Were campaigning for measures to defend working people from the effects of the capitalist depression, Helen Meyers, SWP candidate for lieutenant governor, told Kanesha Fuller, 25, an unemployed worker. Millions of workers need jobs and there is much that needs to be builthousing, hospitals, and better levees to keep the rivers from flooding working-class neighborhoods, she said.
Parts of Des Moines and other towns in Iowa were hard hit by flooding in 1993 and 2008. A levee that failed in 2008, causing the flooding of a working-class district in Des Moines, has been temporarily repaired but not replaced.
The socialist campaign puts forward immediate demands, including unemployment insurance for as long as a worker is unemployed and workers control of safety on the job to protect the lives and bodies of working people.
Im glad Im not the only one who thinks this way, Fuller said, thanking the socialists for the campaign flyer. She had not been able to find a job since quitting work recently to have a baby. Older women I know are afraid to quit jobs they dont like, because they know how hard it will be to find another, Fuller told the socialist candidate.
Meyers and two supporters were campaigning outside a Family Dollar store in a predominantly Black neighborhood here. The Socialist Workers candidate explained that any gains working people win under capitalism are temporary because the wealthy owners always seek ways to undo anything that restricts their ability to maximize profits.
Thats why working people need to take political power out of the hands of the capitalist rulers, Meyers said. A workers and farmers government will expropriate the capitalists and use the state-owned factories, mines, and mills to advance the interests of workers and farmers.
As part of their election activities, the socialist campaigners are introducing working people and students to the Militant and the book Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Jack Barnes.
A slate of Socialist Workers Party candidates in Iowa will be stepping up their campaign in coming weeks. Rebecca Williamson, 28, an assembly worker, is the SWP candidate for U.S. Congress, District 3. She is running against incumbent Democrat Leonard Boswell and Republican Brad Zaun. Margaret Trowe, 62, SWP candidate for secretary of agriculture, joined Williamson and another supporter to talk with workers shopping at a supermarket in southeast Des Moines.
María Gómez, 54, a packinghouse worker, told Trowe she is worried about the impact of the economic crisis. She is only getting four hours of work a day. I cant pay the bills like this, Gómez said.
When hours are cut, we should demand that workers still get 40 hours pay, the Socialist Workers campaigners explain.
The socialist candidates are also calling for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and everywhere else they are stationed around the world.
While Meyers, Williamson, and Trowe campaigned in Des Moines, David Rosenfeld, 47, a tire plant worker and SWP candidate for governor, attended the convention of the National Organization for Women in Boston. Rosenfeld and the other SWP candidates are active in support of abortion rights.
Petitioning to put the SWP candidates on the ballot in Iowa begins July 10.
Socialists in New York open ballot drive
Help put SWP candidates on the ballot
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