisons. Amidst the orgy of big business profitmaking, government at all levels has failed to maintain and modernize the nation’s infrastructure including roads, dams, ports, bridges, water and sewer systems, and the electrical grid. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given our infrastructure a grade of “D+”!
On top of the other harmful impacts of our society’s reliance on fossil fuels, it has for several decades become apparent that the generation of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane in particular, are rapidly producing profound changes in the world’s climate. These changes include global temperature increases and changes in weather patterns with likely catastrophic consequences, including vast flooding of low-lying coastal areas, loss of much of the world’s icecaps, disruption of global agriculture, and spread of disease vectors to new parts of the planet.
At a conceptual level, a worldwide consensus exists that dramatic changes must be made in our economy if catastrophe is to be averted. But powerful economic interests, sections of the U.S. monopoly ruling class in the first place, are denying this reality as they “whistle past the graveyard.” In the face of this challenge, progressive forces in the United States, including new organizations of young people concerned about their futures in a warming planet, have begun to rally around the strategy laid out in House Resolution 109, the “Green New Deal,” sponsored by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and over 90 other members of Congress.
House Resolution 109 is a sweeping set of proposals that aims to:
- Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
- Create millions of good high-paying jobs
- Make massive investments in the infrastructure
- Secure universal access to clean air, water, food, and a sustainable environment
- Promote justice and equality for “frontline and vulnerable communities”
It constitutes a far-reaching and radical plan for economic reconstruction of the U.S., expansion of democracy, and major steps toward achieving a “just transition” to an environmentally sustainable economy.
As a congressional resolution, it is aspirational and if passed would not have the force of law. The actual implementation will require the passage of many new laws, just as the original Depression-era New Deal was implemented by separate laws on social insurance, labor rights, banking reform, public works construction, utility regulation, etc.
- Not surprisingly, HR109 was greeted enthusiastically by the environmentalist community, with contemptuous hostility from the Republicans, and with skepticism from “moderates.”
- Response from the labor movement has been mixed, with strong support from some unions and caution to hostility from some others, especially those with job bases in the fossil fuel industries.
- Workers in the U.S. are rightfully wary of major structural changes in the economy; such changes typically mean the loss of thousands or millions of jobs, destruction of working-class communities, and unfulfilled promises to protect them.
And while HR109 does not address the environmental and fiscal impacts of military programs and activities, it is clear that the Green New Deal (GND) will require massive cuts in our nation’s wasteful and dangerous military budget.
The Green New Deal, while not a prescription for socialism, is an amazing set of advanced democratic and social programs, and it deserves the full support of our Party.
It is essential that the Green New Deal receive full and enthusiastic support from the entire labor movement.
Therefore be it resolved:
- That the CPUSA wholeheartedly endorse the Green New Deal and will work to build political support to strengthen and implement it,
- That we will work with unions, environmentalists, and other groups, and with the congressional sponsors of the Green New Deal to accelerate the introduction of far-reaching and effective legislation to expand and guarantee union rights and to provide a truly comprehensive safety net for workers and communities that will be affected by climate change and the measures taken to ameliorate it,
- That we strongly endorse the call in the Green New Deal resolution for “strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment,” and will work for legislation to fully implement these principles,
- That this safety net must include guaranteed jobs or income at family-supporting union scale and comprehensive support to affected communities, goals that are already identified in HR109 – a model for such worker protection legislation could be found in Title II of Public Law 95-250, the Redwood National Park Expansion Act of 1978,
- That the CPUSA support a program to rebuild and modernize the nation’s infrastructure and housing, with an emphasis on expanding the public sector,
- That we will work for sweeping reductions in U.S. military spending,
- That we fully support the commitment of the Green New Deal “to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth,” and that we commit ourselves and our Party to working within these communities to advance the goals of the Green New Deal,
- That the Communist Party USA participate in this national effort by developing a plan within our districts and clubs to connect the Green New Deal organizing with ongoing struggles in their neighborhoods and workplaces and sharing these experiences in the People’s World.
Submitted by the Labor Commission, Communist Party USA
Second Workshop of the Whole
2. SPECIAL OPPRESSION AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY AND DEMOCRACY
A central characteristic of U.S. capitalism is the special oppression of people of color, immigrants, and women. This oppression has the twofold purpose of increasing monopoly profits and creating disunity within the working class and the population as a whole.
There is a vicious and all-out assault by capital being carried out by the Trump-Republican cabal against every democratic right that has been fought for and won throughout history by the American people. It is an assault that reaches into every aspect of life.
The racism, male supremacy, misogyny, and LGBTQ phobia at the core of this assault also have the goal of promoting division to weaken the ability of the working class along with its allies to overcome capitalist oppression and exploitation. Growing class and socialist consciousness in the process of struggle is needed to help build unity to strengthen and enable us to move forward together in the fight for equality and for the advance of democracy and socialism.
As Communists we consider the fight against special oppression and for full equality as fundamental to all working class and people’s struggles. We base our program and actions on the reality that all are hurt when one is hurt, and that overcoming racism and other bigotries raises up all people. This understanding enables us to present a united and effective fightback.
Most basic is the many-sided attempt to prevent African American voters and Latino voters from casting their ballots in 2020. It has been shown that the falloff in votes cast in Milwaukee’s large African American population in 2006 was greater than the difference by which Trump carried Wisconsin. That vote was stolen by the racist new state photo ID law. In another blatantly racist attempt to suppress the African American vote, legislation has been passed in Florida by the Republican-controlled state legislature to negate the intent of the popular referendum passed last year to restore voting rights to those formerly incarcerated.
The right to vote has been hard won and is always in jeopardy from the capitalist class in their drive to maintain control of profits and power. Grassroots and national efforts to expand the electorate are a key challenge to racism and further the struggle for equality and democracy, for the right to an effective voice for all people.
The Trump administration has targeted immigrants from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa to incite his base and create a false narrative that those from other countries are responsible for the economic problems of workers here. This narrative also covers up the role of corporate interests and U.S. imperialism in looting other nations and forcing native peoples off their own land. The brutal and inhumane anti-immigrant policies affect not only border communities, but communities across the country. The use of ICE as a police force, the detention of immigrants, and the separation of families are integral and growing features of the prison-industrial complex.
The struggle for immigrant rights has long been key to building multi-racial unity and upholding the tradition that our country is welcoming to all nationalities, a concept interwoven into the democratic fabric of our society. No human being is illegal.
The Trump administration and its allies, using a religious cover, are attempting to subjugate women by rolling back their right to exercise full reproductive rights, and to subjugate sexual minorities by rolling back the rights of those who are LGBTQ+ to function as equals in society. In many Republican-controlled state legislatures decisions are being enacted to deny reproductive rights with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.
As Communists we join with the groundswell of opposition across the country to say, “We Won’t Go Back!” The denial of reproductive rights for women and the denial of LGBTQ rights are a denial of basic democratic rights for everyone.
Therefore be it resolved that the Communist Party place the struggle for equality and democracy at the forefront of our work and educational activity, and
Be it further resolved that the CPUSA considers the defense and expansion of voting rights to be critical to enabling all democratic struggles in our country and will place these goals at the center of our political activity, and
Be it further resolved that our Party will continue and intensify our efforts to defend the rights of immigrants regardless of immigration status, and
Be it further resolved that the Communist Party will continue to fight for the full equality of women and all people, regardless of their gender status, and
Be it finally resolved that the Communist Party mobilize with all allies to expand and turn out the vote in the 2020 elections to reverse the attacks on equality and democracy and move our country forward for all.
Submitted by the National Convention Resolutions Committee, Communist Party USA
Third Workshop of the Whole
3. DEMILITARIZING AT HOME AND ABROAD: UNITY FOR PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
WHEREAS the worldwide systemic crisis of capitalism continues to sharpen on an international scale, and
WHEREAS the worldwide operations of capitalism in crisis are leading to an intensification of climate change, global warming, and the endangerment of the survival of humanity, and
WHEREAS this has led to new wars and instability, with an almost unprecedented number of people forced to flee their homelands and enter the refugee and migrant streams worldwide, and
WHEREAS on multiple fronts, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, his Republican and right-wing allies, and the ruling class have taken dangerous and extreme steps in foreign policy that have greatly increased international conflicts and the danger of war, and
WHEREAS workers, small farmers, indigenous people, minorities, youth, women, LGBTQ people, and environmental defenders are fighting back everywhere against the same corporate entities and their political enablers, and
WHEREAS workers in the United States have a natural interest in uniting with workers and their allies all over the world in this struggle, and
WHEREAS, therefore, the PEACE AND SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT is an increasingly important focus for communist work,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Communist Party USA, meeting in Chicago June 21-23, 2019 for our 31st National Convention:
- Revive our PEACE AND SOLIDARITY COMMISSION as a means of focusing and coordinating our work on peace and solidarity among our members and allies, and
- Renew and strengthen our relationship with other organizations doing work on international peace and solidarity, and
- Reach out to potential allies in organized labor, progressive religious congregations, and other large-scale mass sectors as well as the peace movement, to carry out actions in furtherance of international peace and solidarity.
Submitted by the International Department, Communist Party USA
4. LABOR LAW THAT WORKS FOR WORKERS
The U.S. labor movement has always fought to secure and expand the rights of workers to organize unions for all workers, free from the control or interference of employers or government.
Unions have experienced their greatest growth following the passage of laws that expand legal protections for labor organization. Great union growth took place after the enactment of the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) in 1935 and later the recognition of union rights for public employees in many states.
The response of the monopoly ruling class has been to weaken these protections through the passage of anti-union laws such as the Taft-Hartley Act (1947), Landrum-Griffith Act (1959), so-called “right-to-work” laws (which deny unions the right to collect dues from all those they represent) in many states, and a relentless series of court and NLRB decisions overturning established labor rights. Especially in the private sector, employers are allowed to intimidate and fire workers without legal consequences for the “crime” of seeking union representation. As a result, the percentage of workers enjoying the benefits of belonging to a union has dropped precipitously in recent decades.
The international community has long recognized the freedom to be represented by a union as a basic human right:
“Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his/her interests.”
(from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
A strong, independent, and class-conscious labor movement is essential for the protection and improvement of living standards for all working people under capitalism. And such a labor movement is essential for creating the political conditions for the transition to socialism.
The 100th Anniversary Convention of the Communist Party USA calls for new labor law reform legislation at the federal and state levels that does the following:
- Defines the right to form and join trade unions as a human and civil right;
- Makes unionization a human right, bringing U.S. law into line with international standards;
- Makes unionization a civil right, assuring the legal protection in the courts of other civil rights, such as the ability to recover legal costs of enforcement as well as punitive damages from employers while protecting workers and their unions from the same;
- Modifies the constitutional basis of labor law beyond the Commerce Clause to include the First Amendment protections of free speech and association;
- Establishes labor courts staffed by judges expert in labor law to hear cases involving labor law enforcement, taking labor cases out of regular courts whose primary function is the protection of private property rights;
- Provides for criminal penalties, including steep fines and imprisonment, for employer labor law violations;
- Provides for disbarment of “union-busting” lawyers who advise employers on methods of denying workers their union rights;
- Provides for mandatory card-check for union recognition and that the employer recognize the union within ten days of successful card check;
- Provides for arbitration of first contracts when parties are unable to reach agreement;
- Abolishes all “right-to-work” laws at the federal and state levels;
- Restores unions’ ability to engage in solidarity activism in the form of boycotts and sympathy strikes;
- Reverses the Beck and Janus decisions, which deny unions the ability to collect dues from workers they are required to represent;
- Removes political restrictions (anti-communist provisions), which have historically been used to deny unions some of their most effective leaders, from all legislation;
- Extends union rights to all categories of workers, including domestic workers and agricultural workers;
- Provides for union rights for workers who work individually or as “independent contractors”;
- Bars the use of temporary agencies to deny union obligations of the real employer;
- Provides that undocumented workers are entitled to full union rights, and that immigration status cannot be used to discriminate against anyone;
- Clarifies and broadens the definition of “employee” to eliminate the phony exemption of so-called independent contractors from union protection;
- Requires states to meet minimum standards for permitting union representation of all public workers, including teachers, and stipulates that state provisions that exceed the federal standards are to remain in effect;
- And provides that any employer receiving any public funds, tax credits, or incentives of any kind who is found to repeatedly violate workers’ union rights shall be required to repay the public funds, with interest and penalties.
Submitted by the Labor Commission, Communist Party USA
5. ORGANIZE THE UNORGANIZED
Whereas the massive organizing drives of the 1930s and 1940s, in which our Party played a major role in unionizing the nation’s powerful trustified industries (steel, auto, maritime, electrical, etc.), won union representation for millions of workers in those and other industries,
And whereas the organization of these basic industries created a huge positive counterforce to the monopoly capitalist ruling class and its corporations, a force that has fought against racism and sexism, for retiree security, for benefits for unorganized as well as union workers, and for improving the living standards of the entire U.S. working class,
And whereas unions continue to be chief targets of the reactionary corporate assault on our nation’s working people, with corporations using legislation, court and NLRB decisions, and union-busting consultants to disarm workers and further enrich the already obscenely wealthy, organized labor has many challenges, having been reduced to a small percentage of the nation’s workforce, weakening the voice of working people and their power to collectively fight for their own interests,
Therefore be it resolved that the CPUSA will make the rebuilding and strengthening of the U.S. labor movement a central priority in its activities, working with unions, our allies, and the public as a whole to create a powerful union presence in every aspect of our nation’s life.
Submitted by the Minnesota and the Dakotas District
6. FOR A 6-HOUR DAY WITH NO CUT IN PAY
U.S. workers pioneered the fight for the 8-hour day in 1886, now celebrated worldwide as May 1st , International Workers Day. Today, 133 years later, the standard still is 8 hours/day, 40 hours/week. In the U.S. workers work even more hours per year than workers in other industrialized countries: 499 more than France, 260 more than the U.K. and 137 more than Japan.
Meanwhile there have been dramatic increases in labor productivity, 400 percent since 1950 alone. Since wages have been held stagnant, all that increased productivity has been siphoned off into obscenely swollen profits, forcing inequality up to record levels. At this time we are poised for another huge increase in productivity with the expansion of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and greater use of robots. Workers fear loss of their jobs and devastation of their communities. The time has come to fight for a 6-hour Day with no cut in pay.
Resolved, that the 100th Year Anniversary Convention of the Communist Party USA include the call for the 6-hour day with no cut in pay as a way to create more jobs and a step toward reducing inequality.
Submitted by Bea Lumpkin, Illinois
7. VOTING RIGHTS
In 1776 democratic rights applied only to property owning white men. This was a limitation of the American revolution and the U.S. constitution. Excluded from voting and most other civil rights were enslaved African Americans, Native Americans, women, propertyless white men, and everybody who wasn’t white.
The institution of slavery dominated the minds of those at the Constitutional Convention. The compromise that led to ratification of the Constitution was to let the slave states count enslaved African Americans as 3/5 of a person for the purposes of representation in the new Congress. This gave them an outsized role in the Congress for 60 years.
The second step they took was to design the Senate as a check on the House of Representatives. Senators were to be selected by state legislatures, not voters. This was not changed until 1913!
The next step was to establish the Electoral College, whose electors were equal to the number of Federal representatives (Senators and Congressmen) of each state. The effect to this day is that voters in small states have many times more clout than voters in California.
The slave states were also behind the invasion and capture of Texas as well as the Mexican-American War, which expanded the territory of the U.S. where slavery was legal. These wars brought hundreds of thousands of Mexicans into the U.S.
The Civil War ended slavery and ushered in a ten-year period of “Reconstruction” during which democracy was established in the states of the former Confederacy. It also changed the Constitution. The 13th Amendment ended slavery; the 14th granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” but exempted those who participated in rebellion or other crime; the 15th granted the right to vote to all.
When Union troops were removed from the South, the former slaveholders, with no opposition from the Northern states, ushered in a reign of terror that took those rights away from the former slaves.
The attack on these rights extended to all people of color. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited any immigration from China until 1952.
Native Americans were subject to genocidal wars, had their land stolen, were restricted to reservations, and were denied the right to vote in most places. The last law denying them the right to vote was not eliminated until 1962, when the Supreme Court forced Utah to change.
Women did not win the right to vote until 1919.
Denying African Americans and other people of color the right to vote is always about power, and so was the fight to gain the right to vote.
That fight, while ongoing in many ways and many places during this period, culminated in the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s. The core of the movement were African American students who demanded a future, soldiers back from World War II who demanded the democracy they had been fighting for, and the CIO unions whose support was critical during this period.
This movement culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The counterattack began almost immediately. Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, designed to divide people along racial lines; Ronald Reagan’s racist meme of “welfare queens,” continuing the offensive; and George Bush the elder’s Willie Horton ads, designed to portray Black men as criminals, all took their toll.
Today the anti-democratic right-wing forces enlist new tools to sow division.
Gerrymandering: Beginning in 2006-2008 the Republicans put together their “Red Map” strategy to win majorities in state houses across the country. Their target: the 2010 census. They knew that if they captured state legislatures, they could redraw the political map. That is exactly what they did. Beginning in 2011 they drew state legislative and Congressional districts that all but guaranteed them control of what laws could be passed.
It is not accidental that the first laws they passed were designed to suppress the votes of Democrats, especially African American Democrats.
Denying some persons the right to vote because of their relation to the criminal “justice” system is another obstacle.
Many states passed photo ID laws, dictating what kind of ID persons had to have. According to the NAACP, 25% of African American voters (6,000,000) do not have a government-issued photo ID. College students could not use school ID’s. Some states required proof of citizenship.
Other states moved or eliminated voting locations, generating hours-long lines when people went to vote.
Where the Republicans won Secretary of State offices they engaged in massive voter purges (contributing to Stacey Abrams’s loss for Governor in Georgia).
In still others they tried to criminalize registration campaigns.
Because both federal budget allocations and representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College are based on census results, the Trump administration has inserted a question about citizenship in the 2020 census questionnaire in an attempt to discourage immigrants from being counted.
There should be an expeditious path to citizenship and voting rights for those vital participants in our economy and communities.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case unleashed a flood of corporate money into elections. They voided Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, giving those states with a history of past discrimination a free hand to adopt provisions that would suppress the vote.
While the Clinton and Obama administrations played a role in pushing back against some of these assaults on democracy, there has been no major push to turn things around. It is only recently that the courts have begun to outlaw some of the measures designed to restrict and suppress the Black vote.
With the Republican packing of the courts, including the Supreme Court, under Trump and McConnell, advancing democracy will have to be won at the ballot box. The Courts cannot be relied on as guardians of the democratic rights of Americans.
The basic principle should be that “everyone votes.” Every exception or exclusion cuts out a section of the working class and lessens its political power. The democratic principle is that everyone in the class which creates all the values we need to eat and survive should participate in its collective governance.
We have done it before, we can do it again. But it will take the efforts of the whole working class and our allies.
Therefore, be it resolved: That the time is now to fight for restoration of voting rights for all Americans. It is necessary if the fight to challenge the Republicans’ attack on unions, on working class living standards, on public education, and on the very life of the planet is to be won. The right to vote is the key to passing legislation such as a $15 minimum wage, a massive affordable housing program, and health care for all.
Therefore, be it further resolved: That the Communist Party USA organize in support of a program for voting rights, including: Universal portable, automatic voter registration at age 18; elimination of the Electoral College; one person one vote; early voting; same day registration; voting rights for ALL regardless of their relation to the criminal “justice” system; and no citizenship questions in the 2020 census.
Therefore, be it finally resolved: That the Communist Party USA participate with unions and with civil rights and community coalitions in the massive effort underway to register new voters and organize turnout to elect progressive majorities in Congress and state legislatures and the Presidency.
Submitted by the Political Action Commission, Communist Party USA
8. IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS
WHEREAS the number of refugees and migrants worldwide has reached a post-World War II record level, and
WHEREAS there are large numbers of migrants and refugees coming to the United States, and
WHEREAS the increase in migrants and refugees both worldwide and to the United States has been exacerbated by imperialism and transnational monopoly capitalism, through imposition of or support for repressive reactionary regimes, through unfair trade arrangements, and through global warming, all of which are displacing millions, and
WHEREAS the practices of U.S.-based corporations and especially the policies of the xenophobic and racist Trump administration have greatly exacerbated this situation, and
WHEREAS the Trump administration, in flagrant violation of U.S. law and international agreements to which the U.S. is signatory, responded with repression and the cruel breaking up of families, as well as the violent repression of people crossing the border in their search for ways to survive and support their families, and
WHEREAS the Trump administration has been putting out absolute and extreme lies about migrants and refugees, with the purpose of inciting the U.S. population against them, and
WHEREAS the Trump administration has reversed modest gains in the field of immigrants’ rights achieved during the second Obama administration, by blocking DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or Deferred Action for Parental Accountability), by trying to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), by cancelling TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for many documented refugees, by greatly increasing raids and arrests within the country, by deliberate breaking up of families and mistreatment of minor children, and even by threatening the status of permanent legal residents and naturalized citizens, and
WHEREAS the Trump administration threatened to cut off financial aid and apply other coercive measures to cities and states that oppose its anti-immigrant policies, and
WHEREAS all of this flies in the face of majority U.S. public sentiment, which is supportive of immigrants and refugees, and of the wishes of the bulk of the labor movement, the civil rights movement, and other important sectors of our nation, and
WHEREAS in its repressive drive against the foreign-born, the Trump administration is even threatening the integrity of the 2020 U.S. census by adding an intimidating and repressive “citizenship” question,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Communist Party USA, meeting in Chicago June 21-23 at its 31st National Convention, demand an end to the persecution of immigrants, refugees, and the foreign born; the breakup of families; the mistreatment of children at the border; the deadly violence against immigrants by the Border Patrol and other immigration enforcement agents; and the efforts to use state and local police for immigration enforcement; and
FURTHER RESOLVED that we demand the cancellation of the plan for a racist “wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border as well as the requirement that people arriving at the border seeking asylum be forced to stay on the Mexican side while their claims are processed, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that DACA be continued and expanded by legislative action, and that DAPA be enacted by Congress, and that TPS be maintained and expanded for populations now threatened with its termination, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that we call for an expedited path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants without the imposition of onerous fees and red tape, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that we call for a moratorium on deportation for those seeking asylum, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that we call for an end to the multibillion-dollar, profit-based immigrant incarceration industry and the building of immigrant detention centers, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress include these and other measures in a legislative program of comprehensive immigration reform, said legislation not to be “balanced” by new repressive or restrictive measures, such as Trump’s wall and increased “enforcement,” and
FURTHER RESOLVED that our Party members and friends in organized labor, the churches, and other mass sectors be asked to support the sanctuary movement and other mobilizations in defense of immigrants’ and refugees’ rights, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that we fight for a radical reform of U.S. foreign and international trade policies so that poorer countries, historical and contemporary victims of imperialism, can thrive and prosper, taking away the need for mass emigration, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that, inasmuch as global warming and environmental degradation are factors in the displacement of millions of people in Central America and worldwide, efforts toward the green transformation of our nation’s system of production be redoubled, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that our members, clubs, and districts be encouraged to utilize articles from the People’s World on immigrant rights and the pamphlet “Immigration Myths vs. Facts” in their work and at tabling or other events, and
FURTHER RESOLVED that to achieve these things, the defeat of Trump in particular and Republican Party officeholders in general in the 2020 elections, and their replacement by progressive, pro-immigrant and pro-worker elected officials, be essential goals.
Submitted by the Political Action Commission, Communist Party USA
9. FOR UNITY AGAINST RACISM
WHEREAS racism/white supremacy has been the central most effective tool of our nation’s capitalist ruling class, used to divide working class and poor people, weakening all while wreaking inhuman violence on Native Americans since European settlers first arrived upon our continent, and later upon African American and other people of color.
AND WHEREAS in times of crisis, the ruling class has turned to this tried and successful tool, as they did during the 1920’s-1940’s, with the rise of fascism. In today’s systemic crisis, Trump, his ilk, and sections of the ruling class have resurrected the most dangerous, vicious racist elements, relying on this foul ideology to brutalize African Americans and immigrants as well as to confuse, misdirect, and demobilize white working people,
AND WHEREAS in every step we have taken successfully against racism, it has taken a huge, wide, multiracial alliance to make gains for unity against the foul influence of racism. To defeat chattel slavery, it took a long struggle by multiracial forces, finally climaxing in a massive Civil War waged by the Union army, including over 100,000 Black troops, and cost hundreds of thousands, possibly a million lives. When that unity was broken, African Americans suffered another century of Jim Crow law, lynching, and second-class citizenship, and our working class was horribly weakened by the influences of racism and division. The defeat of fascism, with racism at its core, required a massive international, multiracial alliance. Fighting racism was at the center of the war against fascism that took an estimated 85 million lives. The fight for civil rights and true citizenship rights for African Americans again took organization and mobilization of hundreds of thousands across our nation, costing blood and treasure,
AND WHEREAS racism has directed the most vicious, violent acts against African Americans and other people of color, which included thousands of unpunished lynchings, “legal” land seizures, and police murders, as well as second-class citizenship, resulting in countless ruined lives. This blood is on the hands historically of the capitalist ruling class, which has also gained untold millions in “extra” profits by keeping working people divided. Racism has also been used to keep white working people powerless, with the states of the old Confederacy, where racism was the most institutionally engraved, being those with the lowest levels of education, the worst health care, the lowest unionization, and poorest public services,
AND WHEREAS Trump and his allies are using the most disgusting racist attacks against immigrants and African Americans during this period in order to misdirect workers angry and frustrated with job loss and stolen pensions, away from corporations now enjoying unbelievable record profits. As wide majorities now support basic common-sense gun ownership restrictions, racism and fear are used to mobilize whites against this step. As well, racism has been at the heart of the fear being pushed by corporate right-wing elements to mischaracterize and confuse white people, create opposition to health care for all, the Green New Deal, unionization and labor-law reform, decent education for all, all while wide majorities are supporting these sensible steps forward,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the CPUSA, building upon its heroic history, vow to work with all its resources, in all of its work, to build wide, broad multiracial alliances based solidly upon the joint interests of all working people,
AND BE IT RESOLVED that the CPUSA determine to help white working people understand not only that racism harms them as well as African Americans and other people of color, but also that they have a special responsibility, as those influenced by vile racism, to stand up and help take the lead in fighting racism wherever and whenever they encounter it,
AND BE IT RESOLVED that the CPUSA vow to make the fight for unity against racism the core of, and central to, all of its work going forward, and that the CPUSA see the fight against racism as key to the building of the much needed wide people’s movement to change our lives positively and break the hold of wealthy corporations on all aspects of our lives.
Submitted by the Minnesota and the Dakotas District
10. UPGRADING OUR WORK FOR WOMEN’S EQUALITY AND AGAINST MALE SUPREMACY AND MISOGYNY
The election of large numbers of progressive and socialist women to public office at all levels of the government, including many young, African American, Latino, Native, Asian, and Muslim women, and the presence of women in the presidential primary, is a powerful expression of the rightful place in society women are demanding and winning.
Women’s leadership is exemplified in the successful strikes and organizing drives sweeping the country by teachers, food service workers, and retail workers that include a majority of women demanding equal pay. As well, the culture of oppression is being challenged and changed by the #MeToo movement.
Resistance to the policies of hate, bigotry, and misogyny that dominate and guide the Trump-corporate agenda and capitalist culture has given rise to a new level of organizing and leadership by women.
As the statement “Against Male Supremacy and for Socialism,” adopted in April 2018 by the National Committee of the Communist Party USA says, “women are a major factor within the working class and a social force beyond the working class uniting women across class lines.”
And as the statement concludes: “There is no place for male supremacy and misogyny in the socialist future we envision. We resolutely issue this statement against male supremacy and misogyny because we have a world to win, and win it we must.”
Therefore, be it resolved that the 31st Convention of the Communist Party USA reaffirm the statement “Against Male Supremacy and for Socialism” (http://www.cpusa.org/article/against-male-supremacy-for-socialism/) and the policy against sexual harassment adopted in 2018 following the conference on Fighting Male Supremacy and Misogyny.
Be if further resolved that the 31st Convention determine to assist districts and clubs in upgrading our work for women’s equality and increasing the numbers of women in our leadership ranks.
Submitted by the 2019 National Convention Resolutions Committee, Communist Party USA
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Against Male Supremacy and for Socialism
Adopted by the National Committee, Communist Party USA, April 2018
The #MeToo movement has forced to front page news the issue of sexual harassment and rape not just in Hollywood, but also in farm, hotel, academic, manufacturing, music, military, religious, sports, media, and government workplaces and organizations. People, many of them women, from all fields of life and work are standing up and saying, #TimesUp. And to Trump women are saying, “Not my president; build the Resistance!” Women’s stance of resistance to the Trump administration is especially important because the extreme right is the most visible and vocal proponent of male supremacy and misogyny.
The objective of the working-class movement is to win better working and living conditions today in connection with winning a better world for tomorrow. The strength of the working-class movement is based on the fight for unity within itself and unity between itself and the broad masses of people who have an objective interest in social advance and the further development of democracy. Women are a major factor within the working class and a social force beyond the working class uniting women across class lines.
Male supremacy and misogyny today flow from capitalism and capitalist culture and penetrate every aspect of our lives. Male supremacy and misogyny stand in the way of the working class being able to realize its full strength within itself and the full potential of the people’s movements beyond itself through a solid relationship with its allies.
Therefore, the fight against male supremacy and misogyny must be engaged based on the advance of working class and socialist consciousness, the fight for the full equality of women, and the fight against racism. Because women of color are a major force within the population of especially working-class women, the fight against racism is inseparably intertwined with the fight against male supremacy and misogyny in the USA today. Because a major segment of racially and nationally oppressed people are women, the fight against male supremacy and misogyny are inseparably intertwined with the fight against racism in the USA today.
Male supremacy, misogyny, sexual harassment, and rape culture hurt not just women and working-class women especially, male supremacy, misogyny, sexual harassment and rape culture hurt every member of the working class. We have to remember, an injury to one is an injury to all.
Concrete steps in the fight against male supremacy and misogyny require support for the full equality of women in every arena including representation in political office, reproductive rights, and pay equity. It means removing the barriers to and ensuring places for women in real leadership. It means opening up spaces for women’s voices really to be heard. It means making time so that women’s issues can be embraced and attended. It means exposing the inter-relationship between women’s interests and all the major issues of today. In every aspect of our work women must be seen in every level of leadership, and women must be heard.
Working-class men have a special role in taking the lead in the fight against male supremacy and misogyny. This requires developing a winning approach toward moving other men away from male
supremacy and misogyny and in support of the full and equal engagement of women in our movement and in society.
There is no place for male supremacy and misogyny in the socialist future we envision. We resolutely issue this statement against male supremacy and misogyny because we have a world to win, and win it we must.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Sexual Harassment Policy
Adopted by the National Committee, Communist Party USA, April 2018
Sexual harassment, along with all sexist and misogynist ideas and practices, serves the ruling class by driving a wedge between men and women workers, disrupting the chances for working class unity and reinforcing the domination of the ruling class. Sexual harassment creates an environment of fear, intimidation, and humiliation, and is hostile to the target’s full participation in our movement. Most often the target is women. In the Communist Party USA, sexual harassment is not an acceptable behavior on the part of any comrade. Leadership is held to an especially high standard and is expected to set an example of inclusion and respect for the entire Party.
Sexual harassment includes:
- persistent or abusive unwanted sexual attention
- promises of benefits in exchange for sexual compliance
- threats of reprisals for refusing to comply with sexual advances
- unwanted behaviors including assault, physical abuse (touching, cornering), verbal abuse (lewd comments, jokes and sexual insults)
These constitute sexual harassment whether they occur in face-to-face interactions, telecommunications, or via social media. Sexual harassment can involve conduct by a person of any gender toward a person of the same or another gender.
Comrades who have adopted ruling-class forms of male supremacist domination sometimes do not recognize their own complicity in misogynist ideas and practices. All comrades should be encouraged to work to promote a conscious working-class culture opposed to sexism and misogyny within our spheres of influence in a way that orients all toward behaviors consistent with the struggle for full equality.
Comrades who call out sexism and incidents of sexual harassment in any form must be protected against intimidation, pressure, and retaliation for doing so. Fighting for the dignity and full social, political and economic equality for women is the obligation of all Party members, especially men who are expected to engage in struggle with other men toward a class conscious winning approach.
Education and discussion may be enough to enable comrades to overcome negative ideas and practices.
Comrades should assist each other in informal discussions to understand sexual harassment and to avoid creating hostile environments for others in the movement.
If education and discussion are not sufficient, or if the offense is especially glaring or damaging, action should be taken including informing the district leadership (where there is such) and the designated representative of the National Board. Anyone found repeatedly to be engaged in offensive acts can be removed from positions of leadership and even membership within the Party. If comrades have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, they should consult with their district leadership and the designated representative of the National Board for guidance on how to proceed.
Submitted by the National Convention Resolutions Committee, Communist Party USA
11. CIVIL RIGHTS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
WHEREAS There are 56.7 million persons with disabilities in the United States according to the 2010 U.S. census and,
WHEREAS despite laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons with disabilities continue to suffer from discrimination in all spheres of life including, but not limited to, employment, housing, and health care and,
WHEREAS the Communist Party USA has a proud 100-year history of being in the front lines of struggles for civil rights,
NOW THEREFORE The National Convention of the Communist Party USA adopts the following resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE COMMUNIST PARTY USA
- Reaffirm that we welcome persons with disabilities as members of our Party and support full civil rights for persons with disabilities;
- Reaffirm that we believe that ableism, a discriminatory concept in which a person is solely defined by their disability and therefore inferior to non-disabled persons, has no place in our Party or anywhere else;
- Oppose any plan for health care that excludes coverage due to “pre-existing conditions,” a construct invented by insurance companies to provide a legal cover for discrimination;
- Support the establishment of a National Health Service which upgrades and increases funding of programs that will benefit persons with disabilities and all Americans;
- Encourage Party districts and clubs to hold meetings and have public events in locations that are accessible for persons with disabilities.
Submitted by the New Jersey District
12. DECRIMINALIZATION OF DRUGS
Whereas incarceration in the United States has jumped from 300,000 in 1972 to over 2,300,000 today,
And whereas the increased incarceration rate is largely attributable to the so-called “War on Drugs,”
And whereas this “war” has been waged disproportionately against people of color and poor whites,
And whereas substance abuse is a medical issue and should not be treated as a crime,
And whereas the appalling expansion of the prison population has accelerated the growth of the private for-profit “prison industrial complex,”
And whereas prisons are not providing adequate, if any, treatment to inmates with drug-related addictions and health problems,
And whereas inmates being released from confinement are not being adequately prepared or allowed to live in the community as productive members of society,
And whereas in many states, felony convictions are used as an excuse to deny former and current inmates the right to vote, preventing millions of people of color and poor whites from fully participating in our nation’s democratic processes,
Therefore, be it resolved that the Communist Party USA support the decriminalization of drugs, and call for the funds currently used for investigation, prosecution, and imprisonment under state and federal drug laws to be used for medically appropriate programs, including counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Submitted by David Fields for the Communist Party of Wisconsin
13. THE 2020 ELECTIONS
Whereas: The Communist Party USA is a Marxist-Leninist, revolutionary working- class party based on scientific socialism, steeped in democratic values and tradition.
Whereas: Since its founding 100 years ago, the Communist Party has participated in elections at all levels of the government. Depending on the political situation, time, place, and circumstance, the CPUSA has run candidates under its own banner or has been a leading member of broad coalitions, often multi-class, to block the capitalist class from destroying democracy and the working class.
Whereas: The 2020 elections, at the federal and state levels, represent a pivotal juncture, a moment of crisis. The crisis we face features bellicose militarism, brutal racism, military assaults on immigrant workers, anti-human attacks on women, people of color, and LGBTQ people, and an unrelenting war on workers, and especially their unions. The crisis also includes existential attacks on our environment and smashing democratic structures, including the right to vote. All those features are heads of the Trump Hydra – the most reactionary section of the capitalist class.
Whereas: Workers faced this onslaught with history-making marches, demonstrations, and strikes, starting the day after the 2017 inauguration and continuing daily ever since.
Whereas: Inflicting a total defeat on extremist right-wing elements in the 2019 November elections is crucial. Every victory won this coming November will resonate with voters that it is possible to win a sweeping victory in 2020.
Whereas: Despite growing militancy and unity, while the working class does not yet have the strength to overthrow capitalism, it does have the power to defeat Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box in 2020. The Communist Party USA is part of, sometimes in the thick of, this deepening struggle. Communists are independent, but in the mix of this exploding anti-extreme-right coalition.
Whereas: The corporate/financial extreme right has the broad anti-extreme-right coalition, which includes sections of the ruling class, in its cross hairs. Their strategy is to disrupt, demoralize and splinter the growing unity they see as a knife to their heart. Principled unity in action ranks is an asset Communists bring to the table. For the corporate/financial extreme right, there are no rules in this struggle, no rhetoric too reprehensible, no trick too dirty and no lie too big. Communists and our friends have a strategic role to play to build and maintain unity within the anti-extreme-right coalition.
Whereas: Capitalist elections in our country present just two political parties, Republican and Democratic. That situation will not change in 2020.
Therefore be it Resolved: To defend the working class and democracy, the Communist Party is and will be at the forefront in the 2020 elections, presidential, federal, state, and local.
Therefore be it further Resolved: That the Communist Party is committed to year-round organizing and mobilizing on the issues facing the working class, to build a broad-based grassroots movement on its behalf, and in that context will give every effort to door-knock and mobilize with unions and other organizations to get out the vote for the strongest pro-worker and progressive candidates at every level.
Therefore be it further Resolved: That following the passionate primary election season the wide, multi-class, anti-Trump coalition will unite to support progressive and pro-worker nominees, from president to Congress to state governorships and legislatures. Communists will give full united support and participation in the broad front to defeat Trump and Republicans.
Submitted by the Political Action Committee, Communist Party USA
14. PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY
WHEREAS throughout our nation’s history, Communists have been the strongest and most consistent supporters of democratic rights for our people, and Communists have fought for true citizenship rights for African American people, for Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and other people of color, for women’s voting and full citizenship rights, for rights of working people to unionize, for full rights for immigrants, and for full rights for LGBTQ people, and always have been in the forefront of all democratic struggles,
AND WHEREAS our nation, always touted as being founded on “democratic principles,” was a slave republic at its founding, African peoples were held in brutal bondage, Native peoples were given “sub-human” status and could be “legally” murdered while their lands were being stolen, women were held as property by men, and many “free” workers were also without rights, bound to apprenticeship contracts, and unions were unheard of, and originally, the greatly touted American democracy granted democratic rights only to white male landowners,
AND WHEREAS the rights we have today, including voting rights, were never given to working people, to our nation’s majority. They were won, wrenched at high cost to our people, from the greedy, bloody hands of our nation’s capitalist ruling class. These included the bloody struggle to end chattel slavery, then the brutal fight for true citizenship rights for African American people, the struggle of women to gain voting rights, then rights of citizens, the tough, violent struggle to win minimum democratic rights of representation for workers, struggles against the holocaust of Native peoples, for rights of immigrants and other fights, including the right to be free from religious bigotry and control in our democratic, secular society. It certainly includes voting rights, but far more than the right to vote for the billionaire chosen by billionaires, it must include rights of all to vote, unfettered, and the right to run for office, with public funding and people’s electoral control without control by big money. It must include to right of people to decent, good water systems and infrastructure, without the ability of corporate hacks to destroy it in favor of more profits for their masters. It must, in today’s world, also include the right of the massive majority of humanity to use all of society’s resources to save our planet from climate change created by capitalism, the right to live,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Communists, with wide democratic allies, must organize and fight for all democratic rights now under attack by our corporate ruling class, but much more. We must recognize that democracy, as a people’s and worker’s democracy, requires much more. We must recognize that true, concrete living standards, in this time of truly massive inequity, are also democratic rights. Without fighting to extend our rights, rights under capitalism can ring hollow to most people. The CPUSA Bill of Rights Socialism is the core of what we are fighting for,
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the CPUSA determine to make democratic rights and principles, including these and other expanded people’s rights a priority in our work, our alliances, and our struggles.
Submitted by the Minnesota and the Dakotas District
15. INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY WITH THE TARGETS OF IMPERIALIST AGGRESSION
WHEREAS the Communist Party USA reaffirms its support for, and friendship with, the peoples and countries suffering under the brutality and ruthlessness of U.S. imperialism, and recognizes that political parties and other organizations are standing up in resistance, and
WHEREAS the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Communist Party of Venezuela, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, and other parties in the Great Patriotic Pole courageously resist imperialist encirclement, and
WHEREAS the people of the Republic of Cuba, the Communist Party of Cuba, and the defenders of the Cuban Revolution everywhere uphold a common mission of ensuring that Cuba thrive and remain independent in the face of the cruel U.S. blockade, and
WHEREAS the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Workers’ Party of Korea, and parties belonging to the Fatherland Liberation Front of Korea tirelessly pursue peace and denuclearization on behalf of all the people of the Korean Peninsula, and
WHEREAS the people of the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China, and other political formations in China together practice peaceful development and seek cooperation and mutual benefit in the face of U.S. trade hegemony, and
WHEREAS the people of the occupied Palestinian territories and the greater Palestinian diaspora remain true to their valiant struggle against Israeli settlement and violence, and
WHEREAS peoples throughout the world, notably in Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and many more countries, have been victimized to an increasing degree by the actions of the U.S. government,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Communist Party USA, meeting in Chicago for its 31st National Convention during June 21-23, 2019, dedicate action, solidarity, and moral support to the goal of ending the scourge of U.S. imperialism, so the peoples of all nations may enter a new age of peace and prosperity.
Submitted by the International Department, Communist Party USA and Ian Goodrum, Texas
16. INTENSIFY THE STRUGGLE TO END THE BLOCKADE OF CUBA
WHEREAS since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, socialist Cuba has made great advances in the building of a society based on justice and equality for all, and
WHEREAS socialist Cuba has been a beacon of hope and solidarity for the world, and especially for the oppressed and exploited in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and
WHEREAS the example of socialist Cuba has also been an inspiration for the struggle of working class, poor, and oppressed people in our own country, and
WHEREAS U.S. imperialism and its allies have, since the revolution, done everything in their power to undermine and sabotage the achievements of the Cuban Revolution, and
WHEREAS starting in 2014, the U.S. and Cuba reached agreement on a number of points of contention, leading to the freeing of the Cuban Five, the restoration of diplomatic relations, and binational coordination on some matters of mutual interest, among others, and
WHEREAS nevertheless the U.S. Congress did not pass legislation ending the trade, economic, and political blockade, and
WHEREAS the current administration under the leadership of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton have, in close alliance with the most reactionary members of the U.S. Congress, such as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), set out on a course to erase the advances in U.S.-Cuba relations achieved under the Obama administration, with a view to achieving regime change in Cuba through economic pressure and other means, including permitting lawsuits against foreign companies that trade with and invest in Cuba, and
WHEREAS many people in the United States are determined to continue and intensify their active opposition to the U.S. attacks on Cuba, manifested by the fact that the legislatures of eleven U.S. cities, including Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, and Sacramento in California; Helena, Montana; Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota; Detroit, Michigan; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Brookline, Massachusetts; and Hartford, Connecticut, and the state legislatures of California and Alabama have passed strongly worded resolutions calling for the end of the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Communist Party USA, meeting in its 31st National Convention in Chicago, Illinois on June 21-23,
CALL for intensified struggle to end the Cuba blockade and all U.S. efforts to undermine the Cuban socialist government and to undermine Cuba’s national sovereignty, and
CALL for intensified active work to get more city, county, state, and other legislative bodies, as well as unions, churches, and organizations of every type to pass strong resolutions and take other measures to end the blockade, and
CALLS for action in the electoral realm to make changes in Congress and the White House in 2020 to remove supporters of the blockade from their current positions of power.
Submitted by Emile Schepers, Tom Whitney, Michelle Kern, Richard Grassl, and Wayne Nealis
16. FOR ASSESSING OUR WORLD MOVEMENT’S STRENGTHS AND SHORTCOMINGS
WHEREAS humanity faces mounting existential threats from imperialist aggressions and environmental and public-health breakdowns, and
WHEREAS capitalism creates these threats and cannot stop their escalation. and
WHEREAS only the world working class can lead initiatives among the oppressed masses to decisively address these threats, and
WHEREAS labor’s organizations worldwide, including our parties, unions, and states, have identical interests in the global class struggle,
BE IT RESOLVED that the 31st National Convention direct the International Department of the Communist Party USA to support efforts to identify the strengths and shortcomings of international communism from the Comintern to the contemporary international movement of our parties worldwide, and to address the implications for international transition from capitalism to socialism.
Submitted by Sandy Rosen, Emile Schepers, Cameron Orr, John Womack, Donald Donato, Gary Hicks, and Wadi’h Halabi
18. SOLIDARITY WITH PUERTO RICO
Whereas the United States government, through a colonialist relationship based on political control and economic oppression imposed since the time of military invasion in 1920, has imposed protocols that allow and encourage corporate looting of Puerto Rico’s natural resources and wealth and the exploitation of Puerto Rican labor, and
Whereas the U.S. government has committed genocide in the form of and including decades of sterilization of Puerto Rican women, medical experimentation, suppression of Puerto Rican culture, exploitation of Puerto Rican youth fighting in imperialist wars, and denial of basic human needs, clean water, and healthcare, and in denial of international humanitarian aid from various nations following Hurricane Maria, and
Whereas Trump has yet to acknowledge the thousands of deaths that occurred during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, attributable to his Administration’s and GOP policies of holding back critical healthcare, electricity, clean water, and basic food and supplies, and making disaster relief funding contingent to payment of the island’s unsustainable public debt, disregarding the moral imperative the Administration has to serve and protect, and
Whereas the Trump Administration has pressed for more drastic reductions in federal aid for basic food and services, and Congress has failed to hold hearings to investigate this crisis, which stands in sharp contrast to previous responses regarding Katrina and Houston, refusing to deploy a massive response with tens of thousands of additional FEMA workers, troops, equipment, and supplies commensurate with what is needed, and
Whereas Puerto Rico’s high rates of infant mortality, morbidity, pulmonary diseases, and organ failure caused by toxins in the environment due to chemical poison dumping and water contamination by the pharmaceuticals industry and the military, fuel exhausts from ground transportation, and dangerous pesticides from Monsanto contribute to elevated levels of cancers and respiratory disorders, and
Whereas Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was already in a vulnerable condition due to decades of U.S. imposed laws and disinvestment that served to cripple the ability of Puerto Ricans to determine their future, contributing to the island’s unsustainable public debt, and
Whereas the same banks and corporate interests that seek to privatize Puerto Rico’s public schools, hospitals, services, and natural resources are the same banks and hedge fund traders who seek to privatize New York City, schools, social security, health care, and more, and
Whereas Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, and many have given their lives in defense of our country, and made decades of contributions, sacrifices, and commitment to democratic values, and
Whereas Puerto Ricans have raised demands to repeal the nefarious laws that, after 120 years of colonialism, to this day continue to hurt their economy and impact the health and well-being of the country, in particular the Jones Act, the U.S.-imposed Fiscal Control Board, and the staggering public debt, and
Whereas the United States for over a century has denied the people of Puerto Rico of the right to self-determination, a violation of international law,
The Communist Party salutes the many unions, community organizations, celebrities, and private citizens who are providing critical and sustained relief by sending supplies and food directly and lending their skills and labor to the people of Puerto Rico. We mourn the deaths of thousands of Puerto Ricans and the suffering of millions and join in the urgent humanitarian call for a massive federal disaster relief plan to prevent further devastation and deaths.
We join Representatives Velasquez, Gutierrez, and Espaillat, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other elected officials, in denouncing the racist statements of President Trump, which blame the people of Puerto Rico for their present condition, when the reasons lie at the door of U.S. colonialism, capitalism, and our country’s own domestic and foreign policies which work in favor of corporate and banking interests.
We stand in solidarity with and in support of the Puerto Rican Federation of Teachers and the Labor Unions fighting relentlessly, valiantly, and militantly, standing up to political and repressive powers to demand fair and full funding and protection of pensions funds, wages, public schools, healthcare, and social services in Puerto Rico.
We stand in support of local communities in Puerto Rico investing, working for, and advocating for ecologically sound, locally produced sustainable farming and food production.
We stand in support of the ongoing recovery process that supports the rising network of people-to-people efforts and campaigns that are emerging throughout the island and that are rooted in the principles of sustainability, food sovereignty, economic justice, and self-determination.
We stand in solidarity with the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has worked tirelessly as the voice of San Juan residents and has stated “I ask every American…to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we Will Not Be Left to Die!”
Therefore be it resolved that the 31st National Convention of the Communist Party USA stand in support of the demand for restoration of Puerto Rico’s electrical power using environmentally responsible and sustainable energy sources. The role of climate change in the wake of hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Florida, Houston, and New York and New Jersey must be acknowledged and addressed by the federal government, and
Therefore be it further resolved that we demand a modification of the Jones Act, as a result of which Puerto Ricans overpay $537 million per year for imported goods and shipment restrictions that limit healthful food availability and affordability, and
Therefore be it further resolved that, in light of the current crisis facing the Puerto Rican people, we call for a cancellation of Puerto Rico’s public debt. Make Wall Street pay—finance capital and the banks owe an extraordinary debt to the Puerto Rican people for their plunder and pillage by U.S. corporations, and
Therefore be it finally resolved that we stand in support of and in solidarity with the forces for a just recovery and for self-determination, the well-being and health of the people, the preservation of its culture, and a viable future of dignity and respect that meets the needs of the people of Puerto Rico.
Submitted by Carol Widom, New York
19. PARTY EDUCATION
“Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement,” Lenin famously said.
We, as 21st-century U.S. Communists, affirm that principle. We cannot fulfill the role that our working class and people require of us without an understanding of present-day reality guided by our revolutionary theory. We must be fully engaged in the ideological struggle, just as we are in the economic and political struggle.
Interest in socialism and Marxism is surging. Our Party must aim to become the premier institution of Marxist education in this country.
Education must become an integral part of Party life at all levels. The Party must develop in its members the conviction that no comrade ever “outgrows” the need for education. Marxism is a living science that aims to change the world, not simply reflect on it. Marxist education, therefore, not only orients people to Marxist principles and theory but also, and above all, educates on how to apply Marxist analysis to a changing world. As such, it is necessary not only to new recruits but also to veteran members.
We have great confidence in the ability of working-class people to understand our science of Marxism and to apply it creatively. In line with this confidence, we must endeavor to make all our education accessible to our class, clearly explaining the terms we use without oversimplifying their content.
This convention calls on the entire Party to revive the long-standing Party tradition of including Marxist education in every club meeting. These educationals should discuss theory and practice and how to apply Marxist theory to the understanding of and response to contemporary issues and struggles. Each club and district should have at least one member assigned to take responsibility for ensuring that educationals are a vital and consistent part of club life. Marxist education plans are encouraged for each club and district, depending on size and capability. These plans may include:
- club and district standing agenda educationals;
- Marxist literature (examples: Marxist books, pamphlets, People’s World PDF copies, membership applications, and flyers);
- Regular study groups;
- Participation in national and regional schools and national webinar Marxist classes.
This convention further charges the national Education Commission to:
- Continue monthly online classes;
- Hold at least one Marxist traveling school each year, aiding districts as needed to encourage broad participation by local members;
- Hold national and regional Marxist schools at least every two years, or every year if feasible;
- Hold yearly online new members classes
As the struggle grows fiercer, let’s all commit to studying harder and fighting harder!
Submitted by the Education Commission, Communist Party USA
20. EXPANDING NATIONALLY PRINTED LITERATURE
WHEREAS our Party puts out excellent written materials, and these and People’s World are vital resources in the class struggle and in the building of our party, and
WHEREAS our districts have differing capacity to produce or purchase printed materials necessary to make our Party visible in their areas of responsibility,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Communist Party USA, meeting in our 31st National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, June 21-23, 2019, encourage development of national literature with high production quality that can be accessible to all districts and clubs.
Submitted by the Silver Spring, Maryland Club
21. REESTABLISHMENT OF MEDIATED THEORETICAL DISCUSSION OPPORTUNITIES
WHEREAS for many decades Political Affairs was a vital resource for the theoretical work of our Party and played a role in the recruitment to our Party of many people, and
WHEREAS although some of the discussion that used to go on through Political Affairs now appears on the cpusa.org website, more is needed to cover the topics of Marxist theory that the current world situation urgently requires,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Communist Party USA, meeting in our 31st National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, June 21-23, call upon the incoming National Committee to expand and develop opportunities for mediated theoretical discussion as was provided by Political Affairs,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the new National Committee and other collectives take responsibility for the production of Marxist analysis and discussion of issues of concern to the working-class movement for submission to such a theoretical outlet,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this could be done as a specific ongoing theoretical discussion portal on the cpusa.org website or in other ways.
This resolution incorporates elements of resolutions submitted by the Silver Spring, Maryland Club and the Ohio District.
22. BUILDING YOUNGER GENERATION LEADERSHIP IN THE CPUSA AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAGUE USA
Whereas the current generation of young Americans in the 21st century is among the most politically progressive in our country’s history, with unprecedented levels of support for socialism over capitalism, and
Whereas this generation is faced with the challenges of climate change, threats of war, racism, sexism, disappearance of opportunities for decent employment, and other products of the monopoly capitalist/imperialist system in the fight for social justice and the long-term survival of humanity itself, and
Whereas the Communist Party USA understands the need for the most effective organization and mobilization of youth to continue and broaden the fight for socialism and to strengthen the Communist Party as the nucleus of this movement,
Therefore, be it resolved that the Communist Party should facilitate the establishment of a national Communist youth organization that unites a generation of young political activists in the fight for socialism, and
Be it further resolved that this organization should mutually promote and support the Party while being democratically and autonomously run by the youth who constitute its membership, and
Be it further resolved that in understanding the need for the younger generation to be part of leadership in the Communist Party in order to take advantage of political opportunities now and in the future, that there be an organized and conscious effort to ensure that younger generation leadership, such as those that are classified as millennials, are empowered and supported in taking on leadership roles and important tasks inside the Communist Party, be it in their local clubs, districts, committees, and/or nationally.
Be it further resolved that in helping to support the Young Communist League USA there be a conscious effort by the Communist Party to ensure a bridge between the two organizations that allows for transition for those that are in the YCL up to a certain age, so that they can then begin to become more involved in Party activity, thus opening up space for younger YCLers to take on leadership in their YCL clubs while empowering those that are now past YCL age to be incorporated in Party activity in a meaningful way, and
Be it further resolved that those of the younger generation who are currently doing meaningful work within the Party continue to be encouraged to do so, and that there be an understanding that the work they do within the Party is just as important and in connection to inspiring younger people to join the movement and build the party as well, and
Be it further resolved that these goals be implemented by means of the Communist Youth Project proposed to the Communist Party National Board and National Committee in the pre-convention period and by other means determined by the National Committee, and
Be it further resolved that this organization shall be the continuation of the Young Communist League USA and shall seek active membership status in the World Federation of Democratic Youth.
This resolution incorporates elements of resolutions submitted by the Texas District, the Minnesota and the Dakotas District, the Silver Spring, Maryland Club, and the Ohio District.
23. ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONAL DEPARTMENT
Whereas our CPUSA Program recognizes that “the working class needs its own political and revolutionary party,” and
Whereas the small size of our Party is a serious restriction on its ability to fulfill its historic mission, and
Whereas the sharpening of the contradictions of U.S. imperialism has led to a dramatic increase in public interest in socialism and a surge in Party membership, including many members who are joining online, creating the opportunity to remedy this restriction by building a much larger CPUSA, and
Whereas the ability to grow the Party by consolidating these new members and prospective members is severely limited by weak or non-existent Party organizations in many areas, and
Whereas experience in our own Party and in Communist and Workers parties worldwide demonstrates the need to have a strong Party organizational department,
Therefore, be it resolved that the 2019 Communist Party USA National Convention direct the incoming National Committee to work for the creation of a CPUSA Organizational Department, and
Be it further resolved that the 2019 CPUSA National Convention place the highest priority on the establishment of such a department with full-time and part-time regional and national party organizers, as resources permit, and
Be it further resolved that the 2019 Communist Party USA National Convention, in directing the incoming National Committee to work for the creation of a CPUSA Organizational Department, appreciates the work of the existing Membership Engagement and Organizing Committee and supports its work plan, and instructs the National Committee to determine whether to merge its work with the proposed Organizational Department or that it continue as a collective under it.
Be it further resolved that we appeal to our members, clubs, districts, friends, and allies to help us financially support this important task as absolutely necessary to build our Party and work for socialism in this country.
This resolution incorporates elements of resolutions submitted by the Texas District, the Silver Spring, Maryland Club, the Ohio District, and the Membership Engagement and Organizing Committee, Communist Party USA.
24. SUPPORTING THE WORK OF THE MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT AND ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Whereas the Membership Engagement and Organizing Committee has pioneered new ways of activating members – new and old – including
* a nationwide corps of folks who call and welcome new members and inform them of a myriad of ways to be involved
* regular national phonathons to new members
* mailing of membership cards and new member packets
* bi-monthly new member orientations
* travel to developing districts and one-on-one contact and assistance
* development of an extensive database of members and supporters who receive an action-oriented “Message of the Week” and information about educational activities
* a text-messaging program to reach members instantly about urgent issues
* coordination with the cpusa.org website and social media collectives to connect with potential new members and supporters through Facebook and Twitter and interactive website features
* establishment of a “swag shop” in response to popular demand for Communist Party promo items
* outreach to scores of incarcerated folks through weekly mailing of pdf and other materials
* surveys with participation of hundreds of members to involve members
* regular travel to established districts
* preparation and distribution of a pdf edition of People’s World suitable for local use
* monthly club and district leaders’ meetings
Therefore be it Resolved that the work of the Membership Engagement and Organizing Committee be continued and expanded to include development of new materials such as
- a Q & A on the Communist Party,
- a “tool kit” for starting clubs and reading groups; and
- “talking points” for discussing difficult issues with co-workers, families, and friends;
Andbe it further Resolved that training be offered to club and district leaders on concrete organizational skills such as
- how to develop and maintain a mailing list of members and mass contacts and
- fund raising;
And be it further Resolved that the Membership Engagement and Organizing Committee collective be strengthened by incorporating leaders and activists from clubs around the country in its work, including travel and one-on-one assistance to developing districts, and “training the trainer” to speak to schools and other organizations in local areas;
And be it further Resolved that the 31st convention of the CPUSA encourages all clubs, collectives, and individual members to make better use of the cpusa.org website to share experiences and develop a robust national community of members and friends of the Party.
Submitted by the Illinois District
25. BUILDING CLUBS AND DISTRICTS FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
Our responsibilities as a Communist Party are heightened by the urgent challenges and opportunities facing the working class and planet. Our strategy and tactics and vision of socialism are critical for the future.
The club is the heart of the Communist Party. A club based in a specific neighborhood or geographic area or in a workplace is our daily tie to the working class. It is our grounding to develop and bring forward new leaders, including women and people of color, for our Party and the broad movement.
We live in a large and varied country. Our history teaches us that even when building from scratch, and even when members are scattered and at far distances from each other, consistent, strategic planning and action over time can result in strong, diverse club organization rooted in a community or workplace.
Such clubs can become positioned to get out the vote, participate in coalitions, build labor-community unity, organize collective action, win demands, and potentially field candidates. Such clubs have the opportunity to contribute to education and organizing in their neighborhoods through consistent circulation and distribution of the People’s World.
For new members taking leadership responsibility, the experience of building grassroots clubs, and coordinating work of those clubs at the district level, and working in coalitions at those levels, is an essential part of developing leaders for the CPUSA.
There are many aspects of strengthening and upgrading our organization. But building clubs, and the districts to sustain them, is the foundation for the long term. It is the foundation for bringing teenage youth into the Young Communist League (YCL) and then into the Communist Party from generation to generation.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Communist Party USA reaffirm its commitment to vibrant, active clubs in neighborhoods, workplaces, and defined geographic areas.
Be it further resolved that the Communist Party USA reaffirm its commitment to support local YCL clubs and newly commit to youth organizing nationally as a continuation of the YCL.
Be it further resolved that the Communist Party USA prioritize training of younger and newer comrades as leaders of clubs and districts
Be it further resolved that the incoming leadership of the Communist Party give top priority to assist districts in building clubs; that where there is no district, priority attention and assistance be given to building clubs with the goal of establishing a district when possible.
Be it further resolved that a national strategic approach be developed to concentrate in key states and areas with the goal of expanding and building grassroots Communist Party clubs and districts.
Submitted by the Connecticut District
26. THE NEED FOR DISTRICT ORGANIZERS
Whereas the position of District Organizer has long been a key part of the organizational structure of the CPUSA, and
Whereas District Organizers play an important role in providing political leadership, organizational building and continuity, fundraising, liaison with the National Party, and other vital functions, and
Whereas the recent influx of new members into the Party has placed greater demands on the district Party structure, and
Whereas in recent years many districts have been without District Organizers,
Therefore be it resolved that the 2019 Convention of the Communist Party USA call upon the incoming National Committee to work towards the goal of having a District Organizer in every district of the Party.
This resolution incorporates elements of resolutions submitted by the Minnesota and the Dakotas District, the Queens, New York Club, and the Ohio District.
27. REBUILD THE CPUSA WORKING CLASS CORE
Whereas the CPUSA was founded and built as a Marxist-Leninist party of the working class, and the Party played a major role in helping to organize the basic industries of our nation, fighting for industrial organization and workplace organization, for the rights of African American, Latino, women, and immigrant workers; and when our nation’s trade union movement badly needed active new younger members the CPUSA helped organize the national rank and file movement, democratizing unions, instilling more militancy, solidarity, and spirit; and CPUSA union activist members played a leading role in building both the Party and the movement, and
Whereas: the union experience of our members gives them discipline and real understanding of the importance of unity and the difficult tactics needed to get there, thus boosting the Party’s ability to fight, help lead the people’s movement, and grow, and the ability to play its historic role of helping lead our working class and people out of the morass of capitalism, toward a new and better life of working class rule, of socialism, and
Whereas recently the Party’s Labor Commission has taken the initiative in rebuilding the Party among the important organized sector of our class,
Therefore be it resolved that the CPUSA give special attention to building the Party among the ranks of organized labor and workplace activists and to strengthen and build its important Labor Commission as part of this drive.
Submitted by the Minnesota and the Dakotas District and the Ohio District
28. BUILD THE PARTY, BUILD THE PEOPLE’S WORLD
Whereas U.S. capitalism faces a deepening political, social, and economic crisis, and
Whereas mass interest in and positive attitudes towards socialism have grown to unprecedented proportions, and
Whereas these radicalized masses are searching for a coherent, scientific ideological framework, a meaningful strategy, and an organization that is capable of leading the movement for revolutionary change, now
Therefore Be It Resolved that the 31st National Convention reaffirm that the CPUSA is the indispensable revolutionary party of our working class, committed to proletarian internationalism, racial and gender equality, social justice, and protection of the environment and is guided by the science of Marxism-Leninism — and that for that purpose,
Be It Further Resolved that the National Convention call for active steps to build and strengthen the CPUSA as its top priority so it can fulfill its historic mission, and
Be It Further Resolved that the National Convention call for building and strengthening the People’s World.
Submitted by the Ohio District