Report: Pre-Convention discussion

BY:Carol Ramos| July 23, 2019
The Pre-Convention Discussion Committee was comprised of 7 comrades from throughout the country. These were Diane from Massachusetts; Carol, Chris, and Scott, New York; Lisa, Connecticut; Hank, California, and Ben, from Pennsylvania. Ben and I co-chaired the committee.

These comrades turned a challenging task into a rewarding one by virtue of the comradeship that dominated our meetings and the overall work. Everyone pitched in and helped out throughout the process, starting back in September until the pre-Convention discussion period ended in June. In addition, Scott and Joe Sims together made it possible to have the submissions posted in a presentable and organized way after the committee reviewed them. We have all agreed that hard work was made to go pretty smoothly–and I want to thank you, as Ben would often say before a meeting  “my dear comrades” for that.

I want to emphasize that this is a collective report from our subcommittee, having had all members weigh in on what we want to emphasize in it about the pre-Convention discussion process. From the first meetings, when the guidelines were discussed and determined, it was our endeavor, and also the recommendations of the Convention Organizing Committee, and Party leadership, to ensure that the pre-Convention discussion site would be a friendly, open, democratic space for members and non-members of the Party to share and express their ideas, criticisms, suggestions and experiences.

The only requirements were that they stay comradely and within 1000 words per submission topic or five minutes per video submitted.

Few submissions did not meet the guidelines or were deemed inappropriate, and these were returned with an explanation. Some were too long and divided into two parts. The submissions were generally on a high level and constructive. The submissions generally were made in response to either the draft program and showed thoughtful consideration of it, or they centered around the questions for discussion posed weekly under the categories: Developments in the World Today, Struggles of the Working Class and Core Forces for Equality, Jobs, Democracy, Justice and Planet, Role of the Communist Party, or they were made in response to the four Pre-Convention Discussion Webinars, or to the emails and reminders sent by districts and discussions tat took place in clubs and districts.

There were deep differences expressed regarding policy and the Draft Program, there were replies that went back and forth on topics. Our assessment is that the contributions showed considerable ideological unity in the Party. There were disagreements but there appeared to be agreement on major points of policy and on our analysis of the political situation.
In some cases, submissions were posted on the Pre-Convention Discussion page and also sent to the Program Committee. Some were nonetheless posted by us in the interest of a wider discussion.

We would have liked to see more that reported and reflected on local concrete experiences, although all had something constructive to say. There was a shortage of submissions from women. Perhaps some women may not have felt safe or comfortable putting out their ideas and being criticized–or maybe women put more pressing matters ahead of writing.

There were a total of 87 submissions: By topic, on Class and Democratic Struggles, 11 submissions; on Realities of the working class today and the working class movement for social progress, 18 submissions; on Unity Against the Extreme Right in Elections and Beyond, 19 submissions; on the Role of the Party and the Vision of Socialism, 22 submissions. Submitted by women, there were 13 and specifically on the topic of women and women’s equality, there were 4. On the topic of youth, there were 3 and submitted by clubs, there were 4.


    Carol Ramos is a retired NYC public school teacher living in Brooklyn. She is active in the struggle for Puerto Rican social justice.

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