Saturday, July 7, 2012

Healthy Societies (7/7/12)

La Raza Unida is currently sharing items explicitly mentioned in constitutions from around the world that mention health as important to society on our Facebook page. For some countries this is just talk and for others it is serious business. We will continue to publish here information on healthy societies. Health is more than a responsibility, it is a right.

The source for the information is available at

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Voting as if Life Depended on It (7/1/12)

Vicente Navarro and others have point out that for every 1 percent increase in votes for Socialist Democratic Parties, infant mortality declined 0.15 per 1,000 live births in industrialized nations.* That is from a study that includes the US which has ZERO federal level socialist democratic party representation.

"To get a sense of what small differences mean, consider calculating life expectancy in the United States in 2001 with and without the 3,000 deaths of September 11. It would make only a 0.01 year difference." (Dr. Stephen Bezruchka). If we just simply use this calculation then it is theoretically possible that a 1% voter turnout for socialist democrats in the next election could improve the life chances of 45,000 people. More than likely we will need some actual electoral victories. Most importantly would be to elect those willing to break up concentrations of power and money.

Voting Socialist, social democrat, Labor, Raza Unida, Peace & Freedom, etc. is not only good for taking a stance, it may be great for your health!

In the US this will not happen without a strong and solid social justice movement. The US has many movements and little actual movement. Working in solidarity will be key for our future. Connecting direct action, protests, boycotts and other movement tactics with support from working-class electoral and union organizing can make a difference.

Thinking in absolutes, in either/or, and other traditional frameworks will not get us ahead. We have to be willing to think about our relationships and how to build them. We will need people who can celebrate every single step forward as well as those who look at where we need to go. We will need healers as well as leaders.

This is not only possible, it is necessary for our future generations. 

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What does this mean in an election year? 

It means that we will need to be brave and look for opportunities to support Socialist Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Greens, Labor, Raza Unida and other working-class and left parties as much as possible. Until there are systematic changes - which the Democrats put into place to avoid challenges - this means we will need to count votes and ensure we are not getting far-right-wingers elected. Where it is clear that the least conservative candidate doesn't have a chance it means voting left. 

As the primary is over in NM it means that now we start registering people with explicitly working-class and left parties. La Raza Unida (LRU) and Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) are both working in the Albuquerque area. There are other parties such as the Socialist Workers' Party (SWP), and the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP). Just to get to one percent of the voting population in Bernalillo County would require registering close to 4,000 voters. Every voter counts. Talk with your friends, family, and share online. 

This is the time to build. Rarely does one election change the course of history in the US. Slow and consistent development will be as useful as quick bursts of electoral organizing that are disillusioned by the slow changes possible through electoral work. Please help LRU, PSL, and the working-class...  

Register Raza Unida, Vote Raza Unida, In the Streets Raza Unida!

*From "The importance of the political and the social in explaining mortality differentials among the countries of the OECD 1950-1998" Navarro, et al, 2003.