The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 76/No. 47      December 24, 2012

Socialists campaign in Omaha
for gov’t-funded jobs program
OMAHA, Neb.—Maura DeLuca and Jacob Perasso, Socialist Workers Party candidates for mayor and city council here, joined more than a dozen campaign supporters over the Dec. 7-9 weekend, knocking on hundreds of doors to present the working-class alternative in the elections.

Campaign supporters joined in from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Des Moines, Iowa.

“Many workers are unemployed or underemployed. Others are over-employed, being forced to work too many hours,” Perasso said. “No capitalist party offers anything that will address our problems.”

The candidates talked to workers about fighting for a massive government-funded jobs program to put millions to work at union-scale wages to alleviate the scourge of unemployment and its negative effects on workers’ confidence and combativity. “The capitalists say this would be too expensive,” Perasso said. “But this just means it will cut into their profits.”

A house cleaning worker who subscribed this week to the Militant, who declined to have her name printed for job considerations, told DeLuca and Perasso about a job action she participated in.

At Molly Maids, where she works, 20 workers threatened to strike. “They demanded they no longer be assigned to clean houses that pay just $40. They only get 18 percent of that and don’t get paid for the transportation time to get to each house,” Perasso noted.

The boss said they could leave if they didn’t like the job. They all walked out and he came running to get them back. They haven’t been assigned to clean the lower paying homes since.

She encouraged campaigners getting out the Militant, telling them “sell a lot!” as they walked to the next door.

The centerpiece of the campaigning was introducing Omaha workers to the Militant and books on revolutionary working-class politics. Thirty-two subscriptions to the Militant, which featured a front-page story on the campaign, were sold over the December 7-9 weekend, along with 16 books.

“We are finding workers want to discuss how the crisis of capitalism is affecting their lives and those of other working people around the world,” said Fredy Huinil, a campaign supporter from Omaha who helped organize the three-day effort.

On Dec. 8, the campaign hosted its first public meeting in Omaha, held at the South Omaha YMCA. Eighteen people participated in a lively discussion during the program and over a delicious Mexican and Guatemalan dinner prepared by campaign volunteers.

Joe Swanson, one of the meeting’s co-chairs, said campaigners going door to door found an eagerness among workers hit by the economic crisis to discuss what the working class needs to do. “In the last three or four years we have found that we can go into any corner of the country and have a discussion with workers in their community, neighborhoods and living rooms,” he said.

DeLuca related an experience selling a subscription to a meatpacking worker, who asked about Cuba and the so-called Ladies in White. “I said that these women were opponents of the Cuban Revolution, which brought workers and peasants to power,” DeLuca told the audience. “And I explained the case of the Cuban Five, who are in U.S. prisons because of their support for that revolution.” The meatpacker bought a copy of Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution.
Related articles:
Socialist Workers Party launches campaign in Chicago  
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