Women’s Rights, Agriculture, American Indians, Gun Control, and High Stakes Testing

BY:Minnesota/Dakotas District| September 21, 2001

five resolutions presented below were adopted unanimously in outline form
at the Minnesota/Dakotas CPUSA District Convention June 9, 2001. They
are not intended as texts to be adopted at the 27th National Convention, but
as input on these topics to the Resolutions Committee.

1. Resolution
on Women’s Rights and Equality

In the United States today, women’s rights are threatened, and women’s
equality endangered, both directly by the right-wing agenda and indirectly
by lessening militancy in the defense of these rights. This is the worst
time to take for granted the hard-won gains of the women’s movement and
other progressive movements of the sixties and seventies.

should ally itself with activist groups around issues such as reproductive
rights, comparable pay. living wage, and lesbian and gay rights. We should
insist on social responsibility for the education and welfare of children,
and for care giving to the disabled and elderly as well as children. The
gender wage gap continues; unionization of women workers is an imperative.
With every political struggle we take up, we must be alert to particular
impact on women.

Within our
own ranks we must eliminate any vestiges of male supremacy and out-dated
gender roles.

That the CPUSA reaffirm its support of women’s rights and equality, and
increase its efforts to make women’s struggles a major emphasis of its
political work.

2. Resolution
on Agricultural Policy.

The special feature of the farm crisis confronting family farmers in the
United States is that the prices received by family farmers for their
crops are lower than the cost of production. The agribusiness monopolies
use their control over farm inputs such as seed, chemical fertilizer,
pesticides, farm machinery, as well as their control over the farm commodities
market to extract superprofits at the expense of the family farmers. The
urban rural economies that serve the agricultural economy in one or another
form involve populations that are many times larger than the actual farming
population. With the elimination of the federal parity price support programs
of the Roosevelt era, the survival of rural America, especially in the
Midwest, depends deeply on the federal government subsidies for farm production
of those crops and dairy products that are not profitable for corporate-type
farming because their labor intensity (e.g., grain, corn, soybeans, peanuts,
tobacco, sugar, dairy farming). Consequently, direct government payments
to farmers constitute between one-third and two-thirds of the income of
family farmers. In the case of a few commodities-sugar, tobacco, and peanuts-federal
price support subsidies or import restrictions and duties maintain prices
at or above the cost of production.

candy manufacturers in the Chicago area have begun lobbying for the removal
of price support programs for sugar, arguing that they cannot compete
in the global economy with candy produced in other countries because the
price of sugar is too high. They have succeeded in gaining support for
this effort from members of the Illinois congressional delegation. Unfortunately,
this campaign has received support from some radical groups and unions
in Illinois because of their concern that jobs in candy manufacturing
were being threatened. Removal of price supports for sugar would bankrupt
family farmers involved in sugar beet production in Minnesota and North
Dakota and eliminate jobs in the large unionized workforce employed in
processing the harvested sugar beets. The AFL-CIO and has a long-standing
alliance with farmers of Minnesota and North Dakota and elsewhere. The
CPUSA can contribute to cementing this alliance by exposing the machinations
of the candy manufacturers against this alliance.

3. Resolution on American Indian Rights
The CPUSA should support the demands of the American Indians that the
rights granted to them under treaties with the federal government not
be abridged by the state governments.

should give support to the American Indian demand for the elimination
of Indian mascots, names, and logos for sports teams.

4. Resolution on Gun Control
The longstanding gun culture in the United States makes it imperative
the issue of gun control not be raised in a manner that will strengthen
the far right forces in the United States. The position of the CPUSA should
be directed toward the corporate abuse and circumvention of laws that
are already in place, the closing of loopholes in the laws concerning
the sale of guns at gun shows, and requirements for safety features such
as locks that prevent accidental deaths.

5. High
Stakes Testing
Whereas High Stakes Testing in the basic skill
areas of math, reading and writing continue to be used in the public schools
across the nation to determine if a student will be allowed to graduate
from high school.

Whereas this is largely an effort by the corporate state
to create the illusion that school reform can be achieved by blaming the
victims of underfunded schools for their failure to pass these tests.

Be it resolved that the CPUSA take a position of opposing
High Stakes Testing as a method of school reform.


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