A call for independent working class socialist candidates in Massachusetts
The working class needs a Workers Party
The capitalists already have two political parties – the Democrats and the Republicans. The working class needs independent political activity on our own behalf. The working class needs a Workers Party.
Right now in Massachusetts there is an effort to create a Workers Party that is connected to mass movements and runs candidates on a common revolutionary socialist platform. An organizing committee has come together with working people from across the state and we have 2 union building trades members in Weymouth and Plymouth running for State Representative on a Workers Party ballot line.
We are also working to form local organizing committees in working class communities outside of large cities, college campuses, and other spaces favored by existing socialist groups. These local organizing committees will allow working class involvement in mass movements where we live. Working people shouldn’t be expected to function as commuter activists in organizations that don’t venture beyond Boston and Cambridge. The working class is everywhere. We need working class organizations everywhere.
The Workers Party of Massachusetts is still a small and untested organization. We understand that there are other parties and organizations that have common interests with the Workers Party of Massachusetts. We have no intention of duplicating efforts or competing for influence in the Greater Boston political scene. Our goal is to spread revolutionary socialist politics out into working class communities that have not been reached by existing organizations. We invite all socialist organizations and individuals to adopt this outward looking approach and we encourage everyone to put this approach into action by running candidates for political office.
Popularity of socialism and political isolation
Despite the unprecedented popularity of socialism and the growth in membership of socialist organizations our movement’s concrete political impact in working class communities ranges from marginal to nonexistent. There are vast working class suburbs and small cities in Massachusetts where the material conditions call for socialist politics and it is way past time that we answer this call. We can no longer continue to neglect our responsibilities as organizers by abandoning the majority of the working class to the influence of our class enemies.
We need to create an organizing model that pushes out into new areas and breaks our political isolation. Running independent working class candidates on a revolutionary socialist platform can do a lot to establish our presence in new areas and allow us to create local organizations that last beyond the election campaign. Having candidates for office gives socialist groups a reason to go to new places and talk to new people. Independent working class political action based on a revolutionary socialist program can provide us with opportunities to reach a wider audience with our perspectives and program and be taken seriously as a political movement.
Call for candidates
The Workers Party of Massachusetts is calling on all socialist organizations to run independent working class candidates in the 2020 elections. We believe that participation in electoral campaigns is the most effective way to reach a large audience in a short amount of time with minimal resources needed. There is no cost to take out nomination papers. The required number of signatures to get on the ballot for State Representative is 150. The number required for State Senate candidates is 300. Any socialist organization is capable of gathering enough signatures to get candidates on the ballot.
The process of gathering signatures is a good outreach opportunity. It can be combined with canvassing around a specific issue or a stationary paper or book sale. It’s a good way to start conversations about our politics and test our approach against reality. Getting out there and talking to other members of the working class about the problems we face and the solutions we need is a necessary requirement for any movement that aspires to base itself on broad masses of people. Nobody else is going to do it for us.
If you are interested in running as a Workers Party candidate, are part of a socialist organization that is considering running candidates, or are an unaffiliated individual who is interested in running as an independent socialist candidate we ask you to get in touch with the Workers Party of Massachusetts State Organizing Committee. We are willing to offer any assistance and share our experiences to help get other socialists on the ballot.
How to run
If you do want to run for office as an independent working class candidate you will need to take out non-party nomination papers from the Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division located in the McCormack Building, One Ashburton Place, Room 1705, Boston. The Elections Division will provide packets with nomination papers and instructions for candidates.
Non-party candidates can express a political designation in three words or less on their nomination papers. Candidates for the Workers Party of Massachusetts will have Workers Party next to our candidates names on the ballot. We ask any candidate who wants to run using the Workers Party political designation to reach out to us beforehand to establish agreement on principles, program, and strategy. Other socialist organizations are encouraged to use this political designation space to raise their own profiles.
The timeframe to get candidates on the ballot in Massachusetts is tight but any group making a serious effort can still beat the deadline. Nomination papers have been available since February 11 and the last day to get them certified by local officials is April 28. There is plenty of time to weigh options, have discussions, select candidates, and get them on the ballot. Let’s make it happen.
Workers Party of Massachusetts State Organizing Committee
PO Box 5 Weymouth MA 02191