Joe Bernick

From KeyWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joe Bernick

Joe Bernick is organizational secretary of the Communist Party USA for Arizona, a post he has held since 1984..[1]

He has been Director Salt of the Earth Labor College since 1996. – Present (16 years).[2]

Activist life

Joe Bernick, the longtime director of the Salt of the Earth Labor College. Born in Minnesota, Joe spent most of his childhood in the recently-occupied Palestine, returning to Minnesota in the early 1960s to finish high school. He became active in the civil rights, peace and Palestine justice movement, and worked in Minneapolis factories, where he was active in the Iron Workers and Teamsters unions.

He and his wife, Cat Stelman, moved to Tucson in 1980. He worked for a decade as a school custodian, was Vice President of his AFT local, and remains active in Jobs with Justice. He was mentored by the great Communist leaders, Lorenzo Torrez and Anita Torrez, veterans of the strike depicted in the film, and helped found the Salt of the Earth Labor College in 1993. [3]


University of ND, JD, Law 1970 – 1974

Moorhead State College. BA, Political Activism, 1965 – 1969[4]

College activism

Joe Bernick, persuaded Moorhead State College in Minnesota to recognize a Students for a Democratic Society chapter on the campus, 1966.

In April, 1966 -- After much debate, SDS is granted a charter as a student organization.

February, 1968 -- Political and social difference emerge during the Student Senate elections; one candidate denies having suggested that "John Neumaier and [Joe] Bernick are members of a subversive Jewish organization," or saying that Bernick "hates all Christians." Bernick is defeated in the subsequent election.

Bernick later served in the Student Senate and stirred controversy as editor of the Mistic newspaper from 1968.[5]

Celebrating Bolshevik Revolution


Joe Bernick, Voltairine de Cleyre, James Stewart.

"Special May Day Greetings, 1989"

From the "Special May Day Greetings, 1989" issue of the "People's Daily World" (PDW), Section B, we read the following: "Tucson's progressive community congratulates the PDW on its anniversary and sends May Day greetings to all our friends across the country. The need to struggle against nuclear holocaust, to preserve a liveable and pleasant environment on our planet, and to bring peace, justice and economic well-being to all humanity is now more apparent than ever. Join us to make a better world."

Most signatories were members of the Arizona District Communist Party USA.Signatories included Joe Bernick.

Progressive salute

In May 1992, the Communist Party USA newspaper, Peoples Weekly World published a May Day supplement. This included a signed greeting from "Southern Arizona's progressive community", most of who were known Communist Party USA members.

One of the signatories was Joe Bernick.[6].

Communist Party's May Day Salute

In 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Weekly World, published a "May Day salute" to the "heroes in the class war zone". More than 200 unionists endorsed the call, mostly known affiliates, or members of the Communist Party.

Joe Bernick, Homeless Coalition, Tucson, was one of those listed[7].

Endorsing Communist Party call

The Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World issued a statement to mark Labor Day 1995, entitled "We honor the dead and fight like hell for the living."

Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.

Bernick of Jobs with Justice and Tucson, Arizona was on the list.[8]


Joe Bernick, active in the peace movement since 1964[9], grew up in the Middle East and has traveled to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia. He is involved in the Arizona Peace Council, Tucson Peace Action Community, the Tucson Peace Center and Salt of the Earth Labor College.

Tucson Peace Action Coalition

Joe Bernick, the hard-working force behind Tucson Peace Action Coalition--the group behind most major local rallies[10]

Arizona "progressive" community

On May 1 2009, this statement appeared in the Communist Party USA paper Peoples World;[11]

Arizona’s progressive community extends May Day and Cinco de Mayo greetings to all our friends across the country. We commit ourselves to join the struggle for jobs, equality, national health care, a fair immigration policy, and for peace and justice in the Middle East. Let’s make this planet a good place to live for all its inhabitants.

Arizona Peace Council, AZ4NORML, Campaign for Labor Rights, The Einstein Academy, Casa Maria/Catholic Worker East Valley Club Communist Party USA, Law Office of Payson & Gattone, The Latino Doctrine (TV show) Revolutionary Grounds Books and Coffee, Salt of the Earth Labor College Tucson Club CPUSA , Tucson Peace Action Coalition

Clyde Appleton, Mary Elinor Adams, Rolande Baker, Anne Brenner, Joe Bernick and Cat Stelman, Nancy Bissell, Jack Blawis, Don Buchanan, Richard Boren, Susan Clark, Rebeca Cartes, Eugenia Chilton,Jack DeWeese, Howard Druan, & DD Sande,Gregory Feesl, Ray Figueroa, Brian Flagg, Michael Flower, Sean Fowlkes, Nancy Gallen, Maggie Gerring, Michael Gray, Nancy Graham, James Hannley, Beverly Halkias, Jeff Imig, Mansur Johnson, James Jordan & Raquel Mogollon, Frank Jents, Marilyn Kramer, John Kromko, Jim Kincaid, Brandy Lintencum, Rob McElwain, Mary MacEwan, John Mackoviak, Jane Martin & Bob Vint, Jon Miles, Nancy Myers, Kathy Norgard, Richard Osburn, Ismael Parra, Nancy Pontius , Alice Ritter, Carlos Salaz, Sr., Mazda Shirazi, Rosemary Solarez, James Stewart, Brian Stevens, Olga Strickland, Donald Tewels, Dennis Tallent & Laura Tallent, Anita Torrez & Lorenzo Torrez, Carolyn Trowbridge & Keith Bagwell, Susan Thorpe, Steve Valencia & Janet Valencia, Edward Vargas, Steve Wheaton, Michael Wheeler,Susan Willis , Wendell Wilson, Deb Wilmer.

Eva Carrillo Dong reception with communists

On Wednesday, 15 September 2010, a reception in support of Eva Carrillo Dong was held Rigo's Mexican Restaurant 2527 South 4th Avenue Tucson, AZ.

Key attendess included Salvador Barajas, Sunnyside School Board Member Magdalena Barajas, Rolande Baker, Joe Bernick, Mary Carmen Donaldson, Hon. Dan Eckstrom, County Supervisor Richard Elias, Tucson City Council Member Richard Fimbres, TUSD Board Member Adelita Grijalva, James Hannley, Rigoberto Lopez, Raul Nido, Laura Portillo, Manuel E. Portillo, Tucson City Council Member Regina Romero, Albert Siqueiros, Janet L. Valencia and Steve Valencia. Baker, Bernick, Hannley and both Valencias were all affiliated with the Arizona District Communist Party USA.[12]

Tucson JwJ affiliate

Communist Party USA member Steve Valencia, chair of Tucson Jobs with Justice sent an email out notifying of a Tucson JwJ meeting Thursday, January 12th,2012

Please plan to attend our next Jobs with Justice meeting.
Location: American Postal Workers Union office, 2937 E. 22nd Street, just west of Country Club, north side of street
1. Labor solidarity: Communication Workers of America at American Airlines, learn about the organizing campaign from

Lee Ortega, organizer and how we can help.

2. The fight to save our Cherrybell Post Office, review of rally, march and hearing to save this processing plant and solidarity with the American Postal Workers Union, Tucson Area Local
3. The fight for Jobs!

Recipients included Joe Bernick.[13]

Salt of the Earth Labor College

Salt of the Earth Labor College 2014 speakers included;

Peace Fair

(From left to right) Comrades Dom, George, and Joe Bernick chair the Party table at Tucson's 31st Annual Peace Fair, Feb. 2013