There are solutions
This article [“LA housing campaign exposes depth of corporate-political ties,” Vol. 44, No. 2] is a “must read” for anyone who asks what can be done. Here in Los Angeles, it was particularly gratifying to see that “Housing Now,” one of the largest non-profit housing campaigns in the area, recently announced their own campaign for permanent supportive public housing.
This idea first promoted as “social housing” by FSP in 2020 will need all our combined efforts to make use of assets at hand, which include at least 27 vacant properties available to LA City/County.
The recent election of Karen Bass as Mayor of LA is not enough to curb the corrupting influence of billionaire developers, even if she has beaten one of the richest of them by winning the mayoral race. It will take a mass movement.
Cathleen Deppe, Los Angeles, California
Just read your [Val Carlson’s] article about all the work you’ve been doing in LA County. Most excellent. Clearly Seattle has the same problem.
Bernice Funk, Seattle, Washington
WRITINGS ON RACE
I read Christina López’s pamphlet Which Way Forward for the Black Lives Matter Movement and Emily Woo Yamasaki’s A Revolutionary Call for Black Reparations [Vol. 44, No. 1]. Both are excellent.
Much of what López has to say mirrors the analysis of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor in her excellent From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. This is praise, not criticism. The limitations of reform, the dead ends that are non-profits and NGOs, and the emphasis on Black leadership and Black women especially are all described concisely and convincingly in the pamphlet.
Woo Yamasaki’s piece is interesting, for I was not aware that FSP had a 10-Point Program. The one criticism is that it isn’t entirely clear what makes most of these demands any different from standard socialist positions besides applying the label “reparations” to it.
All of the platform would transform the lives of millions, of that there can be no denying, but most if not all of the platform would help all working folks. I support these things, but is it reparations as popularly understood?
C. Henderson, Marianna, Florida
Better alternative needed
I like your article “Life under Australia’s Labor Party” [Vol. 44, No. 1]. It asks what I consider is a million-dollar question. How do we get a better alternative which is fairer to working people?
I still remember sitting in the car with Mum when I was at high school and asking her how we can get to “the revolution.”
This was at the time in the 1980s when the New Zealand Labour Party was introducing neoliberal economic policies at a faster rate than any government in New Zealand before or since has.
At the time I think what allowed Labour to get away with it were popular policies such as a ban on nuclear ships in New Zealand ports, and New Zealand’s withdrawal from ANZUS.
I sincerely hope New Zealand refuses to let the $360 billion monstrosities that Australia is purchasing from visiting its ports.
Indeed, I’d hazard a guess that the way the Labo(u)r parties in New Zealand and Australia get away with things in general is that they are good at working out how many crumbs they need to throw to people in order to keep them placated — or at least not angry enough to want to radically change things.
Tim Hume, Blackburn South, Victoria, Australia
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