Political Action Commission’s goals for 2023

BY:CPUSA Political Action Commission| February 7, 2023
Political Action Commission’s goals for 2023


Editor’s Note: Below is the report made by Joelle Fishman on behalf of the CPUSA Political Action Commission to the CPUSA National Committee on January 14th. Her report is followed by the Commission’s plan of work for 2023.

I want to start by congratulating our Party on developing and carrying out the all people’s united front strategy in response to the fascist danger, while at the same time organizing for a working-class people’s agenda and building the Communist Party and the movement for socialism.

We helped make a difference all across the country in 2022 in national and local races and in referendum questions on the ballot where we concentrated. As Joe Sims says, we have to continue that policy and expand it now more than ever as the insurrectionists seize control of the House.

In nine days, on the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, women’s marches will mobilize in cities around the country on the slogan, “Bigger than Roe” and the theme, “If you come for our families, our freedoms, our future, we are coming for your seat.” The movement for reproductive rights is an essential response to all the threats the extreme-right Supreme Court poses.

There were dozens of breakthroughs at the local level in 2022 with LGBTQ people, women, immigrants, people of color and young people winning elections for the first time with bold programs.

A big example is in Los Angeles where Karen Bass prevailed in the mayoral election despite the onslaught of a self-funded billionaire. She has declared a housing emergency and is mobilizing for the first 100 days. Our comrades were recognized for their neighborhood work—including Rosalio Munoz and, shortly before his untimely passing, comrade Richard Castro, to whom we pay tribute.

These victories were the result of the kind of organizing that Joe calls for. They were won through the tireless work of labor, women and civil rights organizations, including ourselves. One example is over 1,200 UNITE HERE canvassers knocking on 2.7 million doors in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, winning the election of pro-worker candidates.

Combined with the wave of union organizing struggles and strikes, this mass organizing at the local level is the first line of defense, and it is the first step toward raising class consciousness and preserving and expanding our rights going forward.

We can make a qualitative contribution if we carry out our neighborhood and workplace concentration club by club and if we circulate the People’s World consistently and build relationships with our readers.


The Political Action Commission has set out a strong plan of action for 2023. Here are a few highlights:

The extensive framework paragraphs affirms that we “cannot wait until 2024. We must concentrate on state and local elections with more street action tied to electoral and state legislative actions. Special efforts in working-class areas and in nationally and racially oppressed communities are needed. Local elections can be a time to gain experience and build electoral alliances for the 2024 election year.”

The Commission has set out five special project subcommittees including one on Communist candidates and presence. It calls for utilizing the guidelines for districts and clubs on Communist candidates adopted by the National Committee last year. It encourages discussion at the district level to make a breakthrough with candidates for local offices. These candidates must emerge from collective discussion, local grassroots struggles, and our coalition work.

The Immigrant Rights Subcommittee, Rural Subcommittee and Voting Rights and Voter Suppression Subcommittee will continue their work. They have developed thoughtful priorities to build solidarity and class consciousness in the class and democratic struggles being waged against extreme-right-wing propaganda and policies.

A new subcommittee of the whole will take on the housing crisis fomented by finance capital, which is wreaking havoc on working-class families across the country. Its tasks will include compiling proposed legislation—like rent control or the Stop Wall St. Landlords Act in Congress, and developing a Housing Bill of Rights with participation from comrades in these struggles.

We also want to contribute to the opposition to Cold War-like policies, to the struggle for an approach to foreign policy based on diplomacy, the right to self-determination, and slashing the military budget.

I believe our practice is showing how the electoral struggle is part and parcel of building on the growing class consciousness now developing and how the electoral struggle is integral to the development of a revolutionary process leading to socialism. We have to continue to develop this understanding as we strengthen our democratic and class fight for our future and the future of the planet.

CPUSA Political Action Commission Plan of work (January 9, 2023)


The work of the Commission in 2023 begins in the aftermath of the historic midterm elections and a continuing pandemic. Heavy voter turnout, notably by youth, women and African Americans helped swell the midterm voter turnout that defied predictions of a so-called “Red Tsunami.” Our party and our allies were able to thwart that attack by mobilizing the broad coalition of labor, African American, Latino, Indigenous, and Asian American communities alongside the women’s, LGBTQ, seniors and youth movements.

This broad united front that defeated Trump in 2020 and his allies in the 2022 midterm election, must continue to expand and broaden in order to overcome obstruction by the corporate right-wing in Congress and State Houses, and in order to defend past gains, prevent further harm, and win transformational changes.

Taking advantage of peoples’ victories in 2022—like the increased number of people of color elected—we should ally in 2023 with the most progressive forces. These include organized Labor, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Poor People’s Campaign, and other progressive formations. By working with others, we can build support for progressive legislation in spite of Republican control of the House of Representatives. We must develop a path to progress that spells out the possibilities of overcoming the corporate media’s negativism, the COVID onslaught and our small size. The Commission should play a role in helping the National Committee mobilize our cadre, including the hundreds of new members so crucial to our political development.

Our Commission, like the working class, cannot wait until 2024. We must concentrate on state and local elections with more street action tied to electoral and state legislative actions. Special efforts in working class areas and in nationally and racially oppressed communities are needed. We have to identify early on which races to concentrate on, and how to win. Local elections can be a time to gain experience and build electoral alliances for the 2024 election year. Special attention must be paid to state elections in Virginia and New Jersey, and to municipal elections in many major cities where our party is active. Concentration on some key areas is vital to making a difference in election outcomes and to the building of democratic forces and the CPUSA.

The shift to the far right by the Supreme Court calls for special attention at the state and federal levels, to fight for full reproductive rights and to protect the right to vote. We must encourage broadening the coalition that fights for abortion rights to include communities of color, labor, and other allies who support these rights, but haven’t historically been in the forefront of this struggle. Likewise, protecting and enhancing voting rights requires bringing additional forces into the fight. These are struggles which will take place in every state and in many localities, and our party and the Commission should be there to help local clubs get involved.

We must expose the right-wing election denial movement’s campaign to convince millions of people in the U.S. that elections are not to be trusted and that, therefore, legislative and executive positions should be determined by other means—like those attempted by the January 6th insurrection. The fascist danger is real and must be confronted.

The still continuing and dangerously large support for Trump in rural communities and small towns requires outreach. The Commission’s Rural Subcommittee should identify class struggle issues that appeal to rural voters like Medicare for All (while defending and enhancing the ACA), income inequality and union rights, to help raise working-class consciousness and unity, and encourage the labor movement to become more engaged in rural struggles. 2023 can be the year to implement new rural campaigns and to spread circulation of People’s World to rural people as an alternative to the right-wing corporate media and conspiracy theorists. We must be ever alert to white supremacy and anti-communism, used to divide working-class and popular movements.

The vicious racist policies and divisions fomented by the Republican right must be challenged and reversed, including ending police brutality and ICE raids. Our Party must help build the badly needed massive national coalition for comprehensive immigration reform. High on our agenda is the fight to help resolve the status of DACA and achieve the objective undocumented young people have been dreaming about for the last decade, including legitimizing the status of their family members.

Climate change denial and right-wing attacks on science must also be confronted. The threat posed to humanity cannot be ignored. We must encourage our clubs and members to take part in the international struggle to save the planet.

Biden administration policies that favor working-class people deserve support, but require much wider mass mobilizations to get passed. Cold War-like policies must be opposed. We must advocate and struggle for an approach to foreign policy based on diplomacy, support for self-determination, and slashing the military budget to fund large scale investments in green, job creating infrastructure programs with a just transition. It’s time to demand the Biden administration call for a ceasefire and peace talks in Ukraine.

The Commission should assist the whole Party in making a breakthrough to field Communist candidates for public office. 2023 state and local elections are a great opportunity. Clubs must be clear about the goal of the campaigns. This should be done in a collective way with candidates for local offices emerging from collective discussion, from local grassroots struggles, and from our coalition work. Our Party should work to be more visible in our communities. We should encourage issuing a Communist Party emergency relief unity program, and assist local Party organizations in testifying at public hearings and with op-eds and letters in local media.

Special Projects

Immigrant Rights Subcommittee

The Subcommittee will raise awareness and inspire advocacy and coalition-building through:

  1. Writing articles and pamphlets on global migration and the impacts of imperialism and U.S. border politics from a working-class perspective
  2. Writing an analysis of the impacts of the housing crisis on the immigrant community, emphasizing the international right to housing
  3. Advocating for an end to border militarization and for progressive legislation that will lead to a pathway to legal status for all undocumented people and end criminalization of migration
  4. Monitoring possible changes in border enforcement priorities when the Supreme Court rules on the DHS Mayorkas memo in U.S. v. Texas. The Subcommittee and Party must be ready to write about this and build coalitions for progressive advocacy from a working-class perspective
  5. Connecting with comrades working internationally on immigrant and migrant rights and international law
  6. Considering the creation of educational videos, e.g., on the prevention of deaths of immigrants along the US–Mexico border
  7. Increasing our attention to and solidarity with the struggles of immigrants themselves in the class and democratic struggles of our people nationwide.

CPUSA Candidates and Presence

The Subcommittee will:

  1. Re-send the guidelines for Communist candidates to districts and clubs
  2. Encourage discussion at the district level about fielding candidates
  3. Offer help to districts in discussions of candidates
  4. Share experiences about building the Party in the course of election and legislative work
  5. Re-establish the Progressive Public Officials Network of those in and around us

Rural Work

The Subcommittee will:

    1. Make connections with progressive movements in rural communities including the National Farmers Union; United Farmworkers of America; African American, Latino and Native American farm organizations
    2. Initiate and join in efforts to block the deportation of immigrant workers
    3. Join the “save farmland” and land trust movements vital to the protection of U.S. farmland
    4. Inform ourselves about all progressive farm legislation—federal, state and local—and build support for it
    5. Popularize a rural and farm program to include:
    • Ending federal subsidies to agribusiness and factory farming. Instead, the federal government should subsidize family and independent farms, local agriculture, organic, sustainable farming. Federal farm loan programs should be directed to make reparations for decades of racist discrimination in the allocation of nonrecourse farm loans and all other forms of agricultural subsidies.
    • Legislation that will protect farm workers, including union rights for all migrant farm workers
    • Protecting the rights of undocumented farm workers and supporting their right to drivers’ licenses, unemployment benefits, school attendance, wages equal to all other farm workers, decent housing, and health care benefits
    • Protecting and expanding health care in rural U.S. areas where it is in crisis and sharp decline, including Medicare for All and the ending of Medicare privatization schemes like Medicare Advantage and ACO-REACH
    • Building affordable housing in rural parts of the U.S. with federal funding for public and cooperative low-cost housing
    • Protecting the best farmland from real-estate developers who are sacrificing it for the construction of suburbs
    • Programs to build and repair rural infrastructure, including sustainable energy solutions such as wind and solar power, and rural broadband access

Voting Rights and Voter Suppression

The Subcommittee will:

      1. Concentrate on key states under attack
      2. Educate and mobilize against Supreme Court cases that could place election control into the states
      3. Encourage the movement in states with better laws to continue action for further voting rights expansion
      4. Connect with mass movements and utilize a grassroots orientation in order to help build mass movements on the ground
      5. Highlight and organize around the need to expand voting rights to immigrant workers in national, state and local areas

Housing Crisis

Throughout the country, especially in major cities, working-class families are increasingly stressed by the rising cost of housing, especially of “affordable” rental units. There is a strong racist edge to this crisis, as African-American and other minority families are being pushed out of their neighborhoods. Young people just starting jobs and families, as well as older adults on fixed incomes, find themselves in impossible situations. This housing crisis is not a mere matter of “supply and demand.” It is related to speculative investment by major corporate, and especially finance capital entities seeking greater and greater profits by displacing people of low and moderate income in order to rent or sell units at rates current residents cannot afford. The fightback is underway all over the country, as working-class and especially minority tenants organize, seek alliances, and exert pressure on landlords and on local and state authorities to act. The Communist Party USA must be in the middle of these struggles, and come up with innovative solutions which pass control of housing to working-class families who need it, rather than to corporate conglomerates. Rent control, resident-run coop housing, and all other possible solutions should be part of the struggle. Review proposed national, state and local legislation being considered and develop a Housing is a Human Right (Housing Bill of Rights) program. The Subcommittee will invite comrades active in this struggle to contribute

The full 2023 plan of work includes commission functioning, key races and a calendar, and will be developed as the year proceeds.

Images: Esencial por Siempre by Make the Road (Facebook); NY YCL members rallying with  Starbucks workers by NY YCL (Twitter); Housing saves lives (CPUSA); Workers to the front for Rafael Warnock by UNITE HERE! (Facebook); women’s march rally by Women’s March (Facebook); Show climate the $ by Sunrise NYC (Facebook); Defend DACA by Molly Adams (CC BY 2.0); A crew of farm workers in Moorpark CA pick up leftover radishes by United Farm Workers (Facebook)


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