We support socialist candidates in New York

November 2 New York General Elections

We received a letter from the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP). We endorse the FSP’s call to vote for genuine socialist candidates. Before joining Socialist Core most of our members, at the time active members of other organizations, supported the candidacy of Frances Villar for New York City Mayor. Below is a summary in italics of the FSP statement:

We need a genuinely independent alternative to the twin parties, and that means candidates running on an anti-capitalist platform. What choices do we have in New York State?

Much of the Left, including parties like Workers World that have run their own candidates in elections past, have thrown their support to the newly formed Freedom Party and the gubernatorial campaign of City Councilman Charles Barron. The formation of the Freedom Party has put a spotlight on the reality that, as Barron says, “Racism permeates every institution in this State.” But the Freedom Party doesn’t take the logical step of going to the root of institutionalized racism to attack its source—the capitalist system.

The Freedom Party does not constitute a true break from the chains of the twin-party, big corporation monopoly. In fact, Councilman Barron has said point blank that his campaign represents an “inside/outside” strategy, which is a way to pressure the Democratic Party rather than truly break from it.

The Green Party is also on the ballot, fielding Socialist Party member Howie Hawkins for governor and a number of community activists for other offices. But as in past elections, the Greens advocate some great pro-justice, pro-environmental demands without ever taking aim at the system itself.

There is, in fact, only one lone candidate representing socialism on the NY ballot: Róger Calero, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) contender for the 15th Congressional District. His campaign is a protest against the Democratic machine delivering Harlem to the developers’ greed. The SWP has issued an open call for revolutionary change and workers taking the power in our hands. Calero’s platform includes support for a massive public works program and a shorter workweek with no pay cut to provide full employment, a call for immediate troop withdrawal, and opposition to healthcare cuts.

However, the SWP limits its support for women to minimalist demands for abortion access, is silent on lesbian/gay/bi/transgender rights, and falls short on how to confront the ravages of racism. Their effectiveness as a force for change is further hampered by their perennial refusal to run an active and vibrant campaign, resulting in only one of their four candidates making it onto the ballot. We’d like to see a lot more, but for taking an openly socialist stand, Calero’s run for Congress deserves a check mark on election day from Harlem’s 15th CD.

For the rest of the ballot’s list of candidates, we ask you to leave it blank. Refusing to pull the lever is a protest vote. It says, “We won’t vote until we have a true alternative that champions a break with the entire rotten system.”