Peter Hogness

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Peter Hogness


Peter Hogness is a New York activist. He is originally from Stanford California. He is a freelance editor & writer. He is the son of David Hogness.

Education

Harvard University.

Career

Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, Microwave News, Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union. For 14 years, Peter Hogness edited Clarion, the union paper of the Professional Staff Congress. One of the first things he did as the paper’s editor was to spearhead a redesign effort, creating a very specific look for the publication: one that conveys urgency and speaks to the paper’s New York roots.

Clarion

For 14 years, Peter Hogness edited Clarion, the union paper of the Professional Staff Congress. One of the first things he did as the paper’s editor was to spearhead a redesign effort, creating a very specific look for the publication: one that conveys urgency and speaks to the paper’s New York roots.

With the redesign, also came a vision of what issues the paper would address and how the stories would be covered. At Clarion’s helm, Hogness was involved with every aspect of producing the paper, communicating with photographers on what kind of shot would work for a story, writing countless stories as the paper’s lead reporter, and shaping Clarion stories as both pieces of journalism and elements of union campaigns. During Hogness's editorship, Clarion was recognized several times by the International Labor Communications Association as the best local union newspaper in the country. Shomial Ahmad, the paper’s current associate editor, came to Clarion during Hogness’s tenure.[1]

Activist life

Peter Hogness' politics were shaped to some degree by his parents. His mother was very involved in farmworker support through her church when Hogness was in high school.

Probably my first political act was tagging along with her to lick envelopes in the campaign office of a Stanford professor who was running for Congress as an anti-war candidate. That must've been in 1966. She died last year.
My dad is a retired professor at Stanford, a developmental biologist, turning 90 this year. He did a postdoc at the Pasteur Institute in Paris with Jacques Monod, who'd been a leader with the Resistance during the war. Dad always admired the way Monod combined a path breaking scientific career with active interest in politics and culture, and that idea that you should pay attention to the wider world, that you shouldn't just burrow into a hole in your career, was something that rubbed off on me also.

That sense of politics as a connection to your neighbors was at work in one of the things I got more heavily involved in, supporting the right of Muslim New Yorkers to found an Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan. Opposition to the center, led by some really hateful and bigoted people, started not long after the PSC office moved to downtown Manhattan. So that was probably one reason I got involved, but there was something broader: the opposition to the center offended me in a very personal way as a New Yorker. I felt like, "Not with my city, you don't!"
We built a very broad coalition, and I ended up on the steering committee. The NY Civil Liberties Union, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Community Voices Heard, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Common Cause, Pax Christi – it was a long list. We organized a big rally on the eve of the anniversary of September 11, a crowd of a couple thousand people, that certainly dwarfed what the haters turned out. We produced a t-shirt based on a conversation I'd had with Dania Rajendra, who'd been associate editor of Clarion, a riff on the classic "I ♥ NY" design by Milton Glaser. Ours was on three lines: "I ✡ NY, I † NY and I 🌙 NY." That t-shirt was so popular! We sold out fast the night of the rally – which was great 'cause I'd fronted the money for the printing. Afterwards when you'd wear on the subway, people would want to know where they could get one. It was very gratifying to see.
Over the last 15 years I've also volunteered on electoral campaigns and got arrested a couple of times in protest actions, always on my own time and my own dime. On my 50th birthday in 2005, I joined a sit-in at the White House against the Iraq war, and in November 2011 I joined Occupy Wall Street's big direct-action protest, sitting down to block traffic at Pine Street and William. I wasn't super-active with Occupy, but it was like a lot of other things: I felt I had to put my grain of sand on the scale, do my part to help tip the balance. When Bloomberg announced that cops would clear Zuccotti Park that October, I was one of a couple thousand people, including a lot of unionists, who showed up at dawn and got that plan cancelled. The sign I brought probably reflected my mom's church background: "Rich man, camel, eye, needle. 'Nuff said!"[2]

FRSO

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Facebook October 30, 2016
Facebook October 30, 2016

Peter Hogness is closely involved with Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Fiorina connection

Carly Fiorina personally signed a copy of Marx’s Capital Volume I in 2007 at a Manhattan Barnes & Noble, a "priceless piece of political memorabilia now up for sale on eBay".

Peter Hogness, a labor activist in New York and a former high school classmate of Fiorina's in Palo Alto, is selling the book. He says the signing took place during a 2007 book tour for her memoir, Tough Choices. He presented Capital to Fiorina during a book-signing event and asked if she would sign it instead of her memoir. “Oh, I've read this!” she said upon seeing Marx's classic work of political economy. She agreed to sign it.

Hogness says Capital seemed like a more interesting choice than Fiorina’s memoir for his bookshelf. Sure enough, at Goodreads, Marx’s treatise has a 4.17 average star rating—narrowly edging out the 3.63 average rating for Tough Choices. (Hogness says he bought and read Tough Choices, and “it's not a bad read.”)

He believes the book was appropriate given Fiorina’s record.

“The book describes capitalism’s relentless drive to reduce labor costs regardless of the human cost, and how over time this helps create a ‘reserve army' of the unemployed,” Hogness explained. “Before Fiorina became its CEO, Hewlett-Packard was known for its reluctance to lay off employees. But she laid off tens of thousands without hesitation, and in that sense made HP a more thoroughly capitalist enterprise.”[3]

Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward

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Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.

Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?

This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.

Those expressing interest in attending, on Facebook included Peter Hogness.[4]

Left Labor Project Presents: What Happened? What Now?

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Left Labor Project Presents: What Happened? What Now? Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 6 PM - 9 PM, 310 W 43rd St, New York.

A converastion with Bill Fletcher, Jr., international activist and co-author of Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice.

This event is Co-sponsored by: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Committees of Correspondence Education Fund, Democratic Socialists of America, Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

RSVPS included Peter Hogness.

Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee

In March 2018 Peter Hogness was involved with the Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee.

References