All-out in the fight for democratic rights!

BY:CPUSA Political Action Commission| February 18, 2022
All-out in the fight for democratic rights!


The following report was presented by Joelle Fishman, Chair of the Political Action Commission, to the National Committee meeting on Feb. 13, 2022.

Joe Sims has laid before us the urgency, dangers, and possibilities of the current political situation and the 2022 elections.  We have the responsibility and opportunity to be in the thick of the fight for basic democratic rights and for the needs and future of the multi-racial working class and planet.

The 2022 and 2024 elections are a critical arena for all of the battles sweeping the country today—for essential workers risking their lives under COVID, for miners and other workers on strike, for fast food workers and warehouse workers organizing for a union, for the rights of Black youth and all youth to live and thrive, for the rights of immigrants, addressing climate change and an end to the war economy.

Most of all, a huge turnout of progressive voters in 2022 will be decisive to uphold the basic right to vote and repel attempts to overturn elections.  The example of Georgia’s runoff for U.S. Senate in 2021 that elected Senators Warnock and Osoff even in the midst of COVID and restrictive voter laws, led by Stacey Abrams and with all-out participation by the Unite Here! union, shows what is possible when voting is connected to long-term organizing for people’s needs and a collective voice.

The present danger of an anti-democratic fascist takeover led by the Republican Party and corporate backers requires an all-out grassroots education mobilization and voter turnout in battleground states, rural areas, and every corner of our country.

There are recent examples in rural America of local school board and other elections rejecting right-wing, fascist-minded candidates.  One is in Sequim, Washington, where Tim Wheeler plays a leading role in building the kind of broad united front of all democratic-minded forces that can win.

The Political Action Commission has mapped out a plan for the year intended to assist the Party organization in this fight.

Our strategy is centered on building unity of all democratic forces while at the same time enlarging the strength of labor and anti-racist progressive representation and increasing the size of the Communist Party and the understanding of our socialist vision.

Quoting three excerpts from the framework in the Commission’s plan:

This broad united front that defeated Trump must continue to expand and broaden in order to overcome obstruction by the corporate right-wing in Congress and State Houses, to defend past gains, prevent further harm, and to win transformational changes. . . .

We need a massive turnout of progressive voters all across the country including major electoral breakthroughs.  This will require us to come up with scenarios to bring the vote out, along with a massive ground game by the Party and allies, with special efforts in working class areas and in nationally and racially oppressed communities. We have to prioritize early on which races to concentrate on, and how to win those seats. We need more street action tied to electoral and state legislative actions. . . .

The Biden administration’s policies that favor working class people deserve support, but require much wider mass mobilizations in order to get passed. Cold War–like imperialist policies must be opposed.

The commission is working to identify key races where our clubs and members can make a difference, not only for the election of a candidate, but to expand the electorate, build a lasting movement, and enlarge our Party as a result.

How to do this? The best way is to work within the structures of the labor movement, community organizations, and other independent forces like Working Families Party, Our Revolution, Black Votes Matter, etc., thereby building the movement while pulling out the vote.

We take note of the toss-up races identified in polls.  But fundamentally, we look to each local Party organization to determine where it will prioritize its work.  Then we can see how on a national basis we are making our contribution.  Next week a survey will be sent to districts and clubs asking which races and ballot initiatives will be their priority.

A larger Democratic majority and a larger number of working-class champions in the U.S. Senate and House as well as in governors’ houses and state legislatures creates more favorable conditions to reject the fascist danger and expand the victories of mass movements.

In the U.S. Senate, now tied 50-50, there are 34 seats up for election of which 20 are Republicans.

Top Democratic toss-ups:

Arizona, Kelly
Georgia, Warnock
New Hampshire, Hassan
Nevada, Masto

Top Republican toss-ups:

North Carolina, Burr is retiring
Pennsylvania, Toomey is retiring
Wisconsin, Johnson

In the U.S. House, all 435 districts are up for election, and all are affected by redistricting. The top 13 toss-up races are:

Colorado, 8th, a newly drawn district

Democrats in the following districts:

Iowa, 3rd, Axne
Illinois, 7th, open (Bustos)
Maine, 2nd, Golden
Michigan, 7th, Slotkin
Michigan, 8th, Kildee
Virginia, 2nd, Luria

Republicans in these districts:

California, 22nd, Valadao
California, 27th, Garcia
California, 45th, Steel
Michigan, 3rd, Meijer
New Mexico, 2nd, Herrell
New York, 11th, Malliotakis

There are 28 Republican and 22 Democratic governors, and 36 governors’ seats are up for election.  The top toss-ups are:

Democrats in Kansas, Kelly; Michigan, Whitmer; Nevada, Sisolak; Pennsylvania, Wolf, and Wisconsin, Evers
Republicans in Arizona, open seat (Ducey); Georgia, Kemp.

The states that have more than one top toss-up race at this time are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, and Wisconsin.

But in fact, every state is a target of the national Republican Party. For example, in Connecticut where all constitutional officers and the entire Congressional delegation is Democrat, the national Republican campaign is targeting Sen. Blumenthal, Rep. Jahana Hayes, and Gov. Ned Lamont, as well as some legislators.  The right-wing strategy includes stepped-up white supremacy and anti-communism to divide working-class movements and popular movements. So we have our work cut out in every state.

We also highlight the best working-class champions, many women and people of color getting elected to Congress and locally taking militant stands.  Like Rep. Cori Bush from St. Louis who sat in to extend the COVID eviction moratorium.  Many of these champions represent districts where we have Party organization and are in a position to build the grassroots base for a progressive agenda and pull out the vote.

We are also highlighting those states who are top targets for voter suppression laws.  As we know, 489 bills in 49 state legislatures are being considered to limit drop boxes, mail-in voting, and the ability to overturn elections.

The Political Action Commission is convening a special subcommittee that will include comrades from Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina to be convened by Mark Gruenberg.

This attack on voting rights is an attack on Black, Latino, and poor people in response to rising political activism and influence.  It is an open attempt to seize control of power by the most reactionary forces and is a threat to everyone.  Voting is not just an individual act, it is a means of collective expression toward working-class power.

As has been revealed, voter suppression attacks are part of the strategy to continue the white supremacist coup effort beyond the Jan. 6 attempt.  They are well funded in the millions by a host of right-wing organizations including Heritage Action for America, the Family Research Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, American Principles Project, Freedom Works, Tea Party Patriots, and the Honest Elections Project. They are teamed up with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other groups that prepare model state legislation. Many are allied with Trump.

As the legislative and court battles for voting rights unfold, inspiring mass action will be imperative. The Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington and to the Polls, scheduled for June 18, has been singled out by the National Board for participation by our Party.  Also, the labor movement began gearing up for a big 2022 voter operation on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

The Political Action Commission Plan also includes continuing the subcommittees on work in rural areas and small towns that will raise working-class consciousness and unity, on immigrant rights to help build a massive national coalition for comprehensive immigration reform, and on Communist candidates to assist the whole Party in making a breakthrough to field Communist candidates for public office in a collective way with candidates for local offices emerging from collective discussion, from local grassroots struggles, and from our coalition work

The Commission Plan emphasizes expanded circulation of the People’s World and increasing stories coming from all the local election struggles unfolding this year. The Plan also projects “issuing a Communist Party emergency relief unity program, and assisting local Party organizations to testify at public hearings and with op-eds and letters in local media.”

We have confidence that our Party can and will rise to the emergency challenges and opportunities unfolding in 2022 and make a powerful contribution in the fight for democracy and toward socialism.

Images: Unite Here! voting march, Unite Here! (Facebook); Defend democracy, CPUSA; U.S. Capitol, Kevin Harber (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0); U.S. Rep. Cori Bush at eviction moratorium protest outside U.S. Capitol, Cori Bush (Facebook).


Related Articles

For democracy. For equality. For socialism. For a sustainable future and a world that puts people before profits. Join the Communist Party USA today.

Join Now

We are a political party of the working class, for the working class, with no corporate sponsors or billionaire backers. Join the generations of workers whose generosity and solidarity sustains the fight for justice.

Donate Now

CPUSA Mailbag

If you have any questions related to CPUSA, you can ask our experts
  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
Read More
Ask a question
See all Answer