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California's Feminist Socialist Political Party

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Home News A Proposal for Going National

A Proposal for Going National

By Casey Peters

Posted on January 4, 2012 by the Website Workers Council

The article expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of the National Organizing Committee as a whole.

Should the Peace and Freedom Party go national? Some think we need to get better organized in California first, while others think a higher profile will help our statewide work.

The State Central Committee established a work group called the National Organizing Committee to address this question. Called by its initials, NOC or NOC 2012, this group has done outreach to other left formations and recently held a conference to explore working together.

The conference established a coalition called the Peace and Freedom Alliance (PAFA) consisting so far of California Peace and Freedom Party, Freedom Socialist Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Socialist Organizer, with observers from potential additional affiliates Socialist Alternative and Socialist Party USA.

In exploring avenues of working toward left unity, one proposal that has come to the fore is to jointly work toward ballot status in states where the qualifications are too onerous for any one affiliate to get on the ballot by themselves.

Among the states that might be targeted are Texas, needing 50,000 valid signatures by May 20, and Georgia, needing just over 50,000 valid signatures by August 6. Our effort would qualify Peace and Freedom as a full party in those states, and they would presumably operate in a similar fashion to our own California party. This would create umbrella organizations where multiple tendencies on the Left could share a common ballot line.

Such a project would require considerable support from activists in all affiliate groups as well as from people living in those states. Texas seems a practical target as it is the second most populous state and, while conservative overall, has concentrated areas of alternative-minded folks. There is a strong working-class presence accompanied by modest membership of some PAFA affiliated groups.

Taking on this task would provide a sufficient challenge to determine whether the Peace and Freedom Alliance can muster the forces to prove itself capable of becoming a viable national coalition.

Casey Peters is interim secretary-treasurer of the National Organizing Committee.