John Burton

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John Burton


John Lowell Burton was a Democratic Party Congressman from California. In 2011, he was chair of the California Democratic Party.

He is the brother of Philip Burton, the husband of Michele Burton, and father of Kimiko Burton-Cruz. He is a mentor to Barbara Boxer.

Michele Burton was originally Michele Hall, the daughter of Hawaiian Communist Party USA leader Jack Hall.[1]

Helped by Carlton Goodlett

According to radical former San Francisco district attorney Terence Hallinan, an endorsement from Carlton Goodlett was important to the election of many political leaders. Goodlett helped to inspire and promote the political careers of Mayor Willie Brown, the late Representative Philip Burton, Senator John Burton, and Representative Ron Dellums[2].

National Youth Caucus

Over 250 students from 71 Northern California colleges gathered at a National Youth Caucus (NYC) conference Saturday in an effort to insure maximum representation of 18-24 year-olds at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The conference was held at San Jose State College. A California Black Caucus also met Saturday at Garden Oaks School in East Palo Alto, drawing about 300 blacks from Northern California. Assemblyman Willie Brown (Dem—San Francisco) told the delegates that a solid concentration of black political power could give them considerable influence at the Democratic National Convention in Miami in July. He encouraged them to vote for a black candidate on the first ballot at the convention, no matter who they might actually be supporting. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (Dem—New York) is the only black candidate so far. Both meetings discussed youth representation at the February 12 district caucuses which each presidential candidate will hold to recommend a slate of pledged delegates and a representative to the candidate's state organizing committee.

Leading the Stanford delegation to the youth conference were ASSU Co-President Larry Diamond, Paula Johnson, Joel Kenwood, Connie Peterson and Zach Zwerdling. They are the five members of the central committee of Northern California's NYC Conference. Diamond also serves as State Chairman of the California NYC. Sen. Alan Cranston (Dem—Calif.) told the opening session of the conference that the NYC "can do a lot to shape the choices this nation and this state make next year." He added that he shared young people's "frustration over the way things are going", but that he also believed that "change can be achieved with a little more effort and organization."

Like Cranston, State Assemblyman Ken Meade (Dem—Berkeley) spoke of the power of young people in the elctoral process. Meade noted that in 1968 President Nixon carried California by 500,000 votes and that there will be at least 1.5 million 18-24 year olds casting their first votes in 1972. Taking these figures into account, Meade said that "without carrying California, Nixon would not have been elected President in 1968 and the youth vote assures that he will not win in 1972." He advised "Don't just work within the system, take advantage of it." San Francisco Sheriff Richard Hongisto claimed that "policemen are moving us towards a police state from the bottom all the way up to Attorney General John Mitchell." Hongisto, who has been a law enforcement officer for several years, was the upset winner in his race to be elected Sheriff last year. He urged his audience to "work to destroy those racist, sexist stereotypes of our decadent society." National Chairman of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) Allard Lowenstein, a former New York Congressman and organizer of the 1968 "Dump Johnson" movement, said that "four more years of an administration steeped in deception" would be severely damaging to "the whole fabric of freedom in this country."

Speakers at the closing session of the conference were state Assemblyman John Burton, former Stanford Black Student Union president Leo Bazile, and Yvonne Westbrook unsuccessful candidate last year for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.[3]

World Peace Council meeting

From September 29, to October 12, 1975 the Soviet front World Peace Council sent a delegation on a ten-day tour of the United States of America, where it was "warmly and enthusiastically received". In six of the ten cities visited, the delegation was officially welcomed by the mayors' offices and presented with "keys to the city", medals and proclamations.

The delegation was composed of Romesh Chandra, Secretary General of the World Peace Council; Josef Cyrankiewicz, former Premier of Poland, for many years a prisoner at the infamous Auschwitz prison camp, "outstanding anti-fascist fighter", and Chairman of the Polish Peace Committee; Ambassador Harald Edelstam, Swedish Ambassador to Algeria, formerly Ambassador to Chile during the Allende Presidency,"renowned for his rescue of hundreds of Chileans from the fascist junta"; Purabhi Mukherji, General Secretary of the Congress Party of India, member of Parliament and formerly a minister of the Indian government ~ for 15 years; James Lamond, Labour member of British Parliament, former Mayor of Aberdeen, Scotland, and active member of the Engineering Workers Union; Yacov Lomko, Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow News, leading member of the Soviet Peace Committee, and Communist Party USA member Karen Talbot, US member of the WPC Secretariat.

The delegates had "further opportunity to talk informally with various legislators and peace activists at receptions and dinners given in their honour". One such occasion was a reception given by Congressman John Burton and members of of Congress for Peace Through Law.[4]

More World Peace Council connection

In 1978 Congressmen John Burton, Ted Weiss, Ron Dellums, John Conyers, Don Edwards, Charles Rangel and others... attended[5]a Soviet front World Peace Council organized meeting on Capitol Hill.

WPC delegation members included President Romesh Chandra, KGB Colonel Radomir Bogdanov and Oleg Kharkhardin of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union International Department.[6]

The Chile letter

On August 1 1979 Thirty-five U.S. Congressmen signed a letter[7]to President Jimmy Carter demanding that private bank loans to Chile be barred unless the Chilean government chose to extradite three military officials, including the former director of the Chilean intelligence service. The three had been indicted for complicity in the assassination of marxist Unidad Popular government member and KGB agent Orlando Letelier and the killing of Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) staffer Ronni Moffitt in 1976.

In May 1978 the Chief Justice of the Chilean Supreme Court rejected the U.S. request for extradition.

Chief sponsor of the letter was Rep. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who was joined by Congressmen John Burton (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), Ron Dellums (D-CA), Berkly Bedell (D-IA), Richard Ottinger (D-NY), Fred Richmond (D-NY), Robert Drinan (D-MA), Leon Panetta (D-CA), Don Edwards (D-CA); Norman Mineta (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA}, Anthony Beileson (D-CA) George Brown (D-CA), Toby Moffett (D-CT), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Eugene Atkinson (D-PA), Michael Barnes (D-MD), David Bonior (D-MI), Adam Benjamin (D-IN), William Brodhead (D-MI), Robert Carr (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Tom Downey (D-NY), Harold Hollenbeck (R-NJ), Pete Kostmayer (D-PA), Stewart McKinney (R-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Andrew Maguire (D-NJ) Richard Nolan (DFL-MN), Gerry Studds (D-MA), Bruce Vento (DFL-MN) and Howard Wolpe (D-MI).

The Harkin letter characterized the Chilean government as "an enemy of the American people" and urged the President to "take strong action against this terrorist government." The letter was released (9 A.M. on August 1 1979) at the same time a press statement from the Washington, DC, Chile Legislative Center of the National Coordinating Center in Solidarity with Chile, staffed by veterans of the Venceremos Brigade and the Communist Party USA, supported the Congressional letter and urged pressure so that the State Department does not accept a military trial of the three Chileans in Chile as a substitute for extradition and trial in the US.

People's Weekly World Banquet 1996

Sponsors of the 1996 Bay Area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included Oakland City Council members Ignacio de la Fuente, Sheila Jordan and John Russo, Berkeley City Council members Maudelle Shirek, Linda Maio and Dona Spring, San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Sue Bierman, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, and California State Assemblyman John L. Burton.

Honored were 5 labor leaders - Walter Johnson, Owen Marron, Shirley Ware of SEIU, Abba Ramos of the ILWU and Francisco Martin del Campo of the San Francisco Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.[8]

On May 9, 1998, the Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World held a centennial festive tribute celebrating the life of Paul Robeson. Speakers and performers included Communist Party vice chair Jarvis Tyner, co-hair , retired ILWU international rep. Abba Ramos, co-chair communist Marilyn Bechtel, Owen Marron, Alameda Central Labor Council, Martin del Campo, San Francisco Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Berkeley mayor Maudelle Shirek, dancer Jackie Artman, Northern California Young Communist League co-chair Amie Fishman, Joe Johnson, trade unionist and personal friend of Robeson, poet Dr. Tolbert J. Small, and singers Anthony J. Smith and David Winters (American Federation of Musicians).

Among the events more than 100 co-sponsors were Senate president Pro Tem John L. Burton and Oakland mayor Elihu Harris.[9]

Phillip Burton Award

John Burton, was the recipient of the Phillip Burton Award, at the 2004 Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards, from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, in the Bay Area.[10]

UFW 50th Anniversary convention

The United Farm Workers' 50th Anniversary convention was held Saturday, May 19,2012. Rabobank Convention Center. Keene, California.

• A three-hour program (1-4 p.m.) honoring the UFW pioneers, with special segments on the 1962 founding convention, 1965-1970 grape strikers and boycotters, 1966 peregrinos who marched from Delano to Sacramento, the Filipino American grape strikers and the farm worker ministry. Among the speakers were Dolores Huerta, Chris Hartmire and Luis Valdez, whose Teatro Campesino performed old union songs and actos throughout the program.

• Other speakers included California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton and Maria Elena Durazo, former farm worker and head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Sunday, May 20, Rabobank Convention Center. Keene, California

• Mass at 7:45 a.m. with Bishop Richard Garcia from the Monterey Diocese presiding, honoring the rive UFW martyrs.

• A program highlighting multiple new UFW organizing campaigns among strawberry, vegetable, tomato and melon workers in the Central Coast and Central Valley in the wake of Governor Jerry Brown signing a UFW-sponsored law in 2011. SB 126 says if growers cheat by breaking the law and denying farm workers their union, then the state can immediately certify the union and get the workers a contract. It also speeds up the process so farm workers don’t have to wait two years before starting negotiations and it lets the ALRB general counsel go to court to reinstate farm workers illegally fired during union election drives.

• Among the speakers were U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, United Auto Workers President Bob King, Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.[11]

Fred Ross award campaign

In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".

Endorsers of the proposal included John Burton.[12]

References

  1. Comrades—1963 Vietnam and Peace Movement Summary—the Lead
  2. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/4263/Goodlett-Carlton-B-1914-1997.html
  3. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 160, Issue 64, 25 January 1972]
  4. World peace council Tour USA. 1975, pages 6 and 7 , wpc information centre, Lonnrotinkatu 25 A 5 krs 00180 Helsinki 18 Finland
  5. WPC Call from Washington, (World Peace Council Helsinki Finland, page 4
  6. Communists in the Democratic party, page 65
  7. Information Digest August 10 1979 p 244
  8. PWW, Sep. 21 1996 page 2
  9. PWW Tribute celebrates Robeson's impact today, May 23, 1998
  10. Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Honorees Legacy
  11. Talking Union, U.F.W. 50th. Anniversary Convention,Posted on May 2, 2012 by dcampbell1
  12. Momentum Builds for Honoring Legendary Organizer Fred Ross, by Randy Shaw, 2013-03-05