The Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts and New Jersey state organizations of the Communist Party are the first four districts to reach their goals and beyond for the 2002 fund drive. The fund drive committee sent them hearty congratulations.

It takes many activities and many supporters to reach the $75,000 national goal. Retired musician Louise Koszalka, 88, recently contributed $5,000. Koszalka was educated as a musician, but during the McCarthy years worked at a factory like the one depicted in Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, Modern Times. Five to nine women working on a conveyor belt filled 20,000 holes a day, working on sockets for radio tubes.

During the times when the work went smoothly and there were no problems, the women made up words to popular songs and sang together as they worked.

A lifelong member of the Communist Party, Koszalka says, “Music is a way of bringing people together, and can inspire a great feeling of solidarity.”

She said the Party has been a central part of her life since she was a young woman and, although she is officially retired and not able to be active, she continues her financial support.

When asked for words of advice for young people growing up in today’s world, she said, “Become active in the struggle wherever you can; work to improve the life of working people, ordinary people. The growing might of multi-national corporations has taken over and we have to stop the influence of the power of the corporations to exploit people.”

In late May, Debbie Bell, national chairperson of the CPUSA’s African American Equality Commission, spoke to a crowd at the Center for Marxist Education in Boston about her trip to the People’s Republic of China. Many are searching for a Marxist analysis of the developments in China and Bell’s speech helped provide that. The meeting also celebrated the 89th birthday of CPUSA veteran Laura Ross. During Bell’s visit she met with local leaders and activists. All told, Bell’s trip raised $1,200.

Judith Le Blanc, CPUSA vice chair, spoke June 15 at the public library in Worcester, Mass., on her recent trip to Israel/Palestine. Le Blanc has been touring the country speaking to many grassroots organized events as well as national events like the recent American-Arab Anti-Defamation Committee convention. The Worcester forum was co-sponsored by the CPUSA, Worcester Peace Works and the Worcester Area Rainbow Coalition. It also included a voter registration component.

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