The SWP just announced a statewide ticket headed by Róger Calero for U.S. Senate and Maura DeLuca for governor. Calero, 37, was the partys presidential candidate in 2004. DeLuca, 27, a garment worker, is also a member of the Young Socialists, a group actively campaigning for the SWP ticket.
The socialist ticket also includes: for lieutenant governor, Ben OShaughnessy, 20, a student at the State University of New York in Albany; for state attorney general, Martín Koppel, 49, a reporter for the Militant; and for state comptroller, Willie Cotton, 28, a sewing machine operator and member of UNITE Local 63. In addition, the SWP is running Nancy Boyasko for U.S. Congress in District 11, which includes the largely Black communities in Brooklyns Crown Heights and Brownsville. Boyasko, 49, is a meat packer and member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342.
In our discussions, Calero said in an interview, we explain that the recent mass working-class movement for the legalization of all immigrants has strengthened working people as a whole. Socialist workers have joined and helped build these protests. We are using our campaign to push for legislation that would grant immediate and unconditional residency to all the undocumented.
This movement has put working people in a better position to fight to organize trade unions and to use union power to defend labors interests against the bosses assaults on wages, dignity, and job conditions, especially safety. The need to support workers struggles to unionize in order to fight effectively is at the heart of the SWP campaign platform.
DeLuca told the Militant that the socialist campaign calls for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. and all other occupation troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. We say no to Washingtons cold war against Cuba and demand U.S. hands off Venezuela. We oppose imperialist economic sanctions and military threats against Iran, and defend the right of Iran and other semicolonial nations to develop nuclear power and other energy sources, which are needed for basic economic and social advances.
Calero said the New York campaign is organizing a major effort July 11-23 to collect 30,000 signaturestwice the state requirementto win ballot status for the Socialist Workers ticket. Were appealing to workers, students, farmers, and others who want to hear a working-class voice in the elections to volunteer to help in this petitioning drive, he said. Well be collecting signatures in working-class communities throughout New York City and across the state. Volunteers will also be signing up co-workers, classmates, neighbors, friends, and many others.
The socialist campaigners are reaching out to workers on picket lines, to demonstrators for the legalization of immigrants, and to protesters against police brutality, Calero said. They are helping build local events in defense of the Cuban Revolution and for the release of Puerto Rican political prisoners. And they will join with hundreds of others at the July 21-23 National Organization for Women conference in Albany, New York, to discuss the fight for womens equality, including a womans right to choose abortion.
Over the coming months, DeLuca noted, Young Socialists and other campaigners will also continue to take part in a socialist summer school, studying some of the basics of Marxism. Special classes and forums will take up aspects of the socialist platform and respond to developments in the class struggle.
Those interested in volunteering for the New York Socialist Workers petitioning effort can contact the campaign at (212) 736-2540 or visit the Manhattan campaign headquarters at 306 W. 37th Street, 10th floor.
On June 6, socialist campaigners in New Jersey filed more than double the signatures required to put the SWP ticket on the ballot there. The candidates are Angela Lariscy, 41, a sewing-machine operator, for U.S. Senate; and Brian Williams, 54, a reporter for the Militant, for U.S. Congress in the 13th District. They have been officially certified for ballot status. Socialist Workers Party candidates are also running in Houston, Miami, and Seattle, with more to be announced (see candid25.pdf).
Nancy Rosenstock in Newark, New Jersey, contributed to this article.
Initial list of Socialist Worker Party candidates in 2006