The Columbus Free Press
New Party Online News - July 1996
Fusion in Minnesota: a 20th-Century First
At its first convention, Progressive Minnesota/New Party voted to use fusion - now legal in MN after 100 years - to cross-nominate DFL candidates Paul Wellstone for U.S. Senate and Karen Clark, Andy Dawkins, Sandy Pappas and Ellen Anderson for state legislature. It would be fitting for Wellstone - the most progressive Senator of his generation - to be the first Senator to use fusion in Minnesota since it was made illegal a century ago to defeat the populist worker-farmer alliance. Progressive Minnesota is gearing up for a major petition drive - to form a statewide minor party they need to collect almost 30,000 signatures in the first two weeks of July.
Toward a Living Wage
Milwaukee: After victories at the city and school board level, the Milwaukee Living Wage Campaign is moving to the County Board. Progressive Milwaukee/NP has introduced an ordinance that would require all contractors with the county to pay their employees at least $7.70/hr. Eight county commissioners have already endorsed the measure, and PM/NP is organizing a drive to collect 5,000 signatures by the end of the summer to support the campaign.
Missoula: NP member and City Council President Craig Sweet is introducing a living wage bill in the city council. Still being drafted, the measure is expected to require all companies ies that receive at least $10,000 in city subsidies or contracts to pay their employees a minimum wage of $7.50/hr. The chapter is preparing for a campaign against the Chamber of Commerce and the corporate press, which has already editorialized against the proposal.
Fighting Urban Sprawl
Progressive Dane/NP in Madison is stepping up the fight against urban sprawl, traffic gridlock and pollution, while promoting accessible and affordable alternative transportation. The chapter is pressuring the city council to:
1) require businesses to pay an annual parking stall fee; and
2) increase support for buses, rail, pedestrian, and bike projects.
PD/NP is building a broad coalition of environmental, disability rights, and senior citizens groups, along with unions and neighborhood associations, to support the campaign. If the city council fails to pass the measures, the chapter is ready to put them on the ballot in Spring `97.
Community Activism in Chicago
The Illinois New Party capped off a month-long house party drive in Chicago with a well-attended community meeting in the 17th Ward. Community members came to demand a voice in choosing a successor to Alderman Alan Streeter, who was indicted in the Silver Shovel corruption investigation. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley appointed Terry Peterson to fill the position, but the community members unanimously voted to hold a public confirmation hearing. Although the decision made at the hearing will not change the Mayor's appointment, if the community finds Peterson unacceptable, the chapter may try to find a viable alternative candidate for the special election next winter.
Onward and Outward
Our progress across the country proceeds apace. The New Party is launching new chapters in St. Louis and Denver this summer.
Taking the Initiative
Initiative campaigns in Arkansas (campaign finance), Missouri (minimum wage), and Montgomery County, MD (taxes and school funding) are moving forward. Look for more details in the August update.
Keep on Webbin'
Please check out the web site http://www.newparty.org frequently, if you have web access. We're continually updating it.
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If you're not already a member, please join. We can't do this without you. Call, write, fax, or email.
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