Supporters will introduce the party to workers on their doorsteps here and in the surrounding region, join labor actions and other social protests and expand the circulation of the Militant and books by party leaders. They will also collect more than 1,500 signatures door to door in working-class neighborhoods to put Trowe on the ballot. Workers, young people and anyone who wants to advance the interests of the working class are invited to join in.
Trowe and campaign supporters recently visited a neighborhood in Albany where a June 23 fire damaged four buildings and left 40 people homeless. The fire began in an abandoned building nearby that residents had demanded be demolished and had a history of code violations.
Workers at Bimbo Bakeries noticed the fire around 6 a.m. and ran over to evacuate residents. “I’m just so grateful for them,” Brittany Bryant told the Times Union, “because I don’t know if we would have made it out of the house in time.”
“This fire was not an ‘accident,’” Trowe told residents, when she and campaign supporters visited the area. “It was caused by the neglect of city and state government authorities. The mayor and other city officials, members of the capitalist parties, defend the interests of the bondholders, property developers and big business. They don’t give a damn about us. We need a party that fights for workers’ interests on the road to taking power. That’s what the Socialist Workers Party is about.”
“There are so many families in shelters, and especially in winter there are not enough beds. But there are all these abandoned houses,” said Lillian Danarow, a 40-year-old medical assistant and mother caring for seven children. “There’s no community center here, nowhere for the kids to play.”
“I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton. I don’t see anyone I want to vote for, they don’t care,” Danarow added. “We as people need to come together. How can we change things?”
“The working class has the capacity to run everything without big government and without divisions,” said Trowe. “In Cuba they made a revolution and one of the things they did was to nationalize the housing stock and limit rents to 10 percent of workers’ income. No one is left on their own in Cuba. It is because they made a revolution there and I believe we can make a revolution here.”
Danarow bought a subscription to the Militant and a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes. Neighbors donated $10 to the campaign. One of the donations came from a woman named Cathy, who said she worked as a medic for many years. She pointed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is positioning himself for a 2020 presidential run, and Sen. Charles Schumer, saying, “They can’t possibly know what it’s like to be a real person.”
Gretchen Gorman joined the discussion as she dropped off supplies her family and neighbors collected for the families affected by the fire.
Ken Brooks, an accountant who grew up in Albany, said there had been promises before the election to address housing and other issues but no action has been taken. He said he would try to get an invitation for Trowe to speak at his neighborhood committee meeting and bought a subscription to the Militant.
Campaigners also fanned out to several other working-class communities in Albany and surrounding towns over the June 24-25 weekend to lay the groundwork for the stepped-up campaign effort. Putting Trowe on the November ballot will require sustained work from July 11 through the end of August. For more information on how you can get involved, contact the campaign at email@example.com.
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