Philly YCL evaluates its work, sets new goals

Philly YCL evaluates its work, sets new goals


On Sunday June 11th, the Philadelphia Young Communist League held its General Membership Conference at the Du Bois-Robeson People’s Center. We opened the meeting with a reflection on our activity in recent months. The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to specific discussion on the creation of geographical groupings within YCL membership, the Philadelphia rent control coalition, involvement with the Working Families Party, new member educationals, and membership standards.

The general reflection discussion included a positive evaluation of the YCL’s involvement in recent electoral campaigns, supporting organized labor, advocating for the protection of LGBTQ rights, and putting forth the party program in our work.

Additionally, there were criticisms and suggestions made that aimed to improve our work moving forward.

The first of these criticisms was pointing out that new members are not clearly educated on the opportunities available to them to get involved in league activity. This was seen as an issue because it can lead to disengagement of members. In response to this, it was suggested that the coordinating committees hold brief meetings during the time allotted for our general membership meetings and that committee chairs give regular updates during our general membership meetings to all members of the league. This would ensure that all members are made aware of the current work of each committee and ways to become involved. A vote was held on this suggestion and the majority approved.

In addition to this first criticism, the suggestion was made for the responsibilities of all positions to be made clear, and those in leadership positions were encouraged to delegate tasks to other members in order to avoid burnout, build members’ experience, and increase working capacity. The Coordinating Committee will create a document that clearly defines the role and responsibilities of all leadership positions, and will ensure that all work is done through the proper committee. This second criticism was made in response to a certain level of volunteerism that is present in the league, meaning there is a tendency for people to show up only to events that they want to, rather than attending all events that fall under the committee they have committed to. This results in uncertainty in turnout and overworking of comrades that overcommit to make up for lack of capacity. It would be beneficial to have an increased level of discipline, because this would allow us to have a greater understanding of our capacity when making commitments and allow for delegation. The prior resolutions on increasing communications around committee opportunities and responsibilities will increase awareness of what we need comrades to commit to.

Additionally, the suggestion was made for the education and mass work committee to coordinate educationals on electoral work at the beginning of electoral campaigns, to ensure members are aware of why they are doing this work and are equipped with the tools to make them effective organizers on a campaign.

Lastly, it was suggested that all mutual aid work should be rooted in neighborhood organizations, to build solidarity and trust with those communities.

Following the first discussion and prior to the other discussions, the league held a vote for chair of its mass work committee and Collin was elected to the position.

On the subject of geographical groupings, many comrades expressed concern about the logistical aspects of the creation of these collectives. Some were skeptical of our capacity to effectively organize them while also continuing to organize our other various committees. Others pointed out that there is not an even distribution of comrades throughout the city, with many members residing in West Philadelphia. Lastly, the effect on the ideological cohesion of the league was a concern as well.

In response to these concerns, it was clarified that this would not be an immediate action, rather an exploratory stage to lay the groundwork for creating strong connections between CPUSA and the YCL and the various neighborhoods in Philadelphia. This suggestion was raised in direct response to the losses faced by progressive candidates in the city.

Following this discussion, a resolution was brought forward for the creation of groups for the purpose of carpooling to begin creating geographical cohesion among members, that all committees will include neighborhood involvement in their decisions and work, the YCL will table in areas of lower membership to address the geographical imbalance, and that we will revisit the subject in one year. The resolution was approved by the majority.

The discussion on rent control and the Working Families party outlined the importance of both these topics as great organizing opportunities. Both would allow for opportunities to connect on a neighborhood level while also working toward a material shift in Philadelphia’s politics and economy. A resolution that these two issues would be the focus of our mass work for the period of one year was approved by the majority.

The discussion led by the educational chair outlined the work of the new member education subcommittee. This committee will be creating educational material and events for new members to become more familiar with the party platform, league work, and membership standards.

Lastly, membership standards were discussed as an important issue to resolve for the league. Having clearly defined standards for membership would help address the issue of volunteerism mentioned prior. A resolution was held for the executive committee to draft membership standards for the league to vote on in the near future, and it was approved by the majority.

Images: Philadelphia YCL


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