Wednesday May 22

PUBLISHER'S NOTE – 54.1

We’re all across the map this issue, so have your driver’s license and passport ready, because we’re rolling.

We jumpstart this ride with a call for the “next left” in the European Parliament (and beyond?) from David Tozzo in Rome, and then we jump to France with Marielle Benchehboune writing from Lyon to give us the real story behind the farmers’ protests that have created chaos in France. These are two veteran organizers who understand what’s under the hood.

We have a number of excepts on our next stops. Professors David Reynolds and Louise Simmons (also a longtime subscriber!) catch us up to date with regionalism, Partnership for Working Families style. Then we jump over to Vermont, and have a rare insider’s account by David Van Deusen of the politics and peril of moving a state labor council forward on issues of race in these times. He knows because he was the two-term president of the Vermont AFL-CIO. Felicia Kornbluh also has a Vermont connection in our small world as a professor

at the University of Vermont, but her insider’s account details what it took for New York State to be first out of the blocks with pro-choice legislation for women. The insiders in her story are her own mother and a neighbor. Then we go farther north to look at the issues faced by Toronto LBGTQ nonprofits written by a veteran of that landscape by Cameron Greensmith, now a professor of social work at Kennesaw State University outside of Atlanta. Our trip ends in Lowell, Massachusetts where community organizer Charles Gargiulo offers a memoir of growing up in a lower income neighborhood under the assault of urban renewal.

We take a rocket launch of sorts with our veteran reviewer and organizer, James Mumm, as he goes hard on fiction in a change of pace, much of which is other worldly. Next, we dial up the time machine to understand a priest’s fight against Cold War Anti-Communism in France with Toby Terrar, who has traveled widely himself, coast to coast, as a professor.

Back home our columnists bring us back to ground and current reality. Phil Mattera underscores the value of whistleblowers. Drummond Pike finds it mind blowing how some get away with money laundering and tax cheating. John Anderson doesn’t like his flashback over decades in Toronto’s fight for affordable housing for tenants. Gregory Squires makes it clear what’s really going on around bias in higher education. In Backstory, I take a more optimistic look at the prospects for labor’s revival.

I’m not saying that everything will be your cup of tea this issue, but I will say that none of this is boring!