Midwest vote project in high gear

ST. LOUIS – This Fourth of July, activists from across the country joined activists here, workers to defeat George W. Bush in this battleground state. Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and Young Communist League (YCL) members, alongside friends and allies from Texas, California, New York, and everywhere in between, have been plugged into local political battles.

The goal of the CPUSA’s Midwest Project is to defeat Bush and the ultra-right in America’s heartland. Central to the Missouri part of the Midwest Project is helping to elect progressive, pro-labor candidates. Strengthening grassroots coalitions and building a broader movement to defeat Bush is tied directly into the efforts to build the Party and YCL.

In many parts of the nation the key issues are health care, jobs, education and a woman’s right to choose. Missouri is no different. Work during the primaries to elect candidates that will best represent these issues is part of the strategy in the fight to hold Democratic candidates accountable to voters’ needs.

In Missouri, many avidly anti-choice candidates currently hold office as Democrats. One such incumbent helped pull funding from women’s health programs that provided over 30,000 women with basic health care as well as contraceptives.

Similar to the rest of country, choice is used as a wedge issue in Missouri. This, along with gun control, has pushed rural Missouri, and therefore the state, to the Republicans in presidential races. St. Louis and Kansas City, however, are both highly Democratic cities that need more voters turning out and getting involved.

After Missouri, the Midwest Project workers will go to Ohio. Voter registration and mobilization is the focus of all the work. Activists from across the nation will travel to the heartland to help swing votes, and the more people participate, the greater the impact on the outcome of the 2004 elections on a local and national level.

To get involved in the Midwest Project, contactor ycl@yclusa.org. The team will be in Missouri until July 31, and moves on to Ohio Aug. 7.

Join others for a week, a weekend, or for a whole month to help elect, progressive, pro-labor candidates and defeat George W. Bush in November.

The author can be reached at dbuffington@cpusa.org.