Saturday, October 29, 2016

It’s Liberation…A Conversation with 2016 SPUSA VP Candidate Angela Nicole Walker

29 October 2016

By Autumn Minery and Bryer Sousa
The Socialist


PART ONE
Bryer: Welcome Angela and thank you for being here. If you’d like to introduce yourself, that would be great. Of course, you are Mimi Soltysik’s running mate, the Vice Presidential ticket for the Socialist Party USA. But to be able to represent SPUSA, you must have engaged in quite a bit of activism during your life?
Angela: Yeah, my name is Angela Walker; I am a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I currently live. I have served as the Legislative Director for the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998. I served the union for two years and was also a member of Occupy the Hood…[W]e were able to get a lot of linking between the unions and tried to make sure that they kept touch with other unions and organizations; grass roots organizations that were doing really important work. So I did that for a few years. Then in 2014, I ran against David Clark here in Milwaukee County as an independent socialist at the time, and we all pulled 21% of the vote… as an unknown, broke socialist…
Bryer: You pulled 21% of the vote?
Angela: Yeah, and I say “we,” because it was a collaborative effort. I was a working class candidate and the others who were working on the campaign were working class members as well. But 67,000 something people out of 350,000 in the county put their bets on an unknown broke working class candidate, who was explicitly socialist, so I thought that was pretty dope.
Mimi and the SP watched that campaign, which was unknown to me, but it was a big deal, apparently. Evidently, it got people really excited about it, so when he was considering this run for President, he called me.
Bryer: That’s quite the story. Especially because you were able to bring around a collective of working class individuals. That being said, what does ‘socialism’ mean to you? That is, where did you get the inspiration to lean towards socialism? Was it an American intellectual? Was it working class people?
Angela: For me, it’s working class people. I mean, my family is all working class folks and they’ve practiced socialism without ever calling it that. So I’ve been exposed to socialist ideas my whole life. Nothing new. For me it just makes sense. We are talking about people primarily in black and brown communities that have been so horribly affected by capitalism (and the violence that is brought about) in so many ways. People are ready to embrace concepts that we know that are explicitly socialist, but also…it is just common sense. I mean, if you’re having an issue with housing and affordability and things like that in your area, and if people can pull their resources and go in on one of the many abandoned buildings in our community, and then turn that into a co-op which works to get people not only housed, but housed at a rate they can afford, why wouldn’t you do that? Why wouldn’t you talk about that? You know, at the time of Fight for $15, why are we not talking about worker ownership of the workplace? It makes sense. You know there is this issue of ‘deserve;’ who deserves living wages? Everyone does! I don’t care if you scrub toilets for a living…you deserve a living wage, and you deserve a say in how your workplace is run. You should be up in arms. Such things make sense to me.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

SP Presidential Candidate Mimi Soltysik Interviewed on CounterPunch Radio

27 October 2016

By Eric Draitser 
CounterPunch Radio 

"This week Eric welcomes to the show presidential candidate from the Socialist Party USA Mimi Soltysik to discuss his campaign, the importance of movement-building, and the state of the Left in 2016. The conversation begins with a discussion of the SPUSA's campaign, and the central question for every non-establishment party: Why bother running a presidential campaign at all? From there Eric and Mimi discuss how the Left might consider moving forward as the US and the world face the daunting challenges of war, economic crisis, and ecological meltdown. They touch on a wide variety of issues from the viability of the Green Party as a vehicle for revolutionary change to the necessity for non-electoral solutions in local communities and much more. Don't miss this episode of CounterPunch Radio."

Click Here to Listen to the Podcast

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Never Trump? Can't back Clinton? Here are Texans' other choices for president

25 October 2016

By Hannah Wise
Dallas Morning News

"Emidio Soltysik, a political activist from Los Angeles, is the Socialist Party's write-in candidate for president. Soltysik, 41, writes on the party's Facebook page that his campaign is not about earning votes, ballot status or raising money. Instead, it will be "primarily focused on the unique media opportunities that are presented during a general election."

He writes that even if Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist, were elected, it would not be enough. Soltysik argues that to be elected, a candidate has to make so many concessions that they would be beholden to special interests and would be "completely unfit to govern once taking office."

The party's platform, according to its website, "stands for the abolition of every form of domination and exploitation, whether based on social class gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, sexual orientation, or other characteristics...."

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Third parties and what they stand for

23 October 2016

By Kathleen Gray
Detroit Free Press

"Socialist Party: Cut the military budget by 50%; enact  single-payer health care for all; raise the minimum wage; support free college tuition and a graduated income tax; set retirement age at 65 and enact rent control on all rental units; abolish the National Security Agency, FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

Presidential Ticket: Former national co-chairman of the Socialist Party USA, Emidio (Mimi) Soltysik, and labor organizer and former bus driver Angela Nicole Walker."

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SP State House Candidate's Responses Published in MLive Voter Guide

The MLive Media Group has published SP Michigan State House candidate Michael Anderson's responses to its 2016 statewide Voter Guide questionnaire. They can be read by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Socialism Is Not Something You Vote into the White House

11 October 2016

By Mois├ęs Delgado
Left Voice

Mimi Soltysik lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Socialist Party. His running mate is Angela Nicole Walker.

How did you become a part of the socialist movement?

So much of my life was spent on self-gratification and I was thoroughly disconnected from any idea of community. I mean, I literally had little idea. By the time I reached my early-thirties, I hit a sort of rock bottom. My health, both physical and mental, was in pretty terrible shape, and I felt like I had a choice to make. In a sense, it felt very much like an awakening. I started to learn again, which wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing for me. I often struggled to understand and to make connections. But I took small steps forward. And in doing so, I started to build relationships with folks in my direct community. I also started to see with newfound clarity the incredible suffering in my community. Bit-by-bit, I learned, as many others have, that there is an identifiable source of the suffering: capitalism. I also learned, again, as many others have, that there is a solution: socialism. So, I sought out spaces where someone like me might be able to contribute. I felt like I had an incredible amount of catching up to do, and I really took, and continue to take my participation very seriously.

Why did you decide to run in the 2016 presidential elections? What do you hope to most accomplish through your campaign?

As a radical organization in the U.S., we tend to get little mainstream media coverage on the day-to-day. That tends to change a bit during a general election. We also thought that there might be even more media opportunities with the inclusion of Bernie Sanders in the race. In anticipation of that likelihood, we approached all of this with a step-by-step strategy aimed at making a contribution to the swiftening of the revolutionary pace in the U.S.: 1. Use those media opportunities to deliver, with warmth and humanity, an unapologetically radical message. 2. Use social media and technology to complement traditional media. 3. As candidates, make sure we are accessible to those who might reach out with interest after seeing media/social media pieces. 4. Help, in any way possible, to connect those folks, wherever they might be throughout the country, with others already involved with movement work. 5. Acknowledging that many may be far-removed, geographically, from radical activity, use technology to develop face-to-face meeting/collaboration spaces. 6. Open up our campaign spaces in a way that allows others to tell their story, to share their ideas and experiences, helping to humanize movement work and potentially put skeptical/fearful folks new to radical politics at ease. 7. Set up a framework so that any momentum and infrastructure built throughout the campaign is maintained beyond election day. And that’s what we’ve been doing. To be honest, and I’m only speaking for myself, I didn’t know what the response might be. I understand that this might be a somewhat unconventional approach to a presidential campaign, while also acknowledging the possibility that folks might say "who gives a shit?" I am so thankful to say that the response thus far has far exceeded what I envisioned. It’s been an incredibly humbling experience.

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