For a Communist Youth Project

 
BY:Joe Sims| July 23, 2019

This proposal was developed collectively by The Specter’s podcast collective, based on input from young members and YCL groups across the country, as well as contributions to pre-Convention discussion.

There is a rapidly growing socialist sentiment and movement among young people. Young workers and students, burdened by debt, forced to work multiple jobs, facing high unemployment, criminalization and threats of police violence are gravitating toward socialist solutions. The growing fascist danger posed by Trump and today’s radicalization process are causing many to look to the ideas of Marx, Lenin and scientific socialism for answers.

Young people are seeking a revolutionary alternative that combines class struggle with the fight against racism, sexism and homo- and transphobia–a militant organization that brings together black, brown, white and Asian youth and students.

Because young people between the ages of 18 and 30 comprise majority of applications to join the CPUSA, the party needs to reorient its work to address the specific realities and huge opportunities for increased influence among this growing red generation.  This needs to be done on an urgent basis with attention to addressing the specific youth forms this work should take.  One important step already taken is the creation of The Specter, a podcast organized and directed by young Communists.

Building our youth work, and giving our young comrades a leading role in doing so, is also essential if we are to prepare the next generation of CPUSA leaders.

In order to give greater weight and support to this work, we propose the party endorse a Communist Youth Project.  The Communist Youth Project would be a collective composed of CP leaders and young party and YCL members.  Its goal would be to give focus to the party’s youth work, unite the party across generations, and lay the basis for reestablishing the Young Communist League.

It would:

  • work with districts and party clubs at developing a youth and student approach;
  • build on the podcast work already underway. with the goal of bringing more youth into the project;
  • assist the Education Department in developing Marxist schools for youth and students;
  • explore the possibility of organizing a regular socialism conference;
  • consider organizing a summer youth encampment;
  • develop a campus concentration; and
  • help diversify CPUSA’s social media work.

The Young Communist Project’s focus will include mobilizing and organizing, starting district by district, then and exploring adding national structure as stability is built. The project will also provide in-house conflict resolution and create healthy, moderated spaces and opportunities for debate and conversation. We also feel that transparency and honesty about the values and political approach of CPUSA should be a fundamental aspect of new member orientation.  The Communist Youth Project would work with the CP leadership to find a staff person to help organize its work, raising funds as necessary to do so.

 

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    Joe Sims is co-chairperson of the CPUSA.

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